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Oil Spill Risks from Tank Vessel Lightering


Year: 1998
Language: english
Author: Marine Board Committee on Oil Spill Risks from Tank Vessel Lightering, National Research Council (Corporate Author)
Genre: Handbook
Publisher: National Academy Press [USA]
Edition: 1st
ISBN: 0309061903
Format: PDF
Quality: OCR without errors
Pages count: 140
Description: Lightering safety became a topic of national interest in recent years because of public concerns about oil spills in general. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996 required that the U.S. Coast Guard coordinate with the Marine Board to study the risks of oil spills from lightering off the U.S. coasts. In this handbook, the Marine Board committee evaluated current (1998) lightering practices and trends, analysed the safety record, assessed the regulatory and standards-setting framework, analysed accident and risk reduction measures, and recommended technical and institutional improvements. The report identifies major gaps in the availability, appropriateness, and accuracy of information available for examining lightering operations and sets forth recommendations for shipping companies and organizations as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and other Federal agencies.
The safety record of lightering (the transfer of petroleum cargo at sea from a large tanker to smaller ones) has been excellent in U.S. waters in recent years, as evidenced by the very low rate of spillage of oil both in absolute terms and compared with all other tanker-related accidental spills. The lightering safety record is likely to be maintained or even improved in the future as overall quality improvements in the shipping industry are implemented. Risks can be reduced even further through measures that enhance sound lightering standards and practices, support cooperative industry efforts to maintain safety, and increase the availability of essential information to shipping companies and mariners. Only continued vigilance and attention to safety initiatives can avert serious accidents involving tankers carrying large volumes of oil.

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