Reminder - Do not forget to register your SOPEP with the Texas General Land Office

Recently, the Texas General Land Office has commenced assessing penalties for the failure of shipowners/operators to submit "required" information to them prior to entry of the vessel into Texas coastal waters.

Texas regulations require that all vessels have an Oil Pollution Act of 1990 plan (OPA) or Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) and register with the Texas General Land Office prior to entering Texas waters. Recommended penalties for failing to register start at USD 500 for each violation. Starting this past January, all vessel operators involved in an oil spill, where the vessel in question is not registered with the Texas General Land Office, will be assessed an additional penalty for having failed to register.

Recently, we have received reports that penalties for violations have been imposed on ships calling at Texas ports and we are therefore issuing this reminder.

Operators interested in obtaining more information regarding the registration program should contact Robert Siddall of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program at 512-463-8530 or at robert.siddall@glo.state.tx.us. To submit the information to the Texas General Land Office, you may contact GLO direct via their website at http://www.glo.state.tx.us and thereafter review the Oil Spill Prevention and Response section, and access the submission procedures.

Contact: Dragos Rauta