EPA Announces Methane Rule Reconsideration, Adding to List of Obama-Era Rules Under Review

On April 18, 2017, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA will convene a proceeding for reconsideration of certain elements of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq., adopted at 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016). In particular, EPA will reconsider elements of the fugitive...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - March 2017

NYMEX NYMEX 15-0200-BC-6 EFRP Violation of Rules 538 – Exchange for Related Positions and 538.C – Related Position. A non-member entity was found to have entered into an EFRP transaction on December 1, 2014 that was in violation of Exchange Rule 538.C. No evidence was found that the non-member entity, as the seller of a futures contract, purchased a corresponding swap or other related position, as required by Exchange Rule 538.C. Nevertheless, it was found that the EFRP transaction that the non-member entity entered into was non-bona fide, since it did not involve the requisite transfer of...

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Existing Regulations for Repeal, Replacement or Modification

On April 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is seeking comments from the public on existing regulations that the Agency should consider repealing, replacing, or modifying. 82 Fed. Reg. 17793 (Apr. 13, 2017). EPA issued the Request for Comment in response to the February 2017 Executive Order issued by President Trump, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” that seeks “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American people.” As required by the EO, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt formed an EPA Regulatory Reform Task Force to carry out the...

FERC Reexamines its Policy on Hydro License Terms

The term of years granted in a federal hydroelectric license is a major – if not the major – factor in inducing a licensee to invest money in a hydroelectric project. The longer the term, the greater the opportunity to earn a return on such investments, particularly given the year-to-year variability of river flows. Thus it was not surprising that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC’s”) recent Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) on the length of license terms in Docket No. RM17-4 drew a range of responses across a swath of interest groups. What was perhaps unexpected was the apparent...

EPA Proposes to Delay the Effective Date of RMP Rule Amendments to 2019

On April 3, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule that would delay the effective date of the recent Risk Management Program (RMP) rule amendments to February 19, 2019. 82 Fed. Reg. 16146 (Apr. 3, 2017). EPA published amendments to the 40 C.F.R. Part 68 RMP rule in the final days of the Obama administration. 82 Fed. Reg. 4594 (Jan. 13, 2017). Those amendments changed a number of RMP program elements, including compliance audits, the process hazard analysis (PHA) process, emergency response drills and preparedness activities, and information sharing with...

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