Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Annual Environmental Law Update

This paper was originally published by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in the Proceedings of the 64th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2018) This chapter highlights…

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What’s in a Net Royalty Acre?

We all understand the definition of “net mineral acre.” It is derived by multiplying a fractional interest in minerals by the acreage over which the interest is owned….

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Dakota Access Pipeline Project Update—Corps’ NEPA Analysis Flawed-In Part

Introduction: On June 14, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Boasberg issued a lengthy Memorandum Opinion granting in part the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s (Standing Rock) and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s (Cheyenne River) Motions for Summary Judgment.1 The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project…

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ONRR’s Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform: A Call for Comments, Industry Here’s Your Shot

As noted in a previous update,1 on January 6, 2015 the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR) announced a proposed rulemaking amending its regulations governing valuation, for royalty purposes, of oil and gas produced from Federal onshore…

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The BLM’s New Venting and Flaring Rule: Potential Future Developments

As noted in our Spring 2016 issue, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published a proposed rule concerning Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation in the Federal Register on February 8, 2016, commonly referred to as the BLM’s “Venting…

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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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New Mexico’s Mancos Shale Development: “Go Ahead” to BLM on Oil and Gas Well Approvals is Affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals

On October 27, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued its opinion in Dine’ Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment et al. v. Jewell, Tenth Circuit Cause No. 15-2130, affirming the decision of the Honorable James Browning which rejected…

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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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Seismic Operations Held Subject to Notice and Negotiation Requirements of Surface Owners Protection Act

In a July 28, 2015 opinion, the New Mexico Court of Appeals (Court of Appeals) determined that geophysical seismic operations constitute “oil and gas operations” under NMSA 1978, § 70-12-5(A) of the Surface Owners Protection Act (SOPA), thereby subjecting an operator to strict…

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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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