Executive Order 12777

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Signed by President  George Herbert Walker Bush  Friday, October 18, 1991 Federal Register  page & date: 56 FR 54757, Tuesday, October 22, 1991
See the Notes section for a listing of Executive Orders affected by or related to the issuance of this Executive Order.

Executive Order 12777 of October 18, 1991

Implementation of Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of October 18, 1972, as Amended, and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990


By authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, (“FWPCA”) (33 U.S.C. 1321), as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-380) (“OPA”), and by Section 301 of Title 3 of the United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:


Section 1. National Contingency Plan, Area Committees, and Area Contingency Plans. 

(a)   Section 1 of Executive Order No. 12580 of January 23, 1987, is amended to read as follows:

Section 1.  National Contingency Plan.

“(a)  
 
“(1)   The National Contingency Plan (“the NCP”), shall provide for a National Response Team (“the NRT”) composed of representatives of appropriate Federal departments and agencies for national planning and coordination of preparedness and response actions, and Regional Response Teams as the regional counterparts to the NRT for planning and coordination of regional preparedness and response actions.
“(2)   The following agencies (in addition to other appropriate agencies) shall provide representatives to the National and Regional Response Teams to carry out their responsibilities under the NCP: Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States Coast Guard, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“(3)   Except for periods of activation because of response action, the representative of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) shall be the chairman, and the representative of the United States Coast Guard shall be the vice chairman, of the NRT and these agencies' representatives shall be co-chairs of the Regional Response Teams (“the RRTs”). When the NRT or an RRT is activated for a response action, the EPA representative shall be the chairman when the release or threatened release or discharge or threatened discharge occurs in the inland zone, and the United States Coast Guard representative shall be the chairman when the release or threatened release or discharge or threatened discharge occurs in the coastal zone, unless otherwise agreed upon by the EPA and the United States Coast Guard representatives (inland and coastal zones are defined in the NCP).
“(4)   The RRTs may include representatives from State governments, local governments (as agreed upon by the States), and Indian tribal governments. Subject to the functions and authorities delegated to Executive departments and agencies in other sections of this order, the NRT shall provide policy and program direction to the RRTs.
“(b)  
 
“(1)   The responsibility for the revision of the NCP and all the other functions vested in the President by Sections 105 (a), (b), (c), and (g), 125, and 301(f) of the Act, by Section 311(d)(1) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and by Section 4201(c) of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 is delegated to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (“the Administrator”).
“(2)   The function vested in the President by Section 118(p) of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-499) (“SARA”) is delegated to the Administrator.
“(c)   In accord with Section 107(f)(2)(A) of the Act, Section 311(f)(5) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1321(f)(5)), and Section 1006(b) (1) and (2) of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the following shall be among those designated in the NCP as Federal trustees for natural resources:
 
“(1)   Secretary of Defense;
“(2)   Secretary of the Interior;
“(3)   Secretary of Agriculture;
“(4)   Secretary of Commerce;
“(5)   Secretary of Energy.
  “In the event of a spill, the above named Federal trustees for natural resources shall designate one trustee to act as Lead Administrative Trustee, the duties of which shall be defined in the regulations promulgated pursuant to Section 1006(e)(1) of OPA. If there are natural resource trustees other than those designated above which are acting in the event of a spill, those other trustees may join with the Federal trustees to name a Lead Administrative Trustee which shall exercise the duties defined in the regulations promulgated pursuant to Section 1006(e)(1) of OPA.
“(d)   Revisions to the NCP shall be made in consultation with members of the NRT prior to publication for notice and comment.
“(e)   All revisions to the NCP, whether in proposed or final form, shall be subject to review and approval by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).”
(b)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(4) of FWPCA, and Section 4202(b)(1) of OPA, respecting the designation of Areas, the appointment of Area Committee members, the requiring of information to be included in Area Contingency Plans, and the review and approval of Area Contingency Plans are delegated to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (“Administrator”) for the inland zone and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating for the coastal zone (inland and coastal zones are defined in the NCP).


Sec. 2. National Response System. 

(a)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(1)(A) of FWPCA, respecting the establishment of methods and procedures for the removal of discharged oil and hazardous substances, and by Section 311(j)(1)(B) of FWPCA respecting the establishment of criteria for the development and implementation of local and regional oil and hazardous substance removal contingency plans, are delegated to the Administrator for the inland zone and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating for the coastal zone.
(b)  
 
(1)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(1)(C) of FWPCA, respecting the establishment of procedures, methods, and equipment and other requirements for equipment to prevent and to contain discharges of oil and hazardous substances from non-transportation-related onshore facilities, are delegated to the Administrator.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(1)(C) of FWPCA, respecting the establishment of procedures, methods, and equipment and other requirements for equipment to prevent and to contain discharges of oil and hazardous substances from vessels and transportation-related onshore facilities and deepwater ports subject to the Deepwater Ports Act of 1974 (“DPA”), are delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(3)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(1)(C) of FWPCA, respecting the establishment of procedures, methods, and equipment and other requirements for equipment to prevent and to contain discharges of oil and hazardous substances from offshore facilities, including associated pipelines, other than deepwater ports subject to the DPA, are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior.
(c)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(1)(D) of FWPCA, respecting the inspection of vessels carrying cargoes of oil and hazardous substances and the inspection of such cargoes, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
(d)  
 
(1)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(5) of FWPCA and Section 4202(b)(4) of OPA, respecting the issuance of regulations requiring the owners or operators of non-transportation-related onshore facilities to prepare and submit response plans, the approval of means to ensure the availability of private personnel and equipment, the review and approval of such response plans, and the authorization of non-transportation-related onshore facilities to operate without approved response plans, are delegated to the Administrator.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(5) of FWPCA and Section 4202(b)(4) of OPA, respecting the issuance of regulations requiring the owners or operators of tank vessels, transportation-related onshore facilities and deepwater ports subject to the DPA, to prepare and submit response plans, the approval of means to ensure the availability of private personnel and equipment, the review and approval of such response plans, and the authorization of tank vessels, transportation-related onshore facilities and deepwater ports subject to the DPA to operate without approved response plans, are delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(3)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(5) of FWPCA and Section 4202(b)(4) of OPA, respecting the issuance of regulations requiring the owners or operators of offshore facilities, including associated pipelines, other than deepwater ports subject to the DPA, to prepare and submit response plans, the approval of means to ensure the availability of private personnel and equipment, the review and approval of such response plans, and the authorization of offshore facilities, including associated pipelines, other than deepwater ports subject to the DPA, to operate without approved response plans, are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior.
(e)  
 
(1)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(6)(A) of FWPCA, respecting the requirements for periodic inspections of containment booms and equipment used to remove discharges at non-transportation-related onshore facilities, are delegated to the Administrator.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(6)(A) of FWPCA, respecting the requirements for periodic inspections of containment booms and equipment used to remove discharges on vessels, and at transportation-related onshore facilities and deepwater ports subject to the DPA, are delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(3)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(6)(A) of FWPCA, respecting the requirements for periodic inspections of containment booms and equipment used to remove discharges at offshore facilities, including associated pipelines, other than deepwater ports subject to the DPA, are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior.
(f)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(6)(B) of FWPCA, respecting requirements for vessels to carry appropriate removal equipment, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
(g)  
 
(1)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(7) of FWPCA, respecting periodic drills of removal capability under relevant response plans for onshore and offshore facilities located in the inland zone, and the publishing of annual reports on those drills, are delegated to the Administrator.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j)(7) of FWPCA, respecting periodic drills of removal capability under relevant response plans for tank vessels, and for onshore and offshore facilities located in the coastal zone, and the publishing of annual reports on those drills, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
(h)   No provision of Section 2 of this order, including, but not limited to, any delegation or assignment of any function hereunder, shall in any way affect, or be construed or interpreted to affect the authority of any Department or agency, or the head of any Department or agency under any provision of law other than Section 311(j) of FWPCA or Section 4202(b)(4) of OPA.
(i)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(j) of FWPCA or Section 4202(b)(4) of OPA which have been delegated or assigned by Section 2 of this order may be redelegated to the head of any Executive department or agency with his or her consent.


Sec. 3. Removal. 

The functions vested in the President by Section 311(c) of FWPCA and Section 1011 of OPA, respecting an effective and immediate removal or arrangement for removal of a discharge and mitigation or prevention of a substantial threat of a discharge of oil or a hazardous substance, the direction and monitoring of all Federal, State and private actions, the removal and destruction of a vessel, the issuance of directions, consulting with affected trustees, and removal completion determinations, are delegated to the Administrator for the inland zone and to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating for the coastal zone.


Sec. 4. Liability Limit Adjustment. 

(a)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1004(d) of OPA, respecting the establishment of limits of liability, with respect to classes or categories of non-transportation-related onshore facilities, the reporting to Congress on the desirability of adjusting limits of liability with respect to non-transportation-related onshore facilities, and the adjustment of limits of liability to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index with respect to non-transportation-related onshore facilities, are delegated to the Administrator, acting in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Energy, and the Attorney General.
(b)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1004(d) of OPA, respecting the establishment of limits of liability, with respect to classes or categories of transportation-related onshore facilities, the reporting to Congress on the desirability of adjusting limits of liability, with respect to vessels or transportation-related onshore facilities and deepwater ports subject to the DPA, and the adjustment of limits of liability to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index with respect to vessels or transportation-related onshore facilities and deepwater ports subject to the DPA, are delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(c)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1004(d) of OPA, respecting the reporting to Congress on the desirability of adjusting limits of liability with respect to offshore facilities, including associated pipelines, other than deepwater ports subject to the DPA, and the adjustment of limits of liability to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index with respect to offshore facilities, including associated pipelines, other than deepwater ports subject to the DPA, are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior.


Sec. 5. Financial Responsibility. 

(a)  
 
(1)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1016(e) of OPA, respecting (in the case of offshore facilities other than deepwater ports) the issuance of regulations concerning financial responsibility, the determination of acceptable methods of financial responsibility, and the specification of necessary or unacceptable terms, conditions, or defenses, are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1016(e) of OPA, respecting (in the case of deepwater ports) the issuance of regulations concerning financial responsibility, the determination of acceptable methods of financial responsibility, and the specification of necessary or unacceptable terms, conditions, or defenses, are delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(b)  
 
(1)   The functions vested in the President by Section 4303 of OPA, respecting (in cases involving vessels) the assessment of civil penalties, the compromising, modification or remission, with or without condition, and the referral for collection of such imposed penalties, and requests to the Attorney General to secure necessary judicial relief, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 4303 of OPA, respecting (in cases involving offshore facilities other than deepwater ports) the assessment of civil penalties, the compromising, modification or remission, with or without condition, and the referral for collection of such imposed penalties, and requests to the Attorney General to secure necessary judicial relief, are delegated to the Secretary of the Interior.
(3)   The functions vested in the President by Section 4303 of OPA, respecting (in cases involving deepwater ports) the assessment of civil penalties, the compromising, modification or remission, with or without condition, and the referral for collection of such imposed penalties, and requests to the Attorney General to secure necessary judicial relief, are delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.


Sec. 6. Enforcement. 

(a)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(m)(1) of FWPCA, respecting the enforcement of Section 311 with respect to vessels, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
(b)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(e) of FWPCA, respecting determinations of imminent and substantial threat, requesting the Attorney General to secure judicial relief, and other action including issuing administrative orders, are delegated to the Administrator for the inland zone and to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating for the coastal zone.


Sec. 7. Management of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and Claims. 

(a)  
 
(1)  
 
(A)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1012(a)(1), (3), and (4) of OPA respecting payment of removal costs and claims and determining consistency with the National Contingency Plan (NCP) are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.
(B)   The functions vested in the President by Section 6002(b) of the OPA respecting making amounts, not to exceed $50,000,000 and subject to normal budget controls, in any fiscal year, available from the Fund (i) to carry out Section 311(c) of FWPCA, and (ii) to initiate the assessment of natural resources damages required under Section 1006 of OPA are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating. Such Secretary shall make amounts available from the Fund to initiate the assessment of natural resources damages exclusively to the Federal trustees designated in the NCP. Such Federal trustees shall allocate such amounts among all trustees required to assess natural resources damages under Section 1006 of OPA.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1012(a)(2) of OPA, respecting the payment of costs and determining consistency with the NCP, are delegated to the Federal trustees designated in the NCP.
(3)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1012(a)(5) of OPA, respecting the payment of costs and expenses of departments and agencies having responsibility for the implementation, administration, and enforcement of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and subsections (b), (c), (d), (j) and (l) of Section 311 of FWPCA, are delegated to each head of such department and agency.
(b)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1012(c) of OPA, respecting designation of Federal officials who may obligate money, are delegated to each head of the departments and agencies to whom functions have been delegated under section 7(a) of this order for the purpose of carrying out such functions.
(c)  
 
(1)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1012 (d) and (e) of OPA, respecting the obligation of the Trust Fund on the request of a Governor or pursuant to an agreement with a State, entrance into agreements with States, agreement upon terms and conditions, and the promulgation of regulations concerning such obligation and entrance into such agreement, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, in consultation with the Administrator.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1013(e) of OPA, respecting the promulgation and amendment of regulations for the presentation, filing, processing, settlement, and adjudication of claims under OPA against the Trust Fund, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, in consultation with the Attorney General.
(3)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1012(a) of OPA, respecting the payment of costs, damages, and claims, delegated herein to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, include, inter alia, the authority to process, settle, and administratively adjudicate such costs, damages, and claims, regardless of amount.
(d)  
 
(1)   The Coast Guard is designated the “appropriate agency” for the purpose of receiving the notice of discharge of oil or hazardous substances required by Section 311(b)(5) of FWPCA, and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating is authorized to issue regulations implementing this designation.
(2)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1014 of OPA, respecting designation of sources of discharges or threats, notification to responsible parties, promulgation of regulations respecting advertisements, the advertisement of designation, and notification of claims procedures, are delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.


Sec. 8. Miscellaneous. 

(a)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(b) (3) and (4) of FWPCA, as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, respecting the determination of quantities of oil and any hazardous substances the discharge of which may be harmful to the public health or welfare or the environment and the determinations of quantities, time, locations, circumstances, or conditions, which are not harmful, are delegated to the Administrator.
(b)   The functions vested in the President by Section 311(d)(2)(G) of FWPCA, respecting schedules of dispersant, chemical, and other spill mitigating devices or substances, are delegated to the Administrator.
(c)   The functions vested in the President by Section 1006(b) (3) and (4) of OPA respecting the receipt of designations of State and Indian tribe trustees for natural resources are delegated to the Administrator.
(d)   The function vested in the President by Section 3004 of OPA, with respect to encouraging the development of an international inventory of equipment and personnel, is delegated to the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, in consultation with the Secretary of State.
(e)   The functions vested in the President by Section 4113 of OPA, respecting a study on the use of liners or other secondary means of containment for onshore facilities, and the implementation of the recommendations of the study, are delegated to the Administrator.
(f)   The function vested in the President by Section 5002(c)(2)(D) of OPA, respecting the designating of an employee of the Federal Government who shall represent the Federal Government on the Oil Terminal Facilities and Oil Tanker Operations Associations, is delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(g)   The functions vested in the President by Section 5002(o) of OPA, respecting the annual certification of alternative voluntary advisory groups, are delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(h)   The function vested in the President by Section 7001(a)(3) of OPA, respecting the appointment of Federal agencies to membership on the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research, is delegated to the Secretary of Transportation.
(i)   Executive Order No. 11735 of August 3, 1973, Executive Order No. 12123 of February 26, 1979, Executive Order No. 12418 of May 5, 1983 and the memorandum of August 24, 1990, delegating certain authorities of the President under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 are revoked.


Sec. 9. Consultation. 

Authorities and functions delegated or assigned by this order shall be exercised subject to consultation with the Secretaries of departments and the heads of agencies with statutory responsibilities which may be significantly affected, including, but not limited to, the Department of Justice.


Sec. 10. Litigation. 

(a)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this order, any representation pursuant to or under this order in any judicial proceedings shall be by or through the Attorney General. The conduct and control of all litigation arising under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 shall be the responsibility of the Attorney General.
(b)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this order, the authority under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to require the Attorney General to commence litigation is retained by the President.
(c)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this order, the Secretaries of the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, and/or the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may request that the Attorney General commence litigation under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
(d)   The Attorney General, in his discretion, is authorized to require that, with respect to a particular oil spill, an agency refrain from taking administrative enforcement action without first consulting with the Attorney General.

Signature of George Herbert Walker Bush

George Bush
The White House,
October 18, 1991.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:52 a.m., October 21, 1991]

Notes[edit]

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).