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Oil Pollution Act. Erika Arthur/Emily Stout 3 rd Period AP Environmental Science. What is the Oil Pollution Act?. Signed into law in August 1990 Response to the Exxon Valdez incident in 1989 Passed very easily through Congress

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oil pollution act

Oil Pollution Act

Erika Arthur/Emily Stout

3rd Period AP Environmental Science

what is the oil pollution act
What is the Oil Pollution Act?
  • Signed into law in August 1990
    • Response to the Exxon Valdez incident in 1989
    • Passed very easily through Congress
  • Amended the Federal Water Pollution Control Act’s (Clean Water Act) rules for spills and cleanup
  • Improved the nation’s ability to respond to spills
    • Established provisions that expand the government’s control over funding and resources needed to respond to spills
  • Created new requirements for preventing and managing spills
    • Double hulls are encouraged, required by 2015
    • Increased noncompliance penalties
    • Alaska: a tug and an emergency response vehicle are required to escort any loaded tanker through Prince William Sound
opa vs clean water act
OPA vs. Clean Water Act
  • OPA
    • “A company cannot ship oil into the United States until it presents a plan to prevent spills that may occur. It must also have a detailed containment and cleanup plan in case of an oil spill emergency.”
    • The OPA added requirements for some storage facilities above ground
  • The Clean Water Act
    • The CWA was a less specific precursor to the OPA
short term effects
Short Term Effects
  • The Oil Pollution Act was mostly created in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • It was signed into law in August of 1990, a year after the Exxon Valdez spill.
  • The OPA said that the Exxon Valdez could never again enter Prince William Sound.
    • Any other ship that had spilled more than 1 million gallons of oil was also banned.
long term effects
Long Term Effects
  • Created the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund
    • States that the owner or operator of the facility which created the spill is responsible for cleanup costs
      • However, the OSLTF provides aid if the owner/operator cannot/will not pay for cleanup
      • Borrowing limit is now 1 billion dollars
      • This money comes from oil taxes
  • Increased penalties for spills and violations
    • Penalties up to $25,000/day or $1000/barrel

Seabirds killed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Oil pooling among rocks in Prince William Sound.

A cormorant covered in oil.

works cited
Works Cited