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SCIE UNIT 5 IP - Research Paper Example

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OPA was passed as a tool to help improve the nation’s capability to avoid and further respond to oil spills. This is accomplished…
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Oil and Pollution Act (OPA) of Affiliation Oil and Pollution Act (OPA) Oil and Pollution Act or OPA came became operational in August 1990 following an increased outcry by the public over the Exxon Valdez incident. OPA was passed as a tool to help improve the nation’s capability to avoid and further respond to oil spills. This is accomplished through establishment of provisions that work to broaden the federal government ability while t the same time offer financial support and any other resources required to respond to spills. OPA on the other hand established the national Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund that offers close to one million dollars every time there is a spill (US Environmental Protection Agency).
The OPA law was initiated as a remedy to oil spills and in particular following the disastrous Exxon Valdez spill at Alaska Prince William Sound. OPA law was passed to streamline the federal responses in cases of oil spill. Here, the law provides that the federal government direct the oil vessels and storage facilities to make proper plans for spill response and further plan for their rapid implementation. In addition, the OPA law was passed as a measure to amplify Polluters liability with regard to damage and cleanup costs to natural resources. This law also imposes measures like phasing out of single hauler tanker, designed to check tanker safety and mitigate spillage.
The OPA Law maintains the following economic implications;
Tanker vessels thought to exceed 3,000 gross tons have their liability increased to 1200 dollars per gross ton or 10 million dollars. Responsible parties with facilities situated onshore and the deep-water ports carry a liability amounting to about 350 million dollars per spill. This law also provides that holders of permits or leasers for offshore amenities, with the exception of deep-water ports shoulder a liability of up to 75 Million dollars per spill in addition to the removal costs. In all this cases, the federal government maintains the sole authority of making any necessary adjustment to the 350 million dollar liability limit established with regard to onshore facilities but only through regulations (US Environmental Protection Agency).
The fine associated with failure to notify relevant federal discharge agency is increased from 10,000 dollars maximum to 250,000 dollars maximum for cases involving individuals and 500,000 dollars for organizations. This law also extends the prison term from a maximum of 1 year to a maximum of five years. Violations is treated under this law is addressed with fine not exceeding 250,000 dollars and a 15 year jail term.
Regarding civil penalties, the law authorizes a 25,000-dollar penalty with each day violation or 1,000-dollar penalty for each barrel in cases of oil discharge. Failure to adhere to a Federal removal order carrying a fine that amount to about 25,000 dollars with each passing day of violation.
Though still premature to evaluate the act as no serious oil spillage has been reported since its enactment in 1990, it is evident from statistics conducted that the quantity and number of oil spill has reduced significantly worldwide since its enactment. From these, one can easily conclude that the OPA act has been effective to a certain level with regard to reducing cases of oil spillage.
References
Oil Pollution Act Overview | Emergency Management | US EPA. (n.d.). US Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved April 25, 2013, from http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/content/lawsregs/opaover.htm Read More
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