OPA 90 10: The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 After Ten Years
Steven R. Swanson
Hamline University - School of Law
January 1, 2001
Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, Vol. 32, p. 135, 2001
Ten years ago, after the Exxon Valdez incident in Prince William Sound, Congress quickly passed, and President Bush promptly signed, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). In order for a maritime oil spill regime to work effectively, it must provide uniform and predictable rules that encourage prevention, quick cleanup, and reasonable compensation. A decade after OPA’s enactment, this article assesses how well the Act has met these criteria. Reviewing the setting in which OPA became law, the relevant statutory provisions, and the body of case law that has developed since OPA’s passage, this analysis reveals that, by and large, OPA has failed to meet fully the desirable standards of predictability and uniformity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Clean Water Act, Exxon, OPA, federal legislation, waters, Shipowner’s Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, Limitation Act
Date posted: December 9, 2011
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