Environmental Law 360
Eva Fromm O'Brien and Avery Emison Carson
September 20, 2010 view as PDF
The fallout stemming from the April 20 explosion and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig has created vast uncertainty for companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere in U.S. waters. Among the principle challenges facing operators are a ban on exploratory drilling in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the revamping of the (former) Minerals Management Service, and new requirements with respect to safety and corporate compliance certifications.
A major unknown is the substance of forthcoming revisions to deepwater drilling rules, and the revisions to the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act expected to be considered by Congress this fall.
While it will be extremely important to implement new requirements as they are developed, this guest column discusses some of the available methods for reducing your company’s risk and exposure to penalties in the event of an oil spill, and explores the potential for companies to advocate for reasonable drilling regulations by adopting effective compliance programs.
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Eva Fromm O'Brien
Avery Emison Carson