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senate Bill S. 3643

Oil Spill Response Improvement Act of 2010

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
    IntroducedJuly 22nd, 2010

Bill Details

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Oil Spill Response Improvement Act of 2010

Official Title

A bill to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to reform the management of energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf, to improve oil spill compensation, to terminate the moratorium on deepwater drilling, and for other purposes.


Oil Spill Response Improvement Act of 2010 - Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish: (1) no more than two bureaus, to which the functions of the Minerals Management Service shall be transferred, which shall implement leasing, permitting, and safety and environmental regulatory functions relating to the outer Continental Shelf (OCS); (2) an office to implement royalty and revenue management functions; and (3) an OCS Safety and Environmental Advisory Board. Authorizes the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), upon the Secretary's request, to conduct an independent investigation of any accident occurring in the OCS and involving activities under this Act. Establishes the Ocean Energy Enforcement Fund as a depository for inspection fees imposed by the Secretary to offset the annual expenses of inspections of OCS facilities. Requires the Secretary of Energy, acting through the Energy Information Administration, to report to certain congressional committees monthly evaluations of the effect upon employment and small businesses of the moratoria following the April 20, 2010, blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon. Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to direct the Secretary of Energy to implement a deepwater (in lieu of ultra-deepwater) technologies research and development program addressing technology challenges for well control and accident prevention. Revises the petroleum resources research and development program to replace ultra-deepwater activities with deepwater architecture, well control and accident prevention, and deepwater technology, including drilling to deep formations in waters deeper than 500 feet (currently, deeper than 15,000 feet). Directs the Secretary of Energy to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible production of domestic natural gas and other petroleum resources. Replaces the Ultra-Deepwater Advisory Committee and the Unconventional Resources Technology Advisory Committee with a Program Advisory Committee. Establishes the National Commission on Outer Continental Shelf Oil Spill Prevention. Instructs the Secretary and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating to issue joint regulations requiring systems used in OCS offshore exploration, development, and production of oil and gas to be constructed and operated to meet specified standards necessary to protect the health and safety of affiliated workers and prevent environmental degradation. Amends the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to direct the President to establish limits on strict liability for incidents occurring from offshore facilities (other than deepwater ports) covered by OCS leases issued after enactment of this Act. States that economic damages that exceed certain amounts shall be paid: (1) up to $20 billion by all other entities operating OCS offshore facilities; and (2) then from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (FUND). Amends the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to direct the President to issue regulations allowing advance payments from the Fund for state and local actions taken to prepare for and mitigate substantial threats from an oil discharge. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to suspend the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund financing rate in any calendar quarter in which the unobligated balance in the Fund is greater than $10 billion. Amends the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to direct the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (Interagency Committee) to establish a regional subcommittee for each of the Gulf of Mexico and Arctic regions of the United States. Requires the Interagency Committee to: (1) coordinate a comprehensive federal oil spill research and development program; (2) establish an oil pollution research, technology development, and demonstration grant program; and (3) submit to Congress an assessment of the status of oil spill prevention and response capabilities, as well as annual federal interagency oil spill research and development plans. Directs the Coast Guard to conduct environmental studies of oil discharge prevention or mitigation technologies. Authorizes the Incident Commander of the Coast Guard to use dispersants in response to a spill of oil from: (1) any facility or vessel located in, on, or under any navigable waters of the United States; and (2) any facility subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and that is located in, on, or under any other waters. Instructs the Commandant of the Coast Guard to: (1) establish a Maritime Center of Expertise for Maritime Oil Spill and Hazardous Substance Release Response, and within it a program for release response; (2) maintain a National Strike Force to respond to maritime oil spill and hazardous substance release incidents; and (3) maintain district preparedness response teams. Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to: (1) authorize the President to deploy cleanup and mitigation assets immediately to the location of discharge; and (2) add certain requirements to the National Contingency Plan. Amends the OCSLA to prescribe allocation requirements for OCS post leasing revenue sharing for specified coastal states and the Alaska Adjacent Zone. Amends the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 regarding allocation of revenue sharing among certain Gulf producing states. Amends the OCSLA to direct the Secretary to require that oil produced from federal leases in specified Arctic waters be transported by pipeline to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Rescinds certain stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to offset any net increase in spending or foregone revenues resulting from this Act. States that the moratorium on certain OCS offshore permitting and drilling activities, including any suspension of operations issued in connection with the moratorium, shall not apply to a drilling permit applicant if the Secretary makes certain determinations. Directs the Secretary to develop and implement a plan to ensure that onshore oil and natural gas development on federal land would provide full energy resource compensation for offshore oil and natural gas resources not being developed, and federal revenues not being generated for the benefit of the Treasury, during the time that any offshore moratorium is in place in response to the Deepwater Horizon incident.

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