Several activists have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator to rescind its delegation of authority to Oklahoma to manage its wastewater disposal programme. According to the petition, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) is failing adequately to restrict the underground injection of oil and gas wastewater and fine companies that inject wastewater, leading to continued low-level seismic activity.

The underground injection control programme is part of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, under which the EPA can approve state authority to implement federal regulations. If granted, the petition would result in a federal takeover of the programme. The EPA last evaluated OCC's administration of the programme in April 2013, finding generally satisfactory performance and commending the Oklahoma Geological Survey's investigation into the state's seismic activity.

For further information on this topic please contact Roger Martella, Samuel Boxerman, Joel Visser or Jim Wedeking at Sidley Austin LLP by telephone (+1 202 736 8000) or email (rmartella@sidley.com, sboxerman@sidley.com, jvisser@sidley.com or jwedeking@sidley.com). The Sidley Austin LLP website can be accessed at www.sidley.com.

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