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December 16, 2005

Environmental harm now a reportable marine casualty

The Coast Guard has published a final rule in today's Federal Register that amends the regulations governing marine casualty reporting requirements by adding "significant harm to the environment'' as a reportable marine casualty, and by requiring certain foreign flag vessels, such as oil tankers, to report marine casualties that occur in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction, but beyond U.S. navigable waters, when those casualties involve material damage affecting the seaworthiness or efficiency of the vessel, or significant harm to the environment. These changes are required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

This final rule is effective January 17, 2006.