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9VAC25-101-40. Board oil discharge contingency plan review and approval.

A. Tank vessel oil discharge contingency plans shall provide for the use of the best available technology (economically feasible, proven effective and reliable and compatible with the safe operation of the vessel) at the time the plan is submitted for approval, be written in English, and, in order to be approvable, shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

1. The vessel name, country of registry, identification number, date of build and certificated route of the vessel.

2. The names of the vessel operators including address and phone number.

3. If applicable, name of local agent, address and phone number.

4. A copy of the material safety data sheet (MSDS) or its equivalent for each oil, or groups of oil with similar characteristics, transported or transferred by the tank vessel. To be equivalent, the submission must contain the following:

a. Generic or chemical name of the oil;

b. Hazards involved in handling the oil; and

c. A list of firefighting procedures and extinguishing agents effective with fires involving each oil or groups of oil demonstrating similar hazardous properties which require the same firefighting procedures.

5. A complete listing, including 24-hour phone numbers, of all federal, state and local agencies required to be notified in event of a discharge.

6. The position title of the individual(s) responsible for making the required notifications and a copy of the notification check-off list. The individual(s) must be fluent in English.

7. The position title, address and phone number of the individual(s) authorized to act on behalf of the operator to implement containment and cleanup actions. The individual(s) must be fluent in English and shall be available on a 24-hour basis to ensure the appropriate containment and cleanup actions are initiated.

8. The position title of the individual(s) designated by the operator to ensure compliance during containment and cleanup of a discharge, with applicable federal, state and local requirements for disposal of both solid and liquid wastes.

9. A copy of the valid evidence of financial responsibility pursuant to 9VAC25-101-45.

10. A complete description of the vessel including vessel drawings providing a complete view of the location of all cargo tanks as well as the location of fuels and other oils carried in bulk by the vessel.

11. A complete description of each oil transfer system on the vessel, including:

a. A line diagram of the vessel's oil transfer piping, including the location of each valve, pump, control device, vent, safety device and overflow;

b. The location of the shutoff valve or other isolation device that separates any bilge or ballast system from the oil transfer system; and

c. The maximum pressure for each oil transfer system.

12. Identification and assurance by contract, or other means acceptable to the board, of the availability of private personnel and equipment necessary to remove to the maximum extent practicable the worst case discharge and to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge. This contract or agreement shall ensure a certain response within the shortest feasible time. The department will accept a letter of understanding between the operator and response contractors which attests to this capability being readily available. Membership in a cleanup cooperative or other response organization is also acceptable. A listing of contractor or cooperative capabilities, including an inventory of the equipment and specification of the other information required by subdivision 14 of this subsection shall be included unless these capabilities are already on file with the department.

13. Assessment of the worst case discharge, including measures to limit the outflow of oil, response strategy and operational plan. For the purpose of this chapter, the worst case discharge for a tank vessel is a discharge in adverse weather conditions of its entire cargo.

14. Inventory of onboard containment equipment, including specification of quantity, type, location, time limits for gaining access to the equipment, and, if applicable, identification of tank vessel personnel trained in its use.

15. If applicable, a copy of the United States Coast Guard approved oil transfer procedures and International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP).

16. A description of training, equipment testing, and periodic unannounced oil discharge drills conducted by the operator to mitigate or prevent the discharge, or the substantial threat of a discharge.

17. The tank vessel's cargo inventory control procedures. Tank vessel operators shall ensure that this control procedure is capable of providing for the detection of a discharge of oil within the shortest feasible time in accordance with recognized engineering practices and industry measurement standards.

18. A post discharge review procedure to assess the discharge response in its entirety.

B. All nonexempt tank vessel operators shall file with the department the Application for Approval of a Tank Vessel Contingency Plan form available from the department for approval of the contingency plan. This form identifies the tank vessel operator by name and address and provides information on the tank vessel or vessels and shall be submitted with the required contingency plan and shall be completed as far as it pertains to the tank vessel. The operator must sign and date the certification statement on the application form which certifies to the board that the information is true and accurate. If the operator is a corporation, the application form must be signed by an authorized corporate official; if the operator is a municipality, state, federal or other public agency, the application form must be signed by an authorized executive officer or ranking elected official; if the operator is a partnership or sole proprietorship, the application form must be signed by a general partner or the sole proprietor.

C. Contingency plans must be filed with and approved by the board. A signed original shall be submitted to the department at the address specified in subsection F of this section. A copy of the original with the tank vessel specific information and the approval letter shall be retained on the tank vessel and shall be readily available for inspection. An operator of a tank vessel whose normal operating route does not include entry into state waters shall certify to the board, within 24 hours of entering state waters, that the operator has ensured by contract or other means acceptable to the board, the availability of personnel and equipment necessary to remove to the maximum extent practicable the worst case discharge and to mitigate or prevent the discharge or the substantial threat of a discharge. The operator shall submit a contingency plan to the board for approval in accordance with this chapter prior to the next entry of the tank vessel into state waters.

D. An operator of multiple tank vessels may submit a single fleet contingency plan. The plan shall contain vessel specific information required by this section for each vessel. The vessel specific information shall be included in appendices to the plan. This plan shall be separate from any required facility contingency plan.

E. Oil discharge contingency plans shall be reviewed, updated if necessary, and resubmitted to the board for approval every 60 months unless significant changes occur sooner. Operators must notify the department of significant changes and make appropriate amendments to the contingency plan within 30 days of the occurrence. For the purpose of this chapter, a significant change includes the following:

1. A change of operator of the tank vessel or individual authorized to act on behalf of the operator;

2. A substantial increase in the maximum storage or handling capacity of the tank vessel;

3. A material decrease in the availability of private personnel or equipment necessary to remove to the maximum extent practicable the worst case discharge and to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge;

4. A change in the type of product transported or transferred in or by any tank vessel covered by the plan for which a MSDS or its equivalent has not been submitted; or

5. The addition of a tank vessel to a single fleet contingency plan provided this requirement can be met by submittal of a new or amended appendix to the plan.

Renewals for expiring plans shall be submitted to the board for review and approval not less than 90 days prior to expiration of the current plan.

F. All applications and written communications concerning changes, submissions and updates of plans required by this chapter, with the exception of applications and submissions accompanied by fees addressed in subsection J of this section, shall be addressed as follows:

Mailing Address:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Office of Spill Response and Remediation

P.O. Box 1105

Richmond, VA 23218

Location Address:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Office of Spill Response and Remediation

1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400

Richmond, VA 23219

All applications and submissions accompanied by fees as addressed in subsection J of this section shall be sent to the addressed listed in subdivision J 2.

G. An oil discharge exercise may be required by the board to demonstrate the tank vessel's ability to implement the contingency plan. The department will consult with the operator of the vessel prior to initiating an exercise. Where appropriate, the department will ensure coordination with federal agencies prior to initiation of an exercise.

H. The board may, after notice and opportunity for a conference pursuant to 2.2-4019 of the Code of Virginia, deny or modify its approval of an oil discharge contingency plan if it determines that:

1. The plan as submitted fails to provide sufficient information for the department to process, review and evaluate the plan or fails to ensure the applicant can take such steps as are necessary to protect environmentally sensitive areas, to respond to the threat of a discharge, and to contain and cleanup an oil discharge within the shortest feasible time;

2. A significant change has occurred in the operation of the tank vessel covered by the plan;

3. The tank vessel's discharge experience or its inability to implement its plan in an oil spill discharge exercise demonstrates a necessity for modification; or

4. There has been a significant change in the best available technology since the plan was approved.

I. The board, after notice and opportunity for hearing, may revoke its approval of an oil discharge contingency plan if it determines that:

1. Approval was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation;

2. The plan cannot be implemented as approved; or

3. A term or condition of approval or of this chapter has been violated.

J. An application for approval of an oil discharge contingency plan will be accepted only when the fee established by this section has been paid.

1. Fees shall be paid by operators of tank vessels subject to this chapter upon initial submittal of an oil discharge contingency plan to the board. Renewals, additions, deletions or changes to the plan are not subject to the administrative fee.

2. Fees shall be paid in United States currency by check, draft or postal money order made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. All applications and submissions accompanying fees shall be sent to:

Mailing Address:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Office of Financial Management

P.O. Box 1105

Richmond, VA 23218

Location Address:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Office of Financial Management

1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400

Richmond, VA 23219

3. Application fees for approval of tank vessel contingency plans are as follows:

a. For a tank vessel with a maximum storage, handling or transporting capacity of 15,000 gallons and up to and including 250,000 gallons of oil the fee is $718;

b. For a tank vessel with a maximum storage, handling or transporting capacity greater than 250,000 gallons and up to and including 1,000,000 gallons of oil the fee is $2,155; and

c. For a tank vessel with a maximum storage, handling or transporting capacity greater than 1,000,000 gallons of oil the fee is $3,353.

4. The fee for approval of contingency plans encompassing more than one tank vessel, as authorized by subsection D of this section, shall be based on the aggregate capacity of the tank vessels.

5. Application fees are refundable upon receipt of a written request for withdrawal of the plan and fee refund no later than 30 days after submittal and prior to approval of the plan.

6. Overpayments of application fees are refundable upon written request. Overpayments not refunded will be credited for the applicant's future use under this section.

Statutory Authority

62.1-44.15, 62.1-44.34:16, and 62.1-44.34:21 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 18, eff. June 24, 1998; Errata, 14:23 VA.R 3682 August 3, 1998; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 2, eff. November 3, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 18, eff. June 6, 2012; Volume 31, Issue 21, eff. July 30, 2015; Volume 34, Issue 13, eff. February 19, 2018.


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