Event Title

Polluter Pays Principle and the Role of the Responsible Party: lessons from the MV Marathassa spill

Presentation Abstract

In the context of spilled crude oil, critiques of the Polluter Pays Principle generally focus on whether the legal limit of financial liability for the Responsible Party is adequate to cover the cost of worst case scenarios. My presentation will not address this larger issue. Instead, it will focus on the role of the Responsible Party in the Incident Command Post during the emergency phase of spill response.

When an Incident Command Post is set up, it has a specific, multi-faceted structure. From the Tsleil-Waututh perspective, two groups are key—Unified Command for overall decision making, and an Environmental Unit which has the responsibility to identify cultural and environmental sensitivities.

For ship-based spills while undocked in marine waters, the Responsible Party has a generally accepted role to play in Unified Command, but not one in the Environmental Unit. The accepted role is to approve financial expenditures for response actions as they are reviewed and approved by Unified Command. The Responsible Party does not have veto authority, but the spill response unfolds more smoothly with consensus-based decision making.

My presentation will describe how the MV Marathassa response deviated from these generally accepted norms, and how that deviation compromised spill response including the evaluation of environmental and cultural heritage impacts.

Session Title

Community perspectives on oil spill planning and response

Keywords

Keywords: oil spill response, incident command, unified command, environmental unit, policy, procedure, environmental impact

Conference Track

Fate and Effects of Pollutants

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Comments

KEY WORDS: oil spill response, incident command, unified command, environmental unit, policy, procedure, environmental impact

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Polluter Pays Principle and the Role of the Responsible Party: lessons from the MV Marathassa spill

2016SSEC

In the context of spilled crude oil, critiques of the Polluter Pays Principle generally focus on whether the legal limit of financial liability for the Responsible Party is adequate to cover the cost of worst case scenarios. My presentation will not address this larger issue. Instead, it will focus on the role of the Responsible Party in the Incident Command Post during the emergency phase of spill response.

When an Incident Command Post is set up, it has a specific, multi-faceted structure. From the Tsleil-Waututh perspective, two groups are key—Unified Command for overall decision making, and an Environmental Unit which has the responsibility to identify cultural and environmental sensitivities.

For ship-based spills while undocked in marine waters, the Responsible Party has a generally accepted role to play in Unified Command, but not one in the Environmental Unit. The accepted role is to approve financial expenditures for response actions as they are reviewed and approved by Unified Command. The Responsible Party does not have veto authority, but the spill response unfolds more smoothly with consensus-based decision making.

My presentation will describe how the MV Marathassa response deviated from these generally accepted norms, and how that deviation compromised spill response including the evaluation of environmental and cultural heritage impacts.