The Legal Environment Component of an Oil Spill Cleanup Model

J. D. Nyhart, Harilaos N. Psaraftis, Walter S. Laird

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


An oil spill and its cleanup can be viewed as occurring within a legal environment separable into categories including legal aspects of planning, response action, environmental protection, liability, and compensation. Each may provide enabling rules and constraints that affect the delegation of authority and responsibility to a range of actors. These include the spiller, terminal/facility owner, local emergency cleanup personnel, the Coast Guard, other government officers, volunteers, cleanup contractors, equipment manufacturers, and those damaged by the spill.
This paper describes the legal components of an oil spill cleanup model being developed in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sea Grant College Program project involving several representative actors from the above categories. It focuses on the relevant existing legal environment in the United States and its relationship to the different actors. It explores how these relationships, expressed as enabling rules or constraints, may be integrated into the project's strategic, tactical, operational, and damage assessment models.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1981
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes
Event 1981 International Oil Spill Conference - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 2 Mar 19815 Mar 1981


Conference 1981 International Oil Spill Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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