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Patricia O'Connell
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Laura Foggan Discusses EPA Rule Change and Hydraulic Fracturing Lawsuits

Business Insurance
April 23, 2012

Wiley Rein Insurance Practice partner Laura Foggan was interviewed by Business Insurance for a story on new standards announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that are intended to reduce air pollution associated with hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking. The contentious natural gas production is a process that uses high-pressure water, sand and chemicals to free gas from shale deposits.

The article reported that the new rules mandate that by 2015 operators of fractured natural gas wells must use “green completion” equipment to capture gases known to be volatile organic compounds. Operators currently have the option of burning the emissions through a process known as flaring.

Ms. Foggan told Business Insurance that she doubts the rules will curb the number of lawsuits involving fracking.  “I don't think these rules change anything,” in terms of the concerns that advocates are raising about hydraulic fracturing.  Ms. Foggan said. “I think we are going to continue to see litigation. There's a lot of pressure points and press attention around fracking right now.” 

Ms. Foggan is a frequent speaker and author on insurance coverage issues posed by hydrofracking claims, and with Kathryn Siehndel co-authored the article, "Litigation Looms, But General Liability Coverage Should Generally Not Be At Stake In Hydrofracking Liability Claims," published in the September 14, 2011 issue of Mealey's Litigation Reports: Insurance.