Federal judge dismisses NY state lawsuit on water, fracturing

A federal judge in Brooklyn dismissed a lawsuit filed by New York Atty. Gen. Eric T. Schneiderman seeking a court-ordered comprehensive environmental analysis before the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) issues anticipated regulations that would cover hydraulic fracturing in the watershed.

US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, Eastern District of New York, ruled Sept. 24 in favor of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Environmental Protection Agency, both of which wanted the case dismissed. Garaufis cited procedural reasons for dismissing the lawsuit, filed last year.

“The harms that plaintiffs ultimately are concerned about are speculative, and rely on a chain of inferences that may never come to pass,” Garaufis said. “Plaintiffs appear to believe that, if defendants are not forced to comply with NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] now, their interests will be placed at risk immediately. But that is not the case. The courts will be available if and when the DRBC adopts final regulations permitting natural gas development.”

DRBC was formed in a federal-interstate compact in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and the governors of the four basin states forming the watershed of the Delaware River: Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Responsible for water quality in the watershed that supplies drinking water to the four states, DRBC issued draft gas exploration regulations in 2010 followed by revisions in 2011. The Marcellus shale underlies about 36% of the river basin (OGJ, Oct. 6, 2008, p. 50).

Schneiderman’s office issued a statement that the ruling “left the door open for legal action on the merits of our case at a later date.”

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network also was a plaintiff. Other environmental groups intervened in the case, supporting Schneiderman’s litigation.

DRBC is one of two interstate commissions involved in planning and development in the Marcellus shale area. The other is the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, a compact formed by the federal government and the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

At this writing, New York state officials were contemplating whether to relax a ban on high-volume fracing in certain areas of the state.

The New York Times in a June 13 article quoted sources close to Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying the state might pursue a plan “to limit the practice to several struggling counties along the Pennsylvania border, only in towns that approve the technology.”

The state was expected to issue a final supplemental generic environmental impact statement (OGJ, Aug. 6, 2012, p. 32).

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

PNR cuts capital spending nearly in half

02/11/2015 Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PNR), Dallas, plans to spend $1.85 billion in 2015 following a fourth quarter in which the company reported a net in...

Study finds FLNG scheme ‘viable’ for Pandora field development

02/11/2015 A recent study has found that Cott Oil & Gas Ltd’s plans to use a floating LNG (FLNG) vessel for development of Pandora gas field in the Gulf o...

EIA: US gasoline prices to average $1/gal less in 2015 vs. 2014

02/10/2015 US regular gasoline retail prices are expected to average $2.33/gal in 2015, down from $3.36/gal in 2014, according to the Energy Information Admin...

New York state decides to ban hydraulic fracturing

02/10/2015 New York state officials planned in 2015 to officially ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which would end a temporary moratorium that has existe...

WoodMac: Eagle Ford production tops 1 billion bbl

02/10/2015 Analysts forecast increasing unconventional US production during 2015 with one of the prolific plays being the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas.

Accenture: Eagle Ford operators cut costs with integrated planning, better logistics

02/10/2015 Accenture examined the importance of integrated planning and logistics as a way to save money for operators in the South Texas Eagle Ford, a region...

Unconventional plays continue driving US production

02/10/2015 Output from unconventional projects is expected to account for much of the anticipated US production growth during 2015 although falling crude oil ...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices rise on revised OPEC forecast

02/10/2015 Crude oil prices climbed more than $1/bbl on Feb. 9 to settle above $52/bbl, marking a third consecutive trading session that ended with higher pri...

Williams, DCP start gas flow from Keathley Canyon Connector

02/10/2015 Williams, through its general partner ownership of Williams Partners, and DCP Midstream Partners LP have started operations from their newly extend...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected