Dangerous Water Without a Chart: Pollution Problems as they Relate to Tugs and Barges

Contrary to common perceptions, most oil spills are small and occur on inland waterways. These inland spills often involve tugs and barges. This Article explores the issues surrounding tug and barge spills in inland waterways. Examining the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, the Article analyzes both the criminal and civil aspects to this litigation. In the criminal sphere, the Article examines the issues of whether government personnel can question the vessel workers involved in the spill and whether these vessel workers have the benefit of a Miranda warning. In the civil area, the Article explores the problem of determining the responsible parties to an inland waterway spill and the cleanup difficulties incident to an inland waterway spill.