Environmental Laws and Regulations Involving Water

08/26/1999

Introduction
Like virtually all industrial activities, oil and gas exploration, development and production is subject to a variety of environmental requirements, under both state and federal law, including those seeking to protect water quality.  The task of identifying and complying with applicable requirements is a difficult one.
 
For the oil and gas lawyer, landman, and business person, the task of identifying applicable environmental requirements is even more daunting, because it is difficult to ascertain which agencies have jurisdiction over particular activities.  This complication arises from the fact that the oil and gas industry historically has been a highly regulated one, because of the public’s interest in the minerals extracted, and because oil and gas related activities occur offshore as well as onshore.  This article provides background information on oil and gas exploration, development and production, identifying activities and pollutants of concern as regards water quality.  It then discusses federal and state regulatory programs that regulate these activities to protect water quality.

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