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Circular 12/99: Oil Pollution in the United States: Non-tank Vessels and California Requirements
TO THE MEMBERS
OIL POLLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES:
NON-TANK VESSELS AND CALIFORNIA REQUIREMENTS
These arrangements, made on behalf of all Members of the Association who trade non-tank vessels to the United States, will ensure that if a spill occurs or is threatened within or near the US Exclusive Economic Zone (200 mile limit), immediate assistance can be obtained by telephoning C&H on their 24 hour contact numbers, as follows: +1 202 337 2500 (primary), +1 202 337 2525 (secondary).
The arrangements are not mandatory. Members who prefer to use a different QI or spill manager are free to do so, but should advise the Managers in writing, identifying the ships concerned.
California COFRs and Oil Spill Contingency Plan
The Association's circulars
Members will need to obtain their California COFRs before seeking approval for their oil spill contingency plan. For this purpose Members are advised to contact Patricia Osfeld or Cheryl Mitchell at OSPR (Tel: +916-324-0003, Fax: +916-323-4727) to request COFR application forms. OSPR will fax application forms once the COFR regulation becomes final, later this month. Members should return the completed application form by fax to OSPR, together with a copy of the Association's Certificate of Entry for the ship concerned, and wire transfer to OSPR payment of $100 per ship. OSPR will mail the COFR to the owner.
Oil Spill Contingency Plan
The contingency plan regulations, as proposed at the time of this circular, contemplate two parts to the plan, one containing company/ship-specific information (including the COFR and documentation relating to the QI, spill management team, oil spill responders, and agent for process), and the other containing shoreside response elements.
Responsibility for complying with the new regulations rests with each Member. However, the Managers have arranged for the following documents to be prepared by C&H, in order to assist Members in their preparations for compliance.
First, with regard to that part of the contingency plan containing company/ship-specific information, C&H has prepared a model format, showing what information is required and how it should be presented. The model format is obtainable from C&H at the address indicated below.
Second, with regard to that part of the contingency plan dealing with shoreside response, C&H is preparing a shoreside plan which utilises the QI, spill management and spill response facilities described in the first paragraph of this circular, and which it is intended should be referred to in, or appended to, the company/ship-specific information.
No charge will be made to Members either for the model format relating to company/ship-specific information, or for the right to participate in the C&H shoreside plan.
The contingency plan regulations are not expected to be finalised until the end of this month, or possibly later in August. Members should therefore bear in mind that plans developed at this stage may require some adjustment if the final regulations are different from those currently proposed. In that event further guidance will be provided.
In view of the short time available for plan development, submission, and follow-through to approval, Members may require further assistance. Those desiring such assistance are recommended to contact C&H, who can offer more comprehensive help, through to plan approval, for a one-time fee of $1,000 per owner/operator, irrespective of the number of ships involved.
Members who wish to take advantage of this service, either in respect of the model format or in relation to more comprehensive assistance, should contact Charles Corbett of C&H direct at Suite 1000, 600 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington D.C. 20037 (Phone +202-337-7700, and Fax +202-337-7090), with copy to Chao Wu at Thomas Miller (Americas) Inc, (Phone +201-557-7300, and Fax +201-946-0167).
THOMAS MILLER (BERMUDA) LTD.
, circular 7/99, issued in April this year, provided details of arrangements to secure access to oil spill response facilities in the event of a spill from a non-tank vessel in United States waters, by the appointment of Corbett & Holt (C&H) as a provider of Qualified Individual (QI) and spill management services, and by the appointment of two oil spill response companies - Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) and National Response Corporation (NRC). 2/99 and 7/99 contained details of new regulations which require Members who trade non-tank vessels to California from 1st September 1999 to have submitted for approval to the California Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) an oil spill contingency plan and to have obtained from OSPR a state Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) for US$300 million. The Managers have subsequently considered with C&H how best to guide Members in their preparations for compliance.