Hearing on Cosco Busan

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted an oversight hearing on the COSCO BUSAN incident and the USCG marine casualty investigation program.  The Summary of Subject Matter focuses on the COSCO BUSAN incident and the ALASKA RANGER casualty in the Bering Sea.  Rear Admiral Brian Salerno, US Coast Guard, testified about the marine casualty investigation program.  He stated that the program generally works quite well, but that the program will be strengthened through addition of civilian positions and establishment of Centers of Expertise.  Ms. Anne L. Richards, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security, testified that the OIG investigation revealed that there was nothing that the San Francisco Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) could have done to prevent the allision.  Further, the initial under-estimate of the quantity of the oil spill did not adversely impact the response effort.  There is, though, room for improvement in the applicable contingency plans.  The Department of Homeland Security released the Report of the OIG Investigation, which calls for development of a national standard operating procedure for the VTS program and better guidelines for vessel movement during periods of restricted visibility.  (HK Law)

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