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e-CFR data is current as of October 27, 2020

Title 33Chapter ISubchapter OPart 155 → Subpart J


Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
PART 155—OIL OR HAZARDOUS MATERIAL POLLUTION PREVENTION REGULATIONS FOR VESSELS


Subpart J—Nontank Vessel Response Plans


Contents
§155.5010   Purpose.
§155.5012   Deviation from response plan.
§155.5015   Applicability.
§155.5020   Definitions.
§155.5021   Operating restrictions.
§155.5023   Interim operating authorization.
§155.5025   One-time port waiver.
§155.5026   Qualified individual and alternate qualified individual.
§155.5030   Nontank vessel response plan requirements: General content.
§155.5035   Nontank vessel response plan requirements: Specific content.
§155.5050   Response plan development and evaluation criteria for nontank vessels carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil.
§155.5052   Response plan development and evaluation criteria for nontank vessels carrying group V petroleum oil.
§155.5055   Training.
§155.5060   Exercises.
§155.5061   Alternative Training and Exercise Program.
§155.5062   Inspection and maintenance of response resources.
§155.5065   Procedures for plan submission and approval.
§155.5067   Alternative planning criteria.
§155.5070   Procedures for plan review, revision, and amendment.
§155.5075   Appeal procedures.

Source: USCG-2009-1070, 78 FR 60124, Sept. 30, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

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§155.5010   Purpose.

The purpose of this subpart is to establish requirements for oil spill response plans for nontank vessels. The planning criteria in this subpart are intended for use in nontank vessel oil spill response plan development and the identification of resources necessary to respond to a nontank vessel's worst case discharge or substantial threat of such a discharge. The development of a nontank vessel response plan prepares the vessel's crew and ship management to respond to an oil spill. The specific criteria for response resources and their arrival times are not performance standards. They are planning criteria based upon a set of assumptions that may not exist during an actual oil spill incident. Note to §155.5010: For nontank vessels that are mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs), additional oil spill planning standards are found in 30 CFR part 254.

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§155.5012   Deviation from response plan.

The owner or operator of a nontank vessel required to have a vessel response plan (VRP) under this subpart may not deviate from the approved VRP unless the President or Federal On-Scene Coordinator determines that the deviation from the VRP would provide for a more expeditious or effective response to the spill or mitigation of its environmental effects.

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§155.5015   Applicability.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, this subpart applies to each self-propelled vessel that—

(1) Carries oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion;

(2) Is not a tank vessel or is not certificated as a tank vessel;

(3) Operates upon the navigable waters of the United States, as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(17a); and

(4) Is 400 gross tons or more as measured under the convention measurement system in 46 U.S.C. 14302 or the regulatory measurement system of 46 U.S.C. 14502 for vessels not measured under 46 U.S.C. 14302.

(b) This subpart also applies to vessels carrying oil as secondary cargo and that meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) For Integrated Tug Barge (ITB) units that are not certificated as tank vessels, the tonnage used to determine applicability of these regulations is the aggregate tonnage of the ITB combination, and the oil capacity used to determine the worst case discharge volume is the aggregate oil capacity of the ITB combination.

(d) This subpart does not apply to the following types of vessels—

(1) Public vessels;

(2) Foreign-flag vessels engaged in innocent passage through the territorial sea or transit passage through a strait used for international navigation, unless bound for or departing from a port or place of the United States;

(3) Vessels that carry oil as a primary cargo and are required to submit a vessel response plan (VRP) in accordance with 33 CFR part 155, subpart D;

(4) Vessels constructed or operated in such a manner that no oil in any form can be carried onboard as fuel for propulsion or cargo;

(5) Permanently moored craft; and

(6) Inactive vessels.

Note to §155.5015: VRP requirements for tank vessels are found in subpart D of this part.

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§155.5020   Definitions.

Except as otherwise defined in this section, the definitions in §§155.110 and 155.1020 apply to this subpart. For the purposes of this subpart only, the term—

Cargo means oil, not carried as fuel, which is carried in bulk, and that is transported to and off-loaded at a port or place by a vessel. It does not include—

(1) Oil carried in integral tanks, marine portable tanks, or independent tanks for use by machinery, helicopters, and boats carried onboard the vessel, or for use by helicopters that are directly supporting the vessel's primary operations;

(2) Oil transferred from a towing vessel to a vessel in its tow to operate installed machinery other than the propulsion plant; or

(3) Oil recovered during oil spill response operations.

Contract or other approved means includes—

(1) A written contractual agreement between a vessel owner or operator and a required response resource provider. The agreement must identify and ensure the availability of specified personnel and equipment required under this subpart within stipulated response times in the applicable Captain of the Port (COTP) zone or specified geographic areas;

(2) Certification by the vessel owner or operator that specified personnel and equipment required under this subpart are owned, operated, or under the direct control of the vessel owner or operator, and are available within stipulated response times in the applicable COTP zone or specified geographic areas;

(3) Active membership with a local or regional required response resource provider that has identified specific personnel and equipment required under this subpart that are available to respond to a discharge within stipulated response times in the COTP zone or specified geographic areas;

(4) A document that—

(i) Identifies the personnel, equipment, and services capable of being provided by the required response resource provider within stipulated response times in the COTP zone or specified geographic areas;

(ii) Sets out the parties' acknowledgment that the required response resource provider intends to commit the resources in the event of a response;

(iii) Permits the Coast Guard to verify the availability of the identified response resources through tests, inspections, and exercises; and

(iv) Is referenced in the vessel response plan; or

(5) With the written consent of the required response resource provider, the identification of a required response resource provider with specified equipment and personnel that are available within stipulated response times in the COTP zone, port area, or specified geographic area. This paragraph is “other approved means” for only—

(i) Nontank vessels with a fuel or cargo oil capacity of less than 250 barrels for maximum most probable discharge oil spill removal response resource requirements per 33 CFR 155.5050(e);

(ii) Nontank vessels that carry group I through group IV petroleum oils as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but less than 2,500 barrels, for salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting response resources per 33 CFR 155.5050(i)(2);

(iii) Nontank vessels that carry group I through group IV petroleum oils as fuel or cargo with a capacity less than 250 barrels for salvage response resources in 33 CFR 155.5050(i)(3);

(iv) Nontank vessels that carry group II through group IV petroleum oils as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but less than 2,500 barrels, for dispersant response resources per 33 CFR 155.5035(i)(7) and 33 CFR 155.5050(j); and

(v) Nontank vessels that carry groups I through IV petroleum oils as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but less than 2,500 barrels, for aerial oil spill tracking to support oil spill assessment and cleanup activities per 33 CFR 155.5050(k).

Fuel means all oils of any kind, which may be used to supply power or lubrication for primary or auxiliary purposes onboard the vessel in which it is carried.

Inactive vessel means a vessel that is out of service or laid up and has emptied its tanks of fuel except for the minimum amount of fuel necessary for the maintenance of the vessel's material condition. Such a vessel is considered not to be operating on the navigable waters of the United States for the purposes of 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5), unless the cognizant COTP determines that it poses an unacceptable risk to the marine environment due to the amount of oil carried for maintenance. A vessel would not be considered inactive if it carried oil as a cargo or cargo residue.

Integrated Tug Barge or ITB means any tug barge combination in which a specially designed propulsion unit (tug) is mated to a cargo unit (barge) of a compatible special design or where a propulsion unit (tug) is mated to a cargo unit (barge) with a specially designed connection system such that the combined unit has operating characteristics and seakeeping capabilities that exceed, under all anticipated weather conditions, those of a tug and barge, where the tug is secured in the barge notch or on fenders by means such as wire rope, chains, lines, or other tackle now commonly used in offshore towing.

Maximum most probable discharge or MMPD means a discharge of—

(1) Two thousand five hundred (2,500) barrels of oil, for vessels with a fuel and cargo capacity equal to or greater than 25,000 barrels; or

(2) Ten percent of the vessel's fuel and cargo capacity, for vessels with a fuel and cargo capacity of less than 25,000 barrels.

Navigable waters of the United States means navigable waters of the United States as defined in 33 CFR 2.36(b)(1), including the waters in 46 U.S.C. 2101(17a).

Nontank vessel means a vessel meeting the description provided in 33 CFR 155.5015(a).

Oil spill removal organization or OSRO means any person or persons who own(s) or otherwise control(s) oil spill removal resources that are designed for, or are capable of, removing oil from the water or shoreline. Control of such resources through means other than ownership includes leasing or subcontracting of equipment or, in the case of trained personnel, by having contracts, evidence of employment, or consulting agreements. OSROs provide response equipment and services, individually or in combination with subcontractors or associated contractors, under contract or other approved means, directly to a vessel owner or operator of a vessel or a facility required to have a response plan under 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5). OSROs are able to mobilize and deploy equipment or trained personnel and remove, store, and transfer recovered oil. Persons such as sales and marketing organizations (e.g., distributorships and manufacturer's representatives) that warehouse or store equipment for sale are not OSROs.

P&I Club means a protection and indemnity insurance group that provides liability insurance cover for the vessel owner or operator that would respond to an oil discharge or substantial threat of such a discharge by the vessel.

Permanently moored craft means a watercraft that is not considered to be a vessel under the rule of construction in 1 U.S.C. 3, because it is not practically (as opposed to theoretically) used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water.

Public vessel means a vessel owned or bareboat-chartered and operated by the United States, or by a State or political subdivision thereof, or by a foreign nation, except when such vessel is engaged in commerce.

Qualified individual or QI and alternate qualified individual means a shore-based representative of a vessel owner or operator who meets the requirements of 33 CFR 155.5026.

Substantial threat of such a discharge means any incident involving a vessel that may create a significant risk of discharge of fuel or cargo oil. Such incidents include, but are not limited to, groundings, allisions, strandings, collisions, hull damage, fires, explosions, loss of propulsion, floodings, on-deck spills, or other similar occurrences.

Tier means the combination of required response resources and the times within which the resources must arrive on scene. Appendix B of this part, especially Tables 5 and 6, provide specific guidance on calculating the response resources required by a respective tier. Section 155.5050(g) sets forth the required times within which the response resources must arrive on scene. Tiers are applied to three categories of areas—

(1) Higher volume port areas;

(2) The Great Lakes; and

(3) All other operating environments, including rivers and canals, inland, nearshore, offshore, and open ocean areas.

Transfer means any movement of oil to or from a vessel by means of pumping, gravitation, or displacement. A transfer is considered to begin when the person in charge of the transferring vessel or facility and the person in charge of the receiving facility or vessel first meet to begin completing the declaration of inspection required by 33 CFR 156.150. A transfer is considered to be complete when all the connections for the transfer have been uncoupled and secured with blanks or other closure devices and both of the persons in charge have completed the declaration of inspection to include the date and time they complete the transfer.

Worst case discharge or WCD means a discharge in adverse weather conditions of a vessel's entire fuel or cargo oil, whichever is greater.

[USCG-2008-1070, 78 FR 60124, Sept. 30, 2013, as amended by USCG-2014-0410, 79 FR 38437, July 7, 2014]

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§155.5021   Operating restrictions.

Nontank vessels subject to this subpart may not—

(a) Operate upon the navigable waters of the United States unless in compliance with a vessel response plan (VRP) approved under §155.5065.

(b) Continue to operate on the navigable waters of the United States if—

(1) The Coast Guard determines that the response resources identified in the vessel's certification statement do not meet the requirements of this subpart;

(2) The contracts or agreements required in §§155.5050 and 155.5052 and the vessel's certification statement are no longer valid;

(3) The vessel is not operating in compliance with the submitted VRP; or

(4) The period of the VRP authorization has expired.

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§155.5023   Interim operating authorization.

(a) Notwithstanding the requirements of §155.5021 of this subpart, a vessel may continue to operate for up to 2 years after the date of submission of a vessel response plan (VRP) pending approval of that VRP, if the vessel has received written authorization for continued operations from the Coast Guard.

(b) To receive this authorization, the vessel owner or operator must certify in writing with an original or electronic signature to the Coast Guard that the vessel owner or operator has identified and has ensured, by contract or other approved means, the availability of the necessary private response resources to respond, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worst case discharge or substantial threat of such a discharge from their vessel.

(c) Those nontank vessels temporarily authorized to operate under the provisions provided in this section must comply with 33 CFR 155.1070(c), (d), and (e).

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§155.5025   One-time port waiver.

(a) If the vessel owner or operator seeks a one-time port waiver, they must certify in writing or using electronic signatures acceptable to the Coast Guard, prior to the vessel's entry into the Captain of the Port (COTP) zone, that they have met the requirements of—

(1) 33 CFR 155.1025(e)(1) through (3); and

(2) The vessel owner or operator has identified and ensured the availability of, through contract or other approved means, the private response resources necessary to respond, to the maximum extent practicable under the criteria in §155.5050 to a worst case discharge or substantial threat of discharge from the vessel in the applicable COTP zone.

(b) Once the vessel owner or operator satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the cognizant U.S. Coast Guard COTP may grant written authorization for that nontank vessel to make one voyage in the respective geographic-specific area not covered by the vessel response plan.

(c) All requirements of this subpart must be met by a nontank vessel that received a one-time port waiver, for any subsequent voyage to the same geographic-specific area.

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§155.5026   Qualified individual and alternate qualified individual.

The vessel response plan must identify a qualified individual and at least one alternate who meet the requirements of 33 CFR 155.1026. The qualified individual or alternate qualified individual must be available on a 24-hour basis.

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§155.5030   Nontank vessel response plan requirements: General content.

(a) The entire vessel response plan (VRP) must be written in English and, if applicable, in a language that is understood by the crew members with responsibilities under the VRP.

(b) The VRP must cover all geographic areas of the United States in which the vessel intends to handle, store, or transport oil, including port areas and offshore transit areas.

(c) The VRP must be divided into the following sections—

(1) General information and introduction;

(2) Notification procedures;

(3) Shipboard spill mitigation procedures;

(4) Shore-based response activities;

(5) List of contacts;

(6) Training procedures;

(7) Exercise procedures;

(8) Plan review and update procedures;

(9) Geographic-specific appendix (GSA) for each Captain of the Port (COTP) zone in which the vessel or vessels operate; and

(10) An appendix for vessel-specific information for the vessel or vessels covered by the VRP.

(d) A vessel owner or operator with multiple vessels may submit one plan for all classes of vessels (i.e., subpart D—Manned vessels carrying oil as primary cargo and unmanned vessels carrying oil as primary cargo; subpart E—Tankers loading cargo at a facility permitted under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act; subpart F—Vessels carrying animal fats and vegetable oils as primary cargo; and subpart G—Vessels carrying other non-petroleum oils as a primary cargo) with a separate vessel-specific appendix for each vessel covered by the plan and a separate GSA for each COTP zone in which the vessel(s) will operate.

(e) A VRP must be divided into the sections described in paragraph (c) of this section unless the VRP is supplemented with a cross-reference table to identify the location of the information required by this subpart.

(f) The information contained in a VRP must be consistent with—

(1) The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) (40 CFR part 300) and the Area Contingency Plan(s) (ACP) in effect on the date 6 months prior to the submission date of the VRP; or

(2) Most recent NCP and ACP(s).

Note to §155.5030(f)(1): See diagram of “Relationship of Plans” at 40 CFR 300.210.

(g) Copies of the submitted and approved VRP must be available as follows—

(1) The vessel owner or operator must ensure that they maintain one English language copy of the VRP, at a minimum the contents listed in paragraph (c)(1), (2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (9) and (10) of this section and a copy of the Coast Guard approval letter, onboard the vessel. In lieu of paper format, the vessel owner or operator may keep an electronic copy of the VRP and approval letter onboard the vessel. If applicable, additional copies of the required VRP sections must be in the language understood by crew members with responsibilities under the VRP and maintained onboard the vessel; and

(2) The vessel owner or operator must also maintain a current copy of the entire VRP and ensure that each person identified as a qualified individual and alternate qualified individual in the VRP has a current copy of the entire VRP. An electronic copy of the VRP is authorized.

(h) Compliance with this subpart will also constitute compliance for a U.S.-flag nontank vessel required to submit a Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) pursuant to 33 CFR 151.09(c) and Regulation 37 of MARPOL 73/78 Annex I as long as the additional requirements listed in §155.5035(k) are met. A U.S.-flag nontank vessel holding a valid Certificate of Inspection endorsed for Coastwise or Oceans operating routes with authorization to engage on an international voyage must maintain a U.S. Coast Guard SOPEP approval letter per 33 CFR 151.27(e). A separate SOPEP is not required.

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§155.5035   Nontank vessel response plan requirements: Specific content.

(a) General information and introduction section. This section of the vessel response plan (VRP) must include—

(1) The vessel's name, country of registry, call sign, official number, and International Maritime Organization (IMO) international number (if applicable). If the VRP covers multiple vessels, this information should be provided for each vessel;

(2) The name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and facsimile number, and procedures for contacting the vessel's owner or operator on a 24-hour basis;

(3) A list of the Captain of the Port (COTP) zones, ports, and offshore transit areas in which the vessel intends to operate;

(4) A table of contents or index of sufficient detail to permit personnel with responsibilities under the VRP to locate the specific sections of the VRP; and

(5) A record of change(s) page to record information on VRP reviews, updates, or revisions.

(b) Notification procedures section. This section of the VRP must include the following information—

(1) A checklist with all notifications, including telephone or other contact numbers, in order of priority to be made by shipboard or shore-based personnel and the information needed for those notifications. Notifications should include those required by—

(i) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 73/78 (as set forth in 33 CFR 151.26 and 33 CFR part 153); and

(ii) Any applicable State;

(2) Identification of the person(s) to be notified of a discharge or substantial threat of a discharge of oil. If the notifications vary due to vessel location, the persons to be notified also should be identified in a geographic-specific appendix (GSA). This section should separately identify—

(i) The individual(s) or organization(s) to be notified by shipboard personnel; and

(ii) The individual(s) or organization(s) to be notified by shore-based personnel;

(3) The procedures for notifying the qualified individual(s) designated by the vessel's owner or operator;

(4) Descriptions of the primary and, if available, secondary communications methods by which the notifications would be made. These should be consistent with those in paragraph (b)(1) of this section;

(5) The information that is to be provided in the initial and any follow-up notifications under paragraph (b)(1) of this section;

(i) The initial notification may be submitted in accordance with IMO Resolution A.851(20), “General Principles for Ship Reporting Systems and Ship Reporting Requirements, Including Guidelines for Reporting Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods, Harmful Substances and/or Marine Pollutants” (incorporated by reference, see §155.140). However, the VRP must specify that the notification includes at least the following information—

(A) Vessel name, country of registry, call sign, and official number (if any);

(B) Date and time of the incident;

(C) Location of the incident;

(D) Course, speed, and intended track of vessel;

(E) Radio station(s) and frequencies guarded;

(F) Date and time of next report;

(G) Type and quantity of oil onboard;

(H) Nature and detail of defects, deficiencies, and damage (e.g., overfill of tanks, grounding, collision, hull failure, etc.);

(I) Details of pollution, including estimate of amount of oil discharged or threat of discharge;

(J) Weather and sea conditions on scene;

(K) Ship size and type;

(L) Actions taken or planned by persons on scene;

(M) Current conditions of the vessel;

(N) Number of crew and details of injuries, if any; and

(O) Details of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club and Local Correspondent, as applicable.

(ii) The VRP must state that after transmission of the initial notification, as much information as possible that is essential for the protection of the marine environment will be reported to the appropriate on-scene coordinator in follow-up reports. This information must include—

(A) Additional details on the type of oil onboard;

(B) Additional details on the condition of the vessel and the ability to offload cargo and transfer ballast and fuel;

(C) Additional details on the quantity, extent, and movement of the pollution and whether the discharge is continuing;

(D) Any changes in the on-scene weather or sea conditions; and

(E) Actions being taken with regard to the discharge and the movement of the ship; and

(6) Identification of the person(s) to be notified of a vessel casualty potentially affecting the seaworthiness of a vessel and the information to be provided by the vessel's crew to shore-based personnel to facilitate the assessment of damage stability and stress.

(c) Shipboard spill mitigation procedures section. This section of the VRP must include—

(1) Procedures for the crew to mitigate or prevent any discharge or a substantial threat of a discharge of oil resulting from shipboard operational activities associated with internal or external oil transfers. Responsibilities of vessel personnel should be identified by job title and licensed/unlicensed position, if applicable. These procedures should address personnel actions in reference to—

(i) Internal transfer system leaks;

(ii) Fuel tank overflows;

(iii) Suspected tank or hull leaks;

(iv) Assessment and monitoring activities;

(v) Personnel protection issues;

(vi) Protective equipment;

(vii) Threats to health and safety;

(viii) Containment and other response techniques;

(ix) Isolation procedures;

(x) Decontamination of personnel; and

(xi) Disposal of removed oil and clean-up materials;

(2) Procedures in the order of priority for the crew to mitigate or prevent any discharge or a substantial threat of a discharge in the event of a casualty or emergency as listed in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) through (x) of this section. These procedures should be listed separately and reference specific vessel checklists required by the International Ship Management (ISM) Code, Section 8 (Resolution A.741(18), as amended by Resolution MSC.104(73)) (incorporated by reference, see §155.140), or other means that will ensure consideration of all appropriate factors when addressing a specific casualty. In addition to the checklists, specific personnel assignments for anticipated tasks must be identified. Reference to existing fire control plans and muster lists is sufficient to identify personnel responsibilities in the following scenarios—

(i) Grounding or stranding;

(ii) Explosion or fire, or both;

(iii) Collision or allision;

(iv) Hull failure;

(v) Excessive list;

(vi) Containment system failure;

(vii) Submerged and foundered;

(viii) Wrecked and stranded;

(ix) Hazardous vapor release; and

(x) Equipment failure (e.g., main propulsion, steering gear, etc.);

(3) Procedures for the crew to deploy discharge removal equipment if the vessel is equipped with such equipment;

(4) The procedures for internal transfers of fuel in an emergency;

(5) The procedures for ship-to-ship transfers of fuel in an emergency—

(i) The format and content of the ship-to-ship transfer procedures should be consistent with the “Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Petroleum),” published jointly by the International Chamber of Shipping and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) (incorporated by reference, see §155.140);

(ii) The procedures should identify the specific response resources necessary to carry out the internal or external transfers, including—

(A) Fendering equipment (ship-to-ship only);

(B) Transfer hoses and connection equipment;

(C) Portable pumps and ancillary equipment;

(D) Lightering or fuel removal and mooring masters (ship-to-ship only); and

(E) Vessel and barge brokers (ship-to-ship only);

(iii) Reference may be made to a separate fuel oil transfer procedure and lightering plan carried onboard the vessel, if safety considerations are summarized in the plan; and

(iv) The location of all equipment and fittings, if any, carried onboard the vessel to perform the transfers should be identified;

(6) The procedures and arrangements for emergency towing, including the rigging and operation of any emergency towing equipment, if any, carried onboard the vessel;

(7) The location, crew responsibilities, and procedures for use of shipboard equipment that might be carried to mitigate an oil discharge;

(8) The crew's responsibility, if any, for recordkeeping and sampling of spilled oil. Any requirements for sampling must address safety procedures to be followed by the crew;

(9) The crew's responsibilities, if any, to initiate a response and supervise shore-based response resources;

(10) Damage stability and hull stress considerations when performing shipboard mitigation measures. This section of the VRP should identify and describe—

(i) Activities in which the crew is trained and qualified to execute absent shore-based support or advice; and

(ii) The information to be collected by the vessel's crew to facilitate shore-based assistance;

(11) Location of vessel plans necessary to perform salvage, stability, and hull stress assessments—

(i) The vessel owner or operator should ensure that a copy of these plans is maintained ashore by either the vessel owner or operator or the vessel's recognized classification society, unless the vessel has prearranged for a shore-based damage stability and residual strength calculation program with the vessel's baseline strength and stability characteristics pre-entered. The VRP should indicate the shore location and 24-hour access procedures of the calculation program for the following plans, where available—

(A) General arrangement plan;

(B) Midship section plan;

(C) Lines plan or table of offsets;

(D) Tank tables;

(E) Load line assignment; and

(F) Light ship characteristics; and

(ii) The VRP should identify the shore location and 24-hour access procedures for the computerized, shore-based damage stability and residual structural strength calculation programs, if available; and

(12) Procedures for implementing personnel safety mitigation strategies for all personnel involved. These procedures may contain more, but must address the following—

(i) Assessment and monitoring activities;

(ii) Personnel protection issues;

(iii) Protective equipment;

(iv) Threats to health and safety;

(v) Containment and other response techniques;

(vi) Isolation procedures;

(vii) Decontamination of personnel; and

(viii) Disposal of removed oil and clean-up materials.

(d) Shore-based response activities section. This section of the VRP should include the following information—

(1) The qualified individual's (QI) responsibilities and authority, including immediate communication with the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) and notification of the oil spill removal organization(s) identified in the VRP;

(2) If applicable, procedures for transferring responsibility for direction of response activities from vessel personnel to the shore-based spill management team;

(3) The procedures for coordinating the actions of the vessel owner or operator or qualified individual with the predesignated FOSC responsible for overseeing or directing those actions;

(4) The organizational structure that would be used to manage the response actions. This structure should include the following functional areas and information for key components within each functional area—

(i) Command and control;

(ii) Public information;

(iii) Safety;

(iv) Liaison with government agencies;

(v) Spill response operations;

(vi) Planning;

(vii) Logistics support; and

(viii) Finance; and

(5) The responsibilities and duties of, and functional job descriptions for each oil spill management team position within the organizational structure identified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section.

(e) List of contacts section. The name, location, and 24-hour contact information for the following key individuals and organizations must be included in this section of the VRP or, if more appropriate, in a GSA, and referenced in this section of the VRP—

(1) Vessel owner or operator;

(2) Qualified individual and alternate qualified individual for the vessel's area of operation;

(3) Applicable insurance provider, representative, or surveyor for the vessel's area of operation;

(4) The vessel's local agent(s) for the vessel's area of operation, or a reference to the 24-hour point of contact as listed on the vessel's notice of arrival;

(5) Person(s) within the oil spill removal organization to notify for activation of that oil spill removal organization for the three spill scenarios identified in paragraph (i)(1)(v) of this section for the vessel's area of operation;

(6) Person(s) within the identified response organization to notify for activating the organizations to provide—

(i) The required emergency lightering and fuel offloading required by §§155.5050(i) and 155.5052 as applicable;

(ii) The required salvage and marine firefighting required by §§155.5050(i) and 155.5052 as applicable;

(iii) The required dispersant response equipment required by §155.5050(j), as applicable; and

(iv) The required aerial oil spill tracking and observation resources required by §155.5050(k), as applicable; and

(7) Person(s) to notify for activation of the spill management team for the spill response scenarios identified in paragraph (i)(5) of this section for the vessel's area of operation.

(f) Training procedures section. This section of the VRP must address the training procedures and programs of the vessel owner or operator to meet the requirements in §155.5055.

(g) Exercise procedures section. This section of the VRP must address the exercise program to be carried out by the vessel owner or operator to meet the requirements in §155.5060.

(h) Plan review, update, revision, amendment, and appeal procedure section. This section of the VRP must address the procedures the vessel owner or operator must follow—

(1) To meet the requirements of §§155.5070 and 155.5075; and

(2) For any post-discharge review of the VRP to evaluate and validate its effectiveness.

(i) GSAs for each COTP zone in which a vessel operates section. A GSA must be included for each COTP zone identified.

(1) The appendices must include the following information or identify the location of such information within the VRP—

(i) A list of the geographic areas (port areas, rivers and canals, Great Lakes, inland, nearshore, offshore, and open ocean areas) in which the vessel intends to handle, store, or transport oil as fuel or cargo within the applicable COTP zone;

(ii) The volume and group of oil on which the required level of response resources are calculated;

(iii) Required Federal or State notifications applicable to the geographic areas in which a vessel operates;

(iv) Identification of the QI; and

(v) Identification of the oil spill removal organization(s) (OSRO) that are identified and ensured available, through contract or other approved means, and the spill management team to respond to the following spill scenarios, as applicable—

(A) Average most probable discharge;

(B) Maximum most probable discharge; and

(C) Worst case discharge.

(2) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 250 barrels must plan for and identify maximum most probable discharge response resources in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(3) The organization(s) identified to meet the requirements of paragraph (i)(1)(v) of this section must be capable of providing the equipment and supplies necessary to meet the requirements of §§155.5050 and 155.5052, as appropriate, and sources of trained personnel to continue operation of the equipment and staff the OSRO(s) and spill management team identified for the first 7 days of the response.

(4) The GSA must list the response resources and related information required under §§155.5050, 155.5052, and appendix B of this part, as appropriate.

(5) If the Coast Guard has evaluated an OSRO and has determined the OSROs capability is equal to or exceeds the response capability needed by the vessel, the GSA may identify only the OSRO and their applicable classification and not the information required in paragraph (i)(4) of this section. This information is subject to Coast Guard verification at any time during the validity of the VRP.

(6) The GSA must also separately list the companies identified to provide the salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting resources required in this subpart. The GSA must list the response resources and related information required in paragraph (i)(4) of this section. This information is subject to Coast Guard verification at any time during the validity of the VRP.

(i) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 2,500 barrels, but greater than or equal to 250 barrels, need only plan for and identify salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting response resources, as required by subpart I, in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(ii) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 250 barrels need only plan for and identify salvage response resources in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(7) For nontank vessels with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater that carry group II through group IV petroleum oils as fuel or cargo and that operate in waters where dispersant use pre-authorization agreements exist, the GSA must also separately list the resource providers and specific resources, including appropriately trained dispersant-application personnel, necessary to provide, if appropriate, the dispersant capabilities required in this subpart. All resource providers and resources must be available by contract or other approved means. The dispersant resources to be listed within this section must include the following—

(i) Identification of each primary dispersant staging site to be used by each dispersant-application platform to meet the requirements of §155.5050(j) of this chapter; and

(ii) Identification of the platform type, resource provider, location, and dispersant payload for each dispersant-application platform identified. Location data must identify the distance between the platform's home base and the identified primary dispersant-staging site(s) for this section.

(8) For each unit of dispersant stockpile required to support the effective daily application capacity of each dispersant-application platform necessary to sustain each intended response tier of operation, identify the dispersant product resource provider, location, and volume. Location data must include the distance from the stockpile to the primary staging sites where the stockpile would be loaded on to the corresponding platforms. If the Coast Guard has evaluated an OSRO and has determined its capability meets the response capability needed by the vessel owner or operator, the section may identify the OSRO only, and not the information required in paragraphs (i)(7)(i), (i)(7)(ii), and (i)(8) of this section.

(9) Nontank vessels with an oil capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but less than 2,500 barrels, that carry group II through group IV petroleum oils as fuel or cargo and that operate in waters where dispersant use pre-authorization agreements exist, need only plan for and identify dispersant response resources but not ensure their availability by contract. Submission of a written consent from the dispersant response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(10) For nontank vessels with a fuel and cargo capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater not operating exclusively on the inland areas of the United States, the GSA must also separately list the resource providers and specific resources necessary to provide oil spill tracking capabilities required in this subpart. The oil spill tracking resources to be listed within this section must include the following—

(i) The identification of a resource provider; and

(ii) The type and location of aerial surveillance aircraft that have been ensured available, through contract or other approved means, to meet the oil spill tracking requirements of §155.1050(k) of this part.

(11) Nontank vessels with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but less than 2,500 barrels, need only plan for and identify aerial oil spill tracking response resources in the VRP, but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, “Contract or other approved means”, paragraph (5).

(j) Appendices for vessel-specific information section. This section of the VRP must include for each vessel covered by the VRP the following information, as applicable—

(1) List of the vessel's principal characteristics;

(2) Capacities of all cargo, fuel, lube oil, ballast, and fresh water tanks;

(3) The total volume and groups of oil that would be involved in a—

(i) Maximum most probable discharge; and

(ii) Worst case discharge;

(4) Diagrams showing location of all cargo, fuel, lube oil, and slop tanks, as applicable;

(5) General arrangement plan (can be maintained separately onboard the vessel providing the VRP identifies the specific location);

(6) Midships section plan (can be maintained separately onboard the vessel providing the VRP identifies the specific location);

(7) Cargo and fuel piping diagrams and pumping plan, as applicable (can be maintained separately onboard the vessel providing the VRP identifies the specific location);

(8) Damage stability data (can be maintained separately, providing the VRP identifies the specific location);

(9) Location of cargo and fuel stowage plan for vessel; and

(10) Location of information on the name, description, physical and chemical characteristics, health and safety hazards, and spill and firefighting procedures for the fuel and cargo oil onboard the vessel. A material safety data sheet meeting the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1200, SOLAS 74 regulation VI/5-1, cargo information required by 33 CFR 154.310, or equivalent, will meet this requirement. This information can be maintained separately.

(k) Required appendices for MARPOL 73/78 Annex I, Regulation 37, Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) information. U.S.-flag vessels not certificated for coastwise or oceans operating routes and foreign-flag vessels that are in compliance with Regulation 37 of MARPOL 73/78 Annex I are not required to comply with this paragraph. A vessel owner or operator of a U.S.-flag vessel constructed or certificated for coastwise or oceans operating routes, but that does not engage in international voyages, may request to be exempted from compliance with this paragraph through submission of a certified statement, attesting same, to Commandant (CG-MER), Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy, which must accompany the new nontank vessel response submission or resubmission. U.S.-flag vessels that must comply with this paragraph must label the cover of their VRP as a MARPOL 73/78 Annex I, Regulation 37 Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) and Coast Guard Nontank Vessel Response Plan. The following information must be submitted consistent with Regulation 37 of MARPOL 73/78 Annex I as set forth in 33 CFR 151.26—

(1) The introductory text required by 33 CFR 151.26(b)(1);

(2) The preamble statement regarding the purpose of the plans and how the plan relates to other shore-related plans as required by 33 CFR 151.26(b)(2);

(3) The information on authorities or persons to be contacted in the event of an oil pollution incident as required 33 CFR 151.26(b)(3)(iii). This information must also clearly specify who will be responsible for informing the necessary parties from the coastal State contacts, the port contacts, and the ship interest contacts. This information must include—

(i) An appendix containing coastal State contacts for those coastal States in which the vessel regularly transits the exclusive economic zone. The appendix should list those agencies or officials of administrations responsible for receiving and processing pollution incident reports;

(ii) An appendix of port contacts for those ports at which the vessel regularly calls; and

(iii) For Antarctica, reports must also be directed to any Antarctic station that may be affected in accordance with 33 CFR 151.26(b)(3)(iii)(C);

(4) Include the procedures and point of contact on the ship for coordinating shipboard activities with national and local authorities in combating an oil spill incident in accordance with 33 CFR 151.26(b)(5). The plan should address the need to contact the coastal State to advise them of action(s) being implemented and determine what authorization(s), if any, are needed; and

(5) Required information lists in separate appendices per 33 CFR 151.26(b)(6)(ii).

[USCG-2009-1070, 78 FR 60124, Sept. 30, 2013, as amended by USCG-2010-0194, 80 FR 5933, Feb. 4, 2015; USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35082, July 28, 2017]

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§155.5050   Response plan development and evaluation criteria for nontank vessels carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil.

(a) Criteria for evaluating operability of response resources. The criteria used to evaluate the operability of response resources identified in a vessel response plan (VRP) for specified operating environments must be in accordance with 33 CFR 155.1050(a).

(b) Operating environment reclassification of specific bodies of water. Captain of the Port (COTP) reclassification of a specific body of water or location within the COTP zone must be in accordance with 33 CFR 155.1050(b).

(c) Criteria for response equipment. Response equipment must—

(1) Meet or exceed the criteria listed in Table 1 of appendix B of this part;

(2) Be capable of functioning in the applicable operating environment; and

(3) Be appropriate for the amount of oil capable of being carried.

(d) Average most probable discharge. (1) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel that carries groups I through IV petroleum oil as cargo must identify in the VRP and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved means, the response resources that will respond to a discharge up to the vessel's average most probable discharge (AMPD). Nontank vessels that carry oil as cargo must meet the requirements for AMPD coverage, as applicable, per 33 CFR 155.1050(d).

(2) Nontank vessels that only carry groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel do not have to ensure the availability of AMPD resources by contract or other approved means, but must plan for and identify response resources required in §155.1050(d)(1) and list this information in the applicable geographic-specific appendix for bunkering or fueling operations. Permission or acknowledgement from the listed resource providers is not required.

(e) Maximum most probable discharge. (1) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo must identify in the VRP and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved means, the response resources necessary to respond to a discharge up to the vessel's maximum most probable discharge (MMPD) volume. For the purposes of meeting the requirements of this paragraph, vessel owners or operators must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(e).

(2) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel with a capacity less than 250 barrels must plan for and identify MMPD response resources in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(f) Worst case discharge. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo must identify in the VRP and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved means, the response resources necessary to respond to discharges up to the worst case discharge (WCD) volume of the oil to the maximum extent practicable. For the purposes of meeting the requirements of this paragraph, vessel owners or operators must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(f). Nontank vessels need only plan for Tier 1 response resources.

(g) Tier 1 response times. Response equipment identified to respond to a WCD should be capable of arriving on scene within the times specified in this paragraph for the applicable response in a higher volume port area, Great Lakes, or in other areas. Table 155.5050(g) details response times for this tier, from the time of discovery of a discharge.

Table 155.5050(g)—Response Times for Tier 1

Tier 1
Higher volume port area12 hrs.
Great Lakes18 hrs.
All other operating environments, including rivers and canals, inland, nearshore, offshore, and open ocean areas24 hrs.

(h) Planning standards for the mobilization and response times for required MMPD and WCD response resources. For the purposes of arranging for MMPD or WCD response resources through contract or other approved means, response equipment identified for plan credit should be capable of being mobilized and en route to the scene of a discharge within 2 hours of notification. The notification procedures identified in the VRP should provide for notification and authorization for mobilization of response resources—

(1) Either directly or through the qualified individual; and

(2) Within 30 minutes of a discovery of a discharge or substantial threat of discharge.

(i) Salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting requirements. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo must plan for salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting response resources, as applicable.

(1) Nontank vessels with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater must meet the salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting requirements found in subpart I of this part.

(2) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 2,500 barrels, but greater than or equal to 250 barrels, need to plan for and identify salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting response resources found in subpart I in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(3) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 250 barrels need to plan for and identify salvage response resources found in subpart I in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(j) Dispersants. (1) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups II through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater that operates in any area pre-authorized for dispersant use must identify in their VRP, and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved means, response resources capable of conducting dispersant operations within those areas. Vessel owners or operators must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(k). These nontank vessels must meet Tier 1 for dispersant effective daily application capability.

(2) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel with a capacity less than 2,500 barrels, but greater than or equal to 250 barrels, needs to plan for and identify dispersant response resources in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of “Contract or other approved means.”

(k) Aerial oil spill tracking and observation response resources. (1) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo with a capacity of—

(i) 2,500 barrels or greater must identify in the VRP, and ensure availability of, through contract or other approved means, the response resources necessary to provide aerial oil spill tracking to support oil spill assessment and cleanup activities. Vessel owners or operators of these vessels must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(l).

(ii) Less than 2,500 barrels, but greater than 250 barrels, need to plan for and identify aerial oil tracking response resources in the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, “Contract or other approved means”, paragraph (5).

(2) Nontank vessels operating exclusively on the inland areas of the United States are not required to comply with paragraph (k) of this section.

(l) Response resources necessary to perform shoreline protection operations. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater must identify in the VRP, and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved means, the response resources necessary to perform shoreline protection operations. The response resources must include the quantities of boom listed in Table 2 of appendix B of this part, based upon the specific COTP zones in which the vessel operates.

(m) Shoreline cleanup operations. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater must identify in the VRP, and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved means, an oil spill removal organization capable of effecting a shoreline cleanup operation commensurate with the quantity of emulsified petroleum oil to be planned for in shoreline cleanup operations. The shoreline cleanup resources required must be determined as described in appendix B of this part.

(n) Practical and technical limits of response capabilities. Appendix B of this part sets out response capability capacities (caps) that recognize the practical and technical limits of response capabilities for which an individual vessel owner or operator can contract in advance. Table 6 in appendix B lists the contracting caps that are applicable. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo, with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater, whose required daily recovery capacity exceeds the applicable contracting caps in Table 6, must identify commercial sources of additional equipment equal to twice the cap listed for each tier or the amount necessary to reach the calculated planning volume, whichever is lower, to the extent that this equipment is available. The equipment so identified must be capable of arriving on scene no later than the applicable tier response times contained in §155.5050(g) or as quickly as the nearest available resource permits. A VRP must identify the specific sources, locations, and quantities of this additional equipment. No contract is required.

(o) Review of response capability limits. The Coast Guard will continue to evaluate the environmental benefits, cost efficiency, and practicality of increasing mechanical recovery capability requirements. This continuing evaluation is part of the Coast Guard's long term commitment to achieving and maintaining an optimum mix of oil spill response capability across the full spectrum of response modes. As best available technology demonstrates a need to evaluate or change mechanical recovery capacities, a review of cap increases and other requirements contained within this subpart may be performed. Any changes in the requirements of this section will occur through a rulemaking process. During this review, the Coast Guard will determine if established caps remain practicable and if increased caps will provide any benefit to oil spill recovery operations. The review will include, at least, an evaluation of—

(1) Best available technologies for containment and recovery;

(2) Oil spill tracking technology;

(3) High rate response techniques;

(4) Other applicable response technologies; and

(5) Increases in the availability of private response resources.

(p) Nontank vessel response plan required response resources matrix. Table 155.5050(p) summarizes the VRP required response resources.

Table 155.5050(p)—Nontank Vessel Response Plan Required Response Resources Matrix

Nontank vessel's fuel or cargo oil capacityAMPDMMPDWCDSalvageEmergency lighteringFire fightingDispersant3Aerial tracking4Shoreline protectionShore line cleanup
2,500 barrels or greaterNO1YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES.
Less than 2,500 barrels, but greater than or equal to 250 barrelsNO1YESNOYES2YES2YES2YES2YES2YESYES.
Less than 250 barrelsNO1YES2NOYES2NONONONONONO.

1For nontank vessels carrying oil as fuel only. Nontank vessels carrying oil as cargo must meet AMPD response resources in 33 CFR 155.5050(d)(1) as applicable.

2The indicated response resources that must be located within the stipulated response times in the specified geographic areas need only be identified and planned for in the VRP, but not ensured available by contract. Submission of a written consent from the response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval. This is considered an acceptable “other approved means.” See 33 CFR 155.5020, “Contract or other approved means”, paragraph (5).

[USCG-2008-1070, 78 FR 60124, Sept. 30, 2013, as amended by USCG-2014-0410, 79 FR 38437, July 7, 2014]

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§155.5052   Response plan development and evaluation criteria for nontank vessels carrying group V petroleum oil.

Owners or operators of nontank vessels that carry group V petroleum oil as fuel or cargo must meet the requirements of 33 CFR 155.1052.

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§155.5055   Training.

(a) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of 250 barrels or greater—

(1) A vessel response plan (VRP) submitted to meet the requirements of §155.5035 must identify the training to be provided to persons having responsibilities under the VRP, including members of the vessel crew, the qualified individual, and the spill management team. The training program must differentiate between that training provided to vessel personnel and that training provided to shore-based personnel. Appendix C of this part provides additional guidance regarding training; and

(2) A vessel owner or operator must comply with the vessel response plan training requirements of 33 CFR 155.1055.

(b) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of less than 250 barrels, a vessel owner or operator must comply with the VRP training requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or the Alternative Training and Exercise Program requirements of §155.5061.

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§155.5060   Exercises.

(a) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of 250 barrels or greater—

(1) A vessel owner or operator required by §155.5035 to have a vessel response plan (VRP) must conduct exercises as necessary to ensure that the VRP will function in an emergency. Vessel owners or operators must include both announced and unannounced exercises; and

(2) A vessel owner or operator must comply with the VRP exercise requirements of 33 CFR 155.1060.

(b) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of less than 250 barrels, a vessel owner or operator must comply with the VRP exercise requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or the Alternative Training and Exercise Program requirements of §155.5061.

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§155.5061   Alternative Training and Exercise Program.

(a) Owners or operators of nontank vessels with an oil capacity of less than 250 barrels, in lieu of the training and exercise requirements of §§155.5055 and 155.5060, may meet an Alternative Training and Exercise Program that has been approved by the (CG-MER), Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy for meeting the requirements of this section.

(b) Vessel owners or operators must make available to the Coast Guard, upon request, any information related to implementation of an approved Alternative Training and Exercise Program.

(c) For approval of an Alternative Training and Exercise Program the vessel owners or operators must submit to the Commandant (CG-MER) for review and approval: The Alternative Training and Exercise Program and the following information to assess the adequacy of the proposed Alternative Training and Exercise Program—

(1) A list of the vessels to which the Alternative Training and Exercise Program is intended to apply;

(2) An explanation of how the Alternative Training and Exercise Program addresses the requirements of 33 CFR 155.1055(b) through (f) and 33 CFR 155.1060; and

(3) An explanation of how vessel owners or operators must implement the Alternative Training and Exercise Program in its entirety, including performing verification of implementation.

(d) Amendments to the Alternative Training and Exercise Program approved under this section may be initiated by the submitter of an Alternative Training and Exercise Program.

(e) Approval of the Alternative Training and Exercise Program is required before a vessel may receive a nontank vessel response plan approval letter.

(f) The Commandant (CG-MER) will examine each submission for compliance with this section and—

(1) If the submission meets all the requirements, the Coast Guard will consider the training and exercise program requirements under this section to be satisfactory; or

(2) If the Coast Guard determines that the submission does not meet all of the requirements, the submitter will be notified of the deficiencies. The submitter may then resubmit a revised request within the time period specified.

[USCG-1998-3417, 73 FR 80649, Dec. 31, 2008, as amended by USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35082, July 28, 2017]

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§155.5062   Inspection and maintenance of response resources.

The owner or operator of a nontank vessel required to submit a vessel response plan under this part must comply with the response resource inspection and maintenance requirements of 33 CFR 155.1062.

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§155.5065   Procedures for plan submission and approval.

(a) An owner or operator of a nontank vessel, to which this subpart applies, must submit one complete English language copy of a vessel response plan (VRP) to Commandant (CG-MER), Attn: Vessel Response Plans, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7516, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7516. The VRP must be submitted at least 60 days before the vessel intends to operate upon the navigable waters of the United States.

(b) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel must include a statement certifying that the VRP meets the applicable requirements of this subpart and the requirements of subparts D, E, F, and G, if applicable. The vessel owner or operator must also include a statement certifying that the vessel owner or operator has ensured the availability of, through contract or other approved means, the necessary private response resources to respond, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worst case discharge or substantial threat of such a discharge from their vessel as required under this subpart. VRPs should be submitted electronically by using the Vessel Response Plan Electronic Submission Tool available at https://homeport.uscg.mil/vrpexpress. If vessel owners or operators submit VRPs in paper format, CG Form “Application for Approval/Revision of Vessel Pollution Response Plans” (CG-6083) located at: http://www.uscg.mil/forms/CG/CG__6083.pdf meets the requirement for a VRP certification statement as required by this paragraph.

(c) If the Coast Guard determines that the VRP meets all requirements of this subpart, the Coast Guard will notify the vessel owner or operator with an approval letter. The VRP will be valid for a period of 5 years from the date of approval, conditional upon satisfactory annual updates.

(d) If the Coast Guard reviews the VRP and determines that it does not meet all of the requirements of this subpart, the Coast Guard will notify the vessel owner or operator of the VRP deficiencies. The vessel owner or operator must then resubmit a copy of the revised VRP or corrected portions of the VRP, within the time period specified in the written notice provided by the Coast Guard.

[USCG-2008-1070, 78 FR 60124, Sept. 30, 2013, as amended by USCG-2014-0410, 79 FR 38437, July 7, 2014; USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35083, July 28, 2017]

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§155.5067   Alternative planning criteria.

(a) When the owner or operator of a nontank vessel believes that national planning criteria contained elsewhere in this part are inappropriate for the areas in which the vessel intends to operate, the vessel owner or operator may submit an alternative planning criteria request to the Coast Guard. Alternative planning criteria requests must be submitted 90 days before the vessel intends to operate under the proposed alternative, or as soon as is practicable. The alternative planning criteria request must be endorsed by the Captain of the Port (COTP) with jurisdiction over the geographic area(s) affected before being considered by Commandant (CG-MER), Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy, for the review and approval of the respective vessel response plan (VRP). In any case, the request must be received by Commandant (CG-MER) with an endorsement by the respective COTP no later than 21 days before the vessel intends to operate under the alternative planning criteria.

(b) The alternative planning criteria request should detail all elements of the VRP where deviations from the requirements in this subpart are being proposed or have not been met. Response equipment, techniques, or procedures identified in the alternative planning criteria request should be submitted in accordance with the evaluation criteria of appendix B of this part. The request should contain at a minimum—

(1) Reason(s) and supporting information for the alternative planning criteria request;

(2) Identification of regulations necessitating the alternative planning criteria request;

(3) Proposals for alternative procedures, methods, or equipment standards, where applicable, to provide for an equivalent level of planning, response, or pollution mitigation strategies;

(4) Prevention and mitigation strategies that ensure low risk of spills and adequate response measures as a result of the alternative planning criteria; and

(5) Environmental and economic impact assessments of the effects.

(c) The determination of an alternative planning criteria request will be conducted by Commandant (CG-CVC), Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance.

[USCG-2009-1070, 78 FR 60124, Sept. 30, 2013, as amended at USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35083, July 28, 2017]

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§155.5070   Procedures for plan review, revision, and amendment.

(a) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel must review the vessel response plan (VRP) annually. This review must occur within 1 month of the anniversary date of Coast Guard approval of the VRP.

(b) A VRP prepared and submitted under this subpart must be revised and amended, as necessary, in accordance with §155.1070.

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§155.5075   Appeal procedures.

(a) A vessel owner or operator who disagrees with a deficiency determination may submit a petition for reconsideration to the Commandant (CG-5RI), Attn: Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7516, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7516 or vrp@uscg.mil within the time period required for compliance or within 7 days from the date of receipt of the Coast Guard notice of a deficiency determination, whichever is less. After considering all relevant material presented, the Coast Guard will notify the vessel owner or operator of the final decision.

(1) Unless the vessel owner or operator petitions for reconsideration of the Coast Guard's decision, the vessel's owner or operator must correct the vessel response plan (VRP) deficiencies within the period specified in the Coast Guard's initial determination.

(2) If the vessel owner or operator petitions the Coast Guard for reconsideration, the effective date of the Coast Guard notice of deficiency determination may be delayed pending a decision by the Coast Guard. Petitions to the Coast Guard must be submitted in writing, via the Coast Guard official who issued the requirement to amend the VRP, within 5 days of receipt of the notice.

(b) Within 21 days of notification that a VRP is not approved, the vessel owner or operator may appeal that determination to the Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy (CG-5RI). This appeal must be submitted in writing to Commandant (CG-5RI), Attn: Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7516, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7516.

[USCG-2008-1070, 78 FR 60124, Sept. 30, 2013, as amended by USCG-2014-0410, 79 FR 38437, July 7, 2014; USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35083, July 28, 2017]

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