Co-author Brittany Blakey

The Texas Supreme Court has granted petition for review of a 2019 decision in Dyer et al v. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality . At issue is whether rescission of a Railroad Commission no-harm letter before the TCEQ granted an injection-well permit rendered the permit void.

The Injection Well Act (Chapter 27 of the Texas Water Code) governs the permitting process for underground injection wells in Texas. The Act aims to maintain the quality of fresh water for the public and existing industries while trying to prevent injections that may pollute fresh water. Under the Act, a company seeking to construct and operate an injection well must apply to the TCEQ for a permit. The applicant must also provide a “no-harm” letter from the RRC stating that the injection well will not damage an existing oil or gas reservoir.

I’m an oil and gas guy. Why does this order concern me?

This case is about injection wells for industrial and municipal waste, not for oil and gas waste. But the court’s treatment of the Administrative Procedures Act and the effect of (dueling?) orders of state agencies could inform future actions and orders of both agencies.

The long and complicated timeline
Continue Reading Texas Supreme Court to Review Approval of Injection Well Permit

In Plaquemines Parish et al. v. Chevron et al., the U. S. Fifth Circuit has ruled on whether 42 suits brought by six parishes and the Louisiana Attorney General against a number of oil companies belongs in federal court or state court. The allegations are that the companies’ operations over the years  essentially destroyed the Louisiana coastal marshes. Billions of dollars are at stake. The immediate issue was whether the defendants’ removal was timely. They were, the result of which is that the cases are likely to remain in federal court.

A short history
Continue Reading Louisiana Coastal Zone Litigation Likely to Remain in Federal Court