Spill Cleanups: Who Is Responsible?
The person responsible for cleaning up a spill is:
- the owner or operator of a facility from which a spill emanates;
- the owner, operator, or demise charterer of a vessel from which a spill emanates; or
- any other person who causes, suffers, allows, or permits a spill or discharge.
The TCEQs on-scene coordinator may determine that the responsible person is unable or unwilling to respond. In those cases, the TCEQ may take over the response action, using state funds as authorized. Texas Water Code 26.266 requires the TCEQ to seek reimbursement of state funds spent on cleanup from any and all responsible persons.
In addition, the TCEQ may pursue administrative, civil, and criminal penalties.