H.R. 2222 (98th): Comprehensive Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation Act

Mar 21, 1983 (98th Congress, 1983–1984)
Died (Referred to Committee)
See Instead:

H.R. 3278 (same title)
Reported by Committee — Jun 28, 1983

Gerry Studds
Representative for Massachusetts's 10th congressional district
Related Bills
H.R. 29 (96th) was a previous version of this bill.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Jan 15, 1979

H.R. 1232 (99th) was a re-introduction of this bill in a later Congress.

Reported by Committee
Last Action: Jun 26, 1985


This bill was introduced on March 21, 1983, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced Mar 21, 1983
Full Title

A bill to provide a comprehensive system of liability and compensation for oil spill damage and removal costs, and for other purposes.


No summaries available.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

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H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

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The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Comprehensive Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation Act -
Title I - Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation
Makes this title effective only until both the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage are in force with respect to the United States, at which point liability and compensation for damages arising out of or directly resulting from oil pollution shall be determined in accordance with such conventions.
Permits claims for damages for economic loss, arising from oil pollution, to be asserted for:
(1) removal costs;
(2) injury to or destruction of natural resources;
(3) injury to, or destruction of, real or personal property;
(4) loss of subsistence use of natural resources;
(5) loss of profits or impairment of earning capacity due to such injury or destruction; and
(6) loss of tax revenue for a period of one year due to injury to real or personal property.
Specifies the potential claimants who have standing to assert claims involving each such type of damage.
Imposes joint, several and strict liability on the party responsible for the source of pollution.
Specifies liability limits, except in cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct, for ships, deepwater ports, and other facilities.
Requires the responsible party for vessels over 300 tons (including foreign vessels) and the party responsible for offshore facilities to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility in an amount sufficient to satisfy applicable liability limits.
Limits the liability of a guarantor to the aggregate amount of financial responsibility that the guarantor provided.
Specifies procedures whereby the Secretary shall designate and advertise pollution sources.
Directs the Secretary to advertise claims to be presented initially to the responsible party or to such person's guarantor, in instances in which:
(1) the responsible party and guarantor both deny involvement;
(2) the source of the discharge is a public vessel; or
(3) the Secretary of Transportation is unable to designate the pollution source.
Permits claimants either to present a claim to the Fund or to bring an action in an appropriate U.S. court if liability is denied or the claim is not settled within a specified period.
Sets forth procedures for the disposition and appeal of claims submitted to the Fund. Requires both the plaintiff and the defendant in a court action brought against a responsible party or guarantor to forward copies of all pleadings to the Fund. Permits the Fund to intervene in such actions.
Requires a claim to be presented within three years of discovery of an economic loss, or within six years of the date of the incident, whichever is earlier.
Subrogates any person, including the Fund, to all the claimant's claims and rights under this title.
Sets forth the measure of recovery for actions brought by the Fund against any responsible party or guarantor.
Grants U.S. district courts exclusive original jurisdiction over all controversies arising under this title, without regard to the citizenship of the parties or the amount in controversy.
Declares that the rights and remedies under this Act shall be exclusive with respect to economic loss caused by oil pollution (but does not preclude State imposition of taxes or fees to finance the purchase and prepositioning of oil pollution cleanup and removal equipment).
Sets penalties for persons failing to comply with specified provisions in this Act. Authorizes appropriations for this title.
Title II - Fund and Tax
Establishes the Comprehensive Oil Pollution Liability Trust Fund in the Treasury. Transfers to the Fund amounts determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be equivalent to:
(1) the amounts received in the Treasury under the petroleum excise tax;
(2) the amounts recovered or collected on behalf of such Fund under title I of this Act; and
(3) any penalties imposed under title I of this Act or under the oil and hazardous substances liability provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (insofar as these relate to petroleum oils).
Makes amounts in the Fund available only to pay claims for compensable damages recognizable under title I of this Act (including costs incurred by the United States by reason of such claims).
Defines "compensable damages" for purposes of the Act. Restricts interest payable out of the Fund. Provides for certain interfund loans, under specified conditions.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to consult with the Secretary of Transportation, and with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in the case of the Hazardous Substance Trust Fund, concerning such interfund loans.
Limits payment of claims by the Fund by requiring a minimum balance of at least $15,000,000 in the Fund. States that claims are to be paid in the order in which they were finally determined.
Limits U.S. liability for payment of claims under this Act to the amounts in the Funds established under this title.
Prohibits the funds from borrowing any money from the general fund of the Treasury, other than an amount not to exceed $75,000,000, and only until September 30, 1985.
Sets forth administrative provisions for the Fund, including methods of transfer, management, and investment.
Coordinates this title with other provisions in this Act. Provides that, if the balance in any fund is to be transferred to the Fund, then any claim arising before October 1, 1984, which would have been payable out of the transferor fund shall be payable out of the Fund. Provides that if the Secretary of the Treasury determines that there is a Trans- Alaska Pipeline (TAP) fund deficit, then the petroleum excise tax on such crude oil shall be increased by two cents per barrel until the total amount of such increased tax equals such deficit.
Defines a TAP fund deficit.
Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 to increase the environmental excise tax on petroleum by 1.3 cents per barrel.
Terminates the 1.3 cents tax after September 30, 1990.
Title III - Regulations, Effective Dates, and Savings Provisions
Specifies the effective dates of specified provisions of this Act. Amends specified laws, including the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Intervention on the High Seas Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, to conform with the provisions of this Act. Provides that all unused assets of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Liability Fund shall be rebated directly to the operator of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline for pro-rata payments to those owners who had paid into the Fund.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

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