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Friday, September 21, 2018

UNANNOUNCED OIL SPILL PREVENTION DRILLS IN CALIFORNIA

The California Office of Spill Prevention & Response conducted their first drills under the new programme of unannounced oil spill prevention drills last week. INTERTANKO has major concerns with regard to the implementation of this drill regime and met State officials in California on Thursday 24 May.

The California Office of Spill Prevention & Response conducted their first drills under the new programme of unannounced oil spill prevention drills last week. INTERTANKO has major concerns with regard to the implementation of this drill regime and met with State officials in California on Thursday 24 May (see our article of 11 May)

One member's tanker was moored at a terminal when OSPR conducted the drill, which appears to have followed OSPRs final guidelines. Notifications and deployment of resources from the vessel's side were within the time periods required.

In addition to the general guidance previously provided, our experts in the US would like to re-emphasise the following points:

  1. Masters (and key officers in their absence) must be familiar with their spill notification requirements and procedures.
  2. When bunkering, Masters should ensure, e.g. through the port agent, that the bunker facility (barge/terminal) will provide sufficient equipment and personnel on site to immediately contain a 50 bbl spill. If not, arrangements to provide this should be made with the vessel's Oil Spill Response Organisation (OSRO) (requires 24 hours’ advance notice).
  3. Qualified Individuals (QIs) are legally required to have the authority to obligate funds for OSRO activation for real incidents, and all standard QI contracts will have included a provision to this effect. The QI may not have the same authority for drill purposes. If companies wish the QI to act in this capacity in drill situations then they should ensure they have the authority to do so as  it may be too late once the drill begins.

A copy of the guidelines is available from the INTERTANKO office for those who require it. Please contact Svein Ringbakken, also if you have further comments or questions, e-mail LegalandDocumentary@intertanko.com