Oil Spill Response/OPA 90

Kean Miller assists vessel owners and operators of marine and offshore facilities with oil pollution spill and oil pollution issues, and with possible criminal, civil and administrative sanctions for water pollution, hazardous material transportation and marine safety violations.

We work closely with the regulatory authorities such as the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Coast Guard, the Louisiana State Police, and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators office to resolve issues of financial responsibility or liability resulting from oil and chemical spills.  We work with leading energy, pipeline, and petrochemical clients under investigation by the Coast Guard, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Chemical Safety Board, and other  federal and state agencies.

Representative Experience:

  • Representation of claimants before the United States Coast Guard Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF). We obtained a recovery of almost $700,000 for a petroleum production company and its insurer that required the USCG to overturn the EPA’s prior designation of our client as the responsible party for the oil spill.
  • Representation of an oil company in federal litigation regarding an OPA 90 spill from a ruptured pipeline. The matter progressed to a 30-day trial where the Kean Miller team was able to shift the OPA 90 responsible party designation and avoid a large percentage of remediation costs.
  • Representation of a vessel operator, an oil field services contractor, in connection with an oil spill from a collision in a wetland environment in Louisiana inland waters. The Kean Miller team responded and negotiated with local oystermen to limit damages.  
  • Representation of a Texas-based energy exploration and production company in connection with an oil spill from an abandoned gathering line in Louisiana inland waters. The Kean Miller team’s early involvement resulted in gathering appropriate evidence to defeat claims by local oystermen.
  • Representation of an oil and gas company in association with a large oil spill from a wellhead struck by a vessel.  The Kean Miller team responded such that damages were kept to a minimum and the responsible party for the collision was located.
  • Representation of a global energy producer as legal counsel for its oil spill response team in connection with any oil spill that may occur from pipelines in the Louisiana Coastal Zone and certain Texas inland rivers.
  • Representation of global energy producer in defense of OPA 90 claims brought by the United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Coast Guard for damages associated with a oil release from onshore storage facilities.
  • Representation of various barge lines involved in collisions in either the Mississippi River or the Intracoastal Waterway which resulted in minor to moderate spills of oil or other materials.
  • Representation of an offshore drilling contractor in connection with the explosion of a drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico; the vessel burned for more than a week.  The Kean Miller team attended and represented the client in the joint U.S. Coast Guard/MMS Board of Inquiry proceedings.
  • Representation of international shipping companies in various alleged “pollution incidents”. Most of the incidents involved the “blowing of stacks” in the Port of New Orleans.
  • Representation of an oil and gas company regarding a well blowout while the rig was engaged in drilling operations off the coast of South America.
  • Representation of a national energy company in connection with a well blowout while the rig was engaged in drilling operations while in the South China Sea.
  • Representation of a mid-stream company in multiple lawsuits filed and claims made by landowners related to a large spill of crude oil from a major interstate pipeline in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.