The American Salvage Association (ASA) is pleased with the announcement on December 30 that the United States Coast Guard's Marine Salvage and Firefighting Regulations have been posted for public inspection and were published on December 31st in the Federal Register.
The long-awaited marine salvage and firefighting regulations are expected to go into effect within 30 days of their publication and will provide for the customary 18-month period for compliance. The regulations, called for in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 after the Exxon Valdez casualty, are more important now than ever before as the nation faces the threat of terrorist incidents in the marine transport sector, be they in ports, terminals or aboard ships as well as the recent impacts on the marine community resulting from severe weather. While government has been working to prevent terrorist incidents from occurring, an efficient, professional, specialized response capability for marine disasters is required.
Professional marine salvors often serve as first responders at the time of marine incidents, working quickly to minimize damage and expedite recovery. By promulgating these critically important regulations, the U.S. Coast Guard would not only improve the nation’s marine environmental protection capability, it would also improve the nation’s homeland security and terrorist response capabilities.
ASA expressed its gratitude for the hard work in seeing these regulations come to fruition of ASA past presidents J. Arnold Witte, Richard Fairbanks, George Wittich and John A. Witte; Jr., along with the actions of Admiral Thad Allen and RADM Brian Salerno, USCG. "We are so pleased with the announcement of the promulgation of the salvage and firefighting regulations," said John A Witte, Jr., ASA President. "These regulations will go a long way toward ensuring that the nation is ready and has the capability to respond to accidental or terrorist events in the marine sector that require a professional salvage response."