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Monday, September 24, 2018

AMENDMENTS TO THE OPA 90 PHASE-OUT REQUIREMENTS

Because many tankers have changed structure or tonnage since the introduction of the OPA 90 phase-out scheme, it has been stipulated that hull structure on 18 August 1990 should be used to determine a tank vessel’s double hull compliance date.

The OPA 90 phase-out scheme provides different phase-out dates for single hull tankers according to their size (GT) and their structure (single/single or having double sides or double bottom). Since the regulation came in force in 1990 and since tankers might have changed structure or tonnage, it was questioned whether the phase-out date would make reference to the current size and structure of the tanker.

The answer to this was given by the amendments/clarifications adopted in the OPA 90 regulations which stipulate that to determine a tank vessel's double hull compliance date under OPA 90, use the vessel's hull configuration (i.e., single hull; single hull with double sides; or single hull with double bottom) on 18 August 1990. Or in other words, the conversion of a single hull tank vessel to include only double sides or only a double bottom after 18 August 1990 will not result in a change of the vessel's originally scheduled phase-out date. The same would apply to the tanker’s GT.

For ease of reference, we have extracted the relevant text from the Federal Register web site:

“Effective Date Note: By USCG-1999-6164, 65 FR 39262, June 23, 2000, in Sec. 157.10d, the note to paragraph (a)(4) was revised, effective July 24, 2000. For the convenience of the user, the superseded text appears as follows:

. . .

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 33, Volume 2, Parts 120 to 199]
[Revised as of July 1, 2000]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 33CFR157.10d]
[Page 459-463]

                             NAVIGABLE WATERS

CHAPTER I--COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CONTINUED)

PART 157--RULES FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT RELATING TO TANK VESSELS CARRYING OIL IN BULK--Table of Contents

             Subpart B--Design, Equipment, and Installation

Sec. 157.10d  Double hulls on tank vessels.

    (a) With the exceptions stated in Sec. 157.08(n), this section applies to a tank vessel--

    (1) For which the building contract is awarded after June 30, 1990;

    (2) That is delivered after December 31, 1993;

    (3) That undergoes a major conversion for which;

    (i) The contract is awarded after June 30, 1990; or

    (ii) Conversion is completed after December 31, 1993; or

    (4) That is otherwise required to have a double hull by 46 U.S.C.

3703a(c).

Note: The double hull compliance dates of 46 U.S.C. 3703a(c) are set out in appendix G to this part. To determine a tank vessel's double hull compliance date under OPA 90, use the vessel's hull configuration (i.e., single hull; single hull with double sides; or single hull with double bottom) on August 18, 1990.

. . .

Note: Double sides and double bottoms must meet the requirements in Sec. 157.10d(c) or (d), as appropriate. A vessel will be considered to have a single hull if it does not have double sides and a double bottom that meet the requirements in Sec. 157.10d(c) and Sec. 157.10d(d). To determine a tank vessel's double hull compliance date under OPA 90, use the vessel's hull configuration (i.e., single hull; single hull with double sides; or single hull with double bottom) on August 18, 1990. The conversion of a single hull tank vessel to include only double sides or only a double bottom after August 18, 1990, will not result in a change of the vessel's originally scheduled phase-out date. The conversion of a single hull tank vessel to a double hull tank vessel meeting the requirements of Sec. 157.10d complies with OPA 90.

. . .  .

[CGD 90-051, 57 FR 36245, Aug. 12, 1992, as amended by USCG-1999-6164,

65 FR 39262, June 23, 2000]

Effective Date Note: By USCG-1999-6164, 65 FR 39262, June 23, 2000, the note to appendix G to part 157 was revised, effective July 24, 2000. For the convenience of the user, the superseded text appears as follows:

Appendix G to Part 157--Timetables for Application of Double Hull Requirements

The full text of these rules is to be found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_00/33cfr157_00.html

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