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Session Law

2008

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Chapter 268 AN ACT FURTHER PROTECTING BUZZARDS BAY.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to further protect Buzzards Bay, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public safety.

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 4 of chapter 21L of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:-

(f) Any person that owns or operates a tank vessel, as defined in section 1 of chapter 21M, carrying 6,000 or more barrels of oil within Buzzards Bay, as defined in said section 1 of said chapter 21M, that is subject to section 9 of chapter 21M and that fails to provide notice to the department of environmental protection as provided in said section 9 of said chapter 21M and violates any provision of this chapter, by spilling oil into Buzzards Bay, shall be assessed triple the fines provided in this section.

SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 21M of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting before the definition of “Area of special interest” the following 2 definitions:-

“AIS”, automatic identification system.
“ARPA”, automatic radar plotting aid.

SECTION 3. Said section 1 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the definition of “Covered vessel” the following definition:-

“Department”, department of environmental protection.

SECTION 4. Said section 1 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the definition of “Double hull” the following 2 definitions:-

“ECIDIS”, an electronic chart display and information system.
“Fund”, the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Trust Fund, established in section 8.

SECTION 5. Said section 1 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the definition of “Illicit drug” the following 3 definitions:-

“Rescue tug”, a tugboat escort having twin radar displays equipped with ECDIS or ARPA capable of integrating AIS, a towing winch and associated wire and gear capable of towing, at minimum, a 470 foot fully loaded tank vessel, pilot disembarkment gear, and 600 feet of oil spill response boom and associated response gear.
“Response time”, the amount of time required for a rescue tug to assist a tank vessel.
“State pilot”, a pilot commissioned under chapter 103 or a pilot having received a first class federal pilot’s endorsement for the waters of Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Canal prior to the effective date of this act and having executed at least 15 round trips in such waters within the preceding 3 years.

SECTION 6. Section 8 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby amended, by inserting after the word “teams”, in line 3, the following words:- , rescue tugs dispatched under section 9.

SECTION 7. Said section 8 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 22 and 23, the words “2 cents for each barrel of petroleum product, as set by the commissioner pursuant to clause (4)” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- 5 cents for each barrel of petroleum product.

SECTION 8. Subsection (c) of said section 8 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out clauses (3) to (6), inclusive, and inserting in place thereof the following clause:-

(3) 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.

SECTION 9. Said section 8 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 80, the word “and”, the second time it appears.

SECTION 10. Said section 8 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 84, the word “Administration.” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- Administration; and
(10) to pay for appropriately manned rescue tugs and state pilots in Buzzards Bay, dispatched under section 9.

SECTION 11. Said section 8 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended, by striking out, in line 127, the word “and”.

SECTION 12. Said section 8 of said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the word “reimbursements.”, in line 128, and inserting in place thereof the following words:- reimbursements; and
(vii) payment of costs associated with appropriately manned rescue tugs and state pilots in Buzzards Bay, dispatched under section 9.

SECTION 13.
Said chapter 21M, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-

Section 9. (a) An owner or operator of a tank vessel carrying 6,000 or more barrels of oil may provide 24-hour notice to the department, in a manner to be determined by the department, of the owner or operator’s intent to enter or operate such vessel in Buzzard’s Bay.
(b) If 24-hour notice is given, pursuant to subsection (a) and the tank vessel is unaccompanied by a tugboat escort, the commissioner shall dispatch a state pilot, if requested by the owner or operator, to the towing vessel.
(c) The commissioner shall dispatch rescue tugs in Buzzards Bay to be available to tank vessels carrying 6,000 or more barrels of oil, unaccompanied by a tugboat escort, entering or operating in Buzzards Bay. The commissioner shall establish by regulation the maximum response times that rescue tugs shall maintain upon being dispatched.
(d) If no state pilot is requested under subsection (b), a rescue tug dispatched under subsection (c) shall be manned by a state pilot. A state pilot may be dispatched by the commissioner to request boarding of the towing vessel. If the towing vessel refuses to allow the state pilot to board and a rescue tug is dispatched under said subsection (c), the state pilot may board said rescue tug at the direction of the commissioner. If no rescue tug is dispatched at the direction of the commissioner, the state pilot may monitor the safe passage of the vessel and provide information to the tank vessel operator on current and anticipated navigational issues from the pilot boat or from the rescue tug.
(e) The state pilot or operator of the rescue tugs shall report to the commissioner all near and actual navigational incidents that could potentially lead to an oil spill including, but not limited to: tank vessels traveling outside of the designated vessel route as appearing on the national oceanic and atmospheric administration chart for Buzzards Bay; failure to use AIS; near or actual collisions, allisions or groundings; steering or engine failures; and towing gear failures. The commissioner shall record, make available to the public, and keep on file these reports for not less than 10 years.
(f) Notwithstanding subsection (c), the commissioner may authorize longer response times and fewer state pilots if he determines that exigent circumstances exist. No such authorization shall be construed to relieve or otherwise limit the liability of an owner or operator of a tank vessel for any release of oil that occurs while the tank vessel enters or operates in Buzzards Bay. The commissioner shall report annually on January 1, to the joint committee on the environment, natural resources and agriculture the number of occasions that such exemptions were authorized.
(g) The commissioner shall adopt regulations for the implementation and enforcement of this section including, but not limited to, the dispatching of state pilots, manning requirements, and maximum response times.
(h) The commissioner, after a competitive bidding process, may evaluate such bids and may enter into contracts with companies to dispatch and provide rescue tugs, which meet or exceed the standards required under this section.

SECTION 14. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of environmental protection shall adopt regulations pursuant to subsection (g) of section 9 of chapter 21M of the General Laws not later than February 1, 2009.

SECTION 15. Subsections (g) and (h) of section 9 of chapter 21M of the General Laws, as appearing in section 13, shall take effect on the effective date of this act.

SECTION 16. Unless otherwise specified herein this act shall take effect on March 1, 2009.

Approved August 6, 2008


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