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Abstract

Via technology and operations standards, U.S. regulation exerts an important influence over worldwide marine safety standards. But in addition, several other aspects of U.S. law deserve wider international consideration and adoption. First, the Oil Pollution Act's natural resource damage provisions are an innovative and effective way to deter marine pollution and provide for the restoration of injured ecological resources. Second, the relatively strict financial requirements imposed on marine transporters help ensure that polluters, rather than the public, pay if damage is caused. Liability and financial responsibility rules are not unknown in other countries. But the United States has a longer history with implementation and applies its rules more expansively. As both environmental concerns and global marine trade flows increase, U.S. experience with these rules will be instructive to other nations contemplating oil pollution reforms.

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