NEW ENROLLMENT SYSTEM AND OTHER IMPORTANT UPDATES

1. ANNUAL WSMC VESSEL ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT RENEWAL - NEW SYSTEM
2. REQUIRED CANADIAN SPILL RESPONSE REGISTRATION
3. NEW FIELD DOCUMENT AND NOTIFICATION PLACARD NOW AVAILABLE AND MUST BE ON BOARD ALL WSMC COVERED VESSELS
4. EMERGENCY RESPONSE TOWING VESSEL (ERTV) AT NEAH BAY
5. WSMC’s NEW OIL SPILL RESPONSE CONTINGENCY PLAN
6. WSMC SEMINAR SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 8, 2011
7.  NOTIFICATION IN THE EVENT OF A SPILL OR POTENTIAL SPILL - MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Dear Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC) Member or Prospective Member:

1.  ANNUAL WSMC VESSEL ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT RENEWAL - NEW SYSTEM

Thank you for your membership and participation in the Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC) Blanket Oil Spill Response Plan Program.  During the past five and one-half years, since August 8, 2005, you have completed the WSMC Vessel Enrollment Agreement(s) for each of your WSMC covered vessels on an annual renewal basis.  This enrollment program completed its fifth year on August 8, 2010.  WSMC Vessel Enrollment Agreements currently expire one year after the effective date of each Agreement.  You can find the expiration date on your copy of the Vessel Enrollment Agreement or on the list of covered vessels on WSMC’s website.

At your next renewal (on or after February 1, 2011), prior to the covered vessel's arrival, you will complete a new Vessel Enrollment Agreement and vessel schedule of information page that will continue indefinitely thereafter until terminated.  The new enrollment agreement will not need to be renewed on an annual basis. However, the enrollment agreement will need to be renewed in the event of a change in owner/operator/authorized agent.  If vessel characteristics or other information are changed then only the Schedule of Vessel Information page will need to be corrected and resubmitted.  The Schedule of Vessel Information page will be used for both the WSMC enrollment agreement andthe ERTV Enrollment Agreement for those covered vessels that are required to enroll forthe Emergency Response Towing Vessel coverage (see No. 4 below).

*Note:  Be sure to read below about the required Canadian spill coverage registration for Juan de Fuca transit (no fee for WSMC members)

At the time of enrolling a vessel or renewing a vessel’s enrollment, please always use the latest WSMC Vessel Enrollment Agreement form that is available on our website.

Please do not enroll your vessel with WSMC unless you know or expect that the vessel will be transiting Washington state waters.  Vessel Enrollment Agreements that do not become effective within 90 days of enrollment will be discarded.  The effective date starts when the vessel first reports a transit or presence in WSMC covered waters.

Important:  Vessel agents are requested to notify their principals/clients of WSMC’s requirement to renew the Vessel Enrollment Agreements.  Please give this notice wide distribution to your client companies.

2. *US – CANADA RECIPROCITY FOR VESSEL OIL SPILL RESPONSE COVERAGE IMPORTANT:  REGISTRATON OF YOUR VESSEL IS REQUIRED FOR CANADIAN OIL SPILL COVERAGE

*Comparison of WSMC Member covered vessel lists and lists of vessels registered for the spill response coverage in Canada under the "Reciprocity Arrangement Agreement" show that many WSMC Member companies are not taking advantage of the arrangement by registering their vessels for no cost with Canada on an annual basis.  Please understand that your vessels, if not registered with Canada, are in violation of Canadian Law when the vessels transit outbound from US ports while in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

WSMC’s and Burrard Clean’s cooperation and reciprocity for oil spill response coverage has been in effect since November 3, 1998.  At that time, an interim arrangement of reciprocity for oil spill contingency response coverage between WSMC and Burrard Clean Operations, a division of Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) was signed.  It has been extended each year since then.  This arrangement applies to US outbound WSMC covered vessels while transiting Canadian waters (cargo and passenger vessels 400 gross tons and over and tank vessels 150 gross tons and over) and Canadian inbound vessels while transiting US waters (cargo and passenger vessels 300 gross tons and over and all tank vessels).

While transiting the Strait of Juan de Fuca, vessel owner/operators/agents desiring coverage by both WSMC and WCMRC oil spill response contingency regimes need to pay a fee to only one of these organizations.  That means that vessels bound for Canada will receive free coverage from WSMC while transiting in US waters and vessels departing US ports will receive free coverage from WCMRC while transiting Canadian waters on their outbound voyage.

Note:  This arrangement does not apply to vessels which call at both US and Canada ports (or transit internal Canadian waters).  These vessels must be covered for the appropriate fees with both WCMRC and WSMC (or other qualified organization) in order to comply with Canada and Washington state law.

The need for this reciprocal arrangement derives from requirements of the Canada Shipping Act and Washington State law. Washington State law requires that prior to entering Washington State waters, commercial passenger, cargo and fishery vessels of 300 gross tons or more and all tank vessels and tank barges have a state-approved oil spill response plan and an emergency response system available in the event of an oil spill.  Canadian law requires commercial vessels of 400 gross tons and over and tankers of 150 gross tons and over to be registered with a response organization approved under Canadian law.  Therefore, it is possible for vessels to satisfy these requirements by paying a single fee.

By this arrangement, US outbound ships covered by WSMC can be registered for no fee with the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia to receive the response contingency coverage required under Canadian Law.  IMPORTANT:  In order to qualify for no fee coverage by WCMRC, WSMC Member vessel owners and operators, or their authorized agent, must register annually through the Chamber of Shipping.  Such no fee coverage is not automatic and must be renewed yearly.  Vessels owners/operators/agents will be responsible for registering vessels directly with the Chamber.   The complete registration forms may be obtained by downloading from the WSMC website or the Chamber of Shipping website, www.cosbc.ca, or by contacting the Chamber of shipping of British Columbia at (604) 681-2351.

For further information about this agreement, you may contact Cynthia Reed at (206) 448-7557 or Roger Mowery, Executive Director, at (425) 486-3501.  If you have questions about the Canada registration procedures, please contact the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia, at (604) 681-2351.

3. NEW WSMC FIELD DOCUMENT AND NEW WSMC NOTIFICATION PLACARD FOR OIL SPILL NOTIFICATION and EMERGENCY RESPONSE TOWING VESSEL (ERTV) CONTRACTING IN WASHINGTON STATE WATERS

The WSMC Field Document and the WSMC Notification Placard have been revised to include contact information for the Emergency Response Towing Vessel (ERTV) now based at Neah Bay.  Please read below in this notice for more information about the ERTV.

Please ensure that the newly revised WSMC Field Document and a WSMC Notification Placard For Oil Spill Notification And Emergency Response Towing Vessel (ERTV) Contracting In Washington State Waters (WSMC Notification Placard) have been placed aboard each covered vessel.  Both the WSMC Field Document and WSMC Notification Placard can be downloaded form the WSMC website.  The preferred, laminated and printed on bright green paper, version of the WSMC Placard may be obtained from WSMC starting early in 2011.

The WSMC Notification Placard has been updated to include the contracting information for the ERTV.  Please make sure the outdated WSMC Notification Placards are replaced aboard your covered vessels.  The new placards will include a revision date.

NOTE:  Washington Department of Ecology (WA ECY) field inspectors may board your vessel and hold a notification drill at any time while your vessel is in Washington state waters.  WA ECY requires that the WSMC Field Document (and WSMC Notification Placard) be readily accessible to the crew, otherwise WA ECY may levy a civil penalty against the vessel.  WSMC recommends that for ease of accessibility, for those vessels that also have US Coast Guard federal plans, the WSMC Field Document be placed inside the front cover of the vessel’s Federal Vessel Response Plan for easy access by the vessel’s crew.  The WSMC Notification Placard should be posted in a prominent location, such as a bulletin Board, on the navigation bridge.  WA ECY and WSMC also recommend that WSMC’s contact information be added to each vessel’s Federal Response Plan and that WSMC be identified as an organization to notify immediately in the State of Washington for oil spills or threatened oil spills.

4. EMERGENCY RESPONSE TOWING VESSELAT NEAH BAY

The Washington Legislature enacted legislation which the Governor signed requiring all vessels that have a State-required oil spill response contingency plan to include in the contingency plan an emergency response towing vessel (ERTV) located at Neah Bay.  It was the legislature’s intent that the ERTV be funded by those vessel owners whose vessels transit the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As you most likely know by now, the ERTV has been stationed at Neah Bay since July 1, 2010.  Vessel fees for the funding of the ERTV that apply to all covered vessels (not just WSMC covered vessels) transiting the Strait of Juan de Fuca have been in effect since July 1, 2010.  The ERTV Enrollments are handled by the Marine Exchange of Puget Sound in Agreement with the ERTV Compliance Group.  ERTV assessment fees are assessed independent of WSMC’s enrollment fee.  However, to promote administrative efficiency for our Members, WSMC Member vessels will find the ERTV assessment included on the WSMC invoice.  Also, for administrative efficiency, WSMC Vessel Enrollments Agreements and the ERTV Enrollments will share the sameSchedule of Vessel Information page.

5. WSMC’s NEW OIL SPILL RESPONSE CONTINGENCY PLAN

WSMC has received a “conditional approval” status on its new oil spill response contingency plan from WA ECY.  This new plan was required in order to address new rules and planning standards adopted by WA ECY.  WSMC is continuing to work to address WA ECY’s comments received on the first and subsequent submittal of its Plan.  WSMC meets on a frequent basis with the Washington Department of Ecology and has made much progress toward completing the plan review process.  During the plan review process, the "conditional approval" status typically willremain in place until the review is complete.

6. WSMC SEMINAR SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 8, 2011

The WSMC Seminar for 2011 will be held at the Southcenter Double Tree Hotel on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, beginning at 8 AM.  A letter of invitation will be sent to members so please hold that date.  Guest presenters will include the new US Coast Guard Seattle Sector Commander.  Important information from the US Coast Guard, Washington State, and Canadian government will be presented and discussed at the Seminar.

7. NOTIFICATION IN THE EVENT OF A SPILL OR POTENTIAL SPILL

In the event of a spill or threatened oil spill in or near Washington waters, it is very important that your vessel crew call WSMC immediately.  This call should not be delayed by relaying it through the home office, ship agent, or Qualified Individual.

PLEASE REVIEW WSMC’s SPILL RESPONSE POLICY AND MEMBER’S RESPONSIBILITY.

The most up to date information, Vessel Enrollment Agreement form, and transit fee list will be found here on the website.

Thank you for your participation and support.  Our cooperative works very hard to maintain the highest level of efficient and cost-effective service, preparedness and professionalism for our members.  General administrative questions may be addressed to the Marine Exchange of Puget Sound.  Also, if you desire a copy of an informational pamphlet, additional copies of the Field Document or new WSMC Notification Placard, enrollment forms, WSMC’s Contingency Plan on CD, other published information, or the WSMC video (now on DVD), please contact Cynthia Reed at (206) 448-7557 or email admin@wsmcoop.org.

You may also contact our Executive Director, Roger Mowery at (425) 486-3501, or email at rogermowery@gmail.com, if you desire more information or have any questions.

Season's greetings from the Directors and Employees of WSMC.  We wish you the best for the holidays and throughout the new year.