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Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) in 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning. It is an area of law that is still evolving and garnering high profile attention.
As increasing oil and gas production from fracking helps the United States become a net exporter of petroleum products, substantial changes are occurring in oil transportation, as shown by the heated controversies over approval of the Trans-Canada and Dakota Access pipelines. The program will cover OPA issues raised by such pipeline projects, and by the Trump Administration’s efforts to increase production from offshore and federal lands and to restrict the definition of waters of the United States in ways which may reduce the scope of contingency planning requirements for inland locations.
Speakers will also discuss key decisions from the past year involving the OPA and related federal statutes, including decisions about recoverable damages, citizen suits, and presentation of claims to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, as well as decisions in enforcement cases against vessels involving the use of “magic pipes” to deal with oily bilge water.
Join our expert panel as they explore these issues and answer your questions.
**Russ Randle, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs LLP (moderator)
**Randall Luthi, President, National Ocean Industries Association (invited)
**Cyn Sarthou, Executive Director, Gulf Restoration Network
**Richard A. Udell, Senior Litigation Counsel, Environmental Crimes Section, Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division
Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington DC 20036