Coast Guard monitoring vessel response plan violations

Coast Guard Captain of the Port Southeast Alaska is monitoring ongoing instances where tank vessels and non-tank vessels have been transiting within the boundaries of the Southeast Alaska COTP Zone without the required vessel response plan and/or geographic specific appendix.

Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 155, Subpart D and Subpart J, says that tank vessels 150 gross tons ITC and above and non-tank vessels 400 gross tons ITC and above operating within the Southeast Alaska COTP Zone or transiting to and from a port of the United States and through the Southeast Alaska COTP Zone are required to hold a valid vesel response plan (VRP) and a valid geographic specific appendix (GSA) for Southeast Alaska. The Southeast Alaska COTP Zone extends to the outermost extent of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone up to 230 miles beyond the territorial sea baseline.

Vessel owners and/or operators failing to comply with the tank vessel response plan requirements may be subject to a monetary penalty not to exceed the maximum penalty of up to $11,000 per violation, per day.

Currently, the only oil spill removal organization classified by the National Strike Force to meet the required worst case discharge tier one planning standards for Southeast Alaska is the Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization. 

To obtain a valid GSA for Southeast Alaska, each vessel to which the requirements apply must have a contract or other approved means  with SEAPRO and submit the contract or other approved means with the vessel’s VRP to the Coast Guard VRP Help Desk.  

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