July 14, 2010

By Rachel Loftspring

On July 12, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ken Salazar, issued a decision memorandum directing a new suspension of certain offshore drilling and permitting activity in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific regions.  This order was made pursuant to 30 C.F.R. § 250.172(b)-(c), which, in pertinent part, provides that suspensions may be ordered when activities “pose a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage” to human or animal “life . . ., property, any mineral deposit or the marine, coastal, or human environment” or “[w]hen necessary for the installation of safety or environmental protection equipment.”