(a) The purpose of this subpart is to establish vessel response plan salvage and marine firefighting requirements for vessels, that are carrying group I-IV oils, and that are required by § 155.1015 to have a vessel response plan. Salvage and marine firefighting actions can save lives, property, and prevent the escalation of potential oil spills to worst case discharge scenarios.
(b) A planholder must ensure by contract or other approved means that response resources are available to respond. However, the response criteria specified in the regulations (e.g., quantities of response resources and their arrival times) are planning criteria, not performance standards, and are based on assumptions that may not exist during an actual incident, as stated in 33 CFR 155.1010. Compliance with the regulations is based upon whether a covered response plan ensures that adequate response resources are available, not on whether the actual performance of those response resources after an incident meets specified arrival times or other planning criteria. Failure to meet specified criteria during an actual spill response does not necessarily mean that the planning requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) (33 U.S.C. 1251-137 6) and regulations were not met. The Coast Guard will exercise its enforcement discretion in light of all facts and circumstances.
Title 33 published on 2012-07-01
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