This article may be cited as the "West Virginia Limited Liability for Persons Responding to Oil Discharges Act".
For the purposes of this article:
(a) "Damages" means damages of any kind for which liability may exist under the laws of this state resulting from, arising out of, or related to the discharge or threatened discharge of oil;
(b) "Discharge" means any emission (other than natural seepage), intentional or unintentional, and includes, but is not limited to, spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping;
(c) "Federal on-scene coordinator" means the federal official designated by the lead agency or predesignated by the United States environmental protection agency or the United States coast guard to coordinate and direct responses under the national contingency plan (NCP);
(d) "National contingency plan" means the national contingency plan prepared and published under Section 311(d) of the federal Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C. §1321(d), as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Public Law No. 101-380, 104 Stat. 484 (1990) as in effect as of the effective date of this article;
(e) "Oil" means oil of any kind or in any form, including, but not limited to, petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil;
(f) "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, state, municipality, commission or political subdivision of a state or any interstate body;
(g) "Remove" or "removal" means containment and removal of oil or a hazardous substance from water and shorelines or the taking of other actions as may be necessary to minimize or mitigate damage to the public health or welfare, including, but not limited to, fish, shellfish, wildlife and public and private property, shorelines and beaches;
(h) "Removal costs" means the costs of removal that are incurred after a discharge of oil has occurred or, in any case in which there is a substantial threat of a discharge of oil, the costs to prevent, minimize or mitigate oil pollution from such an incident; and
(i) "Responsible party" means a responsible party as defined under §1001 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Public Law No. 101-380, 104 Stat. 484 (1990).
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, a person engaged in removal activities is not liable for removal costs or damages which result from acts or omissions in the course of rendering care, assistance or advice consistent with the national contingency plan or as otherwise directed by the federal on-scene coordinator or by the state official charged with responsibility for oil discharge responses.
(b) Subsection (a) of this section does not apply:
(1) To a responsible party;
(2) With respect to personal injury or wrongful death; or
(3) If the person is grossly negligent or engages in willful misconduct.
(c) A responsible party is liable for any removal costs and damages that another person is relieved of under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.
(d) Nothing in this section affects the liability of a responsible party for oil spill response under state law.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session