HARD AGROUND - Wreck of the Exxon Valdez - March 24, 1989



The Event
The Clean-Up
The Impact On Life
The Captain
The Ship
The Legal Battles
The Legacy

Reading List
Image Gallery


ADN Archives

User Agreement


Sponsored by:
Daily News

Story Index:
Main | The Legacy
Overall: story 206 of 380 Previous Next
The Legacy story 28 of 72 Previous Next


Daily News reporter

Anchorage Daily News
Date: 08/04/90
Day: Saturday
Edition: Final
Section: Metro
Page: B1

WASHINGTON- Legislation creating the first coordinated, national system for responding to oil spills and compensating their victims was approved by Congress and sent to the White House for President Bush's signature.

The bill is expected to be signed into law in September.

Passage of the measure comes 16 months after the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of oil in the worst such disaster in U.S. history.

Exxon Corp. has taken full responsibility for that accident, which the National Transportation Safety Board ruled this week was probably caused by the vessel's drunken captain turning over the bridge to an inexperienced, exhausted subordinate.

The chief dispute was over the right of states to enforce tougher laws than the federal government's. That issue was resolved in favor of the states a victory for Alaska, which will now be able to hold spillers fully liable for cleanup costs regardless of the cause.

Under the new federal legislation, any spiller guilty of gross negligence must pay all the costs of cleanup and compensation.

But even if a spill were unavoidable because of weather conditions or other factors beyond the tanker owner's control, company liability would still be increased tenfold.

If Exxon had not assumed full responsibility for its spill, existing law would have limited its liability to no more than $14 million in damages. The new legislation would increase its liability to $114 million.

Costs exceeding that figure would be paid from a new $1 billion national oilspill fund, paid for by a 5centsabarrel tax.

The legislation also requires the nation's tanker fleet be replaced with doublehulled vessels by the year 2015.

The measure also includes a requirement for a navigation light on Bligh Reef, where the Exxon Valdez ran aground, and for better radar coverage of the Sound.

The legislation has special provisions for oil transport from Alaska. Among those, pilots familiar with the waterway and who are licensed by the state and the federal government must be on board any tanker south of Bligh Reef.

Story Index:
Main | The Legacy
Overall: story 206 of 380 Previous Next
The Legacy story 28 of 72 Previous Next

Want to read more articles on this topic? ADNSearch.com has full-text articles published in the Anchorage Daily News Text Archives from late 1985 to the present - available to you with the click of your mouse. Make the Anchorage Daily News your source for Alaska and Anchorage history. Check out www.adnsearch.com right now!
All components of this site are copyright 1989-1999 by the Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage, Alaska unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized reproduction or use of any material available from this site is strictly prohibited. For information on obtaining reprints of, or republication rights to any of these materials, see Permissions.
We welcome your comments or questions regarding this site - webteam@adn.com
Anchorage Daily News Alaska's Eyewitness to History