Buzzards Bay Case Remanded for Further Proceedings

Friday, June 22, 2007
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit remanded the Buzzards Bay case for further proceedings. Following an oil spill in Buzzards Bay in 2003, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted a law imposing various operational and financial responsibility requirements on tank vessels operating in state waters. The federal government and various maritime industry representatives sought to overturn the state law, arguing that it was (in large part) preempted by federal law. The federal district court, based on the pleadings, permanently enjoined enforcement of the state law. In a 54-page decision, the appellate court determined that the permanent injunction is premature since the state may be able to fashion a regime that does not conflict with the federal regime. The state should be provided an opportunity to present evidence in this regard. United States v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, No. 06-2361 Source: HK Law

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