Marine Link
Friday, October 20, 2017

Response Plans

Spill Recovery Equipment Caps to Increase

Effective April 5, the USCG will increase the requirements for on-water oil recovery capability for tank vessel and facility response plan holders by 25 percent. The so-called response capability "caps" address the volume of equipment a plan holder is required to ensure available by contract or other approved means. The caps ? meant to facilitate the cascading of response resources to a spill scene within the first 72 hours of an incident ? do not relieve a vessel owner of the statutory responsibility to plan for and clean up a worst case discharge, defined by the OPA 90 as the loss of a vessel's entire cargo in adverse weather. Reflecting the agreement of the Tank Vessel Response Plans Negotiated Rulemaking (Reg-Neg) Committee and the provisions of the January 1996 final rule on tank vessel response plans, the 25 percent cap increase was originally scheduled to take place February 18, 1998, provided the USCG determined the proposed increase was still practicable. The USCG delayed implementation of the cap increase pending completion of a feasibility review, which examined issues such as technological capability, commercial and market availability of response equipment, and availability of existing equipment stocks to respond within the prescribed time frames. In May 1999, the USCG completed its review, concluding the volume and placement of existing response equipment stocks are such that a 25 percent increase in the caps is practicable

USCG Publishes Final Rule for Nontank Vessel Response Plans

The U.S. Coast Guard announced publication of the final rule to increase pollution response preparedness for nontank vessels carrying oil in U.S. waters. The final rule establishes the content of oil discharge response plans so nontank vessel owners and operators understand how to comply with the preparation and submission requirements of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Acts of 2004 and 2006. The CGMTAs amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act

USCG to Release Response Plan Information on Internet

The USCG will proceed with its plan to make general information on tank vessel response plans available to the public via the Internet. However, the agency has clarified the information released will not include technical or operational details such as vessel plans and diagrams, phone numbers or addresses of qualified individuals, specific information on vessel cargoes or routes, or contractual details of a vessel owner's arrangements with oil spill removal organizations.

Blank Rome Advisory on New CG Regs

Blank Rome issued a Maritime Developments Advisory as follows: The United States Coast Guard issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on August 31, 2009 on long-awaited new regulations concerning the following: (i) requiring owners and operators of nontank vessels to prepare and submit oil spill nontank vessel response plans (NTVRPs); (ii) updating the international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) requirements; and (iii) requiring owners and operators to submit their

Tank Vessel Response Plan: Alaska Violators Fined

The Coast Guard has issued monetary penalties in Alaska to three vessel operators in violation of federal regulations concerning vessel response plan requirements, as follows: 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 non-compliance with Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 155 Subpart D in Alaska

Nontank Vessel Response Plan Required by January 30, 2014

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The "Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Response Plan Requirements" (NTVRP) final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2013, requires vessel owners or operators of nontank vessels 400 gross tons and above to prepare and submit oil spill response plans for vessels operating on the navigable waters of the United States by January 30, 2014. Because many of the requirements in the NTVRP final rule are statutory mandates and regulatory constraints on

Public Comment Period Extended

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it has extended the public comment period on the draft National Response Framework (NRF) until October 22, 2007. The extended comment period provides additional time for interested parties to provide feedback on the draft document. The NRF was posted on the DHS Web site for public comment on September 10, 2007. The current comment period was scheduled to expire on October 11, 2007

ASA: Helping Out in Security Matters

The American Salvage Association (ASA) has offered to assist the U.S. Coast Guard Captains of the Port in the development, review, and update of their Area Maritime Security plans required by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Marine salvage response in the event of a terrorist attack against a maritime target is a critical consideration in the development of any security effort. ASA is very supportive of the concept of the Area Maritime Security Advisory Committees and the development of

Hearing on Spills from non-tank Vessels

On December 18, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will conduct a hearing on Oil Spills from Non-Tank Vessels. Among the issues to be addressed are the adequacy and enforcement of vessel response plans for non-tank vessels and the adequacy of non-tank vessel liability limits. (HK Law)

Hong Kong Conducts Oil Spill Exercise

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An annual oil spill response joint exercise, this year code-named Oilex 2013, was held on October 17 off Ha Mei Wan, Lamma Island, to test responses in combating oil pollution in Hong Kong waters. Under the Maritime Oil Spill Response Plan, the Marine Department coordinated the exercise and other government departments including the Civil Aid Service, the Auxiliary Medical Service, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

Op/Ed: The Real Story Behind the Attack on SMFF Regulations

Todd Schauer (Photo: ASA)

ASA Sets the Record Straight.   The U.S. salvage industry came under attack at a recent Congressional hearing on May 3 by a special commercial interest that is promoting its own agenda. The American Salvage Association (ASA) intends to set the record straight. At the hearing, the attacking group made false allegations that the Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) resource providers are not willing or contractually obligated to respond and lack the resources to meet regulated response

Salvage and Marine Firefighting

© Lev Savitskiy / Adobe Stock

Salvage and marine firefighting are complex response efforts often undertaken in adverse weather and sea conditions. While no two oil spill responses are the same, the diversity of variation between any two oil spill responses is not near as great as the diversity of any two salvage and marine firefighting responses.   As a result, salvage and marine firefighting response providers must plan for and anticipate a wide range of variation in what will be required to address their portion

Caribbean Oil Terminals Prepare for Hurricane Maria

© Alexandre Rosa / Adobe Stock

Several Caribbean oil storage terminals that temporarily closed ahead of Hurricane Irma earlier this month have started making preparations in case they have to shut again due to Hurricane Maria, which was a rare Category 5 storm on Tuesday.   Shippers and traders in the Atlantic basin are struggling amid this year's very active storm season, which has seen seven hurricanes so far, four of them major hurricanes, defined as at least a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

USS Monterey Deploys as Surge Force

Photo: United States Navy

 The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) departed Naval Station Norfolk Oct. 16, for a surge deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operation.    Monterey is deploying to support maritime security operations and to increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence.    The guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61), a component of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10

Spill Response Tackled In New Contract

Photo: Office of Response and Restoration, NOAAs Ocean Service,  US Govt.

 The International Spill Control Organization (ISCO) and BIMCO are working together to develop a standard contract for spill response services. The contract is expected to be published by the end of the year.   The Spill Response Services and Equipment Contract is designed for situations where a spill incident occurs and the shipowner or other stakeholder (the “requesting party”) needs to contract for clean-up services, counter pollution measures, and hire of equipment

Singapore, Malaysia Conduct Joint Chemical Spill Drill

Photo: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

 The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Marine Department of Malaysia (MDM) conducted a joint chemical spill exercise at sea along the East Johor Straits to test the Joint Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for chemical spill incidents and the communication linkages between the Operation Liaison Officers (OLOs) and the Environment Liaison Officers (ELOs) in both countries.    Jointly developed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)

Revised PREP Guidelines: What You Should Know

Kate Kelley

On April 11, 2016 the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) released the revised 2016 National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) Guidelines. The new guidelines will become effective on June 10, 2016. Established under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the PREP guidelines were developed to provide a mechanism for compliance with the vessel response plan (VRP) drill and exercise requirements. Use of the PREP Guidelines is voluntary, however

Vessel Runs Aground in Columbia River near Skamokawa

The motor vessel Nenita, a 378-foot Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier laden with grain sits aground in the Columbia River near Skamokawa, Wash., Photo USCG

The Coast Guard is monitoring the transit of a motor vessel that ran aground in the Columbia River near Skamokawa, Washington, but was refloated, inspected and given a captain of the port order to transit to Kalama, Saturday morning. There was no report of pollution or injuries stemming from the grounding of the Nenita, a 738-foot Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier fully laden with grain. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River were notified of the incident at 3:21 a.m

Salvage and Marine Firefighting Verification

Firefighting onboard any ship is one of the most serious situations facing onboard personnel and responders. The containership CCNI Arauco caught fire in the aft container hold on September 1. After four intense weeks, Ardent safely returned the vessel to the owners. Ardent discharged the damaged containers out of the vessels cargo hold. These containers were declared as dangerous waste and required special treatment. (Photo: Feuerwehr Hamburg)

The U.S. Coast Guard regulations regarding salvage and marine firefighting (SMFF) as elements of vessel response plans (VRPs) for tank vessels have been in place since December 31, 2008. On September 30, 2013, these regulations were expanded to include non-tank vessels with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater of fuel oil.   The VRP requirement was established by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). The statute provides, in pertinent part, that the VRP shall: 

Eisenhower Strike Group Ready for Action

Photo: United States Navy

 Approximately 6,000 Sailors from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) are conducting a sustainment exercise (SUSTEX) to maintain their readiness and capability to deploy anywhere in the world on short notice should the need arise.  "Ike CSG is doing a great job on SUSTEX. Sustaining the readiness of this strike group--so it is ready to respond to a crisis anywhere on the planet--is a bargain and an important part of what our Navy's Optimized Fleet Response Plan does

Euronav VLCC Aground near Indonesia

 MT Alex, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) owned by Belgian tanker company Euronav Ship Management ran aground in Java Sea.   The DWT 299,446 vessel, in laden condition, was sailing between Borneo and Sumatra on its way to Ningbo, China under load of crude oil, when she ran aground on a soft mud bottom.    No injuries or pollution have been reported while the vessel remains safely aground, in good weather

Tug and Barge Disabled near Galveston

Photo: USCG

Emergency responders are working to keep a disabled tug and barge from running aground off of Texas.   U.S. Coast Guard response and incident management teams are coordinating with G & H Towing and T & T Marine Salvage to prevent a disabled tug and barge from running aground on Galveston Island, Texas.   At 2:19 p.m. Saturday, an agent for the integrated tug OSG Independence and its barge OSG 243 contacted Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders to report that the tug

Cyber Vigilance at Sea: The New Norm

© Sergei Simonov / Adobe Stock

The risk of cyber attacks on vessels at sea continues to be significant, and it’s not going away any time soon. Each year, it seems, there are more and more reports of hacks that have resulted in loss of critical data, financial loss or problems with IT systems or shipborne systems functionality. Shipowners have been reluctant to share information on actual or attempted breaches for fear of being identified. However, there’s no shortage of examples of cyber attacks on vessels

Monopoly Seekers Increase Burden on Shipping -ASA

Todd Schauer (Photo: ASA)

In a recent statement at a U.S. Congressional hearing, American Salvage Association (ASA) President, Todd Schauer, defended the response capabilities of the industry, and, by extension, the implementation of regulations themselves by the U.S. Coast Guard. “It has come to the attention of the American Salvage Association leadership that the resource and response capabilities of the four national salvage and marine firefighting (SMFF) resource providers have been questioned recently

Lax SMFF Enforcement a ‘Disaster Waiting to Happen’ -ROR

(Photo: Rapid Ocean Response Corp.)

A top U.S. Coast Guard official said at a recent congressional oversight hearing that the Coast Guard “has not been aggressively enforcing the compliance” of vessel response plans filed under federal Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) regulations. The rules, derived from the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, are meant to prevent a worst-case discharge resulting from fire or explosion aboard a vessel.  

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2017 - The Marine Design Annual

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