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e-CFR data is current as of September 24, 2020

Title 33Chapter ISubchapter OPart 155Subpart J → §155.5035


Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
PART 155—OIL OR HAZARDOUS MATERIAL POLLUTION PREVENTION REGULATIONS FOR VESSELS
Subpart J—Nontank Vessel Response Plans


§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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