U.S. Coast Guard Wants to Increase Fines for Oil Spills

oil spillOn Monday, Aug. 18, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that they are considering new rules that would raise the fines for companies that cause oil spills.

Currently, oil companies are in charge of handling these types of situations, but the amount of money they may be fined is limited. The Coast Guard wants to raise this limit in order to adjust for inflation; the original Oil Pollution Act was passed in 1990.

Additionally, the Coast Guard is asking that there be a more simplified regulatory procedure for the Coast Guard to make future required increases to the limits of liability.

In the event of a spill, the Coast Guard believes that the fine limits should now reach $623 million; limit is $350 million.

The proposed ruling notes that there have not been any intervening adjustments to the limits of liability and because the damages in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill have far exceeded the offshore facility limit of liability.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rules and may do so online or by snail mail.

The oilfield contamination attorneys at Simien & Simien understand how oil spills can affect residents, businesses and the environment. We are committed to helping anyone who has been a victim of oilfield spill and contamination. Contact us to schedule a free legal consultation.

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