According to reports, the Coast Guard has issued new rules governing the transportation
of oil through Buzzards Bay that
require single-hulled tankers and oil barges to be escorted by a second tugboat.
The rules are designed to reduce the likelihood of a spill and apply to vessels carrying 5,000 or more barrels of oil. They also require the primary tugboat to have a federally licensed pilot on board, independent of the master and crew.
The Coast Guard also is instituting a system to monitor the movement of all larger commercial vessels in the bay.
Buzzards Bay has been the site of several oil spills
, including one in which nearly 100,000 gallons of fuel leaked from a barge that struck a shoal in 2003.
The new rules take effect on Nov. 28.