Liability for Oil Pollution
The basic maritime liability law of the US is a federal statute enacted in 1851 and amended since that time only so as to bring about some improvement in recoveries available by or on behalf of passengers who suffer personal injury or death in a ship disaster. Amending and expanding upon various provisions of earlier Congressional enactments, the Congress in 1972 adopted comprehensive legislation pertaining to virtually all aspects of water pollution and Federal Government recovery for costs of clean-up. Specifically allowing private parties to recover for oil pollution damage without regard to the 1851 Limitation of Liability Act, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act was adopted by the US Congress in November 1973. In November 1969, the Brussels International Legal Conference on Marine Pollution adopted the International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties.