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Oil Pollution Act (OPA)

Recent Developments in Oil Pollution Act Litigation

Congress enacted OPA in 1990 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, to establish financial resources to aid response, and to raise standards...

A Decade of Natural Resource Damage Liability: Key Federal Decisions 2004-2014

The past 30 years have seen a slow appearance and evolution of natural resource damage (NRD) related case law. The range of information resulting from the various decisions issued in the past decade may be useful to legal practitioners...

Oil Pollution Update

Two years after the Presidential Commission’s report on the tragic Deepwater Horizon disaster, much happened in the area of oil pollution law, though only one aspect of the Oil Pollution Act was amended. On January 31, 2013, ELI...

Conflict of Interest That Led to the Gulf Oil Disaster

In 1982, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary James G. Watt merged the responsibilities for revenue collection and regulatory oversight of offshore oil and gas industries under the Minerals Management Services (MMS). This...

Earmarking for Environmental Damage: From Oil Spills to Climate Change

For a number of years, the U.S. federal tax code has imposed a tax on petroleum that finances the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, an earmarked fund to help cover the costs of oil spills. BP’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico...

Natural Resource Damages Causation, Fault, and the Baseline Concept: A Quandary in Environmental Decisionmaking

Editors' Summary: CERCLA and the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) create causes of action for damages to natural resources—for damages "resulting from" a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance, in the case of CERCLA, and...

NOAA's Latest Attempts at Natural Resource Damages Regulation: Simpler . . . But Better?

Editors' Summary: The debate about the most appropriate procedures and methodologies to conduct natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) has continued throughout the last decade among agencies and stakeholders. In August 1995,...

Natural Resource Damages From Oil Spills: A Comparison of the Ohio Decision and the Oil Pollution Act

Editors' Summary: The subject of natural resource damages continues to become ever more prominent. Congress' 1990 enactment of the Oil Pollution Act with a strong provision on causes of action for natural resource damages, combined...