New regulations for non-tank vessel response plans (VRP) to be discussed at upcomingNational Maritime Salvage Conference
One issue on the conference agenda will be the new regulations for Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans (VRPs). On March 9, 2013, the OPA 90 Vessel Response Plan regulatory package outlining requirements for non-tank vessels trading in U.S. waters was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), jumping the last hurdle before publication on or around June 9, 2013. The new regulations address the need to identify appropriate response resources, including diving, salvage, firefighting or lightering equipment and personnel, within VRPs. Questions on what this means for response to non-tank vessel casualties will be examined at the conference.
This biennial executive event, on September 9-12, 2013 at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, focuses on the critical issues of marine salvage, wreck removal and firefighting.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Weathering the Storm.” The first two days of the conference will include sessions on OPA 90 regulatory update; environmental salvage; liability exposure and responder immunity; OFAC restrictions on salvage operations; activating the VRP; incident management during salvage operations; effective communications; contracting; the U.S. Coast Guard BOA System; salvage response to natural disasters; and the challenges ahead of megaships, Arctic salvage, personnel and regulations. Day three of the conference will consist of a session on expectations by discrete stakeholders in a salvage response operation, and a tabletop training exercise.
ASA President Tim Beaver commented, “This is an important event for the maritime salvage community, where issues of major concern to the industry will be discussed.” “Furthermore” he pointed out, “with the advent of the Non-Tank Vessel Salvage and Marine Firefighting regulations to be published as early as June 9 and possibly implemented as early as this year end, the conference will hold particular value for non-tank vessel owners and operators.”