[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 189 (Monday, September 30, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60099-60135]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22059]



[[Page 60099]]

Vol. 78

Monday,

No. 189

September 30, 2013

Part III





Department of Homeland Security





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Coast Guard





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33 CFR Parts 151, 155, and 160





 Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Response Plan Requirements; 
Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 189 / Monday, September 30, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR parts 151, 155, and 160

[Docket No. USCG-2008-1070]
RIN 1625-AB27


Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Response Plan 
Requirements

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, is 
promulgating this nontank vessel response plan final rule to further 
protect the Nation from the threat of oil spills in U.S. waters. This 
final rule requires owners or operators of nontank vessels to prepare 
and submit oil spill response plans. The Federal Water Pollution 
Control Act defines nontank vessels as self-propelled vessels of 400 
gross tons or greater that operate on the navigable waters of the 
United States, carry oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion, and 
are not tank vessels. This final rule specifies the content of a 
response plan and addresses, among other issues, the requirement to 
plan for responding to a worst case discharge and a substantial threat 
of such a discharge. Additionally, this final rule updates the 
international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan requirements that 
apply to certain nontank vessels and tank vessels. Finally, this final 
rule requires vessel owners or operators to submit their vessel 
response plan control number as part of already required notice of 
arrival information. This rulemaking supports the Coast Guard's 
strategic goals of protection of natural resources and maritime 
mobility.

DATES: This final rule is effective October 30, 2013. The incorporation 
by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by 
the Director of the Federal Register on October 30, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Comments and material received from the public, as well as 
documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, 
are part of docket USCG-2008-1070 and are available for inspection or 
copying at the Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this 
docket on the Internet by going to http://www.regulations.gov, 
inserting USCG-2008-1070 in the ``Keyword'' box, and then clicking 
``Search.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Lieutenant Commander John Peterson, Coast Guard, Office 
of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Vessel Response Plan Review Team; 
telephone 202-372-1226, email vrp@uscg.mil. If you have questions on 
viewing the docket, call Ms. Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket 
Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Abbreviations
II. Executive Summary and Regulatory History
    A. Executive Summary
    1. Purpose and authority
    2. Overview of the rule
    3. Costs and benefits
    B. Regulatory History
III. Basis and Purpose
IV. Background
V. Summary of Changes from NPRM
VI. Discussion of Comments and Changes
    A. Regulatory Text Comments
    1. Applicability--Sec. Sec.  151.09, 155.5015
    2. Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP)--Sec. Sec.  
151.09, 155.5030(h)
    3. Annual review--Sec. Sec.  151.28, 155.1070
    4. Incorporation by reference--Sec.  155.140
    5. Definitions--Sec. Sec.  155.1020, 155.5020
    6. Qualified Individual (QI)--Sec. Sec.  155.1035, 155.5035
    7. Insurance provider--Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(3), 155.5035(e)(3)
    8. Local agent--Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(4), 155.5035(e)(4)
    9. Deviation from approved plan--Sec.  155.5012
    10. Interim authorization--Sec.  155.5023
    11. One-time port waivers--Sec.  155.5025
    12. Geographic area--Sec.  155.5030
    13. Electronic copies--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 155.5030(g)
    14. Portions of plan carried on vessel--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 
155.5030(g)(1)
    15. MARPOL VRP requirements--Sec.  155.5030(h)
    16. Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club--Sec.  155.5035
    17. Shipboard spill mitigation procedures--Sec.  155.5035(c)(1)
    18. International Ship Management (ISM) Checklist--Sec.  
155.5035(c)(2)
    19. Dispersants--Sec. Sec.  155.5035(i), 155.5050
    20. Contracts with providers--Sec.  155.5050(d)
    21. Response times--Sec.  155.5050(g)
    22. Salvage and marine firefighting resources--Sec.  155.5050(i)
    23. Training and Exercises--Sec. Sec.  155.5055, 155.5060
    24. Alternative Planning Criteria--Sec.  155.5067
    25. Notice of arrival (NOA) requirement--Sec.  160.206
    B. General comments
    1. Alternative approach
    2. Cost
    3. Direct contracts
    4. Equipment
    5. Fuel type
    6. International issues
    7. NVIC
    8. Port or place of the United States
    9. Risk analysis
    10. Small business
    11. State plans
    12. Tier 1 response resources
    13. Additional changes
    C. Miscellaneous comments
    D. Beyond scope
VII. Incorporation by Reference
VIII. Regulatory Analyses
    A. Regulatory Planning and Review
    B. Small Entities
    C. Assistance for Small Entities
    D. Collection of Information
    E. Federalism
    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    G. Taking of Private Property
    H. Civil Justice Reform
    I. Protection of Children
    J. Indian Tribal Governments
    K. Energy Effects
    L. Technical Standards
    M. Environment

I. Abbreviations

2004 Act Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 (Pub. 
L. 108-293, 118 Stat. 102)
2006 Act Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006 (Pub. 
L. 109-241, 120 Stat. 516)
ACP Area Contingency Plan
AMPD Average most probable discharge
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
COTP Captain of the Port
DHS Department of Homeland Security
EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone
FOSC Federal On-Scene Coordinator
FR Federal Register
FRFA Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
FWPCA Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 through 
1387)
GSA Geographic-Specific Appendix
IMO International Maritime Organization
IRFA Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
ISM International Ship Management
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From 
Ships
MEPC Marine Environment Protection Committee
NAICS North American Industry Classification System
NCP National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan 
(also known as National Contingency Plan)
NM Nautical Mile
NOA Notice of arrival
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking
NTVRP Nontank vessel response plan
NVIC Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular
OCS Outer continental shelf
OMB Office of Management and Budget
OPA 90 Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-380, 104 Stat 484)
OSRO Oil spill removal organization
P&I Protection and Indemnity
PWSA Ports and Waterways Safety Act (Pub. L. 92-340, 86 Stat. 424)
QI Qualified individual

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RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act
SBA Small Business Administration
Sec.  Section symbol
SLS Saint Lawrence Seaway
SLSDC Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
SOPEP Shipboard oil pollution emergency plans
SMT Spill management team
STS Guide Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Petroleum), Fourth Edition, 
2005
U.S.C. United States Code
VRP Vessel response plan
WCD Worst case discharge

II. Executive Summary and Regulatory History

A. Executive Summary

1. Purpose and Authority
    This rule implements the statutory requirement for an owner or 
operator of a self-propelled, nontank vessel of 400 gross tons or 
greater, which operates on the navigable waters of the United States, 
to prepare and submit an oil spill response plan to the Coast Guard. 
Section 311(j)(5) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) 
(33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)), as amended by section 4202 of the Oil and 
Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) (Pub. L. 101-380, 104 Stat 484); the 
Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 (the 2004 Act) 
(Pub. L. 108-293, 118 Stat. 102); and the Coast Guard and Maritime 
Transportation Act of 2006 (the 2006 Act) (Pub. L. 109-241, 120 Stat. 
516) sets out the statutory mandate requiring tank and nontank vessel 
owners or operators to prepare and submit oil or hazardous substance 
discharge response plans for certain vessels operating on the navigable 
waters of the United States.
2. Overview of Rule
    This rule, which adds new 33 CFR part 155, subpart J, Nontank 
Vessel Response Plans (33 CFR 155.5010-155.5075) and revises portions 
of 33 CFR parts 151, 155 and 160, specifies the content of a vessel 
response plan (VRP), including the requirement to plan for responding 
to a worst case discharge (WCD) and a substantial threat of such a 
discharge as mandated in statute. The rule also specifies the 
procedures for submitting a VRP to the Coast Guard. This rule will 
improve our nation's pollution response planning and preparedness 
posture, and help limit the environmental damage resulting from nontank 
vessel marine casualties.
3. Costs and Benefits
    The NTVRP final rule cost is borne by the estimated 12,000+ nontank 
vessel users of our Nation's waterways, with foreign-flag vessels 
comprising the majority of the vessels affected. The costs are also 
spread between U.S. and foreign nontank vessels. Approximately 40 
percent of this final rule's $263 million 10-year cost is borne by 
domestic vessel owners/operators.
    The NTVRP final rule benefits are both qualitative and 
quantitative. The qualitative benefits are ensuring the ability to 
respond effectively to oil spills, including a worst case discharge, 
and improving effectiveness of shore-side and onboard response 
activities. The quantitative benefits are preventing between 2,014 and 
2,446 barrels of oil from being spilled over the 10-year period of 
analysis.

B. Regulatory History

    On August 31, 2009, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) entitled Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Response Plans 
Requirements in the Federal Register (74 FR 49970). We received 30 
comment letters on the proposed rule. On September 25, 2009, we 
published a notice of public meetings (74 FR 48891) that announced 
three public meetings. We scheduled the meetings to receive comments on 
the NPRM in order to allow for greater public involvement. The meetings 
were held in--
     Washington, DC, on October 28, 2009;
     Oakland, CA, on November 3, 2009; and
     New Orleans, LA, on November 19, 2009.
    At the three public meetings, we heard from 8 speakers. In total, 
between the 30 comment letters and 8 speakers we received approximately 
190 individual comments.

III. Basis and Purpose

General

    Section 311(j)(5) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act 
(FWPCA) (33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)), as amended by section 4202 of the Oil 
and Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) (Pub. L. 101-380, 104 Stat 484); the 
Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 (the 2004 Act) 
(Pub. L. 108-293, 118 Stat. 102); and the Coast Guard and Maritime 
Transportation Act of 2006 (the 2006 Act) (Pub. L. 109-241, 120 Stat. 
516) sets out the statutory mandate requiring tank and nontank vessel 
owners or operators to prepare and submit oil or hazardous substance 
discharge response plans for certain vessels operating on the navigable 
waters of the United States. This rule implements the statutory 
requirement for an owner or operator of a self-propelled, nontank 
vessel of 400 gross tons or greater, which operates on the navigable 
waters of the United States, to prepare and submit an oil spill 
response plan to the Coast Guard.
    Per 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)(D)(i-iv), a response plan must:
     Be consistent with the requirements of the National 
Contingency Plan and Area Contingency Plans;
     Identify the qualified individual having full authority to 
implement removal actions, and require immediate communications between 
that individual and the appropriate Federal official and the persons 
providing personnel and equipment;
     Identify, and ensure by contract or other approved means 
the availability of, private personnel and equipment necessary to 
remove to the maximum extent practicable a worst case discharge 
(including a discharge resulting from fire or explosion), and to 
mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge; and
     Describe the training, equipment testing, periodic 
unannounced drills, and response actions of persons on the vessel or at 
the facility, to be carried out under the plan to ensure the safety of 
the vessel or facility and to mitigate or prevent the discharge, or the 
substantial threat of a discharge.
    This rule, which adds new 33 CFR part 155, subpart J, Nontank 
Vessel Response Plans (33 CFR 155.5010-155.5075) and revises portions 
of 33 CFR parts 151, 155 and 160, specifies the content of a vessel 
response plan (VRP), including the requirement to plan for responding 
to a worst case discharge (WCD) and a substantial threat of such a 
discharge as mandated in statute. The rule also specifies the 
procedures for submitting a VRP to the Coast Guard. This rule will 
improve our nation's pollution response planning and preparedness 
posture, and help limit the environmental damage resulting from nontank 
vessel marine casualties.

Key Points About This Rulemaking

    This nontank vessel response plan (NTVRP) final rule implements a 
statutory mandate from the 2004 Act as amended by the 2006 Act. These 
statutes expanded response plan requirements from only tank vessels, 
for which regulations were initially issued in 1993, to also apply to 
nontank vessels. This expansion recognizes the significant increase in 
the quantity of petroleum and petroleum products carried as bunker for 
fuel and the potentially catastrophic consequences should a mishap 
result in tank breach. In fact, a significant number of today's

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large nontank vessels carry more oil as fuel than many of the tank 
vessels did as cargo when the original tank vessel response plan 
requirements were promulgated. These statutorily-mandated requirements 
fill this regulatory gap and enhance the national oil response 
infrastructure.
    The NTVRP requirements align to the maximum extent possible with 
the existing tank vessel response plan requirements, including common 
definitions and plan elements. However, while tank vessels must comply 
with all functional elements, we have tailored the requirements for 
some nontank vessels. This is best demonstrated in how required NTVRP 
planning elements (i.e., response services) are scaled to oil capacity. 
Thus, for smaller nontank vessels with commensurately smaller oil 
capacities, there are fewer NTVRP functional planning requirements. As 
such, the response services a nontank vessel owner or operator must 
plan for are scaled to the risk (i.e., oil capacity) of the vessel. 
Doing so allows us to minimize burden in carrying out the statutory 
mandate and focus on those vessels which present the greatest risk to 
the environment should a breach occur.
    When fully implemented, the NTVRP final rule will serve as a useful 
tool for national preparedness. While the Coast Guard and the entire 
marine industry have worked successfully to reduce the risk of oil 
spills, marine casualties, accidental or not, will always be possible. 
Furthermore, spill volumes could be potentially catastrophic, as was 
seen in the case of the M/V SELENDANG AYU. In 2004, M/V SELENDANG AYU 
spilled about 336,000 gallons of its fuel when it ran aground off the 
coast of the environmentally sensitive Alaskan Aleutian islands. 
Similarly, in 1999 the M/V NEW CARISSA spilled about 70,000 gallons of 
fuel oil during a grounding on the Oregon coast that resulted in 
considerable environmental damage. The NTVRP final rule enhances our 
national preparedness posture by requiring the development and 
submission of oil spill response plans that cover thousands of U.S. and 
foreign vessels when operating on our Nation's waters. This pre-
planning will create vital linkages between the shipping industry and 
oil spill response service providers (such as oil spill removal 
organizations (OSROs), salvage companies, and marine firefighting 
companies), ensuring that mechanisms are in place to immediately 
respond to an emergency. Pre-planning may also drive an increase in 
capacity of this vital response service infrastructure. This 
infrastructure would be available not only for a maritime accident, but 
also to respond to a natural disaster.
    The NTVRP final rule cost is borne by the estimated 12,000+ nontank 
vessel users of our Nation's waterways, with foreign-flag vessels 
comprising about 75 percent of the total number of vessels affected. 
The costs are also spread between U.S. and foreign nontank vessels. 
Approximately 60 percent of this final rule's $263 million 10-year cost 
is borne by foreign vessel owners/operators.
    For this rulemaking, the Coast Guard published an NPRM with a 90-
day comment period, and held 3 public meetings around the country. We 
received 30 comment letters containing about 190 individual comments. 
While many commenters questioned why their nontank vessels should be 
required to comply (a statutory mandate), few commenters focused on 
cost. The majority of comments were suggestions to improve the 
requirements. To ease the burden on small nontank vessel owners and 
operators, at the NPRM stage we scaled the required functional planning 
elements (i.e., response services) to the risk (i.e., oil capacity) of 
the vessel. In response to NPRM public comments about the burden of 
training and exercise requirements, the Coast Guard further added an 
Alternative Training and Exercise Program to allow small vessel 
operations the ability to voluntarily develop and submit an alternative 
program. This optional program provides flexibility and may reduce 
economic impact on some small entities.
    As an example of how the NTVRP final rule scales requirements to 
risk, the functional planning requirements for a nontank vessel with a 
large oil capacity (i.e., over 2,500 barrels or 100,000+ gallons) 
aligns with tank vessel response plan requirements. Over the past two 
decades, there has been considerable growth in the size of nontank 
vessels. Some nontank vessels now carry a volume of bunker oil equal to 
or greater than tank vessels that operated in our waters 20 years ago. 
It is important that nontank vessels that present this level of oil 
spill risk be required to plan for a worst case discharge (loss of all 
oil) while on our waterways, just as tank vessels must do.
    In summary, the NTVRP final rule is a statutorily-mandated national 
preparedness document that enhances our oil spill response posture. The 
NTVRP final rule costs are shared between U.S. and foreign nontank 
vessels, and are scaled to risk. Public comment did not focus on cost, 
but rather on ways to improve the requirements.

IV. Background

    The Coast Guard intends this rule to improve our nation's pollution 
response planning and preparedness posture and help limit the 
environmental damage resulting from nontank vessel marine casualties. 
For a detailed Background discussion, see Section III of the NPRM (74 
FR 44970, 44971), which is available in the public docket, where 
indicated under ADDRESSES. That document provides a summary of the 
following topics--
     Tank and Nontank Vessels--Oil and Hazardous Substance 
Discharge Response Plan Legislation;
     Tank Vessels;
     Nontank Vessels;
     Access to the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars 
(NVICs);
     Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP);
     Notice of Arrival Requirements and Vessel Response Plans;
     Customary International Law: Innocent Passage and Transit 
Passage; and
     Definition of ``United States'' for Purposes of Vessel 
Response Plan Requirements.
    Additionally, Section III of the NPRM contains a ``Discussion of 
Proposed Rule'' divided into two pieces. The first piece provides a 
broad overview of changes to our SOPEP regulations, tank vessel oil 
spill response plan regulations, nontank vessel oil spill response plan 
regulations, and notice of arrival regulations. The second piece, 
following the overview, discusses specific sections of the regulatory 
text.
    To amplify the Background section in the NPRM, we provide the 
following discussion on jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction

    This rule applies in the navigable waters of the United States as 
defined in 33 CFR 2.36(b)(1), including the waters in 46 U.S.C. 
2101(17a). The breadth of the territorial sea for purposes of this rule 
is as stated in 33 CFR 2.22(a)(1), i.e., 12 nautical miles (nm) from 
the baseline.
    Foreign vessels subject to this rule must comply with all 
requirements in the rule, including the requirement to have a plan with 
a geographic-specific appendix (GSA) for all Captain of the Port (COTP) 
zones through which the vessel transits on its voyage to and from a 
U.S. port or place, e.g., lightering zone. Coastal COTP zones extend to 
the outer limits of the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Thus, a 
foreign-flag vessel bound to or from a U.S. port or place

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must have a GSA for each COTP zone through which the vessel transits on 
that voyage as required by 33 CFR 155.5035(i).
    The requirement to have a GSA for each COTP zone through which the 
foreign vessel passes, on a voyage to or from a U.S. port or place, is 
not predicated on application of this rule to the outer limits of the 
EEZ. The requirement for a GSA for each COTP zone through which the 
foreign vessel transits, on its way to and from a U.S. port or place, 
exists because a foreign vessel that is subject to the requirements of 
the rule must comply with all such requirements of the port State 
consistent with international law. In the NPRM, we explained the 
international law allowing a port State to exercise jurisdiction over 
and apply its laws to foreign vessels in its ports. 74 FR 44973, August 
31, 2009. We also explained the rights of foreign vessels and limits on 
the authority of a coastal State to impose its laws on such vessels, 
contained in the doctrines of innocent passage through the territorial 
sea and transit passage through straits used for international 
navigation. 74 FR 44973, August 31, 2009.

V. Summary of Changes From NPRM

    The Coast Guard revised a number of sections to alleviate the 
burden of the rule in response to public comments or to clarify 
requirements. Unless noted otherwise, the comments and the details of 
changes made in the final rule are discussed below in Section VI 
Discussion of Comments and Changes.
    The Coast Guard revised the following sections to allow nontank 
owners or operators to submit their VRP electronically: Sec. Sec.  
151.27, 151.28, 155.1065, 155.1070, 155.5065, and 155.5070. For a more 
detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.13 Electronic 
copies--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 155.5030(g).
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard revised paragraphs 
151.28(h) and 155.5070(a) to remove the annual plan review reporting 
requirement.
    The Coast Guard revised Sec.  155.5010 to add a note to the section 
that states that additional oil spill planning standards are found in 
30 CFR part 254 for nontank vessels that are mobile offshore drilling 
units.
    The Coast Guard revised the following sections to clarify 
applicability for secondary carriers: Sec. Sec.  155.1015 and 155.5015. 
For a more detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.1 
Applicability.
    The Coast Guard revised Sec.  155.5025 to clearly state the 
requirements for one-time port waivers for remote areas. For a more 
detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.11 One-time port 
waivers Sec.  155.5025.
    The Coast Guard removed the revised definition ``vessels carrying 
oil as secondary cargo'' that we proposed in the NPRM in Sec.  
155.1020. Utilization of the description of a nontank vessel found at 
Sec.  155.5015(a) for the applicability of these rules makes a separate 
definition redundant. The current definition for ``vessels carrying oil 
as secondary cargo'' defined in Sec.  155.1020 will apply to new 33 CFR 
part 155, subpart J, as appropriate. For a more detailed discussion of 
this change, please see VI.A.5 Definitions Sec. Sec.  155.1020, 
155.5020.
    The Coast Guard revised the definition for ``nontank vessels'' in 
Sec. Sec.  155.1020 and 155.5020 for clarity and for purposes of 
consistency. Both of these definitions now utilize the description 
found in the applicability section provided in 33 CFR 155.5015(a). For 
a more detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.5 
Definitions--Sec. Sec.  155.1020, 155.5020.
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard revised Sec. Sec.  
155.1030(i) and 155.5030(g) to allow vessels to carry electronic copies 
onboard. For a more detailed discussion of this change, please see 
VI.A.14 Portions of the plan carried on vessel--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 
155.5030(g)(1).
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard removed the words 
``original'' and ``notarized'' from Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i)(1), 
155.1030(i)(2), and 155.5030(g). The Coast Guard will not require 
vessels to have original, notarized copies of the VRP onboard. For a 
more detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.13 Electronic 
copies--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 155.5030(g).
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard amended the requirement to 
allow vessels to identify their insurance provider instead of insurance 
representatives in Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(3) and 155.5035(e)(3). For a 
more detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.7 Insurance 
providers--Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(3), 155.5035(e)(3).
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard added the requirement that 
vessels must state their 24-hour point of contact/local agent before 
arriving in a port if they have not done so in their VRP in Sec. Sec.  
155.1035(e)(4) and 155.5035(e)(4). For a more detailed discussion of 
this change, please see VI.A.8--Local agent Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(4), 
155.5035(e)(4).
    The Coast Guard revised Sec. Sec.  155.1070 and 155.5075 to align 
appeal procedures between 33 CFR part 155, subpart D, Tank Vessel 
Response Plans for Oil and new 33 CFR part 155, subpart J, Nontank 
Vessel Response Plans.
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard revised the following 
sections to clarify salvage and marine firefighting applicability for 
nontank vessels: Sec. Sec.  155.4010, 155.4015, 155.4020, 155.4025, 
155.4030, 155.4035, and 155.4052. For a more detailed discussion of 
these changes, please see VI.A.22 Salvage and marine firefighting 
resources--Sec.  155.5050(i).
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard revised the definition of 
``cargo'' in Sec.  155.5020 for clarity. For a more detailed discussion 
of this change, please see VI.A.5 Definitions--Sec. Sec.  155.1020, 
155.5020.
    The Coast Guard revised the definition of ``navigable waters of the 
United States'' in Sec.  155.5020 for clarity and to ensure that the 
applicability of these rules, as mandated in statute, is understood.
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard added the definition of 
``transfer'' to Sec.  155.5020. The Coast Guard added the definition to 
clarify that the term transfers means those that take place to and from 
vessels for the purposes of 33 CFR part 155, subpart J. For a more 
detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.5 Definitions--
Sec. Sec.  155.1020, 155.5020.
    The Coast Guard revised the definition for ``worst case discharge'' 
(WCD) in Sec.  155.5020 to maintain alignment between new subpart J and 
tank regulations in 33 CFR part 155, subpart D. The Coast Guard may 
change these requirements in a future rulemaking. For a more detailed 
discussion of this change, please see VI.A.5 Definitions--Sec. Sec.  
155.1020, 155.5020.
    The Coast Guard revised the following sections to improve clarity: 
Sec. Sec.  151.09, 151.26, 155.1015, 155.4010, 155.5015, 155.5020, 
155.5023, 155.5025, 155.5030, 155.5035, 155.5050, and 155.5067. In 
these sections, the Coast Guard reworded sentences that might be 
confusing and broke up paragraphs into smaller paragraphs to make them 
easier to read. We also restructured the subparagraphs of Sec. Sec.  
155.5035(i), 155.5050(e), 155.5050(j), and 155.5050(k) to improve 
clarity.
    The Coast Guard revised Sec.  155.5030(d) to allow vessel owners or 
operators to submit one plan to represent multiple vessels, as this 
reduces administrative burden on the regulated entities and is 
consistent with earlier guidance of Navigation and Vessel Inspection 
Circular (NVIC) 01-05.
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard amended Sec.  
155.5030(g)(1) to

[[Page 60104]]

require vessels to only carry those VRP sections onboard their vessels 
the Coast Guard deemed necessary to initiate notifications and crew 
response. For a more detailed discussion of this change, please see 
VI.A.14 Portions of plan carried on vessel--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 
155.5030(g)(1).
    In response to comments, the Coast Guard revised Sec. Sec.  
155.5055 and 155.5060 to clarify the new Alternative Training and 
Exercise Program. The Coast Guard created a new Sec.  155.5061 to 
detail the new Alternative Training and Exercise Program. For a more 
detailed discussion of this change, please see VI.A.23 Training and 
Exercises--Sec. Sec.  155.5055, 155.5060.
    The Coast Guard revised Sec. Sec.  155.5065 and 155.5075 to update 
the Coast Guard Headquarters' mailing address.

VI. Discussion of Comments and Changes

    The Coast Guard received 30 letters commenting on the proposed 
rule. The majority of these letters contained multiple comments. In 
total, we received approximately 190 individual comments. All comments 
and summaries of public meetings are available in the public docket for 
this rulemaking, where indicated under ADDRESSES.
    Below, we summarize the comments received, by letter and at the 
public meetings, and the changes we made to the regulatory text in 
response. We discuss the items that address a specific section in the 
regulatory text first. We then discuss general items that relate to a 
topic not found in the regulatory text. Finally, we discuss 
miscellaneous comments and comments that are beyond the scope of this 
rulemaking project.

A. Regulatory Text Comments

    The Coast Guard received comments on specific regulatory text 
sections. Below we have organized the comments and our responses in 
order of regulatory text citation.
1. Applicability--Sec. Sec.  151.09, 155.5015
    The Coast Guard received 21 comments on Sec. Sec.  151.09 and 
155.5015, Applicability. We have grouped the applicability comments 
into the following topics: General applicability, tonnage threshold, 
fuel amount, offshore supply vessels, fuel type, vessels built before 
1982, and blue water (ocean going)/brown water (inland) vessels.
General Applicability
    The Coast Guard received one comment on general applicability. The 
commenter stated that the statute does not require that the entirety of 
the tank vessel regulation necessarily be applied to all covered 
nontank vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees as reflected by this rulemaking. The law in 
33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)(D) states that tank and nontank vessels must 
submit VRPs. The statutory definition does not detail the specific 
content of a VRP. The Coast Guard proposed and is now promulgating a 
separate NTVRP subpart (new 33 CFR part 155, subpart J) in recognition 
of, and in response to, the differences between nontank vessels and 
tank vessels.
Tonnage Threshold
    The Coast Guard received four comments on the tonnage threshold.
    Commenters stated that the tonnage threshold for NTVRP requirements 
should be 400 gross tons as measured under the domestic regulatory 
system, as opposed to the international system.
    The Coast Guard understands the commenters' concerns. The tonnage 
threshold for NTVRP requirements may be measured under the domestic 
regulatory system if not measured under the convention measurement 
system. In July 2006, Congress amended the definition of nontank vessel 
in the 2006 Act. Section 608 of the 2006 Act clarified the tonnage 
applicability for NTVRP, setting the tonnage threshold as 400 gross 
tons or greater, as measured under the convention measurement system in 
46 U.S.C. 14302 (international) or the regulatory measurement system of 
46 U.S.C. 14502 (domestic) for vessels not measured under 46 U.S.C. 
14302.
    One commenter also stated that if the Coast Guard decides to base 
the NTVRP applicability on international tonnage thresholds, then 
existing vessels without international tonnage assignments should be 
allowed to use their regulatory tonnage to determine whether the 
regulations apply to the vessel.
    As stated above, this option already exists in the regulatory text 
under Sec.  155.5015(a)(4). To clarify, if your vessel is not currently 
measured under the convention measurement system (46 U.S.C. 14302) then 
the vessel tonnage measurement as taken under 46 U.S.C. 14502 would 
apply to determine if your vessel must prepare an NTVRP.
    One commenter suggested the tonnage limit be raised to 1,600 gross 
tons.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard must work within the 
parameters set forth by the law, which sets the tonnage threshold as 
400 gross tons or greater. The Coast Guard has no discretion in regards 
to this requirement as it is established in law at 33 U.S.C. 
1321(a)(26).
Fuel Amount
    The Coast Guard received five comments on fuel amount. Commenters 
stated the amount of fuel a vessel carries should be the limiting 
factor when defining the applicability for the NTVRP final rule.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The 2004 Act and 2006 Act mandate that 
NTVRPs be used for all nontank vessels except those specified in Sec.  
155.5015(d). The Acts provide no additional opportunity for exemption. 
The law does not afford the Coast Guard any discretion in determining 
the applicability of the NTVRP rules. However, the Coast Guard has 
taken steps to tier these NTVRPs based on the vessels' perceived risk. 
Table 155.5050(p) indicates how the Coast Guard tiers the required 
response resources to the total amount of a vessel's oil capacity.
Offshore Supply Vessels
    The Coast Guard received one comment on offshore supply vessels. 
The commenter stated that the Coast Guard cannot require offshore 
supply vessels to comply with 33 CFR part 155, subpart J since they are 
specifically exempted under 33 CFR part 155, subpart D. The commenter 
stated that since this rulemaking deals exclusively with nontank 
vessels, vessels that are covered by the tank vessel section of 33 CFR 
part 155 are outside the scope of the current rulemaking.
    The Coast Guard disagrees that offshore supply vessels, as defined 
in 46 U.S.C. 2101, are covered by 33 CFR part 155, subpart D. Offshore 
supply vessels are explicitly excluded, rather than exempted, from 
subpart D applicability by 33 CFR 155.1015(c). Subpart D was 
specifically drafted in this manner to comply with the Congressional 
mandate set forth in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1992 (Pub. L. 
102-587), which provides that offshore supply vessels ``are deemed not 
to be a tank vessel for the purposes of any law.'' Now that the Coast 
Guard must promulgate VRP requirements for nontank vessels, offshore 
supply vessels that meet the definition of a ``nontank vessel'' in 
FWPCA (33 U.S.C. 1321) are included in the requirements of this final 
rule.
Exemptions
    The Coast Guard received five comments on exemptions. Commenters 
suggested that the Coast Guard exempt the following nontank vessels: 
Those that operate in waters with OSRO coverage, are a small passenger 
vessel

[[Page 60105]]

that operates less than 20 miles from shore, carry 2 diesel, 
or are a vessel constructed with a double bottom.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard must work within the 
parameters set forth by the 2004 Act and the 2006 Act, which require 
that this final rule apply to certain nontank vessels 400 gross tons or 
greater. While we cannot exempt these vessels, we have lessened the 
regulatory burden for them, where possible. For example, vessels that 
carry non-persistent oils, such as 2 diesel, do not need to 
meet the requirements regarding dispersants. We make no allowance for 
type of hull construction. A spill of any size poses a threat to the 
environment, and planning to mitigate the effects of a spill is 
beneficial no matter the type, construction, size, or fuel type of a 
vessel.
Vessels Built Before 1982
    The Coast Guard received two comments on vessels built before 1982. 
Commenters stated that vessels built before July 18, 1982, as stated 
under the historical notes of 46 U.S.C. 14301, engaging on foreign or 
domestic voyages, are not required to use convention measurement as the 
basis for application under this law. One commenter requested that the 
Coast Guard alter the definition of nontank vessel to include this 
applicability law.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard must work within the 
parameters set forth by the 2004 Act and the 2006 Act. In July 2006, 
Congress amended the definition of nontank vessel in the 2006 Act. 
Section 608 of the 2006 Act clarified the tonnage applicability of this 
statutory requirement and therefore, for this rule, set the tonnage 
threshold at 400 gross tons or greater, as measured under the 
convention measurement system in 46 U.S.C. 14302. In other words, if a 
nontank vessel has already been measured under 46 U.S.C. 14302, the 
Coast Guard must use this tonnage measurement for purposes of applying 
the VRP requirements, regardless of whether the vessel engages on 
domestic or foreign voyages or when the vessel's keel was laid. Only if 
a nontank vessel has not previously been measured under 46 U.S.C. 
14302, and otherwise meets an exception under 46 U.S.C. 14301(b), may 
the Coast Guard consider the vessel's measurement under the regulatory 
measurement system of 46 U.S.C. 14502 for purposes of applying the VRP 
requirements. The historical notes to 46 U.S.C. 14301 are thus 
irrelevant in this context because the Coast Guard has received a 
specific, more recent legislative mandate on how nontank vessel tonnage 
should be measured for purposes of section 311 of the FWPCA (33 U.S.C. 
1321).
Blue Water/Brown Water Vessels
    The Coast Guard received three comments on blue water (ocean going) 
and brown water (inland) vessels. Commenters stated that these 
regulations should not apply to vessels that operate on rivers, such as 
river towboats and passenger vessels.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The law requires all vessels, 400 gross 
tons or greater, to have NTVRPs regardless of the operating environment 
in the navigable waters of the United States. Risk of damages from an 
oil spill exist no matter where the operating environment.
2. Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP)--Sec. Sec.  151.09, 
155.5030(h)
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec. Sec.  151.09 and 
155.5030(h), regarding SOPEP. The commenter stated that the Coast Guard 
should either exempt vessels on international voyages required to have 
a SOPEP plan from the NTVRP requirement or bring the SOPEP requirements 
into alignment.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The Coast Guard included a 
``combined plan'' provision in the proposed rule, in the applicability 
section of our SOPEP regulations located in 33 CFR 151.09(d)(2). The 
amended applicability states that if a U.S.-flag nontank vessel holds a 
Coast Guard-approved NTVRP and provides evidence of compliance with new 
33 CFR part 155, subpart J, then the Coast Guard considers the SOPEP 
regulations met, as listed in 33 CFR 151.26 through 151.28. Amending 
our SOPEP regulations to reflect changes to the international standard 
negates the need for more than one oil spill response plan to be kept 
onboard a vessel.
3. Annual Review--Sec. Sec.  151.28, 155.1070
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec. Sec.  151.28 and 
155.1070, regarding annual reviews. The commenter suggested the Coast 
Guard remove the requirement that vessels send a letter to the 
Commandant saying that the annual review has taken place.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard has removed the 
requirements in paragraphs 151.28(h) and 155.5070(a) to report annual 
reviews. This aligns those paragraphs with the requirements for tank 
vessel response plans in Sec.  155.1070.
4. Incorporation by Reference--Sec.  155.140
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec.  155.140, 
Incorporation by reference. The commenter asked why the Coast Guard 
proposes to incorporate, by reference, the Ship to Ship Transfer Guide 
(Petroleum), Fourth Edition, 2005 (STS Guide), since the Coast Guard 
has already incorporated the second edition of the same publication by 
reference. The commenter also asked how the Coast Guard intends to 
impose the provisions in the STS Guide, since this publication only 
provides advice and guidance and does not contain mandatory language.
    The Coast Guard incorporates the fourth edition of this reference 
because it is the most recent version of the STS Guide. Newer versions 
of documents incorporated by reference do not automatically update in 
the regulations when a new version is published. The Coast Guard offers 
this reference as a planning guideline to help the regulated entity 
comply with Sec.  155.5035(c)(5)(i). The Coast Guard understands 33 CFR 
part 155, subpart D incorporates the second edition of the STS Guide; 
the Coast Guard will address that in a future rulemaking.
    The regulatory text incorporating this reference suggests that this 
reference ``should'' be used to outline the format and content of 
procedures for ship-to-ship transfers of fuel in an emergency. While we 
recommend that the nontank owner or operator use this reference as a 
guide for ship-to-ship procedures in emergencies, this recommendation 
is optional to allow the nontank owner or operator flexibility.
5. Definitions--Sec. Sec.  155.1020, 155.5020
    The Coast Guard received 10 comments on definitions.
Cargo
    The Coast Guard received one comment on the definition of 
``cargo.'' The commenter requested the Coast Guard clarify the term 
cargo with regard to this rulemaking.
    The Coast Guard has clarified the definition of cargo by aligning 
the definition in new 33 CFR 155.5020 more closely with the definition 
of cargo in 33 CFR part 155, subpart D.
    The Coast Guard has revised the definition for ``worst case 
discharge'' (WCD) for 33 CFR part 155, subpart J. The Coast Guard 
determined that the requirements for nontank vessels carrying oil as 
secondary cargo should align as closely as possible with the 
requirements for vessels subject to subpart D. Subpart D vessels must 
plan for a discharge of a vessel's entire oil cargo, but do not 
currently plan for the additional discharge of the same vessel's entire 
fuel oil. This WCD definition revision ensures that a nontank vessel

[[Page 60106]]

carrying oil as cargo will likewise plan for the discharge of the 
vessel's entire oil cargo, unless that vessel carries more fuel oil 
than oil cargo. In the latter case, the owner or operator must instead 
plan for the discharge of a vessel's entire fuel oil, like other 
nontank vessels (which do not carry oil as cargo) under subpart J. The 
Coast Guard intends to revise the WCD definition to include both fuel 
oil and oil cargo for all vessels subject to subparts D and J in a 
future rulemaking project.
Contract or Other Approved Means
    The Coast Guard received one comment on the definition of 
``contract or other approved means.'' The commenter requested that the 
Coast Guard change the proposed definition of ``contract or other 
approved means'' to take into account the particular circumstances of 
domestic passenger vessels. The commenter stated the requirement to 
obtain written consent from the entity creates a potential 
administrative and financial burden on the small capacity vessel 
planner, who is otherwise entitled to the lesser response planning 
requirement.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Resource providers need to know if they 
are listed in a plan so that they can respond effectively. The 
planholder \1\ needs to know if the required response equipment 
provider has the necessary resources for a response in a specific area 
of operation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ ``Planholder'' is a term used by the maritime industry in 
common parlance to refer the vessel ``owner'' or ``operator'' (as 
defined in 33 CFR 155.1020) responsible for submitting and 
maintaining a Vessel Response Plan on file with the Coast Guard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inactive Vessel
    The Coast Guard received one comment on the definition of 
``inactive vessel.'' The commenter requested the final rule 
specifically consider dry bulk carriers an inactive vessel when they 
are temporarily out of service for winter lay-up or long term lay-up.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. If a vessel maintains fuel onboard while 
in a laid-up status for a season, it does not meet the definition of an 
inactive vessel, which requires emptying of tanks of fuel, among other 
requirements. In addition, a laid-up vessel that retains fuel onboard 
still presents a risk to the environment. Therefore, the vessel must 
plan for response resources in the event of a spill, to mitigate 
environmental damage.
Inland Rivers
    The Coast Guard received six comments on the term ``inland 
rivers.'' Commenters urged the Coast Guard to use the term ``rivers and 
canals'' as defined in the existing tank vessel response requirements 
in 33 CFR 155.1020, instead of the proposed term ``inland rivers,'' 
which is undefined.
    The Coast Guard agrees that there is no definition for ``inland 
rivers.'' The Coast Guard has replaced each instance of the term 
``inland rivers'' with the term ``inland area'' as that term is defined 
in, and aligned with, subpart D. ``Inland area'' includes rivers and 
canals as a subset.
Transfer
    The Coast Guard received one comment on the definition of 
``transfer.'' The commenter recommended the Coast Guard add a 
definition of transfer to only include transfers on and off the vessel.
    The Coast Guard agrees with this comment. The Coast Guard has added 
the definition of transfer to the NTVRP final rule. The definition 
refers only to transfers that take place to and from vessels.
Worst Case Discharge
    In response to a comment on the definition of ``cargo,'' as 
discussed above, the Coast Guard revised the definition of ``worst case 
discharge.'' For a more detailed discussion of this change, please see 
the ``cargo'' section above.
6. Qualified Individual (QI)--Sec. Sec.  155.1035, 155.5035
    The Coast Guard received six comments on qualified individual (QI). 
Commenters recommended revising Sec.  155.5035(e)(2) to include naming 
the company that provides QI services, as well as identifying a QI and 
alternate.
    The Coast Guard disagrees; 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5) has a statutory 
requirement for the QI and alternate QI. 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)(D) states 
that a QI has ``full authority to implement removal actions, and 
require immediate communications between that individual and the 
appropriate Federal official and the persons providing personnel and 
equipment.'' The Coast Guard interprets QI to mean an individual, not a 
company, who has the appropriate training and knowledge to conduct such 
an act as described above.
    One commenter requested the Coast Guard remove the requirement that 
the QI be shore-based from the definition of a QI. The commenter added 
that the proposed rule offers no justification as to why the QI be 
shore-based, particularly in the case of a domestic passenger vessel 
that consistently operates on a well-defined route in a specific 
geographic location.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The QI's functions should not be 
performed by the same person who is embarked on the very same vessel, 
especially when coordinating a response to a spill from a vessel. A 
shore-based QI will not be distracted by events on a vessel spilling 
oil. The Coast Guard requires an alternate QI in the event that the QI 
is unavailable. It is unreasonable to assume that any one person can be 
available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
    One commenter asked the Coast Guard to clarify the role the QI 
assumes in a salvage situation. The commenter added that the QI will 
notify the salvor but does not engage the salvor, and that the salvage 
contract is between the owner or master and the salvor.
    The Coast Guard clarifies the role of a QI during a salvage 
situation as follows. The Coast Guard expects the QI to activate 
response resources following notification of a spill or threat of a 
spill; when there is a salvage and marine firefighting situation, the 
Coast Guard expects the QI to notify the listed primary salvage and 
marine firefighting resource provider. No change to the regulatory text 
is necessary.
7. Insurance Provider--Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(3), 155.5035(e)(3)
    The Coast Guard received two comments on Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(3) 
and 155.5035(e)(3), regarding insurance providers. Commenters requested 
that the Coast Guard revise 33 CFR 155.1035(e)(3) and 155.5035(e)(3) to 
ask for the identification of the vessel's insurance provider instead 
of ``insurance representatives.''
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the requirement to state 
that the vessel may list an insurance provider as a contact under Sec.  
155.5035(e)(3). The Coast Guard also amended the same requirement in 
subpart D in Sec.  155.1035(e)(3).
8. Local Agent--Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(4), 155.5035(e)(4)
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(4) 
and 155.5035(e)(4), regarding local agents. The commenter requested 
that the Coast Guard revise 33 CFR 155.1035(e)(4) and 155.5035(e)(4) to 
allow vessels to identify the local agent prior to arrival in port and 
note the local agent in the Notice of Arrival (NOA).
    The Coast Guard agrees and has amended the requirement to state if 
a 24-hour point of contact, i.e., local agent, is not named 
specifically in the VRP, then the vessel owner or operator

[[Page 60107]]

must name the 24-hour point of contact prior to the vessel's arrival in 
port. The Coast Guard also amended the same requirement in subpart D in 
Sec.  155.1035(e)(4).
9. Deviation From Approved Plan--Sec.  155.5012
    The Coast Guard received two comments on Sec.  155.5012, deviation 
from an approved plan. Two commenters stated that deviation from an 
approved plan should be permitted at any time by any Coast Guard 
official. This would allow for a more expeditious or effective response 
result, regardless of whether there is a Federal On-Scene Coordinator 
(FOSC) present. One commenter stated that there may be some cases in 
which this deviation would improve the response results and those on-
scene should have the flexibility to make such a deviation.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Section 1144 of the Coast Guard 
Authorization Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-324; 110 Stat. 3901), also known 
as the ``Chaffee Amendment,'' amended the FWPCA (33 U.S.C. 1251 through 
1387) regarding the use of spill response plans by stating that the 
``owner or operator may deviate from the applicable response plan if 
the President or the FOSC determines that deviation from the response 
plan would provide for a more expeditious or effective response to the 
spill or mitigation of its environmental effects.'' The regulations at 
Sec.  155.5012 follow the plain language of the statute, permitting the 
President or FOSC to make the decision to deviate from an approved 
plan.
10. Interim Authorization--Sec.  155.5023
    The Coast Guard received four comments on interim authorization. 
Commenters stated that the Coast Guard should remove the 2-year limit 
for interim operating authorization.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. This requirement remains consistent with 
the requirements in subpart D. The FWPCA (33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)(G)) 
mandates the 2-year limit.
11. One-Time Port Waivers--Sec.  155.5025
    The Coast Guard received one comment on one-time port waivers. The 
commenter stated that the one-time port waiver process needs to be 
clearly defined for remote areas.
    The Coast Guard agrees. We have revised 33 CFR 155.5025 to clearly 
state the requirements for one-time port waivers. In remote areas, the 
COTP will closely scrutinize one-time port waiver requests to ensure 
that the contracted response resources meet the requirements to the 
maximum extent practicable. Additional information on the response 
resources required for a particular vessel can be found in 33 CFR Part 
155, Appendix B. As new response resources become available, COTPs have 
the authority to require those assets be incorporated into VRPs before 
granting one-time port waiver requests. The COTP can only authorize a 
one-time port waiver for a vessel owner's or operator's NTVRP for only 
one transit into that specific COTP zone, for the lifetime of the 
NTVRP. However, for vessels regularly transiting remote areas that lack 
resources, vessel owners or operators may submit a request for 
Alternative Planning Criteria approval under 33 CFR 155.5067.
12. Geographic Area--Sec.  155.5030
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec.  155.5030, regarding 
the geographic areas covered by the rulemaking. The commenter 
recommended that the Coast Guard treat the Great Lakes (Ninth Coast 
Guard District) as a single system/geographic area, with regard to the 
requirement for GSAs and for all other geographic specific requirements 
in the NPRM.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Ninth Coast Guard District is 
considering a consolidated Great Lakes Area Contingency Plan (ACP). 
This consolidated Great Lakes ACP may treat the Great Lakes as one 
geographical area, which should allow owners or operators to submit one 
GSA. No change to the regulatory text is necessary.
13. Electronic Copies--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 155.5030(g)
    The Coast Guard received six comments on Sec.  155.5030(g), 
electronic copies. Commenters recommended that the Coast Guard allow 
vessels to keep electronic copies of the NTVRP approval letter onboard, 
as opposed to a hard copy. One commenter also recommended deleting the 
terms ``original'' and ``notarized'' from Sec.  155.5030(g)(1).
    The Coast Guard agrees and has changed Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 
155.5030(g) 151.27, and 151.28 to allow for electronic copies onboard 
vessels. The Coast Guard has also removed the terms ``original'' and 
``notarized'' from Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i)(1), 155.1030(i)(2), and 
155.5030(g)(1).
14. Portions of Plan Carried on Vessel--Sec. Sec.  155.1030(i), 
155.5030(g)(1)
    The Coast Guard received two comments on Sec.  155.5030(g)(1), the 
portions of an NTVRP that must be carried on a vessel. One commenter 
stated the Coast Guard should include a similar provision to the 
current provision in 33 CFR 155.1040(i) for tank vessels, which would 
include a larger fleet or umbrella plan. This would allow the vessel to 
only carry the information that the crew needs to initiate 
notifications and response.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Vessels do not need to maintain the whole 
NTVRP onboard the vessel, whether the vessel is part of a fleet or not. 
The vessel need only carry those sections necessary to initiate 
notifications and crew response. The Coast Guard believes the sections 
needed for a response include general information and introduction, 
notification procedures, shipboard spill mitigation procedures, list of 
contacts, training procedures, exercise procedures, GSA, and vessel 
appendix. The Coast Guard has amended Sec. Sec.  155.5030(g)(1) and 
155.1030(i) to require vessels carry those sections deemed necessary to 
initiate notifications and crew response, listed in the previous 
sentence, onboard the vessel.
15. MARPOL VRP Requirements--Sec.  155.5030(h)
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec.  155.5030(h), 
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 
(MARPOL) response plan requirements. The commenter stated the Coast 
Guard should permit (but not mandate) the vessel owner to create one 
response plan, meeting the requirements of both MARPOL and the NTVRP 
requirements.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard included this provision in 
the proposed rule in 33 CFR 155.5030(h). This paragraph states that 
SOPEP information may be combined with a Coast Guard NTVRP as long as 
the vessel meets the additional requirement listed in Sec.  
155.5035(k). We did not change this provision in the final rule.
16. Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club--Sec.  155.5035
    The Coast Guard received seven comments on Sec.  155.5035, 
regarding Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs. Commenters stated the 
tank VRP regulations do not require including details of a P&I Club and 
local correspondent and therefore should not be included in the 
requirements for NTVRP.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The tank vessel regulations require the 
listing of applicable insurance representatives or surveyors for the 
vessels' area of operations in Sec.  155.1035(e)(3). The P&I Club is 
the insurance provider most likely to cover liabilities arising from 
oil spills and so listing of the P&I Club and local correspondent 
contact details is

[[Page 60108]]

most valuable to the Coast Guard. The rule states the nontank vessel 
owner or operator should submit P&I Club information, as required by 
Sec.  155.5035(b)(5)(i)(O), as applicable. In cases where a nontank 
vessel owner or operator does not have P&I Club coverage, the Coast 
Guard does not require the submission of the coverage information.
    One commenter asked the Coast Guard to clarify whether membership 
in a P&I Club gives nontank vessel owners or operators the ability to 
list, in their NTVRPs, the response resource providers that are 
available through their P&I membership. The commenter stated that if it 
is not the Coast Guard's intent to allow listing the response resource 
providers available through their P&I membership, the Coast Guard 
should amend the rule to allow it. The same commenter also requested 
the Coast Guard clarify what further proof, if any, in the way of 
submitted paper work, the Coast Guard will require the nontank vessel 
to submit to confirm they have the required coverage via the P&I 
relationship to the National Response Corporation and/or Marine Spill 
Response Corporation response resources for their nationwide OSRO 
coverage.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. While the Coast Guard does not 
allow third-party contracts, such as through a P&I Club, with OSROs, 
the Coast Guard will accept contracts signed on behalf of a vessel 
owner or operator by an authorized agent or power of attorney. The 
contract must still be between the vessel owner or operator and the 
resource provider rather than with a third party. The Coast Guard 
requires that an NTVRP contain a list of resource providers available 
by contract or other approved means.
17. Shipboard Spill Mitigation Procedures--Sec.  155.5035(c)(1)
    The Coast Guard received seven comments on Sec.  155.5035(c)(1), 
shipboard spill mitigation procedures. Commenters requested that the 
Coast Guard remove the personnel protection issues, protective 
equipment, threats to health and safety, containment and other response 
techniques, and isolation procedures requirements listed under Sec.  
155.5035(c)(1)(v)-(ix). The commenters requested that the Coast Guard 
remove these requirements because they are not in NVIC 01-05 or tank 
VRP regulations.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. We understand that the requirements 
listed in 33 CFR 155.5035(c)(1)(v)-(ix) are not in the tank regulations 
or NVIC 01-05. The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Marine 
Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) published Resolution 
MEPC.86(44) in 2000. Resolution MEPC.86(44) amended the Shipboard Oil 
Pollution Emergency Plan requirements reflected in Annex I of the 
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 
1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978, as amended (MARPOL Annex I). 
Resolution MEPC.86(44) added criteria under the ``Mitigating 
Activities'' section. In order to align our domestic and current 
international requirements, the Coast Guard included those additional 
requirements and mirrored them in our domestic NTVRP requirements under 
Sec.  155.5035(c)(1)(v)-(ix). U.S. vessels operating on international 
routes are required to comply with both international and U.S. 
requirements. Likewise, foreign vessels calling on U.S. ports are also 
following these international requirements. Adding them to the NTVRP 
requirements consolidates shipboard and shore based spill requirements 
in one location, better facilitating the response during an actual 
casualty and potentially making compliance easier. The Coast Guard 
agrees that the tank VRP regulations should be brought up-to-date with 
the amendments; the Coast Guard will address that in a future 
rulemaking.
18. International Ship Management (ISM) Checklist--Sec.  155.5035(c)(2)
    The Coast Guard received 10 comments on Sec.  155.5035(c)(2), the 
International Ship Management (ISM) checklist. The commenters 
recommended that the Coast Guard remove the requirements for 
planholders to create vessel-specific checklists produced under the ISM 
Code as listed under Sec.  155.5035(c)(2). Commenters stated that this 
requirement goes beyond what the tank VRP regulations and NVIC 01-05 
require. Commenters stated that the ISM Code does not apply to inland 
towing vessels and many coastal towing vessels, so they shouldn't have 
to create an ISM checklist. Commenters also stated the ISM Code doesn't 
apply to many offshore vessels and tugboats, so they shouldn't have to 
create an ISM checklist.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. As proposed in the NPRM, Sec.  
155.5035(c)(2) requires that the crew follow procedures to mitigate or 
prevent any discharge or substantial threat of a discharge. These 
procedures can reference specific vessel checklists required by the ISM 
Code or they can be in some other form that will ensure the crew 
considers all appropriate factors when addressing a specific casualty.
    Additionally, 33 CFR 155.5035(c)(2) states ``or other means that 
will ensure consideration of all appropriate factors when addressing a 
specific casualty.'' In cases where the Coast Guard does not require 
vessels to comply with the ISM Code, they may use other means during 
the planning process to meet the requirements of this section. Although 
the tank VRP regulations do not require a checklist produced under the 
ISM Code, the Coast Guard aligned this regulation with Regulation 37 of 
MARPOL Annex I, which requires checklists or other means that will 
ensure the master considers all appropriate factors when addressing 
specific casualties. The Coast Guard agrees that the tank VRP 
regulations should be brought up-to-date with the amendments; the Coast 
Guard will address that in a future rulemaking.
19. Dispersants--Sec. Sec.  155.5035(i), 155.5050
    The Coast Guard received six comments on Sec. Sec.  155.5035(i) and 
155.5050, dispersants. Commenters stated that vessels using non-
persistent oils for fuel, such as diesel, should be exempt from 
including dispersant resources in their plans.
    The Coast Guard agrees and has already included that exemption in 
the proposed rulemaking. Currently the Coast Guard has no existing 
provision requiring nontank vessels carrying non-persistent or group I 
oil, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, to plan for or contract 
with dispersant resource providers. The dispersant section in Sec.  
155.5050(j) applies to only nontank vessels carrying groups II through 
IV petroleum oil.
    One commenter recommended that the Coast Guard should modify the 
rule to allow the planholder to comply with aerial reconnaissance and 
dispersal requirements by sub-contract through OSROs and/or the spill 
management team (SMT) already identified in the VRP.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the planholder will be able to use 
contracted OSRO/SMT as identified in the VRP. The Coast Guard will 
accept this as long as the vessel demonstrates sufficient proof of 
aerial tracking to the Commandant (CG-CVC). The Coast Guard proposed 
this provision in the NPRM and has not made any changes to the final 
rule.
    Two commenters suggested the Coast Guard create a mechanism for 
providing updates via the Federal Register and/or through the Homeport 
Internet site for those new areas that are pre-authorized

[[Page 60109]]

for dispersant use. These commenters also suggested the Coast Guard 
establish a 12-month time period for affected industry members to amend 
their VRPs for vessels in these newly added areas.
    The Coast Guard agrees, and in a previous rulemaking established a 
24-month period for vessel owners and operators to update VRPs to 
include dispersant resource providers (74 FR 45004, 45009). The Coast 
Guard plans to publish any changes to preauthorization as a notice, 
when authorized, in the Federal Register. Furthermore, Homeport has a 
library of all ACPs, which contains areas preauthorized for dispersant 
use. The Coast Guard will note any updates to dispersant 
preauthorization in the ACP or regional contingency plan. The Homeport 
Web site is http://homeport.uscg.mil/. ACPs are maintained on the 
``Safety and Security'' section of each COTP sub-site in Homeport. COTP 
sub-sites are found under the ``Port Directory'' tab.
    One commenter stated that the proposed regulation did not consider 
the fact that dispersants presently stockpiled in the United States are 
not as effective on heavy or intermediate fuel oils as they are on 
crude oils.
    The Coast Guard clarifies our consideration of a dispersant's 
effectiveness as follows. We would like to emphasize that these 
regulations only intend to make dispersant equipment available; the 
efficacy of dispersants currently stockpiled in the United States is 
beyond the scope of this rulemaking.
20. Contracts With Providers--Sec.  155.5050(d)
    The Coast Guard received 10 comments on Sec.  155.5050(d), 
regarding contracting with providers. Commenters recommended that the 
Coast Guard require direct contracts for average most probable 
discharge (AMPD) coverage between the vessel and the provider. As an 
alternative, commenters suggested the Coast Guard should require a 
mutual aid agreement between the transferring facility and nontank 
vessel.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The definition of AMPD, as taken from 
Sec.  155.1020, refers to cargo oil transfer operations to or from 
vessels. Nontank vessels that only carry groups I through IV oil as 
fuel have to identify, but would not have to ensure the availability of 
AMPD resources by contract or other approved means. This is because the 
Coast Guard already requires the tank vessel or facility providing the 
bunker to the nontank vessel to plan for the AMPD resources covering 
the transfer. Listing of a marine transportation-related facility's or 
a bunker supplier's AMPD resources is unnecessary, as these AMPD 
resources are already required by either 33 CFR 154.545, 154.1045(c), 
or 155.1050(d)(2).
    Commenters expressed concern over the requirement that certain 
categories of nontank vessels need not ensure access to response assets 
through contracts. Commenters stated this requirement would allow the 
VRP to merely identify response resources with written consent from the 
contractor and/or provider, or it might not even require written 
consent.
    The Coast Guard understands the commenters' concern. Because the 
Coast Guard recognizes that not all nontank vessels are the same, we 
proposed and are now promulgating tiered response resource requirements 
based on fuel and cargo oil capacity as shown in new 33 CFR Table 
155.5050(p). See additional discussion below in this section (i.e., 
section VI.A.20).
    One commenter stated that the Coast Guard should require vessels 
carrying 250 barrels or more to have a contract for marine firefighting 
or salvage response resources.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. 33 CFR 155.5050(p) requires nontank 
vessels with a fuel and cargo capacity less than 2,500 barrels to only 
identify and plan for response resources and that availability by 
contract is not required. While the Coast Guard does not require 
contracts for these vessels, we believe that requiring these vessels to 
plan for and comply with all of the other requirements of subpart I is 
sufficient. These requirements include identifying resource providers, 
who must be given a copy of the pre-fire plan required by 33 CFR 
155.4035(b). The resource providers must agree that the plan is 
acceptable and agree to implement it to mitigate a potential or actual 
fire.
    One commenter stated that the Coast Guard requirement of 
contracting with a resource provider will mean a cost associated with 
that contract coming from a business's bottom line.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. We recognize that the development 
of an NTVRP will not occur without cost. However, that cost is 
dependent on many factors, including the type of vessel, area of 
operation, and amount of oil capacity. The Regulatory Assessment 
provides a breakdown of our estimate for plan development cost. A copy 
of the Regulatory Assessment is available in the docket where indicated 
under ADDRESSES.
21. Response Times--Sec.  155.5050(g)
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec.  155.5050(g), 
regarding response times. The commenter stated the 24-hour response 
time requirement is unrealistic for areas a great distance from shore 
and in many remote areas of the country.
    The Coast Guard agrees. In cases where the national planning 
criteria are not appropriate for the vessel in the areas that the owner 
or operator intends to operate, the owner or operator may request 
alternative planning criteria in accordance with new 33 CFR 155.5067.
22. Salvage and Marine Firefighting Resources--Sec.  155.5050(i)
    The Coast Guard received 13 comments on Sec.  155.5050(i), 
regarding salvage and marine firefighting. Commenters stated that NTVRP 
requirements for foam and water are unwarranted; the Coast Guard should 
not require nontank vessels and offshore vessels to meet the same 
requirements as tank vessels.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The tank vessel rules determine the 
required quantity of foam based on a calculation that considers the 
overall deck area of the ship, which assumes that the area of fire 
involvement is limited. The nontank vessel regulations use the same 
criteria for calculating the amount of foam, with the principal hazard 
expected to be fuel leaking from a tank in the machinery space. The 
requirements for foam and water should be an appropriate rate, as 
stated in Sec.  155.4030(g). If the specified rate is not suitable, 
then nontank owners or operators may use an appropriate rate and 
adequate source of foam, as stated in Sec.  155.4030(g).
    Commenters stated that salvage and marine firefighting resources 
have little effect if the vessel operates many miles offshore. The 
commenters stated that neither firefighting nor salvage within the 24-
hour response time would be very effective.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The salvage and marine firefighting 
timeframes apply only to defined operating environments as stated in 33 
CFR 155.4040. Commenters referred to a response to a worst case release 
in the ``Open Ocean'' operating environment in 33 CFR 155.1020. None of 
the timeframes listed in Table 155.4030(b) apply to this operating 
area. An owner or operator must still contract for salvage and marine 
firefighting services, provide a description of how they intend to 
respond, and provide an estimated response time when required, 
according to 33 CFR 155.4030(b). In cases where the national planning 
criteria are inappropriate to the vessel for the areas in which it 
intends to operate, the owner or operator may submit an alternative 
planning criteria in accordance with 33 CFR 155.5067 to the Coast Guard 
for approval.

[[Page 60110]]

    One commenter stated that the Coast Guard cannot expect salvage 
equipment to arrive on scene within 24 hours; it will take days for the 
equipment to arrive.
    The Coast Guard intends to rely on the vessel owners or operators 
to prudently identify contractor resources to meet their needs. This 
rule intends to increase resource providers' capabilities to the level 
necessary to handle emergency incidents prior to deterioration into WCD 
scenarios. The rule will also increase the response capabilities 
necessary to keep port and waterways open in a WCD scenario, which 
might include a national security incident. The temporary waiver 
provision allows for a 1-year suspension of on-site salvage and 
firefighting assessment services, 2 years for hull and bottom survey 
services, 3 years for salvage stabilization services, 4 years for fire 
suppression services, and 5 years for specialized salvage operations 
services as outlined in 33 CFR 155.4030(b) and 155.4055(g). After 
temporary waivers expire, the Coast Guard will not authorize vessels to 
trade in U.S. waters without meeting the requirements of this rule. The 
rule does not contain a provision for consideration of additional 
waivers, although vessels can propose alternative planning criteria 
measures in accordance with 33 CFR 155.5067.
    One commenter suggested that the Coast Guard form an ad-hoc 
advisory committee with members from the Coast Guard and industry in 
order to develop a salvage and marine firefighting standard for nontank 
vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees and disagrees. The Coast Guard believes the 
current salvage and marine firefighting regulations provide a 
sufficient level of response capability for nontank vessels. However, 
the Coast Guard is open to the idea of discussing revisions to the 
current salvage and marine firefighting regulations. In addition, the 
Coast Guard has a variety of advisory committees and quality 
partnerships with different segments of the maritime industry that 
regularly provide input on marine safety regulations, including VRPs.
    One commenter stated that VRPs will only have one salvor, and will 
therefore require immediate activation of the salvor. The commenter 
believes this will lead to only one solution and there will not be any 
competition to come up with other solutions.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. VRPs may list more than one salvor. A 
VRP GSA must list primary resource providers who are responsible for 
all, or a subset of, the services that are listed in Table 155.4030(b). 
VRPs may list additional resource providers for each service, but VRPs 
must indicate the primary resource provider for the COTP zone. The VRP 
establishes response times for those operating areas identified in 
Table 155.4030(b). For areas outside of the operating areas identified 
in Table 155.4030(b), but within U.S. waters, vessel owners or 
operators must still contract for salvage and marine firefighting 
services, provide a description of how they intend to respond, and 
provide an estimated response time when these services are required (33 
CFR 155.4040(d)(6)). 33 CFR 155.5012 describes the means to respond 
using alternate strategies based on FOSC approval of a salvage plan 
that the attending salvage master develops, which may provide for a 
more expeditious or effective response.
    One commenter suggested adjusting the definition of emergency 
towing to address the reality of towing resources and brown water 
(inland) versus blue water (ocean going) vessels. The commenter also 
suggested the Coast Guard remove the requirement for named vessels of 
specified capability, since the capability mandated does not exist in 
each inland COTP zone and certainly not on a named (dedicated) basis.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard recognizes that inland 
barges operate in a different environment than offshore vessels; 
however a VRP must still identify effective emergency towing vessels. 
Inland operators may comply by contracting emergency towing vessels 
according to the established requirements or submit alternative 
planning criteria for approval in accordance with 33 CFR 155.5067.
    The Coast Guard revised the following sections to clarify salvage 
and marine firefighting applicability for nontank vessels as discussed 
above: Sec. Sec.  155.4010, 155.4015, 155.4020, 155.4025, 155.4030, 
155.4035, and 155.4052.
23. Training and Exercises--Sec. Sec.  155.5055, 155.5060
    The Coast Guard received five comments on Sec. Sec.  155.5055 and 
155.5060, training and exercises. One commenter stated that it is 
unreasonable and unnecessary to expect a vessel operator to participate 
in unannounced exercises for each COTP zone. The commenter adds that 
the Coast Guard should have operators, within a geographic region, 
specifically the Great Lakes, participate in one exercise annually. 
Commenters recommended the Coast Guard reduce NTVRP training, 
exercises, and drills. One commenter stated the regulations should 
specifically state that vessel owners can develop and administer 
training appropriate to the vessel and area of operation by using an 
alternate approved plan. The commenter also stated that the Coast Guard 
should require the vessels owner exercise the entire spill response 
plan every 3 years, while allowing vessel owners to exercise different 
elements of the spill response plan at different times.
    The Coast Guard agrees and in the final rule offers a voluntary 
option for vessels with an oil capacity of less than 250 barrels under 
33 CFR 155.5061. As this is a new program, the Coast Guard established 
the 250 barrels participation limit to provide flexibility to those 
nontank vessels that present the lowest level of oil spill risk (i.e., 
oil capacity) of the 3 oil capacity levels in the NTVRP regulations. 
The 250 barrels limit is a common threshold used in existing Coast 
Guard regulations on oil transfer requirements (33 CFR Part 155 Subpart 
C). This option allows those vessels to submit an Alternative Training 
and Exercise Program to the Coast Guard. This Alternative Training and 
Exercise Program is a third-party or industry organization-developed 
standard that the Commandant (CG-CVC) has determined provides an 
equivalent level of training and exercise preparedness to that 
established by subpart J.
24. Alternative Planning Criteria--Sec.  155.5067
    The Coast Guard received 12 comments on Sec.  155.5067, regarding 
alternative planning criteria. Commenters stated that requiring vessels 
to submit alternative planning criteria 45 days in advance is neither 
commercially viable nor reasonable.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. For a nontank vessel in the spot market, 
the Coast Guard recommends the vessel obtain advanced approvals from 
COTP zones where the vessel has the potential to transit or operate. If 
the vessel finds itself in a situation where advanced approval has not 
been obtained, then it should request a one-time waiver from the COTP. 
In all other cases, the Coast Guard expects alternative planning 
criteria submissions to be submitted within the time frame listed in 
this final rule, which was changed to 90 days, aligning it with the 
timeframe provided in subpart D. The Coast Guard is developing national 
policy guidance to assist vessel owners or operators in the development 
and subsequent approval of alternative planning criteria. This new 
policy will facilitate quick approval of alternative planning criteria 
requests.
    Commenters suggested that the Coast Guard should allow vessels to 
submit alternative planning criteria directly to the Commandant (CG-
CVC), versus the local COTP. Commenters stated that an

[[Page 60111]]

association or consortium, on behalf of a class of vessels that share 
common operating characteristics, would accomplish this.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The local COTP, in close coordination 
with the local area committee, can best determine whether the response 
resources in their zone meet the national planning criteria.
    One commenter stated that, due to MARPOL and the proposed NTRVP's 
diverse requirements, the Coast Guard should not require the 
combination of both plans as prescribed in Sec.  155.5067. The 
commenter also stated that jurisdictions, where the additional U.S. 
requirements are not applicable, will also require the plan.
    The Coast Guard believes the commenter mistakes the purpose of 33 
CFR 155.5067. The vessel owner or operator submits alternative planning 
criteria as a request to the Coast Guard when they believe the national 
planning criteria are not appropriate to their vessel for the area 
where it intends to operate.
    One commenter suggested that the Coast Guard amend the rule to 
require sectors in remote areas to establish minimally acceptable 
resource requirements, based on actual resident capability. The 
commenter added that the Coast Guard should not require a vessel owner 
or operator to obtain local OSRO coverage for transiting offshore (up 
to 200 nm) when OSROs have no capability to respond nearshore or 
offshore.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard intends the purpose of 
alternative planning criteria to gradually build-up response capability 
in remote areas. We encourage Area Committees, established under the 
National Contingency Plan (NCP) (40 CFR part 300), to address this 
issue and facilitate solutions to include recommending acceptable 
alternative planning criteria for NTVRP approval and building up 
required response resources in applicable areas.
    One commenter stated that the Coast Guard should consider making 
the alternative planning criteria framework an interim approach to be 
replaced by a more permanent set of requirements at some future date. 
The commenter stated that Area Committees cannot build response 
resources. The commenter believes Area Committees should not provide 
the response resources and preparedness for regulated entities or make 
decisions granting relief to regulated entities.
    The Coast Guard agrees that the Area Committees cannot build 
response resources for vessels. However, Area Committees should have a 
thorough list of available resources within their Area of 
Responsibility. This list of resources should address remote areas 
where alternative planning criteria is necessary. The Coast Guard is 
currently developing a national Area Committee standard that each COTP 
zone can use to develop local resource lists. This national planning 
standard will be used by the COTP to address resource gaps until 
private industry response resources are sufficiently built up in remote 
areas to meet the planning standard described in 33 CFR part 155.
    One commenter stated that this rule will result in a large increase 
in areas requiring waivers/alternate planning. The commenter also 
stated that the towing resources do not and will not exist in all 
sectors and the same will likely hold true for firefighting capability 
in many low volume ports.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. While the current state of 
resources in remote areas may not meet the criteria required by the 
Coast Guard's regulations, and waivers and alternative planning 
criteria will be used to ensure compliance requirements, the Coast 
Guard believes that over time the resources will build up to a point 
where waiver and alternative planning criteria will not be needed.
25. Notice of Arrival (NOA) Requirement--Sec.  160.206
    The Coast Guard received one comment on Sec.  160.206, regarding 
NOA requirements. The commenter stated that the Coast Guard shouldn't 
require owners or operators to submit their VRP control number as part 
of the NOA information because the Coast Guard is the issuing authority 
for the VRP control numbers.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. Some vessels are associated with more 
than one VRP. For purposes of protecting navigation and the marine 
environment, the Coast Guard proposed this VRP-related addition to NOA 
reporting requirements under authority of section 4 of the Ports and 
Waterways Safety Act (PWSA), 33 U.S.C. 1223. The Coast Guard will use 
this additional information to better determine which VRP the reporting 
vessel is operating under and if the vessel has an approved VRP GSA for 
the COTP zone in which the vessel intends to call.

B. General Comments

    The Coast Guard received comments on the NPRM not related to a 
specific regulatory text citation. Below we discuss the comments and 
our responses.
1. Alternative Approach
    The Coast Guard received four comments on alternative approaches. 
Commenters suggested the Coast Guard incorporate an alternative program 
approach consistent with the intent of the regulations, but tailored to 
the specific risk factors and operational profiles of a particular 
class of vessels. The commenters noted the Coast Guard has a program 
similar to this for the Alternative Security Program concept in 33 CFR 
101.120(b).
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. First, the Coast Guard has tailored 
the required response resources to risk (i.e., oil capacity) as seen in 
new 33 CFR Table 155.5050(p). Second, the Coast Guard has taken 
measures to incorporate an Alternative Training and Exercise Program 
into the final rule under Sec.  155.5061 for vessels carrying less than 
250 barrels of oil. Owners or operators may use the Alternative 
Training and Exercise Program for a particular class of vessels 
operating in similar operating environments.
2. Cost
    The Coast Guard received one comment on cost. The commenter stated 
that while the costs would be shared among more vessels, the cost to 
the industry may well be larger than the cost for providing spill 
response equipment to tank vessels. The commenter added there will be a 
large investment in vessels, equipment, and crew for the OSRO, and the 
costs will be passed along to the vessel operator.
    The Coast Guard disagrees; the Coast Guard does not believe nontank 
owners or operators will need to invest in OSRO vessels, equipment, and 
crew. Since the implementation of the tank VRP regulations in 1993, 
OSRO infrastructure, including vessels and equipment, has been in place 
in the continental United States for oil spill response coverage up to 
a WCD scenario. Nontank vessel owners or operators can contract with 
these OSROs or resource providers.
3. Direct Contracts
    The Coast Guard received four comments on direct contracts. The 
commenter stated that requiring a direct contract (in lieu of a third-
party option) will reduce preparedness, eliminate competition, and may 
reduce salvage effectiveness.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard requires a direct 
contractual relationship between the vessel owner or operator and the 
OSRO to ensure that specific resources are available to respond to any 
potential incidents.

[[Page 60112]]

While the Coast Guard does not allow third-party contracts, such as 
through a P&I Club, with OSROs or salvage providers, the Coast Guard 
will accept contracts signed on behalf of a vessel owner or operator by 
an authorized agent or power of attorney. The contract must still be 
between the vessel owner or operator and the resource provider rather 
than with a third party so that authority to authorize execution of the 
response plan is clear in the case of an incident. This is in 
accordance with 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)(D)(iii), which states that a 
response plan shall ``identify, and ensure by contract or other means'' 
the availability of personnel and equipment to respond to a WCD and to 
mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge.
4. Equipment
    The Coast Guard received two comments on equipment. One commenter 
stated it would be more realistic to define response times based on the 
distance to the nearest commercial port, since many remote areas do not 
have the response equipment readily available.
    The Coast Guard agrees that in some remote areas of the country, 
meeting national planning criteria is not possible. Because of this, 33 
CFR 155.5067 allows vessels to submit alternative planning criteria for 
those areas where the national planning criteria cannot be met.
    One commenter states that the response times listed in NVIC 01-05 
are unrealistic. The commenter stated the 1 hour response time for oil 
containment boom and having oil recovery devices available within 2 
hours of any location where oil transfers take place would be 
impossible to meet. The commenter added that the vessels will not be 
able to maintain that amount of equipment onboard due to lack of 
available space.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The final rule, like the NPRM, does not 
have the same requirements as NVIC 01-05 for this reason. Equipment 
identified to respond to a WCD should be capable of arriving on scene 
within the timeframes identified in Table 155.5050(g). The specific 
quantity of boom required for collection and containment will depend on 
the specific recovery equipment strategies employed.
5. Fuel Type
    The Coast Guard received one comment on fuel type. The commenter 
expressed concern that the proposed rule does not adequately address 
the substantial variation in fuel oils typically carried onboard 
nontank vessels. The commenter noted the fuels vary in terms of their 
physical and chemical properties. The commenter also noted that current 
U.S. response infrastructure and technologies may not be appropriate 
for viscous fuel oils.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. We believe that our proposed rule, like 
the current tank regulations in 33 CFR part 155 subpart D, adequately 
reflect the intent of the FWPCA. The FWPCA requires that vessels submit 
VRPs for responding, to the maximum extent practicable, to a WCD, and 
to a substantial threat of such a discharge of oil or hazardous 
substance. The Coast Guard understands that there are different 
physical and chemical properties associated with the oils carried 
onboard regulated vessels. But since this final rule remains relatively 
consistent with the tank VRP regulations, the Coast Guard has written 
the regulations so that all oil and oil residue spills will be 
responded to as the FWPCA intended.
6. International Issues
    The Coast Guard received four comments on international issues. The 
commenters urged the Coast Guard to work with Transport Canada to 
coordinate contingency plan requirements for vessels transiting through 
transboundary areas.
    The Coast Guard agrees. The Coast Guard already works with 
Transport Canada under the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution 
Contingency Plan. The Joint Contingency Plan provides a coordinated 
system for planning, preparedness, and responding to harmful substance 
incidents in the contiguous waters of Canada and the United States.
    One commenter recommended the Coast Guard explicitly clarify the 
boundaries of the United States and Russia for the purposes of 
requiring VRPs for the Bering Strait.
    The Coast Guard clarifies the applicability of VRP requirements in 
relation to the boundaries of the United States and Russia as follows. 
If a vessel is destined to or from a U.S. port or place, the Coast 
Guard will require it to submit a VRP for the port or place in which 
they are entering and include a GSA for all of the COTP zones that it 
transits through; if a vessel is not bound to or from a U.S. port or 
place, and it passes through the Bering Strait or any other 
international strait, the Coast Guard does not require that the vessel 
submit a VRP.
    One commenter urged the Coast Guard to consult with the State of 
Alaska on the matter of nontank vessel compliance in the Bering Strait 
before finalizing the rule.
    The Coast Guard gave Alaska, along with any other state, the 
opportunity to comment on this NPRM during the comment period. The 
Coast Guard will continue to consult with stakeholders among the states 
and other groups once the rule is implemented to ensure that the rule's 
provisions are well understood and operating as effectively as possible 
to prepare for, prevent and mitigate the effects of oil spills from 
nontank vessels.
7. NVIC
    The Coast Guard received seven comments on NVIC 01-05. Commenters 
asked the Coast Guard to maintain consistency between the requirements 
of the NVIC and rule. Commenters requested that the Coast Guard not 
include requirements that exceed requirements for tank vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. The NVIC provided interim guidance 
for nontank vessel owners or operators for preparing and submitting 
NTVRPs to respond to a discharge or threat of discharge of oil. The 
Coast Guard published the NVIC to assist nontank vessel owners with 
compliance with a Congressional statutory mandate under the FWPCA, as 
amended by OPA 90.
    The NVIC and the NTVRP rule closely mirror the current tank vessel 
regulations. There is very little difference between the NVIC and the 
nontank final rule. However, the NVIC had provisions which the final 
rule improved after public notice and comment. For example, we added 
one-time waivers and 5-year approvals for approved NTVRPs. Also, NVIC 
01-05 specifically warned in the ``Disclaimer'' section on p. 5, ``A 
response plan that complies with this guidance may ultimately not 
comply with the regulations, once issued. In which case, the plan may 
require revision by the vessel owner or operator to comply with the 
regulations.'' The Coast Guard agrees that the tank vessel regulations 
need to align with the updated SOPEP regulations and NTVRP regulations; 
the Coast Guard will address that in a future rulemaking.
8. Port or Place of the United States
    The Coast Guard received two comments on the term port or place of 
the United States. Commenters requested the Coast Guard clarify the 
term in consideration of the provisions of 43 U.S.C. 1333, with regard 
to this rulemaking.
    The Coast Guard clarifies the term in the following discussion. 
Port or place of the United States is a general term to describe any 
location subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The

[[Page 60113]]

actual jurisdiction for the United States is different for each statute 
because each statute separately establishes jurisdiction. The term 
``port or place of the United States'' in this regulation is intended 
as a clarifying description that modifies the preceding clause relating 
to innocent passage and transit passage. This particular term must be 
read in conjunction with the rest of the applicability requirements, 
particularly the requirement that the nontank vessel operate upon the 
navigable waters of the United States as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(17a) 
and 33 CFR 2.36(b)(1). Thus, for example, a nontank vessel that did not 
operate on the navigable waters of the United States could operate upon 
the outer continental shelf (OCS) of the United States or within the 
EEZ and not require a NTVRP. On the other hand, a nontank vessel that 
operated upon U.S. navigable waters en route a destination on the OCS 
outside U.S. navigable waters would be required to hold a NTVRP.
9. Risk Analysis
    The Coast Guard received 20 comments on risk analysis. Commenters 
stated the regulatory analysis did not support the regulation that the 
Coast Guard created, including covering those vessels carrying lesser 
quantities of oil than tank vessels.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. While the 2004 Act and 2006 Act mandate 
that certain owners and operators prepare and submit NTVRPs, the Coast 
Guard has taken steps to tier the NTVRP requirements based on a 
vessel's perceived risk. Table 155.5050(p) indicates how the Coast 
Guard tiers the required response resources to the total amount of a 
vessel's oil capacity.
    Additionally, after further review of associated guidance and 
regulations, the Coast Guard has reduced the burden of compliance with 
the training and exercise requirements for certain nontank vessels. The 
Coast Guard has incorporated an Alternative Training and Exercise 
Program into the final rule under Sec.  155.5061 for vessels carrying 
less than 250 barrels of oil. This Alternative Training and Exercise 
Program can be a third-party or industry organization developed 
standard that the Commandant (CG-CVC) has determined to provide an 
equivalent level of training and exercise preparedness to that in 33 
CFR 155.5055(a) and 155.5060(a). Based on this new option, we believe 
some small entities will realize a reduced economic burden as a result 
of this section because they would have the flexibility to tailor their 
training and exercise program to meet this new requirement, based on 
Commandant approval, without having to perform the same level of 
training and exercises as owners and operators of larger nontank 
vessels.
    Commenters stated the design, operational characteristics, and 
casualty history of towing vessels strongly suggest that towing vessels 
400 gross tons or greater do not pose a significant risk of the kind of 
catastrophic spill that led to the imposition of this statutory 
mandate.
    The Coast Guard disagrees and believes that the potential risk of 
towing vessels spilling oil into the environment exists. The 2004 Act 
and the 2006 Act specifically require nontank vessels 400 gross tons or 
greater to have a VRP. The rule intends to improve our nation's 
response planning and preparedness posture. While towing vessels will 
generally spill less fuel oil than a large nontank ship, the potential 
to disrupt maritime commerce and normal operations in the affected port 
and waterway is just as great. Therefore, all nontank vessels 400 gross 
tons or greater are required to prepare an NTVRP.
    One commenter stated the Coast Guard should consider areas of 
operation, including those 100 miles offshore, along with the amount 
and type of fuels carried, in weighing the risk posed by a potential 
discharge of oil. The commenter stated that if a vessel operating 100 
miles offshore discharged oil, the oil would likely evaporate before it 
reached territorial waters.
    The Coast Guard agrees that a vessel operating 100 miles offshore 
poses less of an environmental risk to territorial waters than that 
same vessel operating closer to shore. However, the vessel still could 
spill oil while transiting to and from an offshore location. Therefore, 
offshore vessels 400 gross tons or greater operating on the navigable 
waters of the United States are required to prepare an NTVRP.
    One commenter stated that the Coast Guard should tailor the final 
rule to the risk posed by the different vessel types.
    The Coast Guard agrees in part. While the 2004 Act, as modified by 
the 2006 Act, requires all nontank vessels 400 gross tons or greater 
regardless of their type to have a VRP, we proposed in the NPRM, and 
maintain in this final rule, that the level of response planning and 
preparedness be tailored to the level of oil spill risk. To account for 
the variation in risk, we did not tailor the final rule by vessel type, 
but rather by oil capacity. Table 155.5050(p) summarizes this tiered 
approach to required response resources by grouping requirements into 
three segments, for nontank vessels with an oil capacity of--
     2,500 barrels or greater;
     Less than 2,500 barrels, but greater than or equal to 250 
barrels; and
     Less than 250 barrels.
    Any spill has the potential to disrupt maritime commerce and damage 
the environment, thus, the requirement to prepare a VRP is important 
for all types of covered nontank vessels. But as Table 155.5050(p) 
summarizes, we have tailored the level of response planning and 
preparedness to the level of oil spill risk, considering that the law 
requires planning for a ``worst case discharge'' and the amount of a 
WCD would be considerably less for vessels carrying smaller amounts of 
oil.
10. Small Business
    The Coast Guard received two comments on small businesses. 
Commenters stated that the rulemaking was not scaled properly for small 
business.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. First, the Coast Guard proposed and is 
now promulgating requirements for response resources that are tailored 
to risk (i.e., oil capacity) as seen in Table 155.5050(p). Second, the 
Coast Guard has incorporated an Alternative Training and Exercise 
Program into the final rule under Sec.  155.5061 for vessels carrying 
less than 250 barrels of oil. This Alternative Training and Exercise 
Program can be a third-party or industry organization developed 
standard that the Commandant (CG-CVC) has determined to provide an 
equivalent level of training and exercise preparedness to that in 33 
CFR 155.5055(a) and 155.5060(a). With this new option, we believe some 
small entities will realize a reduced economic burden as a result of 
this section because they would have the flexibility to tailor their 
training and exercise program to meet this new requirement, based on 
Commandant approval, without having to perform the same level of 
training and exercises as owners and operators of larger nontank 
vessels.
11. State Plans
    The Coast Guard received one comment on State plans. The commenter 
suggested that the Coast Guard should allow vessels that operate in 
waters with state requirements for spill response plans (e.g. Alaska 
and the west coast) to operate under their respective State plans, 
rather than both Federal and State plans.
    Executive Order 13132, Federalism, sets forth specific requirements 
that the Federal government must follow as it develops and carries out 
policy actions

[[Page 60114]]

that affect State and local governments. In the 2004 Act and the 2006 
Act, Congress delegated the responsibility to the Coast Guard to ensure 
all applicable vessels prepare and submit plans for responding to a 
discharge of oil from their vessels. We drafted the proposed rule to 
ensure that, to the extent practicable, it is consistent with any 
applicable State-mandated response plans in effect on August 9, 2004. 
To that end, we conducted a search of State laws addressing NTVRPs and 
concluded that we will not preempt any State law when this rule is 
final. The vessel owner or operator may comply with both State law and 
Federal law on this topic so long as, among other things, the vessel 
owner or operator has a direct contractual relationship with the oil 
spill removal organization. States that may have interest in this 
rulemaking had an opportunity to comment upon potential federalism 
issues.
    Further discussion and information on this topic can be found in 
the Regulatory Analyses at section VIII.E., Federalism.
12. Tier 1 Response Resources
    The Coast Guard received four comments on Tier 1 response 
resources. Commenters stated nontank vessels must share the investment 
in Tier 2 and Tier 3 capability, rather than just planning for Tier 1 
response resources.
    The Coast Guard determined that the vast majority of nontank 
vessels do not carry fuel oil in such large volumes to require them to 
have Tier 2 or 3 response resources available by contract or other 
approved means. However, when the Coast Guard considered the volumes of 
cargo oil carried in Very Large Crude Carriers or Ultra Large Crude 
Carriers, we realized the need for Tier 2 or 3 response resources for 
VRPs. The response to significant fuel oil spills from nontank vessels, 
such as the M/V COSCO BUSAN, indicates that response resources' 
availability is not an issue. OSROs responding to these spills have 
been able to successfully cascade in the needed response resources to 
contain and mitigate the impact of smaller spills. When the 
availability of response resources is limited or in question, vessels 
should employ the provisions of Coast Guard NVIC 07-01 to ensure a 
successful spill cleanup while maintaining adequate coverage for a 
region at the same time.
13. Additional Changes
    The Coast Guard has made additional changes to the regulatory text, 
see V. Summary of Changes from the NPRM in this preamble for a 
discussion of these changes.

C. Miscellaneous Comments

    The Coast Guard received nine miscellaneous comments. One commenter 
recommended the Coast Guard extend the presented proposal to include a 
requirement for a computerized calculation service, offering stability 
and strength calculations based on a refined, vessel-specific data 
model. The commenter also added that OPA 90 (Pub. L. 101-380; 104 Stat. 
484) and MARPOL regulations require this service for tank vessels in 
U.S. waters as well as worldwide for nontank vessels.
    The Coast Guard agrees. Nontank vessel owners or operators must 
plan for and identify salvage response resources, including the 
assessment of structural stability required by 33 CFR 155.4030(b). This 
requires the use of a salvage software program to assess the vessel's 
stability and structural integrity.
    One commenter suggested 33 CFR part 155, subpart J become a stand-
alone guide because subpart J often refers to 33 CFR part 155, subpart 
D.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The Coast Guard believes that 
interlinking subpart J with subpart D maximizes consistency. The 
regulations are easily accessible, since they are all contained under 
33 CFR part 155. In addition, they are available in a searchable format 
at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html.
    One commenter expressed concern that the Coast Guard's VRP review 
and approval process for both tank VRPs and NTVRPs does not allow for 
public review and comment. The commenter recommended that the Coast 
Guard provide an opportunity for public review and comment on all VRPs, 
approved contractors, and information on the completion of drills and 
exercises required by the regulations.
    The Coast Guard disagrees. The opportunity for public comment on 
the items listed above fall outside the scope of this rulemaking. OPA 
90 requires the Coast Guard to review and approve VRPs. Due to the 
extensive regulatory requirements, the need to facilitate maritime 
commerce combined with the large volume of VRP submissions, an 
opportunity for public review and comment is not appropriate. The 
public can learn about response planning efforts and response resources 
in each COTP zone, through involvement with the local area committee.
    One commenter requested the Coast Guard clarify how to select out 
domestic passenger vessels in the Coast Guard's VRP online database.
    On September 30, 2010, the Coast Guard launched a new, online VRP 
database called VRP Express (http://homeport.uscg.mil/vrpexpress). This 
new web-based tool allows users to upload their VRP information 
electronically. This database also features a search function by 
vessel, so users may look up specific VRP information. This database is 
also capable of conducting advanced searches through expanded criteria.
    To determine the number of authorized U.S. flagged passenger 
vessels, the user should first, select ``VRP Express'' in the ``Data 
Type'' and then select ``authorized'' in the ``Vessel Status''. 
Selecting the ``Advanced Search'' listed on the main page will expand 
search options. Next, in the Advanced Search, under ``Carrier Type,'' 
select ``a vessel type that matches your criteria.'' Finally, under 
``Vessel Flag'' select ``United States'' and select ``Search''. Users 
will need to do the above process for each of the vessel carrier types 
they wish to query in the database.
    Three commenters asked the Coast Guard to review comments that were 
previously submitted to a docket concerning the NVIC.
    The Coast Guard has included those comments and responded to them 
in this Discussion of Comments and Changes section.
    One commenter stated that a salvor is not an OSRO, i.e., clean-up 
contractor, and that referring to a salvor as such is confusing and 
misleading to industry.
    The Coast Guard could not find where the proposed regulation refers 
to a salvor as an OSRO. Therefore, we are unable to respond to this 
comment.

D. Beyond Scope

    One commenter suggested the Coast Guard reassess the licensing 
restriction. The commenter stated operators have been told they could 
not use international gross tonnage for operator license upgrades but 
rather domestic gross tonnage.
    The Coast Guard found this comment to be beyond the scope of the 
proposed rulemaking.

VII. Incorporation by Reference

    The Director of the Federal Register has approved the material in 
Sec.  155.5035 for incorporation by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552 and 1 
CFR part 51. Copies of the material are available from the sources 
listed in Sec.  155.140.

VIII. Regulatory Analyses

    This NTVRP final rule implements a statutory mandate from the 2004 
Act as amended by the 2006 Act. These statutes expanded response plan 
requirements from only tank vessels, for

[[Page 60115]]

which regulations were initially issued in 1993, to also apply to 
nontank vessels. This expansion recognizes the significant increase in 
the quantity of petroleum and petroleum products carried as bunker for 
fuel and the potentially catastrophic consequences should a mishap 
result in tank breach. In fact, a significant number of today's large 
nontank vessels carry more oil as fuel than many of the tank vessels 
did as cargo when the original tank vessel response plan requirements 
were promulgated. These statutorily-mandated requirements fill this 
regulatory gap and enhance the national oil response infrastructure.
    When fully implemented, the NTVRP final rule will serve as a useful 
tool for national preparedness. While the Coast Guard and the entire 
marine industry have worked successfully to reduce the risk of oil 
spills, marine casualties, accidental or not, will always be possible. 
Furthermore, spill volumes could be potentially catastrophic, as was 
seen in the case of the M/V SELENDANG AYU. In 2004, M/V SELENDANG AYU 
spilled about 336,000 gallons of its fuel when it ran aground off the 
coast of the environmentally sensitive Alaskan Aleutian islands. 
Similarly, in 1999 the M/V NEW CARISSA spilled about 70,000 gallons of 
fuel oil during a grounding on the Oregon coast that resulted in 
considerable environmental damage. Neither vessel was required to have 
a NTVRP at the time of the incident. The NTVRP final rule enhances our 
national preparedness posture by requiring the development and 
submission of oil spill response plans that cover thousands of U.S. and 
foreign vessels when operation on our Nation's waters. This pre-
planning will create vital linkages between the shipping industry and 
oil spill response service providers, such as OSROs, salvage companies, 
and marine firefighting companies. Pre-planning may also drive an 
increase in capacity of this vital response service infrastructure. 
This infrastructure would be available not only for a maritime 
accident, but also to respond to a natural disaster.
    The NTVRP final rule cost is borne by the estimated 12,000+ nontank 
vessel users of our Nation's waterways with foreign-flag vessels 
comprising approximately 75 percent of this population. The response 
services a nontank vessel owner or operator must plan for are scaled to 
the consequence of an oil spill as represented by the oil capacity of 
the vessel. The costs are also spread between U.S. and foreign nontank 
vessels. Approximately 60 percent of this final rule's $263 million 10-
year cost is borne by foreign vessel owners/operators.
    In summary, the NTVRP final rule is a statutorily-mandated national 
preparedness document that enhances our oil spill response posture. The 
NTVRP final rule costs are shared between U.S. and foreign nontank 
vessels, and are scaled to vessel oil capacity. Public comment did not 
focus on cost, but rather on ways to improve the requirements.
    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and 
executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses 
based on 14 of these statutes or executive orders.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 (``Regulatory Planning and Review'') and 
13563 (``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'') direct agencies 
to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives 
and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that 
maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, 
public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). 
Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both 
costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of 
promoting flexibility.
    This rule is a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. The Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has reviewed it under that Order. It 
requires an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 
6(a)(3) of that Order.
    We summarized public comments on the NPRM in section VI of the 
preamble. As previously discussed, we received public comments on the 
burden associated with the proposed training and exercise provisions. 
As a result, we have amended the final rule to allow for vessel owners 
or operators to submit an Alternative Training and Exercise Program 
under 33 CFR 155.5061. This alternative approach applies to those 
vessels subject to this rule and that have an oil capacity less than 
250 barrels. This alternative program may reduce the economic impact of 
the rule on some owners or operators of smaller vessels that find it 
beneficial to voluntarily develop and submit an alternative program 
that may provide flexibility for small vessel operations.
    We did not receive or find data to quantify the total number of 
owners or operators of vessels with an oil capacity less than 250 
barrels who will take advantage of this alternative program. Our cost 
analysis for the NPRM assumes all affected nontank vessel owners or 
operators will perform the full level of training and exercises under 
33 CFR 155.5055 and 5060. We did not revise these estimates of training 
and drilling costs in the NPRM, since we have no data available to 
quantify the potential reduction in costs and regulatory burden of the 
alternative program. In addition, we expect this change would be a 
reduction in the regulatory burden and owners or operators would only 
take advantage of this voluntary alternative if they receive a reduced 
regulatory burden below the costs to comply with the full level of 
training and exercise requirements under 33 CFR 155.5055 and 5060.
    We received no other public comments that would alter our 
assessment of the impacts discussed in the NPRM. We received no 
additional information or data that would alter our assessment of the 
impacts of the rule on industry. Therefore, since the alternative 
program provides flexibility and we received no additional data to 
change our original estimates of costs and benefits for the NPRM, we 
adopt the Preliminary Regulatory Analysis for the NPRM as final. A 
summary of the analysis follows.
    The following table summarizes the costs and benefits of this rule.

         Table 1--Summary of Costs and Benefits of Rule--Costs *
                     [$ millions; 7% discount rate]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Annualized Cost...................................           $37.4
Total 10-year Present Value Cost........................          $263.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Benefits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Qualitative: Improved preparedness and reaction to an incident,
 including a worst case discharge, and improved effectiveness of shore-
 side and onboard response activities.
Quantitative: Prevent between 2,014 and 2,446 barrels of oil from being
 spilled over 10-year period of analysis.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Estimates are for both U.S. and foreign-flag vessels. U.S. and foreign-
  flag vessel cost are also reported separately in this section.

    The rule will implement the statutory requirements in 33 U.S.C. 
1321(j)(5) for U.S. and foreign-flag vessel owners or operators to 
prepare and submit oil spill response plans to the Coast Guard. The 
type of vessels affected will be self-propelled, nontank vessels of 400 
gross tons or greater as measured under the convention measurement 
system or regulatory measurement system, which operate on the navigable 
waters of the

[[Page 60116]]

United States, and carry oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion.
    The rule will specify the content of a response plan, including the 
requirement to plan for a response to a WCD and a substantial threat of 
such a discharge. The rule will also specify the procedures for 
submitting a plan to the Coast Guard.
    There are four cost elements associated with this rule: The cost 
for nontank vessel plan development, maintenance, and submission; the 
cost for a nontank vessel owner or planholder to obtain the service of 
an OSRO; the cost for a nontank vessel owner or planholder to contract 
with a QI along with a SMT; and, the cost for training and exercises.
    Based on Coast Guard data, we estimate this rule will affect about 
2,951 U.S.-flag vessels and 1,228 associated planholders. We estimate 
the rule will also affect about 9,264 foreign-flag vessels and about 
1,544 associated planholders.
    The following estimates use a 7 percent discount rate over a 10-
year period of analysis. We estimate for owners or operators of U.S.-
flag nontank vessels the present value 10-year costs of this rule to be 
$111.4 million with annualized costs of about $15.8 million. We 
estimate for owners or operators of foreign-flag nontank vessels the 
present value 10-year costs of this rule to be $151.6 million with 
annualized costs of about $21.6 million. We estimate for all owners or 
operators of U.S. and foreign-flag nontank vessels the total present 
value 10-year costs to be about $263 million with annualized costs of 
about $37.4 million.
    We found the training and exercise requirements to be the most 
costly requirements representing 90 percent of the cost of the rule for 
vessel owners or operators. Owners or operators of nontank vessels 
(with an oil capacity less than 250 barrels) that take advantage of the 
Alternative Training and Exercise Program may reduce their training and 
exercise costs.
    As detailed in the NPRM, we expect this rule to provide 
quantifiable benefits in the form of barrels of oil not spilled in 
addition to qualitative benefits, which include improved preparedness 
and reaction to an incident, including a WCD, and improved 
effectiveness of onboard and shore-side response activities.
    We based quantifiable benefits on a review of marine casualty cases 
from our Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database for 
the period 2002-2006 in order to obtain casualty reports involving 
self-propelled, nontank vessels of 400 gross tons or greater that 
operated on the navigable waters of the United States and that carried 
oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion. We estimated the rule will 
prevent 2,014 to 2,446 barrels of oil from being spilled during a 10-
year period of analysis.
    These estimates do not include an evaluation of additional data 
since 2006 and do not include open cases (investigations) that may have 
recently closed. These estimates also do not reflect the full 
socioeconomic benefits of oil spill mitigation and risk reduction 
associated with nontank vessels, which include avoided damages to the 
ecosystem and regional and national economic impacts. The Preliminary 
Regulatory Analysis for the NPRM contains additional discussion of 
benefits, including qualitative benefits, case studies of notable 
spills, and other areas of benefits.

B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 
considered whether this rule will have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities. The term ``small entities'' 
comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are 
independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, 
and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    When an agency promulgates a final rule under section 553 of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), after being required by that section 
or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking, or 
promulgates a final interpretative rule involving the internal revenue 
laws of the United States as described in section 603(a), the agency 
must prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) or have the 
head of the agency certify pursuant to RFA section 605(b) that the rule 
will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The RFA prescribes the content of 
the FRFA in section 604(a), which we discuss below.
    (1) A description of the reasons why action by the agency is being 
considered.
    Coast Guard response: This rule will affect an owner or operator of 
a commercial, self-propelled nontank vessel of 400 gross tons or 
greater operating on the navigable water of the U.S. that uses oil of 
any kind as fuel for main propulsion, and is not a tank vessel. These 
vessel owners would be required to prepare and submit oil spill 
response plans (NTVRPs) to the Coast Guard much like the requirements 
in the response plans for tank vessels under 33 CFR part 155, subpart 
D. The rule will specify the content of a response plan, including the 
requirement to plan for responding to a worst-case discharge and a 
substantial threat of such a discharge. The rule will also specify the 
procedures for submitting a plan to the Coast Guard. Additionally, the 
rule will update the international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency 
Plan (SOPEP) requirements that apply to certain nontank vessels and 
tank vessels. The rule will amend or change 33 CFR parts 151 and 155.
    (2) The RFA requires a succinct statement of the need for, and 
objectives of, the rule.
    Coast Guard response: Section 311(j)(5) of the FWPCA (33 U.S.C. 
1321(j)(5)), as amended by section 4202 of OPA 90; the 2004 Act; and 
the 2006 Act, sets out the statutory mandate requiring tank and nontank 
vessel owners or operators to prepare and submit oil or hazardous 
substance discharge response plans for certain vessels operating on the 
navigable waters of the United States. This rule implements the 
statutory requirement for an owner or operator of a self-propelled, 
nontank vessel of 400 gross tons or greater, which operates on the 
navigable waters of the United States, to prepare and submit an oil 
spill response plan to the Coast Guard.
    This rule specifies the content of a VRP, including the requirement 
for owners or operators to plan to respond to a WCD and a substantial 
threat of such a discharge as mandated in statute. The rulemaking also 
specifies the procedures for submitting a VRP to the Coast Guard. This 
rule will improve our nation's pollution response planning and 
preparedness posture, and help limit the environmental damage resulting 
from nontank vessel marine casualties.
    (3) The RFA requires a summary of the significant issues raised by 
the public comments in response to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (IRFA), a summary of the assessment of the agency of such 
issues, and a statement of any changes made in the proposed rule as a 
result of such comments.
    Coast Guard response: We summarize the public comments we received 
on the NPRM in section VI of the preamble. We received public comments 
on the burden associated with the proposed training and exercise 
provisions. As a result, we have amended the final rule to allow for 
vessel owners or operators to submit an Alternative Training and 
Exercise Program under 33 CFR

[[Page 60117]]

155.5061. This alternative approach applies to those vessels subject to 
this rule and that have an oil capacity less than 250 barrels. This 
alternative program may reduce the economic impact of the rule on some 
owners or operators of smaller vessels that find it beneficial to 
voluntarily develop and submit an alternative program that may provide 
flexibility for small vessel operations. See section VIII. A., 
``Executive Order 12866,'' for additional information.
    (4) The RFA requires a description of and an estimate of the number 
of small entities to which the rule will apply or an explanation of why 
no such estimate is available.
    Coast Guard response: This rule will affect owners or operators of 
commercial, self-propelled nontank vessels of 400 gross tons or greater 
that operate on the navigable waters of the United States. We expect 
that a majority of the 2,951 U.S.-flag vessels affected by rule may be 
owned by small entities based on our analysis.
    As detailed in the IRFA for the NPRM, we estimate this rule will 
affect about 1,228 U.S. companies (entities) that own approximately 
2,951 nontank vessels. We researched all 1,228 entities and found 
entity-specific information on 640 of them (about 52 percent). From our 
analysis, we determined that 376 of the 640 (about 59 percent) entities 
are small based on the Small Business Administration (SBA) size 
criteria of annual revenues and employment data. These 376 small 
entities own 769 vessels or about two vessels per owner.
    Additionally, we did not find revenue and employee size data for 
the remaining 588 of the 1,228 entities, which precluded us from using 
those entities in our analysis. Given the lack of data for these 
entities, we assume that these 588 entities are likely small.
    We classified small entities by the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) code for those entities that had revenue 
and size data. The 376 small entities with data are represented by 82 
different NAICS codes or categories. We determined if a business was 
small by using the SBA size standards for each NAICS code. We found 
that 19 NAICS categories represent 287, about 76 percent of the 376 of 
the small entities that we analyzed. The remaining 24 percent of small 
entities (89 small entities) are represented by over 60 different NAICS 
categories with less than 1 percent of the population of small entities 
in each category.
    Based on the 19 NAICS categories that represent 76 percent of the 
small entities with data, 28 percent or 104 of the 287 small entities 
are classified by 3 NAICS categories: ``Ship Building and Repairing,'' 
``Coastal and Great Lakes Passenger Transportation,'' and ``Inland 
Water Freight Transportation''. Based on available data, we did not 
find evidence that small not-for-profit organizations or small 
government jurisdictions will be impacted by this rule.
    (5) The RFA requires a description of the projected reporting, 
recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the rule, including 
an estimate of the classes of small entities which will be subject to 
the requirement and the type of professional skills necessary for 
preparation of the report or record.
    Coast Guard response: The rule will require reporting, 
recordkeeping and other compliance requirements under two existing OMB-
approved collections: ``Vessel Response Plans, Facility Response Plans, 
Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans, and Additional Requirements 
for Prince William Sound'' (OMB Control Number 1625-0066) and ``Advance 
Notice of Vessel Arrival'' (OMB Control Number 1625-0100).
    Owners or operators of commercial, self-propelled nontank vessels 
of 400 gross tons or greater operating on the navigable waters of the 
United States will be required to submit NTVRPs to the Coast Guard. The 
Coast Guard has been receiving some NTVRPs from planholders as of 
August 2005.
    The projected reporting and recordkeeping, other compliance 
requirements of the rule, and types of activities and skills necessary 
for the preparation of NTVRPs are described in section VIII. D., 
``Collection of Information.''
    (6) The response of the agency to any comments filed by the Chief 
Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration in response 
to the proposed rule, and a detailed statement of any change made to 
the proposed rule in the final rule as a result of the comments.
    Coast Guard response: The Coast Guard did not receive comments on 
the NPRM from the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.
    (7) The RFA requires a description of the steps the agency has 
taken to minimize the significant economic impact on small entities 
consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including 
a statement of the factual, policy, and legal reasons for selecting the 
alternative adopted in the final rule and why each one of the other 
significant alternatives to the rule considered by the agency which 
affect the impact on small entities was rejected.
    Coast Guard response: As previously discussed, based on public 
comments the Coast Guard will permit owners or operators of nontank 
vessels with a oil capacity of less than 250 barrels to meet an 
alternative training and exercise program under 33 CFR 155.5055 and 
155.5060, respectively. We expect this change to reduce the economic 
burden on small business owners or operators.
    The Coast Guard presented four alternatives and considered each one 
carefully before choosing the first alternative, to have owners or 
operators of nontank vessels submit VRPs to the Coast Guard, based on a 
tiered approach. Section 311(j)(5) of the FWPCA, 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5), 
as established by section 4202 of OPA 90; and as amended by the 2004 
Act, Public Law 108-293, 118 Stat. 102, and the 2006 Act, Public Law 
109-241, 120 Stat. 516, sets out a statutory mandate requiring tank and 
nontank vessel owners or operators to prepare and submit oil or 
hazardous substance discharge response plans for certain vessels 
operating on the navigable waters of the United States. For more 
information, see Section III ``Background'' of the NPRM.
    In 33 U.S.C. 1321 (j)(5)(A)(ii), Congress specifically directs the 
issuance of regulations that require the owner or operator of a nontank 
vessel to prepare and submit ``a plan for responding, to the maximum 
extent practicable, to a WCD, and to a substantial threat of such a 
discharge, of oil.'' The Coast Guard considered four alternatives: 
Three regulatory alternatives and one non-regulatory alternative. We 
noted the Congressional mandate for regulations in our explanation of 
why we did not select the non-regulatory alternative. We present these 
three alternatives below.
1. Establish Regulations for the Submission of NTVRPs to the Coast 
Guard
    The Coast Guard accepted this alternative that establishes new 
regulations for nontank vessels in 33 CFR part 155, subpart J. These 
new regulations are based upon, and refer to, applicable sections of 33 
CFR part 155, subpart D, and 33 CFR part 151 (SOPEP). Consistent with 
applicable FWPCA, title 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5), provisions, planholders 
are required to have a plan that is consistent with the requirements of 
the NCPs and ACPs; identifies QIs; ensures the availability of response 
resources by contract or other approved means to remove a WCD and to 
mitigate or prevent a substantial

[[Page 60118]]

threat of such a discharge (this includes ensuring the availability of 
response resources, such as OSROs, salvage, firefighting, emergency 
lightering, dispersant, and aerial observation oil tracking resources); 
describes training, drills, and exercise requirements; and is updated 
periodically and is resubmitted for approval for each significant 
change.
    We used the discretion Congress provided to set up a tiered 
approach to classify three separate categories of NTVRP response 
resource requirements based upon a vessel's oil capacity (greater than 
or equal to 2,500 barrels, less than 2,500 barrels but greater than or 
equal to 250 barrels, and less than 250 barrels). This approach avoids 
across-the-board requirements at a level necessary to respond to WCD 
oil spills from vessels with oil capacity greater than 2,500 barrels, 
and thus imposes a lower burden on vessels with a lower oil capacity. 
Additionally, these new regulations are based upon, and refer to, the 
SOPEP requirements of 33 CFR 151.26.
    Finally, under this alternative, an owner or operator of a nontank 
vessel would have the opportunity to seek a one-time authorization or 
waiver to enter a geographic-specific area not covered by a cognizant 
COTP.
2. Acceptance of Flag-Approved SOPEPs
    In evaluating this alternative, we considered accepting flag state-
approved SOPEPs. We rejected this alternative, because these SOPEP 
plans are not consistent with the NCP and the Area Contingency Plans 
(ACP), as required by the FWPCA. While a SOPEP contains information 
similar to a NTVRP that can also be useful during a response, it does 
not include the detailed shorebased response planning mandated by FWPCA 
nor does it include the requirement to contract for those resources. 
The preferred alternative incorporates some flexibility in training and 
contracting requirements for small vessels (predominantly operated by 
small entities) without undermining the requirements of intent of FWPCA 
or the NCP and ACPs. The SOPEPs mandated under the international MARPOL 
protocol and the NTVRPs proposed in this rule should be considered 
complimentary when planning or executing the response to a discharge, 
or substantial threat of a discharge, of oil.
3. Remove Consideration of Alternative Drills and Exercises Programs 
for Small Vessels
    A more stringent alternative to the one chosen would be to require 
all nontank vessels, regardless of fuel capacity, to comply with the 
detailed drills and training exercises programs defined in Sec.  
155.5055 and Sec.  155.5060 (since the Coast Guard does not have 
information on how many planholders will take advantage of the 
alternative exercises, the costs presented in this regulatory analysis 
assume all planholders will perform the full level of exercises 
outlined in the drills and exercises section of this analysis). The 
Coast Guard recognizes that small vessels (less than 250 barrels of 
fuel) pose less of a risk because of several factors. These small 
vessels have a lesser fuel capacity and normally operate using oils 
that are less hazardous to the environment. As a result these vessels 
are normally of simpler design and construction, and carry smaller 
crews. Unlike larger vessels, these small vessels do not rotate their 
crews as frequently, and so conducting drills and exercises of reduced 
frequency can be considered as an alternative to the drills and 
exercises prescribed in Sec.  155.5055 and 5060. In response to public 
comments from this segment of the industry, the Coast Guard developed 
Sec.  155.5061 to provide flexibility to the operators of small 
vessels. Because of the wide variety of vessels potentially able to 
take advantage of this provision, the requirements of Sec.  155.5061 
are not prescriptive. Based on similar provisions in MTSA, the Coast 
Guard estimates about 1,288 vessels covered or owned by about 237 
planholders may be able to reduce their training burden by as much as 
75% annually (if owners choose to perform the QI notification drill 
once per year instead of quarterly) for QI notification drills and 
perform SMT exercises biennially instead of annually. Assuming all 237 
planholders choose the frequencies described previously, we estimate 
the cost savings to industry for all 1,228 planholders estimated for 
this analysis to be about $180,000 annually for QI notification drills 
and about $1.1 million annually for SMT exercises every other year, or 
a grand total of about $1.3 million biennially. We estimate the cost 
savings to industry over the 10-year period of analysis to be between 
$5.0 and $6.2 million at seven and three percent discount rates, 
respectively.

C. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small 
entities in understanding this rule so that they can better evaluate 
its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule 
affects your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction 
and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for 
compliance, please consult Lieutenant Commander John Peterson at 202-
372-1226 or vrp@uscg.mil. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against 
small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy 
or action of the Coast Guard.
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal 
regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory 
Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory 
Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and 
rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to 
comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR 
(1-888-734-3247).

D. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for a collection of information under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). As defined in 5 CFR 
1320.3(c), ``collection of information'' comprises reporting, 
recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and other, similar 
actions. The title and description of the information collections, a 
description of those who must collect the information, and an estimate 
of the total annual burden follow. The estimate covers the time for 
reviewing instructions, searching existing sources of data, gathering 
and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection.
    This rulemaking relates to two existing OMB-approved collections of 
information, 1625-0066, revisions for which are pending OMB approval, 
and 1625-0100, revisions for which are approved by OMB. Details are 
provided below.
    OMB Control Number: 1625-0066.
    Title: Vessel and Facility Response Plans (Domestic and Int'l), and 
Additional Response Requirements for Prince William Sound, Alaska.
    Summary of the Collection of Information: In general, this 
collection relates to both domestic and international response plan 
requirements for vessels and facilities. In particular, a nontank 
vessel owner or operator needs to prepare and submit to the Coast Guard 
a nontank vessel response plan in accordance with 33 CFR part 155, 
subpart J. The content of the response plan includes the requirement to 
plan for responding to a WCD and a substantial threat of such a

[[Page 60119]]

discharge. Additionally, submissions of international SOPEPs for 
certain U.S.-flag nontank and tank vessels requires alignment with 
updated SOPEP rules.
    Need for Information: The information is necessary to show evidence 
that planholders have properly planned to prevent or mitigate oil 
outflow and to provide information to the Coast Guard for its use in 
emergency response.
    Proposed Use of Information: The Coast Guard will use the 
information to determine whether a nontank vessel response plan meets 
the requirements set forth in new 33 CFR part 155, subpart J.
    Description of the Respondents: The respondents are nontank vessel 
response planholders and SOPEP planholders.
    Number of Respondents: This rule accounts for 2,772 respondents.
    Frequency of Response: The frequency of response is about 1 
response per respondent per year. For those respondents that seek an 
alternative or waiver, there would be an additional response per 
request.
    Burden of Response: The burden of response is a range of 1 to 100 
hours per NTVRP activity (i.e., initial plan development, plan 
revision, annual recordkeeping, 5-year resubmission, alternative/waiver 
request).
    Estimate of Total Annual Burden: The estimated NTVRP total annual 
burden is 33,688 hours. Of that burden, the alternatives/waivers 
element of this rule accounts for 202 hours.
    As required by 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), we submitted a copy of the rule 
to OMB for its review of the collection of information. OMB has not yet 
completed its review of this collection. Therefore, we are not making 
Sec. Sec.  155.5023, 155.5025, and 155.5055 through 155.5075 effective 
until OMB completes action on our information collection request, at 
which time we will publish a Federal Register notice describing OMB's 
action and, if OMB grants approval, notifying you when these provisions 
take effect.
    You are not required to respond to a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0100.
    Title: Advance Notice of Vessel Arrival.
    Summary of the Collection of Information: The Coast Guard requires 
pre-arrival notices from certain vessels entering a port or place of 
the United States. This rule would add one new data element (the VRP 
control number) to the 40 data elements that are currently required by 
33 CFR part 160.
    Need for Information: In general, the Coast Guard uses notice of 
arrival information to ensure port safety and security, and to ensure 
the uninterrupted flow of commerce. In particular, the addition of the 
VRP control number enables the Coast Guard to determine if the vessel 
has an authorized GSA for each COTP zone through which the vessel 
intends to transit.
    Proposed Use of Information: In general, response plan information 
is required to control vessel traffic, develop contingency plans, and 
enforce regulations. In particular, for those vessels that are covered 
by more than one response plan, submission of the VRP control number as 
part of advance notice of vessel arrival information will notify the 
Coast Guard as to which plan they are operating under.
    Description of the Respondents: Respondents are the owner, agent, 
master, operator, or person in charge of a vessel that arrives at a 
port or place of the United States.
    Number of Respondents: The existing OMB-approved number of 
respondents is 31,594. This rule does not change that number. The total 
number of respondents would remain 31,594.
    Frequency of Response: The existing OMB-approved number of 
responses is 171,016. This rule does not change that number. The total 
number of responses would remain 171,016.
    Burden of Response: The existing OMB-approved burden of response is 
approximately 1 hour (60 minutes) per response. The additional burden 
imposed by this rule is estimated to be so minimal that it does not 
merit changing the approved collection. For this collection, we propose 
to add one data element, the VRP control number, to the currently 
required 40 data elements for the notice of arrival. The VRP control 
number is a ``static'' data element issued once every 5 years or 
longer, while some of the 40 other data elements change with each 
voyage (such as last port of call, cargo, or crew list). Therefore, we 
believe the 60-minute burden currently approved for this collection 
more than adequately covers the post rulemaking 41 data elements, and 
the burden of response should remain unchanged.
    Estimate of Total Annual Burden: The existing OMB-approved total 
annual burden is 164,144 hours. Because the additional burden imposed 
by this rule is estimated to be so minimal, it does not merit changing 
the approved annual burden. The estimated total annual burden would 
remain 164,144 hours.
    As required by 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), we submitted a copy of the 
proposed rule to OMB for its review of the collection of information. 
OMB has approved this collection (ICR Ref. No. 201012-1625-002). The 
section number associated with the collection of information is Sec.  
160.206, and the corresponding approval number from OMB is OMB Control 
Number 1625-0100, which expires on December 31, 2013.
    You are not required to respond to a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

E. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local 
governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial 
direct cost of compliance on them. It is well settled that States may 
not regulate in categories reserved for regulation by the Coast Guard. 
It is also well settled, now, that all of the categories covered in 46 
U.S.C. 3306, 3703, 7101, or 8101 (design, construction, alteration, 
repair, maintenance, operation, equipping, personnel qualification, and 
manning of vessels), as well as the reporting of casualties and any 
other category in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the 
sole source of a vessel's obligations, are within the field foreclosed 
from regulation by the States. (See the decision of the Supreme Court 
in the consolidated cases of United States v. Locke and Intertanko v. 
Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 (March 6, 2000).
    This rule describes the standards to which nontank vessel owners or 
operators will adhere when preparing and submitting plans for 
responding to a discharge of oil from their vessels. This rule will not 
preempt the various State laws on this topic. We drafted this rule to 
ensure that, to the extent practicable, it is consistent with any 
applicable State-mandated response plan in effect on August 9, 2004. We 
contacted the National Conference of State Legislatures to circulate 
the NPRM to the States for their awareness of the proposal. We 
conducted a search of State laws addressing NTVRPs and conclude that no 
State law is preempted by this final rule.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of

[[Page 60120]]

$100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though 
this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the 
effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

G. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental 
Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property 
Rights.

H. Civil Justice Reform

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

I. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection 
of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule 
is not an economically significant rule and does not create an 
environmental risk to health or a risk to safety that may 
disproportionately affect children.

J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 
13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, 
because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more 
Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and 
Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

K. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a ``significant 
energy action'' under that order. Though it is a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, it is not likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy 
action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects 
under Executive Order 13211.

L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 
U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards 
in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, 
through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be 
inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary 
consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of 
materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling 
procedures; and related management systems practices) that are 
developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.
    This rule uses the following voluntary consensus standards:
     IMO Resolution A.741(18), International Management Code 
for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention 
(International Safety Management (ISM) Code), November 4, 1993.
     IMO Resolution A.851(20), General Principles for Ship 
Reporting Systems and Ship Reporting Requirements, Including Guidelines 
for Reporting Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods, Harmful Substances 
and/or Marine Pollutants, November 27, 1997.
     IMO Resolution MSC.104(73), Adoption of Amendments to the 
International Safety Management (ISM) Code, December 5, 2000.
     Oil Companies International Marine Forum's Ship to Ship 
Transfer Guide (Petroleum), Fourth Edition 2005.
    The sections that reference these standards and the locations where 
these standards are available are listed in Sec.  155.140.

M. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security 
Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which 
guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded 
that this action is one of a category of actions that do not 
individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human 
environment. This rule is categorically excluded under section 6(b) of 
the ``Appendix to National Environmental Policy Act: Coast Guard 
Procedures for Categorical Exclusions, Notice of Final Agency Policy'' 
(67 FR 48244, July 23, 2002).'' This rule involves Congressionally 
mandated regulations designed to protect the environment, specifically 
regulations implementing the requirements of the Coast Guard and Marine 
Transportation Act of 2004/2006. An environmental analysis checklist 
and a categorical exclusion determination are available in the docket 
where indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects

33 CFR part 151

    Administrative practice and procedure, Oil pollution, Penalties, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Water pollution control.

33 CFR part 155

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alaska, Hazardous 
substances, Incorporation by reference, Oil pollution, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

33 CFR part 160

    Administrative practice and procedure, Harbors, Hazardous materials 
transportation, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Vessels, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 
33 CFR parts 151, 155, and 160 as follows:

PART 151--VESSELS CARRYING OIL, NOXIOUS LIQUID SUBSTANCES, GARBAGE, 
MUNICIPAL OR COMMERCIAL WASTE, AND BALLAST WATER

0
1. The authority citation for part 151 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321, 1902, 1903, 1908; 46 U.S.C. 6101; 
Pub. L. 104-227 (110 Stat. 3034); Pub. L. 108-293 (118 Stat. 1063) 
sec. 623; E.O. 12777, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp. p. 351; DHS Delegation No. 
0170.1, sec. 2 (77).


0
2. In Sec.  151.09, add a note to paragraph (b), remove the note from 
under paragraph (c)(3), and revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  151.09  Applicability.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *

    Note to Sec.  151.09(b): The term ``internal waters'' is defined 
in Sec.  2.24 of this chapter.

* * * * *
    (d) The requirements of Sec. Sec.  151.26 through 151.28--
    (1) Do not apply to--
    (i) The ships specified in paragraph (b) of this section; and
    (ii) Any barge or other ship, which is constructed or operated in 
such a manner that no oil in any form can be carried aboard.
    (2) Are considered to be met if a U.S.-flag vessel holds a USCG-
approved vessel response plan and provides evidence of compliance with 
33 CFR part 155, subpart D or J requirements.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  151.26--
0
a. In paragraph (b)(1)(i), in the first paragraph of the sample 
language,

[[Page 60121]]

remove the words ``Regulation 26'' and add, in their place, the words 
``Regulation 37''; and insert the words ``as amended by Resolution 
MEPC.86(44)'' immediately after ``MEPC.54(32)'';
0
b. Revise paragraph (b)(2);
0
c. Revise paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(A) and (b)(3)(ii);
0
d. Add two sentences to paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A)
0
e. Add paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(D);
0
f. Revise paragraphs (b)(4)(i),(b)(4)(ii), and (b)(4)(iii)(B);
0
g. In paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(C) after the words ``as appropriate'', 
remove the character ``.'' and add, in its place, the character ``;'';
0
h. Add paragraphs (b)(4)(iii)(D) and (E);
0
i. Revise paragraph (b)(5)(i);
0
j. Remove paragraph (b)(7)(i); and
0
k. Redesignate paragraphs (b)(7)(ii) through (vi) as (b)(7)(i) through 
(v).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  151.26  Shipboard oil pollution emergency plans.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Preamble. The plan must be realistic, practical, and easy to 
use, and the Preamble section of the plan must reflect these three 
features of the plan. The use of flowcharts, checklists, and appendices 
within the plan will aid in addressing this requirement. This section 
must contain an explanation of the purpose and use of the plan and 
indicate how the shipboard plan relates to other shore-based plans. 
Additionally, the Preamble section of the plan must clearly recognize 
coastal States' rights to approve oil pollution response in their 
waters by stating the following:

    Without interfering with shipowner's liability, some coastal 
States consider that it is their responsibility to define techniques 
and means to be taken against an oil pollution incident and approve 
such operations that might cause further pollution, i.e., 
lightening. States are entitled to do so under the International 
Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil 
Pollution Casualties, 1969 (Intervention Convention).
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (A) A discharge of oil above the permitted level for any reason, 
including those for the purpose of securing the safety of the ship or 
saving life at sea;
* * * * *
    (ii) Information required. This section of the plan must include a 
notification form, such as the one depicted in Table 151.26(b)(3)(ii), 
that includes all the data elements required in Resolution A.851(20) 
and contains information to be provided in the initial and follow-up 
notifications. The official number of the vessel and current conditions 
of the vessel are to be included. In addition, the initial notification 
should include as much of the information on the form as possible, and 
supplemental information, as appropriate. However, the initial 
notification must not be delayed pending collection of all information. 
Copies of the form must be placed at the location(s) on the ship from 
which notification may be made.
* * * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (A) * * * In order to expedite response and minimize damage from a 
pollution incident, it is essential that appropriate coastal States 
should be notified without delay. This process begins with the initial 
report required by article 8 and Protocol I of MARPOL 73/78.
* * * * *
    (D) The plan must clearly specify who will be responsible for 
informing the necessary parties from the coastal State contacts, the 
port contacts, and the ship interest contacts.
    (4) * * *
    (i) Operational spills: The plan must outline procedures for safe 
removal of oil spilled and contained on deck. The plan must also 
provide guidance to ensure proper disposal of recovered oil and cleanup 
materials;
* * * * *
    (ii) Spills resulting from casualties: Casualties should be treated 
in the plan as a separate section. The plan should include various 
checklists or other means that will ensure the master considers all 
appropriate factors when addressing the specific casualty (Reference is 
made here to the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, Section 
8). These checklists must be tailored to the specific ship and to the 
specific product or product types. In addition to the checklists, 
specific personnel assignments for anticipated tasks must be 
identified. Reference to existing fire control plans and muster lists 
is sufficient to identify personnel responsibilities. The following are 
examples of casualties that must be considered--
    (A) Grounding;
    (B) Fire or explosion;
    (C) Collision/Allision;
    (D) Hull failure;
    (E) Excessive list;
    (F) Containment system failure;
    (G) Submerged/Foundered;
    (H) Wrecked/Stranded; and
    (I) Hazardous vapor release.
    (iii) * * *
    (B) Stability and strength considerations: The plan should provide 
the master with detailed guidance to ensure that great care in casualty 
response must be taken to consider stability and strength when taking 
actions to mitigate the spillage of oil or to free the vessel if 
aground. Information for making damage stability and longitudinal 
strength assessments, or contacting classification societies to acquire 
such information, should be included. Where appropriate, the plan 
should provide a list of information for making damage stability and 
damage longitudinal strength assessments. The damage stability 
information for oil tankers and offshore oil barges in 33 CFR 155.240 
is required to be provided in the SOPEP;
* * * * *
    (D) Mitigating activities: The spill mitigation requirements of 33 
CFR 155.1035(c) must be met for tankships, the requirements of 33 CFR 
155.1040(c) must be met for unmanned vessels, and the requirements of 
33 CFR 155.5035(c) must be met for nontank vessels. Additionally, the 
following personnel safety mitigation strategies must be addressed for 
all personnel involved--
    (1) Assessment and monitoring activities;
    (2) Personnel protection issues;
    (3) Protective equipment;
    (4) Threats to health and safety;
    (5) Containment and other response techniques;
    (6) Isolation procedures;
    (7) Decontamination of personnel; and
    (8) Disposal of removed oil and clean-up materials; and
    (E) Drawings and ship-specific details: Supporting plans, drawings, 
and ship-specific details such as a layout of a general arrangement 
plan, midship section, lines or tables of offsets, and tank tables must 
be included with the plan. The plan must show where current cargo, 
bunker or ballast information, including quantities and specifications, 
is available.
    (5) * * *
    (i) This section of the plan must contain information to assist the 
master in initiating action by the coastal State, local government, or 
other involved parties. This information must include guidance to 
assist the master with organizing a response to the incident, should a 
response not be organized by the shore authorities. Detailed 
information for specific areas may be included as appendices to the 
plan. See 33 CFR 151.26(b)(2) (Preamble)

[[Page 60122]]

regarding a ship owner's responsibility to comply with individual state 
requirements for oil spill response.
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  151.27, revise paragraphs (e) and (f) and add paragraphs 
(g) and (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  151.27  Plan submission and approval.

* * * * *
    (e) If the Coast Guard determines that the plan meets the 
requirements of this section, the Coast Guard will issue an approval 
letter. The approval period for a plan expires 5 years after the 
approval date.
    (f) If the Coast Guard determines that the plan does not meet the 
requirements, the Coast Guard will notify the owner or operator of the 
plan's deficiency. The owner or operator must then resubmit a copy of 
the revised plan or the corrected portions of the plan, within the time 
period specified in the written notice provided by the Coast Guard.
    (g) Plans, including revisions, should be submitted electronically 
by using the Vessel Response Plan Electronic Submission Tool available 
at https://homeport.uscg.mil/vrpexpress.
    (h) If plans are submitted in paper format, owners or operators 
should use CG Form ``Application for Approval/Revision of Vessel 
Pollution Response Plans'' (CG-6083) located at: http://www.uscg.mil/forms/CG/CG_6083.pdf in lieu of a cover letter to make initial 
application for plan submission and revision.

0
5. In Sec.  151.28, add paragraphs (g) and (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  151.28  Plan review and revision.

* * * * *
    (g) Plans, including revisions, should be submitted electronically 
by using the Vessel Response Plan Electronic Submission Tool available 
at https://homeport.uscg.mil/vrpexpress.
    (h) If plans are submitted in paper format, owners or operators 
should use CG Form ``Application for Approval/Revision of Vessel 
Pollution Response Plans'' (CG-6083) located at: http://www.uscg.mil/forms/CG/CG_6083.pdf in lieu of a cover letter to request the required 
resubmission, plan amendment, or revision.

PART 155--OIL OR HAZARDOUS MATERIAL POLLUTION PREVENTION 
REGULATIONS FOR VESSELS

0
6. The authority citation for part 155 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 3 U.S.C. 301 through 303; 33 U.S.C. 1225, 1231, 
1321(j), 1903(b), 2735; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., 
p. 351; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 
Section 155.480 also issued under section 4110(b) of Pub. L. 
101.380.

    Note: Additional requirements for vessels carrying oil or 
hazardous materials are contained in 46 CFR parts 30 through 40, 
150, 151, and 153.


0
7. In Sec.  155.140--
0
a. Redesignate paragraph (d)(2) as (d)(4);
0
b. Add paragraphs (d)(2), (d)(3), and (d)(5); and
0
c. Add paragraph (f)(2).
    The additions read as follows:


Sec.  155.140  Incorporation by reference.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) Resolution A.741(18), International Management Code for the 
Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (International 
Safety Management (ISM) Code), adopted 4 November, 1993, incorporation 
by reference approved for Sec.  155.5035.
    (3) Resolution A.851(20), General Principles for Ship Reporting 
Systems and Ship Reporting Requirements, Including Guidelines for 
Reporting Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods, Harmful Substances and/
or Marine Pollutants, adopted 27 November, 1997, incorporation by 
reference approved for Sec.  155.5035.
* * * * *
    (5) Resolution MSC.104(73), Adoption of Amendments to the 
International Safety Management (ISM) Code, adopted 5 December, 2000, 
incorporation by reference approved for Sec.  155.5035.
* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (2) Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Petroleum), Fourth Edition, 2005, 
incorporation by reference approved for Sec.  155.5035.

0
8. In Sec.  155.1015, revise paragraph (c)(7), add paragraph (c)(8), 
and add a note to the end of the section to read as follows:


Sec.  155.1015  Applicability.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (7) Foreign-flag vessels engaged in innocent passage through the 
territorial sea or transit passage through a strait used for 
international navigation, unless bound for or departing from a port or 
place of the United States.
    (8) Vessels carrying oil as a secondary cargo and measuring 400 
gross tons or greater.
* * * * *

    Note to Sec.  155.1015: Response plan requirements for nontank 
vessels are found in subpart J of this part.


0
9. In Sec.  155.1020, add a definition for ``nontank vessel'', in 
alphabetical order, to read as follows:


Sec.  155.1020  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Nontank vessel means a vessel meeting the description provided in 
33 CFR 155.5015(a).
* * * * *

0
10. In Sec.  155.1030, revise paragraphs (i)(1) through (3) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  155.1030  General response plan requirements.

* * * * *
    (i) * * *
    (1) The vessel owner or operator must ensure that they maintain one 
English language copy of the VRP, at a minimum the contents listed in 
paragraph (c)(1), (2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (9), and (10) of this 
section and a copy of the Coast Guard approval letter, onboard the 
vessel. In lieu of paper format, the vessel owner or operator may keep 
an electronic copy of the VRP and approval letter onboard the vessel. 
If applicable, additional copies of the required VRP sections must be 
in the language understood by crew members with responsibilities under 
the VRP and maintained onboard the vessel.
    (2) The owner or operator of all unmanned tank barges shall ensure 
that one English language copy of the plan section listed in paragraph 
(c)(9) of this section and the Coast Guard approval letter is 
maintained aboard the barge. An electronic copy of the VRP is 
authorized.
    (3) The vessel owner or operator must maintain a current copy of 
the entire plan, and ensure that each person identified as a qualified 
individual and alternate qualified individual in the plan has a current 
copy of the entire plan. An electronic copy of the VRP is authorized.
* * * * *


Sec.  155.1035  [Amended]

0
11. In Sec.  155.1035--
0
a. In paragraph (e)(3), remove the word ``representatives'' and add in 
its place the words ``provider, representative,``; and remove the word 
``surveyors'' and add in its place the word ``surveyor''; and
0
b. In paragraph (e)(4), after the words ``area of operation'' add the 
words ``or a reference to the 24-hour point of contact as listed on the 
vessel's notice of arrival''.

[[Page 60123]]

Sec.  155.1055  [Amended]

0
12. In Sec.  155.1055(a), remove the text ``Sec.  155.1035'' and add in 
its place the text ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035 or 155.5035''.


Sec.  155.1060  [Amended]

0
13. In Sec.  155.1060(a), remove the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035 and 
155.1040'' and add in their place the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035, 
155.1040, or 155.5035''.

0
14. In Sec.  155.1065--
0
a. In paragraph (a), after the words ``plan to Commandant'' add the 
words ``electronically by using the Vessel Response Plan Electronic 
Submission Tool available at http://evrp.uscg.mil or by mail to 
Commandant'';
0
b. In paragraph (b), remove the words ``subparts D, E, F, and G of this 
part'' and add in their place the words ''subparts D, E, F, G, and J of 
this part''; and after the words ``secondary cargo.''; and
0
c. In paragraph (b), add a sentence.
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  155.1065  Procedures for plan submission, approval, requests for 
acceptance of alternative planning criteria, and appeal.

* * * * *
    (b) * * * For plans submitted in paper format, CG Form 
``Application for Approval/Revision of Vessel Pollution Response 
Plans'' (CG-6083) located at: http://www.uscg.mil/forms/CG/CG_6083.pdf 
meets the requirement for a vessel response plan certification 
statement as required by this paragraph.
* * * * *

0
15. In Sec.  155.1070--
0
a. In paragraph (a)(2), add a sentence;
0
b. Revise paragraph (b);
0
c. Revise paragraphs (c)(1), (2), (4), (5), and (8);
0
d. Revise paragraph (d);
0
e. In paragraph (f), remove the words ``Prevention Policy Directorate 
for Marine Safety, Security, and Stewardship'' and add in their place 
the words ``Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance''; and remove the 
text ``CG-54'' and add in its place the text ``CG-CVC'';
0
f. Remove paragraph (i); and
0
g. Redesignate paragraphs (g) as (h) and paragraphs (h) as (i) and add 
new paragraph (g).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  155.1070  Procedures for plan review, revision, amendment, and 
appeal.

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * * Although plans should be submitted electronically, for 
plans submitted in paper format, CG Form ``Application for Approval/
Revision of Vessel Pollution Response Plans'' (CG-6083) located at: 
http://www.uscg.mil/forms/CG/CG_6083.pdf should be used in lieu of a 
cover letter to request the required resubmission, plan amendment, or 
revision and to document the annual review required by this paragraph 
(a).
    (b) The vessel owner or operator subject to subparts D, E, F, G, or 
J of this part must resubmit the entire plan to the Coast Guard for 
approval--
    (1) Six months before the end of the Coast Guard approval period 
identified in Sec.  155.1065(c) or Sec.  155.5065(c); and
    (2) Whenever there is a change in the vessel owner or operator, if 
the previous vessel owner or operator provided the certifying statement 
required by Sec.  155.1065(b) or Sec.  155.5065(b), then the new vessel 
owner or operator must submit a new statement certifying that the plan 
continues to meet the applicable requirements of subparts D, E, F, G, 
or J of this part.
    (c) * * *
    (1) A change in the vessel owner or operator, if that vessel owner 
or operator is not the one who provided the certifying statement 
required by Sec.  155.1065(b) or Sec.  155.5065(b);
    (2) A change in the vessel's operating area that includes ports or 
geographic area(s) not covered by the previously approved plan. A 
vessel may operate in an area not covered in a previously approved plan 
upon receipt of written acknowledgment by the Coast Guard that a new 
geographic-specific appendix has been submitted for approval by the 
vessel's owner or operator and the certification required in Sec.  
155.1025(c)(2) or Sec.  155.5023(b) has been provided;
* * * * *
    (4) A change in the type of oil carried onboard (oil group) that 
affects the required response resources, except as authorized by the 
COTP for purposes of assisting in an oil spill response activity;
    (5) A change in the identification of the oil spill removal 
organization(s) or other response-related resource required by Sec.  
155.1050, Sec.  155.1052, Sec.  155.1230, Sec.  155.2230, Sec.  
155.5050, or Sec.  155.5052 as appropriate, except an oil spill removal 
organization required by Sec.  155.1050(d) or Sec.  155.5050(d) that 
may be changed on a case-by-case basis for an oil spill removal 
organization previously classified by the Coast Guard, which has been 
ensured to be available by contract or other approved means;
* * * * *
    (8) The addition of a vessel to the plan. This change must include 
the vessel-specific appendix required by this subpart and the vessel 
owner or operator's certification required in Sec.  155.1025(c) or 
Sec.  155.5023(b); or
* * * * *
    (d) Thirty days in advance of operation, the vessel owner or 
operator must submit any revision or amendments identified in paragraph 
(c) of this section. The certification required in Sec.  155.1065(b) or 
Sec.  155.5065(b) must be submitted along with the revisions or 
amendments.
* * * * *
    (g) Within 21 days of notification that a plan is not approved, the 
vessel owner or operator may appeal that determination to the Director 
of Inspections and Compliance (CG-5PC). This appeal must be submitted 
in writing to Commandant (CG-5PC), Director of Inspections and 
Compliance, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd St. SW Stop 7581, Washington, DC 
20593-7581.
* * * * *

0
16. In Sec.  155.4010--
0
a. In paragraph (a), remove the reference ``Sec.  155.1015'' and add in 
its place the references ``Sec. Sec.  155.1015 and 155.5015''; and 
remove the second sentence;
0
b. Redesignate paragraph (b) as paragraph (c); and
0
c. Add new paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  155.4010  Purpose of this subpart.

* * * * *
    (b) Salvage and marine firefighting actions can save lives and 
property, and prevent the escalation of potential oil spills to worst 
case discharge scenarios.
* * * * *


Sec.  155.4015  [Amended]

0
17. In Sec.  155.4015, in the introductory text, remove the reference 
``Sec.  155.1015'' and add in its place ``Sec.  155.1015 or Sec.  
155.5015''.

0
18. In Sec.  155.4020 --
0
a. Redesignate paragraph (a) as paragraph (a)(1), paragraph (b) as 
paragraph (a)(2), paragraph (c) as paragraph (a)(3), paragraph (c)(1) 
as paragraph (a)(3)(i), paragraph (c)(2) as paragraph (a)(3)(ii), 
paragraph (c)(3) as paragraph (a)(3)(iii), paragraph (c)(4) as 
paragraph (a)(3)(iv), and paragraph (c)(5) as paragraph (a)(3)(v);
0
b. In newly redesignated paragraph (a)(1), after the words ``approved 
vessel response plan'' add the words ``required by Sec.  155.1015''; 
and
0
c. Add paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  155.4020  Complying with this subpart.

* * * * *
    (b) If Sec.  155.5015 requires that you have a vessel response 
plan, you must

[[Page 60124]]

have your vessel response plan submitted to the Coast Guard by January 
30, 2014.


Sec.  155.4025  [Amended]

0
19. In Sec.  155.4025, in the definition for ``Contract or other 
approved means'', in paragraph (1)(iii), after the words ``33 CFR 
155.1065(f)'' add the words ``and 155.5067(a)''.


Sec.  155.4030  [Amended]

0
20. In Sec.  155.4030--
0
a. In paragraph (a), remove the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(6)(ii) 
and 155.1040(e)(5)(ii),'' and add, in their place, the words 
``Sec. Sec.  155.1035(e)(6)(ii), 155.1040(e)(5)(ii), and 
155.5035(e)(6)(ii),'';
0
b. In paragraph (c), remove the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035(d), 
155.1040(d) and 155.1045(d)'' and add, in their place, the words 
``Sec. Sec.  155.1035(d), 155.1040(d), 155.1045(d), and 155.5035(d)'';
0
c. In paragraph (d), remove the words ``Sec.  155.1030(h)'' and add, in 
their place, the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1030(h) and 155.5030(f)'';
0
d. In paragraph (f), after the words ``vessel's largest cargo'' add the 
words ``or fuel''; and after the word ``tank'' add the words ``, 
whichever is greater,'';
0
e. In paragraph (g), after the words ``needed to combat'' remove the 
word ``a'' and add, in its place, the words ``an oil''; and after the 
words ``your vessel's cargo,'' add the word ``fuel,''; and
0
f. In paragraph (h), after the words ``capability of removing'', add 
the words ``bulk liquid''.


Sec.  155.4035  [Amended]

0
21. In Sec.  155.4035(a), remove the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035(c) and 
155.1040(c)'' and add, in their place, the words ``Sec. Sec.  
155.1035(c), 155.1040(c), and 155.5035(c)''.


Sec.  155.4052  [Amended]

0
22. In Sec.  155.4052--
0
a. In paragraph (a), remove the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035 and 
155.1040'' and add, in their place, the words ``Sec. Sec.  155.1035, 
155.1040, and 155.5035''; and
0
b. In paragraph (b)(7), after the words ``33 CFR 155.1060(a)'' add the 
words ``and 155.5061''; and after the words ``33 CFR 155.1065'' add the 
words ``and 155.5065''.

0
23. Add subpart J, consisting of Sec. Sec.  155.5010 through 155.5075, 
to read as follows:
Subpart J--Nontank Vessel Response Plans
Sec.
155.5010 Purpose.
155.5012 Deviation from response plan.
155.5015 Applicability.
155.5020 Definitions.
155.5021 Operating restrictions.
155.5023 Interim operating authorization.
155.5025 One-time port waiver.
155.5026 Qualified individual and alternate qualified individual.
155.5030 Nontank vessel response plan requirements: General content.
155.5035 Nontank vessel response plan requirements: Specific 
content.
155.5050 Response plan development and evaluation criteria for 
nontank vessels carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil.
155.5052 Response plan development and evaluation criteria for 
nontank vessels carrying group V petroleum oil.
155.5055 Training.
155.5060 Exercises.
155.5061 Alternative Training and Exercise Program.
155.5062 Inspection and maintenance of response resources.
155.5065 Procedures for plan submission and approval.
155.5067 Alternative planning criteria.
155.5070 Procedures for plan review, revision, and amendment.
155.5075 Appeal procedures.

Subpart J--Nontank Vessel Response Plans


Sec.  155.5010  Purpose.

    The purpose of this subpart is to establish requirements for oil 
spill response plans for nontank vessels. The planning criteria in this 
subpart are intended for use in nontank vessel oil spill response plan 
development and the identification of resources necessary to respond to 
a nontank vessel's worst case discharge or substantial threat of such a 
discharge. The development of a nontank vessel response plan prepares 
the vessel's crew and ship management to respond to an oil spill. The 
specific criteria for response resources and their arrival times are 
not performance standards. They are planning criteria based upon a set 
of assumptions that may not exist during an actual oil spill incident. 
Note to Sec.  155.5010: For nontank vessels that are mobile offshore 
drilling units (MODUs), additional oil spill planning standards are 
found in 30 CFR part 254.


Sec.  155.5012  Deviation from response plan.

    The owner or operator of a nontank vessel required to have a vessel 
response plan (VRP) under this subpart may not deviate from the 
approved VRP unless the President or Federal On-Scene Coordinator 
determines that the deviation from the VRP would provide for a more 
expeditious or effective response to the spill or mitigation of its 
environmental effects.


Sec.  155.5015  Applicability.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, this 
subpart applies to each self-propelled vessel that--
    (1) Carries oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion;
    (2) Is not a tank vessel or is not certificated as a tank vessel;
    (3) Operates upon the navigable waters of the United States, as 
defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(17a); and
    (4) Is 400 gross tons or more as measured under the convention 
measurement system in 46 U.S.C. 14302 or the regulatory measurement 
system of 46 U.S.C. 14502 for vessels not measured under 46 U.S.C. 
14302.
    (b) This subpart also applies to vessels carrying oil as secondary 
cargo and that meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) For Integrated Tug Barge (ITB) units that are not certificated 
as tank vessels, the tonnage used to determine applicability of these 
regulations is the aggregate tonnage of the ITB combination, and the 
oil capacity used to determine the worst case discharge volume is the 
aggregate oil capacity of the ITB combination.
    (d) This subpart does not apply to the following types of vessels--
    (1) Public vessels;
    (2) Foreign-flag vessels engaged in innocent passage through the 
territorial sea or transit passage through a strait used for 
international navigation, unless bound for or departing from a port or 
place of the United States;
    (3) Vessels that carry oil as a primary cargo and are required to 
submit a vessel response plan (VRP) in accordance with 33 CFR part 155, 
subpart D;
    (4) Vessels constructed or operated in such a manner that no oil in 
any form can be carried onboard as fuel for propulsion or cargo;
    (5) Permanently moored craft; and
    (6) Inactive vessels.
    Note to Sec.  155.5015: VRP requirements for tank vessels are found 
in subpart D of this part.


Sec.  155.5020  Definitions.

    Except as otherwise defined in this section, the definitions in 
Sec. Sec.  155.110 and 155.1020 apply to this subpart. For the purposes 
of this subpart only, the term--
    Cargo means oil, not carried as fuel, which is carried in bulk, and 
that is transported to and off-loaded at a port or place by a vessel. 
It does not include--
    (1) Oil carried in integral tanks, marine portable tanks, or 
independent tanks for use by machinery, helicopters, and boats carried 
onboard the vessel, or for use by helicopters that are directly 
supporting the vessel's primary operations;
    (2) Oil transferred from a towing vessel to a vessel in its tow to 
operate

[[Page 60125]]

installed machinery other than the propulsion plant; or
    (3) Oil recovered during oil spill response operations.
    Contract or other approved means includes--
    (1) A written contractual agreement between a vessel owner or 
operator and a required response resource provider. The agreement must 
identify and ensure the availability of specified personnel and 
equipment required under this subpart within stipulated response times 
in the applicable Captain of the Port (COTP) zone or specified 
geographic areas;
    (2) Certification by the vessel owner or operator that specified 
personnel and equipment required under this subpart are owned, 
operated, or under the direct control of the vessel owner or operator, 
and are available within stipulated response times in the applicable 
COTP zone or specified geographic areas;
    (3) Active membership with a local or regional required response 
resource provider that has identified specific personnel and equipment 
required under this subpart that are available to respond to a 
discharge within stipulated response times in the COTP zone or 
specified geographic areas;
    (4) A document that--
    (i) Identifies the personnel, equipment, and services capable of 
being provided by the required response resource provider within 
stipulated response times in the COTP zone or specified geographic 
areas;
    (ii) Sets out the parties' acknowledgment that the required 
response resource provider intends to commit the resources in the event 
of a response;
    (iii) Permits the Coast Guard to verify the availability of the 
identified response resources through tests, inspections, and 
exercises; and
    (iv) Is referenced in the vessel response plan; or
    (5) With the written consent of the required response resource 
provider, the identification of a required response resource provider 
with specified equipment and personnel that are available within 
stipulated response times in the COTP zone, port area, or specified 
geographic area. This paragraph is ``other approved means'' for only--
    (i) Nontank vessels with a fuel and cargo oil capacity of less than 
250 barrels for maximum most probable discharge oil spill removal 
response resource requirements per 33 CFR 155.5050(e);
    (ii) Nontank vessels that carry group I through group IV petroleum 
oils as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but 
less than 2,500 barrels, for salvage, emergency lightering, and marine 
firefighting response resources per 33 CFR 155.5050(i)(2);
    (iii) Nontank vessels that carry group I through group IV petroleum 
oils as fuel or cargo with a capacity less than 250 barrels for salvage 
response resources in 33 CFR 155.5050(i)(3);
    (iv) Nontank vessels that carry group II through group IV petroleum 
oils as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but 
less than 2,500 barrels, for dispersant response resources per 33 CFR 
155.5035(i)(7) and 33 CFR 155.5050(j); and
    (v) Nontank vessels that carry groups I through IV petroleum oils 
as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but less 
than 2,500 barrels, for aerial oil spill tracking to support oil spill 
assessment and cleanup activities per 33 CFR 155.5050(k).
    Fuel means all oils of any kind, which may be used to supply power 
or lubrication for primary or auxiliary purposes onboard the vessel in 
which it is carried.
    Inactive vessel means a vessel that is out of service or laid up 
and has emptied its tanks of fuel except for the minimum amount of fuel 
necessary for the maintenance of the vessel's material condition. Such 
a vessel is considered not to be operating on the navigable waters of 
the United States for the purposes of 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5), unless the 
cognizant COTP determines that it poses an unacceptable risk to the 
marine environment due to the amount of oil carried for maintenance. A 
vessel would not be considered inactive if it carried oil as a cargo or 
cargo residue.
    Integrated Tug Barge or ITB means any tug barge combination in 
which a specially designed propulsion unit (tug) is mated to a cargo 
unit (barge) of a compatible special design or where a propulsion unit 
(tug) is mated to a cargo unit (barge) with a specially designed 
connection system such that the combined unit has operating 
characteristics and seakeeping capabilities that exceed, under all 
anticipated weather conditions, those of a tug and barge, where the tug 
is secured in the barge notch or on fenders by means such as wire rope, 
chains, lines, or other tackle now commonly used in offshore towing.
    Maximum most probable discharge or MMPD means a discharge of--
    (1) Two thousand five hundred (2,500) barrels of oil, for vessels 
with a fuel and cargo capacity equal to or greater than 25,000 barrels; 
or
    (2) Ten percent of the vessel's fuel and cargo capacity, for 
vessels with a fuel and cargo capacity of less than 25,000 barrels.
    Navigable waters of the United States means navigable waters of the 
United States as defined in 33 CFR 2.36(b)(1), including the waters in 
46 U.S.C. 2101(17a).
    Nontank vessel means a vessel meeting the description provided in 
33 CFR 155.5015(a).
    Oil spill removal organization or OSRO means any person or persons 
who own(s) or otherwise control(s) oil spill removal resources that are 
designed for, or are capable of, removing oil from the water or 
shoreline. Control of such resources through means other than ownership 
includes leasing or subcontracting of equipment or, in the case of 
trained personnel, by having contracts, evidence of employment, or 
consulting agreements. OSROs provide response equipment and services, 
individually or in combination with subcontractors or associated 
contractors, under contract or other approved means, directly to a 
vessel owner or operator of a vessel or a facility required to have a 
response plan under 33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5). OSROs are able to mobilize 
and deploy equipment or trained personnel and remove, store, and 
transfer recovered oil. Persons such as sales and marketing 
organizations (e.g., distributorships and manufacturer's 
representatives) that warehouse or store equipment for sale are not 
OSROs.
    P&I Club means a protection and indemnity insurance group that 
provides liability insurance cover for the vessel owner or operator 
that would respond to an oil discharge or substantial threat of such a 
discharge by the vessel.
    Permanently moored craft means a watercraft that is not considered 
to be a vessel under the rule of construction in 1 U.S.C. 3, because it 
is not practically (as opposed to theoretically) used or capable of 
being used as a means of transportation on the water.
    Public vessel means a vessel owned or bareboat-chartered and 
operated by the United States, or by a State or political subdivision 
thereof, or by a foreign nation, except when such vessel is engaged in 
commerce.
    Qualified individual or QI and alternate qualified individual means 
a shore-based representative of a vessel owner or operator who meets 
the requirements of 33 CFR 155.5026.
    Substantial threat of such a discharge means any incident involving 
a vessel that may create a significant risk of discharge of fuel or 
cargo oil. Such incidents include, but are not limited to, groundings, 
allisions, strandings, collisions, hull damage, fires,

[[Page 60126]]

explosions, loss of propulsion, floodings, on-deck spills, or other 
similar occurrences.
    Tier means the combination of required response resources and the 
times within which the resources must arrive on scene. Appendix B of 
this part, especially Tables 5 and 6, provide specific guidance on 
calculating the response resources required by a respective tier. 
Section 155.5050(g) sets forth the required times within which the 
response resources must arrive on scene. Tiers are applied to three 
categories of areas--
    (1) Higher volume port areas;
    (2) The Great Lakes; and
    (3) All other operating environments, including rivers and canals, 
inland, nearshore, offshore, and open ocean areas.
    Transfer means any movement of oil to or from a vessel by means of 
pumping, gravitation, or displacement. A transfer is considered to 
begin when the person in charge of the transferring vessel or facility 
and the person in charge of the receiving facility or vessel first meet 
to begin completing the declaration of inspection required by 33 CFR 
156.150. A transfer is considered to be complete when all the 
connections for the transfer have been uncoupled and secured with 
blanks or other closure devices and both of the persons in charge have 
completed the declaration of inspection to include the date and time 
they complete the transfer.
    Worst case discharge or WCD means a discharge in adverse weather 
conditions of a vessel's entire fuel or cargo oil, whichever is 
greater.


Sec.  155.5021  Operating restrictions.

    Nontank vessels subject to this subpart may not--
    (a) Operate upon the navigable waters of the United States unless 
in compliance with a vessel response plan (VRP) approved under Sec.  
155.5065.
    (b) Continue to operate on the navigable waters of the United 
States if--
    (1) The Coast Guard determines that the response resources 
identified in the vessel's certification statement do not meet the 
requirements of this subpart;
    (2) The contracts or agreements required in Sec. Sec.  155.5050 and 
155.5052 and the vessel's certification statement are no longer valid;
    (3) The vessel is not operating in compliance with the submitted 
VRP; or
    (4) The period of the VRP authorization has expired.


Sec.  155.5023  Interim operating authorization.

    (a) Notwithstanding the requirements of Sec.  155.5021 of this 
subpart, a vessel may continue to operate for up to 2 years after the 
date of submission of a vessel response plan (VRP) pending approval of 
that VRP, if the vessel has received written authorization for 
continued operations from the Coast Guard.
    (b) To receive this authorization, the vessel owner or operator 
must certify in writing with an original or electronic signature to the 
Coast Guard that the vessel owner or operator has identified and has 
ensured, by contract or other approved means, the availability of the 
necessary private response resources to respond, to the maximum extent 
practicable, to a worst case discharge or substantial threat of such a 
discharge from their vessel.
    (c) Those nontank vessels temporarily authorized to operate under 
the provisions provided in this section must comply with 33 CFR 
155.1070(c), (d), and (e).


Sec.  155.5025  One-time port waiver.

    (a) If the vessel owner or operator seeks a one-time port waiver, 
they must certify in writing or using electronic signatures acceptable 
to the Coast Guard, prior to the vessel's entry into the Captain of the 
Port (COTP) zone, that they have met the requirements of--
    (1) 33 CFR 155.1025(e)(1) through (3); and
    (2) The vessel owner or operator has identified and ensured the 
availability of, through contract or other approved means, the private 
response resources necessary to respond, to the maximum extent 
practicable under the criteria in Sec.  155.5050 to a worst case 
discharge or substantial threat of discharge from the vessel in the 
applicable COTP zone.
    (b) Once the vessel owner or operator satisfies the requirements of 
paragraph (a) of this section, the cognizant U.S. Coast Guard COTP may 
grant written authorization for that nontank vessel to make one voyage 
in the respective geographic-specific area not covered by the vessel 
response plan.
    (c) All requirements of this subpart must be met by a nontank 
vessel that received a one-time port waiver, for any subsequent voyage 
to the same geographic-specific area.


Sec.  155.5026  Qualified individual and alternate qualified 
individual.

    The vessel response plan must identify a qualified individual and 
at least one alternate who meet the requirements of 33 CFR 155.1026. 
The qualified individual or alternate qualified individual must be 
available on a 24-hour basis.


Sec.  155.5030  Nontank vessel response plan requirements: General 
content.

    (a) The entire vessel response plan (VRP) must be written in 
English and, if applicable, in a language that is understood by the 
crew members with responsibilities under the VRP.
    (b) The VRP must cover all geographic areas of the United States in 
which the vessel intends to handle, store, or transport oil, including 
port areas and offshore transit areas.
    (c) The VRP must be divided into the following sections--
    (1) General information and introduction;
    (2) Notification procedures;
    (3) Shipboard spill mitigation procedures;
    (4) Shore-based response activities;
    (5) List of contacts;
    (6) Training procedures;
    (7) Exercise procedures;
    (8) Plan review and update procedures;
    (9) Geographic-specific appendix (GSA) for each Captain of the Port 
(COTP) zone in which the vessel or vessels operate; and
    (10) An appendix for vessel-specific information for the vessel or 
vessels covered by the VRP.
    (d) A vessel owner or operator with multiple vessels may submit one 
plan for all classes of vessels (i.e., subpart D- Manned vessels 
carrying oil as primary cargo and unmanned vessels carrying oil as 
primary cargo; subpart E- Tankers loading cargo at a facility permitted 
under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act; subpart F--Vessels 
carrying animal fats and vegetable oils as primary cargo; and subpart 
G-- Vessels carrying other non-petroleum oils as a primary cargo) with 
a separate vessel-specific appendix for each vessel covered by the plan 
and a separate GSA for each COTP zone in which the vessel(s) will 
operate.
    (e) A VRP must be divided into the sections described in paragraph 
(c) of this section unless the VRP is supplemented with a cross-
reference table to identify the location of the information required by 
this subpart.
    (f) The information contained in a VRP must be consistent with--
    (1) The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency 
Plan (NCP) (40 CFR part 300) and the Area Contingency Plan(s) (ACP) in 
effect on the date 6 months prior to the submission date of the VRP; or
    (2) Most recent NCP and ACP(s).
    Note to Sec.  155.5030(f)(1): See diagram of ``Relationship of 
Plans'' at 40 CFR 300.210.
    (g) Copies of the submitted and approved VRP must be available as 
follows--

[[Page 60127]]

    (1) The vessel owner or operator must ensure that they maintain one 
English language copy of the VRP, at a minimum the contents listed in 
paragraph (c)(1), (2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (9) and (10) of this section 
and a copy of the Coast Guard approval letter, onboard the vessel. In 
lieu of paper format, the vessel owner or operator may keep an 
electronic copy of the VRP and approval letter onboard the vessel. If 
applicable, additional copies of the required VRP sections must be in 
the language understood by crew members with responsibilities under the 
VRP and maintained onboard the vessel; and
    (2) The vessel owner or operator must also maintain a current copy 
of the entire VRP and ensure that each person identified as a qualified 
individual and alternate qualified individual in the VRP has a current 
copy of the entire VRP. An electronic copy of the VRP is authorized.
    (h) Compliance with this subpart will also constitute compliance 
for a U.S.-flag nontank vessel required to submit a Shipboard Oil 
Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) pursuant to 33 CFR 151.09(c) and 
Regulation 37 of MARPOL 73/78 Annex I as long as the additional 
requirements listed in Sec.  155.5035(k) are met. A U.S.-flag nontank 
vessel holding a valid Certificate of Inspection endorsed for Coastwise 
or Oceans operating routes with authorization to engage on an 
international voyage must maintain a U.S. Coast Guard SOPEP approval 
letter per 33 CFR 151.27(e). A separate SOPEP is not required.


Sec.  155.5035  Nontank vessel response plan requirements: Specific 
content.

    (a) General information and introduction section. This section of 
the vessel response plan (VRP) must include--
    (1) The vessel's name, country of registry, call sign, official 
number, and International Maritime Organization (IMO) international 
number (if applicable). If the VRP covers multiple vessels, this 
information should be provided for each vessel;
    (2) The name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and 
facsimile number, and procedures for contacting the vessel's owner or 
operator on a 24-hour basis;
    (3) A list of the Captain of the Port (COTP) zones, ports, and 
offshore transit areas in which the vessel intends to operate;
    (4) A table of contents or index of sufficient detail to permit 
personnel with responsibilities under the VRP to locate the specific 
sections of the VRP; and
    (5) A record of change(s) page to record information on VRP 
reviews, updates, or revisions.
    (b) Notification procedures section. This section of the VRP must 
include the following information--
    (1) A checklist with all notifications, including telephone or 
other contact numbers, in order of priority to be made by shipboard or 
shore-based personnel and the information needed for those 
notifications. Notifications should include those required by--
    (i) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from 
Ships (MARPOL) 73/78 (as set forth in 33 CFR 151.26 and 33 CFR part 
153); and
    (ii) Any applicable State;
    (2) Identification of the person(s) to be notified of a discharge 
or substantial threat of a discharge of oil. If the notifications vary 
due to vessel location, the persons to be notified also should be 
identified in a geographic-specific appendix (GSA). This section should 
separately identify--
    (i) The individual(s) or organization(s) to be notified by 
shipboard personnel; and
    (ii) The individual(s) or organization(s) to be notified by shore-
based personnel;
    (3) The procedures for notifying the qualified individual(s) 
designated by the vessel's owner or operator;
    (4) Descriptions of the primary and, if available, secondary 
communications methods by which the notifications would be made. These 
should be consistent with those in paragraph (b)(1) of this section;
    (5) The information that is to be provided in the initial and any 
follow-up notifications under paragraph (b)(1) of this section;
    (i) The initial notification may be submitted in accordance with 
IMO Resolution A.851(20), ``General Principles for Ship Reporting 
Systems and Ship Reporting Requirements, Including Guidelines for 
Reporting Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods, Harmful Substances and/
or Marine Pollutants'' (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  155.140). 
However, the VRP must specify that the notification includes at least 
the following information--
    (A) Vessel name, country of registry, call sign, and official 
number (if any);
    (B) Date and time of the incident;
    (C) Location of the incident;
    (D) Course, speed, and intended track of vessel;
    (E) Radio station(s) and frequencies guarded;
    (F) Date and time of next report;
    (G) Type and quantity of oil onboard;
    (H) Nature and detail of defects, deficiencies, and damage (e.g., 
overfill of tanks, grounding, collision, hull failure, etc.);
    (I) Details of pollution, including estimate of amount of oil 
discharged or threat of discharge;
    (J) Weather and sea conditions on scene;
    (K) Ship size and type;
    (L) Actions taken or planned by persons on scene;
    (M) Current conditions of the vessel;
    (N) Number of crew and details of injuries, if any; and
    (O) Details of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club and Local 
Correspondent, as applicable.
    (ii) The VRP must state that after transmission of the initial 
notification, as much information as possible that is essential for the 
protection of the marine environment will be reported to the 
appropriate on-scene coordinator in follow-up reports. This information 
must include--
    (A) Additional details on the type of oil onboard;
    (B) Additional details on the condition of the vessel and the 
ability to offload cargo and transfer ballast and fuel;
    (C) Additional details on the quantity, extent, and movement of the 
pollution and whether the discharge is continuing;
    (D) Any changes in the on-scene weather or sea conditions; and
    (E) Actions being taken with regard to the discharge and the 
movement of the ship; and
    (6) Identification of the person(s) to be notified of a vessel 
casualty potentially affecting the seaworthiness of a vessel and the 
information to be provided by the vessel's crew to shore-based 
personnel to facilitate the assessment of damage stability and stress.
    (c) Shipboard spill mitigation procedures section. This section of 
the VRP must include--
    (1) Procedures for the crew to mitigate or prevent any discharge or 
a substantial threat of a discharge of oil resulting from shipboard 
operational activities associated with internal or external oil 
transfers. Responsibilities of vessel personnel should be identified by 
job title and licensed/unlicensed position, if applicable. These 
procedures should address personnel actions in reference to--
    (i) Internal transfer system leaks;
    (ii) Fuel tank overflows;
    (iii) Suspected tank or hull leaks;
    (iv) Assessment and monitoring activities;
    (v) Personnel protection issues;
    (vi) Protective equipment;
    (vii) Threats to health and safety;
    (viii) Containment and other response techniques;

[[Page 60128]]

    (ix) Isolation procedures;
    (x) Decontamination of personnel; and
    (xi) Disposal of removed oil and clean-up materials;
    (2) Procedures in the order of priority for the crew to mitigate or 
prevent any discharge or a substantial threat of a discharge in the 
event of a casualty or emergency as listed in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) 
through (x) of this section. These procedures should be listed 
separately and reference specific vessel checklists required by the 
International Ship Management (ISM) Code, Section 8 (Resolution 
A.741(18), as amended by Resolution MSC.104(73)) (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  155.140), or other means that will ensure 
consideration of all appropriate factors when addressing a specific 
casualty. In addition to the checklists, specific personnel assignments 
for anticipated tasks must be identified. Reference to existing fire 
control plans and muster lists is sufficient to identify personnel 
responsibilities in the following scenarios--
    (i) Grounding or stranding;
    (ii) Explosion or fire, or both;
    (iii) Collision or allision;
    (iv) Hull failure;
    (v) Excessive list;
    (vi) Containment system failure;
    (vii) Submerged and foundered;
    (viii) Wrecked and stranded;
    (ix) Hazardous vapor release; and
    (x) Equipment failure (e.g., main propulsion, steering gear, etc.);
    (3) Procedures for the crew to deploy discharge removal equipment 
if the vessel is equipped with such equipment;
    (4) The procedures for internal transfers of fuel in an emergency;
    (5) The procedures for ship-to-ship transfers of fuel in an 
emergency--
    (i) The format and content of the ship-to-ship transfer procedures 
should be consistent with the ``Ship to Ship Transfer Guide 
(Petroleum),'' published jointly by the International Chamber of 
Shipping and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) 
(incorporated by reference, see Sec.  155.140);
    (ii) The procedures should identify the specific response resources 
necessary to carry out the internal or external transfers, including--
    (A) Fendering equipment (ship-to-ship only);
    (B) Transfer hoses and connection equipment;
    (C) Portable pumps and ancillary equipment;
    (D) Lightering or fuel removal and mooring masters (ship-to-ship 
only); and
    (E) Vessel and barge brokers (ship-to-ship only);
    (iii) Reference may be made to a separate fuel oil transfer 
procedure and lightering plan carried onboard the vessel, if safety 
considerations are summarized in the plan; and
    (iv) The location of all equipment and fittings, if any, carried 
onboard the vessel to perform the transfers should be identified;
    (6) The procedures and arrangements for emergency towing, including 
the rigging and operation of any emergency towing equipment, if any, 
carried onboard the vessel;
    (7) The location, crew responsibilities, and procedures for use of 
shipboard equipment that might be carried to mitigate an oil discharge;
    (8) The crew's responsibility, if any, for recordkeeping and 
sampling of spilled oil. Any requirements for sampling must address 
safety procedures to be followed by the crew;
    (9) The crew's responsibilities, if any, to initiate a response and 
supervise shore-based response resources;
    (10) Damage stability and hull stress considerations when 
performing shipboard mitigation measures. This section of the VRP 
should identify and describe--
    (i) Activities in which the crew is trained and qualified to 
execute absent shore-based support or advice; and
    (ii) The information to be collected by the vessel's crew to 
facilitate shore-based assistance;
    (11) Location of vessel plans necessary to perform salvage, 
stability, and hull stress assessments--
    (i) The vessel owner or operator should ensure that a copy of these 
plans is maintained ashore by either the vessel owner or operator or 
the vessel's recognized classification society, unless the vessel has 
prearranged for a shore-based damage stability and residual strength 
calculation program with the vessel's baseline strength and stability 
characteristics pre-entered. The VRP should indicate the shore location 
and 24-hour access procedures of the calculation program for the 
following plans, where available--
    (A) General arrangement plan;
    (B) Midship section plan;
    (C) Lines plan or table of offsets;
    (D) Tank tables;
    (E) Load line assignment; and
    (F) Light ship characteristics; and
    (ii) The VRP should identify the shore location and 24-hour access 
procedures for the computerized, shore-based damage stability and 
residual structural strength calculation programs, if available; and
    (12) Procedures for implementing personnel safety mitigation 
strategies for all personnel involved. These procedures may contain 
more, but must address the following--
    (i) Assessment and monitoring activities;
    (ii) Personnel protection issues;
    (iii) Protective equipment;
    (iv) Threats to health and safety;
    (v) Containment and other response techniques;
    (vi) Isolation procedures;
    (vii) Decontamination of personnel; and
    (viii) Disposal of removed oil and clean-up materials.
    (d) Shore-based response activities section. This section of the 
VRP should include the following information--
    (1) The qualified individual's (QI) responsibilities and authority, 
including immediate communication with the Federal On-Scene Coordinator 
(FOSC) and notification of the oil spill removal organization(s) 
identified in the VRP;
    (2) If applicable, procedures for transferring responsibility for 
direction of response activities from vessel personnel to the shore-
based spill management team;
    (3) The procedures for coordinating the actions of the vessel owner 
or operator or qualified individual with the predesignated FOSC 
responsible for overseeing or directing those actions;
    (4) The organizational structure that would be used to manage the 
response actions. This structure should include the following 
functional areas and information for key components within each 
functional area--
    (i) Command and control;
    (ii) Public information;
    (iii) Safety;
    (iv) Liaison with government agencies;
    (v) Spill response operations;
    (vi) Planning;
    (vii) Logistics support; and
    (viii) Finance; and
    (5) The responsibilities and duties of, and functional job 
descriptions for each oil spill management team position within the 
organizational structure identified in paragraph (d)(4) of this 
section.
    (e) List of contacts section. The name, location, and 24-hour 
contact information for the following key individuals and organizations 
must be included in this section of the VRP or, if more appropriate, in 
a GSA, and referenced in this section of the VRP--
    (1) Vessel owner or operator;
    (2) Qualified individual and alternate qualified individual for the 
vessel's area of operation;
    (3) Applicable insurance provider, representative, or surveyor for 
the vessel's area of operation;
    (4) The vessel's local agent(s) for the vessel's area of operation, 
or a reference

[[Page 60129]]

to the 24-hour point of contact as listed on the vessel's notice of 
arrival;
    (5) Person(s) within the oil spill removal organization to notify 
for activation of that oil spill removal organization for the three 
spill scenarios identified in paragraph (i)(1)(v) of this section for 
the vessel's area of operation;
    (6) Person(s) within the identified response organization to notify 
for activating the organizations to provide--
    (i) The required emergency lightering and fuel offloading required 
by Sec. Sec.  155.5050(i) and 155.5052 as applicable;
    (ii) The required salvage and marine firefighting required by 
Sec. Sec.  155.5050(i) and 155.5052 as applicable;
    (iii) The required dispersant response equipment required by Sec.  
155.5050(j), as applicable; and
    (iv) The required aerial oil spill tracking and observation 
resources required by Sec.  155.5050(k), as applicable; and
    (7) Person(s) to notify for activation of the spill management team 
for the spill response scenarios identified in paragraph (i)(5) of this 
section for the vessel's area of operation.
    (f) Training procedures section. This section of the VRP must 
address the training procedures and programs of the vessel owner or 
operator to meet the requirements in Sec.  155.5055.
    (g) Exercise procedures section. This section of the VRP must 
address the exercise program to be carried out by the vessel owner or 
operator to meet the requirements in Sec.  155.5060.
    (h) Plan review, update, revision, amendment, and appeal procedure 
section. This section of the VRP must address the procedures the vessel 
owner or operator must follow--
    (1) To meet the requirements of Sec. Sec.  155.5070 and 155.5075; 
and
    (2) For any post-discharge review of the VRP to evaluate and 
validate its effectiveness.
    (i) GSAs for each COTP zone in which a vessel operates section. A 
GSA must be included for each COTP zone identified.
    (1) The appendices must include the following information or 
identify the location of such information within the VRP--
    (i) A list of the geographic areas (port areas, rivers and canals, 
Great Lakes, inland, nearshore, offshore, and open ocean areas) in 
which the vessel intends to handle, store, or transport oil as fuel or 
cargo within the applicable COTP zone;
    (ii) The volume and group of oil on which the required level of 
response resources are calculated;
    (iii) Required Federal or State notifications applicable to the 
geographic areas in which a vessel operates;
    (iv) Identification of the QI; and
    (v) Identification of the oil spill removal organization(s) (OSRO) 
that are identified and ensured available, through contract or other 
approved means, and the spill management team to respond to the 
following spill scenarios, as applicable--
    (A) Average most probable discharge;
    (B) Maximum most probable discharge; and
    (C) Worst case discharge.
    (2) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 250 barrels must plan 
for and identify maximum most probable discharge response resources in 
the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by 
contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the 
recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for 
approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable ``other approved 
means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of 
``Contract or other approved means.''
    (3) The organization(s) identified to meet the requirements of 
paragraph (i)(1)(v) of this section must be capable of providing the 
equipment and supplies necessary to meet the requirements of Sec. Sec.  
155.5050 and 155.5052, as appropriate, and sources of trained personnel 
to continue operation of the equipment and staff the OSRO(s) and spill 
management team identified for the first 7 days of the response.
    (4) The GSA must list the response resources and related 
information required under Sec. Sec.  155.5050, 155.5052, and appendix 
B of this part, as appropriate.
    (5) If the Coast Guard has evaluated an OSRO and has determined the 
OSROs capability is equal to or exceeds the response capability needed 
by the vessel, the GSA may identify only the OSRO and their applicable 
classification and not the information required in paragraph (i)(4) of 
this section. This information is subject to Coast Guard verification 
at any time during the validity of the VRP.
    (6) The GSA must also separately list the companies identified to 
provide the salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting 
resources required in this subpart. The GSA must list the response 
resources and related information required in paragraph (i)(4) of this 
section. This information is subject to Coast Guard verification at any 
time during the validity of the VRP.
    (i) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 2,500 barrels, but 
greater than or equal to 250 barrels, need only plan for and identify 
salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting response 
resources, as required by subpart I, in the VRP but do not have to 
ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a 
written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource 
provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is 
considered an acceptable ``other approved means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, 
paragraph (5) of the definition of ``Contract or other approved 
means.''
    (ii) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 250 barrels need 
only plan for and identify salvage response resources in the VRP but do 
not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. 
Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized 
response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or 
revision. This is considered an acceptable ``other approved means.'' 
See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of ``Contract or 
other approved means.''
    (7) For nontank vessels with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater 
that carry group II through group IV petroleum oils as fuel or cargo 
and that operate in waters where dispersant use pre-authorization 
agreements exist, the GSA must also separately list the resource 
providers and specific resources, including appropriately trained 
dispersant-application personnel, necessary to provide, if appropriate, 
the dispersant capabilities required in this subpart. All resource 
providers and resources must be available by contract or other approved 
means. The dispersant resources to be listed within this section must 
include the following--
    (i) Identification of each primary dispersant staging site to be 
used by each dispersant-application platform to meet the requirements 
of Sec.  155.5050(j) of this chapter; and
    (ii) Identification of the platform type, resource provider, 
location, and dispersant payload for each dispersant-application 
platform identified. Location data must identify the distance between 
the platform's home base and the identified primary dispersant-staging 
site(s) for this section.
    (8) For each unit of dispersant stockpile required to support the 
effective daily application capacity of each dispersant-application 
platform necessary to sustain each intended response tier of operation, 
identify the dispersant product resource provider, location, and 
volume. Location data must include the distance from the stockpile to 
the primary staging sites where the stockpile would be loaded on

[[Page 60130]]

to the corresponding platforms. If the Coast Guard has evaluated an 
OSRO and has determined its capability meets the response capability 
needed by the vessel owner or operator, the section may identify the 
OSRO only, and not the information required in paragraphs (i)(7)(i), 
(i)(7)(ii), and (i)(8) of this section.
    (9) Nontank vessels with an oil capacity of 250 barrels or greater, 
but less than 2,500 barrels, that carry group II through group IV 
petroleum oils as fuel or cargo and that operate in waters where 
dispersant use pre-authorization agreements exist, need only plan for 
and identify dispersant response resources but not ensure their 
availability by contract. Submission of a written consent from the 
dispersant response resource provider must accompany the VRP for 
approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable ``other approved 
means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of 
``Contract or other approved means.''
    (10) For nontank vessels with a fuel and cargo capacity of 2,500 
barrels or greater not operating exclusively on the inland areas of the 
United States, the GSA must also separately list the resource providers 
and specific resources necessary to provide oil spill tracking 
capabilities required in this subpart. The oil spill tracking resources 
to be listed within this section must include the following--
    (i) The identification of a resource provider; and
    (ii) The type and location of aerial surveillance aircraft that 
have been ensured available, through contract or other approved means, 
to meet the oil spill tracking requirements of Sec.  155.1050(k) of 
this part.
    (11) Nontank vessels with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater, but 
less than 2,500 barrels, need only plan for and identify aerial oil 
spill tracking response resources in the VRP, but do not have to ensure 
these resources are available by contract. Submission of a written 
consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider 
must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an 
acceptable ``other approved means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, ``Contract or 
other approved means'', paragraph (5).
    (j) Appendices for vessel-specific information section. This 
section of the VRP must include for each vessel covered by the VRP the 
following information, as applicable--
    (1) List of the vessel's principal characteristics;
    (2) Capacities of all cargo, fuel, lube oil, ballast, and fresh 
water tanks;
    (3) The total volume and groups of oil that would be involved in 
a--
    (i) Maximum most probable discharge; and
    (ii) Worst case discharge;
    (4) Diagrams showing location of all cargo, fuel, lube oil, and 
slop tanks, as applicable;
    (5) General arrangement plan (can be maintained separately onboard 
the vessel providing the VRP identifies the specific location);
    (6) Midships section plan (can be maintained separately onboard the 
vessel providing the VRP identifies the specific location);
    (7) Cargo and fuel piping diagrams and pumping plan, as applicable 
(can be maintained separately onboard the vessel providing the VRP 
identifies the specific location);
    (8) Damage stability data (can be maintained separately, providing 
the VRP identifies the specific location);
    (9) Location of cargo and fuel stowage plan for vessel; and
    (10) Location of information on the name, description, physical and 
chemical characteristics, health and safety hazards, and spill and 
firefighting procedures for the fuel and cargo oil onboard the vessel. 
A material safety data sheet meeting the requirements of 29 CFR 
1910.1200, cargo information required by 33 CFR 154.310, or equivalent, 
will meet this requirement. This information can be maintained 
separately.
    (k) Required appendices for MARPOL 73/78 Annex I, Regulation 37, 
Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) information. U.S.-flag 
vessels not certificated for coastwise or oceans operating routes and 
foreign-flag vessels that are in compliance with Regulation 37 of 
MARPOL 73/78 Annex I are not required to comply with this paragraph. A 
vessel owner or operator of a U.S.-flag vessel constructed or 
certificated for coastwise or oceans operating routes, but that does 
not engage in international voyages, may request to be exempted from 
compliance with this paragraph through submission of a certified 
statement, attesting same, to Commandant (CG-CVC), Office of Commercial 
Vessel Compliance, which must accompany the new nontank vessel response 
submission or resubmission. U.S.-flag vessels that must comply with 
this paragraph must label the cover of their VRP as a MARPOL 73/78 
Annex I, Regulation 37 Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) 
and Coast Guard Nontank Vessel Response Plan. The following information 
must be submitted consistent with Regulation 37 of MARPOL 73/78 Annex I 
as set forth in 33 CFR 151.26--
    (1) The introductory text required by 33 CFR 151.26(b)(1);
    (2) The preamble statement regarding the purpose of the plans and 
how the plan relates to other shore-related plans as required by 33 CFR 
151.26(b)(2);
    (3) The information on authorities or persons to be contacted in 
the event of an oil pollution incident as required 33 CFR 
151.26(b)(3)(iii). This information must also clearly specify who will 
be responsible for informing the necessary parties from the coastal 
State contacts, the port contacts, and the ship interest contacts. This 
information must include--
    (i) An appendix containing coastal State contacts for those coastal 
States in which the vessel regularly transits the exclusive economic 
zone. The appendix should list those agencies or officials of 
administrations responsible for receiving and processing pollution 
incident reports;
    (ii) An appendix of port contacts for those ports at which the 
vessel regularly calls; and
    (iii) For Antarctica, reports must also be directed to any 
Antarctic station that may be affected in accordance with 33 CFR 
151.26(b)(3)(iii)(C);
    (4) Include the procedures and point of contact on the ship for 
coordinating shipboard activities with national and local authorities 
in combating an oil spill incident in accordance with 33 CFR 
151.26(b)(5). The plan should address the need to contact the coastal 
State to advise them of action(s) being implemented and determine what 
authorization(s), if any, are needed; and
    (5) Required information lists in separate appendices per 33 CFR 
151.26(b)(6)(ii).


Sec.  155.5050  Response plan development and evaluation criteria for 
nontank vessels carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil.

    (a) Criteria for evaluating operability of response resources. The 
criteria used to evaluate the operability of response resources 
identified in a vessel response plan (VRP) for specified operating 
environments must be in accordance with 33 CFR 155.1050(a).
    (b) Operating environment reclassification of specific bodies of 
water. Captain of the Port (COTP) reclassification of a specific body 
of water or location within the COTP zone must be in accordance with 33 
CFR 155.1050(b).
    (c) Criteria for response equipment. Response equipment must--
    (1) Meet or exceed the criteria listed in Table 1 of appendix B of 
this part;
    (2) Be capable of functioning in the applicable operating 
environment; and

[[Page 60131]]

    (3) Be appropriate for the amount of oil capable of being carried.
    (d) Average most probable discharge. (1) The owner or operator of a 
nontank vessel that carries groups I through IV petroleum oil as cargo 
must identify in the VRP and ensure the availability of, through 
contract or other approved means, the response resources that will 
respond to a discharge up to the vessel's average most probable 
discharge (AMPD). Nontank vessels that carry oil as cargo must meet the 
requirements for AMPD coverage, as applicable, per 33 CFR 155.1050(d).
    (2) Nontank vessels that only carry groups I through IV petroleum 
oil as fuel do not have to ensure the availability of AMPD resources by 
contract or other approved means, but must plan for and identify 
response resources required in Sec.  155.1050(d)(1) and list this 
information in the applicable geographic-specific appendix for 
bunkering or fueling operations. Permission or acknowledgement from the 
listed resource providers is not required.
    (e) Maximum most probable discharge. (1) The owner or operator of a 
nontank vessel with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater carrying 
groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo must identify in the 
VRP and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved 
means, the response resources necessary to respond to a discharge up to 
the vessel's maximum most probable discharge (MMPD) volume. For the 
purposes of meeting the requirements of this paragraph, vessel owners 
or operators must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(e).
    (2) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel with a capacity less 
than 250 barrels must plan for and identify MMPD response resources in 
the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by 
contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the 
recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for 
approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable ``other approved 
means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of 
``Contract or other approved means.''
    (f) Worst case discharge. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel 
with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater carrying groups I through 
IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo must identify in the VRP and ensure 
the availability of, through contract or other approved means, the 
response resources necessary to respond to discharges up to the worst 
case discharge (WCD) volume of the oil to the maximum extent 
practicable. For the purposes of meeting the requirements of this 
paragraph, vessel owners or operators must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(f). 
Nontank vessels need only plan for Tier 1 response resources.
    (g) Tier 1 response times. Response equipment identified to respond 
to a WCD should be capable of arriving on scene within the times 
specified in this paragraph for the applicable response in a higher 
volume port area, Great Lakes, or in other areas. Table 155.5050(g) 
details response times for this tier, from the time of discovery of a 
discharge.

              Table 155.5050(g)--Response Times for Tier 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Tier 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Higher volume port area.....................  12 hrs.
Great Lakes.................................  18 hrs.
All other operating environments, including   24 hrs.
 rivers and canals, inland, nearshore,
 offshore, and open ocean areas.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (h) Planning standards for the mobilization and response times for 
required MMPD and WCD response resources. For the purposes of arranging 
for MMPD or WCD response resources through contract or other approved 
means, response equipment identified for plan credit should be capable 
of being mobilized and en route to the scene of a discharge within 2 
hours of notification. The notification procedures identified in the 
VRP should provide for notification and authorization for mobilization 
of response resources--
    (1) Either directly or through the qualified individual; and
    (2) Within 30 minutes of a discovery of a discharge or substantial 
threat of discharge.
    (i) Salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting 
requirements. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups 
I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo must plan for salvage, 
emergency lightering, and marine firefighting response resources, as 
applicable.
    (1) Nontank vessels with a capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater 
must meet the salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting 
requirements found in subpart I of this part.
    (2) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 2,500 barrels, but 
greater than or equal to 250 barrels, need to plan for and identify 
salvage, emergency lightering, and marine firefighting response 
resources found in subpart I in the VRP but do not have to ensure these 
resources are available by contract. Submission of a written consent 
for plan listing from the recognized response resource provider must 
accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is considered an 
acceptable ``other approved means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) 
of the definition of ``Contract or other approved means.''
    (3) Nontank vessels with a capacity less than 250 barrels need to 
plan for and identify salvage response resources found in subpart I in 
the VRP but do not have to ensure these resources are available by 
contract. Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the 
recognized response resource provider must accompany the VRP for 
approval or revision. This is considered an acceptable ``other approved 
means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of 
``Contract or other approved means.''
    (j) Dispersants. (1) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel 
carrying groups II through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo with a 
capacity of 2,500 barrels or greater that operates in any area pre-
authorized for dispersant use must identify in their VRP, and ensure 
the availability of, through contract or other approved means, response 
resources capable of conducting dispersant operations within those 
areas. Vessel owners or operators must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(k). These 
nontank vessels must meet Tier 1 for dispersant effective daily 
application capability.
    (2) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel with a capacity less 
than 2,500 barrels, but greater than or equal to 250 barrels, needs to 
plan for and identify dispersant response resources in the VRP but do 
not have to ensure these resources are available by contract. 
Submission of a written consent for plan listing from the recognized 
response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval or 
revision. This is considered an acceptable ``other approved means.'' 
See 33 CFR 155.5020, paragraph (5) of the definition of ``Contract or 
other approved means.''
    (k) Aerial oil spill tracking and observation response resources. 
(1) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups I through 
IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo with a capacity of--
    (i) 2,500 barrels or greater must identify in the VRP, and ensure 
availability of, through contract or other approved means, the response 
resources necessary to provide aerial oil spill tracking to support oil 
spill assessment and cleanup activities. Vessel owners or operators of 
these vessels must meet 33 CFR 155.1050(l).
    (ii) Less than 2,500 barrels, but greater than 250 barrels, need to 
plan for and identify aerial oil tracking response resources in the VRP 
but do not have to

[[Page 60132]]

ensure these resources are available by contract. Submission of a 
written consent for plan listing from the recognized response resource 
provider must accompany the VRP for approval or revision. This is 
considered an acceptable ``other approved means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, 
``Contract or other approved means'', paragraph (5).
    (2) Nontank vessels operating exclusively on the inland areas of 
the United States are not required to comply with paragraph (k) of this 
section.
    (l) Response resources necessary to perform shoreline protection 
operations. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying groups I 
through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo with a capacity of 250 
barrels or greater must identify in the VRP, and ensure the 
availability of, through contract or other approved means, the response 
resources necessary to perform shoreline protection operations. The 
response resources must include the quantities of boom listed in Table 
2 of appendix B of this part, based upon the specific COTP zones in 
which the vessel operates.
    (m) Shoreline cleanup operations. The owner or operator of a 
nontank vessel carrying groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or 
cargo with a capacity of 250 barrels or greater must identify in the 
VRP, and ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved 
means, an oil spill removal organization capable of effecting a 
shoreline cleanup operation commensurate with the quantity of 
emulsified petroleum oil to be planned for in shoreline cleanup 
operations. The shoreline cleanup resources required must be determined 
as described in appendix B of this part.
    (n) Practical and technical limits of response capabilities. 
Appendix B of this part sets out response capability capacities (caps) 
that recognize the practical and technical limits of response 
capabilities for which an individual vessel owner or operator can 
contract in advance. Table 6 in appendix B lists the contracting caps 
that are applicable. The owner or operator of a nontank vessel carrying 
groups I through IV petroleum oil as fuel or cargo, with a capacity of 
2,500 barrels or greater, whose required daily recovery capacity 
exceeds the applicable contracting caps in Table 6, must identify 
commercial sources of additional equipment equal to twice the cap 
listed for each tier or the amount necessary to reach the calculated 
planning volume, whichever is lower, to the extent that this equipment 
is available. The equipment so identified must be capable of arriving 
on scene no later than the applicable tier response times contained in 
Sec.  155.5050(g) or as quickly as the nearest available resource 
permits. A VRP must identify the specific sources, locations, and 
quantities of this additional equipment. No contract is required.
    (o) Review of response capability limits. The Coast Guard will 
continue to evaluate the environmental benefits, cost efficiency, and 
practicality of increasing mechanical recovery capability requirements. 
This continuing evaluation is part of the Coast Guard's long term 
commitment to achieving and maintaining an optimum mix of oil spill 
response capability across the full spectrum of response modes. As best 
available technology demonstrates a need to evaluate or change 
mechanical recovery capacities, a review of cap increases and other 
requirements contained within this subpart may be performed. Any 
changes in the requirements of this section will occur through a 
rulemaking process. During this review, the Coast Guard will determine 
if established caps remain practicable and if increased caps will 
provide any benefit to oil spill recovery operations. The review will 
include, at least, an evaluation of--
    (1) Best available technologies for containment and recovery;
    (2) Oil spill tracking technology;
    (3) High rate response techniques;
    (4) Other applicable response technologies; and
    (5) Increases in the availability of private response resources.
    (p) Nontank vessel response plan required response resources 
matrix. Table 155.5050(p) summarizes the VRP required response 
resources.

                                                       Table 155.5050(p)--Nontank Vessel Response Plan Required Response Resources Matrix
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Nontank vessel's fuel and cargo                                                                     Emergency                                        Aerial         Shoreline      Shore line
          oil capacity                 AMPD            MMPD             WCD           Salvage       lightering     Fire fighting  Dispersant \3\   tracking \4\     protection        cleanup
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2,500 barrels or greater........  NO\1\.........  YES...........  YES...........  YES...........  YES...........  YES...........  YES...........  YES...........  YES...........  YES.
Less than 2,500 barrels, but      NO \1\........  YES...........  NO............  YES \2\.......  YES \2\.......  YES \2\.......  YES \2\.......  YES \2\.......  YES...........  YES.
 greater than or equal to 250
 barrels.
Less than 250 barrels...........  NO \1\........  YES \2\.......  NO............  YES \2\.......  NO............  NO............  NO............  NO............  NO............  NO.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\--For nontank vessels carrying oil as fuel only. Nontank vessels carrying oil as cargo must meet AMPD response resources in 33 CFR 155.5050(d)(1) as applicable.
\2\--The indicated response resources that must be located within the stipulated response times in the specified geographic areas need only be identified and planned for in the VRP, but not
  ensured available by contract. Submission of a written consent from the response resource provider must accompany the VRP for approval. This is considered an acceptable ``other approved
  means.'' See 33 CFR 155.5020, ``Contract or other approved means'', paragraph (5).
\3\--Dispersant response resources are only required for waters where dispersant pre-authorization has been authorized IAW the Area Contingency Plan. See 33 CFR 155.5050(j).
\4\--Aerial oil spill tracking response resources are not required for inland areas.

Sec.  155.5052  Response plan development and evaluation criteria for 
nontank vessels carrying group V petroleum oil.

    Owners or operators of nontank vessels that carry group V petroleum 
oil as fuel or cargo must meet the requirements of 33 CFR 155.1052.


Sec.  155.5055  Training.

    (a) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of 250 barrels or 
greater--
    (1) A vessel response plan (VRP) submitted to meet the requirements 
of Sec.  155.5035 must identify the training to be provided to persons 
having responsibilities under the VRP, including members of the vessel 
crew, the qualified individual, and the spill management team. The 
training program must differentiate between that training provided to 
vessel personnel and that training provided to shore-based personnel. 
Appendix C of this part provides additional guidance regarding 
training; and
    (2) A vessel owner or operator must comply with the vessel response 
plan training requirements of 33 CFR 155.1055.
    (b) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of less than 250 
barrels, a vessel owner or operator must comply with the VRP training 
requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or the Alternative 
Training and Exercise Program requirements of Sec.  155.5061.


Sec.  155.5060  Exercises.

    (a) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of 250 barrels or 
greater--
    (1) A vessel owner or operator required by Sec.  155.5035 to have a 
vessel response plan (VRP) must conduct exercises as necessary to 
ensure that the VRP will function in an emergency. Vessel owners or 
operators must include both announced and unannounced exercises; and
    (2) A vessel owner or operator must comply with the VRP exercise 
requirements of 33 CFR 155.1060.

[[Page 60133]]

    (b) For nontank vessels with an oil capacity of less than 250 
barrels, a vessel owner or operator must comply with the VRP exercise 
requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or the Alternative 
Training and Exercise Program requirements of Sec.  155.5061.


Sec.  155.5061  Alternative Training and Exercise Program.

    (a) Owners or operators of nontank vessels with an oil capacity of 
less than 250 barrels, in lieu of the training and exercise 
requirements of Sec. Sec.  155.5055 and 155.5060, may meet an 
Alternative Training and Exercise Program that has been approved by the 
Commandant (CG-CVC) for meeting the requirements of this section.
    (b) Vessel owners or operators must make available to the Coast 
Guard, upon request, any information related to implementation of an 
approved Alternative Training and Exercise Program.
    (c) For approval of an Alternative Training and Exercise Program 
the vessel owners or operators must submit to the Commandant (CG-CVC) 
for review and approval: The Alternative Training and Exercise Program 
and the following information to assess the adequacy of the proposed 
Alternative Training and Exercise Program--
    (1) A list of the vessels to which the Alternative Training and 
Exercise Program is intended to apply;
    (2) An explanation of how the Alternative Training and Exercise 
Program addresses the requirements of 33 CFR 155.1055(b) through (f) 
and 33 CFR 155.1060; and
    (3) An explanation of how vessel owners or operators must implement 
the Alternative Training and Exercise Program in its entirety, 
including performing verification of implementation.
    (d) Amendments to the Alternative Training and Exercise Program 
approved under this section may be initiated by the submitter of an 
Alternative Training and Exercise Program.
    (e) Approval of the Alternative Training and Exercise Program is 
required before a vessel may receive a nontank vessel response plan 
approval letter.
    (f) The Commandant (CG-CVC) will examine each submission for 
compliance with this section and--
    (1) If the submission meets all the requirements, the Coast Guard 
will consider the training and exercise program requirements under this 
section to be satisfactory; or
    (2) If the Coast Guard determines that the submission does not meet 
all of the requirements, the submitter will be notified of the 
deficiencies. The submitter may then resubmit a revised request within 
the time period specified.


Sec.  155.5062  Inspection and maintenance of response resources.

    The owner or operator of a nontank vessel required to submit a 
vessel response plan under this part must comply with the response 
resource inspection and maintenance requirements of 33 CFR 155.1062.


Sec.  155.5065  Procedures for plan submission and approval.

    (a) An owner or operator of a nontank vessel, to which this subpart 
applies, must submit one complete English language copy of a vessel 
response plan (VRP) to Commandant (CG-CVC), Office of Commercial Vessel 
Compliance, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd St. SW. Stop 7581, Washington, 
DC 20593-7581, Attn: Vessel Response Plan Review Team. The VRP must be 
submitted at least 60 days before the vessel intends to operate upon 
the navigable waters of the United States.
    (b) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel must include a 
statement certifying that the VRP meets the applicable requirements of 
this subpart and the requirements of subparts D, E, F, and G, if 
applicable. The vessel owner or operator must also include a statement 
certifying that the vessel owner or operator has ensured the 
availability of, through contract or other approved means, the 
necessary private response resources to respond, to the maximum extent 
practicable, to a worst case discharge or substantial threat of such a 
discharge from their vessel as required under this subpart. VRPs should 
be submitted electronically by using the Vessel Response Plan 
Electronic Submission Tool available at https://homeport.uscg.mil/vrpexpress. If vessel owners or operators submit VRPs in paper format, 
CG Form ``Application for Approval/Revision of Vessel Pollution 
Response Plans'' (CG-6083) located at: http://www.uscg.mil/forms/CG/CG_6083.pdf meets the requirement for a VRP certification statement as 
required by this paragraph.
    (c) If the Coast Guard determines that the VRP meets all 
requirements of this subpart, the Coast Guard will notify the vessel 
owner or operator with an approval letter. The VRP will be valid for a 
period of 5 years from the date of approval, conditional upon 
satisfactory annual updates.
    (d) If the Coast Guard reviews the VRP and determines that it does 
not meet all of the requirements of this subpart, the Coast Guard will 
notify the vessel owner or operator of the VRP deficiencies. The vessel 
owner or operator must then resubmit a copy of the revised VRP or 
corrected portions of the VRP, within the time period specified in the 
written notice provided by the Coast Guard.


Sec.  155.5067  Alternative planning criteria.

    (a) When the owner or operator of a nontank vessel believes that 
national planning criteria contained elsewhere in this part are 
inappropriate for the areas in which the vessel intends to operate, the 
vessel owner or operator may submit an alternative planning criteria 
request to the Coast Guard. Alternative planning criteria requests must 
be submitted 90 days before the vessel intends to operate under the 
proposed alternative, or as soon as is practicable. The alternative 
planning criteria request must be endorsed by the Captain of the Port 
(COTP) with jurisdiction over the geographic area(s) affected before 
being considered by Commandant (CG-CVC), Office of Commercial Vessel 
Compliance, for the review and approval of the respective vessel 
response plan (VRP). In any case, the request must be received by 
Commandant (CG-CVC) with an endorsement by the respective COTP no later 
than 21 days before the vessel intends to operate under the alternative 
planning criteria.
    (b) The alternative planning criteria request should detail all 
elements of the VRP where deviations from the requirements in this 
subpart are being proposed or have not been met. Response equipment, 
techniques, or procedures identified in the alternative planning 
criteria request should be submitted in accordance with the evaluation 
criteria of appendix B of this part. The request should contain at a 
minimum--
    (1) Reason(s) and supporting information for the alternative 
planning criteria request;
    (2) Identification of regulations necessitating the alternative 
planning criteria request;
    (3) Proposals for alternative procedures, methods, or equipment 
standards, where applicable, to provide for an equivalent level of 
planning, response, or pollution mitigation strategies;
    (4) Prevention and mitigation strategies that ensure low risk of 
spills and adequate response measures as a result of the alternative 
planning criteria; and
    (5) Environmental and economic impact assessments of the effects.
    (c) The determination of an alternative planning criteria request 
will

[[Page 60134]]

be conducted by Commandant (CG-CVC), Office of Commercial Vessel 
Compliance.


Sec.  155.5070  Procedures for plan review, revision, and amendment.

    (a) The owner or operator of a nontank vessel must review the 
vessel response plan (VRP) annually. This review must occur within 1 
month of the anniversary date of Coast Guard approval of the VRP.
    (b) A VRP prepared and submitted under this subpart must be revised 
and amended, as necessary, in accordance with Sec.  155.1070.


Sec.  155.5075  Appeal procedures.

    (a) A vessel owner or operator who disagrees with a deficiency 
determination may submit a petition for reconsideration to the 
Commandant (CG-5PC), Director of Inspections and Compliance, U.S. Coast 
Guard, 2100 2nd St. SW Stop 7581, Washington, DC 20593-7581 or 
vrp@uscg.mil within the time period required for compliance or within 7 
days from the date of receipt of the Coast Guard notice of a deficiency 
determination, whichever is less. After considering all relevant 
material presented, the Coast Guard will notify the vessel owner or 
operator of the final decision.
    (1) Unless the vessel owner or operator petitions for 
reconsideration of the Coast Guard's decision, the vessel's owner or 
operator must correct the vessel response plan (VRP) deficiencies 
within the period specified in the Coast Guard's initial determination.
    (2) If the vessel owner or operator petitions the Coast Guard for 
reconsideration, the effective date of the Coast Guard notice of 
deficiency determination may be delayed pending a decision by the Coast 
Guard. Petitions to the Coast Guard must be submitted in writing, via 
the Coast Guard official who issued the requirement to amend the VRP, 
within 5 days of receipt of the notice.
    (b) Within 21 days of notification that a VRP is not approved, the 
vessel owner or operator may appeal that determination to the Director 
of Inspections and Compliance. This appeal must be submitted in writing 
to Commandant (CG-5PC), Director of Inspections and Compliance, U.S. 
Coast Guard, 2100 2nd St. SW. Stop 7581, Washington, DC 20593-7581.

0
24. In appendix B to part 155, revise paragraphs 1.1, 2.6, 2.7, 3.1, 
4.2.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 7.1, 7.2, 7.2.3, 7.2.4, 
7.3.1, and 8.1.1 to read as follows:

Appendix B to Part 155--Determining and Evaluating Required Response 
Resources for Vessel Response Plans

* * * * *
    1.1 The purpose of this appendix is to describe the procedures 
for identifying response resources to meet the requirements of 
subparts D, E, F, G, and J of this part. These guidelines will be 
used by the vessel owner or operator in preparing the response plan 
and by the Coast Guard to review vessel response plans. Response 
plans submitted under subparts F and G of this part will be 
evaluated under the guidelines in section 2 and Table 1 of this 
appendix.
* * * * *
    2.6 The requirements of subparts D, E, F, G, and J of this part 
establish response resource mobilization and response times. The 
location where the vessel operates farthest from the storage 
location of the response resources must be used to determine whether 
the resources are capable of arriving on scene within the time 
required. A vessel owner or operator must include the time for 
notification, mobilization, and travel time of resources identified 
to meet the maximum most probable discharge and Tier 1 worst case 
discharge requirements. For subparts D and E of this part, Tier 2 
and 3 resources must be notified and mobilized as necessary to meet 
the requirements for arrival on scene. An on-water speed of 5 knots 
and a land speed of 35 miles per hour is assumed, unless the vessel 
owner or operator can demonstrate otherwise.
    2.7 For subparts D, E, and J of this part, in identifying 
equipment, the vessel owner or operator must list the storage 
location, quantity, and manufacturer's make and model, unless the 
oil spill removal organization(s) providing the necessary response 
resources have been evaluated by the Coast Guard, and their 
capability has been determined to equal or exceed the response 
capability needed by the vessel. For oil recovery devices, the 
effective daily recovery capacity, as determined using section 6 of 
this appendix, must be included. For boom, the overall boom height 
(draft plus freeboard) must be included. A vessel owner or operator 
must ensure that identified boom has compatible connectors.
* * * * *
    3.1 A vessel owner or operator must identify and ensure, by 
contract or other approved means, that sufficient response resources 
are available to respond to the 50-barrel average most probable 
discharge at the point of an oil transfer involving a vessel that 
carries oil as a primary cargo or a nontank vessel carrying oil as 
cargo. The equipment must be designed to function in the operating 
environment at the point of oil transfer. These resources must 
include--
* * * * *
    4.2.2 Ten percent of the total oil capacity.
* * * * *
    5.1 A vessel owner or operator, as applicable under the 
regulations prescribed in this part, must identify and ensure, by 
contract or other approved means, that sufficient response resources 
are available to respond to the worst case discharge of oil to the 
maximum extent practicable. Section 7 of this appendix describes the 
method to determine the required response resources.
    5.2 Oil spill recovery devices identified to meet the applicable 
worst case discharge planning volume must be located such that they 
can arrive at the scene of a discharge within the time specified for 
the applicable response tier listed in Sec. Sec.  155.1050(g) and 
155.5050(g).
    5.3 The effective daily recovery capacity for oil recovery 
devices identified in a response plan must be determined using the 
criteria in section 6 of this appendix. A vessel owner or operator, 
as applicable under the regulations prescribed in this part, must 
identify the storage locations of all equipment that must be used to 
fulfill the requirements for each tier.
    5.4 A vessel owner or operator, as applicable under the 
regulations prescribed in this part, must identify the availability 
of temporary storage capacity to meet the requirements of section 
9.2 of this appendix. If available storage capacity is insufficient 
to meet this requirement, then the effective daily recovery capacity 
must be downgraded to the limits of the available storage capacity.
    5.5 When selecting response resources necessary to meet the 
response plan requirements, the vessel owner or operator, as 
applicable under the regulations prescribed in this part, must 
ensure that a portion of those resources are capable of being used 
in close-to-shore response activities in shallow water. The 
following percentages of the on-water response equipment identified 
for the applicable geographic area must be capable of operating in 
waters of 6 feet or less depth:
    (i) Open ocean--none.
    (ii) Offshore--10 percent.
    (iii) Nearshore, inland, Great Lakes, and rivers and canals--20 
percent.
    5.6 In addition to oil spill recovery devices and temporary 
storage capacity, a vessel owner or operator, as applicable under 
the regulations prescribed in this part, must identify in the 
response plan and ensure the availability of, through contract or 
other approved means, sufficient boom that can arrive on scene 
within the required response times for oil containment and 
collection. The specific quantity of boom required for collection 
and containment will depend on the specific recovery equipment and 
strategies employed. Table 2 of this appendix lists the minimum 
quantities of additional boom required for shoreline protection that 
a vessel owner or operator must identify in the response plan and 
ensure the availability of, through contract or other approved 
means.
    5.7 A vessel owner or operator, as applicable under the 
regulations prescribed in this part, must also identify in the 
response plan and ensure, by contract or other approved means, the 
availability of an oil spill removal organization capable of 
responding to a shoreline cleanup operation involving the calculated 
volume of emulsified oil that might impact the affected shoreline. 
The volume of oil for which a vessel owner or operator should plan 
for should be calculated through the application of factors 
contained in Tables 3 and 4 of this appendix. The volume calculated 
from these

[[Page 60135]]

tables is intended to assist the vessel owner or operator in 
identifying a contractor with sufficient resources. This planning 
volume is not used explicitly to determine a required amount of 
equipment and personnel.
* * * * *
    7.1 A vessel owner or operator, as applicable under the 
regulations prescribed in this part, must plan for a response to a 
vessel's worst case discharge oil planning volume. The planning for 
on-water recovery must take into account a loss of some oil to the 
environment due to evaporation and natural dissipation, potential 
increases in volume due to emulsification, and the potential for 
deposit of some oil on the shoreline.
    7.2 The following procedures must be used to calculate the 
planning volume used by a vessel owner or operator, as applicable 
under the regulations prescribed in this part, for determining 
required on-water recovery capacity:
* * * * *
    7.2.3 The adjusted volume is multiplied by the on-water oil 
recovery resource mobilization factor found in Table 5 of this 
appendix from the appropriate operating area and response tier to 
determine the total on-water oil recovery capacity in barrels per 
day that must be identified or contracted for to arrive on scene 
within the applicable time for each response tier. Table 5 specifies 
three tiers. For higher volume port areas, the contracted tiers of 
resources must be located such that they can arrive on scene within 
12, 36, and 60 hours of the discovery of an oil discharge. For the 
Great Lakes, these tiers are 18, 42, and 66 hours. For rivers and 
canals, inland, nearshore, and offshore, these tiers are 24, 48, and 
72 hours. For the open ocean area, these tiers are 24, 48, and 72 
hours with an additional travel time allowance of 1 hour for every 
additional 5 nautical miles from shore. For nontank vessels, only 
Tier 1 is specified.
    7.2.4 The resulting on-water recovery capacity in barrels per 
day for each tier is used to identify response resources necessary 
to sustain operations in the applicable geographic area. The 
equipment must be capable of sustaining operations for the time 
period specified in Table 3 of this appendix. A vessel owner or 
operator, as applicable under the regulations prescribed in this 
part, must identify and ensure the availability of, through contract 
or other approved means, sufficient oil spill recovery devices to 
provide the effective daily oil recovery capacity required. If the 
required capacity exceeds the applicable cap described in Table 6 of 
this appendix, then a vessel owner or operator must contract only 
for the quantity of resources required to meet the cap, but must 
identify sources of additional resources as indicated in Sec.  
155.1050(p). For a vessel that carries multiple groups of oil, the 
required effective daily recovery capacity for each group is 
calculated and summed before applying the cap.
* * * * *
    7.3.1 The following must be determined: The total volume of oil 
carried; the appropriate group for the type of petroleum oil carried 
[persistent (groups II, III, and IV) or non-persistent (group I)]; 
and the geographic area(s) in which the vessel operates. For a 
vessel carrying different oil groups, each group must be calculated 
separately. Using this information, Table 3 of this appendix must be 
used to determine the percentages of the total oil volume to be used 
for shoreline cleanup resource planning.
* * * * *
    8.1.1 A vessel owner or operator, as applicable under the 
regulations prescribed in this part, must plan either for a 
dispersant capacity to respond to a vessel's worst case discharge of 
oil, or for the amount of the dispersant resource capability as 
required by Sec.  155.1050(k)(3) of this subchapter, whichever is 
the lesser amount. When planning for the cumulative application 
capacity that is required, the calculations should account for the 
loss of some oil to the environment due to natural dissipation 
causes (primarily evaporation). The following procedure should be 
used to determine the cumulative application requirements:
* * * * *

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25. In appendix C to part 155, revise paragraphs 2.2.3.1, 2.2.14, 
2.2.15, 2.2.15.1, 2.2.15.2, 2.2.15.3, 2.2.15.4, and 2.2.15.5 to read as 
follows:

Appendix C to Part 155--Training Elements for Oil Spill Response Plans

* * * * *
    2.2.3.1 Operational activities associated with internal or 
external fuel and cargo transfers;
* * * * *
    2.2.14 Actions to take, in accordance with designated job 
responsibilities, in the event of a transfer system leak, tank 
overflow, or suspected fuel or cargo tank or hull leak.
    2.2.15 Information on the oil handled by the vessel or facility, 
including familiarity with--
    2.2.15.1 Cargo material safety data sheets (including oil 
carried as fuel);
    2.2.15.2 Chemical characteristics of all oils carried as fuel or 
cargo;
    2.2.15.3 Special handling procedures for all oils carried as 
fuel or cargo;
    2.2.15.4 Health and safety hazards associated with all oils 
carried as fuel or cargo; and
    2.2.15.5 Spill and firefighting procedures for all oils carried 
as fuel or cargo.
* * * * *

PART 160--PORTS AND WATERWAYS SAFETY-GENERAL

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26. The authority citation for part 160 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1223, 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; 
Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. Subpart C is 
also issued under the authority of 33 U.S.C. 1225 and 46 U.S.C. 
3715.


Sec.  160.206  [Amended]

0
27. In Sec.  160.206, in Table 160.206--
0
a. In the Required information column, after item (1)(viii), add ``(ix) 
USCG Vessel Response Plan Control Number, if applicable''; and
0
b. In each of remaining three columns of the newly added row (1)(ix), 
add an ``X''.

    Dated: August 16, 2013.
Robert J. Papp, Jr.,
Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant.
[FR Doc. 2013-22059 Filed 9-27-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P