June 27, 2001
WQIS offers protection against tougher state pollution laws
WQIS is now offering two new insurance endorsements to protect the marine community from increased state legislation.
WQIS provides a new option to cover state spill requirements even when they are broader in scope than the Federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90).
In the past, when a federal officer signed off on effective cleanup of a spill but a state official demanded further cleanup, the assured was unprotected for additional cleanup costs.
The new, broader in scope, WQIS coverage removes the gap that exists between new state requirements and federal legislation.
In recent years, states across the country have become more active in writing laws dealing with pollution. As part of this development, they have been imposing a growing number of civil fines and penalties. Additionally, these civil fines and penalties have been for higher dollar amounts.
The states of Texas and New York are among the more active in assessing fines. For example, on consecutive days, Texas recently assessed a spill penalty of $10,000 for a 3,000 gallon fuel spill from a dredge and $5,000 to a seafood operation for a discharge into Texas waters during a fuel transfer. Legislation is on the books in states like California and Maryland to assess penalties of $30 to $100 per gallon spilled, which can create assessment fines of millions of dollars.