The Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) published in the Federal Register a summary of civil penalties paid last year by oil and natural gas companies for violations occurring in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The summary identifies the company name, the specific offshore activity in violation of the law, and the fine paid. The total penalty amount paid in 1998 by 27 companies was $1.3 million. The MMS is responsible for ensuring safe and clean offshore operations in the OCS. The civil penalty process is designed to encourage companies to comply with the statutes and regulations by pursuing, assessing, and collecting penalties. OPA 90 expanded and strengthened MMS' authority to impose penalties for violating its regulations. Section 8201 of the Act gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to assess a civil penalty without providing notice and time for corrective action where a failure to comply with applicable regulations results in a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage to human life or the environment. Since 1990, MMS has initiated 250 civil penalty reviews and collected more than $2.7 million.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced that the maximum civil penalty rate for Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) violations will increase from $35,000 to $40,000 per day; and from $25,000 to $30,000 per day for Oil Pollution Act (OPA) financial responsibility violations. The increases coincide with adjustments in inflation, as required by OCSLA and OPA. The Obama administration has requested that Congress pass legislation to further raise
R&B Falcon Confirms U.S. Gulf Development Plans Reading & Bates Development Co. (DEVCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of R&B Falcon Corporation, announced its Boomvang Project in deepwater offshore Texas is proceeding rapidly. DEVCO concurs with previously announced reserve estimates of 70-100 million boe in several oil reservoirs extending across portions of East Breaks Blocks 642, 643, 688 and 732. Platform, production facilities and pipeline contracts are being evaluated
The Washington State Department of Ecology has summarized civil penalties it assessed during the second quarter of 2006 for pollution incidents. Among others on the list were three marine-related parties. Two of the penalties indicate the possibility that the Department has become too zealous in its mission. In June, the captain of the vessel Nu C was fined $9,000 after approximately 575 gallons of diesel and hydraulic oil spilled into Grays Harbor when the vessel crashed into the North
The Federal Maritime Commission issued a Press Release stating that the Commission has entered into a settlement agreement with the major ocean carrier agreements and their members who serve the inbound waterborne U.S. trades with Asia, including the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) and two TSA-related bridging agreements. The settlement addresses carrier practices and provides, among other things, for payment of $1,350
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaii State Department of Health settle with Marisco Ltd for pollution offences. The violations took place at Marisco's ship repair and drydock facilities at Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor on Oahu. This is the largest Clean Water Act civil penalty against a ship repair facility nationwide. The settlement, a consent decree, was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and
The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary moving security zone of 500 yards surrounding tank ships while within the waters of Puget Sound and adjacent waters, WA. All vessels within 500 yards of a tank ship shall operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course, and shall proceed as directed by the Official Patrol or tank ship master. The Official Patrol will consist of a Coast Guard patrol, or a General Authority Washington Peace Officer
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an interim final rule revising its Investigative and Enforcement Procedures to conform to the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The rule establishes procedures by which TSA may assess civil penalties for violations of any statutory requirement administered by TSA, including Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) requirements. The revisions come into effect on August 20
A former 20-year veteran of BP plc who oversaw the company's cleanup efforts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will pay more than $224,000 to settle civil charges alleging he used non-public information about the disaster to commit insider-trading, U.S. regulators said on Thursday. The Securities and Exchange Commission said that Keith A. Seilhan, 47, will settle the case without admitting or denying the charges.
As the holiday season and the end of another year quickly approaches, the towing industry patiently waits for the Coast Guard to finalize the long-awaited towing vessel inspection rule. More than 10 years ago, Congress passed the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004, requiring more stringent regulation of uninspected towing vessels (UTVs). Since that time, the Coast Guard and several industry groups (including the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC)
A U.S. judge weighing how much BP Plc should be punished for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill on Thursday refused to overturn his own finding that the oil company's conduct was "grossly negligent." The decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans means BP could still
A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected BP Plc's attempt to reduce the maximum civil fine it could face for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, leaving it potentially liable to pay $13.7 billion under the federal Clean Water Act. U.S
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Puget Sound investigating officers initiated civil penalties, Friday, against four individuals who entered an established safety-zone around a Shell-contracted vessel in Bellingham during Memorial Day weekend.
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), partner agencies detain, release violators of established safety zone The 24 people who violated the 500-yard safety zone established around the Shell Arctic drilling rig Polar Pioneer were detained by USCG and partner agency law enforcement personnel Monday
The Federal Maritime Commission announced compromise agreements reached with two common carriers operating pure car carriers (PCCs) and roll on/roll off (RO/RO) vessels in U.S. inbound and outbound trades. Under these separate agreements, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that it has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $350,000 in civil penalties. The agreements were reached with a vessel-operating common carrier and three non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs)
U.S. EPA has served subpoenas in connection with the investigation into potential violations of MARPOL Annex and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) following the coming into force of the North American Emissions Control Area (ECA) on 1, August 2012.
The Bayonne Bridge is undergoing a two-year construction project to raise the roadway an average of 65 feet. The Captain of the Port, New York-New Jersey says that it has been struck twice in the past 4 months. The Captain of the Port, New York-New Jersey
The Captain of the Port, New York-New Jersey, has issued a reminder about the importance of providing accurate clearance information, and warns that civil penalties may be pursued against any vessel owner, master or person in charge that provides inaccurate information that contributes to a bridge
The Coast Guard interdicted a Mexican fishing crew poaching in South Texas, Thursday, after it was pursued by a Coast Guard aircraft and intercepted by the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Cobia. In an unrelated incident after intercepting the lancha
The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port New Orleans, under the authority of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, will establish a safety zone on the Lower Mississippi River, Above Head of Passes, from MM 215.0 to MM 217.0, in the vicinity of the L'Auberge Casino, Baton Rouge, LA
A U.S. judge has decided that BP Plc was "grossly negligent" and "reckless" in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill four years ago, a ruling that could add nearly $18 billion in fines to more than $42 billion in charges the company took for the worst offshore environmental disaster in U
Chairman Mario Cordero announced that the Federal Maritime Commission has completed compromise agreements recovering a total of $503,000 in civil penalties. The agreements were reached with five non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs)
Offshore Oil Platform Owner to Improve Safety and Operations in Gulf of Mexico Following Unauthorized Oil Discharges; EPA and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement secure settlement in first joint judicial enforcement action under Clean Water Act and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
Companies eager to export U.S. oil face fines and other risks if they stray from government-approved practices, trade lawyers said this week, but the challenge is figuring out what the government allows because its rulings have so far been private.