U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Dec 11, 2019

§ 29.7 - Imposition of strict liability.

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, where a vessel is engaged in any segment of transportation between the terminal facilities of the Pipeline and ports under the jurisdiction of the United States, and is carrying TAPS oil, the Owner and Operator (jointly and severally), and the Fund established by section 204(c) of the Act, shall be strictly liable without regard to fault in accordance with that section for all damages, including clean-up costs, sustained by any person or entity, public or private, including residents of Canada, as a result of any discharge of TAPS oil from such vessel. Strict liability under this section shall cease when the TAPS oil has first been brought ashore at a port under the jurisdiction of the United States.

(b) Strict liability shall not be imposed under this part if the Owner or Operator of the vessel, or the Fund, can prove that the damages were caused by an act of war or by the negligence of the United States or other governmental agency. Strict liability shall not be imposed under the Act with respect to the claim of a damaged party if the Owner or Operator of the vessel, or the Fund, can prove that the damage was caused by the negligence of such damaged party.

(c)(1) Strict liability for all claims arising out of any one incident shall not exceed $100 million. The Owner and Operator of the vessel shall be jointly and severally liable for the first $14 million of the claims that meet the definition of damages as provided for in these regulations. The Fund shall be liable for the balance of the claims that meet the same definition up to $100 million. If the total of these claims exceeds $100 million, they shall be reduced proportionately. The unpaid portion of any claim may be asserted and adjudicated under other applicable Federal or State law.

(2) The Fund shall establish uniform procedures to determine whether claims from a TAPS oil spill might exceed $14 million and $100 million. These procedures shall provide that when a determination is made that claims may exceed $100 million, payment of claims may be withheld in full or in part for a twenty-four month period so that claims may be proportionately reduced prior to payment.

(d)(1) Each Owner or Operator of a vessel shall obtain from the Federal Maritime Commission a “Certificate of Financial Responsibility (Alaska Pipeline)” demonstrating compliance with the provisions of section 311(p) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1321(p)), and regulations promulgated pursuant to such act (33 CFR part 131). Notwithstanding inconsistent language in such act, financial responsibility in the amount of $14 million for all such vessels must be established.

(2) The certificate obtained in accordance with this subsection shall be carried on board the vessel. No TAPS oil may be loaded on any vessel which has not been issued a valid certificate which is still in effect at the time of loading.