Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Mineral Reservation Clause Allowing Mining Did Not Constrain Surface Owner’s Public Opposition

A New Mexico state court judge has rejected a mineral estate owner’s attempt to constrain a surface owner from publicly opposing its mining project on the basis of a strongly worded mineral reservation that expressly reserved mining rights and attendant surface rights. …

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EPA’s Final Assessment Regarding the Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources

In December 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released its final assessment analyzing the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on drinking water resources.[1. See United States Environmental Protection Agency, Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas: Impacts from the Hydraulic Fracturing Water…

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BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Applicable to Indian Lands Is Back in Play — For Now

Introduction: In two articles appearing in Modrall Sperling’s companion newsletter, Energy Resources Notes, we reported first on the substantive provisions of BLM’s March 26, 2014 hydraulic fracturing rule (HF Rule),[1. See BLM Publishes New Rule for Hydraulic Fracturing; Oil and Gas Groups…

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New Mexico Mining Commission Narrowly Expands Minimal Impact Permitting Opportunities for Certain Mining Operations

On April 20, 2016, the New Mexico Mining Commission (“NMMC”) conducted a hearing to consider a rule change to the New Mexico Mining Act Reclamation Program (“MARP”) regulations.  The New Mexico Mining Association (“NMMA”) proposed the rule change to expand eligibility for…

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CERCLA Claims against United States and Laguna Pueblo Entities Dismissed

Introduction In a series of early 2016 decisions issued in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. U.S., et. al., Case No. 1:15-cv-00056, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico dismissed claims for cost recovery and contribution asserted by Atlantic Richfield Co. (“ARCO”)…

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EPA Assesses Potential for Hydraulic Fracturing to Impact Drinking Water Sources

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently released a draft assessment analyzing the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on drinking water resources[2. See id. at 3-1 (It should also be noted that for the purpose of this study, “drinking water resources are…

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BLM’s Controversial Hydraulic Fracturing Rule is Postponed Nationwide

The Spring 2015 issue of Energy Resources Notes reported on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) adoption of a controversial final rule addressing hydraulic fracturing (HF) operations and related water handling, well casing, chemical reporting and monitoring requirements for federal and Indian…

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Santa Fe County’s Interim Mining Moratorium Upheld for Now

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Court of Appeals Upholds New Mexico’s Copper Mine Rule

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Environmental Groups Sue to Stop Fracking Near Chaco Canyon

The fight over fracturing (“fracking”) associated with directional drilling plans for the Mancos Shale in northern New Mexico is heating up. On March 11, 2015, a coalition of environmental groups, including Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Wildearth…

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