Judge Feldman Throws Out Deepwater Safety Rules

The federal judge who overturned the moratorium on deepwater drilling has thrown out the safety regulations issued by the government, calling their implementation illegal.

Judge Martin Feldman said Tuesday, that the government did not comply with notice and the NTL-05 is not lawful and cannot be enforced. Federal law requires the government to offer a period of notice and public solicitation before the imposition of new rules, something that was not done before the new rules, collectively known as

In June Judge Feldman ruled the initial moratorium illegal, in that ruling he never addressed the Interior Departments rules and regulations (NTL-05). Regulators of the moratorium lifted the ban on drilling earlier this month while maintaining the safety requirements that were imposed in May with the original ban.

Judge Feldman is expected to rule November 3 on whether or not a second ban on drilling, imposed July 12, was justified.

The U.S. Department of Justice has yet to comment on the ruling.