News Archives from 8-31-09 to 8-31-2009
Coast Guard Updates Vessel Response Plan Requirements . . . 8/31/2009
The Coast Guard is updating its requirements for oil-spill removal equipment associated with vessel response plans and marine transportation-related facility response plans. This update is based on an ongoing review of these requirements conducted by the Coast Guard pursuant to our regulations. These changes will add requirements for new response technologies and revise methods and procedures for responding to oil spills upon the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, and the exclusive economic zone. The Coast Guard is also revising the compliance date for updates of vessel response plans (VRPs) required by the Salvage and Marine Firefighting final rule. This extension of the compliance date will ensure that plan holders are not required to update their VRPs twice within a 12-month period. This final rule is effective September 30, 2009.
Coast Guard Amplifies Non Tank Vessel Response Plan Rules . . . 8/31/2009
The United States Coast Guard, proposes this nontank vessel response plan rulemaking to further protect the Nation from the threat of oil spills in the maritime domain. The rule proposes regulations requiring owners or operators of nontank vessels to prepare and submit oil spill response plans. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act defines nontank vessels as self-propelled vessels of 400 gross tons or greater that operate on the navigable waters of the United States, carry oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion, and are not tank vessels. The proposed rule would specify the content of a response plan, and among other issues, address the requirement to plan for responding to a worst case discharge and a substantial threat of such a discharge. Additionally, this proposed rule would update the international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) requirements that apply to certain nontank vessels and tank vessels. Finally, this proposed rule would require vessel owners and operators to submit their vessel response plan control number as part of already required notice of arrival information. This rulemaking supports the Coast Guard’s strategic goals of protection of natural resources and maritime mobility.
Coast Guard Proposes Requirements for Ballast Water Management Systems . . . 8/31/2009
This NPRM would require that all vessels that operate in U.S. waters, are bound for ports or places in the U.S., and are equipped with ballast tanks, install and operate a Coast Guard approved ballast water management system (BWMS) before discharging ballast water into U.S. waters. This would include vessels bound for offshore ports or places. It would not include vessels that operate exclusively in one Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone, as it is unlikely that vessels operating only within one COTP Zone would introduce invasive species (from outside of that COTP Zone) into the waters of their COTP Zone. Whether the vessel traveled 200 nautical miles offshore would no longer be a factor in determining applicability. This means that some vessels that operated exclusively in the coastwise trade, which were previously exempt from having to perform ballast water exchange (BWE), would now be required to meet the BWDS. This requirement is intended to meet the directives under NISA that requires the Coast Guard to ensure to the maximum extent practicable that nonindigenous species (NIS) are not introduced and spread into U.S. waters and that they apply to all vessels equipped withballast tanks that operate in U.S. waters.
EPA Proposes New Emission Standards for Large Diesel Engines . . . 8/31/2009
EPA is proposing emission standards for new marine diesel engines with per cylinder displacement at or above 30 liters (called Category 3 marine diesel engines) installed on U.S. vessels, under section 213 of the Clean Air Act (CAA or ‘‘the Act’’). The proposed engine standards are equivalent to the nitrogen oxides (NOX) limits recently adopted in the amendments to Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL Annex VI) and are based on the position advanced by the United States Government as part of those international negotiations.