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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


									Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
         The Oil Pollution Act

   What Damages are Recoverable by
        the State of Louisiana?
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA”)
33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.

   Responsible parties for vessels and facilities
    which oil is discharged or which pose the
    substantial threat of a discharge are jointly,
    severally, and strictly liable for removal costs
    and damages.
Removal Costs
                                 OPA § 2702(b)(1)]

   Removal costs - all removal costs incurred by…a State or any removal costs
    incurred by any person for acts taken by the person which are consistent with
    the National Contingency Plan.

   “Remove” or “removal” is defined as the containment and removal of oil or a
    hazardous substance from water and shorelines or the taking of other actions
    as may be necessary to minimize or mitigate damage to the public health or
    welfare, including, but not limited to, fish, shellfish, wildlife, and public and
    private property, shorelines, and beaches. [OPA § 2701(30)]

                                LOSPRA § 2454(25)

   LOSPRA – Removal costs means all costs incurred in an attempt to prevent,
    abate, contain, and remove pollution from the discharge…and costs of any
    reasonable measures to prevent or limit damage to the public health, safety, or
    welfare, public or private property, or natural resources.
Categories of Damages

             OPA                   LOSPRA
   Natural Resources        Natural Resources
   Real or Personal         Immovable or
    Property                  corporeal movable
   Subsistence Use           property
   Revenues                 Revenues
   Profits and Earning      Public services
   Public Services
Why are there difference between OPA

LOSPRA is primarily aimed at the State’s response to oil spills.
§ 2453. Legislative intent

   A. The legislature finds and declares that the release of oil into the environment
    presents a real and substantial threat to the public health and welfare, to the
    environment, the wildlife and aquatic life, and to the economy of the state.
    Further, the legislature declares that the purpose of this Chapter is to assist
    the legislature in fulfilling its duties to protect, conserve, and replenish
    the natural resources of this state in accordance with Article IX, Section 1
    of the Constitution of Louisiana.

   B. The legislature declares that it is the intent of this Chapter to support and
    complement the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and other federal law,
    specifically those provisions relating to the national contingency plan for
    cleanup of oil spills and discharges, including provisions relating to the
    responsibilities of state agencies designated as natural resources tructess. The
    legislature intends this Chapter to be interpreted and implemented in a manner
    consistent with federal law.
Damage to Property:

                       OPA § 2702(b)(2)(B)

   Damages for injury to, or economic losses resulting from
    destruction of, real or personal property, which shall be
    recoverable by a claimant who owns or leases that property.

                      LOSPRA § 2454(5)(b)

   Damages for injury to, or economic loss resulting from
    destruction of, immovable or corporeal movable property, which
    shall be recoverable by a person who owns or leases that
South La Wildlife Management
     Areas and Refuges
South La State Parks
State Owned Land
and Water bottoms
Property Damage – State Owned Vessels

                          Photos courtesy of Governor’s Office
                                      OPA § 2702(b)(2)(D)

   Damages equal to the net loss of taxes, royalties, rents, fees, or net profit shares due to the
    injury, destruction, or loss of real property, personal property, or natural resources, which
    shall be recoverable by the Government of the United States, a State, or a political
    subdivision thereof.

                                     LOSPRA § 2454(5)(c)

   Damages equal to the net loss of taxes, royalties, rents, fees, or net profit share due to the
    injury, destruction, or loss of immovable or corporeal movable property, or natural
    resources, which shall be recoverable by the state of Louisiana.

   Types of revenue losses - reduction of tax revenues, licenses, fees; mineral resource
    royalties, rentals, investment earnings, and other state treasurer revenue sources.

   Examples – DNR loss of revenue due to well shut-ins resulting from oil spill, decrease in
    toll collections on LA 1, loss of sales tax, decrease in property values resulting in decrease
    in ad valorem taxes, losses from reduction in sales of fishing license
Public Services

OPA § 2702(b)(2)(F) & LOSPRA § 2454(5)(d)

   Damages for net costs of providing increased
    or additional public services during or after
    removal activities, including protection from
    fire, safety, or health hazards, caused by a
    discharge of oil, which shall be recoverable
    by a State, or a political subdivision of a
Public Services - Examples

   U.S. Coast Guard claims manual provides one example
    of a local government claim that may qualify as “public
    services” damages. In that example, a manager of a
    coastal town that must provide emergency traffic control
    in the vicinity of an OPA incident may have a claim for the
    costs of providing those emergency services.

   To support the claim, the local government would have to

      –    A justification for the public services provided,
           including documentation of what specific services
           were provided and showing their relationship to the

      –    When services were provided (during or after the
           removal activities);

      –    That the services were in addition to services
           normally provided; and

      –    The net cost for the services and the methods
           used to compute those costs.                           Picture courtesy of

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