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

[By exposing shipowners to an uninsurable level of liability, the act is] 'driving away from U.S. trading many responsible shipowners who may well possess the safest tankers and the most solid financial backing to cope with pollution damage claims.'

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The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko), The Journal of Commerce.

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.

If the Coast Guard implements a regulation requiring the certificates, but if there are no insurers willing to back them, then there is the possibility that all tankers would be banned from US waters.

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The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko), Greenwire.

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.