Tanker Safety

Archive Report

Concern Over Oil Tanker Accidents

Safety Demands in the Aftermath of Oil Spills

A spate of tanker accidents since mid-December has raised a public outcry about oil spills in or near American waters and spurred the government to seek more stringent safety regulation on seagoing commerce. The Senate Commerce Committee held hearings in January on the accidents that had occurred since the Argo Merchant ran aground off Nantucket Island on Dec. 15, causing the “biggest oil spill disaster… in American history.”1 This country “has just witnessed the worst rash of tanker accidents ever,” Committee Chairman Warren G. Magnuson (D Wash.) said on Jan. 11. He predicted that “the worst is yet to come.”

Describing the number of tanker disasters as “intolerable,” Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams issued ...

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