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9VAC25-101-50. Board financial responsibility demonstration.

A. The operator of any tank vessel entering upon state waters that does not have a Certificate of Financial Responsibility approved by the U.S. Coast Guard pursuant to 4202 of the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 USC 1321) shall deposit with the board cash or its equivalent in the amount of $500 per gross ton of such vessel. If the operator owns or operates more than one tank vessel, evidence of financial responsibility need be established only to meet the maximum liability applicable to the vessel having the greatest maximum liability.

1. All documents submitted shall be in English and all monetary terms shall be in United States currency.

2. A copy of the board's acceptance of the required evidence of financial responsibility shall be kept on the tank vessel and readily available for inspection.

B. If the board determines that oil has been discharged in violation of applicable state law or there is a substantial threat of such discharge from a vessel for which a cash deposit has been made, any amount held in escrow may be used to pay any fines, penalties or damages imposed under such law.

C. Operators of tank vessels may obtain exemption from the cash deposit requirement if evidence of financial responsibility is provided in an amount equal to the cash deposit required for such tank vessel pursuant to  62.1-44.34:16 of the Code of Virginia and subsection A of this section. The following means of providing such evidence, or any combination thereof, will be acceptable:

1. Self-insurance. Any operator demonstrating financial responsibility by self-insurance shall provide evidence of such self-insurance in a manner that is satisfactory to the board. An operator demonstrating self-insurance shall:

a. Maintain, in the United States, working capital and net worth each in the amount required by  62.1-44.34:16 of the Code of Virginia and subsection A of this section.

(1) Maintenance of the required working capital and net worth shall be demonstrated by submitting with the application form an annual, current nonconsolidated balance sheet and an annual, current nonconsolidated statement of income and surplus certified by an independent certified public accountant. Those financial statements shall be for the operator's last fiscal year preceding the date of application and shall be accompanied by an additional statement from the operator's treasurer (or equivalent official) certifying to both the amount of current assets and the amount of total assets included in the accompanying balance sheet which are located in the United States and are acceptable for purposes of this chapter.

(2) If the balance sheet and statement of income and surplus cannot be submitted in nonconsolidated form, consolidated statements may be submitted if accompanied by an additional statement by the involved certified public accountant certifying to the amount by which the operator's assets, located in the United States and acceptable under this subsection C, exceed total liabilities and that current assets, located in the United States and acceptable under this subsection C, exceed its current liabilities.

(3) When the operator's demonstrated net worth is not at least 10 times the required amount, an affidavit shall be filed by the operator's treasurer (or equivalent official) covering the first six months of the operator's fiscal year. Such affidavits shall state that neither the working capital nor the net worth have fallen below the required amounts during the first six months.

(4) Additional financial information shall be submitted upon request by the department; or

b. Provide evidence in the form of a marine insurance broker's certificate of insurance, certificate of entry, or other proof satisfactory to the board that the operator has obtained oil pollution liability coverage through an operator's membership in a Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Club that is a member of the international group of P&I clubs or through coverage provided by a pool of marine underwriters in an amount sufficient to meet the requirements of 62.1-44.34:16 of the Code of Virginia and subsection A of this section.

2. Insurance. Any operator demonstrating evidence of financial responsibility by insurance shall provide evidence of insurance issued by an insurer licensed, approved, or otherwise authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The amount of insurance shall be sufficient to cover the amount required by  62.1-44.34:16 of the Code of Virginia and subsection A of this section. The operator shall provide evidence of such coverage in the form of a marine insurance broker's certificate of insurance or by utilizing a form worded identically to the Insurance Form Furnished as Evidence of Financial Responsibility in Respect of Liability for Discharge of Oil available from the department. The insurer must also comply with all requirements in the form available from the department.

3. Surety. Any operator demonstrating financial responsibility through a surety bond shall file a surety bond utilizing a form worded identically to the surety form available from the department. The surety company issuing the bond must be licensed to operate as a surety in the Commonwealth of Virginia and must possess an underwriting limitation at least equal to the amount required by 62.1-44.34:16 of the Code of Virginia and subsection A of this section. The surety must also comply with all requirements in the Surety Bond Form Furnished as Evidence of Financial Responsibility in Respect of Liability for Discharge of Oil available from the department.

4. Guaranty. An operator demonstrating financial responsibility through a guaranty shall submit the guaranty worded identically to the form available from the department. The guarantor shall comply with all provisions of subdivision 1 of this subsection for self-insurance and also comply with all requirements in the Guaranty Form Furnished as Evidence of Financial Responsibility in Respect of Liability for Discharge of Oil available from the department.

D. To obtain exemption from the cash deposit requirements:

1. The operator shall have and maintain an agent for service of process in the Commonwealth;

2. Any insurer, guarantor, or surety shall have and maintain an agent for service of process in the Commonwealth;

3. Any insurer must be authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to engage in the insurance business; and

4. Any instrument of insurance, guaranty or surety must provide that actions may be brought on such instrument of insurance, guaranty or surety directly against the insurer, guarantor or surety for any violation by the operator of Article 11 ( 62.1-44.34:14 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia up to, but not exceeding, the amount insured, guaranteed or otherwise pledged.

5. All forms of evidence of financial responsibility shall be accompanied by an endorsement that certifies that the insurance policy, evidence of self-insurance, surety or guaranty provides liability coverage for the tank vessels in the amount required by 62.1-44.34:16 of the Code of Virginia and subsection A of this section.

6. Subdivisions 2, 3 and 4 of this subsection do not apply to operators providing evidence of financial responsibility in accordance with subdivision C 1 of this section.

E. Any operator whose financial responsibility is accepted under this chapter shall notify the board at least 30 days before the effective date of a change, expiration or cancellation of any instrument of insurance, guaranty or surety.

F. The board's approval of evidence of financial responsibility shall expire:

1. One year from the date that the board exempts an operator from the cash deposit requirement based on acceptance of evidence of self-insurance;

2. On the effective date of any change in the operator's instrument of insurance, guaranty or surety; or

3. Upon the expiration or cancellation of any instrument of insurance, guaranty or surety.

G. All nonexempt tank vessel operators shall file with the board the Application for Approval of Evidence of Tank Vessel Financial Responsibility which identifies the tank vessel operator and agent for service of process by name and address, provides identifying information on the tank vessel or vessels and certifies to the board that the information is true and accurate for approval of the evidence of financial responsibility. This form is available. This form shall be submitted with the required evidence of financial responsibility (cash deposit, proof of insurance, self-insurance, guaranty or surety), 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. 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.

H. Application for renewal of approval of tank vessel financial responsibility shall be filed with the board 30 days prior to the date of expiration.

I. All applications and written communications concerning changes, submissions and updates required by this chapter, with the exception of applications and submissions accompanied by fees as addressed in subsection K 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 K of this section shall be sent to the address listed in subdivision K 2.

J. The board, after notice and opportunity for hearing, may revoke its acceptance of evidence of financial responsibility if it determines that:

1. Acceptance has been procured by fraud or misrepresentation; or

2. A change in circumstances has occurred that would warrant denial of acceptance of evidence of financial responsibility.

K. An application for approval of the demonstration of financial responsibility will be accepted only when the fees established by this section have been paid.

1. Fees shall only be paid upon initial submittal of the demonstration of financial responsibility by an operator to the board. Renewals or changes 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 Treasurer of Virginia. All fees and accompanying applications and submissions 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 evidence of financial responsibility for tank vessels are as follows:

a. Applicants shall pay an application fee of $120.

b. Applicants shall pay a fee of $30 for each additional tank vessel requiring a copy of the accepted evidence of financial responsibility.

4. Application fees are refundable upon receipt of a written notice of withdrawal; of the proffer of financial responsibility and a request for refund received by the department no later than 30 days after submittal and prior to approval.

5. 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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