Coast Guard defers enforcement of non-tank vessel response plan rule
The U.S. Coast Guard has issued an 'internal guidance' notice advising its field units not to enforce the requirement that non-tank vessels of 400 gross tons and more must have oil spill response plans in place.
Vessel owners and operators had been facing a deadline of today to prepare and submit such oil spill response plans to the Coast Guard.
The delay in enforcement will continue until such time as the Coast Guard's rules for non-tank vessel response plans have been promulgated, which would take a year or more.
Although the Coast Guard will provide 'interim guidance for industry members that voluntarily prepare and submit non-tank vessel response plans before the Coast Guard publishes final regulations ' sectors and marine safety offices are not to initiate penalty action for failure to comply,' the internal notice said.
For more information, see http:// www.uscg.mil/reserve/msg05/coast398_05.htm.