Analysis of Future Coast Guard's Resource Needs for Responding to Oil Spills

CED-79-32: Published: Jan 12, 1979. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 1979.

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Upon Congressional request, GAO studied the responsiveness by the Coast Guard to oil spills and their future ability to meet future oil spill emergencies. The Transportation System Center of the Department of Transportation has studied the issue and GAO's report evaluated that study.

Only data from the last 4 years was used for the DOT study due to unreliability of the information. GAO feels these data are inadequate to confidently project one single monetary estimate of the Coast Guard's future oil spill needs. The estimates that were provided were higher than the figures arrived at by GAO. Improved oil spill technology, disaster assistance from the private sector, and stricter measures requested by the President governing vessel safety technology and oil spill prevention implies that the future estimates of the Coast Guard's needs will not be as high as DOT projected.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should request the Coast Guard to: (1) provide a range of potential costs along with the changes in assumptions; (2) identify significant uncertainties that could effect program results; and (3) develop data on the social and economic impact of oilspills to be used in establishing response criteria and policies.


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