Maritime Environmental

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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

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

EPA and Coast Guard Disagree on How to Address Industry Obligations to Meet January 1, 2014 Implementation Deadline For New...

Under the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard regulates ballast water discharged from vessels by requiring installation of certain technologies that treat ballast water prior to discharge. The...more

Devil's Isle Detail: An Overview of the Laws Regulating Bermuda's Marine Environment

The report is based on a pro bono survey provided to the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice in connection with its Coral Reef Project. The objective of the Coral Reef Project is to produce a best practices...more

OSHA Finally Releases Proposed New Rule on Silica Exposure

On August 23, 2013 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a proposed new rule on silica exposure. Public comments on the proposed rule are due no later than 90 days from publication in the Federal...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

Critical Habitat Proposed For Rockfish

Yesterday, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a notice of proposed rule to designate approximately 1,184 square miles of marine habitat in the Puget Sound as critical habitat for the threatened distinct population...more

National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Designating 36 Marine Areas As Critical Habitat For The Loggerhead Sea Turtle

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently issued a proposed rule designating critical habitat for the Northwest Atlantic Ocean loggerhead sea turtle Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (Caretta caretta) within the...more

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