Senate Bills Introduced Re Oil Spill Liability
Senator Menendez (D-NJ) introduced two bills relating to oil spill liability. The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act of 2010 (S. 3305) would raise the limit of liability for oil spills from offshore facilities for costs other than removal costs from $75m to $10b. It would also be retroactive to April 15, 2010. The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Trust Fund Act of 2010 (S. 3306) would eliminate the provision that currently prevents expenditure by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) of more than $1b per incident. It would also allow the OSLTF to borrow from the General Treasury all monies as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of the Trust Fund.
PVA Tells Members: Losses from Oil Spill May Be Compensable
The Passenger Vessel Association reminded its members on the gulf coast that economic losses from the BP oil spill may be compensable. As the spill continues and spreads, it may inflict harm upon PVA members in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. These members may be able to obtain compensation from either British Petroleum or the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990, enacted following the Exxon Valdez spill, provides that persons who suffer documented physical or economic injuries from an oil spill can be compensated for their damages. Payment will be made by either the “responsible party” (in this case…
GOM Spill: $69M Initial Bill to BP
The Obama Administration sent a preliminary bill for $69.09m to BP and other responsible parties for response and recovery operations relating to the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The Administration will continue to bill BP regularly for all associated costs to ensure the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is reimbursed on an ongoing basis. As a responsible party, BP is financially responsible for all costs associated with the response to the spill, including efforts to stop the leak at its source, reduce the spread of oil, protect the shoreline and mitigate damages, as well as long term recovery efforts to ensure that all individuals and communities impacted by the spill are made whole.
Coast Guard Responds to Oil Spill in Delaware Bay
The Coast Guard, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control are working together to clean up an oil spill. The crewman onboard the tug Liberty notified the Coast Guard that oil was floating in the upper Delaware Bay. Marine science technicians from Sector Delaware Bay and a helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City were deployed to survey the scene and begin initial assessments. The sheen is a narrow band of oil five to six miles long, near the center of the bay in the main shipping channel, east of Port Mahon in Kent County, DE. The clean-up efforts of the spill began after the determination to use federal funds was made. Funds from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) will be used.
Adm. Allen Approves Section of Louisiana Barrier Island Project
The National Incident Commander for the BP oil spill, Admiral Thad Allen, approved the implementation of a section of Louisiana’s barrier island project proposal that could help stop oil from coming ashore and where work could be completed the fastest—as an integrated part of the federal response to the BP oil spill. This step will save Louisiana the cost of construction for this section by integrating it with the federal government’s ongoing oil spill response—thus paving the road for payment by BP, as a responsible party, or the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
Towing Company to Pay $10M for Spill
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts issued a Press Release stating the Bouchard Transportation Co. was sentenced to pay a $10 million fine in connection with the oil spill in Buzzards Bay on April 27, 2003. A loaded tank barge being towed by a company tug grounded while outside the channel. The tug and barge were outside the channel because the mate on duty had left the pilothouse unmanned. The company was aware of repeated concerns raised about the mate’s competency. Charges were brought under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Of the total fine, $7 million will be used to fund eligible wetlands conservation projects in the Buzzards Bay vicinity and $2 million will be directed to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
Report on Implementation of OPA 90
The U.S. Coast Guard released its Report on Implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Among other things, the report notes that, while the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (which now stands at $842 million) is fiscally sound at the moment, it may be depleted in 2009 if current trends continue. A combination of reinstituting the fee on imported oil and indexing liability limits to inflation is a means of resolving this potential problem. The report also notes that the domestic tank barge industry will be impacted if the phase-out date for single hull tank vessels is accelerated. The report was prepared at the direction of Congress. (HK Law).
Senate Hearing, Liability for Offshore Oil Production
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources conducted a hearing to receive testimony on the liability and financial responsibility issues related to offshore oil production. The committee also considered the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments act of 2010 (S. 3346) to increase the limits on liability under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) testified. Mr. Thomas Perrelli, Department of Justice, testified concerning liability and compensation under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). Mr. David Hayes, Department of the Interior, testified concerning the Department’s outer continental shelf oil and gas development enforcement program. Mr.
USCG Respond to Sunken Vessel in Honolulu Harbor
The Coast Guard and Department of Transportation Harbors are responding to a diesel fuel spill from an abandoned fishing vessel that sank in Honolulu Harbor, Monday. The Coast Guard received notification at 6:30 p.m. Sunday from a reporting source that the 77 - foot fishing vessel Judy K was sinking at Pier 16 in Honolulu Harbor. The Coast Guard deployed approximately 150 feet of boom as well as absorbent pads to retrieve and contain the sheen coming from the vessel. An estimated 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the water before containment boom was put into place.
USCG Leading Marina Pollution Response
U.S. Coast Guard pollution responders are continuing to respond to reports of pollution in Charleston City, Bristol and Ashley River marinas Sunday. Boaters reported pools of thick, purple diesel-type product pooling in the marinas Saturday evening. A decision was made late Saturday night to federalize the response in order to use the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for cleanup, but by Sunday morning most of the product had dissipated and became unrecoverable due to heavy rainfall so the fund was not needed.
ITS Corp. Awarded USCG Contract
ITS Corporation ITS Corporation announced that its Arlington-based LEADS Business Unit won a contract for Business Operations Support Services (BOSS) to perform claims services for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard's National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC). The BOSS contract is for managerial support, project management, claims analysis expertise, and business process improvement. Claims analysis support includes claims investigation and cost documentation, claim adjudication, accounting and auditing, and engineering specialties and other technical and scientific areas that may be required by the NPFC. The five-year IDIQ contract is estimated at $2m.
Oil Spill Response in Seattle's Salmon Bay
The U.S. Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology continue to oversee the cleanup and investigate the cause of an oil spill that appeared earlier this week in the Ballard Mill Marina, on Salmon Bay, along the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The Coast Guard and Ecology received reports Monday morning of oil, accompanied by strong petroleum odors in the waters. No one has come forward to take responsibility for the spill, and the Coast Guard has utilized the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to hire Global Diving and Salvage to conduct the cleanup.
Award to Restore Habitat After 1953 Sinking
State and federal trustees were awarded $16.9m for seven projects to address harm from mysterious oil leaks that killed more than 50,000 California seabirds since 1990. The projects will help species impacted by oil that leaked from the S.S. Jacob Luckenbach. The freighter sank in 1953 about 17 miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, but was not identified as the source of the oil until 2002 after decades of leaking oil, especially during winter storms, causing massive injury to wildlife. “This funding will go a long way to restore California’s seabird populations that were devastated by oil released from the Luckenbach,” said Stephen Edinger, administrator for the California Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response.
Fishing Company Charged Over $1 Mln in Oil Spill Penalties
Tri-Marine Management Co., Tri-Marine Fishing Management and Cape Mendocino Fishing (Tri-Marine) have agreed to pay $1.05 million in civil penalties and to perform fleet-wide inspections and other corrective measures to resolve claims stemming from an October 2014 oil spill in American Samoa and related violations of spill prevention regulations, the Department of Justice and the Coast Guard announced today. In its complaint, filed today along with the lodging of a consent decree in the U.S.
Restoring the GoM Environment Post-2005 Oil Spill
NOAA release a draft damage assessment & restoration plan for damage caused by the Tank Barge DBL 152 oil spill. Public comment invited. The draft plan describes the steps NOAA has taken to see if natural resources, such as marine habitats, were injured by the nearly two million gallon spill, as well as the extent of those injuries. The spill began on November 11, 2005 when the Tank Barge DBL 152 struck submerged remains of a pipeline service platform that collapsed during Hurricane Rita approximately 50 miles southeast of Sabine Pass, Texas.
Delaware Bay Oil Spill Update
The owners/managers of the Bermuda Islander, a Netherlands registered 340-foot container vessel, have activated The O’Brien’s Group, a spill management consultant, and agreed to take over the coordination of, and accept costs relating to recovery and clean-up operations of an oil spill in the upper Delaware Bay that happened Tuesday. The owners/managers, JR Ship Management, have been cooperating with the Unified Command since Thursday afternoon. Clean up costs had initially been funded by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The Bermuda Islander was determined to be one of the vessels of interest based on information received as part of an ongoing investigation into the source of the spill.
Tug sinks in Hood Canal
The Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology are jointly coordinating the response to a fuel sheen located near Port Gamble, Wash. Coast Guard and Ecology experts are tracking the spill by helicopter to better assess the situation. Pollution investigators from Coast Guard Sector Seattle and the Department of Ecology arrived on-scene earlier this morning and began the investigation into the sheen. The 140-ft. tugboat Magic sank near the entrance to Port Gamble and is the apparent source of the spill. Oil is no longer is flowing from the vessel. The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to enable clean-up efforts to begin without delay. Contractors are placing boom at pre-identified sensitive areas along northern Hood Canal.
USARC Calls for Arctic Oil Spill Research
The U.S. Arctic Research Commission believes that the U.S. needs a robust research program to address spill response in broken ice, as shipping moves into the Arctic Ocean and offshore oil drilling - in several Arctic nations - moves forward. Mead Treadwell, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, prepared testimony for the August 20 field hearing in Anchorage of the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Treadwell told the committee that, contrary to laws passed by Congress after the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in 1989, a significant national oil spill research program does not exist, nor is one planned to fit the special needs of the Arctic. It was anticipated that the U.S.
WWII Liberty Ship Davy Crockett Demolition Completed
The final section of a once proud WWII Liberty Ship was removed from the Columbia River today by Ballard Diving & Salvage under the direction of the United States Coast Guard and unified command consisting of both Washington and Oregon Department of Ecologies. This concludes a massive and carefully engineered effort to prevent more than 32,000 gallons of bunker oil from escaping into the river from the various double-bottom tanks and other holds containing the decades old bunker fuel harboring the sticky black substance.
Barge Allision in Mississippi River Causes Spill
Coast Guard responds to report of crude oil in Mississippi River. A unified command has been established in response to a report of crude oil in the lower Mississippi River near mile marker 434 in Vicksburg, Miss., Sunday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received notification at 1:30 a.m., reporting that two tank barges, towed by the tug Nature's Way Endeavor, allided with the Vicksburg Railroad river bridge. Both of the tank barges were loaded with crude oil; both of the barges were damaged, and one has released oil into lower Mississippi River. The actual amount of product released into the lower Mississippi River has not yet been determined.
Wellhead Secured in Barataria Waterway
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to work with the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office LOSCO, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources LDNR, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality LDEQ, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries LAWLF, the Louisiana State Police LSP, and Jefferson Parish Emergency Services to minimize environmental damage resulting from an allision between a tow vessel and a wellhead in the Barataria Waterway, which occurred at approximately 1 a.m., July 27. The Unified Command Post, established at U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, is reporting that the wellhead was secured at 6:05 p.m. August 1 and is no longer emitting oil or natural gas into Barataria Bay. The wellhead is also equipped with a light.
Argo Response Completed
The response effort to remove a hazardous cargo from the 104-year-old sunken tank barge Argo in Lake Erie officially ended Monday afternoon with the demobilization of all remaining equipment. Contracted by the U.S. Coast Guard as part of a Unified Command effort, salvors T&T Salvage recovered the highly toxic cargo from the 1911-built Argo, which sank in 1937 laden with a cargo of benzol that contained a high percentage of the carcinogen benzene. A total of 33,475 gallons of cargo and water mixture were removed from the vessel.
Authorities Investigate Spill in LA Harbor
The U.S. Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) are conducting a joint investigation to determine the cause of an estimated 210 gallon diesel fuel spill into Los Angeles Harbor late Thursday night . Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach received the report of a diesel sheen at berth 240 in the Port of Los Angeles. The Coast Guard immediately responded to the location to conduct an investigation and locate the source of the discharge. The initial investigation did not reveal a source or responsible party. The Coast Guard accessed the Federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and hired Patriot Environmental Services to conduct the $50,000 clean up operation.