Pennsylvania sits at the heart of one of the largest natural gas plays in North America. The Marcellus Shale formation stretches under 65 million acres of land from West Virginia to New York, with an estimated resource value of 500 trillion cubic feet equivalents of natural gas. The largest portion of the Marcellus Shale fairway lies in an area along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains running from southwestern Pennsylvania (Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland Counties) to northeastern Pennsylvania (Bradford, Susquehanna and Lycoming Counties).
In contrast to certain other areas of the country where natural gas production may be occurring, Pennsylvania has a complex and extensive environmental regulatory program administered and enforced by a variety of governmental entities with overlapping jurisdiction, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Susquehanna River and Delaware River Basin Commissions, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and local County Conservation Districts. Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox has longstanding relationships and credibility with these governmental entities and is uniquely positioned to help clients navigate the wide range of agencies and issues associated with the exploration, production and transmission of natural gas in and throughout the Marcellus Shale region.
Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox has broad experience in understanding and addressing the unique environmental issues associated with tapping the vast potential of the Marcellus Shale formation including:
- Securing workable permits and approvals in a timely fashion, defending permits and approvals against third party challenges, or pursuing administrative challenges to adverse permit conditions or permit denials, including:
- Approvals for erosion and sedimentation control measures
- Wetlands permits
- Stream encroachment and water obstruction permits
- Source water withdrawal permits
- NPDES permits for discharges of water used in fracturing operations and for discharges of stormwater, and
- Air permits or approvals for engines, gas compressors and other equipment that implicate developing single source aggregation issues;
- Handling threatened and endangered species issues;
- Counseling on compliance with Pennsylvania's unique array of solid waste regulations, including the intersection between the Oil and Gas Act and requirements for generating, transporting, storing and processing residual wasteincluding the disposal of wastes containing Technically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM);
- Responding to spills or other unanticipated or emergency events;
- Defending against civil penalty assessments and agency enforcement orders;
- Handling all aspects of community concerns and challenges to siting proposed projects (including wells, pipelines, production facilities, and water management systems);
- Defending against citizen suits;
- Defending tort lawsuits alleging property diminution, personal injury and annoyance and inconvenience, including class actions;
- Prosecuting or defending cost recovery actions relating to environmental remediation and natural resource damages;
- Handling administrative appeals of promulgated regulations and agency policies; and
- Reviewing and commenting on proposed regulations and policies relevant to the development of the Marcellus Shale formation.
Our team of lawyers (a number of whom have backgrounds in engineering and other technical disciplines) are assisted by two in-house technical consultants, who understand the technical underpinnings of environmental regulations and, together with the firm’s lawyers, help craft solutions to the environmental issues that arise from the technical and legal aspects of Marcellus Shale activities.
In matters in which our clients have ongoing relationships with law firms that are either inexperienced in environmental law or unfamiliar with the intricacies of Pennsylvania’s environmental programs or the regulators who administer them, the lawyers at Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox work seamlessly with existing legal teams to achieve the objectives of our clients.
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Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox has deep experience in handling the types of issues that are associated with the Marcellus Shale natural gas play, including the following:
- We represented a client involved in one of the first state enforcement actions in Pennsylvania relating to Marcellus Shale drilling activities that not only deals with compliance with Pennsylvania's environmental requirements, but also with the control of client sensitive business information.
- We assisted a natural gas gathering company in negotiating consent agreements with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding alleged violations of the Clean Streams Law and the Air Pollution Control Act.
- We advised clients regarding developing regulations, policies and compliance issues stemming from recent amendments to Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act (otherwise known as Act 13).
- We drafted an industry group submission to EPA concerning the applicability of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act to natural gas operations.
- We counseled a natural gas gathering company with respect to permitting and compliance associated with erosion and sedimentation controls, stream crossings, air emissions (including cutting edge single source aggregation issues), pipeline safety (PHMSA) and worker safety (OSHA) issues.
- We represented a natural gas transmission pipeline company in an enforcement action initiated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for alleged violations of the Clean Streams Law and the Solid Waste Management Act related to the handling of pipeline liquids at the company's compressor stations throughout the Commonwealth.
- We advised clients on the environmental permitting associated with the construction and operation of drilling mud plants and frac water treatment and recycling systems.
- We counseled clients with respect to developing air regulatory programs for natural gas operations, including New Source Performance Standards (Subpart OOOO) and state emission reporting and permitting requirements.
- Kantorczyk and Vaccaro of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox Presented at the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Virtual Air Quality Compliance TrainingNovember 19, 2020
- September 22, 2020
- November 8, 2012
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- April 27, 2020The Energy Source: A MSC Publication
- May 2, 2017Energy Intelligence's Natural Gas Week
- January 19, 2016How Greater Philadelphia is positioning itself to become the next global energy hubSITE Selection Investment Profile: Select Greater Philadelphia
- May 13, 2014Law360
- September 17, 2013The Legal Intelligencer
- August 10, 2020
- January 14, 2019
- January 14, 2019
- January 18, 2018
- January 18, 2018
- January 18, 2018
- July 5, 2017
- USEPA’s Proposal for Addition of Natural Gas Processing Facilities to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)February 10, 2017Fact Sheet
- January 23, 2017
- January 22, 2017
- September 29, 2016
- January 25, 2016
- January 25, 2016
- Pennsylvania EHB Upholds DEP Aggregation Determination - May Affect Source Aggregation in the FutureJanuary 25, 2016
- January 25, 2016
- PADEP Announces Results of TENORM Study of Oil and Gas Operations: Little Risk, but More Requirements Coming?January 20, 2015
- December 15, 2014
- November 5, 2012
- February 17, 2012
- October 2, 2011
- July 22, 2011
- Anticipated Regulatory Initiatives and Developments for 2011 - Natural Gas Development in the Marcellus ShaleJanuary 7, 2011
- Marcellus Shale Reporting Legislation Awaiting Governor's Signature; Pennsylvania PUC to Hold Hearings on Pipeline Jurisdiction; EPA to Commence Fracking StudyMarch 19, 2010
- US Supreme Court Holds Pipeline Companies May Exercise Federal Eminent Domain to Acquire State Land Under Natural Gas ActJuly 1, 2021MGKF Litigation Blog
- November 26, 2020MGKF Litigation Blog
- PA Court Rejects Environmental Rights Amendment Challenge to Appropriation of Oil and Gas Lease Funds for DCNR’s General OperationsNovember 2, 2020MGKF Litigation Blog
- New York Court of Appeals Reinstates Finding That A Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Provides an Exemption from Public ReviewJuly 27, 2020MGKF Litigation Blog
- Reversing the Fourth Circuit, US Supreme Court Finds Forest Service Can Lease Land Under Park Service TrailsJune 16, 2020MGKF Litigation Blog
- Third Circuit Holds That “Stigma Damages” for Pipeline Projects Must be Supported by Objective, Reliable EvidenceFebruary 14, 2020MGKF Litigation Blog
- Rule of Capture Applies to Hydraulic Fracturing in PA, but Door is Still Open to Trespass and Conversion ClaimsJanuary 27, 2020MGKF Litigation Blog
- December 23, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- Third Circuit Holds That Private Companies Cannot Condemn State-Owned Property Under the National Gas ActSeptember 17, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- August 16, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- Proceeds from Oil and Gas Leases Must Be Used for Conservation Purposes Under PA's Environmental Rights AmendmentJuly 31, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- July 23, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- June 14, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- PA Supreme Court Declines Appeal, Leaving Commonwealth Court’s Interpretation of the Environmental Rights Amendment IntactMay 16, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- February 7, 2019MGKF Litigation Blog
- November 21, 2018New Jersey Law Journal
- Commonwealth Court Upholds DEP’s “Soil-to-Groundwater” Theory as Basis for Daily Penalties Under the Clean Streams LawOctober 1, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- September 5, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- August 25, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- August 6, 2018The Legal Intelligencer - Energy & Environmental Law Supplement
- Third Circuit Revives Landowner’s Challenge to the DRBC’s Authority over Fracking Activities in the Delaware River BasinJuly 16, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- PA Supreme Court Addresses Agency Deference and the ERA in Ruling on Unconventional Well Drilling RegulationsJune 26, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- June 11, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decides EQT Case, Holding Daily Penalties Do Not Accrue for Continuing Presence of Pollutants In Waters of the CommonwealthApril 9, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- PA Commonwealth Court Holds that Corporate Officer May Be Liable for Deliberate Inaction Under Participation TheoryMarch 26, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- February 2, 2018MGKF Litigation Blog
- October 23, 2017Law360
- October 4, 2017MGKF Litigation Blog
- August 29, 2017Law360
- Fifth Circuit Holds Past Pipeline Spills Not Dispositive in Determining Whether Operator “Considered” Pipeline Risk FactorsAugust 15, 2017MGKF Litigation Blog
- July 31, 2017MGKF Litigation Blog
- June 26, 2017MGKF Litigation Blog
- June 1, 2017MGKF Litigation Blog
- October 25, 2016MGKF Litigation Blog
- Commonwealth Court Interprets Robinson Township I to Hold that the Pennsylvania DEP Can Require Oil and Gas Drillers to Consider Public Resources in Well-Siting PermitsSeptember 1, 2016MGKF Litigation Blog
- Third Circuit Opens the Door for Challenges to State Permits Issued Pursuant to Federal Law to Interstate Natural Gas FacilitiesAugust 17, 2016MGKF Litigation Blog
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Allows Pre-Enforcement Review of DEP's Continuing-Violations Penalty Policy under the Clean Streams LawJanuary 5, 2016MGKF Litigation Blog
- May 11, 2015MGKF Litigation Blog
- January 16, 2015MGKF Litigation Blog
- March 18, 2014The Legal Intelligencer
- August 19, 2013MGKF Litigation Blog
- The Use of Pre-Discovery Orders Requiring Plaintiffs to Produce Expert Affidavits Reaches the World of Hydraulic Fracturing Litigation, Providing Another Tool in the Toolbox for Defending Such ClaimsMay 17, 2012Association of Corporate Counsel's "Green-house Counsel"
- December 9, 2011The Legal Intelligencer
- August 12, 2011The Legal Intelligencer
- May 25, 2011Westlaw Journal Environmental