USCG Gives Full Approval for MRA OPA90 Salvage and Firefighting Services Contract and Funding Agreement
Marine Response Alliance, LLC (MRA) has received approval from the U.S. Coast Guard of its Salvage and Marine Firefighting Contract and Funding Agreement. The Coast Guard’s all-inclusive acceptance of the contract means that MRA has the ability to fully contract with plan holders needing salvage and marine firefighting services required under the OPA-90 sanctioned Salvage and Marine Firefighting Final Rule, which takes effect on February 22, 2011. MRA is a U.S.-based emergency response partnership comprised of Crowley Marine Services, Marine Pollution Control, TITAN Salvage, and Marine Hazard Response (a joint venture of Wild Well Control and Williams Fire & Hazard Control). The MRA contract fully meets the Coast Guard’s definition of contract or other approved means, including the very important funding agreement aspect of the final rule.
“MRA and the U.S. Coast Guard worked closely to develop this unique contract mechanism that meets the intent of 33 CFR 155.4025. Our agreement allows for flexibility that should please planholders and their underwriters, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Margaret Kaigh Doyle, MRA General Manager. “MRA can move forward using our extensive resources to ensure that all who name MRA in their plans will be compliant well ahead of schedule.”
This announcement coincides with the U.S. Coast Guard’s recently released, Salvage and Marine Firefighting Requirements; Vessel Response Plans for Oil, (33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 155), December 31, 2008 Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs). This document covers a range of topics, including: guidelines on plan submission deadlines, waivers, notification requirements under the rule, the QI’s role in the process, clarification of certain definitions, the role of public resources in compliance, pre-fire-plans, response timeframes, drills and exercise procedures and a discussion of the possibility of deviation from the plan requirements during a response. While the FAQs were compiled with input from stakeholders like MRA, they were developed to support a Salvage and Marine Firefighting Requirements Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC), which the USCG ensures stakeholders is forthcoming.
MRA is also in the process of finalizing the MRA Salvage and Marine Firefighting Guidance Document. This will be available to MRA clients in April 2010. This document will be the basis of a number of workshops for MRA clients that begin in May. They will be held in the United States, Europe and Asia.
To see the Coast Guard’s approval of our agreement, the FAQs, or for additional information about the upcoming Marine Response Alliance Salvage and Marine Firefighting workshops, please visit our website at www.marineresponsealliance.com.
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