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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

California steps up pollution prevention enforcement activity

The following does not apply directly to tankers but is included for your information as the implementation of maritime security measures in the U.S. is something new and noteworthy.

The State of California has taken a more aggressive stance regarding pollution prevention enforcement activities. Particularly an increase in vessel boarding’s of non-tank vessels by California’s Department of Fish & Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response (F&G/OSPR), according to Corbett & Holt and Gallagher Marine Systems. During these boardings F&G/OSPR conducts a compliance check and will provide the Master with a copy of their inspection sheet documenting any noted deficiencies. The inspection sheet will serve as the basis for assessment of a penalty (for deficiencies) which will occur formally at a later date in a California-issued “Notice of Violation”.

Click here to download a copy of a fax giving the key items being checked by F&G/OSPR as part of the boarding. It also gives details of 9 separate violations within the past two weeks involving non-tank vessels that carry maximum penalties ranging from USD 500 to USD 10,000.

In cases where a vessel has received an inspection report with deficiencies, it is recommended that corrective action be taken to address the deficiency and that the Plan Holder submit a letter to California making it aware of the corrective action. To date, California has not assessed a penalty for “first time” deficiencies when corrective action has been taken.

Contact: Dragos Rauta