20.1802 Legislative intent.

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It is the intention of the Legislature of American Samoa to make American Samoa law consistent with new Federal oil spill legislation that provides limited immunity from liability for removal costs and damages for those persons responding to an oil spill or threat of an oil spill. The immunity applies if those activities are performed in a manner consistent with the Federal National Contingency Plan or at the direction of an on-site coordinator, Federal on-scene coordinator, appropriate Territorial official, or the Coast Guard. Since prompt and incisive action is often critical to the success of an oil spill cleanup or the prevention of an oil spill, actions which are substantially consistent with established plan or on-site or on-scene coordinator direction are deemed to fall within the scope of this act. It is further the intention of the Legislature that victims of oil damage will have a means of compensation. They may recover from the person responsible for the initial discharge or, where the responsible party is unidentified or unable to pay, from the Federal Oil Pollution Fund and any other applicable laws of American Samoa. In addition, immunity for responders is limited. It does not extend to actions for personal injury or wrongful death, or for actions that rise to the level of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

History: 1993, PL 23-7.