USCG has issued Bulletin is to announce the update to the Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) Guidelines. The product of a concerted and collaborative effort, the Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy (CG-MER), the National Strike Force Coordination Center (NSFCC), and private/public sector subject matter experts updated these guidelines to address current risks posed by heavy and Group V oils while keeping an eye open for changes on the horizon. The 2016 OSRO Guidelines were signed and published on March 31, 2016.
An integral component of the Coast Guard’s marine environmental response mission, updates within the OSRO Guidelines include:
- New annual review requirements for the OSRO Guidelines to be conducted by the NSFCC and CG-MER. This review will take place at the beginning of each calendar year.
- Revised and edited portions of each classification program to either clarify previous language, add context, or remove redundant language.
- Created a new classification in the OSRO Guidelines: Nonfloating Oils classification. The Nonfloating Oil classification meets the regulatory requirements of Group V oils in accordance with the criteria set forth by 33 CFR § 154.1047 and 33 CFR § 155.1052 and the inherent risk of other heavy oil types that may submerge or sink.
- Created the Nonfloating Oil application and procedures to meticulously and qualitatively assess Nonfloating Oil classifications. The application contains pertinent information for owners and operators to appropriately determine what Nonfloating Oil classified OSROs would be best suited for their operations.
USCG informs that effective on November 30, 2016, all previous Group V OSRO ‘listings’ will be removed from the Response Resource Inventory. Furthermore, all Facility and Vessel response plan holders who may handle, store, or transport Group V oils shall only list Nonfloating Oil classified OSROs or provide the required information in accordance with the regulatory Group V Response Plan Development and Evaluation Criteria. OSROs desiring to apply for the Nonfloating Oil classification can do so now and refer to Chapter 6 in the Guidelines.