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Benincasa believes state regulators lacked experience to address water issues in Marcellus Shale region

Steptoe & Johnson attorney, Armando Benincasa, was recently quoted in an article by SNLEnergy , a leading news source for financial information on business sectors critical to the global economy.

In the story, Benincasa reported that state regulators have traditionally lacked experience dealing with water use issues, a situation that is leading to a gradual implementation of regulations governing the use of water for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region.

"Regulators were not ready to address water use issues in the context of oil and gas exploration," said Benincasa, an attorney in the Charleston office of Steptoe & Johnson. Benincasa?s remarks were derived from a speaking engagement during a January 20th webinar organized by the law firm.

"Traditionally, oil and gas exploration did not require the use of large amounts of water," he continued.

Benincasa contrasted state regulators' relative inexperience with the performance of agencies such as the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and Delaware River Basin Commission, which already had regulations in place that required water uses be approved before activities could take place. In Pennsylvania, which is at the forefront of the natural gas drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale, regulators were accustomed to tracking water usage by industries, including oil and gas producers, instead of regulating it, Benincasa confirmed.

"State regulation was generally a post-use reporting requirement, if any requirement was necessary at all," he said.

Steptoe & Johnson will broadcast a second part of the Marcellus Shale webinar series on February 17, 2010. For more information, visit the www.steptoe-johnson.com site, and click on the News and Events link.

About Steptoe & Johnson
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is a business-focused firm with particular strengths in energy, labor, employment and litigation. It comprises over 180 lawyers resident in eight locations throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. For nearly a century, Steptoe & Johnson has demonstrated its commitment to quality, devoting personal attention, experience, skill, and resources to client-focused service.

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