“gross negligence or willful misconduct” or a “violation of an applicable federal safety, construction or operating regulations” by the responsible party, his agent, or employee or person acting under contract
OPA requires that you submit your claim to the responsible party (RP) before submitting your claim to the NPFC . You must give the RP 90 days to settle your claim. If after 90 days the RP has not settled your claim (or any time after the RP denies your claim in writing), you may then submit your claim to the NPFC.
President can allow claims directly to fund if PRP deny designation or can not determine source of oil
“ At least $1.4 billion of income is likely kept off the books every year along this stretch of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida – a system that’s prevailed for generations on well-worn docks and restaurant patios, far from the eyes of IRS agents.” Christian Science Monitor July 6, 2010
Up to $20,000 and one year imprisonment if knowingly
125 Marine mammals protected
28 protected species in the gulf
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERLCA”)
“Hazardous Substance” excludes crude oil and any fraction thereof
But the National Contingency Plan (“NCP”) is created within Section 106
Dispersants regulated under this authority
“ EPA Chief Calls for More Authority Over Dispersants” Greenwire July 15, 2010
U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today urged Congress to take up legislation strengthening her agency's authority over oil dispersants in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico gusher, calling for more testing and disclosure of the chemical ingredients in the controversial spill-fighting products.
"It's like someone dumping this stuff in our front yard and apologizing for it, picking it up and then turning around and dumping it in our backyard," said Harrison County supervisor Marlin Ladner.
July 2, 2010 Biloxi Sun Herald
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
primary law governing marine fisheries management in United States federal waters.
Relied upon BP for clean up and did not use its own resources until many days into the response ?
“ Haley Barbour claimed that oil was not a big threat to the people of the Gulf Coast . Now, with oil hitting his state's beaches for the first time since the start of the BP spill , the Republican governor says his state isn't prepared for the spill and needs more help.” June 28, 2010 ABC NEWS
What level of response is deemed acceptable – is there liability for not using all available resources ?
One of the most advanced oil clean up ships remains idled in Alaska because BP decided in late June to not bring it to the gulf – (BP claims the time to bring it down was too long so they purchased the ships cleanup equipment – but only 3 weeks ago)