SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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OVERSIGHT OF U.S. COAST GUARD MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
PLEASE NOTE: The following transcript is a portion of the official hearing record of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Additional material pertinent to this transcript may be found on the web site of the Committee at [http://www.house.gov/transportation]. Complete hearing records are available for review at the Committee offices and also may be purchased at the U.S. Government Printing Office.
COAST GUARD AND MARITIME TRANSPORTATION
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TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
JULY 15, 1998
Printed for the use of the
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
OVERSIGHT OF U.S. COAST GUARD MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
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COAST GUARD AND MARITIME TRANSPORTATION
TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
JULY 15, 1998
Printed for the use of the
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Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania, Chairman
DON YOUNG, Alaska
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
THOMAS W. EWING, Illinois
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
JAY KIM, California
STEPHEN HORN, California
BOB FRANKS, New Jersey
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
JACK QUINN, New York
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
SUE W. KELLY, New York
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCRAY LaHOOD, Illinois
RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana
FRANK RIGGS, California
CHARLES F. BASS, New Hampshire
ROBERT W. NEY, Ohio
JACK METCALF, Washington
JO ANN EMERSON, Missouri
EDWARD A. PEASE, Indiana
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
JOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania
ASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas
MERRILL COOK, Utah
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
CHARLES W. ''CHIP'' PICKERING, Jr., Mississippi
KAY GRANGER, Texas
JON D. FOX, Pennsylvania
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
JERRY MORAN, Kansas
VITO FOSSELLA, New York
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
WILLIAM O. LIPINSKI, Illinois
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
GLENN POSHARD, Illinois
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
PAT DANNER, Missouri
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
CORRINE BROWN, Florida
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan
BOB FILNER, California
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
JUANITA MILLENDER-McDONALD, California
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
MAX SANDLIN, Texas
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
BILL PASCRELL, Jr., New Jersey
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJAY W. JOHNSON, Wisconsin
LEONARD L. BOSWELL, Iowa
JAMES P. McGOVERN, Massachusetts
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
NICK LAMPSON, Texas
JOHN ELIAS BALDACCI, Maine
MARION BERRY, Arkansas
Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland, Chairman
FRANK A. LoBIONDO, New Jersey, Vice-Chairman
DON YOUNG, Alaska
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JAY W. JOHNSON, Wisconsin
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
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Colenda, Cynthia A., President, International Council of Cruise Lines, accompanied by Captain Ted Thompson, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired, ICCL Vice President of International Operations
Cox, Joseph J., President, Chamber of Shipping of America
du Moulin, Richard, Chairman, International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, (INTERTANKO), and CEO, Marine Transport Lines
Gilmour, Captain Thomas H., Director of Field Activities, Office of Marine Safety and Environmental Protection, U.S. Coast Guard
Grasso, Tom V., Maryland Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Lentz, Sally Ann, Ocean Advocates
Ryan, George J., President, Lake Carriers' Association
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Williams, Lori, Vice President for Ocean Programs, Center for Marine Conservation
PREPARED STATEMENT SUBMITTED BY A MEMBER OF CONGRESS
Shuster, Hon. Bud, of Pennsylvania
PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY WITNESSES
Colenda, Cynthia A
Cox, Joseph J
du Moulin, Richard T
Gilmour, Captain Thomas H
Grasso, Thomas V
Lentz, Sally Ann
Ryan, George J
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSUBMISSIONS FOR THE RECORD
Colenda, Cynthia A., President, International Council of Cruise Lines, responses to questions
Cox, Joseph J., President, Chamber of Shipping of America, responses to questions
Gilmour, Capt. Thomas H., Director of Field Activities, Office of Marine Safety and Environmental Protection, U.S. Coast Guard:
North Cape Damage Survey, July 21, 1998
Downey, Mortimer L., Deputy Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, letter concerning Dry Bulk Cargo Residue, July 8, 1998
Responses to questions
List of the reports and videotape submitted to the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCShipping Study: The Role of Shipping in the Introduction of Nonindigenous Aquatic Organisms to the Coastal Water of the United States (other than the Great lakes) and an Analysis of Control Options
Shipping Study II: Biological Invasions by Nonindigenous Species in the United States Waters: Quantifying the Role of Ballast Water and Sediments (Parts I & II)
Shipping Study IA: A Study of the Introduction of Aquatic Nuisance Species by Vessels Entering the Great Lakes and Canadian Waters Adjacent to the United States
Ballast Sampling Methodology Report: An Outline Manual of Sapling Procedures and Protocols for Fresh, Brackish, and Salt Water Ballast
Plankton Characteristics of Non-Segregated Ballast Water Passing Through the Alyeska Ballast Water Treatment Facility Study
U.S. Coast Guard Ballast Water Management Video, Preventing and Controlling the Spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species*
Stemming the Tide; Controlling Introduction of Nonindigenous Species by Ships Ballast Water*
USA Ballast Book 19981999
Great Lakes Ballast Demonstration ProjectPhase 1
A General Survey of Proposals, Studies, and Research on Means to Prevent Infection by Exotic Organisms in Ballast Water
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Ballast Water Treatment Systems: A Feasibility Study
A U.S. Coast Guard Program to Encourage Compliance with Voluntary Guidelines for the Prevention of Ballast Water Discharge into the Great Lakes
(Retained in Subcommittee file.)
Grasso, Thomas V., Maryland Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, report, Oil on the Chesapeake, Five Years After Exxon Valdez, March 1995
Ryan, George J., President, Lake Carriers' Association, responses to questions
OVERSIGHT OF U.S. COAST GUARD MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 1998
U.S. House of Representatives,
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Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation,
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:15 a.m., in Room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Wayne T. Gilchrest (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. GILCHREST. The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will come to order.
The subcommittee hearing today is to hear testimony on the oversight of U.S. Coast Guard's maritime protection and compliance programs. As you know, we will limit opening statementswell, since there's not too many people here, anybody who has an opening statement can have an opening statementbut since we have a number of witnesses, what we will try to do is to limit witness statements to about 5 minutes. And then more information can come out via the questioning. And I want to make sure that everybody knows you'll have plenty of time to get across the information that you feel is vital.
And I do want to welcome everybody to the hearing today to discuss the effectiveness of the Coast Guard's Marine Environmental Protection Program. The Coast Guard spends a little over $300 million annually on this program, and we must ensure that these dollars are being spent in the most effective manner possible, meaning that whenever there is an issue out there that the Coast Guard needs to address, that they not only spend that money efficiently, that the Coast Guard operation is such as that you get your bang for your buck. Every dollar that is appropriated to protect the marine environment is spent on protecting the marine environment. But also that there is no political, subtle or direct, prohibitions on doing that job, that we make sure that the Coast Guard has a responsibility to protect the marine ecosystem, and regardless of where that happens to be, that's exactly what they're going to do.
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Since the enactment of the Government Performance and Results Act, the Coast Guard and other Federal agencies have developed goals and objectives to evaluate the success and shortcomings of their programs. The Coast Guard has developed strategies to reduce water pollution, including pollution from oil, chemicals, plastics, and garbage, and ballast water.
The Coast Guard has also developed strategies to mitigate the consequences of pollution incidents. I support the Coast Guard's strategies to reduce water pollution and the damages from pollution incidents that do occur. Greater U.S. involvement in the environmental deliberations of the International Maritime Organization and closer partnerships with the maritime industry are also positive undertakings of the U.S. Coast Guard.
And I do want to say that the Coast Guard's representatives in the IMO do reflect the best that this country has to offer. The question is whether the Coast Guard needs to do more in this area or do things differently to achieve the best results for maritime and marine environmental protection.
And I look forward to the testimony of all our witnesses this morning.
And I yield to Mr. Clement.
Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to thank you for scheduling today's hearing on the Coast Guard's marine environmental protection and compliance programs for many Americans recognize the Coast Guard's valuable contribution of saving lives during a search and rescue operation. Their environmental protection and compliance programs, also protect millions of people everyday and help to make our waterways clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. Whether it is protecting against oil spoils in New Orleans, decreasing plastic pollution on the Chesapeake Bay, reducing chemical discharges into the water in Houston, or eliminating ballast water discharged into the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard is all ready to protect our communities.
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This is the first oversight hearing on this topic in which we are going to have the opportunity to review the goals the Coast Guard has set for itself under the Government Performance and Results Act. The Results Act requires Government agencies to set empirical goals against which their performance can be measured.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to today's hearing to learn more about the Coast Guard's goals, as well as the views of the maritime and environmental community on how the Coast Guard is going to accomplish these goals.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Clement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Shuster follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. LoBiondo?
Captain Gilmour, we appreciate your coming this morning and we are anxious to hear your testimony. You may begin, sir.
TESTIMONY OF CAPTAIN THOMAS H. GILMOUR, DIRECTOR OF FIELD ACTIVITIES, OFFICE OF MARINE SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, U.S. COAST GUARD
Captain GILMOUR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee. I am Captain Tom Gilmour and I'm the Director of Field Activities for Marine Safety and Environmental Protection at Coast Guard Headquarters. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this subcommittee and talk about our marine environmental protection efforts.
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The Coast Guard has developed five environmental protection goals. These goals are used in the management of program performance and are also included in our annual plans required by the Government Performance and Results Act, or GPRA.
Our first goal is to reduce the amount of oil discharged into the marine environment from marine resources by 20 percent using 1993 as our baseline. The results have greatly exceeded this goal. Gallons spilled per million of gallons of oil shipped have been dramatically reduced from a high of 5.3 gallons spilled in 1993 to 1.5 gallons spilled in 1997, a 72 percent decrease.
The data shows that OPA 90 has had a major positive impact on this. The volume of tank oil ship spills in the U.S. peaked in 1989 and has remained at below 200,000 gallons since 1991. Our current efforts to continue this trend include Port State Control inspections of foreign-flagged merchant vessels for compliance with both international and domestic laws.
Our second goal is to reduce the amount of chemicals entering the environment from marine transportation sources. The Coast Guard's cooperative relationships with the Chemical Manufacturers' Association and members of the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee have demonstrated how a regulatory agency, working in partnership with industry, can successfully develop and implement both regulatory and non-regulatory improvements. Examples include the identification of industry best practices to further non-regulatory solutions for marine chemical transportation safety, and proposed revisions to regulations affecting the design, construction, and operating requirements for inland barges.
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Not only has prevention improved, but so has our ability to reduce the consequence of oil and chemical spills, which is our third goal. Timeliness of spill response, as well as the magnitude and quality of response efforts, have dramatically improved due to the development of the oil spill response capabilities required by OPA 90. This was demonstrated in our first exercise of our new Spill of National Significance, or SONS, response organization, in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. last September. A SONS is defined as a large spill of the Exxon Valdez magnitude or an impact that exceeds regional response capability and requires national efforts.
A second SONS exercise will be conducted to build upon the successes of our first exercise. This industry-led exercise will be held this September in Valdez and Anchorage, Alaska.
We have also pursued a best response concept that seeks to measure how we, as a response organization, satisfy our overall goal to minimize the consequences of a pollution incident. We have identified key business drivers and supporting critical success factors to accomplish this. A survey will be sent to participants in the response organization and all effected stakeholders for spills greater than 1,000 gallons, so as to be able to measure our success in this area.
Our fourth performance goal is to reduce by 20 percent the discharge of plastics and other garbage into our waters for marine sources over 5 year beginning in 1993. Our data shows the marine debris that fouls shorelines has been reduced since 1993 from 103 debris items per mile of shoreline to 47 items per mile in 1996. This is a 54 percent decrease, already exceeding our 1998 goal of 81 debris items per mile of shoreline. Researchers have credited these results to a number of factors including educational programs, such as our Sea Partners Campaign, an increase in port disposal facilities, and Coast Guard enforcement of MARPOL Annex V.
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Sea Partners focuses on a one-on-one public contact with waterway users and coastal populations operating out of Coast Guard Marine Safety Offices in 45 port areas. The program uses trained Coast Guard personnel to proactively target local marine pollution problems and disseminate information about pollution prevention. We are able to reach about 300,000 people a year with this effort. We work closely with the Center for Marine Conservation to exchange ideas, information, and outreach techniques, and use data published by CMC in their annual International Coastal Cleanup.
Our last goal is to reduce the volume of untreated foreign coastal ballast water discharged from vessels in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone to slow the spread of aquatic nuisance species, or ANS. Since the great majority of worldwide ANS invasions can be attributed to ships' ballast water, many of our efforts are aimed at addressing this pathway. Ballast water regulations are in place for vessels entering the Great Lakes system and Coast Guard personnel perform educational and compliance programs at points of entry in New York State. Earlier this year, the Coast Guard proposed rules and guidelines that will cover all U.S. waters. This proposal was published in the Federal Register and is currently open for public comment.
Finally, we have developed a one-page ballast water reporting form that IMO has adopted for international use, and we are currently filling eight field positions funded this fiscal year and dedicated to the ballast water exchange monitoring program.
Our marine environmental protection efforts also focus on people. The Coast Guard has led the way in both national and international fronts to emphasize the human element. We have been world leaders in implementing the changes to the International Convention for the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping, or STCW, and the International Safety Management Code, or ISM. Our port state control boardings have been expanded to include compliance with ISM and STCW, and worldwide enforcement of these standards, we think, will help reduce accidents and prevent pollution.
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While we recognize it's often necessary to regulate specific solutions, the Coast Guard believes that the most important initiative for enhancing safety and pollution prevention for the next decade will be cooperative industry/Government partnerships that address the human element.
We have formal partnerships with six industry associations: the American Waterways Operators; the Passenger Vessel Association; the Chamber of Shipping of America and American Petroleum Institute; the International Council of Cruise Lines; and our two newest partners, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, or INTERTANKO; and the Spill Control Association of America. These partnerships have already yielded positive, non-regulatory pollution prevention actions, including an analysis of spills associated with tank barge cargo transfers, the initiation of a risk management program for the domestic passenger industry, and a study of bridge resource management aspects of tanker entry into coastal waters.
The Coast Guard, together with the Maritime Administration, is also developing a national maritime safety incident reporting system which will enable us to capture information on near-casualties and near-miss marine incidents. The sheer volume of knowledge recoverable from a systematic analysis of these events promises to significantly reduce casualties.
In summary, the Coast Guard has made considerable inroads on many fronts as we seek to achieve our marine environmental protection goals. I believe our regulatory efforts, our work with IMO, our emphasis on the human element, and our partnering efforts have been part and parcel to the successes we've had to date.
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Thank you for the opportunity to address you. I'm open for questions.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Captain Gilmour. You mentioned ''partnerships,'' and you mentioned a number of entities that are involved in the partnership to discuss, among other things, the human element and how this group can work cooperatively to reduce the problems of pollution in all of its various forms. Can you explain in a little more detail how these partnerships work? Do you meet every 3 months, every 6 months? Is it a consensus type of operation? Is it similar to the way the IMO gets together and meets and develops policies and strategies? And is it a relatively new phenomenon that you're meeting with these partners in this way?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir. Our partnership initiative has really been part of the Prevention through People program, which I would say is 3 or 4 years old. Our partnerships differ from IMO in that we focus on non-regulatory solutions. And normally in partnerships we meet on the order of two to four times a year, but we also have quality action teams
Mr. GILCHREST. Now these partnerships, do they meet as one group representing the country? Do you meet in different regions with different people from those organizations?
Captain GILMOUR. All of the partnerships we have with industry are national organizations, but they do have regional components. For instance, the American Waterways Operators has regional components in the Gulf, west coast, east coast, and also representatives in each of those areas. We really focus on national efforts and on areas that we agree are problem areas and try to come up with non-regulatory solutions. An example: We studied oil spills on tank barge transfers, came to core causes for those spills, and then developed measures that we can do, both industry and the Coast Guard, and then put out informational pamphlets regarding those.
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Mr. GILCHREST. So those are non-regulatory measures? This is something that people cooperate and proceed with?
Captain GILMOUR. For the most part, but I think some of the benefits we get from those partnerships also spill over into other areas that we may have regulations in and we really get a true feeling for how they may feel on a given issue. However, at IMO we are setting international requirements or standards.
Mr. GILCHREST. So you would say through the basic exchange of information between people with the same status at the same table the level of cooperation has been enhanced?
Captain GILMOUR. Most definitely. I think most of our industry representatives in these partnership agreements would agree that certainly we communicate a lot better with industry, understand their concerns, and we come up with mutually beneficial solutions in the case of international cruise line carriers emergency response to vessel casualties with passengers.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is that a red light? Do I have a red light? No, I don't have a red light. A couple more questions. Could you explain a little more the ballast water program that we or the Coast Guard have worked out with the IMO countries?
Captain GILMOUR. We have a national program and regulations for vessels that enter both the Hudson River and the Great Lakes. And for both of those we board vessels to verify their ballast.
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Mr. GILCHREST. Now, it's only in those two areas, the Hudson River and the Great Lakes?
Captain GILMOUR. That are regulated right now, yes, sir. We do have national regulations, we have a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking out for national regulations, and there's also a program in Alaska at Valdez for ballast water exchange. We're trying to carry many of these requirements in informational circulars right now to IMO. As I said in my statement, we have a ballast water exchange inspection sheet that we've introduced to IMO that has been adopted for international use as well. And we feel that once the international community starts embracing these, we'll have an easier time verifying not only the areas that we do regulate, but also it will affect areas that we do not regulate at this time.
Mr. GILCHREST. So the ballast water program now, used by the Coast Guard in this country, is only checkingI know they check ballast water at the Port of Baltimore, for example. Somebody checks ballast water. But the official Coast Guard program for checking ballast water right now is only the ships that come into the Hudson River and the Great Lakes?
Captain GILMOUR. We have a national program for informational exchange, but the only regulatory requirements we have now for ballast water exchange are for the Hudson River and the Great Lakes; we look at the vessels as they enter the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Mr. GILCHREST. Why is that? Why isn't it let's say in San Francisco Bay or the Chesapeake Bay?
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Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir, we have a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking out to expand those areas, but the Great Lakes were the first area where the problem was noticed, and you can migrate to the Great Lakes through the Hudson River, which is why, I think, they were the first areas.
Mr. GILCHREST. So at what point is the ship checked for ballast water? Before entering the Hudson River?
Captain GILMOUR. As it enters the system, it's boarded within the Port of New York and we actually go aboard and ask if they have exchanged ballast. And we have instruments that can actually determine whether a ballast exchange has been made.
Mr. GILCHREST. So that's inside the port?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. I guess what I'm asking is when they're sailing up the Hudson River or they're going down the St. Lawrence seaway and they enter one of the Great Lakes, the ship is checked at that point?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir, as they enter the port.
Mr. GILCHREST. And if the water has not been exchanged and you detect that there might be some micro-organism in that ballast water, what happens?
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Captain GILMOUR. They're turned away. They're sent back out to sea to exchange ballast.
Mr. GILCHREST. So the consensus with IMO is tothis is still, I understand, as far as most shipping is concerned, a voluntary program?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir, other than to those ports that I mentioned before where we have regulatory requirements and civil penalty
Mr. GILCHREST. And the ruling from the IMO, the consensus is that it will continue to be a voluntary program?
Captain GILMOUR. I would only be guessing what they're going to do at IMO, but at this time it is purely a voluntary program and an informational exchange program. IMO has embraced the idea.
Mr. GILCHREST. Does there appear to be a cooperative effort in the ballast water program, or is there any resistance to it from anybody?
Captain GILMOUR. I don't think there is, sir. I think there's a real cooperative effort and I know that many of the European nations, and certainly Canada, are concerned with ballast water.
Mr. GILCHREST. I have just one more quick question and we'll go to the other members. The Rhode Island's disastrous North Cape oil spill a few years ago, the Coast Guard, I understand, did a study to determine the spill damage as compared to what might have happened if it had a double-hull. Is there any results to that analysis?
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Captain GILMOUR. I'm not familiar with the study you're referring to but I can find out about it and get back to you for the record.
[The information supplied follows:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Okay. Thank you, Captain. Mr. Clement?
Mr. CLEMENT. Captain Gilmour, good to have you here today.
Captain GILMOUR. Thank you, sir.
Mr. CLEMENT. Ms. Lentz of the Ocean Advocates is going to testify that the Coast Guard has failed in its responsibility to protect U.S. water since, for example, you have not established interim measures for single-hulled vessels, required escort tugs in heavily trafficked areas, or required on-board oil spill response equipment. How would you respond to this criticism?
Captain GILMOUR. Actually, in all of the above we have had rulemakings and opportunity for public comment on all of those issues, and some we have developed rules for and some we have not. So I guess my response would be we addressed those issues, went out with public comment, and on some of those we acted, some we did not. And she may or may not agree with what we've done, but we have gone out for public comment and we have addressed the issues.
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Mr. CLEMENT. Captain Gilmour, Royal Caribbean Cruiseline was indicted for discharging oil into the ocean by altering their piping system and for falsifying log books to cover up these discharges. Why did this practice go on for years before the Coast Guard found the problem?
Captain GILMOUR. I guess, first of all, sir, I'd say it's a very difficult case to prosecute. And I think an extreme effort was taken in this case, which at least part of happened in international waters and was traced back through Coast Guard inspections, and cooperative efforts with EPA. It's a difficult area: both oil pumping at sea, especially in international waters, and dumping of garbage are difficult things for us to determine. We have a number of checks that we do when vessels get into port but we actually have to catch someone in the act of doing it. In many of these cases, citizens have given us a videos or people have come forward to testify. In this particular case, during an overfly we determined that a discharge had been made in international waters, and most of the evidence was gathered during our boardings of the vessels in the Ports of San Juan and Miami.
Mr. CLEMENT. Captain Gilmour, the Lake Carriers' Association will testify today about the past practice of sweeping cargo residue into areas designated on the Great Lakes by the Coast Guard. During the past 5 years, has this practice resulted in environmental harm or should this practice be allowed to continue as it has for decades?
Captain GILMOUR. Sir, regarding the environmental harm, I don't know of any studies that we have done to address that issue but the administration, through the Department of Transportation, does have a position on this issue which the Coast Guard does support, and I could provide the position in a letter if you
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Mr. CLEMENT. If you would, that would be very helpful. Captain, since July 1, effective date of the International Ship Management Code, has the Coast Guard refused entry into the United States of any foreign-flagged vessels for non-compliance with that code?
Captain GILMOUR. Sir, to date we have not. I think this is due to a significant communications outreach effort to industry to get the word out that we weren't going to let any in. On the 1st we had a number of vessels that we weren't sure about that we checked out, but to date we have not had to turn anybody away for not meeting ISM. We have had one ISM-related detention. And we have taken action under the law for the ISM code. So we've faired well in that area.
Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Clement. Mr. LoBiondo?
Mr. GILCHREST. I have one, just one follow-up question, Captain Gilmour. We have a pretty good strong regulatory regime to a certain extent, I would guess, for protecting oil pollution which many of us are somewhat familiar with and it's very high profile. Is the same regime in place, would you say, for other hazardous materials being transported as we have for oil?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir, I would. It's an EPA fund, the CERCLA Fund, that is used for hazardous chemicals which actually pre-dates the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. We've had a lot of good historyworking relationships with EPAin this area. And I would say, as far as regulatory compliance and enforcement, we've got an equally good record in that area, sir.
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Mr. GILCHREST. One other quick question on the ballast water. People are becoming more familiar with it. It's becoming more clearly understood. The IMO is moving to address the issue. And you made a comment that you inspect vessels in the Hudson River and the Great Lakes, and I would assume that includes the St. Lawrence seaway, at some point in the St. Lawrence seaway those vessels could be inspected?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. When will, and then you said you're considering or you will expand that around the country, do you have any idea when that would be expanded to include the Chesapeake Bay?
Captain GILMOUR. I don't know at this time. I misstated a little bit. We're able to measure ballast systems. We have instruments in other ports too, but those are the only areas we have requirements. There is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking out to look at other areas.
Mr. GILCHREST. You say there is a Proposed Rulemaking?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. To look at other areas.
Captain GILMOUR. There's a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking out.
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Mr. GILCHREST. Who do you work with to have some understanding of identifying micro-organisms in ballast water? Does the Coast Guard work with universities, EPA, Fish and Wildlife, the private sector?
Captain GILMOUR. There's a group of six Governmental agencies that we work with and we also work with academia. We have on the order of six or seven research projects out right now and we work with the Smithsonian Environmental Reserach Center, so there are a number of academic and interagency groups that we work with on this problem.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is there any concernshifting topics hereis there any concern of the Coast Guard as to the traffic on the Chesapeake Bay and the C & D Canal via oil, chemical transportation, transportation of hazardous materials because the Bay is such a shallow area, and compared to what happen in Valdez, Alaska, the amount ofthe conditions there were such that you could clean that place up but the conditions in the Chesapeake Bay are vastly different. Do you feel that the Coast Guard and let's say Maryland's Department of Natural Resources or Virginia's counterpart or Delaware's counterpart or even other areas of the country that are similar to this type of estuary, do you feel that the Coast Guard has sufficient funds, and expertise, and cooperation to ensure to the degree that human element allows that, that we have a pretty safe operation?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir. I guess first to look at the way we work with people in all areas, and certainly estuary areas are of much greater concern and of much greater environmental significance than deep water. But we have an area contingency planning process where we bring in all the stakeholders, environmental and State government folks, to help identify not only resources but those areas that are most sensitive. For instance, I came from the Port of New York where we had over 160 areas that we designated in three degrees of sensitivity so we could deploy equipment, and put the equipment where it was most needed. So I think we have a good working relationship with those groups.
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Also, through our waterways management effort we have an assessment called PAWSAthe Ports and Waterways Safety Assessmentthat we're starting to go to each of the ports to make assessments on things that can be done to limit traffic, especially vessels that carry oil and other hazardous materials.
Mr. GILCHREST. I have a few more questions but I think we can probably deliver those via the U.S. Postal Service and continue this dialogue. Mr. Johnson, do you have any questions?
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Captain, you talked about the ballast water management practices on the Great Lakes, that's where they're in practice, in the Hudson and on the Great Lakes. What's being done to expand that to make sure that that's working and to expand that program?
Captain GILMOUR. We do have a rulemaking out to look at other areas. As I said, I think the State of Alaska has looked at Valdez as another area but we do have a rulemaking going out to seek other areas that may be considered and I know there are concerns in many other ports regarding ANS.
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. Later on in the testimony, we'll hear from the Lake Carriers' Association and provide testimony about some past practice of sweeping the cargo residue into areas designated on the Great Lakes by the Coast Guard. In the past 5 years, what's been the result? Has there been environmental harm or should this be allowed to continue in terms of allowing the sweeping of this residue into certain areas designated in the Great Lakes?
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Captain GILMOUR. I don't know of any areas where thereor that we have done any studies to look at specifically the environmental harm from cargo sweepings. But there is a position out, an Administrative position out in a letter by the DOT that I will provide the Subcommittee and that the Coast Guard supports.
[The information supplied follows:]
A copy of the Administration's position concerning Dry Bulk Cargo Residue follows:]
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. I have a question about a fellow Member of Congress who has a piece of legislation, Congressman Leonard Boswell, who is co-chair of the House Mississippi River Caucus. They want to establish some whistle blower protection for seaman who report safety or environmental infractions to the Coast Guard. It's similar to what this full committee did for airline employees. Does the Coast Guard have a view on this type of legislation?
Captain GILMOUR. I am familiar with the legislation and we do not object to the legislation that is being proposed. It is possible that it could make people more readily come forward to report incidents. I would say that we alreadyit's amending a part of the law that already is in place. So we do have the ability to report those but it is amending that.
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. So you think it will help protect the environment and ensure safety and you probably won't havethe Coast Guard won't have any objections to it, or will it support it?
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Captain GILMOUR. We do not object to it and I think it could help people report incidents, which is how we find out about a lot of especially environmental concerns so, yes, sir.
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. Thanks, Captain. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Johnson. Anything further for the good of the order, Captain Gilmour?
Captain GILMOUR. No, I think, as I said in my summary, I think it's an area where our measures have shown that we have done a good job in conjunction with the industry. So I think it's a good story.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is there anything further that we need to do with legislation in this whole area of environmental marine safety?
Captain GILMOUR. Nothing comes to mind right now, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is therethis will be the last question, really.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Is there a timeframe, 5, 10, 20 years, that you see that we could finally conclude with someI think we'veand I'm talking about ballast water, I think we've, over the last 200 or 300 years pretty much, pardon the expression, ''screwed up the marine ecosystem'' with introducing non-indigenous species all over the planet so maybe it doesn't make any difference now what we do. Is there some potential eventual technology that could zap ballast water to sterilize it so this problem would once and for all be finished?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir, I'd agree that we've probably been doing this for hundreds of years to different parts of the environment. And, unfortunately, we don't know there's a problem until we see the problem. Yes, we're looking at a number of areas for ballast water treatment and we have a number of studies ongoing, not only on chemical treatment but also ultrasonic treatment and other methods that we're looking at to hopefully treat ballast water as it comes in or in the tank and we think that would be a very viable way to ensure that
Mr. GILCHREST. Is there some estimate as to the time when that could be developed?
Captain GILMOUR. I think it's a few years ahead of us.
Mr. GILCHREST. Who works on that? You say the Coast Guard is working on it, what does that mean?
Captain GILMOUR. We have a number of research and development projects.
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Mr. GILCHREST. Coast Guard funded?
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. Anybody else in the country doing this?
Captain GILMOUR. And I think it's cooperative funding too. I can get you the details on that too and send you the reports that we have.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you. I'd appreciate that.
Captain GILMOUR. Yes, sir.
[The information submitted accompanies Capt. Gilmour's prepared statement:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much, Captain Gilmour.
Our next panel is Mr. Joseph Cox, president, Chamber of Shipping of America; Cynthia Colenda, president, International Council of Cruise Lines, accompanied by Captain Ted Thompson, U.S. Coast Guard, retired, ICCL vice president of International Operations; George Ryan, president, Lake Carriers' Association; Richard du Moulin, chairman, International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, INTERTANKO, and CEO of Marine Transport Lines.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.
Mr. Cox, thank you for coming this morning.
TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH J. COX, PRESIDENT, CHAMBER OF SHIPPING OF AMERICA; CYNTHIA A COLENDA, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF CRUISE LINES, ACCOMPANIED BY CAPTAIN TED THOMPSON, U.S. COAST GUARD, RETIRED, ICCL VICE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS; GEORGE J. RYAN, PRESIDENT, LAKE CARRIERS' ASSOCIATION; AND RICHARD DU MOULIN, CHAIRMAN, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT TANKER OWNERS, (INTERTANKO), AND CEO, MARINE TRANSPORT LINES
Mr. COX. Good to see you again, Mr. Chairman, and committee members. I am Joe Cox and I'm president of the Chamber of Shipping of America. We represent American companies that own, operate, or charter ships. It's a pleasure to be here. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will submit my written testimony to the record and I'll make some extemporaneous comments here.
Mr. GILCHREST. Without objection. Thank you.
Mr. COX. Thank you. Our testimony, Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members is split into five parts. I'm going to briefly go through the first parts because I'd like to get to the future activity because I think it impinges on some of the things that have been discussed by the Coast Guard before you this morning. I think my first point is that environmental protection is a cooperative measure, and when we look at Coast Guard, we frequently determine them to be a regulator and someone who requires us to do something. I think that's an important and necessary role but at the same time we're not going to protect the environment with absolute requirements, it's going to have to be a change in attitude by all the waterway users.
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Our second point, Mr. Chairman, is the motivations for business to protect the environment lay outside of compliance with regulations. It makes bottom line sense to any businessman today when you're running ships, you simply do not want to have a pollution incident. The costs associated with that are enormous, not just in a monetary sense but also in a public relations sense. The continuation of your organization could very well depend on you not having an incident that pollutes our waterways.
The past activity of the Chamber of the Shipping of America, and we've had a few names in the past, but I assure you we're going to keep this one for quite a period of time. But in the past, we have been extensively involved with our Government, both domestically and at the IMO. I can personally remember being at the IMO and dealing with oil content monitors, which are the actual device that measures the amount of oil in water that's in our ballast that we are permitted to pump into the ocean. I can assure you we continually try to address how low can we get those numbers accepting the practicality that we have to move enormous amounts of oil on water in today's world.
We were very deeply involved in the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the amendment that dealt with plastic pollution. We take very great pride in our public statement that we were part of the problem and that we would take steps to be part of the solution. We were extensively involved in the IMO process and in the subsequent domestic process to address the annex to MARPOL which are chemical.
Our present activity, Mr. Chairman, and I think I'd love to talk more about this but I think we have a large panel. Our present activity stems from initiatives that began in this country, found their way to the IMO, and have come back to us. Those two are air pollution and ballast water. Air pollution annexed to MARPOL was signed last September. We were a major player as a Nation in that and the Chamber of Shipping was a major player within the United States' policy setting in advance of the hearings that were held at IMOI shouldn't say hearings, the actual diplomatic conference.
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Ballast water, Mr. Chairman, we have been dealing with the rather vexing and very difficult and problematic area of ballast water for the past 5 to 7 years. It's not a simple issue. In 1996, Congress passed legislation calling upon the Coast Guard and industry to take steps to reduce the possibility of the introduction of aquatic nuisance species into our waterways. We have to accept the fact that if we're traveling on the waterways, we can reduce that potential but we are not going to eliminate the probability. But we are taking some extraordinary steps in terms of working with the Coast Guard, working with the Federal Government's Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, and at the IMO. There are sort of co-joined efforts in terms of looking at what can we do to lower that probability down to an acceptable level.
Mr. Chairman, with respect to future activity, I'd like to say that you quoted this morning what things should the Coast Guard be doing differently? My response to that would be that we have to be ever aware of the fact that we should be doing things differently because what we're doing now is not going to be acceptable 2 years from now so we should be continually open to new possibilities, new potential solutions and take them as a normal business practice that we have to change and change for the better.
With respect to the future activity, I have two areas which I think are a little bit problematical for industry and I think will actually be an impediment to our development in environmental ways. The first one is ISM self-audit protection, which I will co-join this morning with the Coast Guard's desire to have a near-miss reporting system. Mr. Chairman, it is our opinion that unless we provide some type of liability protections to those who are making self-audits of their programs, with the idea of making those programs better, and to an individual who is reporting a near-miss, albeit a near-miss which may involve a violation of a regulation let's say, unless we provide some protection we are actually sending a very chilling message to the people who are expected to tell us what is going wrong in our systems.
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And the second major area that I think we're going to have some difficulties with is the State/Federal jurisdiction area. The Statesand I think a couple of weeks ago, Mr. Chairman, you and I had a discussion about this and I think it's not an easy answer but the fact that a State can set a different standard than that required by the Federal Government or indeed a particular locale within a State can require something in addition to or different than the Federal or State requirement, we're getting into an area where the human factor issue of seafarers and how they have to comply with them is going to become very much into question. And I think that there is not an easy answer here but I think somebody has to start looking at that as a problem area.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my testimony. I'll certainly be pleased to respond to questions as appropriate.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Cox.
Did I pronounce that right, Ms. Colenda?
Ms. COLENDA. Yes, you did. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. My name is Cindy Colenda. I'm accompanied by Ted Thompson, who is my vice president of International Operations, and a retired Coast Guard captain. He helps with a lot of the technical issues which we will be discussing today.
ICCL is a nonprofit trade association that represents the interests of 17 member lines of the largest member lines that operate in the North American market. These lines serve major ports both in the United States and call on over 200 ports around the world. Last year, ICCL vessel operators carried approximately five million passengers on 86 vessels.
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I will address three key points today:
First, our industry is highly regulated. We're governed by a strict set of international requirements that address environmental protection, as well as passenger, crew, and vessel safety. The U.S. Coast Guard and our flag States enforce these international laws.
Second, the cruise industry has a strong environmental record and is constantly striving to improve its environmental programs. The executives of the cruise industry are committed to protection of the environment, not only in principal but also because we have a vested interest in maintaining the beauty of the oceans on which we sail.
Finally, the cruise industry is committed to continuous improvement. The recently enacted International Safety Management Code will require passenger vessels to establish comprehensive programs which will further enhance these environmental efforts.
Mr. Chairman, IMO has issued comprehensive and far-reaching regulations that are dynamic, rigorous, detailed, and stringent. The regulations which most significantly impact the cruise vessel industry are found in MARPOL Annexes I and V.
We in the cruise industry go to great lengths to comply with international requirements. We have comprehensive programs in place and invested millions of dollars in state-of-the-art environmental equipment. Together with the Coast Guard, we actively participate in the development of passenger vessel initiatives at IMO, including safety, operations, designs, equipment, and environmental matters.
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As we discussed earlier, on July 1 of this year, the International Management Code for the safe operations of ships and for pollution prevention came into force. We believe that these new IMO regulations will further enhance the cruise industry's strong record of safety and environmental protection. Both the cruise industry and the Coast Guard have been strong supporters of this initiative. The equipment, procedures, and environmental programs implemented on board our vessels to comply with MARPOL requirements are complex and sophisticated.
Cruise operators have installed state-of-the-art environmental technologies. They include oily water separators, incinerators, pulpers, shredders, compactors, and other equipment costing as much as $10 million per vessel. In spite of these efforts, there have been recent reports involving two ICCL member lines. The cases involved oil discharge into the ocean that occurred several years ago. Senior executives from each company have taken full responsibility for what happened and publicly expressed regret that the events ever took place. Both companies have devoted considerable resources and taken aggressive steps to further enhance their environmental performance.
Management of shipboard generated waste is a challenging issue for all ships at sea. A large cruise ship today can carry over 3,000 passengers and crew. Each day an average passenger will generate two pounds of dry garbage, 1.5 pounds of food waste, and dispose of two bottles and two cans.
We use a strategy of source reduction, waste minimization, recycling and this has allowed the cruise industry to significantly reduce shipboard generated waste. This means purchasing in bulk and advocating more efficient, reusable, and environmental friendly packaging materials. In fact, this strategy has reduced waste by nearly half over the past 10 years.
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In addition, the cruise industry has developed crew training and passenger education programs that raise the level of awareness for passengers and crew. To assure compliance with both safety and environmental regulations the U.S. Coast Guard exercised its Port State Control authority over foreign-flagged cruise ships that operate from U.S. ports. The Coast Guard examines each cruise ship quarterly for structure and operation of on-board safety equipment under the control verification program.
Mr. Chairman, the relationship between the cruise industry, the ICCL, and the Coast Guard continues to be very strong. In March 1997, ICCL and the Coast Guard signed a formal partnership agreement to advance our mutual goals of passenger safety, security, and environmental protection. Because the Coast Guard is one of the leading maritime safety experts we are very proud of this formal partnership. In addition to the partnership, ICCL has taken an active role through our member lines to highlight environmental issues. Our standing Committee on Technical and Safety Matters meets regularly throughout the year and discusses industry best practices on a host of operational, safety, health, and environmental issues.
In conclusion, today the cruise industry is a leader in its environmental programs and partnerships. We have a strong environmental record and will continue to aggressively improve our performance. We, too, are committed to protect the beauty of the oceans where our vessels are privileged to sail.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee, and I look forward to any questions.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Ms. Colenda.
Mr. RYAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's a pleasure to be here today. Our Lake Carriers' Association does represent about 95 percent of the owners of tonnage moving cargo on the U.S. flag in the Great Lakes; and last year we moved about 125.2 million tons of dry bulk
Mr. GILCHREST. Could you say that first part again?
Mr. RYAN. Say again?
Mr. GILCHREST. Could you say how much?
Mr. RYAN. 125.2 million net tons.
Mr. GILCHREST. Of cargo?
Mr. RYAN. Of cargo.
Mr. GILCHREST. Boxed cargo?
Mr. RYAN. All dry bulk, some liquid bulk, primarily iron ore, coal, limestone, salt, sand, gravel, grain, all the stuff that America needs for its industry.
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We fully support the U.S. Coast Guard's leading role in marine environmental protection. No other Federal agency has the requisite knowledge of vessel construction and operational standards that must be taken into consideration when developing marine industry environmental guidelines and regulations. The Coast Guard's knowledge has produced policies and practices that protect the environment while allowing for the continued efficiency of waterborne commerce. It is certainly appropriate for other Federal agencies to advise the Coast Guard on matters that pertain to their specific area of expertise, but the final applications to the marine mode must always be developed and administered by the United States Coast Guard.
Lake Carriers and its members work very closely with Coast Guard units from Buffalo to Duluth on matters relating to protection and enhancement of the environment. And I'd like to review briefly some of our undertakings that illustrate how successful that partnership has been. Our first major effort was the pioneering Voluntary Ballast Water Management Program to reduce the spread of nuisance, non-indigenous species such as the Ruffe from Duluth/Superior Harbor. And under this plan, vessels either don't take on ballast in Duluth/Superior Harbor or if ballasting was absolutely necessary, exchange that ballast in waters where the Ruffe is unlikely to survive. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was a participant in our development of this process and they declared the program ''on the cutting edge of ballast water management to prevent the spread of nuisance species.''
Another pioneering undertaking is the testing of a ballast water filtration system on a commercial vessel. That will be the first in a tool kit of technologies to stop the introduction of non-indigenous species. Funded by the Great Lakes Protection Funds in the amount of $1.3 million, and jointly managed by the Northeast/Midwest Institute and the Lake Carriers' Association, the objective of the study was to develop the technologiesand I stress the pluralwhich can be economically and safely installed on vessels, existing and new vessels, to meet the environmental objective of eliminating, to the degree possible, the introduction of nuisance non-indigenous species.
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After considerable research, the filtration of ballast water was selected for the initial study. And, Mr. Gilchrest, you did ask about other studies. The State of Michigan has funded one of the biocide studies on glutar aldehyde and we have contracted with Battelle Laboratories to tell us about other technologies so we can tell what the next step will be in the development of this tool chest, and we'll have to consider ultraviolet, ultrasonic, heat in certain trades may be the best, possibly better ways of running water through the ship's ballast water system while in deep water, maybe another system but we need a tool chest.
Great Lakes Shipping, as I indicated, is first and foremost dry-bulk cargos. Iron ore, stone, and coal are really 75 percent of all the cargo we carry in a typical year. And since cargo residue was already raised, this is what I wish to comment upon. When you load or discharge any of those cargos or you change cargos, there's some cargo residue left in the vessel or on the deck and for safety and sanitation purposes, and so you don't contaminate the next cargo, you need to rinse that off the deck or out of the cargo hold. And that practice has gone on for over 100 years. We didn't really get into the issue until MARPOL V when plastics was the issue and they developed a definition of garbage in MARPOL. It said, ''cargo residue.'' Before that, we never thought cargo residue was considered garbage.
Anyway, that led to the recognition by the U.S. Coast Guard that we needed to develop some way of keeping industry going on the lakes while protecting the environment. And the Coast Guard in conjunction with NOAA, NOAA's laboratory, the Great Lakes Environmental Research lab in Ann Arbor called a meeting of all interest groups to find the best way we could do this cargo residue and the Coast Guard gave us an enforcement policy from 1993 through 1997 which allowed us to wash done diminutive amounts of only dry-bulk non-toxic material in specific areas. So that was really well-founded and has worked quite well.
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We were pleased to note that in the last year's Coast Guard's authorization bill, Section 415, allows the Coast Guard to enact regulations to deal with cargo residue on the Great Lakes. And the U.S. Coast Guard, of course, consults with the government of Canada on these issues in the Great Lakes because it is our common water, 25 million people drink of the water from the Great Lakes on both sides of the border.
We in Lake Carriers consider that these two areas are important environmental matters but all of the other Coast Guard matters which they deal withwhether it be ice-breaking or aids to navigation, whether it be development of ECTIS, where we can use the DGPS systems, these all add to the enhancement of the environment and Coast Guard does an outstanding job in this respect.
I think I would just end my testimony there and ready for any questions when you're ready, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much, Mr. Ryan.
Mr. du Moulin? Is that how it's pronounced?
Mr. DU MOULIN. Very close, ''du Moulin.''
Mr. GILCHREST. du Moulin. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. DU MOULIN. Thank you. Good morning. I'm pleased to be here. I'm Richard du Moulin. I'm chairman and CEO of Marine Transport Lines which is a U.S. ship operating company based in New Jersey. We're the oldest company in America in shipping, founded 1816, with 27 U.S. ships and seven international flagships. I'm serving a 3-year term now also as chairman of INTERTANKO, which is the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners. We have 300 operating members, companies located around the world, over 2,000 tankers, representing about 70 percent of the world tanker fleet. Over half of U.S. imports come in on our member ships.
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Mr. GILCHREST. You would be a good person to testify when we deal with the Jones Act.
Mr. DU MOULIN. I've got many interests.
Mr. DU MOULIN. Our members include Jones Act and foreign operators both so it's non-denominational in that sense. I have written remarks which I'll be submitting but I'd like to just make some verbal comments.
I personally experience the Coast Guard in many different facets. I've admired their strong leadership at IMO, particularly with regard to ISM and STCW, which is the Standards for Training Certification of Watch keeping. These two initiatives are revolutionizing the way ships are run worldwide. I also respect their priority matrix for their port State inspections. I think that's been very effective. And appreciate their actual assistance at the scene of accidents. We had an oil spill 4 years ago and the Coast Guard was very, very helpful with that.
The tanker industry has made a strong, irrevocable commitment to safety and environmental protection. Over the past 20 years, accidental pollution has dropped by 50 percent and operating pollution by 85 percent. But this is not enough. Our goal is zero pollution. To keep it in perspective, crude oil and oil pollution in the oceans, about 11 percent comes from tanker operations or accidents. Over two-thirds comes from shore side, from the harbors and the rivers, from civilization ashore. But our goal is zero percent.
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In terms of replacing the fleet with double-hulled ships, all the tankers on order worldwide now are double-hulled. There's billions of dollars being invested in these ships. Approximately 20 percent of the cost of a new tanker is invested solely in safety and environmental protection features, gas systems, crude oil washing, double hulls, navigational systems. This is about three times the percentage that shore side factories invest in safety and environmental features.
Three years ago, INTERTANKO established as an additional membership criterion for membership within INTERTANKO, ISM certification by the July 1, 1998 deadline. We did this well in advance of the actual regulation going into effect because we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to ISM. As of July 1st, a couple of weeks ago, 100 percent of our 300 operating members had ISM certification and this is because we went out with a fair warning to members years in advance. We pushed very hard. This was in cooperation with the Coast Guard who also publicly went out on a very hard line basis regarding enforcement of ISM come July 1. Without the Coast Guard taking that position, it would have been more difficult getting industry committed. Vice versa, by industry getting committed, it allowed the Coast Guard to have a positive view of what we were doing and led to our partnership with the Coast Guard. It wouldn't have come to a partnership if we hadn't already shown the commitment to ISM.
The combination of the Coast Guard using a carrot and stick approach to me has been very effective for the Coast Guard fulfilling their role. OPA 90 is a great stick for the Coast Guard to use. It certainly put fear in the shipping world. People have responded. But OPA 90 doesn't really prevent accidents. It helps deal with the cleanup, it causes people to be afraid of liability. The Coast Guard identified this in their Prevention through People Program. This was started by Admiral Card and carried on by Admiral North and this really points out the fact that most accidents whether it's in ships or airplanes or anything are caused by human error, over 80 percent. And this is the area that we're all focusing on now and ISM focuses on, STCW focuses on in order to get real improvement.
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In order for ISM to work, you need to have training, teamwork, and trust. And the system won't work if it bogs down in any one of these areas. If it becomes a playground for litigation, if ISM becomes a subject of litigation, if ISM documents and audits become available for litigators to use, it will break down the trust and the communication you have to have between ship and shore and on board the ship to actually achieve safety. The seafarers should not be in fear of being prosecuted for criminal liability simply because there was an accidental oil spill. If there's been a willful oil spill, certainly that should be criminal. In the case of that one cruise ship incident, it was dealt with. Tanker accidents, when they're willful, need to be punished. But true accidents, as opposed to something done willfully, should not come under criminal liability.
Each year we have a sea staff seminar for the captains of our tankers and I talk to them and the one thing I tell them is they're selected and paid to make decisions. But it's hard for them to make decisions, the right decisions, the decisive decisions, if they're fearing for liability, if they're covering their rear ends.
To another subject, ships don't operate in a vacuum. Ships are part of a transportation system. At INTERTANKO we've called it the chain of responsibility. In order to have a safe shipping environment, port States have to fulfill their roles, flag States, those that inspect the ships, insurance underwriters who insure them, regulators, and ship-owners themselves, of course, pilots, ports where there are vessel traffic control systems, or lack of, terminals, charts that are accurate, all of these are part of a system and a chain of responsibility. The ship seems to be the focus of most regulations but it's a system that the ship depends upon.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Coast Guard, 2 years ago, endorsed our port and terminal safety study we did, and Admiral Cranbeck, and later Admiral Loy, and Secretary Slater have made this a part of their waterway management initiative to improve the system so you can get safety. And this is not just a tanker issue. This deals with all ships, the big container ships, cruise ships, all ships depend on the system.
To conclude, to succeed at increasing safety and environmental protection, we need a strong, modern, well-funded Coast Guard. Two areas, particularly, we think the Coast Guard needs the funding for, one is modern equipment. They have many roles and modern equipment helps them achieve it whether it's drug interdiction, illegal immigration, safety, rescue, environmental protection. They also need increased training of inspectors because there is much more to inspect now than there used to be. Inspecting a ship for ISM compliance takes a lot of knowledge of ISM.
The U.S. Coast Guard must be continuously able to exert their power both domestically and internationally in a leadership role because the marine system is not just a domestic, it's an international system. So Coast Guard has to be present, as they are, at IMO.
And Congress is part of the chain of responsibility and Congress needs to be able to fund the right activities, the Coast Guard, better funding for hydrography, for the charting so the charts can be accurate and other aspects of the waterway management system that come under Federal jurisdiction.
Thank you very much.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. du Moulin. I guess we'll start with you. Could you just briefly describe for us the impact the U.S. has on the international maritime community, partly because of what we do with our own environmental regulations and partly our involvement with IMO?
Mr. DU MOULIN. There's no question that the United States is the leader in the world when it comes to environmental protection, dealing with it, the regulations. We're the world's biggest trading country. The Coast Guard's role at IMO at one time was really a flag state role when we had a huge merchant marine, now it's more a port state role. I say the Coast Guard is the single strongest force at IMO, single most effective and the input and the exchange of information between Coast Guard, the interest groups in the United States, including industry, and then the Coast Guard going to IMO, it's a very powerful force. A lot of IMO's now dominated by countries that no longer have merchant marines that are port states themselves, a lot of small countries there, so it's very important for large trading countries like the United States to be highly active.
The other aspect is that most ship owners around the world, whether they be tanker operators, container ship operators, cruise ship, depend on United States' commerce in one form or another, either partially dependent on it or totally dependent on it. So what happens in U.S. waters when ships arrive are very important to all the major operators so that in the case of ISM, for example, the tanker industry when it woke up realized that ISM was both good for itself but also was going to be in force in the United States, and if you're a tanker operator, you have to be capable of coming into these waters unless you're just a local regional operator in some far flung part of the world. So the tanker industry has gone 100 percent to ISM in terms of INTERTANKO members and those who aren't members, most of them have also complied. There are segments of industry that don't trade as often as the United States and there the compliance may not be as high. But for those who know they have to come here, what the U.S. Coast Guard does is very important.
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Mr. GILCHREST. You also mentioned that with ISM especially that the idea of training, and communication, and trust, do you see that element of trust in the international community?
Mr. DU MOULIN. My biggest challenge when I took over chairmanship of INTERTANKO was to convince the reluctant operators that ISM was good for them. The first reaction was if we just document everything, then we're going to be sued for it, we're going to be liable for it. Isn't it better not to have a paper trail. But as more and more companies went through ISM and their own safety records improved, their insurance rates dropped and they became real proponents of it, the laggards began to jump on. And, finally, everybody realized they had to do it. So virtually all the ISM that I've seen at other companies is sincere ISM. Within the company, for it to work, the seafarers have to trust the office because you're doing near-miss reports, you're dong your written reports of accidents, you're clearing up non-conformance before they can become accidents. So the trust, the communicatione-mail between ship and shore, for example, makes this feasible where it might not have been feasible using telexes years ago. This trust is built up. But the damage to the system is when there's an accident in United States' waters and litigators go to work and go after the crew and the operators ashore for criminal liability. Now, if there was something criminal, if they willfully spilled the oil or had an accident, sure, but if it's truly an act of God or just an accident that occurred, the focus should be on dealing with the problem, preventing further outflow from the ship, helping prevent loss of human life, cooperating with the spill response, it shouldn't be in trying to cover your liability. You should be dealing with the incident.
Mr. GILCHREST. Do you feel that for the most part it's relatively easy to discern the difference between a negligent act which could be a criminal act, negligence to the point that it was criminal and a simple accident?
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Mr. DU MOULIN. Willful neglect to me, willful accident, willful would clearly be when somebody intended to spill oil, either reconfigured the ship to do it, ran a ship aground for insurance, or something of that nature which very rarely happens.
Mr. GILCHREST. What would you say was the Exxon Valdez situation?
Mr. DU MOULIN. I'd say it was negligence but it was an accident and when you looked at it, you saw the system was not appropriate in terms of vessel traffic control.
Mr. GILCHREST. How does that fare in the arena of criminal activity? Would that
Mr. DU MOULIN. Personally, I would not view the Exxon Valdez as criminal but I'd say it was not an example of great ship operations or great vessel traffic control. Industry learned a lot from that as did Government.
Mr. GILCHREST. One other quick question. The IMO has approved different methodologies for alternatives to double-hulls. This seems to be a fascinating if not sticky issue, at least with the United States. We heard some other testimony here today about continuing to improve, continuing to have new technologies, continuing to have the incentive to look for new technologies. Do you have a perspective on the IMO position on these methodologies and the U.S.'s position on the double-hull situation?
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Mr. DU MOULIN. Well, first of all. Double-hulls as a feature have been around for many years. But the technology is in place to have good double-hull ships. All the tankers being built now are double hull, and they do help in certain accidents to prevent the outflow. In certain cases they make salvage more difficult to get the ship off the rocks. But the industry has accepted double hulls as a step forward and is going that way.
The phase-in is happening earlier than the 2015 year that a lot of people throw out, because many sizes and types of ships are already phasing out, and into the double hull area; some will come in late in that period.
It's always good to keep an open mind for other methods of dealing with the problem, other technologies, other design concepts. And INTERTANKO is working with IMO to look at the future, where one could create a criteria for what you want in terms of protection, and then look at other design ways of achieving that. So it's not a dead issue, but practically speaking the world now is building double-hull ships. And the ship has a life of 20 to 30 years, so I think double hulls will be the main methodology structurally of dealing with pollution for quite a while.
Mr. GILCHREST. So, you're saying that, we have this plan in place. Follow through the plan. Go forward with the double hulls. And then begin the process, or allow the process to continue for other methodologies?
Mr. DU MOULIN. I think that while the double hulls are being implemented, there is work going on. It should be more work, in terms of other ways to improve the environmental protection of the ship. At some point as these are proven to be valid, one should be open-minded to those being used instead of double hull. But right now there's nothing out there that is generally accepted as being a replacement for double hull.
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Mr. GILCHREST. I see. Thank you very much.
I have some other questions that I'll resume a little bit later on, but I'll yield now to Mr. Clement.
Mr. CLEMENT. Mr. CoxJoehave all of the vessels operated by your members complied with the new ISM code?
Mr. DU MOULIN. Yes, sir, they do.
Mr. CLEMENT. You seem pleased with the Coast Guard's Marine Environmental Compliance Program. How could the Coast Guard improve this system without compromising safety or the marine environment?
Mr. COX. Mr. Clement, I think that the Coast Guard in the past, let's say, 2 to 3 years has taken steps to work with the industry; not in an oversight regulatory fashion, but in a cooperative fashion. And I think that we're seeing some tremendous benefits in the nature of that relationship. That we're no longer viewing the Coast Guard itself as the omnipresent regulator who's going to come down and fine you, or cite you for doing something wrong.
We're getting more into a line of partnerships. And I think the benefit of that is, that we all know at the end of the day that industry itself has to take the most protective measures, and the most preventive measures are taken by a business itself. We're on the front line. Our executives are the ones who oversee the activities of their employees. They're the ones that can take the most immediate and effective action to get things done.
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I think we do have to have some type of a regulatory scheme, because while we can get 90 or 95 percent compliance, I think that any businessman has to make sure that his competitors are in a position where they're required to meet the same things that he has agreed to meet, either voluntarily or at the end of the day, a requirement.
Mr. CLEMENT. Ms. Colenda, better known as Cindy. And off the record, did you bring the Godfather here today?
Ms. COLENDA. Yes, I did.
Mr. GILCHREST. Want to explain the Godfather?
Mr. CLEMENT. Who the Godfather is? Oh, I don't think anybody knows him, do they?
Ms. Colenda, in reviewing past violations for dumping oil and garbage in the water, what management practices were not in place to ensure that these violations did not occur?
Ms. COLENDA. Mr. Clement, in reference to the specific activities, I don't have any further information than what's on the public record. But what I can tell you is, that the industry has comprehensive programs in place, has state-of-the-art environmental equipment and technologies in place, and has improved their policies and practices as a result. So the industry is always learning and is always looking for continuous improvement.
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Mr. CLEMENT. You've explained how the cruise ship industry is attempting to comply with the various laws relating to oil and waste materials. Your industry has received much criticism for penalties for dumping oil and garbage into the water.
What are your members doing in their companies to ensure that employees do not, again, dump oil and garbage into the water?
Ms. COLENDA. I think, Mr. Clement, the best answer is some of the things that we were talking about today. Both the industry policies and practices, and equipment on board that the industry has been looking atwe're always discussing best industry practices.
But then also I think that the International Safety Management Code, which came into force in July, will further enhance programs. The industry will examine internal practices and companies will conduct internal audits to improve their performance. They'll also have an external audit done by independent surveyors. So, I think that you'll see a continuous improvement. The industry's very proud of its environmental performance, and will continue to improve.
Mr. CLEMENT. Mr. Ryan, what has the Coast Guard done in the past to help you dispose of cargo residue on your ship?
Mr. RYAN. The Coast Guard, first of all, began a research into the practice, obtained assistance from other Federal and State interests, as well as some universities, to understand the problem. The Coast Guard challenged our industry to take every step to reduce the quantity of cargo residue that was left on the deck. And then the Coast Guard developed an enforcement policy which we have adhered to.
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Mr. CLEMENT. Mr. du Moulin, should ISM records be available to the Coast Guard for application of civil penalties? I know you prefer criminal penalties. But for example, if a ship captain failed to report his allegiance with a bridge, and the Coast Guard finds evidence of the casualty in the company's ISM records, should the company be liable for a civil penalty for not reporting the casualty as required by law?
Mr. DU MOULIN. I would distinguish between the ISM system and its use by the company to improve the safety, and other evidence that is found for an incident.
If the big picture is to have an overall improvement of safety, then whatever makes the ISM system most sound is what's good. And I know from dealing with our own ships and crew that they're much more comfortable documenting if they feel that they're not going to be punished for documenting.
And you want to have the truth documented. If there's something not correct on the ship, you want that documented so you can deal with it. So the openness between the ship and the office, that would be a total transparency of information internally, is very good to deal with the problems.
It would be nice perhaps for a litigator to use some of that if there was an accident, but I'm afraid the big picture would be that the ISM systems on ships worldwide would just be diminished if it's available for use in civil or criminal litigation.
If there's an accident, reporting is separate from ISM. A ship has an obligation to report certain things to the Coast Guard or other governments. That should be certainly a legal requirement. But I would not mix that in with using the ISM itself in the litigation. I just know how successful good ISM is, and I know how hard it is to get people to believe in it, and begin to act accordingly with it.
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In our company newsletter we publish our near miss reports to try to demonstrate to the seafarers that openness is good. But as soon as the litigators get in and use the ISM against the seafarers, or the managers in the office, to me it will diminish the effectiveness of the ISM.
Mr. CLEMENT. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Clement. Mr. Johnson.
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I had the opportunity this weekend to ride on one of the new Coast Guard cutters going from Sturdson Bay to Green Bay. A nice new vessel, and I got to see some of the operation there. And I wanted to talk about, referencing both Mr. Ryan and Mr. du Moulin. You both talked about the need for more resources for the Coast Guard. And your written testimony here both referred to that, to do their job better, better training, better and more modern equipment.
And I wonder if you could both expand on this suggestion you're making for resources and training, any specifics that you have, ideas that you think the Coast Guard needs to do its job for better environmental management, and clean-up of the areas that they supervise out on the coastline.
Mr. RYAN. Mr. Johnson, one of the areas I addressed in my testimony dealt with having consistency of civilian personnel involved in technical areas, such as environmental protection.
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I think in the case of the Ballast Water Management Program the Coast Guard has had, run from Washington, from the national level, which had a great impact on the Great Lakesin the last, let's say, 4 or 5 years we've worked on that, there have been at leastthey're now in the third Coast Guard officer that we're working with on the issue.
Now, while we recognize that Coast Guard officers are well trained to be competent in all areas, there comes a time when one needs to have specialists, and probably civilians who are there, who one can depend upon over time.
So, I think that would be one area the Coast Guard should consider in that specific area of environment, and probably in other technical areas as well. Other than that, I think they just need to have the resources of people who are assigned to this environmental area.
That's all I have, sir.
Mr. DU MOULIN. As a businessman, I've really been interested in watching Admiral Kramek, and now Admiral Loy, reorganize the Coast Guard, in terms of cost-cutting and reorganization. And it's beenthey've done quite a job.
On the other hand, there hasn't been significant fleet replacement for a long time. And I know that as ships get older, they get more challenging to operate. And the Coast Guard fleet age is far older than comparable services in other countries. And they're stretched very thin from the drug interdiction, the illegal immigration, the environmental enforcement and safety.
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I know from just the locations of the ships and bases that have been closed, that it's a thinner net than it used to be. And I know there's been frustration expressed about drug interdiction, for example, a big challenge, but not enough resources. And then there's these other challenges.
And I think that this service is being asked to do a lot. And I see it from both a business perspective. I'm out on the water sailing every weekend. I just see the fact that this is a part of the government that is being given a large plate of activities, and could use more people resources, more modern hardware, and the funding to train the people better.
I agree with Mr. Ryan's comment about the civilian side. The effectiveness of the Coast Guard IMO in part is due to having some continuous civilian employees on the Coast Guard who really know their jobs, and this has been very effective.
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. I have another question for Mr. Ryan, because you touched on some of the differences in Great Lakes shipping, and ocean shipping, and for instance, in regard to the Ballast Water Exchange.
How does this effect the current and proposed rules and regulations regarding shipping?
Mr. RYAN. The proposed Ballast water regulations in my mind do not impact the Great Lakes, because we already have a very competent regime in place, working in conjunction with the Government of Canada through the Coast Guard and Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries. So I don't think that the proposed rulemaking will impact us.
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Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. So, you don't see it as a direct problem for you?
Mr. RYAN. No, we don't. We have kind of stayed above the curve by doing research before it was demanded. The governors of the eight Great Lakes States are very concerned with it, and through their Great Lakes Protection Fund have funded some initial research on the Great Lakes that supplement what is being done on the Federal level.
Our association is putting talent into that effort. The Canadian shipowners provided a vessel as a test platform. So, beyond the regulations, we're trying to work the problem.
Mr. JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN. Thank you very much, Mr. Ryan, Mr. du Moulin.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Johnson.
I just have a couple of quick questions. Mr. Cox and Ms. Colenda, could you both address the issue of new air pollution standard for the shipping and the cruise industry? I'm not very familiar with those? And its impact on your operations?
Mr. COX. Mr. Chairman, the IMO has, at the Diplomatic Conference, accepted an annex to MARPOL, which controls air pollution. It controls it in a number of areas. The impact on us is that we're going to have to comply with it, and all vessels that are subject to MARPOL will have to comply with it.
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I think that our Nation is right now trying to wrestle with how we are going to implement the requirements in the United States. We, from the deep sea perspective, believe that we can meet those requirements. And in fact, the manufacturers of new engines placed into a ship, or a replacement of an existing vessel engine, is going to have to meet some requirements I think by the Year 2000, which is well in advance of the actual implementation, or the potential implementation of the annex itself. So, we're taking some steps to comply already.
I think there are some other requirements dealing with VOC emissions, which can be dealt with.
Mr. GILCHREST. These new standards were promulgated at the IMO?
Mr. COX. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. What involvement did the U.S. have in developing those new regulations? Was it through our Coast Guard, RSPA? Who from this country was involved in that?
Mr. COX. Yes, sir. This started about 6 or 7 years ago at the IMO, and the IMO said we are going to have an Air Pollution Annex. The U.S. was very deeply involved. The delegation that went over to the Marine Environment Protection Committee of course is chaired by the Coast Guard.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Environmental Protection Agency went alongat most of these meetings. I must say, at the very initial meetings it was the Coast Guard and ourselves who were in the working group, but I'd say about maybe the third, fourth meeting, we began to have the EPA be the lead for the United States in the working group that dealt with the Air Pollution Annex, and to throw a real confident note to our government, the EPA sent over to the Diplomatic Conference an excellent individual who represented the U.S. very well, and in fact chaired the group that developed the Air Pollution Annex. So the United States took a very forceful lead, and it was the people within our government, the Coast Guard and EPA, that I think are the ones that took that lead.
Mr. GILCHREST. So then the international community, maritime community, will then comply with these new standards by the Year 2000?
Mr. COX. Well, sir, the annex itself has to be ratified by a certain number of governments in order to bring it into force, and that cannot really take place for a number of years, given the various ways that nations have of ratifying instruments.
Whether or not that comes into force at any particular time, however, the United States is taking the proper steps to implement air pollution requirements on vessels that are in international trade, and we've been dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard in trying to get a handle around exactly what should be done, and by what time it should be done.
Mr. GILCHREST. So the U.S. has accepted the standards as developed by the IMO, and now they will implement those standards on all U.S. vessels?
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Mr. COX. Yes, sir. One more step. If we as a nationit's no surprise to you, sir, that it gets a little bit complex. But we as a nation have certainly the opportunity to regulate any vessels coming into our waters, up to the limits that we've agreed in an international treaty to apply to them. And we're limited by the fact that we've signed an international treaty to those limits.
There is a difference when we talk about our domestic ships. And of course the United States as a sovereign nation has the opportunity to do whatever it wants in terms of controls on domestic ships. We would certainly say, do not require anything of us that is not required of our competitors in trade. And I would say that the United States should take a very hard look at what it would require of, let's say, the inland fleet, the coastal fleet.
Mr. GILCHREST. So there is no consensus among the IMO members now about these standards, you're saying? Or the timeframe. Is it the timeframe?
Mr. COX. The timeframe only that's in question right now.
Mr. GILCHREST. I see.
Mr. COX. The timeframe is that it will come into force internationally when a certain number of nations ratify the treaty, representing 50 percent of the world's fleet. And there's questions as to when that's going to happen, and of course it depends on what nations ratify, and what percent of the world's fleet they represent.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GILCHREST. Is that on a schedule for IMO for any time soon to be discussed, and then ratified?
Mr. COX. No, sir. The actual annex itself has been written. Now it's up to the international governments representing nations to ratify or not ratify as they see fit. I would think that those governments are now in the process of looking at the instrument, and analyzing whether they should ratify or not.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is that a possible point of contention or discussion when one of the IMO subcommittees meet this fall?
Mr. COX. I think there will probably be a report on how many nations have ratified the treaty, and also probably a discussion in the plenary session, along the lines of where are you in the process of ratification.
We in the United States do have to get Senate advice and consent for that, because it's not an adjunct to one of the treaty's annexes. This is a whole new area for the United States; not for us as a nation, for us in the international realm.
Mr. GILCHREST. I see.
Ms. Colenda, do you have a comment on the air pollution standards?
Ms. COLENDA. Yes, Mr. Chairman. As it relates to our industry, as you know the ICCL and its member lines, have received nongovernment organization status at IMO. So we were very involved with the Coast Guard in the development of these regulations, and in fact supported them.
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The only additional piece of information that I can give as far as it applies to our industry is, since our incineration activities are on board, incinerators would also need to comply with these regulations. Since we supported the provision, our industry feels very good about being able to comply with the international requirements.
Mr. GILCHREST. So the present engineering design of your incinerators would, to your understanding, meet with the new standards for
Ms. COLENDA. Yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. Just one quick question aboutI was on a ship about 34 years ago, but it was a Navy ship. And they always blew the whistles, and every afternoon they'd say all nonburnable trash to the fantail, and all the burnable trash to the incinerator.
Ms. COLENDA. It's changed.
Mr. GILCHREST. Sharks would always follow the ship. I don't know what we threw overboard, but
So, what you're saying is the cruise industryand I would suppose all the ships in general have developed a waste management regime which will, I assume, recycle certain things. Either contain certain things until when you get to port, and get rid of them that way.
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I know there's a big issue in the Chesapeake Bay dealing with recreational boaters not throwing their sludge overboard. And a lot of marinas have facilities where this can bewhat do you do on the cruise ships, with the sludge? Some of it is used on the intershore for compost.
Ms. COLENDA. My technical expert is telling me that we separate our sludge. Go ahead, Ted.
Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. Chairman, the cruise ships have a very sophisticated and technically complex system to separate any oils from any water that may be entrained. The oils are then stored in a sludge tank for, in some instances, burning within each
Mr. GILCHREST. We're talking about human waste, when you refer to this sludge.
Mr. THOMPSON. I'm talking about the oil sludge, oil and waste. I'm speaking about the oil and waste stream.
Mr. GILCHREST. How about, you have 3,000 people on this ship, which is bigger than most of the towns in my district. And some of those towns have small sewage treatment plants to deal with the sludge from the communities. So if you have a big ship, 3,000 people, what do you do with the sludge, the human waste?
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. THOMPSON. For the human waste, which we refer to as black water, we have very sophisticated treatment systems that meet with the United States regulatory requirements. And that black water, as it's referred to, is treated into an almost pure state. And in some instances it is then dehydrated and burned, and in other instances, once it meets the discharge standards set by United States regulations, then it is discharged overboard when the ships are at sea.
Mr. GILCHREST. So, it wouldn't be discharged at port, or in awhen you say it's discharged at sea, is there any particular depth or distance from shore that's required there?
Mr. THOMPSON. There's not a specific requirement. General policy is to wait to beyond 12 miles from shore.
Mr. GILCHREST. I see.
Well, gentlemen, we may have some more questions. I do. And I think I'll probably mail them to you at this point, if you don't mind. But Mr. du Moulin, Mr. Ryan, Captain Thompson, Ms. Colenda, and Mr. Coxwe might have to put on your business card, adjunct employee of the subcommittee.
But anyway, thank you, ladies and gentlemen for coming. We enjoyed your testimony. It was very informative. Thank you very much.
And our next panel, our third panel: Ms. Lori Williams, vice president for oceans program, Center for Marine Conservation.
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I'm just trying to get the faces lined up with the names.
Mr. Thom Grasso, Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Good morning, Tom.
Mr. GRASSO. Good morning.
Mr. GILCHREST. We've worked with Tom on a number of occasions a number of times, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a friendly neighbor to the biological systems in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. So, we appreciate you coming here this afternoon, Tom.
Mr. GRASSO. Thank you.
And Sally Lentz, Ocean Advocates. Welcome. We look forward to your testimony.
Ms. Williams, you may begin.
Ms. WILLIAMS. Thank you.
TESTIMONY OF LORI WILLIAMS, VICE PRESIDENT FOR OCEAN PROGRAMS, CENTER FOR MARINE CONSERVATION; TOM V. GRASSO, MARYLAND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION; AND SALLY ANN LENTZ, OCEAN ADVOCATES
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. WILLIAMS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's been very great to work with you in the past. I'm a veteran of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. I recognize quite a few people here. And also want to recognize your work on a number of conservation issues, including the Endangered Species Act, and other things I will not be discussing today.
Mr. GILCHREST. Well, there's a hearing on that at 2:00 in the National Resources Committee, if you wanted to attend.
Ms. WILLIAMS. Thank you, I would love to. But I'm now busy doing other things.
Today, I'd like to talk about some of the many programs that Center for Marine Conservation works with in terms of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard, as you heard today, plays a critical role in environmental protection and compliance. And I'm not going to be able to even talk about all the programs that we are working with on the Coast Guard in any great detail.
What I'd like to concentrate on today is especially our work with the Coast Guard on outreach and education.
I think you heard a lot about the importance of enforcement and compliance; but also increasingly about the important role of working with the communities, working with industry, working with private partners, to get the word out about environmental complaints, to get the word out about pollution.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One of the areas the Center for Marine Conservation has been the most active in is trying to reduce solid waste, the kind of waste that you would think would be the easiest for people to recognize, and to remove from the marine environment; plastics and other types of solid waste and garbage, that has been far from easy.
One of the things that we have done as the Center for Marine Conservation is coordinate an international coastal clean-up. It is now in over 80 countries all over the world. It's in all 50 States, in 6 territories. And this has been a great vehicle to get the public aware of what is being dumped in the ocean, and shows up on their beaches.
It's just 1 day a year. It doesn't solve the problem, but it gets people aware. And the Coast Guard has been extremely helpful with that, especially in terms of our underwater clean up. We now have divers going out into the water, and finding things on the bottom of the oceans, and the Coast Guard has been involved in helping us get the really heavy bulky items out.
The other areas we've been really active with on the Coast Guard is trying to train people about what the marine debris problems are, and how to solve them. And the Coast Guard Sea Partners Program has been critical in this area. We have worked with them in producing materials. I have examples of some of those here today. Very useful materials to give to the public, and to give to ship owners, and marina owners.
We have been involved in training the Coast Guard, not only the Coast Guard personnel themselves, but the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is a great group of former Coast Guard employees, who once they're trained, they then distribute a great deal of material to the public.
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In fact, I think the figures are in my testimony. But in 1997, over 500,000 pieces of information about the marine environment and how to deal with it were distributed by the Coast Guard and the Auxiliary. So they're having a major impact.
Beyond that, we're looking at how to solve some of the marine debris problems at the front end, and that is being accomplished in our Model Communities Program. What we do, is we try to go into an individual community, identify their waste problems, and identify the best way to solve those waste problems. And the Coast Guard is helping us with a particular project we started in Pinellas County, Florida.
We're working with marinas to train marina operators on how best to handle their waste problem, and how best to deal with their boaters and their waste problems. And the Coast Guard is cooperating with us, to the extent of their resources, in terms of helping us train those marina operators.
The one concern that I have and our organization has, is that the Sea Partners Program, where a lot of this work is done, is not funded directly. In fact, it has been in the past, but now it receives no funds of its own, and my understanding is, completely depended on an out-of-hide funding from the marine service offices and from some other defense spending.
So, although I think everyone's recognizing the outreach of education and working through these groups is an extremely important area, the resources are very iffy. And we're real concerned that this will continue.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The one other comment I wanted to make on another issue, is on the balance water issue we very, very much support mandatory balance water regulations that are in place for the Great Lakes, and for that to be applied for broadly.
So, I'll stop now with the red light, and wait for your questions.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much.
Ms. LENTZ. Thank you. Ocean Advocates is a national environmental organization dedicated to the protection of the marine and coastal environment.
I want to begin this morning by sharingor maybe it's afternoon alreadythe following scenario.
It's winter, and there are gale force in the Strait of Juan De Fuca. A fully-laden tanker from Valdez, Alaska enters the strait, and just as it clears the entrance, the rudder goes hard over, and stays there.
The 30-to 40-knot winds drive the ship toward Cape Flattery and Dunce Rocks, one and a half miles away. The nearest help, a tug, is 70 miles away at Port Angeles, a 7-hour trip, minimum, in gale conditions. The tanker, millions of gallons of crude oil on board, is driven onto the rocky shore within an hour. The oil starts spreading away from the stricken ship in a lethal expanding sheet.
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The question we have to ask today is what has occurred in the past 8 years since the enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to make it less likely that such a nightmare would become a reality. And more specifically, what has the Coast Guard done to implement the key preventive measures set out in OPA 90.
The answer to that question I'm sorry to say is very little. With the exception of the liability and double hull provisions, the Coast Guard has failed to conclude regulatory initiatives on key provisions for improving prevention capability.
As you know, OPA requires all ships to have double hull, but that mandate is being phased in over time, and will not be full effective until the Year 2015.
Right now, over 90 percent of the existing fleet is still single hull. And despite what was just said this morning by Mr. Gilmour, the Marine Board report, that recently was issued, has determined that decreases in oil spills over the past 5 years cannot be attributed to any regulatory actions.
But then you might say, didn't OPA 90 instruct the Coast Guard to provide interim measures for those single-hull ships, until the double-hull mandate takes effect? And the answer is yes. But the Coast Guard dragged its feet for years, and finally determined only last year that none of the proposed measures was economically feasible, despite the fact that the international community accepts hydrostatic balance loading as a means to minimize spills.
But what about the OPA requirements for tug escorts? OPA specifically requires tug escorts in this Puget Sound area. Clearly, if a ship in our scenario had an escort, the incident would be less likely to occur. However, the Coast Guard has endorsed a so-called tug of opportunity system, rather than tug escorts, that relies upon chance that a tug will be available to respond to an emergency in this part of Puget Sound.
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A Coast Guard-sponsored study released a year ago concluded that the tug of opportunity system is not appropriate for this area, because the tugs are simply not there. Tug escorts are needed. In the meantime the Coast Guard continues to study the problem.
Okay, you might say, even if you can't prevent the spill from occurring, the crew could deploy onboard response equipment. That's also required under OPA. A boom and a skimmer to contain the spill, while the full scale response ever gets underway would be very helpful. Because as we know from experience, unless that initial response occurs within the first 4 hours, 90 percent of the oil will be lost.
The Coast Guard regulations implementing this OPA requirement only require onboard carriage of equipment, such as mops and buckets to clean up operational spills on decks. This is not what Congress intended.
The Coast Guard Appropriations Act of 1993 specifically instructed the Coast Guard to test and evaluate technology that could be carried safely aboard tankers. And it also required that the report be sent back to Congress within 2 years on the feasibility and environmental benefits of requiring tankers to carry that equipment. Five years later that report has still not been provided.
These and other failed regulatory initiatives, that could turn my sad scenario around are addressed in greater detail in my written statement. Something must be done to address what appears to be bureaucratic complacency and implementation of OPA.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The failure to move forward with these statutorily mandated regulatory initiatives is impermissible and intolerable, given the serious risks involved. We cannot rely solely on voluntary action by industry.
The regulatory infrastructure and legal authority is already in place to improve oil spill prevention. OPA saw to that. Need we wait for the next major spill before we move ahead? Congress must not allow the Coast Guard to undermine its good intentions.
A national survey determined that the number one concern of the public when it comes to the health of the ocean is the risk of an oil spill. As evident in my remarks this morning, and set forth in detail in my written statement, that concern is not unfounded.
It is time that the Coast Guard be publicly accountable for its inactions. And we suggest that the subcommittee take whatever steps are necessary to initiate a GAO investigation of the Coast Guard Marine Environmental Protection and Compliance Program, for the purpose of identifying the obstacles to timely and effective implementation of OPA, and for developing a strategy for overcoming those obstacles.
Second, we suggest a nationwide institutionalization of the Regional Citizens Advisory Council, the RCAC, that was established under OPA to facilitate broader and more meaningful public participation.
The principally and sound RCAC has met with great success improving relations between the public, State, and Federal agencies in Alaska, and establishing standards that exceed all mandates put forward by OPA 90. It is a model deserving of duplication in a number of busy coastal areas around the country. And it will provide the opportunity to broaden the partnership base beyond just the Coast Guard and industry, to include those segments of the public who have a vested interest in protecting their local environment.
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In conclusion, the scenario I presented at the beginning of my remarks this morning is fictional. It was taken from The Ballard News Tribune in Seattle, from July 1st of this year. But without further action by Congress, we fear that that fictional nightmare will surely become a tragic reality. And we urge you to use the means at your disposal to prevent such a tragedy. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much.
Mr. GILCHREST. I know The Washington Post is a great newspaper, but if everybody in here was reading a newspaper, we wouldn't really have a very attentive hearing, so I would ask the gentleman tothank you very much.
Mr. GRASSO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is indeed a pleasure and a privilege to be here, and appear in front of your subcommittee today.
My name is Tom Grasso. I'm the Maryland executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is the nation's largest regional conservation organization, dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Chairman, I'd first like to thank you for your leadership on environmental issues, both in the State of Maryland, and here in Congress. We are indeed privileged to have you representing the First Congressional District of Maryland, and I would just like to say thank you.
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On the topic of the day, the Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure, with a watershed of over 64,000 square miles. The Bay itself is home to 2,700 species of plants and animals. The Bay watershed spanning five States is home to nearly 15 million people. It is indeed an estuary that is under threat from a number of pollution sources, but has also demonstrated that it has a resilience that nature can only describe best.
In Maryland alone, speaking specifically about oil transport and the threat of oil spills in the Bay, Maryland alonewe transport over 1 billion gallons of oil annually on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. If you look at the Bay as a whole, including the lower ports in Virginia, that number goes to 4 billion. That's a lot of oil to be transported on a bay that has an average depth of 24 feet, and a very narrow shipping channel.
I'm sure on the number of trips that you've taken over the Bay Bridge, you've seen a number of the large ships anchored south of the bridge, weighing for entrance into the port of Baltimore. In some respects that's like a traffic jam that we have on the Baltimore Beltway, and the situation that exist on the Bay today is simply an accident waiting to happen.
I was interested to hear the Exxon Valdez oil spill mentioned. Next year will be its 10-year anniversary.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did an evaluation of environmental sensitivity of areas to oil spills, and found that the Chesapeake Bay ranked, in almost every case, 9 out of 10, meaning 10 being the most environmentally sensitive. And not to diminish the ecological value of the Prince William Sound, many of those areas in Prince William Sound rank under 7. So indeed, the Chesapeake Bay is a very fragile and susceptible body of water to oil spills.
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We have one very simple recommendation today. We have provided the committee with written testimony, as well as a report that we did recently, that provides more detailed recommendations. But to be brief, the 1990 Oil Pollution Act does not require double hull barges under 5,000 gross tons until the Year 2015. And there's even some question, based on the statutory language whether that requirement will even be put into place then.
We believe that the Chesapeake Bay deserves the same protections that other bodies of water in the United States are provided under the Oil Pollution Act, with double hull tankers being required.
I was disappointed to hear today from the industry, despite many of the efforts that they've made, that there is not an alternative design to double hulls, that seems like an alternative that either may be less costly or more effective. I think that's unfortunate, but we do hope that technology will provide some solutions in this area. But an ounce of prevention is much better than going after oil spills after they occur.
I will say that we think the Coast Guard has done an admirable job of dealing with the oil spills that have occurred on the Chesapeake Bay since OPA has been passed, but again, preventing spills is really the approach that we would prefer to see. And with that I'll stop, and be happy to answer any questions. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much, Tom.
Let me start with you. I was going to ask you if you had any recommendations to the Coast Guard oversight of transport of oil. And your recommendation then would be for barges under 5,000 gross tons to also include double hulls?
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Mr. GRASSO. That's correct. Many of the barges that travel the Bay have a capacity of up to 3.4 million gallons. That's an awful lot of oil that we're risking being spilled, if there is an accident on one of the shoals in the Bay, or traveling up one of the tribs in the Chesapeake. So, we think that that's one of the most effective ways of dealing with oil spills in a preventive manner. There are a number of other recommendations.
I think one of the important things that the Coast Guard could do and improve on, is better communication with the public. You know, Mr. Chairman, how avid Marylanders are about the Chesapeake, and how many of them spend time on the water.
One of the things that we find most effective in dealing with problems is educating the public about what they can do about it, and using them as the eyes and ears, if you will, of some of the government agencies. And I think the Coast Guard could improve some of their practices in that area. It's difficult, and they're not unique in this, in getting information from Federal agencies, and getting it in a manner that's easily understood for the public, and in ways that they can respond to it in their daily life. So, I think that would be an important
Mr. GILCHREST. Is this something that could hook up with what Ms. Williams was talking about, the Sea Partners Program?
Mr. GRASSO. Perhaps it could be, yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. Have you two met before?
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Mr. GRASSO. Yes, we have, but a number of years ago.
Mr. GILCHREST. Ms. Williams said no, and Tom said yes.
Mr. GRASSO. I have a good memory, but it's going untold.
Mr. GILCHREST. Seriously though, the Sea Partners Program has an existing structure where they train marineor the marina operators, or people who own marinas, and so on. The Coast Guard is always strappedeverybody's strapped for money. Everybody's strapped for manpower. And right now, it seems that the Coast Guard is being strapped like everybody else, but their responsibility's increased. There's more boaters. There's more ships on the high seas. There's more drug interdiction, potential problems. There's more smuggling of illegal immigrants. There's all these things.
So, if we had a chance to collaborate with this program, on what you're talking about, I think it might be helpful.
Ms. WILLIAMS. I think you're right, Mr. Chairman. I think exactly when you have a time of resource shortages, it's really important to get these partnership efforts going. I mean, there's a lot that we can do with the Coast Guard. We can't do without them. And I think some of these joint effortsand we can produce some of the materials, but to actually distribute them to 500,000 people, the way the Auxiliary does, and that's not even Coast Guard personnel.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, you're using the expertise of the Auxiliary. Those are mostly volunteer efforts, but you still have to provide that initial training. So you have to make the investment up front to produce the material, and to train the Auxiliary. Then you get a tremendous benefit after that of getting that information out to the public.
Mr. GILCHREST. Tom, you made a comment about alternatives to double hulls in the interim timeframe, between now and 2015. Have you also looked at alternatives in lieu of double hulls, in certain instances?
We have talked to a number of people who say that there are alternatives to double hulls, that are better than double hulls, so why have double hulls? Is that an issue that you've looked at?
Mr. GRASSO. Well, we haven't heard of any alternatives that are currently approved by the Coast Guard that are better alternatives to the double hull design. However, I think that's something that is certainly worth looking into. I think that's something that probably is more in the purview of the industry. We don't have that expertise on staff, quite frankly, to do that sort of research, but I'd be happy to try and get more information on other alternative ship designs that might provide some assistance to you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you. Ms. Lentz.
Ms. LENTZ. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I'm somewhat familiar with this, as I served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee that looked at tank vessel design. And I think that the alternatives that you're referring to, which are several designs that have come to light recently, are ones that should be looked at.
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The difficulty here is that the double hull, as it currently exists, provides a certain level of protection, especially with respect to the probability of what they call zero discharge, as opposed to the probability of a extreme discharge or a mean discharge. And because the IMO standard does not meet that level of probability of zero discharge, the Coast Guard reserved its position on behalf of the U.S. with respect to that particular standard.
If there were a new design on the scene that could achieve an equivalent level of protection as the double hull
Mr. GILCHREST. A zero discharge.
Ms. LENTZ. for zero discharge, then clearly the environmental community at least would be supportive of that. But so far we haven't seen any designs which meet that standard.
Mr. GILCHREST. Your position right now is to stick with the U.S. position, as opposed to the IMO position. Is there a possibilityI think the zero standard, that's the best you can get, but there are certain circumstances under which people have described to me, that with the double hull, massive collision without some of these alternatives, would be worse than a single hull with some of the other alternative engineering designs to prevent oil from spilling out of a ship. You wouldn't get a zero discharge, but neither would you get a 300,000-gallon discharge.
Ms. LENTZ. Right. Well, the first thing you have to understand is that not all double hulls are created equal. And that was one of the findings of the most recent National Academy Report that came out. And efforts are underway within IMO to improve that. Because there are actually some double hulls out there that perform less well than some single-hull tanks, because those designs are not all the same. So, that's one point.
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The second is that, there's been a large discussion about whether you protect a large number of small spills or a small number of large spills. And in my personal opinionthis is just my opinion. If you have a catastrophic spill, the extra hundred gallons, or whatever, of oil aren't going to make that much difference in terms of the clean up and the overall consequences.
But, none of the designs that are being discussed as alternatives have been proven, and none of them actually for a fact do perform better than a double hull in worse case scenario.
The other point I want to say, there was some suggestion earlier that double hulls may be more difficult to salvage. Well, the salvage representatives in the National Academy of Sciences Committee indicated that in fact double hulls are often more easily salvaged because there's more engineering opportunities to do different kinds of things, because you have the inner hull and the outer hull.
So, the jury is out on this. There's no real consensus. But in U.S. waters we are concerned primarily with groundings. We are concerned about those low-level groundings and the proliferation of those smaller spills. Because, it doesn't matter if you have a large spill or small spill, you have to respond to it.
And in terms of the environment, you can have a small spill which has more devastating effects than a much larger spill, depending on the particular circumstances; where the spill occurs, the time of year, whether it's a fishing area, or whatever. So, you can't necessarily make that cut very keenly, that somehow a small spill is better than a large spill.
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Mr. GILCHREST. So you're saying, based on where little tankers go in the United States, most of those port of calls that benefit because of their geography, their physical make-up from double hulls?
Ms. LENTZ. Yes. And that's one of the main driving factors for instituting the double hull mandate in the first place.
Mr. GILCHREST. Would Alaska be an exception to that?
Ms. LENTZ. I'm sorry?
Mr. GILCHREST. Would Alaska be an exception to that?
Ms. LENTZ. I'm not sure about that. But the point was that, if you look at the worldwide statistics, groundings account for a larger percentage of casualties in the U.S. than they do in the world at large. That's why we are concerned about those smaller spills.
Mr. GILCHREST. Tom, could you describe to usnot that I want you tonot that I want it to happen. I hope it never happens.
Could you describe to us a massivethe average oil transport on the Chesapeake Bay, I would assume then is from barges?
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GRASSO. That's correct.
Mr. GILCHREST. Especially after Baltimore. And the average barge would carry about how much oil? Let's say if it went to Baltimore as opposed to Salisbury.
Mr. GRASSO. Well, up to 3.4 million gallons. So, it varies, but that's the maximum capacity that we know of in barges.
Mr. GILCHREST. Would you say the safety structure of thatthe transport of that structure and the safety provisions in place, whether it be Department of Natural Resources, or Coast Guard, or the Maryland Pilots Association, do you have any qualms with the way that they do their job?
Mr. GRASSO. We think that the group of agencies, including the Coast Guard, that have been in oil spill response in the Chesapeake Bay have done an admiral job of dealing with the hundreds of small oil spills that occur. However, I guess our point in being here today is to try and, as one of the industry spokesmen said, get to a zero discharge approach. And the double hull being the one main recommendation as to how to do that.
A couple of examples I guess is maybe what you were looking for. One of the largest spills we had was some time ago, when a barge ran aground, spilling 250,000 gallons of fuel into the Bay. Now, that's pails in comparison to the Exxon Valdez, but an estimated 10,000 waterfowl were killed as a result of that oil spill, and the clean-up costs then exceeded over a million dollars.
Page 87 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC August 1988, we had another barge run aground, containing a million gallons of fuel oil. The spill was roughly a quarter of that total capacity, and resulted in, at this point, untold damage to the area where it occurred.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is that what caused the spill, it ran aground?
Mr. GRASSO. I'm sorry?
Mr. GILCHREST. Is that what caused the accident, it just simply ran aground?
Mr. GRASSO. Is it because it ran aground, the reason the spill occurred?
Mr. GILCHREST. Right.
Mr. GRASSO. Yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. And it ran aground. Was there a reason it ran aground?
Mr. GRASSO. I can get you that information. I don't have the specifics on that spill, since it was a number of years ago, but we have it in our reports.
But, I guess the point about both of those incidents is, and I think is best illustrated by some of the concerns over the captains of the wood-bred boats entering the Chesapeake Bay was the concern of the shallowness. In fact, one of the boats hired someone who was familiar with the Chesapeake to sail those boats up the Chesapeake.
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Those were, as I recall, 14 foot draft boats. We're talking about tankers and barges that have 25 feet of draft, and some instances some of the larger ships going up the Bay, 40 to 45 feet of draft. So, it's a pretty precarious place to be driving those big boats. And I think the pilots that pilot them do a very good job of maneuvering in what is almost like a cattle shoot, if you will.
Mr. GILCHREST. So, right now, a barge above 5,000 gross tons would fall into the mandatory regulation to have double hulls?
Mr. GRASSO. Others may be able to answer this better than I, but the 1990 Oil Pollution Act was a phase-in of the double hull requirements, so it's not clear which ones at this point on the Chesapeake are required to have double hulls as of this date or not. You have to look at what is a pretty complex statutory scheme to figure that out.
Mr. GILCHREST. Well, we'll take a look at it, and see if we can do that.
Mr. GRASSO. Yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. Ms. Williams, the International Coast Clean Up, where are the locations where that's occurring? Are there specific places around the world where certain agreements have been made to follow up on that?
Ms. WILLIAMS. Yes. What we do is, is we do outreach to as many countries as we can, and not every country participates every year. And we don't havewhat we do, is we work through coordinators, so we have a coordinator in each country, and actually in each State. And they then do the outreach to their communities and to their country. So we try toeven when we've been in a country, we also try to then expand a number of beaches.
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It's also not just beaches on the coastline, it's now in a number of rivers, and a number of inland waters.
Mr. GILCHREST. So, you have volunteers that go out there, and either know or look for trash or objects below the surface? And then your organization would then contact the Coast Guard, or some other local agency to come and
Ms. WILLIAMS. Most of the clean up is actually on shore, on beaches. And that'speople we give them the trashbasically the State coordinatorwe mail all the trash bags, and all the equipment they need, and give the State coordinator his training. And then they have site coordinators. And the site coordinators coordinate the volunteers. They go out and they do the clean up the third Saturday of every September.
What we started a couple years ago is an underwater clean up. There we work through dive shops. We coordinate with the dive group patty, and a number of other diving groups. And we get divers involved. And everyone also has to fill out an information card about what they pick up.
And so we now get divers involved in going out and picking up trash. And if they find somethingin the past they found a number of things that they literally couldn't pick up, or it wouldn't be safe for them to pick up. And in a number of instance the Coast Guard has helped us retrieved those.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you. It sounds like a program we ought to initiate via the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in the State of Maryland. If we could hook up for that, I think we would probably find a lot of volunteers to go out there and clean up the beaches.
Ms. WILLIAMS. That would be great.
Mr. GILCHREST. Ms. Lentz, you made a couple of comments about the Coast Guard, the tug escorts versus the Tug Opportunity proposal. The boom and skimmers not being required on tankers. And the report by the Coast Guard to evaluate whether or not they would proceed with that has not been given to Congress.
Ms. LENTZ. That's correct. And in fact, you participated, sir, in a hearing where the Coast Guard was asked about his, and it was at that hearing that Admiral Kyme
Mr. GILCHREST. Admiral Kyme. This is going back now.
Ms. LENTZ. Yes. That they would in fact take this on. And it hasn't happened.
In fact, what they did was a couple of years agoand this is documented in my written testimonythe Coast Guard did run a test with a company in Texas that has developed some remote control technology; that you can actually deploy a boat, a boom, and a skimmer, with one crew person deploying it from the ship.
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And they did a test, and evaluated it. And apparently it was, by all accounts, very successfully. The system operated flawlessly. And the Coast Guard has never issued a report on that test. And they haven't issued the report that the Congress mandated them to provide.
Mr. GILCHREST. We'll take a look at that this afternoon, and try to get the report by the end of the week.
Ms. LENTZ. That will be very helpful.
Mr. GILCHREST. Somebody laughed in the back of the room. If this has been done a number of years ago, especially if it was implemented when Admiral Kyme was the commandant of the Coast Guard, then they ought to have some piece of information about that readily available. We'll take a close look at it.
Ms. Lentz, Ms. Williams, Mr. Grasso, thank you very much for your participation. We enjoyed your testimony. We hope we have a continuing line of communication with you. If there's anything you need from us, please don't hesitate to call. Thank you very much. The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:31 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.]