United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 29, 2023

§ 1653.
Liability for damages
Activities along or in vicinity of pipeline right-of-way; strict liability; limitation on liability; subrogation; emergency subsistence and other aid; exemption for State of Alaska
Except when the holder of the pipeline right-of-way granted pursuant to this chapter can prove that damages in connection with or resulting from activities along or in the vicinity of the proposed trans-Alaskan pipeline right-of-way were caused solely by an act of war or negligence of the United States, other government entity, or the damaged party, such holder shall be strictly liable to all damaged parties, public or private, without regard to fault for such damages, and without regard to ownership of any affected lands, structures, fish, wildlife, or biotic or other natural resources relied upon by Alaska Natives, Native organizations, or others for subsistence or economic purposes. Claims for such injury or damages may be determined by arbitration or judicial proceedings.
Liability under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be limited to $350,000,000 for any one incident, and the holders of the right-of-way or permit shall be liable for any claim allowed in proportion to their ownership interest in the right-of-way or permit. Liability of such holders for damages in excess of $350,000,000 shall be in accord with ordinary rules of negligence.
In any case where liability without fault is imposed pursuant to this subsection and the damages involved were caused by the negligence of a third party, the rules of subrogation shall apply in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction where the damage occurred.
Upon order of the Secretary, the holder of a right-of-way or permit shall provide emergency subsistence and other aid to an affected Alaska Native, Native organization, or other person pending expeditious filing of, and determination of, a claim under this subsection.
Where the State of Alaska is the holder of a right-of-way or permit under this chapter, the State shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection, but the holder of the permit or right-of-way for the trans-Alaska pipeline shall be subject to this subsection with respect to facilities constructed or activities conducted under rights-of-way or permits issued to the State to the extent that such holder engages in the construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of facilities, or in other activities under rights-of-way or permits issued to the State.
Control and removal of pollutants at expense of right-of-way holder

If any area in the State of Alaska within or without the right-of-way or permit area granted under this chapter is polluted by any activities related to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, including operation of the terminal, conducted by or on behalf of the holder to whom such right-of-way or permit was granted, and such pollution damages or threatens to damage aquatic life, wildlife, or public or private property, the control and total removal of the pollutant shall be at the expense of such holder, including any administrative and other costs incurred by the Secretary or any other Federal or State officer or agency. Upon failure of such holder to adequately control and remove such pollutant, the Secretary, in cooperation with other Federal, State, or local agencies, or in cooperation with such holder, or both, shall have the right to accomplish the control and removal at the expense of such holder.

(Pub. L. 93–153, title II, § 204, Nov. 16, 1973, 87 Stat. 586; Pub. L. 101–380, title VIII, §§ 8101, 8102(a)(1), (4), (b)–(e), Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 565–567.)
cite as: 43 USC 1653