Summary: H.R.1921 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1921. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/18/1991)

Amends the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to set forth the Antarctic Oil Spill Protection Act of 1991.

Makes it unlawful for any person or vessel subject to U.S. jurisdiction to discharge oil into the Antarctic Treaty area. Prescribes civil penalties for violations of this Act. Increases such penalties if a discharge is the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct of the responsible party. Authorizes the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to request the Attorney General to bring civil actions to recover such penalties.

Requires persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction who discharge oil from a vessel into the Antarctic Treaty area, and owners or operators of vessels from which oil is discharged into such area, to remove the oil, restore the affected environment, and compensate persons for removal and restoration costs and damages. Directs the Secretary to issue regulations requiring potential dischargers to maintain evidence of financial responsibility to cover such costs and damages. Requires owners or operators of more than one vessel operating in such area to maintain financial responsibility only with respect to the vessel having the maximum potential for liability. Permits the Secretary to take the following actions with respect to vessels that do not produce evidence of financial responsibility: (1) deny the vessel entry to any U.S. facility in Antarctica; or (2) detain the vessel at the facility. Subjects vessels without evidence of financial responsibility at such facilities to seizure and forfeiture by the United States.

Directs the Secretary to issue regulations requiring owners or operators of vessels operating in Antarctica to submit plans for responding to substantial threats of an oil discharge into the Antarctic marine environment. Lists plan requirements. Prohibits vessels without approved plans from operating in the Antarctic Treaty area.

Absolves the United States from liability for damages resulting from actions or omissions relating to response plans.

Requires the United States to retain civil penalties collected under this Act and restoration and removal costs and damages in a revolving trust account to be used for Antarctic Treaty area protection and for the environmental education and training of U.S. Antarctic Program personnel.

Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on whether existing laws and regulations are adequate to ensure the safe navigation of U.S. vessels in the Antarctic Treaty area.