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USCG publishes non-tank vessel final rule

Written by Nick Blenkey

USCG stripeOCTOBER 1, 2013 — The U.S. Coast Guard has published the final rule to increase pollution response preparedness for non-tank vessels carrying oil in U.S. waters.

The final rule establishes the content of oil discharge response plans so owners and operators of non-tank vessels understand how to comply with the preparation and submission requirements of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Acts of 2004 and 2006. The CGMTAs amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, requiring owners and operators of non-tank vessels to prepare and submit oil spill response plans.

The final rule also updates the International Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan requirements that apply to all non-tank vessels and certain tank vessels. The final rule requires vessel owners and operators to submit their vessel response plan control numbers as part of the notice of arrival information.

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act defines a non-tank vessel as a self-propelled vessel of 400 gross tons or greater that operates on U.S. navigable waters while carrying oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion and is not a tank vessel.

This final rule supports the Coast Guard’s strategic goals of protection of natural resources and maritime mobility. It also improves the U.S. pollution response, planning and preparedness posture by helping to mitigate environmental damage resulting from nontank vessel marine casualties.

The final rule can be found at http://www.federalregister.gov

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