The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

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Governments should be held responsible for dealing with environmental hazards resulting from previous resource use and environmental standards that are no longer acceptable today. Through the instances of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, the Kuwait Oil Fires, the Hurricane Katrina devastation and the Sydney Tar Ponds, this paper will develop an argument supporting the idea that governments should be given the responsibility to handle environmental hazards that result from the prior use of resources as well as environmental regulations that are no longer up to standard.
I. The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
To begin, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill was a man-made environmental disaster that occurred in 1989. On March 24, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 barrels of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound in Alaska (Piatt, Lensick, Butler, Kendziorek & Nysewander, 1990). Eventually, this oil spread across 30,000 km² of water, damaging ecosystems and marine life along the way (Piatt, 1990). Evidently, this oil spill is considered to be one of the most destructive man-made environmental disasters in history (Dimdam, 2013).
Initial government response to the disaster proved challenging due to the remote location of Prince William Sound. As a result, this led to a slow and inadequate clean up of oil in the Alaskan waters. The oil clean up took approximately four years, until the clean up efforts were eventually called off by the

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