Environmental Maritime

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MARAD Issues Final Policy on Licensing Offshore Oil and LNG Export Facilities

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued its final policy on May 7, 2015, regarding the review and processing of applications for the export of oil and natural gas from offshore deepwater port facilities under the Deepwater...more

Dispersants...Will We Ever Be Able to Use Them Again?

On January 22, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Proposed Rule on dispersants. The Proposed Rule drastically changes the EPA’s approach to dispersants and could imperil proven and effective means of...more

BSEE and DOI Take Action on Five-Year Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon

Action Item: BSEE has proposed significant changes to BOP systems and well operations in light of the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Stakeholders in offshore oil and gas operations should carefully...more

Coast Guard Proposes to Revise LNG Deepwater Port Regulations - Changes Would Affect Regulations Governing LNG Imports and Exports...

On April 9, 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register seeking public comments on a proposed overhaul of its existing regulations implementing the Deepwater Port Act of...more

“One Shelf, One Standard” Continues to Evolve – USCG Issues Final Rule Regarding Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Locations

The United States Coast Guard (“USCG”), continuing its “One Shelf, One Standard” approach to regulating the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”) recently issued a Final Rule enacting new regulations governing electrical equipment...more

Mind The P’s and Q’s (And Bast?) Of DP – USCG And BSEE Issue Joint Safety Alert Regarding Dynamically Positioned Offshore Supply...

Continuing their post-Macondo/Deepwater Horizon symbiotic approach to regulating the offshore oil industry, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a joint Safety...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

EPA Promulgates Robust Emission Control Area Enforcement Policy

Action Item: Violators of Emission Control Area requirements face hefty penalties under the Environmental Protection Agency’s new penalty policy. Owners and operators of vessels operating in the North American and U.S....more

Commerce Department Issues New Guidance on Technical Crude Export Issues

Action Item: New policy guidance in the form of “Frequently Asked Questions” was published by the Commerce Department on December 20, 2014, with regard to crude oil export controls. Stakeholders interested in crude oil...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Issues Biological Opinion for Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit Program

On November 24, 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (Service) issued a new Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Nationwide Permit Program under the Clean Water Act. The BiOp...more

Panama Canal Expansion Update: October 2014 Milestones

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and joins North and South America. It is one of the narrowest waterways in the world, yet thirteen to fourteen thousand ships brave the Panama Canal each year because...more

Navy objects to Maryland offshore wind project

An offshore wind energy project proposed off the Maryland coast has drawn opposition from the U.S. Department of Defense over fears that the project would disrupt the nearby Patuxent River Naval Air Station's radar...more

Court Affirms FEMA’s Efforts to Implement Actions to Avoid Jeopardizing Listed Species

On October 23rd the Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington upheld the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) compliance with a 2008 reasonable and prudent...more

MARAD Issues Proposed Policy on Oil and Gas Exports from Offshore Facilities

On Oct. 16, 2014, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments on proposed policies regarding the review and processing of applications for the export of oil and natural...more

Energy Newsletter - October 2014

In This Issue: - Mexico's New E&P Contracts - Electricity Reform in Mexico: New Opportunities and Roles - New Licence Terms Promoting Unconventional Exploration and Production are Introduced for the UK's 14th...more

The OSV Regs Cometh

As previously reported here, the offshore industry has been anxiously awaiting new United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations for large offshore supply vessels (OSVs) in the wake of the 2010 Coast Guard Authorization Act...more

Which Ground for Federal Jurisdiction is the Safest in Dredging Cases?: Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood...

The Eastern District of Louisiana recently denied the Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (Plaintiff) Motion to Remand its suit against 92 oil and gas companies back to state...more

U.S. Fifth Circuit: The CWA and OPA Preempt State Law Claims for Pollution Incidents on the OCS

Offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico implicates maritime law, federal law, and the different laws of five coastal states. The manner in which these different substantive laws interact is often a critical, but unclear,...more

Infrastructure Alert

Congress returned from its April recess today and will continue deliberation on a surface transportation reauthorization. An announcement on the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization, which has been in conference...more

Federal Appellate Court Stays Initial Date for Meeting New Ballast Water Discharge Limits – But Only for Canadian Shipowners...

On April 9, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted a stay of the January 1, 2014 deadline for installation of ballast water treatment technology required by the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

Oil and Water – How the Galveston Oil Spill Proved The Two Don’t Mix

The Galveston Bay oil spill occurred, coincidentally, on the 25th anniversary of Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The Exxon Valdez oil spill is now considered to be one of the worst environmental...more

BOEM Releases Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Survey For Offshore Atlantic Geological and Geophysical Activity

On February 27th, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, in cooperation with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), released its final...more

Federal Regulators Reveal Approval of Three New Fracking Projects Off California Shore

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) confirmed that it approved three fracking plans on a platform roughly nine miles off the California shore in the Santa Barbara Channel. The BSEE, which...more

CG Policy on Barging of Produced Water

On October 30, 2013, the United States Coast Guard published a “Proposed Policy Letter: Carriage of Conditionally Permitted Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water in Bulk” (“Proposed Policy”) pertaining to the barging of “shale...more

BOEM Gives a Lesson on How Not To Survive NEPA Review

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the plaintiffs that the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to support oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea was flawed. ...more

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