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Oil Spills

Laws that Appear after Pollution Disasters

Posted by on Oct 5, 2014 in Oil Spills | 1 comment

After the disaster caused by the Exxon Valdez on March 20, 1989 off the coast of Alaska, the United States government discovered they did not have adequate resources needed to respond to oil spills and the federal law only provided narrow scopes of damages compensation for those affected by such disasters. As response to this, the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 was established. It was aimed to lighten and prevent civil liability from oil spills that would occur off the coast of the United States and generally forms parts of the oil spill governance in the country.

The initiative for the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 begun with two earlier acts: the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1977 that both set the framework for the liability, containment, and response for the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The OPA made the prevention and response to oil spills better because it establishes provisions which broaden the federal government’s ability to respond to oil spills, as well as provide the necessary financial and other resources. After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, there has been disputed, and although there has been actions to raise the cap limit from $75 million to $10 billion, the efforts are still blocked. Presently, the BP is a limit for damages is $75 million, and they are liable for the cleanup.

There have been many disputes and changes regarding the provisions for damages for those who have been affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Many filed claims have been denied, and because of this many of those affected did not receive any compensation even when their businesses, establishments, and properties where damaged by the oil spill. One way to make sure that compensation is given is to file for an appeal after a denied claim. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, filing for an appeal would be easier than filing for a new claim because there is already an established claim. Because there are still disputes regarding the awarding of damages by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it may be possible for those who have been denied to have a chance for damages after new settlement agreements are being made.

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