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  • Acts
  • 2004
  • Chapter 251 AN ACT RELATIVE TO OIL SPILL PREVENTION AND RESPONSE IN BUZZARDS BAY AND OTHER HARBORS AND BAYS OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to protect the unique and sensitive waterways of the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Section 42 of chapter 21 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 10, and in lines 11 and 12, the words "twenty-five thousand dollars" and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following figure:- $50,000.

SECTION 2. Said chapter 21 is hereby further amended by striking out section 50B, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following sections:-

Section 50B. As used in sections 50C to 50E, inclusive, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meaning:-

"Area of special interest" any water of the commonwealth that is found by the secretary of environmental affairs to contain 1 or more immobile obstacles to navigation, abut or include areas of critical environmental concern, are designated as an estuary of national significance, abut or include habitat for endangered species, abut or include public recreation areas, support shell fishing, fin fishing or tourist industries or abut or include sensitive public safety areas. Such waters shall include, but not be limited to, Buzzards bay, Vineyard sound and Mount Hope bay.

"Department", the department of environmental protection.

"Discharge", any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, releasing, dumping or disposing into the environment.

"Hazardous material", material including, but not limited to, material, in whatever form, which, because of its quantity, concentration, chemical, corrosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, infectious or radioactive characteristics, either separately or in combination with any other substance, constitutes a present or potential threat to human health, safety or welfare or to the environment. The term shall also include all those substances which are included under 42 USC Sec. 9601(14), but shall not be limited to those substances.

"Hazardous waste", a waste, or combination of wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health, safety or welfare or to the environment.

"Oil", insoluble or partially soluble oil of any kind or origin or in any form including, but not limited to, crude or fuel oil, lube oil or sludge, asphalt and soluble or partially soluble derivatives of mineral, animal or vegetable oil.

"Vessel", every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.

Section 50C. (a) Any vessel, whether or not self-propelled, in or entering upon the waters of the commonwealth for the purpose of transporting, discharging or receiving a cargo of oil, hazardous material, or hazardous waste, shall be subject to the financial assurance requirements and penalty authority as provided in subsections (b) to (d), inclusive.

(b) A certificate of financial assurance obtained individually or jointly by the vessel, its owner or agent, its charterer, or by the owner or operator of the terminal at which the vessel discharges or receives its cargo, shall be provided to the department in the amount of at least $1,000,000,000. Vessels with a capacity of less than 6,000 barrels shall present a certificate of financial assurance to the department of environmental protection in the amount of $5,000,000. A copy of the financial assurance shall be posted on the vessel.

(c) For the purposes of this chapter, a certificate of financial assurance shall be demonstrated by evidence of insurance, surety bond, letter of credit, qualifications as a self-insurer or any combination thereof or other evidence of financial assurance approved by the commissioner.

(d) The department may allow financial assurance in a lower amount based upon criteria that includes, but is not limited to, the type and amount of the above cargo transported by the vessel; the size and construction of the vessel, including whether the vessel is double hulled; the safety record of the vessel or the vessel owner, the loss or accident history of the vessel or vessel owner involving maritime spills and the safety equipment used by the vessel. The financial assurance shall be in a form approved by the department.

Section 50D. For the purpose of investigating a maritime spill incident resulting in, or reasonably likely to result in, either directly or indirectly, a discharge of oil, hazardous material, or hazardous waste, to the waters of the commonwealth, the environmental police officers of the office of environmental law enforcement of the executive office of environmental affairs may board and inspect any vessel. Such inspection may include, but shall not be limited to, inspecting copies of the financial assurance and bond required pursuant to section 50C, and may require the operator of such vessel to give his true and correct name and address and present a current and valid form of identification. Whoever attempts to prevent an officer from boarding such vessel for the purpose of inspecting, or whoever attempts to prevent such officer from making an inspection of such vessel, or otherwise violates section 38 of chapter 90B shall be punished by a fine of $5,000. The office of law enforcement within the executive office of environmental affairs, by regulation, may authorize other law enforcement officers to board and inspect a vessel, if the other law enforcement officers have relevant training, experience and equipment to conduct such activities. Such other law enforcement officers may include harbor masters and assistant harbor masters, police officers assigned to harbor patrol, fish and game wardens, members of the state police and city and town police officers assigned to patrol the waters of the commonwealth.

The superior court shall have jurisdiction to enforce this section and sections 50B and 50C.

The department may adopt rules and regulations to implement sections 50B and 50C. The office of law enforcement may adopt rules and regulations to implement this section 50D.

Section 50E. The secretary of environmental affairs or his designee shall identify specific "areas of special interest" within the waters of the commonwealth as defined in section 50B to include or exclude areas based on scientific research and observation regarding areas of critical environmental concern and endangered species habitat or based on economic dependence or public safety concerns. Such areas may be identified by geographic boundaries and may be mapped for use by mariners. The secretary may promulgate rules and regulations for the designation of areas of special interest within the waters of the commonwealth.

SECTION 3. Section 16 of chapter 21A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the figure "21E", in line 27, the following words:- or consisted of knowingly making, or causing any person to make, a false, inaccurate, incomplete or misleading statement in a document submitted to or required to be kept by the department.

SECTION 4. The tenth paragraph of said section 16 of said chapter 21A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, including the limitations and considerations set forth in this section, the department may require that the amount of a civil administrative penalty imposed pursuant to this section exceed the economic benefit realized by a person for noncompliance.

SECTION 5. Said section 16 of said chapter 21A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word "dollars;", in lines 142 and 143, the following words:- a failure to comply that is part of a pattern of noncompliance and not an isolated instance; knowingly making, or causing any person to make, any false, inaccurate, incomplete or misleading statement in any document submitted to or required to be kept by the department.

SECTION 6. The last paragraph of said section 16 of said chapter 21A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the first sentence the following sentence:- Any person who fails to comply with or otherwise violates chapter 21E or any regulation adopted thereunder shall be liable for a civil administrative penalty not to exceed $25,000 for each day the violation continues.

SECTION 7. The first paragraph of section 6 of chapter 21E of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the word "material", in lines 2, 4, 8, 11, 12 and 18, as so appearing, the following words:- or oil.

SECTION 8. Section 11 of said chapter 21E of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 10 and 11, the words "twenty-five thousand dollars" and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following figure:- $50,000.

SECTION 9. Section 2 of chapter 21L of the General Laws, as appearing in section 123 of chapter 26 of the acts of 2003, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 subsections:-

(c) A person who negligently commits an environmental violation and thereby causes serious bodily injury to another human being or a substantial risk of damage to natural resources or to the property of another person in an amount exceeding $25,000, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $50,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. For a second or subsequent conviction under this paragraph, punishment shall be by a fine of not more than $100,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) If a person derives pecuniary gain from an environmental violation that causes serious bodily injury to another human being or causes a substantial risk of damage to natural resources or to the property of another person, or if an environmental violation results in damage to natural resources or pecuniary loss to another person, such person who committed the violation may be fined not more than the greater of twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss or damage, unless imposition of a fine under this subsection would unduly complicate or prolong the sentencing process.

SECTION 10. Said chapter 21L is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-

Section 4. (a) A person who knowingly or recklessly commits an environmental violation and thereby causes serious bodily injury to another human being: (1) shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation in the case of an individual; and (2) in the case of an organization, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500,000 for the first violation and a civil penalty of not more than $2,000,000 for any second or subsequent violation.

(b) A person who knowingly or recklessly commits an environmental violation and thereby causes a substantial risk of damage to natural resources or to the property of another person in an amount exceeding $25,000: (1) shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $100,000 in the case of an individual; and (2) in the case of an organization, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $250,000 for the first violation and by a civil penalty of not more than $500,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

(c) A person who negligently commits an environmental violation and thereby causes serious bodily injury to another human being or a substantial risk of damage to natural resources or to the property of another person in an amount exceeding $25,000, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than $50,000 for the first violation and not less than $2,500 nor more than $100,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

(d) Each day or part thereof that a violation occurs or continues shall be a separate violation.

(e) The civil penalty may be assessed in an action brought on behalf of the commonwealth in the superior court.

SECTION 11. The General Laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 21L the following chapter:-

`tuc CHAPTER 21M.

Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

"Area of special interest", any water of the commonwealth that is found by the secretary of environmental affairs to contain 1 or more immobile obstacles to navigation, abut or include areas of critical environmental concern, are designated as an estuary of national significance, abut or include habitat for endangered species, abut or include public recreation areas, support shell fishing, fin fishing or tourist industries or abut or include sensitive public safety areas. Such waters shall include, but not be limited to, Buzzards bay, Vineyard sound and Mount Hope bay.

"Buzzards bay", the waterway bounded and described as follows: from Sakonnet point southward to the north end of the Buzzards bay traffic separation zone, to the southwestern tip of Cuttyhunk Island thence through Buzzards bay to the eastern entrance of the Cape Cod canal at the United States Coast Guard "CC" Buoy in Cape Cod Bay, including Woods Hole Passage and Quicks Hole.

"Chemical test", an analysis of a person's breath, blood, urine, hair, saliva, bodily fluids or tissues for evidence of illicit drug or alcohol use performed in a scientifically-recognized manner.

"Commissioner", the commissioner of environmental protection.

"Covered vessel", any of the following:

(1) a power-driven vessel of 20 meters, approximately 65 feet or more in length, while navigating;

(2) a towing vessel of 8 meters, approximately 26 feet or more in length, while navigating;

(3) a vessel issued a certificate to carry 50 or more passengers for hire, when engaged in trade.

"Double hull" as defined in 33 CFR 157.03.

"Illicit drug", any substance listed as a controlled substance under 21 U.S.C. section 802.

"Tank barge", a tank vessel without a means of self-propulsion or a self-propelled tank vessel less than 40 meters, 130 feet, in overall length.

"Tank vessel", a ship that is constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil or other petroleum product in bulk as cargo and that operates on the waters of the commonwealth or transfers oil or other petroleum products in a port or place subject to the jurisdiction of the commonwealth.

"Towing vessel", a commercial vessel engaged in towing another vessel astern or alongside or by pushing it ahead.

"Tugboat escort", (i) a tug with twin screws and a separate system for power to each screw, with an aggregate shaft horsepower equivalent to 4,000 horsepower or greater and a minimum bollard pull of 50 tons; or (ii) a tractor tug, having an aggregate horsepower equivalent to 4,000 horsepower or greater and a minimum bollard pull of 50 tons, which is propelled by blades or screws which may be manipulated or rotated to provide propulsive thrust to any part of a 360 degree arc relative to the keel or longitudinal axis of the tug. As of January 1, 2006, a tugboat escort shall be equipped with fire fighting equipment and, at a minimum, shall meet the requirements of the following American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) classifications: Fire Fighting Vessel Class 1 and Maltese Cross A1 (Towing Vessel).

"VTS system", a vessel traffic service system that provides real-time vessel tracking by satellite, radar or other means and supplies information regarding vessel locations and traffic to prevent collisions and groundings.

"VTS area", an area of the commonwealth's waters where a VTS system has been implemented and is in operation.

"VTS monitor", a person working for the United States Coast Guard, United States Army Corps of Engineers or other entity designated by the commissioner and responsible for operating any VTS system to monitor vessel traffic in the commonwealth's waters.

Section 2. (a)(1) The commissioner shall negotiate an agreement with the United States Coast Guard, United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Massachusetts pilot commissioner for any relevant district or districts, appropriate port agencies, or appropriate organizations by January 1, 2006, for a vessel traffic service system to protect Buzzards Bay and other bays and harbors of the state where establishing a VTS system is recommended by the Coast Guard or is recommended by the commissioner and approved by the Coast Guard. The purpose of the VTS system and the corresponding vessel traffic monitoring and communications systems shall be to aid navigation by providing satellite tracking, radar, or other information regarding ship locations and traffic to prevent collisions and groundings.

(2) If the commissioner cannot negotiate an agreement on VTS systems pursuant to paragraph (1) by January 1, 2006 for Buzzards Bay, the commissioner shall, in consultation with the United States Coast Guard, United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Massachusetts pilot commissioner, develop a plan for implementing a VTS system pursuant to said paragraph (1).

(3) The VTS system may be operated by the United States Coast Guard or United States Army Corps of Engineers, or by an entity that will have direct communication with a Coast Guard officer who has captain-of-the-port enforcement authority, or an Army Corps officer. The plan shall be amended periodically to reflect any changes in Coast Guard or Army Corps recommendations or operations, and any changes in the agreements entered into as provided above. The VTS system shall, to the extent allowable given federal requirements, provide for the best achievable protection of Buzzards Bay and the commonwealth's harbors and bays where any VTS system is implemented.

(b) The VTS system shall be advisory in nature. Nothing in this chapter relieves, or is intended to relieve, any vessel, its owners, agents, charterers or operators, of other responsibilities they would otherwise have with respect to the navigation and operation of any vessel.

(c) No owner or operator of a vessel subject to the requirements of this chapter, nor any passenger on any such vessel or owner of cargo transported on any covered vessel, shall assert a claim against a VTS monitor or an officer, director, employee or representative of a VTS monitor for any damage, loss or expense, including any rights of indemnity, sustained by the vessel or its owners, agents, charterers, operators, crew or third parties arising out of, or connected with, directly or indirectly, the VTS monitor's operation of the VTS system. Nothing in the section shall affect the liability or rights that may arise by reason of the gross negligence or intentional or willful misconduct of the VTS monitor or an officer, director, employee or representative of the VTS monitor in the operation of the VTS system.

(d) Prior to entering a VTS area, a covered vessel shall report to the VTS monitor the vessel's name, call sign, location, course, speed, destination, estimated time of arrival and any impairment to the operation or navigation of the vessel. While transiting a VTS area, a covered vessel shall do all of the following:

(1) maintain continuous radio monitoring or communication with the VTS monitor on the radio channel dedicated to the VTS system;

(2) respond promptly when hailed by the VTS monitor; and

(3) comply with all VTS measures established by the commissioner and the VTS monitor so long as those measures are consistent with federal and state laws.

(e) The commissioner shall implement the VTS systems and VTS monitors to the extent funds are appropriated for this purpose and a fee system is enacted, to the extent such systems and monitors are not funded by other entities, including the United States Army Corps of Engineers or the United States Coast Guard. In order to provide funding for VTS systems and vessel monitoring and communications systems, the commissioner may establish a fee system that reflects the commercial maritime activity of each of the respective bays or other areas for which a VTS system is established. The money collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited in the Vessel Safety Account, which shall be in the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Fund, established by section 8. The money in the Vessel Safety Account shall be continuously appropriated for the sole purpose of funding VTS systems and vessel monitoring and communications systems.

(f) The commissioner shall adopt regulations to implement this section. Where a VTS system has been implemented, the commissioner may adopt regulations prohibiting covered vessels from: (i) accepting or unloading oil at marine terminals; (ii) entering a harbor or bay; and (iii) transiting Buzzards bay, if such barge or tank vessel is not in compliance with required VTS system or corresponding vessel traffic monitoring and communications systems equipment requirements.

(g) Upon certification by the commissioner that the United States Coast Guard or the United States Army Corps of Engineers has commenced operation of a vessel traffic service system for a commonwealth waterway, the authorization contained in this section to operate a vessel traffic service system in that waterway shall be revoked.

Section 3. Personnel employed by tank vessels operating within the waters of the commonwealth shall be subject to this section.

An owner or operator of a tank vessel shall have policies, procedures and practices for alcohol and drug testing that comply with 33 CFR Part 95 and 46 CFR Parts 4 and 16. The owner's and operator's policies, procedures, and practices shall ensure that:

(i) a person neither consumes, nor is under the influence of, alcohol on a tank vessel while on the waters of the commonwealth unless that person is a passenger who does not perform, and will not perform, any duty on that tank vessel; and

(ii) a person neither consumes, nor is under the influence of, illicit drugs on a tank vessel while in the waters of the commonwealth.

The policies, procedures and practices for alcohol and drug testing shall meet the following objectives:

(i) chemical tests for evidence of alcohol or drug use shall be taken from all persons directly involved in a serious marine incident as defined in 46 CFR 4.03-4 as soon as practicable, but not more than 2 hours, after any such incident occurs which involves the vessel, with such tests performed in such a manner as to ensure best achievable accuracy and a demonstrable connection between each tested person and the corresponding test results;

(ii) owners and operators of tank vessels shall be responsible for ensuring that each of their tank vessels operating in the waters of the commonwealth has adequate equipment on board to perform the chemical tests described in this section and to preserve evidence pertaining to those tests, including all test results and evidence of the timeliness of the tests; and that a person on a tank vessel shall be tested for drug and alcohol use when there is reasonable cause to believe the person is under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.

Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each such violation. The attorney general may institute a civil action for enforcement in the superior court of Suffolk county.

Section 4. (a) A tank vessel operating within the waters of the commonwealth shall be subject to this section.

The navigation watch on all tow vessels transiting Buzzards bay and carrying 6,000 or more barrels of oil shall consist of at least 1 licensed deck officer or tow vessel operator, who shall serve exclusively as a lookout with no other concurrent duties. This duty shall be carried out on a watch station in a safe location which allows sight and hearing of all navigational hazards and the tow vessel operator. The names of each navigation watch member shall be logged in the deck log as the member assumes duties.

Three licensed officers or tow vessel operators shall be on a tow vessel whenever the vessel is towing, whether by pushing or pulling, a tank barge carrying 6,000 or more barrels of oil in Buzzards Bay. Tow vessel operators shall maintain a list of crew members while towing a tank barge in Buzzards Bay.

(b) Crew requirements for tank barges shall consist of 2 personnel, 1 of whom shall be a certified tanker-man under 46 CFR subpart 12.20 who shall be on the tank barge at all times when the tank barge is underway, anchored or moored in the waters of Buzzards bay, unless the tank barge is not equipped to accommodate personnel on board or is carrying less than 6,000 barrels of oil.

(c) A tank barge which is underway, anchored or moored in the waters of Buzzards bay and which does not fulfill the minimum manning safety standards as stated in this section, shall be in violation of this chapter unless such tank barge has a double hull.

Section 5. When operating in the waters of the commonwealth, a tank vessel shall travel only within a recommended vessel route designated by the United States Coast Guard, unless no such recommended vessel route has been designated or unless special circumstances make travel outside a recommended vessel route necessary in order to avoid an imminent navigational hazard. Any person who violates this section, or an order or regulation issued or adopted hereunder, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 for each such violation.

Section 6. (a) Effective January 1, 2005, no tank vessel carrying 6,000 or more barrels of oil shall enter or transit any area of special interest within the waters of the commonwealth unless the tank vessel is accompanied by a tugboat escort.

(b) This section shall not apply to a self-propelled tank vessel.

(c) The commissioner may issue regulations to implement this section which shall include, but not be limited to, determining, in consultation with the relevant Massachusetts pilot commissioner, the specific needs for such required tugboat escorts in areas of special interest, and establishing minimum standards for equipment and training of personnel on tugboat escorts. The commissioner, after a competitive bidding process and in consultation with the relevant Massachusetts pilot commissioner, may evaluate such bids and may enter into a contract with a tugboat escort operator which meets or exceeds such standards. The contract shall provide for service at a regulated rate for a minimum period of 5 years.

Section 7. A vessel that is not in compliance with the time schedules and requirements relating to double hulls set forth in the federal Oil Pollution Prevention, Response, Liability and Compensation Act of 1990 shall be prohibited from docking, loading or unloading at any marine terminal in the commonwealth.

Section 8. (a) There shall be an Oil Spill Prevention and Response Trust Fund to provide emergency loans and to support the development, training and equipping of safety committees, response teams and other discreet units whose activities will directly benefit the commonwealth in the event of oil spill events. The fund shall be administered by the commissioner of environmental protection. Expenditures from the fund shall be only for the purposes set forth in subsection (f).

(b) Revenues credited to the fund shall be from the following sources:

(1) funds appropriated by the general court;

(2) funds received from federal, state or other sources for the purpose of response, containment, abatement and rehabilitation costs from oil spills in marine or estuarine waters not already credited to an existing fund;

(3) funds received from private donors for the fund;

(4) costs recovered or otherwise received from parties responsible for the containment and cleanup of oil at specific sites;

(5) fines, penalties and damages recovered under this chapter;

(6) fees imposed pursuant to subsection (c);

(7) the VTS system fee collected pursuant to section 2; and

(8) interest earned on any moneys in the fund.

(c) (1) A uniform oil spill response and prevention fee in an amount not exceeding 2 cents for each barrel of petroleum product, as set by the commissioner pursuant to clause (4) shall be imposed upon a person owning petroleum products at the time the petroleum products are received at a marine terminal within the commonwealth by means of a vessel from a point of origin outside the commonwealth. The fee shall be remitted to the department of revenue on the thirtieth day of each month based upon the number of barrels of petroleum products received during the preceding month.

(2) An owner of petroleum products shall be liable for the fee until it has been paid to the commonwealth, except that payment to a marine terminal operator registered under this chapter is sufficient to relieve the owner from further liability for the fee.

(3) Whenever the commissioner, in consultation with the department of environmental protection and the department of revenue, estimates that the amount in the fund will reach the amount specified in clause (5) and the money in the fund is not required for the purposes specified in subsection (d), the commissioner shall instruct the department of revenue to cease collecting the fee.

(4) The commissioner shall set the amount of the oil spill prevention and response fees which shall be not less than 2 cents for each barrel of petroleum products or crude oil, unless the commissioner finds that the assessment of a lesser fee will cause the fund to reach the designated amount within 6 months. The fees shall be imposed on all fee payers in the same amount.

(5) For the purposes of this chapter, "designated amount" shall mean an amount equal to $10,000,000, adjusted for inflation after January 1, 2005, according to an index which the commissioner may reasonably choose.

(6) All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the fund and shall be disbursed for the purposes set forth in subsection (f). The state treasurer shall not deposit or transfer revenues generated pursuant to subsection (b) to the General Fund or any other fund other than the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Trust Fund.

(d) The commissioner may use money from the fund:

(1) to provide funds to cover promptly the costs of response, containment and cleanup of oil spills into marine or estuarine waters including, but not limited to, natural resource damage assessment costs and wildlife rehabilitation.

(2) for site evaluation activities, including, but not limited to, site mapping, installation of wells and equipment, collection, monitoring and analysis of samples of air, soil and water and evaluation of the impacts of contamination of marine and terrestrial environments, production of reports and implementation and maintenance of necessary technology and equipment for complete remedial action;

(3) to provide interest-free emergency loans and to cover response and cleanup costs and other damages suffered by the commonwealth or other persons or entities from oil spills or threatened oil spills, which cannot otherwise be compensated by responsible parties or the federal government;

(4) to pay for claims for damages pursuant to clause (8);

(5) to provide interest-free emergency loans to workers including, but not limited to, commercial fishermen who are unable to work as a direct result of an oil spill and are ineligible for unemployment insurance;

(6) to pay for natural resource restoration, where necessary and appropriate;

(7) to pay for response training and equipment for municipal oil spill response agencies and training and safety equipment for Massachusetts state pilots commissioned pursuant to chapter 103;

(8) to pay for large-scale personnel drills and exercises; and

(9) to pay for vessel navigational safety improvements including, but not limited to, systems for supplying real-time navigation condition information using the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems (PORTS) operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(e) (1) The commissioner shall administer the fund in accordance with this chapter.

(2) The department of environmental protection shall develop procedures governing the expenditure of, and accounting for, money expended from the fund.

(3) The commissioner shall ensure that there are adequate moneys available in the fund to carry out this chapter.

(4) The department shall maintain accounting records showing the income and expenses of the fund.

(f) (1) The commissioner may expend money from the fund for the purposes of oil spill prevention and response equipment or training, commonwealth response to a discharge or threat of a discharge of oil and assessment of natural resource damages if the following determinations have been made:

(i) a responsible party does not exist or the responsible party is unable or unwilling to provide adequate and timely cleanup and pay for the damages resulting from the spill; provided, however, that the commissioner shall make a reasonable effort to have the responsible party timely remove the oil or agree to pay for any actions resulting from the spill that may be required by law, including attempting to access funds from the responsible party's insurer; provided further, that the efforts shall not be detrimental to fish, plant, animal or bird life in the affected waters: and

(ii) federal oil spill funds are not available or will not be available in an adequate period of time; provided, however, that notwithstanding this paragraph, the commissioner may expend money from the fund for authorized expenditures when a reimbursement procedure is in place to receive reimbursements from federal oil spill funds.

(2) Disbursements may also be made for related purposes, including:

(i) administrative expenses, personnel expenses and equipment costs of the commonwealth related to the administration of the fund and enforcement of this chapter;

(ii) all costs including, without limitation, personnel undertaking oil spill response activities and equipment expenses involved in the removal of oil, the abatement of oil pollution and the implementation of remedial measures, including restoration of water supplies, related to the release of oil, petroleum products and their byproducts;

(iii) sums allocated to research and development in accordance with this section, including the costs of assessing and evaluating the injury, destruction or loss of natural resources;

(iv) payment of damage claims and loans awarded in accordance with this section;

(v) the VTS system fee collected pursuant to section 2; and

(vi) payment of costs for the collection of overdue reimbursements.

(g)(1) Any person may apply to the fund for reasonable compensation for damages and losses suffered as a result of an oil spill under any of the following conditions, to the extent monies are available in the fund for such claims:

(i) the responsible parties cannot be ascertained.

(ii) federal oil spill funds are not available or will not be available in an adequate period of time; provided, however, that notwithstanding this clause, the commissioner may expend money from the fund for authorized expenditures when a reimbursement procedure is in place to receive reimbursements from federal oil spill funds.

(iii) emergency loans; provided, however, that in the event of an oil spill where more than 5,000 gallons of oil have been discharged in the marine or estuarine waters in any 1 day from a single event, the commissioner, after a properly noticed public hearing, may make an emergency secured interest-free loan to a private individual or entity who demonstrates that the individual or entity may suffer substantial financial hardship as a result of the oil spill without such loans; provided further, that loans under this section may be made only if the commissioner determines that a sufficient amount is available in the fund to cover costs incurred by the fund and local governments and entities in responding to and cleaning up the spill; and provided further, that the commissioner shall adopt any regulations and guidelines necessary regarding repayment terms, security and any other items the administrator deems appropriate.

(2) Awards from the fund on damage claims shall not include any amount the claimant has recovered on account of the same damage by way of settlement with the responsible party or his representatives or by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction against the responsible party, to the extent these amounts are duplicative.

(3) The commissioner shall pay only those claims that are approved pursuant to this section.

(4) A responsible party shall not be eligible for compensation under this section.

(5) Damage claims shall not include expenditures for the preparation and prosecution of the damage claim, such as legal fees or real estate appraisal fees.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to confer a right on an eligible claimant to receive compensation from the fund.

(h) The attorney general, in consultation with the commissioner, shall initiate actions to recover all costs to the fund from any responsible party for an oil spill into marine or estuarine waters for which expenditures are made from the fund. The recovery of costs pursuant to this section shall not foreclose the attorney general from any other actions allowed by law.

(i) Recognizing the importance of the development of readiness and response programs, the general court may allocate up to $150,000 per year of the amount then currently in the fund to be devoted to research and development regarding the causes, effects and removal of pollution caused by oil, petroleum products and their by-products on the marine environment. Such funds may be disbursed, in whole or in part, to regional committees including, but not limited to, the Buzzards bay geographic response plan committee, for expenses consistent with these purposes. The remaining moneys in the fund which the general court may allocate to research and development shall be used for purposes approved by the commissioner. Such purposes may include, but shall not be limited to:

(i) sensitive area data management and mapping;

(ii) scientific research which is directly relevant to state legislation;

(iii) development of more effective removal and containment technologies appropriate for the cleanup and containment of oil and petroleum products; and

(iv) oil spill prevention or response equipment and funding to train personnel, for coastal municipalities and Massachusetts state pilots commissioned pursuant to chapter 103.

NO SECTION 12.

NO SECTION 13.

SECTION 14. Section 59 of chapter 91 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 8 and 9, the words "one thousand dollars" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- $25,000 for each day such violation occurs or continues.

SECTION 15. Chapter 103 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 1 the following section:-

Section 1A. As used in this chapter the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meaning:

"Area of special interest", any water of the commonwealth that is found by the secretary of environmental affairs to contain 1 or more immobile obstacles to navigation, abut or include areas of critical environmental concern, are designated as an estuary of national significance, abut or include habitat for endangered species, abut or include public recreation areas, support shell fishing, fin fishing or tourist industries, or abut or include sensitive public safety areas. Such waters include but are not limited to Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, Mount Hope Bay.

SECTION 16. Section 21 of said chapter 103 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "over,", in line 2, as so appearing, the following words:- , every other United States vessel that is carrying oil, hazardous material or hazardous waste in bulk as cargo in or entering upon areas of special interest within the waters of the commonwealth.

SECTION 17. Section 28 of said chapter 103, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "register", in line 1, the following words:- and not carrying oil, hazardous material or hazardous waste in bulk as cargo in or entering upon areas of special interest within the waters of the commonwealth.

SECTION 18. Section 23 of chapter 130 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 13, the words "one hundred and fifty" and inserting in placing thereof the following figure:- $5,000.

SECTION 19. Said section 23 of said chapter 130, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 14, the words "five thousand dollars" and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- $25,000.

Approved August 4, 2004.