Oils Spill Legislations

The federal government has enacted laws that minimize the damage caused by oil spills. Some of these legislations include The Foreign Oil Spill Liability Act of 2011 and the Florida Pollutant Discharge Prevention and Control Act (FPDPCA). They were proposed and amended under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (Cleveland, 2011). The Foreign Oil Spill Liability Act is one of the oil spill acts that modify the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. It provides for the removal of a substantial threat of an oil discharge from a foreign offshore that may reach or threatens to reach adjoining shorelines or navigable waters. In this Act, liability of the owner or the operator of the facility that causes oil spills is multiplied by three to discourage such damages. In addition, the vessel owner is reliable for damages caused by oil discharge as per the National Contingency Plan (NCP) provisions. The owner is also liable for the removal costs that are incurred by NCP. Moreover, the Act restricts the mobile offshore oil drilling by increasing the registration amount to $100 million for each investor (Cleveland, 2011). As a result, only few companies extract offshore oil hence the damage caused by oil spills is greatly minimized.

The Florida Pollutant Discharge Prevention and Control Act is the second legislation enacted by the United States’ federal government to minimize damages caused by oil spills. According to Vidas (2010), a major threat to coastal areas is from spills of hazardous substances, such as oil. These discharges mainly occur due to errors during the transportation, storage, and the transfer of these between onshore facilities, ships, offshore facilities, and terminal facilities. FPDPCA has also set aside the Protection Trust Fund. This fund finances the State’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The commission, in turn, uses this fund in investigating, preventing, rehabilitating, and cleaning fishing areas contaminated with oil discharges and spill (Cleveland, 2011). FPDPCA also sets requires for shipping through Florida waters. The requirements include a certificate of discharge prevention and response, holding tanks, discharge prevention gear, containment gear, and a written contingency plan for oil spills prevention and control. Additionally, in case one violates FPDPCA rule of order, he or she is supposed to pay $50,000 civil penalty per every violation. Lastly, the Act extends liability to potential defendants by forcing them to pay for cleanup activities (Cleveland, 2011).

Measures Protecting the United States’ Wetlands

The federal government takes measures, such as regulations and economic incentives, to protect its wetland areas. Regulations contained in the Clean Water Act protect wetlands and ensure the following measures are in place. According to Weeks (2008), the project that may cause changes in land use obtains a permit from the relevant local authority. The permit requires the project owner to set limits on their activities to avoid adverse impacts on wetlands if these impacts are inevitable. The project owner should compensate the federal government by restoring other wetland areas. It also offers incentives, such as a conservation easement. These incentives encourage landowners to leave a portion of their land permanently undeveloped in exchange of tax incentives (Weeks, 2008). In addition, landowners work with federal state and local agencies in setting easements. 

Businesses Disclaiming Liability in a Local Community

Excellence Automobile Mechanics is one of the businesses in my local community that attempt to deny liability for damage or loss of bailed property. The business offers services, such as car assembling, repairing, and sales of spare parts. The primary activity of this establishment is to offer repair services to customers. For example, it tests parts and vehicle systems to ensure they operate properly. Technicians also ensure that their clients’ vehicles remain on the road and in good services. Over the last two years, this establishment has been losing popularity due to its attempt to disclaim liabilities. For instance, despite the fact that it maintains a register of vehicles in their premises, it disclaims the responsibility of vehicles stolen in their premises. The establishment’s manager claims that there is not enough space for clients to leave their vehicles overnight. 

The Dread Brothers dry-cleaning establishment is the second business in my local community that attempts to disclaim loss or damage of bailed property. The establishment offers dry-cleaning services, tailoring, ironing, and delivering clothes to their customers. The establishment disclaims responsible of any cloth lost after one work while in their hands. Also, the establishment denies liability of properties lost during delivery.       

Supporting Facts and Opinions

 In my opinion, both the Excellence Automobile Mechanics and the Dread Brother’s establishments have not effectively disclaimed reliabilities. This is due to lack of tangible evidence to support their argument. Business law prohibits any person from exclusively possessing or using somebody’s property without his or her consent. The second fact is that, the two establishments maintain records of bailed property hence according to the law of the land it is ineffective to deny liability (Frankel, 2006). According to International Corporate (2012), business owners should pay for the damaged property and compensate their clients for the diminished value of the property. For example, if the Dread Brothers’ establishment record indicates that there are five items of clothing belonging to the customer and they are lost. In such a case, the establishment should not only pay for the lost property, but also compensate for the diminished value of the property (International corporate, 2012). 

References

  1. Frankel, T. (2006). Trust and honesty: America's business culture at a crossroad. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  2. International corporate. (2012). International corporate legal responsibility. Alphen aan den Rijn: Wolters Kluwer Law & Bus.
  3. Cleveland, C. J. (Ed.). (2011). Liability and compensation requirements under the Oil Pollution Act. Washingon, D.C.: National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. 
  4. Vidas, D. (Ed.). (2010). Law, technology and science for oceans in globalisation: IUU fishing, oil pollution, bioprospecting, outer continental shelf. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff. 
  5. Weeks, J. (2008). Protecting wetlands. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Feb 15, 2018 in Business
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