News 29 Jan, 2013

California Unannounced Drill Requirements

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (“OSPR”) has recently announced that they will begin conducting random unannounced oil spill response drills on vessels alongside in Californian ports. This applies to both tankers and dry cargo vessels and became effective on 1 January 2013.

A drill may last up to eight hours and require the plan holder to notify his QI, make all necessary notifications to the relevant authorities and mobilise the spill management team. It is likely that an incident command centre will be established to direct the response to the “spill” and which will require staffing by the spill management team.

Whilst the state and Federal responders will bear their own costs the plan holder is expected to bear all other costs of the drill. 

Members should ensure that their vessels are fully aware of the potential for these drills when trading to California and that crews are briefed to immediately alert the QI named in the vessel’s California response plan as soon as they are notified that a drill is in progress.

Members requiring further assistance should contact the Managers – tony.paulson@westpandi.com