May 4th, 2010

Space Cadet

5,000 barrels/day x $1,000/barrel = $5,000,000/day

My sister found the following list. It's on the EPA's website.

It looks like the main thing BP might want to do is to implicate a third party (maybe by claiming the explosion was caused by a contractor screw-up, a faulty part or perhaps they will say that it was the result of a deliberate act of sabotage). I haven't been watching this too closely, but if the finger pointing hasn't begun already, it will probably be starting real soon now.

Key Provisions of the Oil Pollution Act

§1002(a) Provides that the responsible party for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged, or which poses a substantial threat of a discharge, is liable for: (1) certain specified damages resulting from the discharged oil; and (2) removal costs incurred in a manner consistent with the National Contingency Plan (NCP).

§1002(c) Exceptions to the Clean Water Act (CWA) liability provisions include: (1) discharges of oil authorized by a permit under Federal, State, or local law; (2) discharges of oil from a public vessel; or (3) discharges of oil from onshore facilities covered by the liability provisions of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act.

§1002(d) Provides that if a responsible party can establish that the removal costs and damages resulting from an incident were caused solely by an act or omission by a third party, the third party will be held liable for such costs and damages.

§1004 The liability for tank vessels larger than 3,000 gross tons is increased to $1,200 per gross ton or $10 million, whichever is greater. Responsible parties at onshore facilities and deepwater ports are liable for up to $350 millon per spill; holders of leases or permits for offshore facilities, except deepwater ports, are liable for up to $75 million per spill, plus removal costs. The Federal government has the authority to adjust, by regulation, the $350 million liability limit established for onshore facilities.

§1016 Offshore facilities are required to maintain evidence of financial responsibility of $150 million and vessels and deepwater ports must provide evidence of financial responsibility up to the maximum applicable liability amount. Claims for removal costs and damages may be asserted directly against the guarantor providing evidence of financial responsibility.

§1018(a) The Clean Water Act does not preempt State Law. States may impose additional liability (including unlimited liability), funding mechanisms, requirements for removal actions, and fines and penalties for responsible parties.

§1019 States have the authority to enforce, on the navigable waters of the State, OPA requirements for evidence of financial responsibility. States are also given access to Federal funds (up to $250,000 per incident) for immediate removal, mitigation, or prevention of a discharge, and may be reimbursed by the Trust fund for removal and monitoring costs incurred during oil spill response and cleanup efforts that are consistent with the National Contingency Plan (NCP).

§4202 Strengthens planning and prevention activities by: (1) providing for the establishment of spill contingency plans for all areas of the U.S. (2) mandating the development of response plans for individual tank vessels and certain facilities for responding to a worst case discharge or a substantial threat of such a discharge; and (3) providing requirements for spill removal equipment and periodic inspections.

§4301(a) and (c) The fine for failing to notify the appropriate Federal agency of a discharge is increased from a maximum of $10,000 to a maximum of $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for an organization. The maximum prison term is also increased from one year to five years. The penalties for violations have a maximum of $250,000 and 15 years in prison.

§4301(b) Civil penalties are authorized at $25,000 for each day of violation or $1,000 per barrel of oil discharged. Failure to comply with a Federal removal order can result in civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each day of violation.

§9001(a) Amends the Internal Revenue Act of 1986 to consolidate funds established under other statutes and to increase permitted levels of expenditures. Penalties and funds established under several laws are consolidated, and the Trust Fund borrowing limit is increased from $500 million to $1 billion.

Space Cadet

My Stupid Brain, Computers and a Moment In Time

Two of the reasons I have such trouble with school is that I 'm not at all good at screening out extraneous input and because I make mistakes when I'm writing. If there's extraneous input while I'm writing I become nigh onto completely incapable of writing anything down coherently. Luckily for me, computers came along and made it possible for me to fix my mistakes. But the Census requires that my time sheets be done by hand, in ink and with absolutely no mistakes. Thus for every time sheet I fill in there are four or five or even six time sheets wasted. I thought that at least I could do my stupid paper-wasting in private. But today, while sitting at a restaurant where there was really interesting music playing, I had to fill out four time sheets that had been returned. So I sat in front of my supervisor and destroyed time sheet after time sheet after time sheet. I felt so stupid. My supervisor was really nice, even though he ended up having to go home and get more time sheets for the next person because I'd destroyed the huge stack of blanks he'd brought thinking he had enough for everyone.

The only bright side of this is that it reminded me of how miserable I used to be before computers made it possible for me to communicate via the written word. I'd forgotten how awful I used to feel about having to write anything. Now I really love writing. If it wasn't for computers, my life would have had a big sad hole in it where the writer me should have been. Sitting being frustrated with my time sheets today, I remembered, in a vivid visual/tactile way, the moment that my boss first showed me how to use Wordstar. The company was going broke, and they'd fired the secretary. There was still stuff that needed to be typed, so, since I was the lowest-paid employee, I was chosen to take over her duties. He sat reluctant me down and showed me how to use Wordstar. It took about 2 seconds into the lesson for me to realize that this was the key to the universe and know that my life was going to be better forever. I'd forgotten that moment and how much better my life has been ever since that day. So some good came out of what happened today. But it still totally sucked.
  • Current Music
    the Anne Murray version of Daydream Believer playing in my head
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