Eric Martin

Eric Martin

Eric Martin concentrates his legal practice on natural resource development with an emphasis on property issues and transactions in the oil and gas (upstream and midstream) and mining industries. He helps clients buy, lease and sell natural resources; obtain financing; permit projects on the local, state and federal levels; and resolve associated development issues. Eric’s experience also includes representing clients before local governing bodies, state adjudicatory bodies and Oregon and Washington courts.

Prior to law school, Eric taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Targu Ocna, Romania (2003-2005) and worked at Historic Boston Incorporated, a historic preservation revolving fund and advocacy organization (2002-2003).

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With Mining Law Segregation on 10 Million Acres to Expire in Three Months, Interior Forms Sage-Grouse Review Team

Late Wednesday Secretary of the Interior Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353 establishing a Sage-Grouse Review Team to review the Obama Administration’s 2015 amendments to federal land use management plans.  To avoid listing the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act, those plan amendments had proposed that over 10 million acres of “sagebrush focal areas” on … Continue Reading

North Dakota’s UIC Class VI Primacy Wait is Almost Over

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to approve North Dakota’s application for primary enforcement authority over the underground injection of CO2 for geologic sequestration in that state.  Nearly four years after North Dakota became the first state to seek primacy from EPA over carbon sequestration wells – known as Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class … Continue Reading

Mining the Deep Seabed for Renewable Energy

On Friday the China Minmetals Corporation signed a 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for exploration of polymetallic nodules on the deep seabed of the Pacific Ocean.  The ISA has now executed nearly 30 exploration contracts for polymetallic nodules, polymetallic sulphides, and ferromanganese in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.  These materials are … Continue Reading

Washington State Streamlines Permitting for Geothermal Exploration

On Monday Governor Inslee signed SB 5470, which the legislature unanimously passed to streamline Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permitting for drilling core holes used to gather geothermal data.  Before SB 5470, each core hole required a separate permit, and if a core hole penetrated more than 750 feet into bedrock or geothermal energy was … Continue Reading

Swing and a Foul Ball? Practical Effect of Obama Administration’s Now-Defunct Coal Leasing Moratorium Likely Relatively Small

An executive order, secretarial order, and lawsuit challenging said secretarial order, all in the span of less than 36 hours and all concerning federal coal leasing.  The Trump administration on Wednesday reversed a 2016 Obama administration moratorium on federal coal leasing, and environmental organizations have already filed suit challenging this change of direction.  While the effect on … Continue Reading

Idaho Modifies Oil and Gas Statutes (Again)

Both houses of the Idaho Legislature unanimously approved House Bill 301a last week following a seven-hour negotiation and two days of hearings earlier this month.  Supported by Governor Otter, this bill will (among other things) amend the forced pooling provisions enacted just 12 months ago.  In fact, House Bill 301a is the latest in a … Continue Reading

Oil Transportation and Suction Dredge Mining Legislative Topics in Washington Too

Following up on last week’s post about Oregon legislative proposals, here are some of the mineral-related bills currently pending in the Washington State Legislature: Oil and Gas SB 5462 and HB 1611 – These two almost identical bills are follow-ups to the Oil Transportation Safety Act that was enacted in Washington two years ago. Among other … Continue Reading

Mineral-Related Bills Pending Before Oregon Legislature

The Oregon Legislature’s 2017 session officially kicked off last week. A variety of mineral-related bills have been introduced.  Here are some of the ones to follow: Mining SB 3 – SB 3 is primarily focused on suction dredge mining.  It would build on the 2013 enactment of a moratorium, currently in effect until 2021, on … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes to Require $7+ Billion of Financial Assurances from U.S. Hardrock Mining Industry Under CERCLA Section 108(b)

Last week the EPA officially published its proposal to impose over $7 billion of financial assurance requirements on the owners and operators of currently active or idle hardrock mines and mineral processing facilities. 82 Fed. Reg. 3388 (Jan. 11, 2017).  These proposed requirements are intended to cover estimated response costs, natural resource damages, and health … Continue Reading

Sage Grouse Update: BLM Issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on Proposed Withdrawal of 10 Million Acres

On the last business day of 2016 the BLM released the DEIS on its proposed 20-year withdrawal of approximately 10 million acres of “sagebrush focal areas” (SFAs) in six western states from mineral location and entry under the General Mining Law.  At the same time, the BLM temporarily “segregated” almost 400,000 more acres in Nevada … Continue Reading

Congress Repeals Crude Oil Export Ban, a Legacy of 1970s Oil Embargo

Before leaving Washington, D.C. for the holidays, President Obama signed H.R. 2029 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016), which repealed the ban on U.S. exports of crude oil.  The repeal occurred just few days before today’s 40th anniversary of President Ford signing the ban into law.  According to historical data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, when … Continue Reading

Mining on 10 Million Acres in Six States Impacted by BLM’s Proposed Withdrawal

On September 24, 2015, the federal Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published a Notice of Proposed Withdrawal (“BLM notice”), proposing to withdraw from mineral location and entry federal lands identified as “sagebrush focal areas” in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The BLM notice commences a two-year temporary segregation period, prohibiting location and entry … Continue Reading

Join the Discussion: “Sage Grouse and the Legal Landscape” in Spokane, WA

On December 5, 2012, join Stoel Rives attorneys Barbara D. Craig and Sara E. Bergan, along with several other experts, as they discuss “Sage Grouse and the Legal Landscape,” at the Northwest Mining Association conference in Spokane, Washington. Craig will moderate the panel, guiding the speakers through various topics including: Federal and State Design and … Continue Reading

Sequoia ForestKeeper v. Tidwell Subjects Mineral Exploration Within National Forests to Additional Process and Delay

Last week a federal district court in California issued a nationwide injunction that may have significant impacts on exploration activities within National Forests.  For years activities that were categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) were also exempt from U.S. Forest Service regulations concerning public notice, comment, and administrative appeals (36 … Continue Reading
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