The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) was signed into law in August 1990, largely in response to rising public concern following the Exxon Valdez incident. The OPA improved the nation's ability to prevent and respond to oil spills by establishing provisions that expand the federal government's ability, and provide the money and resources necessary, to respond to oil spills. The OPA also created the national Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is available to provide up to one billion dollars per spill incident.
IMPACT OF NEW REGULATIONS ON INDUSTRY
Since February 22, 2011, all oil tankers and tank barges operating in U.S. waters must list in their USCG approved Vessel Response Plans (VRP) a Salvage and Firefighting (SMFF) contractor capable of meeting the regulatory requirements.
Two key components of this newly implemented regulation include:
• Contract for SMFF services must include a funding agreement which is a mechanism to ensure that there is no delay in response due to contract negotiations. T&T SALVAGE’s contract and funding agreement has been reviewed and accepted by the International Group of P&I Clubs, Hull underwriters and the USCG.
• The vessel owners must include a vessel specific pre-fire plan (PFP) in accordance with National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 1405 or be based on the applicable SOLAS fire and safety regulations. This plan must be certified by the SMFF provider and must be submitted to the USCG. T&T SALVAGE offers the most streamlined process available to plan holders assist in the preparation process and certification of vessel Pre-Fire Plans at no additional cost.
All Non-Tanker vessels, defined as any non-oil cargo carrying vessel in excess of 400 gross tons, will be subject to similar requirement in due course resulting in a standardized response protocol for all vessel emergencies in U.S. waters.
As the salvage company with the largest and most comprehensive inventory of equipment and response personnel resources in the United States, T&T SALVAGE is totally committed to assisting shipowners in meeting OPA 90 Salvage and MarineFirefighting regulations in ALL of the US Coast Guard COTP Zones, including Puerto Rico, Guam and Alaska. T&T SALVAGE specialized and state of the art salvage and firefighting assets will continue to be deployed and pre-staged around key US ports in order to provide owners with the best response possible to any Salvage and Firefighting incident. These assets are in addition to the extensive salvage, heavy lift; pumping, diving, lightering, and firefighting equipment T&T SALVAGE currently owns and operates throughout the U.S. Gulf ports where our main operational bases are located.
Following intense vetting by both shipowners, vessel managers, and the USCG, T&T SALVAGE was selected as Salvage and Marine Firefighting provider by major international top tier operators including, Chevron, BP, SeaRiver, Conoco-Phillips, Kirby, Marathon, OSG, Vela, Mitsui OSK Lines, Anglo-Eastern, Wallem, and Columbia Shipmanagement.
Historically, the T&T SALVAGE family has been “at home” in the busiest trade ports in the United States and have performed expert Salvage and Marine Firefighting services for over a century. Under the T&T SALVAGE banner, the network has grown and encompasses a worldwide coverage area of equipment and personnel. The T&T SALVAGE team possesses extensive experience in incident management and participation in major drill and exercises, including Harbor of Safe Refuge, Rogue Vessels, Marine Firefighting and Multiple Salvage operations. T&T SALVAGE personnel have the expertise and experience to work closely with the Vessel Owner, Qualified Individual, P&I Club and Hull Underwriters in coordinating these exercises.
Whether you operate tankers or nontankers, T&T SALVAGE has a comprehensive SMFF compliance solution to suit your needs. To enroll your vessels with T&T SALVAGE please contact our Vessel Response Services team at email@example.com
HOW TO ASSURE YOUR SALVAGE AND MARINE FIRE FIGHTING CONTRACTOR IS ADEQUATE?
According to the 33 CFR §155.4050 FEDERAL REGISTER of the United States, SALVAGE & MARINE FIREFIGHTING CONTRACTORS must meet 15 criteria in order to qualify as an OPA 90 responder:
1. Resource provider is currently providing the service needed.
2. Resource provider has documented history of participation in successful salvage and or marine firefighting operations, including equipment
3. Resource provider owns or has contracts for equipment needed to perform response services.
4. Resource provider has personnel with documented training certification and degree experience (naval architecture, fire sciences, etc).
5. Resource provider has 24-hour availability of personnel and equipment and history of response times compatible with the time requirements
in the regulation.
6. Resource provider has on-going continuous training program. For marine firefighting they must meet the NFPA standards or show equivalent
training or experience.
7. Resource provider has successful record of participation in drills and exercises.
8. Resource provider has salvage or marine firefighting plans used and approved during real incidents.
9. Resource provider has membership in relevant national and international organizations.
10. Resource provider has insurance that covers the salvage and/or marine firefighting services that they intend to provide.
11. Resource provider has sufficient up-front capital to support an operation.
12. Resource provider has equipment and experience to work in the specific regional geographic environments(s) the vessels operate in (depth,
turbidity, current, bottom type, temperature, zero visibility diving).
13. Resource provider has the logistical and transportation support capability required to sustain operations for extended periods of time.
14. Resource provider has the capability to implement engineering, administrative and personal protective controls to safeguard workers.
15. Resource provider has familiarity with the salvage and firefighting protocol contained in the local Area Contingency Plans