Parties Ask Court to Stay Seismic Litigation to Allow Time to Conclude Settlement Negotiations
Several environmental groups are suing BOEM in federal court in New Orleans. The groups allege that BOEM's regulation of oil and gas seismic in the Gulf of Mexico violates several federal laws with regard to marine mammals and other species. Industry parties have intervened in the case. Based on the parties' motions, the Court has stayed the litigation pending settlement negotiations. On February 1, 2012, the plaintiffs and defendants filed another stay motion which stated in part:
"Plaintiffs and Federal Defendants seek an additional stay in order to conclude settlement
discussions. Since the Court's November 2 Order, all parties, including Defendant- Intervenors, have participated in additional discussions and exchanged information regarding the possibility of settlement. Representatives of all parties will attend a settlement meeting on February 6, 2012, with the objective of reaching an overall agreement in principle to settle the lawsuit, If the parties are able to reach a tentative agreement in principle, they will begin formalizing their agreement for internal review and approval. Accordingly, the parties wish to extend the stay for an additional 29 days pursuant to the same terms (reproduced below) of the Court's March 16, 2011 and subsequent Orders granting their joint motions to stay proceedings, Dkts. 74, 76, 78,
81, 83, 85, save for a change in the seismic permits referenced in paragraph 3 the parties' prior joint motions. If the parties are unable to resolve the remaining issues and reach a tentative agreement in principle, they will promptly move the Court to lift the stay pursuant to paragraph 2 below."
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