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

New York state moves to ban hydraulic fracturing

12/17/2014 High-volume hydraulic fracturing will be banned in the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced Dec. 17, citing health risks...

Rumaila to ramp up production 50% by end of decade

12/17/2014 The Rumaila Operating Organization (ROO)—a partnership of South Oil Co., BP PLC, PetroChina Co. Ltd., and Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (...

Norway production declined in November, NPD says

12/17/2014

Norway’s liquids production averaged 1.939 million b/d in November, about 1% less than October, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported.

Encana to focus spending on four core shale assets in 2015

12/16/2014 Encana Corp., Calgary, reported plans to spend $2.7-2.9 billion on its capital budget with roughly 80% of this total directed towards four of what ...

Development plan outlined for Gullfaks Rimfaks Valley

12/16/2014 A consortium led by Statoil ASA has submitted a development plan for the Rutil discovery in the North Sea’s Gullfaks Rimfaks Valley that will exten...

Cenovus trims budget, slows oil sands work

12/16/2014 Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, is trimming its capital spending in response to declining crude oil prices and will slow development of some of its t...

Pengrowth starts commercial steam operations at Lindbergh thermal project

12/16/2014 Pengrowth Energy Corp., Calgary, reported the startup of commercial steam operations at Phase 1 of its Lindbergh thermal project in the Cold Lake a...

Repsol to acquire Talisman in $13 billion deal

12/16/2014 Spain’s Repsol SA has agreed to acquire all shares of Talisman Energy Inc. of Calgary for $8.3 billion along with assumed debt of $4.7 billion. The...

Senate passes Defense bill with BLM drilling permit program provision

12/15/2014 The US Senate approved a Department of Defense appropriations bill on Dec. 13 containing a provision extending and making permanent a drilling perm...

White Papers

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

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

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



The Future of US Refining

When Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

When Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


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