The second anniversary of the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill highlights the big legal risks that come from an oil spill, whether at wells such as BP’s Macondo well, or at pipelines, terminals, storage tanks, or on vessels, as well as during cleanups.
Since the enactment of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) in 1990, more than two decades ago, United States Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency rules have fleshed out OPA’s requirements and the federal courts have interpreted many of its key provisions. Congressional gridlock makes any substantial OPA rewrite unlikely any time soon. Thus, courts, agencies and regulated parties must contend with current laws to address potential liabilities and take preventive measures...
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