Spill Response Spills Over

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency have temporarily suspended oil spill response time requirements, and certain identification and location requirements, for facilities and vessels whose response resources are relocated in support of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

     Under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, owners and operators of facilities and vessels involved in oil and gas drilling must have approved response plans that identify and ensure the availability of personnel and equipment to substantially remove a worst case discharge or to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of a discharge from their operations within a certain period of time.
     The agencies’ action means that owners and operators of drilling operations will not be held liable if their spill response teams cannot be immediately available due to redeployment to the Deepwater Horizon spill.
     The agencies also have requested that response resources belonging to the armed forces, particularly those of the Navy, be sent from their current continental U.S. locations to the Gulf of Mexico to aid in the response to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.

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