Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Richard Gottlieb To Speak AT WVONGA's Spring Meeting

Richard Gottlieb, managing member of LGCR and head of the firm’s natural gas practice, will be providing a presentation at the upcoming Spring Meeting of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association.  That meeting will be held June 16-18 at Glade Springs Resort in Daniels, W.Va. Gottlieb will provide a presentation on “Recent Significant Oil and Natural Gas Litigation in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”  Gottlieb’s remarks will concentrate on challenges by lessors to validity of leases, lease extensions, and lease forfeitures.

W.Va. DEP Opens Registration Period For Aboveground Storage Tanks

Provided is a statement from the W.Va. DEP:

As part of its work to implement a new Aboveground Storage Tank Regulatory Program, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today opened the registration period for tank owners to submit information required for a statewide inventory. Any tanks that are subject to the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (Senate Bill 373) that are not registered with the DEP by Oct. 1 will be out of compliance with state law. The legislation gave the DEP until July 6 to get the registration and inventory process ready but the agency worked to launch registration early so that tank owners would have more time to submit the required information.

The law, drafted in response to a Jan. 9 chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water of approximately 300,000 West Virginia residents, was passed by the Legislature in March and went into effect June 6. It applies to all aboveground storage tanks located in the state that are large enough to hold at least 1,320 gallons of fluid, are in one place for more than 60 days, are 90 percent or more above ground and are not considered “process vessels” as defined by the legislation. One common example of “process vessels,” which are exempt from the program, would be sewage treatment tanks.
Registration information is being collected online through the agency’s Electronic Permitting/Electronic Submission System (ESS) so that data can quickly and easily be stored and accessed.

Companies that already use ESS for permit applications and/or discharge monitoring reporting can use their existing user IDs and passwords. Tank owners who do not already have ESS user IDs and passwords need to visit the DEP’s Aboveground Storage Tank web page for instructions on how to gain access to the system.

The page, www.dep.wv.gov/tanks, also includes a complete explanation of the program requirements and deadlines, a survey to help tank owners determine if they need to register and links to useful information such as frequently asked questions, nationally recognized standards for tanks, and public input received by the agency about the rules for the program.


Questions about the new law and requirements can be directed to Joe Jenkins, an environmental attorney with Lewis Glasser, at jjenkins@lgcr.com.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

W.Va. Legislature To Study Several Oil, Natural Gas Matters - Including Lease Integration

The West Virginia Legislature has outlined its legislative interim studies for 2014, and there are a number of oil and gas matters that lawmakers will be examined over the coming months.

Key among these will be another study of “lease integration” by the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary, and this study will focus on the feasibility of various methods to compensate persons affected by lease integration.  A study of how to handle drill cuttings also will be examined by the committee.

The Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources was assigned two topics:  HCR 51 — examining the need for interconnectivity and other improvements in West Virginia’s water resources and SCR 98 — examining the management of contaminants that can impact public water quality and distribution.

Two other matters will be taken up as part of interim studies - studying “workplace safety issues generally” and “needs or education requirements for future Marcellus driven industries.”  As of  this time it is not clear which committees will be assigned these topics to study.

Lewis Glasser, and its government relations affiliate LGCR Government Solutions, will be tracking and monitoring these matters during the monthly legislative interim meetings across the state.