Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA)

Definition - What does Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) mean?

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was passed by the 101st United States Congress and signed by the president G.H.W. Bush to prevent and measure the civil liability from future oil spills off the coast of the United States. It forms a part of the oil spill governance of the US. According to the law, the companies should have a plan that can prevent the spills which may occur and must have a detailed cleanup and containment plan for them.

Petropedia explains Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA)

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires the organizations which use vessels and facilities for oil storage to have a plan of how they will be responding to the large discharges. The law created a comprehensive liability, prevention, compensation regime and response to deal with the facilities and vessels that cause oil pollution to the navigable waters in the US. The law also increased the federal oversight of the transportation of the maritime oil and provided a greater safeguard to the environment by the following:

  • Increasing the potential liabilities.
  • Increasing the penalties.
  • Enhancing the capability of the federal response.
  • Mandating the contingency planning.
  • Creating various new development and research programs.
  • Framing new requirements for the vessel construction, manning and crew licensing.
  • Advancing the enforcement authority.

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