Summary: S.941 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.941. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (05/09/1989)

Prince William Sound Oil Tanker Navigation Safety Act of 1989 - Directs the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to initiate a rulemaking to require that all oil tankers entering and departing the Port of Valdez, Alaska, embark and disembark a pilot licensed in Alaska at locations that will ensure that pilotage of such tankers in certain areas is provided by such State pilots. Requires the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking to require every oil tanker transiting Prince William Sound, Alaska, except when its pilot is licensed in Alaska, to have a specified number of personnel on its navigation bridge.

Amends the National Driver Register Act of 1982 to permit an individual who has applied for or received a license to operate a commercial vessel to request the chief driver licensing official of a State to transmit certain information regarding such individual to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Sets forth specified requirements relating to the access to such information. Requires the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking to require each license applicant, including each license holder, to make available to such Secretary information regarding his or her motor vehicle driving record contained in the National Driver Register.

Directs the Secretary to issue regulations to require periodic, as well as post-accident, testing for use of alcohol by operators of oil tankers within U.S. waters. Prohibits any person licensed to operate an oil tanker from doing so if he or she has: (1) been determined by the Secretary to have operated such tanker while impaired by or under the influence of alcohol; (2) been denied a motor vehicle license within the previous five years; (3) had such license cancelled, revoked, or suspended for cause within the previous five years; or (4) been convicted within the previous five years of specified offenses contained in the National Driver Register Act of 1982.

Requires the Secretary to install an automated navigation light on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Directs the Secretary to: (1) install additional radar equipment and train such personnel with respect to Vessel Traffic Service Systems at the Port of Valdez and Naked Island, Alaska; and (2) submit to specified congressional committees a report on instituting Coast Guard control on oil tanker movements in Prince William Sound with the use of such Systems.

Requires the Secretary to submit to specified congressional committees a report concerning: (1) the size and cargo capacity of oil tankers transiting Prince William Sound; and (2) an assessment on whether a double hull on such tankers could have prevented the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Requires the Secretary to issue final regulations requiring operators of such tankers transiting Prince William Sound to submit to the Secretary for approval a contingency plan for the prevention and cleanup of oil spills from their vessels. Sets forth specified items to be included in such plans.

Provides for: (1) guidelines for maximum probable spills in Prince William Sound; (2) operation of oil tankers without an approved contingency plan; (3) the legal effect of such plans; (4) public awareness and practice drills with respect to such plans; and (5) action by the Secretary in the event of an oil spill in Prince William Sound.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Prince William Sound Oilspill Recovery Institute, to be administered by the Secretary of Commerce through the University of Alaska Institute of Marine Studies. Requires the Institute to conduct research and educational and demonstration projects with respect to the effects of oil spills on the environment and ways to deal with their cleanup. Declares that the policies of the Institute shall be determined by an Advisory Council composed of specified representatives from State and Federal agencies, with the Secretary of Commerce as Chairman. Directs the Advisory Council to establish an Advisory Committee composed of specialists in oil spill containment and cleanup technology from the University of Alaska and elsewhere. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1989 through 1999.

Makes an "oil spill" a "major disaster" for purposes of disaster assistance under the Disaster Relief Act of 1974.

Amends the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act to raise the limit on strict liability claims against the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability Fund for oil spills from $100,000,000 to $500,000,000. Increases the joint and several liability of vessel owners from $14,000,000 to $70,000,000. Sets forth specified requirements with respect to such Fund.

Authorizes the Secretary to deny the right to transit Prince William Sound to any oil tanker that is operated in violation of this Act. Sets forth civil penalties.