Court Denies Maritrans' Claim for Damages From the Oil Pollution Act of 1990

Thursday, December 27, 2001
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled on December 21, 2001 that the double hull requirement of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ("OPA") does not constitute a "taking" of Maritrans' petroleum barges. Maritrans is currently evaluating whether to take an appeal. OPA prohibits existing single-hull tank vessels from continuing operation through their useful life, mandating a phase-out schedule over a period of years. In 1996, Maritrans filed a lawsuit alleging that the forced retirement of its predominantly single-hulled vessel fleet represents a "taking" under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits the taking of property by the government without just compensation. In 1998, the Court ruled that Maritrans' suit was only "ripe" with respect to vessels that had been sold, scrapped or rebuilt after enactment of OPA. Trial concluded in February 2001 with respect to eight of Maritrans' single-hull barges that had been sold, scrapped or rebuilt. In its decision the Court essentially held that, even though OPA had deprived Maritrans of a substantial portion of the value of its vessels, Maritrans had been able to recoup its investment during the period from enactment of OPA until the OPA retirement date. Therefore the government's ban on further use constituted a non-compensible diminution in value, and not a "taking." Maritrans believes strongly that the forced retirement of Maritrans' vessels did in fact meet the legal test of a taking under the Fifth Amendment, and is evaluating the merits of an appeal. Stephen A. Van Dyck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Maritrans, comments, "Naturally, we are extremely disappointed by this ruling. While a favorable outcome would have returned substantial value to our shareholders and provided additional funding for completion of our ongoing rebuild program, the Court's ruling will not adversely affect Maritrans' rebuilding program, our financial strength or our outlook for the future. This decision in no way affects the Company's present tender offer that we commenced on December 17, 2001. Additionally, this decision does not diminish our ability to generate substantial earnings going forward, and does not change our earnings outlook as we look ahead to 2002." shipping to U.S. vessels (the Jones Act), demand for petroleum products, future spot market rates, and the general financial, economic, environmental and regulatory conditions affecting the oil and marine transportation industry in general.

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


SSA Welcomes Decision To Extend BEO

The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) has welcomed the decision by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry to extend the Competition (Block Exemption

Moore Stephens Highlights Potential Tax Issues for Shipping

As part of the Government’s drive to encourage voluntary compliance with the tax rules, it will legislate to introduce a new requirement that large businesses

SSAB, Aspo ESL Shipping Pact On Sea Transport

The global steel company SSAB and Aspo Group’s ESL Shipping Ltd have signed a long-term frame agreement covering sea freight for SSAB’s inbound raw material sea

Marine Electronics

Raytheon Anschütz Succeeds in SYNTACS SAT

Raytheon Anschütz, a leading integrator of naval integrated bridge systems, has successfully completed the Sea Acceptance Test (SAT) for the Synapsis Tactical Command

IMMA App Offers Access to Maritime Medical Stores

Deteriorating seafarer health and poorly-stocked onboard medical chests are major issues concerning maritime medical practitioners, which is why the International

Available: 300 Free Systems; Wanted: 300 Ships

Which will be the first 300 ships in the world to test and validate Sea Traffic Management (STM) with updated systems free-of-charge?   As the shipping domain

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0677 sec (15 req/sec)