Adequacy of Federal Marine Salvage Policy in the United States
Hess, David Alexander
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Marine casualties that threaten the environment can impose large private and social costs. One means of reducing these costs is to maintain a professional salvage capability. In the United States this service is provided primarily by the private sector. In order to preserve the public interest, the federal government has fostered this industry by adopting the International Convention on Salvage, contracting with private salvors to support the US Navy, and requiring tank and large non-tank vessels to maintain standing agreements with salvors. In addition, the federal government has created two mechanisms to reinforce a private response: the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Salvage Facilities Act. There are three areas of weakness in current salvage policy: physical and human capital investment, friction between the private and public sector under Unified Command, and a lack of unequivocal responder immunity.
- Marine affairs