AGENDA FOR AGC-IADC MMPA/Offshore Legal Issues Workshop

(Thursday, October 25, 2018 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM EST)
TGS,  10451 Clay Rd. , Houston, TX 77041

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following on the IAGC website:

“The IAGC and IADC are jointly holding an MMPA Workshop on 25 October 2018. The workshop will highlight the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and how it impacts access and exploration within the U.S. and international implications.

The MMPA was signed into law in 1972 in response to increasing concerns that significant declines in some species of marine mammals were caused by human activities. Although the origins of the MMPA were not rooted in concerns of sound in the marine environment, exploration and development have become increasingly regulated under the Act, and a new and extensive MMPA regulatory program is on the horizon for the Gulf of Mexico.

Because the language used in the original Act does not provide clear direction and application to exploration and production activities, interpretation of the Act is unpredictable and often falls to the courts and federal agencies.

Without modification to the statute it has become increasingly difficult to receive authorization for offshore energy exploration and development activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.

Ryan Steen of Stoel Rives will provide an overview of the MMPA, how it has been applied to exploration and production activities in Alaska, how it may be applied in the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico and efforts to modernize the MMPA and other offshore regulatory issues.


  1. Introduction to a new regulatory landscape in the Gulf of Mexico.
  1. A primer on the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • How does it work?
  • How will it impact offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico?
  • What do operators need to be prepared for?
  • What are the main obstacles?
  • How to navigate a new and complicated regulatory framework involving multiple federal agencies.
  1. Legislative efforts to modernize the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • The urgent need for clarity.
  • The urgent need for limits on agency discretion.
  1. A primer on the Endangered Species Act.
  • Regulatory intersection with the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • Additional complications for offshore operations and how to navigate them.
  1. Question & Answer.




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