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Response Plans

Spill Recovery Equipment Caps to Increase

Effective April 5, the USCG will increase the requirements for on-water oil recovery capability for tank vessel and facility response plan holders by 25 percent. The so-called response capability "caps" address the volume of equipment a plan holder is required to ensure available by contract or other approved means. The caps ? meant to facilitate the cascading of response resources to a spill scene within the first 72 hours of an incident ? do not relieve a vessel owner of the statutory responsibility to plan for and clean up a worst case discharge, defined by the OPA 90 as the loss of a vessel's entire cargo in adverse weather. Reflecting the agreement of the Tank Vessel Response Plans Negotiated Rulemaking (Reg-Neg) Committee and the provisions of the January 1996 final rule on tank vessel response plans, the 25 percent cap increase was originally scheduled to take place February 18, 1998, provided the USCG determined the proposed increase was still practicable. The USCG delayed implementation of the cap increase pending completion of a feasibility review, which examined issues such as technological capability, commercial and market availability of response equipment, and availability of existing equipment stocks to respond within the prescribed time frames. In May 1999, the USCG completed its review, concluding the volume and placement of existing response equipment stocks are such that a 25 percent increase in the caps is practicable


USCG Publishes Final Rule for Nontank Vessel Response Plans

The U.S. Coast Guard announced publication of the final rule to increase pollution response preparedness for nontank vessels carrying oil in U.S. waters. The final rule establishes the content of oil discharge response plans so nontank vessel owners and operators understand how to comply with the preparation and submission requirements of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Acts of 2004 and 2006. The CGMTAs amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act


USCG to Release Response Plan Information on Internet

The USCG will proceed with its plan to make general information on tank vessel response plans available to the public via the Internet. However, the agency has clarified the information released will not include technical or operational details such as vessel plans and diagrams, phone numbers or addresses of qualified individuals, specific information on vessel cargoes or routes, or contractual details of a vessel owner's arrangements with oil spill removal organizations.


Blank Rome Advisory on New CG Regs

Blank Rome issued a Maritime Developments Advisory as follows: The United States Coast Guard issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on August 31, 2009 on long-awaited new regulations concerning the following: (i) requiring owners and operators of nontank vessels to prepare and submit oil spill nontank vessel response plans (NTVRPs); (ii) updating the international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) requirements; and (iii) requiring owners and operators to submit their


Tank Vessel Response Plan: Alaska Violators Fined

The Coast Guard has issued monetary penalties in Alaska to three vessel operators in violation of federal regulations concerning vessel response plan requirements, as follows: The vessels Pacific Galaxy, operated by Synergy Maritime PET; Tamar, operated by MTM Ship Management, and Yayoi Express, operated by MOL Tankship Management, have been issued a monetary violation for non-compliance with Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 155 Subpart D in Alaska


Nontank Vessel Response Plan Required by January 30, 2014

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The "Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Response Plan Requirements" (NTVRP) final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2013, requires vessel owners or operators of nontank vessels 400 gross tons and above to prepare and submit oil spill response plans for vessels operating on the navigable waters of the United States by January 30, 2014. Because many of the requirements in the NTVRP final rule are statutory mandates and regulatory constraints on


USCG Extends Comment Period

The USCG has extended the public comment period for its NPRM on response plans for tank vessels carrying hazardous materials. Additionally, a two-day public meeting will be held on August 12-13, in Houston, at the Hilton-University of Houston Hotel and Conference Center. The deadline for written comments on the NPRM has been exteneded until August 30.


Public Comment Period Extended

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it has extended the public comment period on the draft National Response Framework (NRF) until October 22, 2007. The extended comment period provides additional time for interested parties to provide feedback on the draft document. The NRF was posted on the DHS Web site for public comment on September 10, 2007. The current comment period was scheduled to expire on October 11, 2007


ASA: Helping Out in Security Matters

The American Salvage Association (ASA) has offered to assist the U.S. Coast Guard Captains of the Port in the development, review, and update of their Area Maritime Security plans required by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Marine salvage response in the event of a terrorist attack against a maritime target is a critical consideration in the development of any security effort. ASA is very supportive of the concept of the Area Maritime Security Advisory Committees and the development of


Hong Kong Conducts Oil Spill Exercise

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An annual oil spill response joint exercise, this year code-named Oilex 2013, was held on October 17 off Ha Mei Wan, Lamma Island, to test responses in combating oil pollution in Hong Kong waters. Under the Maritime Oil Spill Response Plan, the Marine Department coordinated the exercise and other government departments including the Civil Aid Service, the Auxiliary Medical Service, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department


Green Groups Ask U.S. to Stall Shell's Final Arctic Permits

MSV Fennica. Pic by Arctia Shipping

 Ten environmental groups say a missing icebreaker should be a deal-breaker for Arctic offshore drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska's northwest coast and urged the U.S. government not to grant final permits to Shell, reports Reuters and AP.  


BSEE Tests GoM Response Equipment

Photo: BSEE

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) informs it has recently tested and verified the sound working condition of various response equipment used in the Gulf of Mexico region.   Analysts with BSEE’s Oil Spill Preparedness Division boarded the pollution control


NOAA Declares Whale Deaths an ‘Unusual Morality Event’

Bears feeding on a fin whale carcass in Larson Bay, Alaska, near Kodiak. Credit: NOAA

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has declared the recent deaths of 30 large whales in the western Gulf of Alaska an "unusual mortality event," triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause


MN 100: AEP River Operations

President: Keith Darling

AEP River Operations offers the largest covered hopper fleet of any carrier. Complementing its barge operations is a fleet of over 80 boats ranging in power from  1,550 to 11,000 hp. The Company: Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, AEP River Operations is a barge company offering service


BMT Oceanica Wins APPEA Study

BMT Oceanica APPEA Study

  Marine and coastal environment specialist, BMT Oceanica (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has been awarded the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association’s (APPEA) “Understanding the Risks of Unplanned Discharges” study.


US Response Model for Salvage and Firefighting

As the dust settles on the 2014 implementation of the non-tank vessel response plan (VRP) regulations, the effective result is that all tank and non-tank vessels over 400 gross tons operating in US waters must meet the requirements of OPA 90


VMT Provides Lifeboat Simulator for Rowan

Photo: Rowan

Virtual Marine Technology (VMT) provided its SurvivalQuest lifeboat simulator training system to Rowan Companies for lifeboat launch and recovery training to lifeboat operators and marine crews, complementing weekly safety drills conducted onboard Rowan drilling rigs.  


Ship Salvage in the Presence of WWII Era Torpedo & Mines

What began as a typical grounding response quickly turned into anything but when the initial dive survey turned up a World War II era torpedo and unexploded mines around the vessel.

T&T Salvage continues to support shipowners with prompt, safe and cost-effective solutions to complex salvage, wreck removal, and anti-pollution challenges.  A comprehensive management team, with an average of 26 years in the industry


Resilience & the Maritime Industry

Dennis L. Bryan

Resilience is defined generally as the ability to recover quickly from setbacks.  Setbacks are inevitable.  Individuals and entities are best judged by their resilience – their ability to get back on track after experiencing a reversal. 


Oil Tanker Free after Grounding off Texas

SN Federica churns up mud while attempting to free itself after running aground March 31. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Dustin R. Williams)

An oil tanker has been refloated after running aground last Tuesday 35 miles east of Galveston, Texas.   The SN Federica, a 750-foot Italian flagged oil tanker carrying more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil (nearly 17 million gallons), ran aground while transiting into the Galveston Fairway


Marine Salvage & Oil Spill Response Insights

Photo: Global Diving & Salvage

Last month Maritime Reporter had the good fortune to receive insights from a trio of maritime salvage leaders – Paul Hankins, Tim Beaver & Jim Elliott – garnering insights on one of the most challenging and ever-changing sectors of the maritime market.  


Canada Releases Tanker Safety System Report

The Government of Canada has released the second report of the independent Tanker Safety Expert Panel, “A Review of Canada’s Ship-source Spill Preparedness and Response: Setting the Course for the Future, Phase II – Requirements for the Arctic and for Hazardous and Noxious


Dispersants ... Will we ever be able to use them again?

Jonathan K. Waldron

On January 22, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Proposed Rule on dispersants. The Proposed Rule drastically changes the EPA’s approach to dispersants and could imperil proven and effective means of responding to marine oil disasters


US Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Shell Spill Plans in Alaska

A divided federal appeals court rejected an effort by environmental groups to void a U.S. agency's approval of two oil spill response plans by Royal Dutch Shell Plc related to the company's oil leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas on Alaska's Arctic coast.  


Shell Arctic Rig Departs Seattle Surrounded by Protesters

 A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling rig that will search for oil in the Arctic pulled out of its temporary base in Seattle on Monday for the trip north to Alaska as dozens of activists in kayaks tried to stop its movement, authorities said.  






 
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