PL112-141, subtitle F, Gulf Coast Restoration (RESTORE Act): On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress-21 (MAP-21) transportation bill (PL112-141), including Subtitle F, Gulf Coast Restoration, subtitled the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act). Related resources that summarize the details and importance of this legislation include:

2018 Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) workshopSummary, Bibliography, Final Report
GOMURC-sponsored workshop explored the OPA history and possible OPA-related actions that may improve response to future spill disasters. The stated workshop purpose was “to capture lessons learned from the BP spill that can be used to improve OPA when the opportunity arises.”

NEED: The Deepwater Horizon platform explosion in BP’s Macondo Prospect Lease Block 252 off Louisiana caused an oil spill unlike any discharge event to fall under the aegis of the 1990 Oil Pollution Act (OPA or OPA90). Enacted after the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill on the coast of Alaska, the Bill did not anticipate the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DHOS), which gushed oil and gas for 3 months, 80 km offshore, in 1500 m of seawater. Problems emerged during the DHOS response, e.g., engaging the science community due to jurisdictional issues and litigation, and lack of baseline environmental information needed to assess impacts and recovery. Since OPA’s 1990 enactment, there have been numerous amendments via legislative actions (see P.L. 101-380, 19902). Total funds for response and restoration from DHOS civil penalties exceed $16 billion. The RESTORE Act (P.L. 112–141, 2012) amended where penalties are deposited (80% of OPA Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) directed to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund), and how the GCF Trust Fund is distributed and spent. Are future changes needed based on DHOS experience?