551 - 11/07 - Revised California Response Plan requirements - USA


Members are alerted to developments with regard to California Vessel Response Plan requirements. Tank and non-tank Members trading to California will want to make changes to their response plans in light of the recent California Shoreline Protection Standards, which became effective on 1 May 2007 for tank vessels and 1 September 2007 for non-tank vessels.

The new standards effectively require two oil spill response organisations (OSRO) to be named in the Members' California Contingency Plan, as the State has determined that any single OSRO cannot independently meet the Shoreline Protection Standards for several Low Volume Ports such as San Diego and Humboldt Bay. Members trading to any Low Volume Port will need to immediately add a second OSRO to their plan.

However, we understand that tankers trade only to High Volume Ports, therefore the new requirements do not in practice affect tanker operators. We further understand that for those ships, at least for the time being, removal of the Low Volume Ports from their plan, or a statement that those vessels will trade only to High Volume Ports, will be acceptable.

We are advised that with regard to non-tank vessels, when any future plan modifications are made, plans not listing two OSROs will be denied regardless of whether ships trade to High Volume Ports only. Accordingly, it is more practical for Members to add the second OSRO to address this requirement now, in the event that their ships will trade to either San Diego or Humboldt Bay on short notice. If this were to happen, the ship may be denied entry.

For non-tank vessels, the addition of a second OSRO should be at no cost to Members, due to the Club having an existing agreement with the National Response Corporation and Marine Spill Response Corporation; the two largest nationwide OSROs.

Members are recommended to liaise with their US Qualified Individual/Spill Manager to make the necessary changes to their response plan in compliance with the new California requirements.

Source of information:

Kevin King

Thomas Miller (Americas) Inc.

New Jersey, USA

Tel: +1 201 557 7407




Staff Author