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The U.S. Coast Guard has proposed that offshore oil spill liability limits under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act (OPA) should be raised to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The limits would increase by $200 to $300 per gross ton for each vessel category.

Edible oil tank and oil-spill response vessels would see their liability increase by $100 per gross ton.

The Coast Guard also proposed a simplified process for allowing the US Department of Homeland Security to make future periodic CPI liability limit increases for vessels, deepwater ports and onshore facilities.

The liability limits for deepwater ports subject to the 1974 Deepwater Port Act would go up to about $404.5 million from $373.8 million.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port would see its liability limit rise to nearly $94.8 million from $87.6 million.

The liability limits for other offshore facilities would go up to $404.6 million from $350 million.

The USCG also wants to increase the liability limit for onshore facilities to account for inflation.

Comments on the proposal will be accepted through October 20.

The OPA was signed into law in 1990 following the Exxon Valdez incident.

The act created the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The fund can provide up to $1 billion in funds per spill incident.


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