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NOAA and Department of Interior Scientists Meet with Shipping Industry Experts to Prepare for Oil Spills

JUNE 29, 2018 — NOAA and Department of the Interior (DOI) staff met with shipping industry representatives to exchange information and discuss ways to facilitate communication and cooperation before, during and after vessel oil spills.

Two vessels on the water.
The 370-foot freighter M/V Kuroshima, ran aground in a heavy storm in Summer Bay, Alaska, in 1997. Image credit: USCG

The meeting was held at DOI headquarters in Washington, DC on June 26-27. The shipping industry was represented by the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs, and the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF). The P&I club comprises 13 mutual P&I Insurance Associations (clubs) providing third party liability coverage relating to the use and operation of ships. Collectively, the P&I clubs cover 90% of the world’s ocean going tonnage. Additionally, two private companies were present (Polaris and Cardno) representing responsible party interests. NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, Office of General Counsel of Natural Resources and DOI’s damage assessment and restoration program also attended. The goal of the meeting was to renew relationships, update organizational structures, highlight evolving issues in response and natural resource damage assessment, and review the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2007 between the P&I clubs and NOAA and DOI. The aim of the MOU is to promote expeditious and cost-effective restoration of injured natural resources and services resulting from ship-source oil spills in the USA, as authorized by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The meeting participants discussed a variety of response and NRDA topics designed to improve communication and coordination during spills and agreed to consider updating the current MOU. 

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Last updated Jun. 14, 2019