In a development sure to impact the oil and gas industry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said state regulatory agencies should have a higher profile in protecting fish and wildlife, and asked his department to identify federal regulations that are more restrictive than those enacted by states.
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Wyoming oil and natural gas operators are keeping a close eye on new guidelines to protect wildlife migration that were established Thursday by the state Game and Fish Commission.
A 70-mile stretch of the Monongahela River is no longer impaired for potable water use, according to a report issued by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A voluntary prohibition on Marcellus Shale wastewater discharge may get the credit for the cleaner water.
Proposed Pennsylvania legislation would make it more difficult to list and protect endangered species in the state, while making it potentially easier to site wells in the Marcellus Shale, but it also could force the “taking” of more than $27 million a year in federal funding for state fish and game commissions, according to officials.
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluids spilled in 2007 from natural gas wells are believed to be the cause of “widespread death or distress” of an aquatic species in a small Appalachian creek in Kentucky, based on a joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
With industry, a U.S. senator and North Dakota state officials all focused on robust permitting applications for oil and natural gas development in the Bakken Shale, a new collaboration of federal agencies, the Bakken Federal Executives Group, is the latest attempt to streamline federal processes that are criticized for being too slow.
Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. (CGT), a NiSource Inc. subsidiary, has applied for FERC approval of a pair of projects designed to collectively increase the company’s transportation capacity out of the Marcellus Shale by an additional 444,000 Dth/d.
Noting that it wants to give the public an adequate opportunity to review and comment, the Interior Department’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said Wednesday that it is extending the public comment period on two proposed rules: to list as endangered the gunnison sage grouse, which is found south of the Colorado River in Colorado and Utah, and to designate 1.7 million acres of critical habitat for the bird under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) has requested a public forum with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on the agency’s plans regarding the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because members are concerned that new listings could harm domestic oil and natural gas exploration and production. In a letter to FWS Director Daniel Ashe, IPAA CEO Barry Russell said members understand that the agency is obligated to meet certain deadlines under a court-approved settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Earth Guardians. However, there has been “little transparency afforded to the public on which species are coming up for review,” Russell said. “The pure depth and breadth of these settlement agreements could harm our membership and create uncertainty in the development of domestic oil and natural gas.” By 2016 FWS is required to complete a review of 250 candidate species for final listing on the ESA and is required to complete other actions on listings and critical habitat petitions of more than 1,000 species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has made an unusual filing at FERC, calling on the Commission to review and approve or reject the proposed Constitution Pipeline because there already are a number of competing pipeline projects to carry Marcellus Shale gas to New York.