Maritime Energy & Utilities

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Is the U.S. Prepared Legally and Operationally to Protect Its Arctic Interests?

The answer to this question is a resounding “no.” The U.S. is not prepared to protect its interests in the Arctic over the next decade. The primary legal regime that is being relied upon by all members of the Arctic...more

Deepwater Horizon ruling puts focus on prevention

Last week’s decision by District Judge Carl Barbier exposes the UK-headquartered energy giant to up to $18bn in fines for the 2010 drillship incident because, under the same US laws that cover tanker spills, civil penalties...more

Trial Judge Concludes The Deepwater Horizon Spill Caused By BP’s Gross Negligence And Willful Misconduct

On September 4, 2014 the federal district judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill issued long-awaited rulings as to liability. The court concluded that BP is subject to...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

LNG As A Marine Fuel – The Speed Of Change

“When I was asked if I might speak about the use of LNG as fuel for ships, two thoughts came to mind. Firstly, the old Latin maxim: volenti non fit injuria. Or in my vernacular: “well, you asked for...more

Exports of Condensate Reflect Evolution, Not Revolution, In Crude Export Regulation

On June 24, 2014, various news sources reported that the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) had allowed two companies to export processed condensate, suggesting a breakthrough in the 40-year ban on crude oil exports. The reality...more

Historic Water Resources Reform and Development Act Enacted into Law

On June 10, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (“WRRDA”) (Public Law No: 113-121). The primary purpose of the bill is to provide funding for improvements to rivers...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

Congressional Questions on LNG Exports Could Impact the Jones Act

Last month, Congress began consideration of comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the Coast Guard and other maritime transportation programs. Consideration of such legislation is an annual occurrence and generally moves...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

Fifth Circuit Limits Pollution Liability

In a significant decision issued February 24, 2014, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal laws preempt state laws in the case of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, because the event occurred in federal...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

Where's The Fire? Coast Guard Issues Litany Of Proposed Regulations Regarding Fire Protection Systems

In a 106-page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued Monday, January 13, 2014, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has undertaken a wide-ranging overhaul of the standards for fire protection, detection and extinguishment...more

Coast Guard Issues Proposed Regulations and NVIC Regarding Marine Casualty Reporting on the OCS

In the continuing regulatory response - even more than three years after the fact - to the DEEPWATER HORIZON disaster, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has led off 2014 with proposed regulations that significantly change...more

Remember the (M/V) Alamo!: Mexican Reform Invites Maritime Reinforcements

In a moment as pivotal as the Battle of San Jacinto, groundbreaking reform in Mexico may bring a Lone Star-sized opportunity to the American maritime industry. On December 20, 2013, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed...more

Be Aware of OSHA's New Proposed Rule on Silica

On August 23rd, OSHA released the long awaited proposed rule on silica. The proposed regulation would split the regulation of silica into two separate standards, one affecting the general and maritime industries and the other...more

California Regulators Examine Offshore Fracking

Regulators from the California Coastal Commission have opened an investigation into hydraulic fracturing after a recent Associated Press report that the practice has occurred offshore for the past two decades....more

NMFS Proposes Critical Habitat Designation for Three Rockfish Species Within The Puget Sound/Georgia Basin

The National Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS") proposes to designate critical habitat within the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin for three species of rockfish, including the endangered Distinct Population Segments ("DPS") of...more

EU Proposes Further Measures Towards Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

As a first step towards reducing the marine transport industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, on 28 June 2013 the European Commission (the “Commission”) tabled a draft Regulation to introduce a system of monitoring and...more

BSEE and Coast Guard Sign Memorandum of Agreement for Regulating Mobile Offshore Drilling Units

On June 4, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) and the U.S. Coast Guard signed a Memorandum of Agreement regarding division of lead agency responsibilities...more

Infrastructure Alert - May 21, 2013

On May 17, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum to aid in streamline permitting processes for infrastructure projects. The memorandum creates a steering committee whose goal is to cut project completion times in...more

Infrastructure Alert - April 17, 2013

Last week, President Obama released his FY2014 budget, outlining several proposals to fund new infrastructure programs. The budget proposes $40 billion for “Fix it First” projects to repair existing infrastructure, as well...more

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