Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, a joint venture of EQT Corp. affiliates and NextEra Energy Inc., has filed a lawsuit against more than 100 landowners in West Virginia who it claims are not allowing the company to access their properties to conduct surveys. The lawsuit was filed against individuals in 10 counties in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The move comes after three families in the area filed lawsuits last month in courts in Monroe and Summers counties against Mountain Valley to stop surveying work (see Shale Daily, March 20). The 300-mile pipeline would deliver Marcellus and Utica shale gas to markets in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (see Shale Daily, Oct. 29, 2014; June 12, 2014).
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has again extended the public comment period for a major overhaul of oil and natural gas industry regulations that it has been working on for about four years. The agency said last month that the regulations -- which update Chapter 78 of the state code and deal with reducing impacts on public resources, preventing spills, waste management and well site restoration, among other things -- would be implemented by Spring 2016 (see Shale Daily, March 9). The updated draft rules were released Saturday as a notice of final regulation for a 30-day public comment period that has now been increased to 45 days. The agency also said it would schedule another three public hearings that will be announced as they are confirmed. DEP Secretary John Quigley said the latest public comment period was extended at the request of the general assembly, the public and the oil and gas industry.