Just a reminder...
5. Background. USACE Districts in the Southwestern Division have recently received a number of inquiries and requests in connection with development of oil and gas production facilities near our dams and levees.
They have also received a number of inquiries and requests in connection with development of oil and gas production and transportation of oil and gas through pipelines in close proximity to Corps of Engineers dams.
Major natural gas shale formations currently being developed in the Southwestern Division include the Barnett Shale in North Texas, the Caney Shale in Oklahoma, the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, and the Haynesville Shale in northwest Louisiana and Texas.
Concerns have been raised that these activities could result in damage to dams and other important structures at flood risk reduction projects.
The Fort Worth District is in the process of preparing a formal engineering position explaining the risks and recommending a 3,000 foot lateral exclusion Zone.
There is currently no statute or regulation which clearly provides USACE with authority to prevent exploration and drilling activities in those locations in close proximity to major structures where the United States has no real property interest.
Nevertheless, 33 USC 408 provides that it is unlawful for any person to impair the usefulness of any flood control work built by the United States.