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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


Judicial Decision on M/V Mokihana Rebuild

On December 4, 2009, a federal district court in Va. entered judgment in favor of the U.S. Coast Guard and Matson Navigation Company, Inc. in a long-running vessel foreign rebuild case.  Winston & Strawn LLP represented Matson. The Shipbuilders Council of America, Inc. and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines LLC sued the Coast Guard initially in November 2006 seeking to disqualify the M/V Mokihana from the U.S. coastwise trade because of work to be done to the vessel in China


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


Philippine Legal 'Garnishment' Heightens Shipowner Concerns

Safety at work: File photo

'Garnishment' is the legal term relating to the collection of a monetary judgement on behalf of a claimant from a defendant. In the Philippines, this routinely occurs before the case has concluded and is central to the UK P&I Club Members' many concerns relating to crew claims in this


Israeli gov't appeals court ruling on Zim in feud over debt deal

Israel's Finance Ministry said on Monday it appealed a court ruling that chipped away at its golden share in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, a move that could further delay a $3 billion debt restructuring plan. An Israeli court ruled last week the government could keep its golden


OSX Brasil Suspends Creditor Payments

Photo courtesy of OSX

A Netherlands-based subsidiary of Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista's bankrupt shipbuilding and shipleasing unit OSX Brasil SA suspended payments to creditors after being granted protection by a Dutch court. According to a securities filing on Thursday


Zim Line Debt Restructuring Plan to Proceed

Zim container ship in terminal: Photo Zim Line

Israel's Finance Ministry and Israel Corp have reached a compromise regarding the government's "golden share" in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, paving the way for a $3 billion debt restructuring plan to move ahead. The government last week appealed an Israeli court ruling


Orica Fined Heavily for Australian Pollution Incidents

Oil pollution: File photo

Orica Australia Pty Ltd has been convicted and penalised $768,250 in relation to charges brought by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for pollution incidents at Orica’s Kooragang Island and Botany plants. This includes a fine of $211


Chilean Court Rejects Appeal Against Crow River Project

Chile's Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an application for an environmental organization against Crow River hydroelectric project, which plans to build in the south of the country with an initial investment of $ 733 million . In a unanimous ruling


Iraq to Appeal US Court Decision on Kurdish Oil

The Iraqi oil ministry said on Thursday it would challenge a U.S. court decision that stopped U.S. Marshals from seizing some one million barrels of disputed Kurdish oil docked near Texas. On Monday, a U.S. district court ruled in favour of a request by Iraq's Kurdish region that a demand by


BP Says US Court Yet to Determine Penalty

Photo: BP

Oil major BP said on Thursday it will appeal a U.S. court decision that found it grossly negligent with respect to the Gulf of Mexico 2010 oil spill and added the court will hold additional proceedings due to begin next January. BP said it will immediately appeal to the United States Court of


Transocean Steers Clear of BP Punitive Damages

Deepwater Horizo Photo USCG

Transocean Ltd. informs it has received a decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on phase one of litigation related to the April 20, 2010 Macondo well incident involving the Deepwater Horizon.  Key findings in the Court's decision with respect to


Oil Refiner Bound to Goldman, Deutsche Fee Agreements - NY Judge

CVR Energy

  CVR Energy Inc is bound by agreements to pay Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Deutsche Bank AG more than $36 million in fees and expenses stemming from billionaire investor Carl Icahn's 2012 tender offer for the oil refiner, a New York state judge has ruled.


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






 
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