Municipal Regulation: PA Senate Bill on Utility Regulation Proceeds to House for Consideration
On May 25, 2022, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Local Government Committee approved SB 275 for full consideration by the House. SB 275 would amend Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes and prohibit municipalities from adopting restrictions against or discriminating against utility service providers on the basis of the type of energy provided. SB 275 would also prohibit municipalities from adopting policies which interfere with an individual’s ability to use the services of a utility service provider that is “capable and authorized.” Sen. Gene Yaw, the bill’s chief sponsor, has said the purpose of the bill is to ensure “all Pennsylvania businesses and homeowners have the opportunity to access energy.”
Pipelines: Environmental Defense Fund Files Petition to Intervene in Support of PHMSA in Lawsuit
On June 1, 2022, the private Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) filed a motion to intervene in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is the respondent in a lawsuit originally filed by the GPA Midstream Association (GPA). GPA Midstream Association v. U.S. Dept of Transportation & Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, No. 22-1070. PHMSA did not oppose the motion, and GPA took no position. EDF stated that it “has protectable interests in shielding its members from being deprived of these benefits if the Final Rule were vacated.” The Final Rule in dispute is Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Gathering Pipelines: Extension of Reporting Requirements, Regulation of Large, High-Pressure Lines, and Other Related Amendments, 86 Fed. Reg. 63,266 (Nov. 15, 2021)(Final Rule).
Water Quality: EPA Releases Proposed Rule for Water Quality Certification Requirements Under Clean Water Act
On June 2, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed rule modifying water quality certification requirements under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. According to the EPA, the proposed rule would update the requirements to “be more consistent with the 1972 CWA and clarify elements of Section 401 certification practice.” The comment period for the proposed rule will be 60 days from the date it is published in the Federal Register. More information on submitting comments and the virtual public hearing can be found here.
Water Quality: Colorado Bans Sales of Some Products Containing PFAS Chemicals
On June 3, 2022, Governor Jared Polis of Ohio signed a bill prohibiting sale or distribution of “certain products that contain intentionally added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS chemicals).” One example of an exception was cookware, as the bill mandated manufacturers to disclose the presence of PFAS chemicals and include a statement on the product label. The bill defined several categories of products, and the ban will go into effect January 1, 2024.
Water Quality: DOE Announces Funding for Water Treatment Technology Development
On June 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $17.7 million in funding toward developing energy-efficient water treatment technology, as part of a partnership with the National Alliance for Water Innovation. The funding will support sixteen projects developing desalination technology “that can treat nontraditional water sources (e.g., brackish water, seawater, and industrial wastewater).”
National Energy Policy: DOE Announces Launch of Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange Set for June 7
On May 31, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X). i2X is a partnership between the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO), national laboratories, state and tribal governments, utilities, energy developers, and other stakeholders. I2X, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is intended to address “the core issues surrounding grid interconnection, such as a lack of data,” wait times, and costs, as well as to provide technical support for said issues.
Public Lands: Allegheny County Council to Hold Public Hearing on Bill Banning Commercial Land Use in Parks
On June 9, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. the Allegheny County Council will hold a public hearing for comments on Bill No. 12162-22, which amends the County Code of Ordinances, Division 6, “Parks and Recreation.” The bill would ban all agreements for the industrial or commercial land usage of Allegheny County parks.
Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:
Energy Connects, EU leaders agree on partial ban on Russian oil imports, (May 31, 2022)
Sartain & Mills, Landowners Vanquished by the Discovery Rule, (June 1, 2022)
Johnson, Biden-Harris Administration Launches ‘Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange’ to Boost Renewable Power, Grid Reliability and Resilience, (June 1, 2022)
Nishikawa, Guest Post: Climate Litigation in Japan: Citizens’ Attempts for the Coal Phase-Out, (June 1, 2022)
Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks May 15, 2022-May 21, 2022:
EnLink moves forward with Permian-Houston natgas pipeline project (Reuters)
BMW exploring energy investments to reduce dependence on natural gas (Reuters)
White House weighs waiving smog rules on gasoline to lower pump price –sources (Reuters)
Airport Authority Brokers New Deals With CNX to Incentivize Drilling and, Possibly, Make Fuel From Natural Gas (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Texas Gains 5,200 Direct Natural Gas and Oil Jobs from March to April (NGI)
Connect with us on Facebook. Every week we post the CASL Ledger detailing our publications and activities from the week.
Penn State Shale Law Podcast: Listen to the latest episode here.
FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Biden Administration Launches Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Initiative to Connect More Clean Energy to the Grid (May 31, 2022)
DOE announces $59 Million to Expand Biofuels Production and Decarbonize Transportation Sector (June 1, 2022)
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
EPA fines Bay Area auto parts company $1.1 million for selling ‘defeat’ devices, harming air quality (June 1, 2022)
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register May 22–May 28, 2022):
87 FR 32728 Rule: “Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Manufactured Housing” (May 31, 2022)
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
87 FR 33576 Notice: “Pipeline Safety: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by Earth Movement and Other Geological Hazards” (June 2, 2022)
U.S. HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
H.Res.1148 “recognizing the benefits of natural gas to the United States economy and environment, and recognizing natural gas an affordable and “green” energy” Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. (May 31, 2022)
U.S. SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
S.4329 “A bill to require the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program to provide grants and loans to support and expand the domestic solar component manufacturing supply chain, and for other purposes” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (May 26, 2022)
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PRESS RELEASES
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 22- May 28, 2022)
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant
Ethan Durand, Research Assistant
Chloe Marie, Research Specialist
Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney