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Definition of the oil pollution act


The Oil Pollution Act was effective as of August 18, 1990 after it was signed by U.S. president George H. W. Bush. It was signed in response to the rising public concern after imperfections of the Clean Water Act of 1977 and the Federal Water Pollution Act in 1972.

The Oil Pollution Act created the national Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund available to provide up to $1 billion per spill incident. The act established limitations on liability for damages resulting from oil pollution to establish a fund for payment of compensation for such damages and other purposes.

An example of a case is the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the gulf of New Mexico. This oil spillage among many other examples such as BP oil spill has many negative effects on the water bodies.

Sea animals die due to the formation of an oil layer on the water surface therefore causing reduced oxygen in the water. The water may also cause diseases to the consumers incase affected fish are eaten due to toxins.

The law was enacted by the 101st United States Congress with an aim to protecting the country’s water bodies which are vast and used for many important purposes such as tourism. Sports also carried out on water bodies such as rafting, may not be possible as a result of oil spills. Those responsible for oil spills are highly punished.

The law stated that a company or companies must have a plan to prevent spills that may occur and have detailed containment and cleanup plan for all oil spills. To date, this law is still in place and I believe it will continue to protect all water bodies in the concerned countries.


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