Oil Pollution Act of 1990

Oil Pollution Act of 1990

The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 was passed to streamline and strengthen the EPA's ability to prevent and respond to catastrophic oil spills. A trust fund financed by a tax on oil is available to clean up spills when the responsible party is incapable or unwilling to do so. The OPA requires oil storage facilities and vessels to submit to the Federal government plans detailing how they will respond to large discharges. EPA has published regulations for aboveground storage facilities; the Coast Guard has done so for oil tankers. The OPA also requires the development of Area Contingency Plans to prepare and plan for oil spill response on a regional scale.

Cry Wolf Quotes

OPA 90 -- virtually everyone affected, except the environmentalists, think it is as the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show.' Congress crafted it in an emotional bonfire, which was ignited by the massive spill at Valdez.

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Joe Farrell, president of the American Waterways Operators, United Press International.

The fallout from the act is coming. It is like the sword of Damocles hanging over the industry.

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Ernest Corrado, President of the American Institute of Merchant Shipping. The Journal of Commerce.

The net result could well be a greater probability of oil spills, less likelihood of a responsible owner to deal with those spills, less reliable transportation of oil and greater cost to the consumer; the very things the U.S. wanted to avoid.

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Vernon C. Miller Jr., Vice President of Greenwich, Conn.-based Skaarup Shipping Corp. The Journal of Commerce.

[The Oil Pollution Act] also raises fundamental questions as to whether oil companies will be willing to pay for responsible parties to stay in the business of transporting crude, or whether vessel operators will prosper who engage in a game of roulette with the liability limits.

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Van Dyck, chairman of Philadelphia-based Maritrans G.P. Inc., the largest independent carrier of crude oil products in the U.S. coastal trades. The Journal of Commerce.