Marine Log

November 20, 2006

Vane Line may apply for Delaware lightering permit

Baltimore-based Vane Line Bunkering should be considered for a permit to lighter tankers to permit them to operate in the Delaware River main channel, says Delaware's Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board.

Lightering involves offloading oil from a tanker to a barge, so that the tanker draws less water. Here's one description of a Delaware lightering operation.

In September, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control ruled in September that Vane Line's proposal would violate a 1971 ban on new bulk transfer operations in the protected Coastal Zone.

However, the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board ruled that the lightering business had existed before the 1971 law took effect and that tankers and oil refineries have a right to continue using such services--regardless of the operator.