Recent technology has made produced water—a byproduct of fracing that was traditionally considered waste—a valuable product. However, no legal guidance existed on whether produced water was owned by mineral owners or surface owners. The Texas Legislature resolved some of that uncertainty by passing Texas Natural Resources Code § 122.002 on September 1, 2019, which generally grants title to produced water to whoever takes possession of it for the purpose of treating it for subsequent beneficial use. However, this statute only governs parties to instruments executed after September 1, 2019, which left parties to instruments executed prior to that date uncertain on whether they owned the produced water extracted from their property. The El Paso Court of Appeals undertook to resolve this conflict in Cactus Water Services, LLC v. COG Operating, LLC, and on July 28, 2023, it held that when instruments convey “oil and gas” or “oil, gas and hydrocarbons” to mineral owners without specifically reserving title to produced water or oil and gas waste, mineral owners have the sole right to produced water extracted from their property.
Continue Reading One Man’s Waste is Another Man’s Treasure: Texas Appellate Court Holds that Produced Water Belongs to Mineral Owners

Louisiana shrimpers will need to comply with the NMFS rule requiring TED devices on skimmers 40 feet or greater in length. The rule went into effect in Louisiana waters on February 1, 2022, after a court granted a six-month preliminary injunction and while the state of Louisiana’s challenge to the rule was pending. The Fifth Circuit recently affirmed that the state of Louisiana does not have standing to challenge this TED rule and dismissed the suit.
Continue Reading Dismissal of Louisiana’s Challenge to TED Requirement for Shrimping Vessels in State Waters Affirmed

EPA administratively closed its Title VI investigations into whether LDEQ and LDH engaged in racial discrimination when issuing approvals for two Louisiana facilities. To find out more about how this impacts environmental justice considerations in Louisiana, read it on the Energy Law Blog.
Continue Reading EJ Evolution: EPA Closes Title VI Investigations into LDEQ and LDH

On June 8, 2023, the Ocean Policy Committee (composed of members from the Council on Environmental Quality and Office of Science and Technology Policy) published a Request for Information, seeking input on developing an “Ocean Justice Strategy.” This strategy will focus on environmental justice (“EJ”) concerns for communities residing near the ocean, coasts, and Great

The 2023 Louisiana Regular Session has ended. HB 571 by Speaker Schexnayder was the only one of the nine CCS bills filed in the House to pass. HB 571 provided a balanced approach between providing additional protections for local governments and communities while permitting the CCS industry in Louisiana to move forward. 

HB 571 by

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA, No. 21-454 (May 25, 2023) is a landmark ruling in environmental law interpreting the scope of water bodies covered by the Clean Water Act (CWA) – an issue that has been debated by courts, presidential administrations, and federal agencies for decades. The Court’s ruling holds

Only one CCS bill remains active and it moves closer to becoming law.  Six of the nine House CCS bills were effectively killed in the House Natural Resources Committee. The two other CCS bills were voted down on the House floor. Those eight House bills could have effectively stopped most CCS projects around the state

In a recent opinion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the “Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana” (“SRA-L”) is not entitled to Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity.[1] 

SRA-L was a named defendant in a suit by plaintiffs who own land in Louisiana and Texas. Plaintiffs levied allegations that years-long mismanagement of the Toledo

On May 17, 2023, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed plaintiffs’ challenges to the Vineyard Wind Project—the United States’s first major offshore wind project. The plaintiffs, nearby residents, challenged the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (“BOEM”) final Environmental Impact Statement and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (“NMFS”) Biological Opinion related

The pursuit of alternative energy sources has become increasingly important in our quest for a sustainable future. Lithium, a key component in rechargeable batteries, has emerged as a vital element for powering electric vehicles and storing renewable energy. The rising demand for lithium, combined with Federal tax credits for lithium production, has intensified lithium exploration