Coast Guard Issues New Oil Barge Regulations

Friday, August 31, 2007
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. Source: AP

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