Text: H.R.2158 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

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HR 2158 IH
101st CONGRESS
1st Session
 H. R. 2158
To provide better maritime safety for Prince William Sound, Alaska, and for
other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 27, 1989
Mr. YOUNG of Alaska (for himself, Mr. ANDERSON and Mr. WELDON) introduced
the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Merchant
Marine and Fisheries and Public Works and Transportation
A BILL
To provide better maritime safety for Prince William Sound, Alaska, and for
other purposes.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
  This Act may be cited as the `Prince William Sound Oil Spill Response Act
  of 1989'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
  Congress finds that--
  (1) the oil spill resulting from the grounding of the T/V Exxon Valdez
  on March 24, 1989, in Prince William Sound, Alaska, is an economic and
  ecological disaster of major proportions;
  (2) the subsequent response and cleanup efforts have been hindered by lack
  of centralized authority;
  (3) the oil spill contingency plan currently approved for Prince William
  Sound, Alaska, is wholly inadequate;
  (4) existing law governing oil spill response, prepositioning of cleanup
  equipment, and granting of mariners' licenses applicable to Prince William
  Sound, Alaska, must be changed as a result of the T/V Exxon Valdez spill;
  (5) insufficient funds are available for living marine resource environmental
  damage assessment, environmental monitoring, and oil spill cleanup research
  and development for marine spills that affect living marine resources and
  marine transportation; and
  (6) immediate remedial action must be taken to resolve problems identified
  after the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent response.
SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF ARCTIC WATERS.
  (1) For the purposes of this Act, the term `Arctic waters' means the
  navigable waters of the United States within the State of Alaska and
  the waters of the exclusive economic zone established by Presidential
  Proclamation Numbered 5030, dated March 10, 1983, adjacent to the State
  of Alaska.
TITLE I--OIL SPILL PREVENTION AND RESPONSE
SEC. 101. COAST GUARD AUTHORITY.
  (a) In the event of an unlawful discharge or release of oil into or upon
  Arctic waters or adjoining shorelines, the Secretary of the Department
  in which the Coast Guard is operating shall take all necessary and proper
  actions to remove the oil and mitigate damage to the living marine resources
  in those waters.
  (b) This section does not relieve the party responsible for the unlawful
  discharge or release of oil from liability under this or any other law.
SEC. 102. TANK VESSEL REQUIREMENTS.
  (a) Within sixty days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary
  of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall, by regulation
  under section 3703(3) of title 46, United States Code:
  (1) require tank vessels transporting oil from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline
  within Prince William Sound, Alaska, to be escorted by at least one towing
  vessel (as defined under section 2101 of title 46, United States Code)
  or other vessel considered appropriate by the Secretary;
  (2) in addition to the requirements of section 8502 of title 46, United
  States Code, require the use of an additional pilot licensed by the State
  of Alaska for all tank vessels navigating between the Port of Valdez,
  Alaska, and a point in Prince William Sound, Alaska, south of Bligh Reef; and
  (3) require a tank vessel operating in Prince William Sound, Alaska,
  to carry equipment or materials sufficient to minimize the damage to the
  coastal and marine environment and repond quickly in the event of an oil
  spill, including:
  (A) sufficient heavy-duty oil boom and deployment capability to encircle
  the vessel at one hundred yards or more;
  (B) materials or other equipment to control oil leakage from the vessel; and
  (C) pumps or other necessary equipment.
SEC. 103. RADAR COVERAGE.
  Not later than January 1, 1990, the Secretary of the department in which
  the Coast Guard is operating shall prepare a plan to modify radar coverage
  of Prince William Sound, Alaska. The plan shall include construction of
  new radar sites to cover all of the Vessel Traffic System within Prince
  William Sound, a review of existing radar surveillance programs to ensure
  constant contact with vessel traffic when necessary, and a review of radar
  maintenance policies to ensure that the System is maintained at or above
  accepted industry standards.
SEC. 104. EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL REQUIREMENTS.
  Within sixty days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of
  the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall issue regulations
  for Prince William Sound, Alaska, to--
  (1) require the prepositioning of oil spill containment and cleanup
  equipment in the Port of Valdez, the City of Cordova, and other locations
  within the geographic boundaries of Prince William Sound, Alaska, including
  escort vessels with skimming capability, barges to receive recovered oil,
  heavy duty sea boom, pumping, transferring, lightering equipment and other
  appropriate recovery equipment for protection of the coastal and marine
  environment, including fish hatcheries;
  (2) require the person in charge of the Port of Valdez to provide adequate
  reception facilities, or ensure that the facilities are available, for
  receiving oil removed from the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska;
  (3) establish an oil spill response team at Cordova, Tatitlek, Chenega,
  or other appropriate locations in Prince William Sound, Alaska, consisting
  of trained personnel in sufficient numbers to provide an immediate response
  to a spill of two hundred thousand barrels of oil;
  (4) conduct periodic oil spill response exercises, including the practice
  and training of the response team with the prepositioned equipment not
  less than two times per year; and
  (5) provide training in oil spill containment and recovery techniques
  for individuals engaged in the cultivation or production of fish or fish
  products in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
TITLE II--SANCTIONS
SEC. 201. REVOCATION.
  Title 14, United States Code, is amended by--
  (1) adding a new section 7706 to read as follows:
`Sec. 7706. Alcohol as grounds for revocation in Prince William Sound, Alaska
  `(a) If it is shown at a hearing under this chapter that a holder of a
  license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner's document issued
  under this part, within ten years before the beginning of the proceedings,
  has been convicted of violating an alcohol-related law of the United States
  or of a State, the license, certificate, document shall be revoked.
  `(b) If it is shown that a holder has been addicted to alcohol, the license,
  certificate of registry, or merchant mariner's document shall be revoked
  unless the holder provides satisfactory proof that the holder has controlled
  the holder's addiction.'.
  (2) amending the analysis of chapter 77 by adding at the end the following
  new item 7706:
`7706. Alcohol as grounds for revocation in Prince William Sound, Alaska.'.
SEC. 202. PENALTY RECOMMENDATION.
  Not later than October 1, 1989, the Secretary of the department in which
  the Coast Guard is operating shall report to the Committee on Merchant
  Marine and Fisheries of the House of Representatives and the Committee on
  Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate on the adequacy of
  civil penalties for violations of existing laws governing the operation
  of a tank vessel by an individual under the influence of alcohol, and any
  proposals for changes in, or additions to, those laws.
TITLE III--ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN PRINCE
WILLIAM SOUND
SEC. 301. LIVING MARINE RESOURCE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING.
  (a) Out of sums appropriated for each of fiscal years 1990, 1991, and 1992,
  the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department of Commerce
  shall expend at least $5,000,000 in each fiscal year to conduct living
  marine resource damage assessments and to monitor the short- and long-term
  environmental effects on living marine resources in Arctic waters due to
  the oil spill that occurred as a result of the grounding of the T/V Exxon
  Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989.
  (b) The Secretary of Commerce shall, whenever possible, recover the sums
  expended under subsection (a) from the owner or operator of the T/V Exxon
  Valdez. These sums shall be credited to the appropriations of the National
  Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
SEC. 302. MARITIME RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.
  There is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 1990--
  (1) to the Coast Guard, $5,000,000 to conduct research on and develop
  techniques, methods, hardware, and systems which directly contribute to
  the ability of the Coast Guard to respond to oil spills in Arctic waters; and
  (2) to the Maritime Administration, $3,000,000 to conduct technical and
  program studies on the safety of tank vessels operating in Arctic waters.
TITLE IV--PLANS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
SEC. 401. SECRETARIAL REPORT.
  Not later than October 1, 1989, after providing a thirty-day public
  comment period, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is
  operating shall report to the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries
  of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science,
  and Transportation of the Senate on--
  (1) actions taken by the Secretary to correct inadequacies of existing
  contingency plans for Prince William Sound, Alaska;
  (2) a list of oil pollution exercises conducted in the Port of Valdez and
  Prince William Sound, Alaska, during the operation of the Trans-Alaska
  Pipeline;
  (3) any recommendations for changes in existing laws or plans to provide
  for prompt and efficient response to oil spills in Prince William Sound,
  Alaska, including use of oil dispersants, burning, and the best commercially
  available oil coagulants and oil spill containment and recovery equipment;
  and
  (4) any other matter the Secretary considers important regarding oil spills
  in Prince William Sound, Alaska, including faster approval by State or
  Federal agencies of oil spill response technology.