Coast Guard announces notice of proposed rulemaking

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking today that would adjust the limits of liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) for vessels and deepwater ports to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index.

The proposed rule would amend Coast Guard regulations at Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 138, Subpart B. The amendments would increase the current OPA 90 limits of liability for vessels and deepwater ports to reflect the index increases since limits were amended by the Delaware River Protection Act of 2006. They would increase the current OPA 90 limit of liability for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port to reflect the index increases since that facility’s limit was established by regulation in 1995.

The proposed rule would also establish the methodology for future periodic increases to liability limits as appropriate to reflect significant increases in the index. Such increases will prevent the real value of the limits of liability from depreciating over time as a result of inflation and preserve the polluter pays principle embodied in OPA 90.

The Coast Guard encourages the public to view the final rule at 73 FR 54997 and to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov, docket number: USCG-2008-0007. All comments received will be posted, without change.

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