U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) files suit against Massachusetts state

On 18 January 2005 the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a law suit against Massachusetts in the federal district Court in Boston. The complaint (click here to view) states that certain provisions of the Massachusetts Oil Spill Act (click here to view) are "pre-empted by federal law and invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution".  

This action by the US DoJ is consistent with the US Supreme Court decision in the INTERTANKO/State of Washington case which supported the precedence of federal over state legislation. It is also in line with the INTERTANKO position and consistent with joint actions that we have taken with the American Waterways Operators (AWO) (see Weekly NEWS No. 32 of 6 August 2004). 

We will keep members updated, including possible strategies that INTERTANKO and AWO might consider in the aftermath of this development. 

Contacts: Joe Angelo, Dragos Rauta