Oil & Gas

December 5, 2014

Insurance to cover $17,000 in damages from Line Mountain oil spill

Source: http://www.dailyitem.com, December 4, 2014
By: Justin Strawser

The Line Mountain School Board will receive more than $17,000 from its insurance provider to cover damages related to a heating oil leak inside a former district property, but Liberty Mutual will not be covering the costs of cleaning up the Lower Mahanoy Township Municipal Authority wastewater treatment plant.

Board President Troy Laudenslager said the school board members voted 8-0 Wednesday night to accept a sworn statement from Netherlands Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the district’s insurance provider Liberty Mutual. The insurance company will provide $17,367.90 to cover the damages at the former Dalmatia Elementary School and the district is responsible for a $2,500 deductible.

A matter of a $143,453 bill from the authority to clean up their property is still in limbo, placed in escrow until a lawsuit filed by the authority is settled.

The authority is suing the district in Northumberland County Court for failure to pay a bill to clean up spilled heating oil in the sewer system. On Feb. 10, a leak from a broken pressure gauge at the school building dumped 1,250 gallons of heating oil into the authority’s wastewater treatment plant.

The insurance company cited a “pollution exception” for not covering the authority’s portion of the bill, Laudenslager said.

The elementary school in Dalmatia was closed before the 2013-14 school year as a result of elementary school realignment.

It was sold to Jeremy A. and Sara L. Stohecker, of Klingerstown. Their main goal is to transform the gymnasium/auditorium into a reception hall for weddings, birthday parties and other events. The classrooms will be transformed into rooms for any event-related businesses that want to rent or storage units.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, the school board also voted to keep their officers the same: Laudenslager will remain president and Dennis Erdman, who was absent from the meeting, will remain vice president.


January 29, 2013

More Fracking Means More Liability

Source: http://www.globest.com, January 28, 2013
By: Antoinette Martin

This is the type of equipment used in “fracking.”

In the wake of several multi-million dollar settlements over pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing, including two in this state, a New York legal specialist has published an article called “Fracking Know-How” for property owners and insurers.

LeClairRyan partner Michael J. Case writes in this month’s issue of Claims Management that insurance companies have major stakes on the table as fracking – and lawsuits – escalate.

Residents of Dimock received a reported $4.1 million as settlement after they sued Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., contending that their drinking water was contaminated by fracking-related methane gas.

Also, Chesapeake Energy has paid $1.6 million to settle allegations of water well pollution in Bradford County.

“Landowners who allow gas exploration or production activity on their property, typically through lease agreements, may be held responsible under common law for ‘dangerous conditions’on their property,” says Case in the article.

Oil and gas leases often contain provisions indemnifying the landowner for claims arising from a gas company’s operations and requiring the developer to obtain liability insurance covering the landowners for claims arising from such operations, he notes.…

January 28, 2013

California Fracking Lawsuit Charges State Has Done Insufficient Job Of Regulating Practice

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com, January 25, 2013
By: Aaron Sankin

An environmental group has filed suit against the state of California for doing what it deemed an insufficient job of regulating the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

In a complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court earlier this week, the Arizona-based Center For Biological Diversity charged that the agency tasked with regulating energy production, the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) has “[issued] permits for oil and gas well operations…without tracking, monitoring or otherwise supervising the high-risk, unconventional injection practice.”

“State regulators aren’t complying with existing law, which requires the disclosure of the chemicals and total volume of water being used as well as the completion of a thorough engineering study,” the Center For Biological Diversity’s Kassie Siegel told The Huffington Post.

Fracking, the process of pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into a well to access oil and natural gas, has been taking place in California since the 1950s. But recent breakthroughs in the area of horizontal drilling, which allow energy producers to target specific layers of rock with never-before-seen accuracy, have significantly increased both the prevalence of the practice and environmental concerns about its side effects.

The new lawsuit seeks to compel DOGGR to regulate fracking under the California’s underground injection control laws, a set of rules that would likely subject energy producers to significantly more safety precautions and public disclosure.…