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Texas Environmental Update

September 17, 2013

The environmental practice of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP offers seamless, front-rank representation in local, state, national, and cross-border regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters, as well as experienced counsel on the environmental aspects of transactions and operations across the country and around the world. We are dedicated to helping clients successfully navigate complex and costly environmental issues and to building longstanding client relationships founded on superior advice, integrity, and value. We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated community in Texas.


Texas Supreme Court Declines to Clarify Texas Eminent Domain Law Re: Keystone XL Pipeline
Energy Legal Blog, September 16, 2013
On September 6, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court (the "Court") declined to clarify whether the statutory condemnation system set forth in the Texas Property Code (specifically, the interpretation of Tex. Gov't Code §21.021) requires a court to make a "preliminary finding" of common carrier status before awarding temporary possession to a pipeline company. The court's [...]

Environmental Implications of DOE's Approval of Fourth LNG Export Project
Energy Legal Blog, September 13, 2013
On September 11, 2013, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) issued an order conditionally granting Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP (DCP) long-term, multi-contract authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) by vessel from the Cove Point LNG Terminal in Calvert County, Maryland to non-Free Trade Agreement (non-FTA) countries (Cove Point Order). DCP is the [...]

NY High Court to Hear Cases Determining Future of Hydraulic Fracturing
Energy Legal Blog, September 6, 2013
The New York State Court of Appeals has announced that it will hear a challenge to municipal bans on hydraulic fracturing operations in two separate cases. The announcement comes three months after a ruling issued by a midlevel appellate court in which a four-judge panel unanimously held that municipalities can effectively "zone out" oil and [...]


Agendas & Work Sessions

Commissioners' September 24, 2013 Meeting Agenda
TCEQ Web Site

In the News:


Tougher Target
Denton Record-Chronicle, September 7, 2013
"It's been a tough week for breathers in North Texas, particularly in Denton County."

Regulatory Developments

What's New in TCEQ Rules
TCEQ Web Site, September 16, 2013


In Texas, Fight Over Water Spills Underground
The Texas Tribune, September 16, 2013
"As Texas' rivers run dry and lakes fall to record low levels, part of the fight over water supplies is moving underground."


Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Safety and Environmental Management System Requirements for Vessels on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf
78 Federal Register 55230, September 10, 2013

Final Rule, Bulk Packaging to Allow for Transfer of Hazardous Liquid Cargoes
78 Federal Register 54775, September 6, 2013


President Obama Prepares to Take on Big Coal
Politico.com, September 15, 2013
"This week will bring a major gut check for President Barack Obama's climate agenda - specifically, his appetite to take on coal."

Proposed Rule, Revisions to Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, and Proposed Confidentiality Determinations Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program
78 Federal Register 55994, September 11, 2013

Notice to Discontinue Public Comment Period, Draft Research Report: Investigation of Ground Water Contamination Near Pavillion, Wyoming
78 Federal Register 55694, September 11, 2013

Notification of Public Teleconference of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel
78 Federal Register 55253, September 10, 2013

Direct Final Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Procedures for Stringency Determinations and Minor Permit Revisions for Federal Operating Permits
78 Federal Register 55221, September 10, 2013

EPA Web Tool Expands Access to Scientific, Regulatory Information on Chemicals
EPA Web Site, September 9, 2013
"WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a web-based tool, called ChemView, to significantly improve access to chemical specific regulatory information developed by EPA and data submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)."

Proposed Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation; Texas; Houston: Reasonable Further Progress Plan, Contingency Measures, and Transportation Conformity Budgets for the 1997 8-Hour Severe Ozone Nonattainment Area
78 Federal Register 55029, September 9, 2013

Proposed Rule, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Attainment Demonstration for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 1997 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area
78 Federal Register 55037, September 9, 2013

Notice of Reconsideration of Final Rule; Request for Public Comment; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines; New Source Performance Standards for Stationary Internal Combustion Engines
78 Federal Register 54606, September 5, 2013

EPA Launches New Online Mapping Tool for Environmental Impact Statements
EPA Web Site, September 5, 2013
"WASHINGTON - Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an interactive web-based mapping tool that provides the public with access and information on Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) filed with EPA for major projects proposed on federal lands and other proposed federal actions."


Final Rule, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered Status for Texas Golden Gladecress and Threatened Status for Neches River Rose-Mallow
78 Federal Register 56026, September 11, 2013

Final Rule, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Texas Golden Gladecress and Neches River Rose-Mallow
78 Federal Register 56072, September 11, 2013

Notice of 90-Day Petition Finding and Initiation of Status Review; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition to Delist or Reclassify From Endangered to Threatened Five Southwest Species
78 Federal Register 55046, September 9, 2013


Proposed Rule; Request for Comments; Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica
78 Federal Register 56274, September 12, 2013


Pipeline Safety: Public Workshop on Integrity Verification Process, Comment Extension
78 Federal Register 56268, September 12, 2013

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM); Hazardous Materials: Rail Petitions and Recommendations to Improve the Safety of Railroad Tank Car Transportation (RRR)
78 Federal Register 54849, September 6, 2013


Wayne Christian to Run for Texas Railroad Commission
Longview News-Journal, September 11, 2013
"The race to become Texas' next oil and gas regulator has grown more crowded."


Threatened Species a Focus for Energy Industry
The Texas Tribune, September 11, 2013
"More than 100 species in Texas could be classified as endangered by the federal government in the coming years, potentially choking development for oil and gas companies in the state."


EPA Can Better Document Resolution of Ethics and Partiality Concerns in Managing Clean Air Federal Advisory Committees
EPA Office of Inspector General Web Page, September 11, 2013
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General conducted this review in response to a congressional request about the EPA's management of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis."

Measurements of Methane Emissions at Natural Gas Production Sites in the United States
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 19, 2013
"This work reports direct measurements of methane emissions at 190 onshore natural gas sites in the United States (150 production sites, 27 well completion flowbacks, 9 well unloadings, and 4 workovers)."