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Salvage & Spill Response

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INSIGHTS effective are all essentials to winning major international The U.S. Response Model for casualty response is a sys- contracts; for those reasons, I believe that the heightened tem of many interacting components that ensures a proper demands of operating in the U.S. system have directly aid- response occurs in line with national priorities when a ca- ed the U.S. companies in competing internationally. sualty occurs. This includes a national framework of laws and response protocol (administered by federal and state

At one point, no SMFF retainer fees were being agencies) addressing many preparedness and response is- charged by Core Providers for non-tank vessels. As sues, responsible owners and operators that operate in U.S. the number of U.S. salvage emergencies – the tradi- waters, and the response industry that stands at the ready. tional source of revenue for salvors – continues to de-

There are many highlights of this system including a well cline, can U.S. salvors sustain that business model?

rehearsed Incident Command System (ICS), strictly en-

I do not believe that the U.S. response model for salvage and ? re? ghting can be sustained without some level of forced requirements for ? nancial responsibility (COFR’s), and U.S. Coast Guard prescribed and vetted standards for subsidizing – you simply can’t maintain the best response spill response, salvage and ? re? ghting responders along capability in the world based on declining emergencies with pre-agreed response contracts. An additional major and, subsequently declining revenue. The race to the bot- bene? t of the U.S. Model is the funding mechanism that tom in retainer pricing that occurred at the implementa- is available through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to tion of the SMFF rules when Core Providers were trying handle situations where the resources of the responsible to grab market share is effectively over and we are already party are exceeded or limits of liability have been reached. seeing a correction to increased retainer fees for this re-

There are many other features of the system and while sponse capability.

not every aspect may be viewed positively by every stake- holder, there can be no argument that the system is not

Sum up the so-called ‘U.S. Response Model’ in a nut- effective or that the U.S. is not prepared to respond to a shell. Is it relevant in other parts of the world? Do you major incident. One physical testament to the U.S. system envision this model gaining traction internationally?

The Ro/Ro Amadeo 1 wreck removal project off Southern Chile

Credit: Todd Schauer/Resolve Marine

October 2016

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