The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that an operator developing a severed mineral estate did not commit an actionable trespass by using the surface estate to store and dispose of drill cuttings.  In Whiteman v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., the court found (among other things) that the waste pits did not impose a substantial burden on the plaintiffs' surface estate; and that the operator was not required to use a closed-loop system for disposal purposes in order to meet the standard of "reasonable necessity" regarding its use of the surface.  See Case No. 12-1790 (Sept. 4, 2013).