Summary: S.121 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.121. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (01/10/1977)

Federal Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation Act - Prohibits the discharge of oil in harmful quantities (as determined by the President under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act), and assesses a civil fine of up to $10,000 against the owner, operator, or licensee of the discharging vessel or facility.

Prescribes criminal penalties for the failure of persons in charge of a vessel to notify the appropriate agency of the United States Government of such discharge.

Directs the President to act to remove discharged oil unless he determines that such removal will be done properly and expeditiously by the owner or operator of the vessel, onshore or offshore facility, or deepwater port, from which the discharge occurs.

Stipulates that all costs, including administrative, incurred by the President, Secretary, or any other person, of cleanup and other actions to minimize damages resulting from a discharge shall be borne by the owner and operator or licensee of the operation from which the discharge occurred up to $150 per gross ton of the responsible vessel.

Imposes strict liability on owners and operators of vessels at onshore and offshore facilities and deepwater ports, for damages caused by oil spills, unless it can be shown that such discharge was caused by an act of war.

Limits the liability of owners or operators of onshore and offshore facilities and licenses of deepwater ports to the following amounts: (1) $50,000,000, in the case of an onshore facility; (2) $50,000,000, in the case of an offshore facility; and (3) $100,000,000, in the case of a deepwater port.

Establishes in the Department of Transportation an agency to be known as the Federal Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation Administration to establish and maintain the Federal Oil Pollution Compensation Fund and to act as trustee of the natural resources of the marine environment.

Authorizes disbursement of monies from the Fund for payment of damage not actually compensated under this Act, cleanup costs, and research into methods to prevent, contain, and remove discharges. Stipulates monies shall be deposited into the Fund through the levy and collection by the Administration of a 5-cent-per-barrel fee imposed on the owner of oil when the oil is transferred between: (1) a vessel and an onshore or offshore facility; (2) offshore or onshore facilities; or (3) a vessel and a deepwater port.

Requires each owner or operator of a vessel or an onshore or offshore facility and each licensee to establish and maintain under rules and regulations prescribed by the Administrator, evidence of financial responsibility based on the tonnage of the vessel, the capacity of the facility or deepwater port, and other relevant factors.

Directs the Administrator to prescribe and from time to time to revise regulations for the filing, processing, settlement, and adjudication of claims for cleanup costs and damages resulting from the discharge of oil.

Sets forth procedures for public access to information concerning any communication, document, report, or information transmitted between any official of the Federal Government and any person concerning liability and compensation for damage resulting from the discharge of oil.

Authorizes the appropriation of the following sums for the administration of this Act: $2,500,000 for fiscal year 1977; $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1978; and $5,000,000 per year for fiscal years 1979 and 1980.