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Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Senator Gorton and Representative Metcalf have introduced bills that would give states the right to depart from federal standards.

This is an attempt to overturn the findings in the INTERTANKO case and the ARCO vs. RAY case from the 70's which both held that States are preempted from regulating tank vessels with regard to design,construction, maintenance, operation, equipment, personell qualification and manning.

INTERTANKO is together with a number of other industry organisations working to explain how the passing of these bills will be counterproductive in relation to the protection of the marine environment. We are reasonably confident that the legislation can be controlled in the House of Representatives although election year political pressures add elements of uncertainty to our analysis.

At the same time we have received notice from the 9th Curcuit Court of Appeal that the Court has scheduled argument in the INTERTANKO case on remand from the Supreme Court to take place on 19 July.  This hearing will determine the fate of the Washington State tanker regulations that were not immediately ruled to be preempted by the US Supreme Court. It is, however, expected that the very strong instructions to the lower courts issued by the Supreme Court will lead to the Court finding most, if not all, of the remaining regulations preempted.

Questions and comments may be directed