USCG Issues Fines for Tank Response Plan Noncompliance
The Coast Guard has issued monetary penalties to three vessel operators in violation of federal regulations related to tank vessel response plan requirements.
The vessels Pacific Galaxy, operated by Synergy Maritime PET, Tamar, operated by MTM Ship Management, and Yayoi Express, operated by MOL Tankship Management, have been issued a monetary violation for noncompliance with Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 155 Subpart D in Alaska. Vessel operators can face penalties of up to $11,000 per violation, per day.
Tank vessels bound to or from a U.S. port and transiting through the Western Alaska Captain of the Port zone must have an approved geographic specific appendix in their vessel response plan for Western Alaska prior to transiting or operating within the COTP zone if carrying oil in bulk as cargo or oil cargo residue. Violation of this requirement can include the issuance of a letter of warning, notice of violation, or a civil penalty.
In 2012, an alternate planning criteria was established by the Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network to enable tank vessels operating in Western Alaska to comply with an appropriate alternative to the national planning criteria established under Title 33 CFR Part 155.
“The Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network's Alternative Planning Criteria for tank vessels was approved by the Coast Guard over a year ago, giving vessel operators ample time to comply,” said Lt. Ryan Butler, assistant chief of inspections, Sector Anchorage. “Protecting Alaska's marine resources is one of the Coast Guard's highest priorities and tank vessels operating within the Western Alaska COTP zone must adequately plan to mitigate and respond to potential oil spills. Those vessels not in compliance risk enforcement action.”