Maritime Environmental

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Maritime issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Effect of Energy Policy Bills on Natural Gas Exports

Legislative Update. On April 20, the U.S. Senate passed broad legislation that covers many different aspects of the energy and environmental sectors, including changes to streamline the approval process for the export of...more

The Well Control Final Rule Is Here, Finally

Action Item: The recently published Well Control Rule will require significant changes to Blow-Out Preventer (“BOP”) systems and well operations. Stakeholders in offshore oil and gas operations should carefully evaluate the...more

A Beginner’s Guide to OSHA’s Final Silica Rule

On March 24, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule was published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2016....more

Maritime GHG emissions: The Paris Agreement, an IMO MRV and ‘market-based measures’ – looking forward to MEPC 69

Tackling greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from international shipping: as the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) gears up for its 69th meeting in London starting...more

“A Look Ahead To 2016” – The Coast Guard Charts Its Course For The Coming Year

The United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Thomas recently penned an article for the Marine News magazine, February 2016 edition, highlighting the Coast Guard’s “priorities” for 2016. The article is available at the...more

Critical Habitat for Right Whales Expanded

Action Item: The National Marine Fisheries Services (“NMFS”) promulgated a final rule identifying critical habitats for the endangered Northern Atlantic Right Whale. Stakeholders involved in spill response, ocean and offshore...more

Coalition Challenges National Marine Fisheries Service Rules for Regulating Offshore Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico

On February 12th, a coalition led by the Center for Food Safety filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (“NMFS”) final rule implementing...more

Article: Dismissal of Charges in the British-Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon Indictment … or the Over-Criminalization of the BP...

On April 20, 2010, just before 10 p.m., the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig suddenly exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, 48 miles off the Louisiana coast. Tragically, eleven men on the vessel died. Oil ultimately flowed from the...more

White House Completes Review of Wastewater Barge Pre-Rule

The Obama administration has completed its review of the Coast Guard’s pre-rule on the bulk transport of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. The pre-rule itself has not been released, but its title (“Carriage of...more

Deadlines Are Fast Approaching as Congress Is Already Considering Priorities for Next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

Stakeholders interested in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) civil works projects, water resources policy, or funding for harbor, inland waterway, and other projects should engage Congress to advance their priorities as...more

D.C. Appeals Court: Coast Guard May Impose Non-Financial Conditions for Departure Clearance in “Magic Pipe” Case

In Watervale Marine Co. v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently affirmed a district court ruling allowing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security –...more

LNG Bunkering in Asia: Fueling a Promising Future?

I. Introduction - Today, the LNG bunkering market is significantly growing due to stricter environmental regulations across the globe and in spite of the depressed oil price. Particularly in Asia, LNG bunkering has...more

D.C. Circuit Holds that Coast Guard May Impose Nonfinancial Conditions Before Allowing Ships Accused of Violating MARPOL to Leave...

On December 15, 2015, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that the U.S. Coast Guard could impose nonfinancial conditions, in addition to a bond, before permitting ships under suspicion of a MARPOL...more

Stormwater Permits Are Not One Size Fits All

It’s rare for a stormwater lawsuit to result in a court decision since most settle in the early stages, but a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour in the Western District of Washington provides useful...more

U.S. Coast Guard Issues Final Rule Raising OPA 90 Liability Limits

Action Item: The U.S. Coast Guard published a Final Rule increasing limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports, and onshore facilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA 90”). The raise in liability limits also...more

2nd Circuit case highlights complexities of ballast water regs

Effective control of ship-borne, nonindigenous organisms has proved to be a major challenge to the maritime industry, international maritime organizations, national and local governments, environmental organizations, and,...more

U.S. Coast Guard Revises Policy on Extensions for the Installation of Ballast Water Treatment Systems

Action Item: The U.S. Coast Guard issued a new policy letter that streamlines the process for vessel owners and operators to apply for an extension to their compliance date for installing ballast water treatment systems....more

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

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

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