Summary: H.R.2158 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part I (07/31/1989)

Prince William Sound Oil Spill Response Act of 1989 - Title I: Oil Spill Prevention and Response - Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation, in the event of an unlawful discharge into or upon Arctic waters or adjoining shorelines, to direct all Federal, State, and private activities regarding the containment, cleanup, removal, and other responses to such discharge. Makes responsible parties liable for actual costs incurred by the Secretary and Federal agencies with respect to such discharge.

Directs the Secretary to issue regulations addressing: (1) requirements for tank vessels transporting oil from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline within designated areas of Prince William Sound, Alaska, for escort by at least one towing or other appropriate vessel; (2) the use of a pilot licensed by the State of Alaska who is operating under a Federal license for all tank vessels navigating between the Port of Valdez, Alaska, and a certain point in the Sound; and (3) requirements for tank vessels operating in designated areas of the Sound to have on board and available for use equipment or materials sufficient to minimize the damage to the coastal and marine environment and to respond quickly in the event of a spill.

Requires the Secretary to prepare a plan to modify surveillance coverage for vessels in the Sound. Requires such plan to include construction of new radar sites to cover the Vessel Traffic System within the Sound and a review of existing radar surveillance and maintenance policies.

Directs the Secretary to issue regulations for the Sound addressing: (1) requirements relating to the prepositioning of oil spill containment and cleanup equipment in the Port of Valdez, the City of Cordova, and other locations within the Sound; (2) the requirement prior to transferring oil in the Port for adequate reception facilities for oil removed from the Sound; (3) the requirement for an oil spill response team to be established at appropriate locations in the Sound; and (4) the requirement for conducting periodic oil spill response exercises and providing training in oil spill containment and recovery techniques for individuals engaged in fish cultivation or production in the Sound.

Directs the Secretary to require and approve the revision of the Federal oil spill contingency plan for the Sound.

Title II: Sanctions - Amends Federal law relating to merchant seamen licenses to prohibit the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating from issuing or renewing a license, and to require the Secretary to suspend or revoke a license issued, to an individual who the Secretary determines is a current or chronic abuser of alcohol or who fails to make available to the Secretary all information contained in the National Driver Register regarding that individual's motor vehicle driving record.

Directs the Secretary to conduct investigations to determine if an individual who holds a license issued by the Secretary is a current or chronic abuser of alcohol if the Secretary receives information regarding any alcohol-related misconduct of the individual or that the individual has been found guilty of an alcohol-related infraction resulting in suspension or revocation of a motor vehicle operator license.

Authorizes the Secretary to request an individual who holds a license issued by the Secretary to make available to the Secretary all information contained in the National Driver Register regarding the motor vehicle driving record of that individual.

Prohibits the Secretary from reinstating a license until the individual provides sufficient proof that the individual is no longer a current or chronic abuser of alcohol.

Amends the National Driver Register Act of 1982 to authorize applicants for and holders of such licenses to request the chief State driver licensing official to transmit to the Secretary information regarding such applicants' or holders' motor vehicle driving records.

Prescribes the use of such information by the Secretary. Precludes access to information that was entered more than five years before the date of request unless it relates to revocations or suspensions which are still in effect on the date of request.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to report to the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the adequacy of civil penalties for violations of laws governing the operation of tank vessels by individuals under the influence of alcohol and any proposed changes to such laws.

Title III: Environmental Monitoring and Research and Development in Prince William Sound - Requires the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department of Commerce to expend at least $5,000,000 annually out of amounts available for FY 1990 through 1992 to conduct living marine resource damage assessments and to monitor the environmental effects on such resources in Arctic waters due to the Exxon Valdez oil spill in the Sound. Directs the Secretary of Commerce, whenever possible, to recover such sums from the owner or operator of the Exxon Valdez. Requires such sums to be credited to the appropriations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1990 to the Maritime Administration to conduct technical and program studies on the safety of tank vessels operating in such waters.

Title IV: Plans and Recommendations - Directs the Secretary of Transportation to report to the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on: (1) actions taken by the Secretary to correct inadequacies of existing contingency plans for the Sound; (2) a list of oil pollution exercises conducted in the Port of Valdez and the Sound during the operation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline; and (3) any other matters the Secretary considers important regarding oil spills in Arctic waters.