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CGC Sec 8670.1-8670.73
8670.1. This chapter, Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 8574.1)
of Chapter 7 of the Government Code, and Division 7.8 (commencing
with Section 8750) of the Public Resources Code shall be known, and
may be cited as, the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and
8670.2. The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) Each year, billions of gallons of crude oil and petroleum
products are transported by vessel or pipeline across and through the
marine waters of this state.
(b) Recent accidents in southern California, Alaska, and other
parts of the nation have shown that marine transportation of oil can
be a significant threat to the environment of sensitive coastal
(c) Existing prevention programs are not able to reduce
sufficiently the risk of significant discharge of petroleum into
(d) Response and cleanup capabilities and technology are unable to
remove consistently the majority of spilled oil when major oil
spills occur in marine waters.
(e) California's coastal waters, estuaries, bays, and beaches are
treasured environmental and economic resources which the state cannot
afford to place at undue risk from an oil spill.
(f) Because of the inadequacy of existing cleanup and response
measures and technology, the emphasis must be put on prevention, if
the risk and consequences of oil spills are to be minimized.
(g) Improvements in the design, construction, and operation of
tank ships, terminals, and pipelines; improvements in marine safety;
maintenance of emergency response stations and personnel; and
stronger inspection and enforcement efforts are necessary to reduce
the risks of and from a major oil spill.
(h) A major oil spill in marine waters is extremely expensive
because of the need to clean up discharged oil, protect sensitive
environmental areas, and restore ecosystem damage.
(i) Immediate action must be taken to improve control and cleanup
technology in order to strengthen the capabilities and capacities of
(j) California government should improve its response and
management of oil spills that occur in marine waters.
(k) Those who transport oil through the marine waters of the state
must meet minimum safety standards and demonstrate financial
(l) The federal government plays an important role in preventing
and responding to petroleum spills and it is in the interests of the
state to coordinate with agencies of the federal government,
including the Coast Guard, to the greatest degree possible.
(m) California has approximately 1,100 miles of coast, including
four marine sanctuaries which occupy 88,767 square miles. The
weather, topography, and tidal currents in and around California's
coastal ports and waterways make vessel navigation challenging. The
state's major ports are among the busiest in the world.
Approximately 700 million barrels of oil are consumed annually by
California, with over 500 million barrels being transported by
vessel. The peculiarities of California's maritime coast require
special precautionary measures regarding oil pollution.
8670.3. Unless the context requires otherwise, the following
definitions shall govern the construction of this chapter:
(a) "Administrator" means the administrator for oil spill response
appointed by the Governor pursuant to Section 8670.4.
(b) (1) "Best achievable protection" means the highest level of
protection that can be achieved through both the use of the best
achievable technology and those manpower levels, training procedures,
and operational methods that provide the greatest degree of
protection achievable. The administrator's determination of which
measures provide the best achievable protection shall be guided by
the critical need to protect valuable coastal resources and marine
waters, while also considering all of the following:
(A) The protection provided by the measure.
(B) The technological achievability of the measure.
(C) The cost of the measure.
(2) The administrator shall not use a cost-benefit or
cost-effectiveness analysis or any particular method of analysis in
determining which measures provide the best achievable protection.
The administrator shall instead, when determining which measures
provide best achievable protection, give reasonable consideration to
the protection provided by the measures, the technological
achievability of the measures, and the cost of the measures when
establishing the requirements to provide the best achievable
protection for coastal and marine resources.
(c) (1) "Best achievable technology" means that technology that
provides the greatest degree of protection, taking into consideration
both of the following:
(A) Processes that are being developed, or could feasibly be
developed anywhere in the world, given overall reasonable
expenditures on research and development.
(B) Processes that are currently in use anywhere in the world.
(2) In determining what is the best achievable technology pursuant
to this chapter, the administrator shall consider the effectiveness
and engineering feasibility of the technology.
(d) "Dedicated response resources" means equipment and personnel
committed solely to oil spill response, containment, and cleanup that
are not used for any other activity that would adversely affect the
ability of that equipment and personnel to provide oil spill response
services in the timeframes for which the equipment and personnel are
(e) "Environmentally sensitive area" means an area defined
pursuant to the applicable area contingency plans, as created and
revised by the Coast Guard and the administrator.
(f) "Local government" means any chartered or general law city,
chartered or general law county, or any city and county.
(g) (1) "Marine facility" means any facility of any kind, other
than a tank ship or tank barge, that is or was used for the purposes
of exploring for, drilling for, producing, storing, handling,
transferring, processing, refining, or transporting oil and is
located in marine waters, or is located where a discharge could
impact marine waters unless the facility is either of the following:
(A) Subject to Chapter 6.67 (commencing with Section 25270) or
Chapter 6.75 (commencing with Section 25299.10) of Division 20 of the
Health and Safety Code.
(B) Placed on a farm, nursery, logging site, or construction site
and does not exceed 20,000 gallons in a single storage tank.
(2) For the purposes of this chapter, "marine facility" includes a
drill ship, semisubmersible drilling platform, jack-up type drilling
rig, or any other floating or temporary drilling platform.
(3) For the purposes of this chapter, "marine facility" does not
include a small craft refueling dock.
(h) (1) "Marine terminal" means any marine facility used for
transferring oil to or from a tank ship or tank barge.
(2) "Marine terminal" includes, for purposes of this chapter, all
piping not integrally connected to a tank facility, as defined in
subdivision (1) of Section 25270.2 of the Health and Safety Code.
(i) "Marine waters" means those waters subject to tidal influence,
and includes the waterways used for waterborne commercial vessel
traffic to the Port of Sacramento and the Port of Stockton.
(j) "Mobile transfer unit" means a small marine fueling facility
that is a vehicle, truck, or trailer, including all connecting hoses
and piping, used for the transferring of oil at a location where a
discharge could impact marine waters.
(k) "Non-dedicated response resources" means those response
resources identified by an Oil Spill Response Organization for oil
spill response activities that are not dedicated response resources.
(l) "Nonpersistent oil" means a petroleum-based oil, such as
gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel, that evaporates relatively quickly and
is an oil with hydrocarbon fractions, at least 50 percent of which,
by volume, distills at a temperature of 645* Fahrenheit, and at least
95 percent of which, by volume, distills at a temperature of 700*
(m) "Nontank vessel" means a vessel of 300 gross tons or greater
that carries oil, but does not carry that oil as cargo.
(n) "Oil" means any kind of petroleum, liquid hydrocarbons, or
petroleum products or any fraction or residues therefrom, including,
but not limited to, crude oil, bunker fuel, gasoline, diesel fuel,
aviation fuel, oil sludge, oil refuse, oil mixed with waste, and
liquid distillates from unprocessed natural gas.
(o) "Oil spill cleanup agent" means a chemical, or any other
substance, used for removing, dispersing, or otherwise cleaning up
oil or any residual products of petroleum in, or on, any of the
waters of the state.
(p) "Oil spill contingency plan" or "contingency plan" means the
oil spill contingency plan required pursuant to Article 5 (commencing
with Section 8670.28).
(q) (1) "Oil Spill Response Organization" or "OSRO" means an
individual, organization, association, cooperative, or other entity
that provides, or intends to provide, equipment, personnel, supplies,
or other services directly related to oil spill containment,
cleanup, or removal activities.
(2) A "rated OSRO" means an OSRO that has received a satisfactory
rating from the administrator for a particular rating level
established pursuant to Section 8670.30.
(3) "OSRO" does not include an owner or operator with an oil spill
contingency plan approved by the administrator or an entity that
only provides spill management services, or who provides services or
equipment that are only ancillary to containment, cleanup, or removal
(r) "Onshore facility" means any facility of any kind which is
located entirely on lands not covered by marine waters.
(s) (1) "Owner" or "operator" means any of the following:
(A) In the case of a vessel, any person who owns, has an ownership
interest in, operates, charters by demise, or leases, the vessel.
(B) In the case of a marine facility, any person who owns, has an
ownership interest in, or operates the marine facility.
(C) Except as provided in subparagraph (D), in the case of any
vessel or marine facility, title or control of which was conveyed due
to bankruptcy, foreclosure, tax delinquency, abandonment, or similar
means to an entity of state or local government, any person who
owned, held an ownership interest in, operated, or otherwise
controlled activities concerning the vessel or marine facility
(D) An entity of the state or local government that acquired
ownership or control of a vessel or marine facility, when the entity
of the state or local government has caused or contributed to a spill
or discharge of oil into marine waters.
(2) "Owner" or "operator" does not include a person who, without
participating in the management of a vessel or marine facility, holds
indicia of ownership primarily to protect his or her security
interest in the vessel or marine facility.
(3) "Operator" does not include any person who owns the land
underlying a marine facility or the facility itself if the person is
not involved in the operations of the facility.
(t) "Person" means any individual, trust, firm, joint stock
company, or corporation, including, but not limited to, a government
corporation, partnership, and association. "Person" also includes
any city, county, city and county, district, and the state or any
department or agency thereof, and the federal government, or any
department or agency thereof, to the extent permitted by law.
(u) "Pipeline" means any pipeline used at any time to transport
(v) "Reasonable worst case spill" means, for the purposes of
preparing contingency plans for a nontank vessel, the total volume of
the largest fuel tank on the nontank vessel.
(w) "Responsible party" or "party responsible" means any of the
(1) The owner or transporter of oil or a person or entity
accepting responsibility for the oil.
(2) The owner, operator, or lessee of, or person who charters by
demise, any vessel or marine facility, or a person or entity
accepting responsibility for the vessel or marine facility.
(x) "Small craft" means any vessel, other than a tank ship or tank
barge, that is less than 20 meters in length.
(y) "Small craft refueling dock" means a waterside operation that
dispenses only nonpersistent oil in bulk and small amounts of
persistent lubrication oil in containers primarily to small craft and
meets both of the following criteria:
(1) Has tank storage capacity not exceeding 20,000 gallons in any
single storage tank or tank compartment.
(2) Has total usable tank storage capacity not exceeding 75,000
(z) "Small marine fueling facility" means either of the following:
(1) A mobile transfer unit.
(2) A fixed facility that is not a marine terminal, that dispenses
primarily nonpersistent oil, that may dispense small amounts of
persistent oil, primarily to small craft, and that meets all of the
(A) Has tank storage capacity not exceeding 40,000 gallons in any
single storage tank or storage tank compartment.
(B) Has total usable tank storage capacity not exceeding 75,000
(C) Had an annual throughput volume of over-the-water transfers of
oil that did not exceed 3,000,000 gallons during the most recent
preceding 12-month period.
(aa) "Spill" or "discharge" means any release of at least one
barrel (42 gallons) of oil into marine waters that is not authorized
by any federal, state, or local government entity.
(bb) "State Interagency Oil Spill Committee" means the committee
established pursuant to Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 8574.1)
of Chapter 7.
(cc) "California oil spill contingency plan" means the California
oil spill contingency plan prepared pursuant to Article 3.5
(commencing with Section 8574.1) of Chapter 7.
(dd) "Tank barge" means any vessel that carries oil in commercial
quantities as cargo but is not equipped with a means of
(ee) "Tank ship" means any self-propelled vessel that is
constructed or adapted for the carriage of oil in bulk or in
commercial quantities as cargo.
(ff) "Tank vessel" means a tank ship or tank barge.
(gg) "Vessel" means any watercraft or ship of any kind, including
every structure adapted to be navigated from place to place for the
transportation of merchandise or persons.
(hh) "Vessel carrying oil as secondary cargo" means any vessel
that does not carry oil as a primary cargo, but does carry oil in
bulk as cargo or cargo residue.
8670.4. There shall be an administrator for oil spill response.
The administrator shall be a chief deputy director of the Department
of Fish and Game. The administrator shall be appointed by the
Governor and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The
appointment by the Governor shall be subject to the advice and
consent of the Senate. The compensation of the administrator shall
be fixed by the Governor pursuant to law.
8670.5. The Governor shall ensure that the state fully and
adequately responds to all oil spills in marine waters. The
administrator, acting at the direction of the Governor, shall
implement activities relating to oil spill response, including drills
and preparedness and oil spill containment and cleanup. The
administrator shall also represent the state in any coordinated
response efforts with the federal government.
8670.6. (a) The administrator shall ensure that he or she has
available for support, either under direct employment, elsewhere in
state government, or through contract for private or governmental
services, personnel who are fully trained and familiar with oil spill
response, containment, and cleanup technologies, procedures, and
operations, risk evaluation and management, and emergency systems
(b) The administrator shall appoint a deputy administrator and an
assistant deputy administrator to whom the administrator may delegate
all or some responsibilities under this article.
(c) The administrator, consistent with applicable civil service
laws, shall appoint and discharge any officer, house staff counsel,
or employee of the administrator, as determined to be necessary, to
carry out this article.
(d) The administrator, including staff and the costs of training
and equipping the staff, shall be funded by the Oil Spill Prevention
and Administration Fund created pursuant to Section 8670.38.
8670.7. (a) The administrator, subject to the Governor, has the
primary authority to direct prevention, removal, abatement, response,
containment, and cleanup efforts with regard to all aspects of any
oil spill in the marine waters of the state, in accordance with any
applicable marine facility or vessel contingency plan and the
California oil spill contingency plan. The administrator shall
cooperate with any federal on-scene coordinator, as specified in the
National Contingency Plan.
(b) The administrator shall implement the California oil spill
contingency plan, required pursuant to Section 8574.1, to the fullest
(c) The administrator shall do both of the following:
(1) Be present at the location of any oil spill of more than
100,000 gallons in marine waters, as soon as possible after notice of
(2) Ensure that persons trained in oil spill response and cleanup,
whether employed by the responsible party, the state, or another
private or public person or entity, are onsite to respond to,
contain, and clean up any oil spill in marine waters, as soon as
possible after notice of the discharge.
(d) Throughout the response and cleanup process, the administrator
shall apprise the members of the State Interagency Oil Spill
Committee, the air quality management district or air pollution
control district having jurisdiction over the area in which the oil
spill occurred, and the local government entities that are affected
by the spill.
(e) The administrator, with the assistance of the State Fire
Marshal, the State Lands Commission, and the federal on-scene
coordinator, shall determine the cause and amount of the discharge.
(f) The administrator shall have the state authority over the use
of all response methods, including, but not limited to, in situ
burning, dispersants, and any oil spill cleanup agents in connection
with an oil discharge. The administrator shall consult with the
federal onscene coordinator prior to exercising authority under this
(g) (1) The administrator shall conduct workshops, consistent with
the intent of this chapter, with the participation of appropriate
local, state, and federal agencies, including the State Air Resources
Board, air pollution control districts, and air quality management
districts, and affected private organizations, on the subject of oil
spill response technologies, including in situ burning. The
workshops shall review the latest research and findings regarding the
efficacy and toxicity of oil spill cleanup agents and other
technologies, their potential public health and safety and
environmental impacts, and any other relevant factors concerning
their use in oil spill response. In conducting these workshops, the
administrator shall solicit the views of all participating parties
concerning the use of these technologies, with particular attention
to any special considerations that apply to coastal areas and marine
waters of the state.
(2) The administrator shall publish guidelines and conduct
periodic reviews of the policies, procedures, and parameters for the
use of in situ burning, which may be implemented in the event of an
(h) (1) The administrator shall ensure that, as part of the
response to any significant spill, biologists or other personnel are
present and provided any support and funding necessary and
appropriate for the assessment of damages to natural resources and
for the collection of data and other evidence that may help in
determining and recovering damages.
(2) (A) The administrator shall coordinate all actions required by
state or local agencies to assess injury to, and provide full
mitigation for injury to, or to restore, rehabilitate, or replace,
natural resources, including wildlife, fisheries, wildlife or
fisheries habitat, and beaches and other coastal areas, that are
damaged by an oil spill. For purposes of this subparagraph, "actions
required by state or local agencies" include, but are not limited
to, actions required by state trustees under Section 1006 of the Oil
Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 2706) and actions required
pursuant to Section 8670.61.5.
(B) The responsible party shall be liable for all coordination
costs incurred by the administrator.
(3) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to give the
administrator any authority to administer state or local laws or to
limit the authority of another state or local agency to implement and
enforce state or local laws under its jurisdiction, nor does this
subdivision limit the authority or duties of the administrator under
this chapter or limit the authority of an agency to enforce existing
permits or permit conditions.
(i) (1) The administrator shall enter into a memorandum of
understanding with the executive director of the State Water
Resources Control Board, acting for the State Water Resources Control
Board and the California regional water quality control boards, and
with the approval of the State Water Resources Control Board, to
address discharges, other than dispersants, that are incidental to,
or directly associated with, the response, containment, and cleanup
of an existing or threatened oil spill conducted pursuant to this
(2) The memorandum of understanding entered into pursuant to
paragraph (1) shall address any permits, requirements, or
authorizations that are required for the specified discharges. The
memorandum of understanding shall be consistent with requirements
that protect state water quality and beneficial uses and with any
applicable provisions of the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act
(Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code) or
the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq.), and shall
expedite efficient oil spill response.
8670.8. (a) The administrator shall carry out programs to provide
training for individuals in response, containment, and cleanup
operations and equipment, equipment deployment, and the planning and
management of these programs. These programs may include training
for members of the California Conservation Corps, other response
personnel employed by the state, personnel employed by other public
entities, personnel from marine facilities, commercial fishermen and
other mariners, and interested members of the public. Training may
be offered for volunteers.
(b) The administrator may offer training to anyone who is required
to take part in response and cleanup efforts under the California
oil spill contingency plan or under local governmental contingency
plans prepared and approved under this chapter.
(c) Funding for activities undertaken pursuant to subdivisions (a)
and (b) shall be from the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration
Fund created pursuant to Section 8670.38.
(d) All training provided by the administrator shall follow the
requirements of applicable federal and state occupational safety and
health standards adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration of the Department of Labor and the California
Occupational, Safety, and Health Standards Board.
8670.8.5. The administrator may use volunteer workers in response,
containment, restoration, wildlife rehabilitation, and cleanup
efforts for oil spills in marine waters. The volunteers shall be
deemed employees of the state for the purpose of workers'
compensation under Article 2 (commencing with Section 3350) of
Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Labor Code. Any payments
for workers' compensation pursuant to this section shall be made from
the Oil Spill Response Trust Fund created pursuant to Section
8670.9. (a) The administrator shall enter into discussions on
behalf of the state with the States of Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and
Washington, for the purpose of developing interstate agreements
regarding oil spill prevention and response. The agreements shall
address, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Coordination of vessel safety and traffic.
(2) Spill prevention equipment and response required on tank ships
and tank barges and at terminals.
(3) The availability of oil spill response and cleanup equipment
(4) Other matters that may relate to the transport of oil and oil
spill prevention, response, and cleanup.
(b) The administrator shall coordinate the development of these
agreements with the Coast Guard, the Province of British Columbia in
Canada, and the Republic of Mexico.
8670.10. (a) In coordination with all appropriate federal, state,
and local government entities, the administrator shall periodically
carry out announced and unannounced drills to test response and
cleanup operations, equipment, contingency plans, and procedures
implemented under this chapter. If practical, the administrator
shall coordinate drills with drills carried out by the State Lands
Commission and the California Coastal Commission to test prevention
operations, equipment, and procedures. In carrying out announced
drills, the administrator shall coordinate with the private entities
involved in the drill. Each state and local entity, each rated OSRO,
and each operator shall cooperate with the administrator in carrying
out these drills.
(b) The administrator shall establish performance standards that
each operator and rated OSRO shall meet during the drills carried out
pursuant to subdivision (a). The standards shall include, but are
not limited to, a standard for the time allowable for adequate
response, and shall also specify conditions for canceling a drill
because of hazardous or other operational circumstances that may
exist. The standards shall specify the protections that the
administrator determines are necessary for any environmentally
sensitive area, as defined by the administrator.
(c) The costs incurred by an operator to comply with this section
and regulations adopted pursuant to this section are the
responsibility of the operator. All costs incurred by a local,
state, or federal agency in conjunction with participation in a drill
pursuant to this chapter shall be borne by each respective agency.
(d) After every drill attended by the administrator or his or her
representative, that person shall issue a report that evaluates the
performance of the participants.
8670.12. (a) The administrator shall conduct studies and
evaluations necessary for improving oil spill response, containment,
and cleanup and oil spill wildlife rehabilitation in marine waters
and marine oil transportation systems. The administrator may expend
moneys from the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fund created
pursuant to Section 8670.38, enter into consultation agreements, and
acquire necessary equipment and services for the purpose of carrying
out these studies and evaluations.
(b) The administrator shall study the use and effects of
dispersants, incineration, bioremediation, and any other methods used
to respond to a spill. The study shall periodically be updated to
ensure the best achievable protection from the use of those methods.
Based upon substantial evidence in the record, the administrator may
determine in individual cases that best achievable protection is
provided by establishing requirements which provide the greatest
degree of protection achievable without imposing costs which
significantly outweigh the incremental protection that would
otherwise be provided. The studies shall do all of the following:
(1) Evaluate the effectiveness of dispersants and other chemical
agents in oil spill response under varying environmental conditions.
(2) Evaluate potential adverse impacts on the environment and
public health including, but not limited to, adverse toxic impacts on
water quality, fisheries, and wildlife with consideration to
bioaccumulation and synergistic impacts, and the potential for human
exposure, including skin contact and consumption of contaminated
(3) Recommend appropriate uses and limitations on the use of
dispersants and other chemical agents to ensure they are used only in
situations where the administrator determines they are effective and
(c) The administrator shall evaluate the feasibility of using
commercial fishermen and other mariners for oil spill containment and
cleanup. The study shall examine the following:
(1) Equipment and technology needs.
(2) Coordination with private response personnel.
(3) Liability and insurance.
(d) The studies shall be performed in conjunction with any studies
performed by federal, state, and international entities. The
administrator may enter into contracts for the studies.
8670.13. The administrator shall periodically evaluate the
feasibility of requiring new technologies to aid prevention,
response, containment, cleanup and wildlife rehabilitation.
8670.13.1. (a) The administrator shall license all oil spill
cleanup agents, and shall adopt regulations governing the expedited
testing, licensing, and use of oil spill cleanup agents. The
administrator shall utilize toxicity and efficacy tests and other
information from government and private agencies developed for each
specific category of chemical countermeasure in determining the
acceptability of an oil spill cleanup agent for license and use.
(b) Sorbents and other cleanup devices that do not employ the use
of active chemical cleanup agents, or otherwise determined by the
administrator not to cause aquatic toxicity for purposes of oil spill
response, are not subject to subdivision (a).
(c) The administrator may charge applicants a fee for the costs of
processing an application for a license for an oil spill cleanup
agent, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). The
administrator may require renewal of a license every five years, and
may charge a fee for the cost of processing the renewal of the
license for an oil spill cleanup agent, not to exceed one hundred
dollars ($100). Only one license per cleanup agent shall be required
8670.13.2. The administrator shall prepare and periodically revise
regulations regarding licensing of oil spill cleanup agents. The
authority of the administrator shall be substituted for the authority
of the State Water Resources Control Board and cross references
shall be corrected. The administrator shall submit these regulations
to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of
State and publication in the California Code of Regulations. These
regulations are exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act. The
regulations shall become effective upon filing.
8670.14. The administrator shall coordinate the oil spill
prevention and response programs and marine facility, tank vessel,
and nontank vessel safety standards of the state with federal
programs to the maximum extent possible.
8670.16. The administrator shall take any action necessary and
appropriate to promote the adoption of statutes or regulations by the
federal government that establish all of the following requirements:
(a) Each tank ship using ports in the state shall have alarms on
the bridge that give warning any time an attempt is made to control
the tank ship manually while the autopilot is engaged, whether the
attempt is successful or not, or any time the autopilot fails.
(b) Each tank ship using ports in the state shall have in good
working order, all of the following:
(1) Two "VHF" bridge-to-bridge radiotelephones.
(2) One single-side band radiotelephone.
(3) One satellite communication device.
(4) Two collision avoidance radar devices, at least one of which
has automatic collision avoidance (ARPA) capability.
(c) Each tank ship and tank barge shall use only shipping lanes
designed to significantly reduce the likelihood of oil spills
reaching sensitive environmental areas, including, but not limited
to, the Channel Islands, Big Sur, the Farallon Islands, and the North
8670.17. (a) The administrator shall adopt regulations regarding
the equipment, personnel, and operation of vessels to and from marine
terminals that are used to transfer oil.
(b) The regulations shall be adopted, and thereafter periodically
revised, to ensure the best achievable protection of the public
health and safety and the environment.
(c) The regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall
include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
(1) A requirement that the vessel has functional equipment that is
compatible with any vessel traffic advisory control system that may
be established along the California coast.
(2) A requirement that the vessel, while in marine waters, has at
all times at least one person on the bridge who is able to
communicate fluently and effectively both in English and in the
language of the master of the vessel.
8670.17.1. The administrator may, for purposes of efficiency,
safety, or implementation consistency, provide for services to
vessels, ports, and port users which are necessary to achieve
requirements mandated pursuant to this article. The administrator
may establish or authorize reimbursement for those services which do
not exceed the reasonable costs incurred in implementing and
administering the service.
8670.17.2. (a) The administrator shall adopt regulations governing
tugboat escorts for tank ships and tank barges entering, leaving, or
navigating in the harbors of the state. The regulations shall be
adopted, and thereafter periodically revised, to ensure the best
achievable protection of the public health and safety and the
(b) The regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall
include, but not be limited to, a determination of the circumstances
under which tank ships and tank barges are required to be accompanied
by a tugboat or tugboats of sufficient size, horsepower, and pull
capability while entering, leaving, or navigating in the harbors of
the state. In making that determination, the administrator shall be
guided by the recommendations of the harbor safety committees
established pursuant to Section 8670.23.
(c) The administrator may adopt regulations that differ from the
recommendations of the harbor safety committees only after a public
hearing. If the administrator proposes to adopt regulations that
require the use of tugboat escorts in fewer instances in the harbors
of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun Bays than that which is
recommended by the Harbor Safety Committee for San Francisco, San
Pablo, and Suisun Bays, the administrator shall, in a public hearing,
adopt findings, based on substantial evidence, that the proposed
regulations provide adequate protection and are consistent with the
purposes of this chapter.
(d) A public hearing held in accordance with Section 11346.8 shall
satisfy the public hearing requirement of subdivision (c).
(e) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the appropriate
use of tugboat escorts can improve vessel safety, particularly in
the harbors of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun Bays, and that
the regulations concerning tugboat escorts in those harbors shall be
adopted as quickly as practicable and may be adopted before the
adoption of all other regulations required by this section.
8670.18. (a) The administrator may inspect or cause to be inspected
on a regular basis all vessels.
(b) The administrator shall evaluate and periodically review the
adequacy of the vessel inspection programs conducted by the Coast
Guard and any other federal, state, or local agency. The evaluation
shall consider all of the following:
(1) The frequency and scope of inspections.
(2) The continuing commitment of the Coast Guard to conduct
frequent vessel inspections.
(3) Any new or pending federal legislation that is likely to
change the Coast Guard's inspection programs.
(4) Whether it is desirable for the state to contract with the
Coast Guard for more frequent or expanded vessel inspections.
(5) Whether it is desirable and practical for the state to develop
and implement a state vessel inspection program.
(c) If the administrator determines in the report that the Coast
Guard inspection program is inadequate, the administrator shall
attempt to enter into an agreement with the Coast Guard to remedy the
(d) If, within a reasonable time, the administrator cannot remedy
deficiencies in the Coast Guard inspection programs, the
administrator shall report to the Legislature concerning the steps
the administrator is taking to ensure that an adequate vessel
inspection program is in place. The administrator shall adopt
regulations for any vessel inspection program established pursuant to
this section. Vessel inspections authorized pursuant to this
section shall be conducted only for the purposes of determining
compliance with relevant federal law and the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand
Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act, as defined in Section 8670.1.
The administrator shall consult with the Coast Guard regarding
state-mandated requirements for vessel inspections.
(e) Any state vessel inspection program established pursuant to
this section shall not duplicate the activities of the Coast Guard or
other authorized federal agencies. The administrator shall maintain
a record of these activities for each vessel inspected. Any
violation of Coast Guard regulations shall immediately be reported to
the Coast Guard.
8670.19. (a) The administrator shall periodically conduct a
comprehensive review of all oil spill contingency plans. The
administrator shall do both of the following:
(1) Segment the coast into appropriate areas as necessary.
(2) Evaluate the oil spill contingency plans for each area to
determine if deficiencies exist in equipment, personnel, training,
and any other area determined to be necessary, including those
response resources properly authorized for cascading into the area,
to ensure the best achievable protection of the coastline, set forth
in the California oil spill contingency plan, including the marine
oil spill contingency planning section.
(b) If the administrator finds that deficiencies exist, the
administrator shall, by the process set forth in Section 8670.31,
remand any oil spill contingency plans to the originating party with
recommendations for amendments necessary to ensure that the coastline
8670.20. (a) For the purposes of this section, "vessel" means a
vessel, as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code,
of 300 gross registered tons or more.
(b) Any party responsible for a vessel shall notify the Coast
Guard within one hour of a disability if the disabled vessel is
within 12 miles of the shore of this state. The administrator and
the Office of Emergency Services shall request the Coast Guard to
notify the Office of Emergency Services as soon as possible after the
Coast Guard receives notice of a disabled vessel within 12 miles of
the shore of this state. The administrator shall attempt to
negotiate an agreement with the Coast Guard governing procedures for
Coast Guard notification to the state regarding disabled vessels.
(c) Whenever the Office of Emergency Services receives notice of a
disabled vessel, the office shall immediately notify the
administrator. If the administrator receives notice from any other
source regarding the presence of a disabled vessel within 12 miles of
the shore of this state, the administrator shall immediately notify
the Office of Emergency Services.
(d) For the purposes of this section, a vessel shall be considered
disabled if any of the following occurs:
(1) Any accidental or intentional grounding that creates a hazard
to the environment or the safety of the vessel.
(2) Loss of main propulsion or primary steering or any component
or control system that causes a reduction in the maneuvering
capabilities of the vessel. For the purposes of this paragraph,
"loss" means that any system, component, part, subsystem, or control
system does not perform the specified or required function.
(3) An occurrence materially and adversely affecting the vessel's
seaworthiness or fitness for service, including, but not limited to,
fire, flooding, or collision with another vessel.
(4) Any occurrence not meeting the above criteria, but that
creates the serious possibility of an oil spill or an occurrence that
may result in an oil spill.
(e) For the purposes of this section, a tank barge shall be
considered disabled if any of the following occur:
(1) The towing mechanism becomes disabled.
(2) The tugboat towing the tank barge becomes disabled through
occurrences specified in subdivision (d).
8670.21. (a) As used in this section, the following terms have the
(1) "Vessels" means vessels as defined in Section 21 of the
Harbors and Navigation Code.
(2) "VTS system" means a vessel traffic service system.
(b) The administrator shall negotiate an agreement with the Coast
Guard, appropriate port agencies, or appropriate organizations, for a
VTS system to protect the harbors of this state. The administrator
may include in the agreement provisions for vessel traffic monitoring
and communications systems for areas of the coast outside of
harbors, or negotiate a separate agreement for that purpose. The
purpose of a VTS system and a vessel traffic monitoring and
communications system shall be to aid navigation by providing
satellite tracking, radar, or other information regarding ship
locations and traffic, to prevent collisions and groundings.
(c) A plan developed by the administrator, in consultation with
the Coast Guard, shall provide for implementing and maintaining VTS
systems pursuant to subdivision (b) for the Ports of Los Angeles and
Long Beach, the Harbors of San Francisco, the Santa Barbara Channel,
and any other area where establishing a VTS system or a vessel
monitoring and communications system is recommended by the Coast
Guard. The plan shall provide for the areas described in this
subdivision, and for any other system and areas that are recommended
by the Coast Guard, or recommended by the administrator and approved
by the Coast Guard. Only systems that will be operated by the Coast
Guard, or that will have direct communication with a Coast Guard
officer who has Captain of the Port enforcement authority, shall be
included in the plan. The plan shall be amended periodically to
reflect any changes in Coast Guard recommendations or operations, and
any changes in the agreements entered into pursuant to subdivision
(b). The plan shall, to the extent allowable given federal
requirements, provide for the best achievable protection.
(d) (1) The administrator shall attempt to provide funding for VTS
systems and vessel monitoring and communications systems through
voluntary funding, or services in kind, provided by the maritime
industry. If agreement on voluntary funding or services in kind
cannot be reached, the administrator may establish a fee system that
reflects the commercial maritime activity of each of the respective
harbors or areas for which a VTS system or a vessel monitoring and
communications system is established. Using that fee system, the
administrator shall fund VTS systems and vessel monitoring and
(2) The money collected pursuant to this subdivision shall be
deposited in the Vessel Safety Account, which is hereby created in
the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fund. The money in the
Vessel Safety Account is hereby continuously appropriated for the
sole purpose of funding VTS systems and vessel monitoring and
communications systems. Other than the fees imposed pursuant to this
subdivision that are deposited in the Vessel Safety Account, no
funds from the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fund may be
used to pay for VTS systems or vessel traffic monitoring and
(3) The administrator shall adopt regulations to implement this
subdivision. The administrator may adopt regulations prohibiting
tank barges and tank ships from accepting or unloading oil at marine
terminals if a tank barge or tank ship is not in compliance with
required VTS system or vessel traffic monitoring and communications
(e) If a VTS system covers waters outside the jurisdiction of a
local port authority, the administrator may grant the money that is
determined to be necessary for the purchase and installation of
equipment required for the establishment or expansion of the VTS
system. Those grants may be made from the Oil Spill Response Trust
Fund in accordance with Section 8670.49, as individual and
nonrecurring appropriations through the budget process, but shall not
exceed the amount of interest earned from money in that fund.
(f) (1) The Marine Exchange of Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor,
Inc., a corporation organized under the Nonprofit Mutual Benefit
Corporation Law (Part 3 (commencing with Section 7110) of Division 2
of Title 1 of the Corporations Code), may operate a VTS system in the
VTS area described in Section 445 of the Harbors and Navigation Code
if the VTS system is approved by the Coast Guard and certified by
the administrator as meeting the requirements of this chapter. The
marine exchange shall cooperate fully with the administrator in the
development, implementation, and operation of that VTS system. Upon
certification by the administrator that the Coast Guard has commenced
operation of a fully federally funded VTS system for the VTS area,
the authorization for the marine exchange to operate a VTS system
(2) The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach may impose
fees upon all covered vessels, as defined in Section 445.5 of the
Harbors and Navigation Code, for the funding of the VTS system
operated by the marine exchange.
(3) No vessel that is required to comply with Article 4
(commencing with Section 445) of Chapter 1 of Division 3 of the
Harbors and Navigation Code shall assert any claim against the marine
exchange or any officer, director, employee, or representative of
the marine exchange for any damage, loss, or expense, including any
rights of indemnity or other rights of any kind, sustained by that
vessel or its owners, agents, charterers, operators, crew, or third
parties arising out of, or connected with, directly or indirectly,
the marine exchange's operation of the vessel traffic service, even
though resulting in whole or in part from the negligent acts or
omissions of the marine exchange or of an officer, director,
employee, or representative of the marine exchange.
(4) Each vessel required to comply with Article 4 (commencing with
Section 445) of Chapter 1 of Division 3 of the Harbors and
Navigation Code shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the marine
exchange and its officers, directors, employees, and representatives
from any and all claims, suits, or actions of any nature by
whomsoever asserted, even though resulting or alleged to have
resulted from negligent acts or omissions of the marine exchange or
of an officer, director, employee, or representative of the marine
(5) Nothing in this subdivision affects any liability or rights
that may arise by reason of the gross negligence or intentional or
willful misconduct of the marine exchange or of an officer, director,
employee, or representative of the marine exchange in the operation
of the VTS system, including any liability pursuant to subdivision
(c) of Section 449.5 of the Harbors and Navigation Code.
(6) The marine exchange and its officers and directors are subject
to Section 5047.5 of the Corporations Code to the extent that the
marine exchange meets the criteria specified in that section.
(7) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to include the marine
exchange or its officers, directors, employees, or representatives
within the definition of "responsible party" pursuant to Section
8670.3 for purposes of this chapter.
(8) Upon request by the administrator, the marine exchange shall
submit a report containing a complete description of the VTS system
operated by the marine exchange. Upon receiving the report, the
administrator shall determine, after a public hearing, whether the
elements and operation of the VTS system are consistent with the
Harbor Safety Plan for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
developed pursuant to Section 8670.23.1 and the standards for the
statewide vessel traffic service systems plan. If the administrator
determines that the VTS system is inconsistent with the Harbor Safety
Plan for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach developed pursuant
to Section 8670.23.1 or with the statewide vessel traffic service
systems plan, the administrator shall issue an order to the marine
exchange specifying modifications to the VTS system to eliminate the
inconsistencies. If the marine exchange has not complied with that
order within six months of issuance, the administrator may, in
addition to, or in lieu of, any other enforcement action authorized
by this chapter or Article 4 (commencing with Section 445) of Chapter
1 of Division 3 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, and after a
public hearing, administratively revoke the authorization for the
marine exchange to operate a VTS system. If authorization for the (continued)