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Court Decision

AWO Supports Federal Regulatory Authority

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) officially went on record in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the preemptive authority of federal statutes and regulations governing vessel operations. AWO is supporting the position of Intertanko and the U.S. in a challenge to a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court on the extent to which the State of Washington can regulate the operation of tank vessels. In a "friend of the court" brief filed with the Supreme Court, AWO asserted the Circuit Court's decision is a threat to the uniformity of federal and international standards vital to interstate transportation and, unless reversed, federal safety rules and regulations could be rendered inconsequential. The AWO brief argues the Ninth Circuit Court fundamentally misinterpreted the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ray v. Atlantic Richfield Co., in which the limits of state regulatory authority over federally regulated vessels were carefully defined. The brief further states the Circuit Court decision ignores the preemptive nature of acts of Congress, such as OPA 90 and the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, which grants the USCG the authority to prescribe regulations that preempt state or local law. The brief cites the example of a decision taken by Rhode Island to unilaterally require a phase-out of single-hull tank vessels in state waters fully 14 years before the time prescribed by Congress in OPA 90


Aker Philly Shipyard Build Methodologies Confirmed in Court Decision

In a decision filed by the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has upheld the United States Coast Guard interpretation of the Jones Act as it relates to the modern building methods employed by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. The decision rejected a lawsuit filed by the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.  Aker Philadelphia Shipyard President and CEO, Jim Miller remarked “We wish to reiterate that Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is extremely proud to


NYC Considers Local Law on Passenger Vessels

The New York City Council is considering a proposed Local Law


INTERTANKO to Intervene in Ballast Water Decision

A U.S. Federal judge in the Northern California District has granted INTERTANKO's Motion to Intervene on the court's decision that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) exemption of ballast water discharges from the permit requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was improper under the Clean Water Act. INTERTANKO filed this motion along with industry coalition partners the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA)


Carriers Ponder Dutch Ruling in CMR Dispute

Netherlands law firm AKD Prinsen Van Wijmen says a recent decision of the Dutch Supreme Court indicates that, whilst Holland remains an extremely carrier-friendly jurisdiction for disputes under the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), a much stricter approach is to be adopted to the Act of God exemption from liability for loss and damage under CMR. In its April 24 decision in Philips Electronics NV v Vos Logistics


Salazar Statement on Leasing Court Ruling

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling on DOI’s request for clarification of the Court’s earlier decision to vacate the 2007-2012 Outer Continental Shelf oil and natural gas leasing program:  “I am pleased with the Court’s decision.  Consistent with the Department’s request


Maine BEP Endorses Tank Barge Regulations

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) approved proposed Chapter 600 vessel operating regulations by a vote of five to one, with one abstention. Chapter 600 regulations address the operation of both oil terminal facilities and vessels transporting oil on state waterways. The regulations will be forwarded to the Attorney General for review and compliance with the state's Administrative Procedures Act. If the Attorney General approves the regulations


Engineer in Dredge is Jones Act Seaman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that an engineer employed on a dredge in navigation is a seaman for purposes of the Jones Act. This decision was rendered when the court’s earlier decision was reversed and remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court. Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company, Inc., No. 99-1487 (1st Cir., August 9, 2005).


Raising a Red Flag?

A Review of Recent Developments with the Americans with Disabilities Act's Requirements for U.S. and Foreign Flag Passenger-Vessels By James P. Nader & Rudolph F. Lehrer Douglas Spector and Tammy Stevens presumably do not know each other, but they have a lot in common. Approximately five years ago, both Spector and Stevens boarded cruise ships out of major ports in the southern United States. Both Spector and Stevens, who are wheel-chair bound


EMGS to Appeal Ruling On Patent Invalidity

EMGS

  As previously announced, Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has issued claims against Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) in the High Court of Justice, Patent Court, in London, UK, and in Norwegian courts on the basis that PGS used its Towed Streamer EM in the territory of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway in violation of one of EMGS' patents. On 13 February 2015, EMGS received the decision of the Oslo City Court where EMGS' patent is found to be invalid


UK Court Rejects Iran Tanker Firm's Attempt to Avert Sanctions

A legal attempt by Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC to stop the European Union from reimposing sanctions on it over its disputed nuclear program has failed in a London court, setting back Tehran's efforts to ease trade restrictions. Iran is engaged in nuclear talks with world powers as it tries


DOI Issues FSEIS for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale 193, moving the DOI a step closer to resolving federal court concerns regarding the 2008 oil and gas leases offshore Alaska


Ghana-Ivory Coast Maritime Dispute Mar Tullow

Image: Tullow Oil plc

 A dispute over maritime boundaries between Ghana and Ivory Coast is damaging Tullow Oil, which risks postponement of its TEN project in the waters off Ghana's coastline.    The government of Côte d’Ivoire has applied for provisional measures


Court: BP Employees Can't Be Charged Under Seaman's Manslaughter Law

   The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

  A federal court ruled on Wednesday that BP well site leaders on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cannot be charged with seaman's manslaughter in the deaths of eleven workers that died during the 2010 rig explosion because they were not seamen.  


Judge Rejects BP Bid to Recoup Some Spill Payments

A U.S. judge has ruled that BP Plc cannot recoup what it says were inflated claims paid under a multi-billion dollar settlement program to compensate people hurt by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, NOLA.com reported on Wednesday. BP originally expected the payout program to cost $7


Dredging the River Elbe: Waiting for Luxembourg

Two passing containerships on the Elbe (Photo courtesy of the Port of Hamburg)

Decision delayed on the Deepening and Widening of the Navigation Channel of the Lower and Outer Elbe The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig today adjourned the proceedings by the BUND and NABU environmental associations against the plan approval concerning the dredging of the lower and


Hamburg Port Dredging Delayed

Two passing containerships on the Elbe

 Port of Hamburg's has delayed the Deepening and Widening of the Navigation Channel of the Lower and Outer Elbe In this regards the statements by Port of Hamburg Marketing Executive Board Members Axel Mattern and Ingo Egloff on Today’s Decision by the Federal Administrative Court is as


Court Dismisses Boating Industry’s Challenge to EPA Misfueling Rule

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said it is disappointed with the U.S. Court of Appeals decision released on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 for the D.C. Circuit to dismiss the recreational boating industry’s challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule


Courts Upholds BP 'gross negligence' Gulf Spill Ruling

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


Dutch Yards May Need to Rethink Contract Structures

Rotterdam-based law firm AKD said a recent decision of the Dutch courts means that shipyards in The Netherlands may no longer be able to rely on the right to retain a vessel while awaiting payment for work done. As a result of this unexpected decision


IMB Concerned About Compensating Pirates

Somali pirates threaten crew

  The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has joined other maritime organisations in expressing concern over the decision to compensate convicted Somali pirates. These criminals have been responsible for taking hostage thousands of seafarers


Battle Over Keystone XL Pipeline

Oil pipelines are safe and efficientf

  Nebraska's Supreme Court ruled against a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline's route through the state on Friday, clearing the way for the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to try to force President Barack Obama to approve the project.


Venice Lifts Ban on Large Cruise Ships

Photo courtesy of Venezia Terminal Passeggeri

Venice, Italy has overturned a ban on cruise ships over 96,000 gross tonnage from sailing through the city’s Giudecca channel and passing St. Mark’s Square.   Venice's regional court of appeal (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale) threw out the limit imposed in November 2014 for


BP on Gulf Oil Spill Trial

...

  The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana yesterday ruled on the issues raised in the Phase 2 trial of the Deepwater Horizon case: the quantification of oil spilled and BP’s source control efforts following the accident. The Court found that 3


EU Annulls Sanctions on 40 Shipping Firms

The European Union's second highest court on Thursday annulled EU sanctions on an Iranian bank and 40 shipping companies hit with asset freezes as part of pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.   But they will remain under sanctions for now after the General Court gave the EU time






 
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