At long last, the State of Louisiana’s request to take over primary enforcement authority for the permitting of Class VI injection wells has been approved. What does this mean for CCS in Louisiana?
Continue Reading Louisiana Granted Primacy Over Class VI Injection Wells

On December 7, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disapproved the state implementation plan (SIP) revisions for the Baton Rouge ozone nonattainment area that Louisiana set forth in response to EPA’s 2015 SIP Call rule. This 2015 SIP Call rule focused on the treatment of excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction (SSM).

A federal appeals court has affirmed that a “greenwashing” lawsuit by the District of Columbia against several major energy companies should not be heard in federal court. In doing so, the court found itself “in accord with the other courts of appeals, which have unanimously found there is no federal jurisdiction where state or local governments have brought state-law actions against energy companies for conduct relating to climate change.” District of Columbia v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 22-7163 (Dec. 19, 2023) (“D.C. v. Exxon”).
Continue Reading Climate-Related Lawsuits Continue to Return to State Courts: Understanding The Latest Ruling from District of Columbia v. Exxon Mobil Corporation

On October 30, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana found that the rule established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Robins Dry Dock & Repair Co. v. Flint applied to the case at hand, barring claimants from recovering economic damages for deferred oil production.
Continue Reading Corporate Protection Pipeline: Court Denies Economic Damages Based on Robins Dry Dock

EPA issued draft guidance revising its Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis. The proposed revisions incorporate portions of Executive Order 14096, and they align with the federal government’s push to enhance community involvement, to assess cumulative impacts, and put EJ issues front and center in agency decision-making. Read more about the proposed changes here. #environmentaljustice
Continue Reading EJ Evolution: EPA Issues Draft Revision of Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis

The EPA is seeking comments on its recently-published Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposes national performance standards under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act. The EPA presents new data on ballast water management systems and solicits public comments on the standards and definitions applicable to ballast tanks, hulls and associated niche areas, and graywater systems. The Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking brings VIDA one step closer to full implementation.
Continue Reading EPA’s Proposed Rule on Vessel Incidental Discharges Brings VIDA One Step Closer to Full Implementation

On November 13, 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard published Policy Letter 23-05 which provides the first actual guidance for vessel owners and operators on the expectations for the surveillance equipment that they are required to install and maintain under the Safer Seas Act, which became law in December 2022 as part of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.
Continue Reading USCG Issues First Guidance on Safer Seas Act Camera Requirements

Most American maritime and environmental attorneys and vessel owners are familiar with OPA 90 and oil spill liability in the United States. But what happens when a vessel spills oil in the territorial waters of another country?
Continue Reading Oil Spill Liability: OPA 90 v. the IMO’S CLC

EPA and the Army Corps published their new regulatory definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) today in response to the Supreme Court’s landmark Sackett decision from earlier this year. While the rule clearly narrows the scope of federally regulated wetlands, ambiguity remains as to certain types of wetlands.
Continue Reading EPA and Army Corps Release New WOTUS Rule