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Challenging Rollbacks of Offshore Drilling Safety Regulations

A controlled burn of oil from the BP oil spill sends towers of fire hundreds of feet into the air over the Gulf of Mexico on June 9, 2010.

A controlled burn of oil from the BP oil spill sends towers of fire hundreds of feet into the air over the Gulf of Mexico on June 9, 2010. More than 200 million gallons of oil polluted the Gulf of Mexico during the 201 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

PO1 James Masson / U.S. Coast Guard

What’s at Stake

This lawsuit is meant to restore the protections put in place after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.

The blowout killed 11 men, and resulted in an oil spill that spewed over 130 million gallons of toxic crude into the Gulf, killing billions of individual wildlife species, and decimating the seafood and tourism industries of the Gulf states.

Overview

Environmental groups sued the Trump administration to challenge rollbacks of the 2016 Well Control and Blowout Preventer Rule, a safety regulation meant to prevent another blowout like what happened during the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The case filed in the Northern District of California challenges key rollbacks to the safety rule including:

  • Weakening performance requirements for blowout preventers
  • Eliminating the system of independent safety equipment inspectors
  • Grandfathering existing drilling rigs into outdated blowout preventer standards
  • Slashing safety equipment testing and inspection standards

Case Updates