Alaska Statutes.
Title 46. Water, Air, Energy, and Environmental Conservation
Chapter 3. Environmental Conservation
Section 759. Civil Penalties For Discharges of Crude Oil.
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AS 46.03.759. Civil Penalties For Discharges of Crude Oil.

(a) A person who is found to be liable under any other state law for an unpermitted discharge of crude oil in excess of 18,000 gallons is, in addition to liability for any other penalties or for damages or the cost of containment and cleanup, liable to the state in a civil action for a civil penalty, up to a maximum of $500,000,000, in the amount of

(1) $8 per gallon of crude oil discharged for the first 420,000 gallons discharged; and

(2) $12.50 per gallon of crude oil discharged for amounts discharged in excess of 420,000 gallons.

(b) In determining how many gallons of crude oil have been discharged for purposes of assessing a penalty under (a) of this section, the court shall deduct the number of discharged gallons of crude oil that the defendant proves were removed by the defendant from the environment within the first 36 hours after the discharge as a result of a cleanup operation undertaken in conformity with applicable state and federal law. The dispersal of oil through burning, the use of chemical agents, biological additives, or sinking agents, or other means is not considered removal for the purposes of this subsection.

(c) Subject to the $500,000,000 maximum set under (a) of this section the court shall assess four times the penalty set out in (a) of this section if the court finds

(1) the discharge was caused by the gross negligence or intentional act of the defendant;

(2) the defendant did not take reasonable measures to contain and clean up the discharged oil; or

(3) the defendant did not act or respond in accordance with an approved oil discharge prevention and contingency plan.

(d) Notwithstanding AS 46.03.875 , a person liable for civil penalties under this section is not also liable for the discharge of the crude oil under AS 46.03.760 (a). A person causing or permitting a discharge of crude oil of 18,000 gallons or less not permitted under applicable state or federal law is liable for that discharge under the penalty provisions of AS 46.03.760 (a); however, the court may impose a penalty of less than $500 for the discharge.

(e) The court may reduce the penalty imposed under this section if the defendant demonstrates, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the discharge was caused solely by a negligent act of a third person unless the third person is a person with whom the defendant was found jointly and severally liable for the discharge under other state law.

(f) A person otherwise liable for penalties under this section is not liable if the person demonstrates, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the discharge occurred solely as a result of

(1) an act of God;

(2) a negligent or intentional act of the State of Alaska or the United States; or

(3) an act of war.

(g) In this section, "discharge" means entry of crude oil into or upon the water or public land of the state, regardless of causation, except discharges into an enclosed and impervious oil spill containment area.

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