In light of the recent spill in San Francisco Bay, this hearing will examine the oil spill threats, risks, and vulnerabilities posed by large non-tank vessels. Topics will include the prevalence and environmental impact of non-tank vessel spills, the adequacy and enforcement of vessel response plans, the status of Coast Guard rulemakings, the adequacy of non-tank liability limits, and the allocation of Coast Guard and other Federal resources toward oil spill prevention, preparedness, and oil spill research and development in a post-9/11 world.
Daniel K. InouyeSenatorDuring the past decade, significant progress has been made toward reducing the amount from and number of oil spills from tank vessels. Much of that success is the direct result of passage and implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. However, in recent years, vessel traffic has rapidly increased with our country’s growing dependency on imports and fuel. With that increase in vessel traffic, it is evident that non-tank vessel spills are a major concern today. Non-tank vessels can carry millions of gallons of oil as fuel, and the standards for non-tank vessels should be strengthened.I am aware that the Coast Guard is in the process of finalizing long awaited rulemakings in this area and I encourage them to take the steps necessary to hasten the completion of these regulations.I look forward to hearing the testimony to better address these issues from a policy perspective.
Witness Panel 1
Ms. Susan FlemingDirector of Physical Infrastructure IssuesGovernment Accountability Office
Mr. Mary GlackinDeputy Undersecretary, National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationU.S. Department of Commerce
Admiral Thad W. AllenCommandantUnited States Coast Guard
Witness Panel 2
Mr. Bill DeaverPresident and Chief Operating OfficerTotem Ocean Trailer Express
Dr. Dagmar EtkinPresidentEnvironmental Research Consulting
Mr. Mike CooperChairmanWashington State Oil Spill Advisory Council