May 2013

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The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TEDC) proposed rules regarding fracturing practices for oil and gas wells have received approval by the Joint Government Operation Committee in the Tennessee General Assembly and will become effective June 18, 2013. After working with and receiving comments from industry and environmental groups, the department submitted rules they believe will “address large-volume hydraulic fracturing practices, incorporate current casing and blowout prevention policies, and update specifications for oil and gas wells.” (more…)

The United States Supreme Court, in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, recently restricted the scope of the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 (“ATS”), a 224-year-old law often used to invoke jurisdiction in suing corporations over human rights violations committed overseas.  In doing so, the Court affirmed a ruling from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that the ATS does not give American courts jurisdiction to hear lawsuits involving foreign acts that allegedly violate international law. (more…)