USCG inspection experts and tank barge operators
have formed a quality action team (QAT) to develop a new barge inspection
program to ease industry concerns regarding the USCG's Streamlined Inspection Program (SIP). The SIP, which is well-suited to the needs of complex inspection regimes, does not provide enough flexibility to address the unique inspection needs of tank barge operators.
The goal of the new effort is to produce an alternative compliance approach and new regulations allowing for some form of audited self-inspection.
In meetings with Rear Admiral Robert C. North, assistant commandant for marine safety and environmental protection, and Rear Admiral Paul J. Pluta, Eighth USCG District Commander, the American Waterways Operators stressed the USCG has the statutory authority to develop an audited self-inspection program.
The QAT was formed to develop a model self-inspection program to provide the required flexibility, while ensuring barges are maintained at or above current safety standards.