Oil Spills

News & Analysis as of

Russian Legislation Update

In This Issue: - Currency Control - Banking - Patronage of Arts - Environment - Employment/Foreign Citizens - Excerpt from Patronage of Arts: On 4 November 2014 the President signed Federal...more

Must Calif. Dump Its Oil Spill Prevention Regime?

On Oct. 7, 2014, the Association of American Railroads and two of its member rail carriers filed suit against California's Office of Spill Prevention and Response in an effort to strike down the state's recent effort to...more

Judge Barbier BP Attempt to Limit Clean Water Act Fines

On September 4, 2014, District Court Judge Carl Barbier issued his “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law – Phase One Trial” in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation. In his 153 page opinion, Judge Barbier found BP...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

Rules for Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Ethanol Still a Work in Progress

In response to rail accidents over the past several years involving crude oil and ethanol, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has been working with industry stakeholders and the National Transportation Safety Board...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

DOT PUBLISHES NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING FOR NEW RAIL SAFETY STANDARDS - On Wednesday, July 23, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a proposed rule designed to enhance the transportation safety of oil...more

State and Local Communities Respond to Crude-by-Rail Safety Issue

July 6 marked the one year anniversary of the crude oil derailment in Lac Megantic Quebec, which significantly heightened throughout North America the awareness about safety issues surrounding crude by rail. This heightened...more

A Day At The Beach: Fifth Circuit Rejects Expansive Situs Definition For LHWCA Comp In BP Beach Cleaning Case

The Fifth Circuit recently reversed, per curiam, a district court decision finding that a contract worker cleaning oiled beaches near Grand Isle, Louisiana, in the wake of the 2010 Macondo oil spill qualified as a...more

California Legislators Propose Two Bills on Crude by Rail

Two measures have been introduced in the California legislature to respond to the growth of crude-by-rail volume in the state. State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) has introduced SB 1319, which would expand...more

Increased Crude Oil Rail Shipments Drive Boost in Funding for DOT HazMat Programs

By a vote of 29-1, on June 5, 2014, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed legislation (S. 2438) funding fiscal year (FY) 2015 activities for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT’s programs for crude oil and...more

DOT Issues Emergency Order For Transport Of Crude Oil From Bakken Shale Region (UPDATE)

On May 23, 2014, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration clarified its May 7, 2014, Emergency Order Regarding Notification to Communities of Bakken Crude Oil Shipments through the release of...more

Industry Takes Steps to Address Safety of Crude Oil Shipments

The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued an Emergency Order (EO) requiring all rail carriers to notify State Emergency Response Commissions regarding the expected routing of their unit trains of Bakken crude...more

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Announces State Rail Safety Task Force on Hazardous Material Transport

While federal officials continue their efforts to address railroad transportation of petroleum crude oil (crude-by-rail), Virginia intends to make a parallel but somewhat broader effort with respect to hazardous material rail...more

Department of Transportation Issues Order Requiring Rail Carriers To Notify States of Crude Shipments

In response to recent derailments of trains transporting crude, the Department of Transportation issued an emergency order pursuant to its regulatory authority over the transportation of hazardous materials. The order applies...more

DOT Issues Emergency Order For Transport Of Crude Oil From Bakken Shale Region

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an Emergency Order requiring all railroads operating trains containing bulk quantities of UN 1267, petroleum crude oil, Class 3, that either originates or is...more

DOT Issues Emergency Order on Bakken Crude Oil Shipments

On May 7th, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an Emergency Order (EO) requiring all rail carriers to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) regarding the expected routing of their unit trains of...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

BRG Review: Winter 2014 - Volume 4, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Introduction - Market Share Liability from an Economics Perspective - The Safety of Chemical Products - Chemical Leaks and Spills - Excerpt from Introduction: An important...more

Oil Spill Derailments Pose Challenge For Insurers

In the past year alone, five fiery oil train derailments have made front-page news by causing both catastrophic bodily injury and property damage in rural towns across Canada and the United States, including the 74-car...more

BP Oil Spill Update

On April 18, 2012, BP Exploration and Production Inc. and BP America Production Company (collectively “BP”) entered into an economic and property damages class action settlement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the...more

Highlighting Updates to the SPCC Program Guidance

In August, the EPA published a revision to the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Guidance Document for Regional Inspectors, which explains the many nuances of the SPCC rule, updated to include revisions to...more

Six-Year Statute of Limitations Applies to Spill Act Contribution Claim

On August 23, 2013, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that the general six-year statute of limitations for property damage applies to a private claim for contribution under the Spill Compensation and Control Act,...more

Those Dam Polluters!

The Columbia and Snake River federal network of dams, and the abundance of low cost electricity it produces, has long been the cornerstone of the Pacific Northwest manufacturing economy....more

TRANSACTIONAL: Upstream Developments – Russia: Russian Offshore: Addressing the Risk

The development of the Russian shelf is essentially reserved to state-owned Rosneft and Gazprom (and their affiliates). Under Russian law, oil and gas deposits located on or extending into the continental shelf of the Russian...more

Fifth Circuit Evaluates Application of Civil Penalty Factors for Oil Spills under the Clean Water Act, Holds Economic Benefit is...

On an appeal of a penalty determination in the first oil spill case to be tried under the civil penalty provisions enacted after the Exxon Valdez catastrophe in the Oil Pollution Act of 1991, the Fifth Circuit Court of...more

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