>Nontank Vessel Response Plan Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

>The Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard, proposes this nontank vessel response plan rulemaking to further protect the Nation from the threat of oil spills in the maritime domain. The rule proposes regulations requiring 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. The proposed rule would specify the content of a response plan, and among other issues, address the requirement to plan for responding to a worst case discharge and a substantial threat of such a discharge. Additionally, this proposed rule would update the international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) requirements that apply to certain nontank vessels and tank vessels. Finally, this proposed rule would require vessel owners and 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.