New regs for Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans near release

TimbeaverMAY 15, 2013—Preparations are well underway for what promises to be the marine salvage event of the year. The 2013 National Maritime Salvage Conference & Expo, sponsored by the American Salvage Association (ASA) and MARINE LOG, will be held September 9-12, 2013 at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel, Arlington,VA.

One issue on the conference agenda will be the new regulations for Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans (VRPs).  On March 9, 2013, the OPA 90 Vessel Response Plan regulatory package outlining requirements for non-tank vessels trading in U.S. waters was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), jumping the last hurdle before publication on or around June 9, 2013.  The new regulations address the need to identify appropriate response resources, including diving, salvage, firefighting or lightering equipment and personnel, within VRPs.  Questions on what this means for response to non-tank vessel casualties will be examined at the conference.

 American Salvage Association President Tim Beaver

A biennial executive event, the National Maritime Salvage Conference focuses on the critical issues of marine salvage, wreck removal and firefighting.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Weathering the Storm.”  The first two days of the conference will include sessions on OPA 90 regulatory update; environmental salvage; liability exposure and responder immunity; OFAC restrictions on salvage operations; activating the VRP; incident management during salvage operations; effective communications; contracting; the U.S. Coast Guard BOA System; salvage response to natural disasters; and the challenges ahead of megaships, Arctic salvage, personnel and regulations.  Day three of the conference will consist of a session on expectations by discrete stakeholders in a salvage response operation, and a tabletop training exercise. 

ASA President Tim Beaver commented, “This is an important event for the maritime salvage community, where issues of major concern to the industry will be discussed. Furthermore, with the advent of the Non-Tank Vessel Salvage and Marine Firefighting regulations to be published as early as June 9 and possibly implemented as early as this year end, the conference will hold particular value for non-tank vessel owners and operators.”

Congressman Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Marine Transportation, is invited to deliver the opening keynote address for the conference.  Among the other notable speakers on the agenda are Rob Grool, Seaspan Shipmanagement Ltd.; Jon Waldron, Blank Rome LLP; Joe Hughes, American Club; LCDR Brian Moore, USCG; and Lisa Symons, NOAA.  To see the complete program, including a list of speakers, and to register online visit

An important element of event is the expo, which includes premium tabletop exhibits. Organizations can enhance their visibility in the shipping, insurance, and marine casualty response markets by becoming a tabletop exhibitor or a sponsor at the National Maritime Salvage Conference & Expo. For more details, contact Jane Poterala at (212) 620-7209 or [email protected].  

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