Bill Introduced To Expand Definition of OPA 90 Responsible Parties
In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, legislators have now sought to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ("OPA") to extend liability to corporations, partnerships, and other persons having ownership interests in responsible parties.
The Bill, introduced in the House of Representatives as the "Stand by your Oil Pollution Act" (or the "STOP Act") was presented by Representative Gerald Connolly (D–VA) on January 5, 2011. The proposed legislation would amend the definition of "responsible party" to include any corporation, partnership, or other person (other than an individual) having a direct or indirect ownership interest of at least 25% in any OPA responsible party currently named in the statute (i.e. — vessels, onshore facilities, offshore facilities, deepwater ports, or pipelines, including those that have been abandoned). The STOP Act would also limit the liability of such responsible parties to the percentage of their aggregate ownership interests in all other responsible parties at the time of the oil pollution incident.
The Bill has been referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for further consideration.
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