Ironically, when the EXXON VALDEZ grounded on Bligh Reef at Valdez, Cook Inlet, Alaska on Good Friday 1989, it was the tanker industry who were about to get crucified ! The U.S. government brought in swift anti-pollution legislation, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) to combat elderly, sub-standard tankers, giving draconian powers to the U.S. coastguard to arrest, fine &/or eject vessels from U.S. waters.
While criticising the U.S. Government at the time, many European nations have now come to realise that perhaps the Oil Pollution Act was not such a bad piece of legislation, and are considering (which will probably take many years ...!) bringing in a European equivilent, Eur-OPA. After the ERIKA and PRESTIGE losses in European waters (and on the beaches...) the clamour for such legislation is increasing.
To learn more about oil tankers, how they operate, and their various size denominations, visit Steve's TANKER INFORMATION page, by clicking on Steve (on the right).
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