Court Continues Stay of GOM Seismic Litigation

Environmental groups have sued BOEM and NMFS in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. They allege legal violations in BOEM and NMFS’ regulation of oil and gas seismic in the Gulf of Mexico. The case has been stayed during settlement negotiations.

On July 15, 2002, the court granted the parties’ motion to extend the existing stay of all proceedings in the case until August 7, 2020.

NMFS Extends Navy LOA Regulations for Hawaii and Southern California Testing and Study Area for Two Years

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, upon request from the U.S. Navy, has published  regulations pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act to govern the taking of marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Hawaii Southern California Training and Testing Study Area over the course of seven years, effectively extending the time period from December 20, 2023, to December 20, 2025. In August 2018, the MMPA was amended by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 to allow for seven-year authorizations for military readiness activities, as compared to the previously allowed five years. The Navy’s activities qualify as military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA as amended by the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2004. These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, and establish requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.