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Environmental groups instigate flood of litigation

Posted on 05 August 2010

Environmental organizations have launched a flurry of anti-offshore drilling lawsuits in various federal courts. IADC, along with USOGA and IPAA, is an amicus curiae supporting API in opposing these lawsuits:

• Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Sierra Club and Gulf Restoration v. Salazar (Fifth Circuit, New Orleans) targets 16 GOM exploration plans and development plans approved after 29 March.

• CBD v. Salazar (Washington, DC, District Court). This lawsuit seeks to forbid the Secretary from relying on “categorical exclusions” as grounds not to perform environmental assessments and/or environmental impact statements for all GOM E&P plans. It also seeks to nullify more than two dozen already-approved drilling plans.

• Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar (Southern District, Alabama). This lawsuit raises the same issues as the second lawsuit except it also seeks to enjoin future GOM lease sale until a supplemental environmental impact statement has been prepared. It seeks to set aside leases awarded in the most recent lease sale.

• Gulf Restoration Network and Sierra Club v. Salazar (Eastern District, Louisiana). This lawsuit seeks to enjoin the application of NTL 2008-G04, which limited the required information in GOM exploration plans with respect to blowout scenarios and worst-case oil spill scenarios. It also seeks to impose broader information requirements retroactively for all deepwater permits.

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