Policy Documents

Inadequacies of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990: Why the United States Should Adopt the Convention on Civil Liability

Jaclyn A. Zimmermann –
January 1, 1999

This Note addresses the United State’s enactment of the Oil Pollution Act as an alternativeto the Convention of Civil Liability. Part I describes the history of maritime transport and thedevelopment of oil spill liability regulations. Part I also discusses major oil spills and different approaches to assessing liability for clean-up. Part II shifts the focus to OPA and the CLCcommentators’reactions to these legislative schemes. Part II explores critics’ positions on the effectiveness of OPA and the CLC in handling spill liability. Part III concludes that oil spills are aninternational problem. Part III advocates that the United States should become a member of theCLC so that it can effectively apportion liability for oil spills.