33 CFR 137.1 - Purpose and applicability.
(a) In general under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ( 33 U.S.C. 2701, et seq.), an owner or operator of a facility (as defined in § 137.10) that is the source of a discharge, or a substantial threat of discharge, of oil into the navigable waters or adjoining shorelines or the exclusive economic zone is liable for damages and removal costs resulting from the discharge or threat. However, if that person can demonstrate, among other criteria not addressed in this part, that they did not know and had no reason to know at the time of their acquisition of the real property on which the facility is located that oil was located on, in, or at the facility, the person may be eligible for the innocent landowner defense to liability under 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(4). One element of the defense is that the person made all appropriate inquiries into the nature of the real property on which the facility is located before acquiring it. The purpose of this part is to prescribe standards and practices for making those inquiries.
(b) Under 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(4)(E), this part does not apply to real property purchased by a non-governmental entity or non-commercial entity for residential use or other similar uses where a property inspection and a title search reveal no basis for further investigation. In those cases, the property inspection and title search satisfy the requirements of this part.
(c) This part does not affect the existing OPA 90 liability protections for State and local governments that acquire a property involuntarily in their functions as sovereigns under 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(2)(B). Involuntary acquisition of properties by State and local governments fall under the provisions of 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(2)(B), not under the all-appropriate-inquiries provision of 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(4) and this part.
- 33 CFR 137.35 — Inquiries by an Environmental Professional.
- 33 CFR 137.18 — Duties of Persons Specified in § 137.1(a).
- 33 CFR 137.40 — Additional Inquiries.
- 33 CFR 137.85 — The Degree of Obviousness of the Presence or Likely Presence of Oil at the Facility and the Real Property on Which the Facility Is Located and the Ability to Detect the Oil by Appropriate Investigation.
- 33 CFR 137.75 — The Relationship of the Purchase Price to the Value of the Facility and the Real Property on Which the Facility Is Located, if Oil Was Not at the Facility or on the Real Property.
- 33 CFR 137.55 — Searches for Recorded Environmental Cleanup Liens.
- 33 CFR 137.70 — Specialized Knowledge or Experience on the Part of Persons Specified in § 137.1(a).
- 33 CFR 137.30 — Objectives and Performance Factors.
- 33 CFR 137.80 — Commonly Known or Reasonably Ascertainable Information About the Facility and the Real Property on Which the Facility Is Located.
- 33 CFR 137.33 — General All Appropriate Inquiries Requirements.