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Recent Developments in Oil Pollution Act Litigation

November 2016

Citation: 46 ELR 10913

Issue: 11

Author: Russ Randle, Karen A. Mignone, Steven O’Rourke, and Cyn Sarthou

Congress enacted OPA in 1990 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, to establish financial resources to aid response, and to raise standards for contingency planning. It is an area of law that is still evolving, particularly in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and subsequent developments in Gulf of Mexico restoration and recovery. A number of recent cases have since dealt with issues related to the spill. On June 28, 2016, the Environmental Law Institute convened a panel of experts to discuss recent events in oil pollution law, including the resolution of Deepwater Horizon civil penalties and developments regarding natural resource damage assessments and liability. Here, we present a transcript of that discussion, which has been edited for clarity and readability.

Russ Randle (moderator) is a Partner at Squire Patton Boggs LLP. Karen A. Mignone is a Partner at Verrill Dana, LLP. Steven O’Rourke is a Senior Attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section, U.S. Department of Justice. Cyn Sarthou is Executive Director of the Gulf Restoration Network.

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