Summary: H.R.12140 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/14/1978)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to supplement previous authorizations for designated operating programs.

Allows specified discharges of oil and hazardous substances into or upon the navigable waters of the United States or the contiguous zone which are determined to be in full compliance with the conditions of a permit or application for a permit issued pursuant to such Act.

Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to report to Congress on procedures to achieve a higher standard of care in the management and movement of hazardous substances by all parties. Includes within such report limits of liability and third party damages liability, penalties and fees, and spill prevention plans.

Prohibits the discharge of such pollutants in such quantities as may be harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States as determined by the President.

Stipulates that any person in charge of a vessel or an onshore facility must report to the Coast Guard any illegal discharge of oil or an hazardous substance if such person is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of such discharge. Subjects any owner, operator, or person in charge of a vessel or an offshore facility who is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of such discharge to a penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation.

Authorizes the Administrator (1) to commence a civil action in a Federal district court against any such persons and (2) to impose a penalty based on consideration of size of the business, the effect of a penalty on business, the gravity of the violation, and the nature, extent, and degree of success to minimize or mitigate the effects of the discharge. States that the penalty shall not exceed $50,000 unless the discharge was the result of willful negligence or misconduct on the part of the owner, operator, or person in charge, in which case the penalty shall not exceed $250,000.

Stipulates that any cost of removal of a permitted discharge from a point source with a permit issued pursuant to such Act shall be recoverable from the owner or operator.