Oil Spill Economic Damage

The economic effects of oil spills can be devastating and far-reaching. Large companies, sole proprietors, and individuals alike stand to endure major economic losses when oil spills occur. The Exxon Valdez spill has cost billions of dollars in cleanup and damage claims. Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the responsible party is liable for the costs associated with the containment or cleanup of the spill and any damages resulting from the spill. The EPA ensures that the responsible party is held accountable, but in many cases, the responsible party is not known or is unable to pay. In these cases, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund can be tapped to pay for cleanup and damages.