Accession Number:

ADA523581

Title:

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background Governance, and Issues for Congress

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-04-30

Pagination or Media Count:

39.0

Abstract:

During the past two decades, while U.S. oil imports and consumption have steadily risen, oil spill incidents and the volume of oil spilled have not followed a similar course. In general, the annual number and volume of oil spills have shown declines-in some cases, dramatic declines. The 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaskan waters played a large role in stimulating actions that contributed to this trend, particularly the decrease in the annual spill volumes. The Exxon Valdez spill highlighted the need for stronger legislation, inflamed public sentiment, and spurred Congress to enact comprehensive oil spill legislation, resulting in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 P.L. 101-380. This law expanded and clarified the authority of the federal government and created new oil spill prevention and preparedness requirements. Moreover, the 1990 legislation strengthened existing liability provisions, providing a greater deterrent against spills. After 1990, spill volume from oil tankers, the vessels that carry and have spilled the most oil, decrease significantly.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Water Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE