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Full text of "Recent tanker accidents : hearings before the Committee on Commerce, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, first session .."

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School of Law 










JANUARY 11 AND 12, 1977 


Serial No. 95-4 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce>k:te-*/,jc. I 

>2-<J08 WASHINGTON : 1077 



WARREN G. MAGNUSON, Washington, Chairman 

HOWARD H. BAKER, Jr., Tennessee 
LOWELL P. WEICKER, Jr., Connecticut 
JOHN CHAFEE, Rhode Island 

RUSSELL B. LONG, Louisiana 
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina 
WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky 
JOHN A. DURKIN, New Hampshire 

Michael Pertschuk, Staff Director and Chief Counsel 

James P. Walsh, Staff Counsel 

Mat-oolm M. B. Sterrett, Minority Staff Director and Counsel 

Gerald J. Kovach, Minority Staff Counsel 




Opening .statement by the Chairman 1 

Opening statement by Senator Long 3 

Opening statement by Senator Stevens 4 

Opening statement by Senator Hollings 6 

Opening statement by Senator Schmiftt 8 


January 11, 1977 

Blackwell, Robert J., Assistant Secretary for Maritime Affairs, Maritime 

Administration, Department of Commerce 69 

Brooke, Hon. Edward W., U.S. Senator from Massachusetts 9 

Coleman, Hon. William T., Jr., Secretary, Department of Transportation.- 13 

Prepared statement 30 

Learson, Ambassador T. Vincent, Head, U.S. Law of the Sea Delegation-- 89 

Prepared statement 92 

Train, Russell, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency 53 

Letter of November 23, 1976 57 

January 12, 1977 

Bonker, Hon. Don, U.S. Representative from Washington 105 

Prepared statement 109 

Brand, Herbert, president, Transportation Institute, Washington, D.C 214 

Prepared statement 218 

Calhoon, Jesse M., president, National Marine Engineers' Beneficial As- 
sociation 151 

Prepared statement 161 

Champion, Charles, pipeline coordinator, State of Alaska, on behalf of Hon. 

J. S. Hammond, Governor of Alaska 129 

Prepared statement 138 

Dicks, Hon. Norman D., U.S. Representative from Washington 110 

Hall, Paul, president, Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO and Sea- 
farers International Union of North America 116 

Letter of December 30, 1976 114 

Kennedy, Hon. Edward M., U.S. Senator from Massachusetts 97 

Prepared statement 101 

Leeper, John, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C 208 

McKenzie, Arthur, director, Tanker Advisory Center, New York, N.Y 145 

Scott, Hal, Florida Audubon Society, Maitland, Fla 195 

Prepared statement 196 

Siler, Adm. Owen W., U.S. Coast Guard ; accompanied by Rear Adm. 
Anthony Fugaro, Environment and Systems Office; Rear Adm. William 
M. Benkert, Merchant Marine Safety Office; and Capt. Clarence R. 

Hallberg 163 

Letter of January 31, 1977 193 

Questions of Senator Magnuson and the answers thereto 412 

Questions of Senator Stevens and the answers thereto 480 


Anderson, Jack, and Les Whitten, article in the Washington Post 108 

Benyo, Capt. Jerome G., assistant marine superintendent, United. States 

Lines, Inc., statement 264 



Bergeson, Lloyd, industrial management consultant:, letter of January 15, Pa ^ e 
1977 233 

Berry, O. Mike, president, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, letter of January 
11, 1977 231 

Buono, Peter, president, and Gordon Spencer, executive secretary-treasurer. 
Maritime Trades Department, Hampton Roads Port Council, letter of De- 
cember 30, 1970 225 

Case, Hon. Clifford P., U.S. Senator from New Jersey, statement 236 

Christiansen, James R., city attorney, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Calif., 

letter of January 11. 1977 230 

Coleman. Hon. William T., Secretary, Department of Transportation, letter 
of December 2S, 1976 225 

Cousteau. Jacques-Yves, and Henry Kendall, the Cousteau Society, letter 

of January 19, 1977 235 

Greenberg, Eldon V. C, statement 239 

Hammond, Hon. Jay, Governor, State of Alaska, miscellaneous attach- 
ments 281 

Hooper, Robert P., salvage master, Ocean Salvage, Inc., letter of January 
6, 1977 226 

If Tankers Carried '"Marine Auditors", article 236 

Interim Report of the Marine Oil Transportation Task Force, Department 
of Transportation 335 

Loree, Philip J., chairman, Federation of American Controlled Shipping, 

letter of January 10, 1977 229 

Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., statement 267 

Neary, Capt. John, president, Northeast Marine Pilots, statement 266 

Parker, Walter B., State co-chairman, Joint Federal State Land Use Plan- 
ning Commission for Alaska, statement 275 

Perrv. Vice Adm. E. L., Vice Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, letter of De- 
cember 21, 1976 224 

Rutledge, Capt. T. H.. Chief. Congressional Affairs, U.S. Coast Guard, letter 

of December 3, 1976 224 

Siler, Adm. O. W., Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, letter of December 1, 
1976 223 

Simpkins, Talmage E., executive director, AFL-CIO Maritime Committee, 

letter of January 10, 1977 227 

Weiss, Harry, president, and Robert E. Woldruff, executive director, Vine- 
yard Conservation Society, statement 23S 



U.S. Senate, 
('nMMimn on Commerce, 

Washington, I>.C. 

The committee met at 10:15 a.m. in room 1202 df the Dirksen Sen- 
ate Office Building; Hon, Warren Magnuson (chairman of the com- 
mittee) presiding. 


The Ch miofax. The committee will come to order, and I apologise 
for the lack of space. As there is a great interest expressed in these 
hearings and the matter before us. we tried to move to a larger room 
today, bud they all had been previously taken, lint maybe tomorrow, 
and any future hearings, we will have more room lor you. So we will 
have to make the best of what we have here today. 

T have a short opening statement that I will read at this time. We 
will then hear from those Senators who wish to testify and who are 
not members of the committee. 

One is Senator Brooke. Senator Brooke is here, and there will be 
others. We will have to fit them in as they show up, because there are 
a lo; of confirmation hearings going on in the building now. 

Now, this morning the Commerce Committee is continuing its over- 
sight into the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972. This statute 
is the basic legal authority for the Coast Guard (USCG) to issue 
comprehensive standards governing the design, construction, equip- 
ping, operation, and manning of vessels carrying oil and hazardous 
cargoes in bulk. 

A1 previous hearings, the committee addressed itself to the issue of 
regulations covering U.S. tankers operating in the coastal or domes- 
tic trade. This trade includes tankers carrying oil from Alaska to 
the lower States, and we have been very critical — including the chair- 
man— of the standards promulgated by the USCG for this trade, and 
feel that the important natural resources of, for instance, my own 
State of Washington, are not adequately protected by their present 
actions to date. 

Since our last hearings, two things have occurred. First, the U&( '< > 
has issued rules on tanker safety applicable to foreign vessels >perat- 
ing in our waters and to U.S. vessels operating overseas. Second, this 
country has just witnessed the worst rash of tanker accident- ever. 
And on top of that, las! year was the worst for vessel losses in his- 
tory. These ships seem to be going down everywhere* 

Staff members assigned to these hearings: .Tames Walsh and Gerald Kovach. 


Those of us who have studied this area closely feel that the worst 
may be yet to come. In other words, what is possible is going to hap- 
pen. More and more tankers are operating in our waters. Harbors are 
congested; our Adtal waterways are dangerously crowded. But I for 
one believe that this Nation can do much more and do more than 
we have in the past to make our marine transportation system safer. 

As a matter of fact, it's a pretty sad commentary, when so many 
ships go down. I am not pointing a finger, because the Commerce 
Committee has talked about this and urged action — sometimes Ave get 
it, and sometimes we don't — from the administrative departments, 
and we have been perfectly willing at all times to receive suggestions 
for any amendments to the laws that Ave have passed previous to this 
time. But it's a sad commentary when this country has to rely upon 
such a hazardous and dangerous substance. And we haA^en't yet come 
to grips with how to handle it. And it seems like most regulations, both 
international and domestic, haA^e been made at the insistence of the 
operators — ship operators and their bankers — rather than for the pro- 
tection of the American public. 

So the purpose of these hearings is to find out what more can be 
done to make tankers and all shipping — this invokes collisions and 
maintenance and all these other factors — as safe as possible. 

It's not just because we want to protect the environment, but because 
the loss of even one cargo of oil is extremely costly in this age of 
limited energy resources. 

This is a complex area. To understand Iioav to make tankers safer, 
one must understand the maze of regulations issued by our Nation and 
many others. And one must also comprehend the lack of proper regu- 
lations. Five percent of our oil is carried in U.S. vessels, the rest in 
vessels flying foreign flags. 

I must say that on the issue of runaway flags, it's an old story in 
this committee. I looked up the record the other day, and some 25 years 
ago I had a hearing on runaway flags, and Ave haA^e been at it ever since. 
And at that time we found out that it was mainly for the purpose of 
tax evasion. And the oil companies hwoh r ed frankly admit it. We try 
to cooperate with international conferences, but we find our representa- 
tion in international conferences seems to be woefully weak in raising 
international standards. So Ave are going to look into that. 

Noav, there are, as I say. certain foreign policy considerations at 
work here. And it might possibly limit our ability to regulate foreign 
tankers in our waters. But I for one doubt that. I think Ave can do what 
Ave need to do. and should do. But we are going to hear from a LaAv of 
the Sea delegation about our foreign policy on tanker regulation. 

We must also be concerned about the question of cost. Safety costs 
money, and the committee must be sensitiA T e to these costs. But our 
preliminary analysis is that increased safety will give us far more 
benefits in excess to the costs. 

And so today and tomorroAv are the first 2 days of these hearings. 
And as soon as possible, I expect to press — and I am sure the com- 
mittee will agree with me — legislation governing liability and com- 
pensation for oil spills. This is a complicated legal matter. We intro- 
duced a bill on liability, but it didn't get to the floor. The American 
public wants to know where the liability lies. It is important that we 

find tho people who have been responsible for the damage — not only 
the damage to the shipper or the oil company, but to the American 
public and to the shores of these United Stuns. 

I have a particular interest in this matter, coming from where I do. 
Tho Congressman from Seattle is here, Mr. Pritchard. Puget Sound 
is — well, it's like a bathtub, the largest inland sea in the United States, 
with narrow entrances. If we had a big oilspill in Puget Sound, we 
would never get the oil out. Fishing is involved in this. A spill of oil 
within our 200-mile limit, when we are trying to conserve the fish, 
could be disastrous. 

So, we think the cost would be less than the benefits — the so-called 
benefit -to-cost ratio. 

Now, we have instructed the staff to prepare amendments to the 
Ports and Waterways Act if these hearings indicate amendments are 
necessary, or if some of the witnesses, particularly the administrative 
witnesses, tell us they need more authority and need more legislation. 

Now, these are only suggestions. We haven't got our feet in concrete 
about this matter, except we've got our feet in concrete about our 
objective. And so we are going to take a look at the options we have. 
And I have been asked on many occasions in the past months, "Well, 
what kind of legislation do you propose?" Well, that is the purpose 
of this hearing, to find out the best kind of legislation to achieve our 

We may have to schedule further hearings, because there are more 
interested people in this matter than any matter before Congress that 
I have seen in a long time — direct interest from the people and from 
the Senators — who are concerned about the problem. And we have 
the — don't we, Senator Stevens — we have one of the largest coastlines 
of any country in the world. 

So, our interest is great. Now, some groups are submitting state- 
ments, and those who wish to submit a statement to the committee, we 
would appreciate it, because of the time limit. So, we will begin with 
that statement. 

Now, any members of the committee, do you have anything further 
to add? 


Senator Long. I just want to say, Mr. Chairman, that these disasters 
we have been experiencing highlight wisdom in trying to see whether 
the ships out there are manned by competent crews. 

Those of us on the committee support that objective. Maybe now 
the people will be a little more ready to recognize that there is a need 
for American ships, American seamen, and higher standards equal to 
what we have for our ships for those who want to come to our ports. 
And there is no doubt that we can do a great deal to prevent these 
kinds of disaster with the will in the Congress to do it now. 

I hope we are not going to be penny-wise and pound-foolish again 
in tli is Congress, as all too many people were in the last Congress, And 
T will support your suggestion of having more seaworthy ships out. 
there, and I will be happy to support your leadership in this committee 
on this '••sue. 

The Chairman. Well, we have run down the cost figures at some 
length, and you will find that, per barrel, our best average is about 
(> cents per barrel to do most of the job we are talking about. 

And what is the average price of a barrel of oil that we import? 
Eleven dollars? 
Senator Long. $12. 
The Chairman. $12. 

I do not think we had as mucli help as we deserve from the Defense 
Department (I)OD). They have testified before Congress on runaway 
flags as far back as 25 yqars ago. They say, "Oh. we have these ships 
under runaway flags but they are under what we call effective control. 
if we need them in time of emergency." "Well, during World War IT. 
Ave found out we had to spend over $7 billion to build our own fleet, 
even though the friendly countries, Norway and Sweden and Great 
Britain and others said we'd have a pool. 

But we found out that they wanted all their ships for their own 
purposes, and so we had to bnild our own. It cost $6 or $7 billion in 
those days to build the liberty and victory ships. 

You can't have effective control with a ship owned by an American 
oil company, insured by the British, operated by the Greeks, with 
Italian officers and a Chinese crew. What kind of a control do you have 
on that kind of a ship ? 

So. we have a job here, and time is of the essence. 

Senator Stevens, do you have anything? 


Senator Stevens. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. When yon mention 
the coastline of the United States, I hope everyone keeps in mind that 
half of the coastline of the United States is in one State, and that is 
the State of Alaska. 

We are very concerned about the tanker accidents which have oc- 
curred on the coastline of the United States. I am sure that after we 
study the proposals for legislation to make tanker operation safer and 
deal with the question of innocent victims of oilspills, this committee 
will make some firm, and I think progressive, recommendations to the 

I think it is important to keep in mind, though, that Alaska will soon 
become one of the major oil shipping States in our Nation, if not the 

We intend to see to it that the tankers operating on what we call the 
TAPS route — the trans-Alaska pipeline system route — utilizes the 
finest available safety technology. 

Many of the cities of Alaska are dependent on the American Equi 
System for their livelihood. In fact, the commercial fishing industry of 
Alaska employs more people than any other industry, including oil 
and gas. Furthermore, almost all Alaskans, as in the State of Wash- 
ington, too, and many other coastal areas, use the American environ- 
ment as their main source of recreation. 

I think there has been a lot said and, Mr. Chairman, you have said 
something about the deficiencies of our system for compensating inter- 
national victims of oilspill damage. Certainly adequate compensation 
should be a prerequisite to large-scale tanker operations. 

Indeed, oilspill compensation must be considered an end in itself. 

However, it is far more important to see that tanker accidents are 
minimized or, to the extent possible, eliminated, rather than to deal 
primarily with the question of compensation. 

Statistics that I have seen indicate there is a direcl correlation 
between the age of the tanker and the probability that it will be 
involved in a pollution-causing accident. An example of this is the 
recent tanker explosion on the west coast. 

T am told that the tanker there, the Sawwend* was built in L958 and 
didn't contain an inert gas system. That system has been in commercial 
operation since L969, and had it been in that tanker, the accident would 
not have occurred. 

Ir is my understanding that no tanker equipped with an inert gas 
system has ever suffered an explosion in its storage tanks. 

We have some ottier questions. 

The Chairman. We have cost figures on what it would eost to bring 
them up to the standards of new ships, and the cost is minimal com- 
pared to the benefits. 

( to ahead. Senator Stevens. 

Senator Stevens, There is a question also concerning the safety of 
the propulsion system. The coastal system carries Alaskan oil to what 
we call the South 48. 

There is a question raised as to whether all of the vessels will be of 
the single screw rather than the double screw type. We must require 
redundancy on these tankers to the maximum extent possible. There is 
a question as to whether or not the frequency of these accidents has 
cast a cloud on my State in terms of the manner in which we wish to 
export Alaskan oil to the South 48. 

"We, in the producing States, must insist on the maximum possible 
safety considerations so that the American public will have confidence 
thai the systems we wish to use will be the best and most efficient for 
the t ransportation of oil to the markets of this country. 

I welcome the opportunity to participate with you in these hearings 
and I congratulate von for your leadership in this area. I hope every- 
one takes note, before the Rules Committee makes its recommendation, 
that von are asserting a rather firm control over the ocean's jurisdic- 
tion. I hope we can keep firm control not only of the pipeline safety 
and tanker safety but all aspects of transportation safety as we trans- 
port our resources throughout the United Stater . 

The Chairman. The Senator from South Carolina has been doing 
yeoman work in this field, lie has been almost a voice in the wilderness 
i.n some of these safety measures as chairman of the Subcommittee on 

He and I at one time suggested in a hearing on matters out in 
Seattle that we have a vessel surveillance system, This was 3 of 1 
years a<:o. maybe longer than that. And the TSCG and others said we 
didn't have any, they hadn't thought of that, and they said there 
wasn't enough money to do that. . . 

Senator Hollings asked, "Have you come up to the Appropriations 
Committee and as^ed us formoney?" 


We said, "Why can'* ship surveill . stems he like airline 


Xow we have established such systems and the USCG has been 
developing a aational system within the confines of the money the;. 

The Senator from Alaska was strong for this. We are hopeful 
the surveillance system will extend from Valdez to Puget Sound. Bill 


we do have problems there. We must have the cooperation of Canada 
on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Canada will cooperate, I think. They 
are as worried about accidents as we are. 
Senator Hollings. 


Senator Holltxgs. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. 

I appreciate your leadership. It has been a privilege and pleasure to 
work with you. We want to know why the Coast Guard hasn't been 
more assiduous in giving leadership. As you pointed out, with the air 
traffic control system, why can't we adopt the same principle with 
respect to our ocean's highways. 

If someone comes from Massachusetts using the highways of South 
Carolina we designate the motor vehicle department for personal 
service. There is no rhyme or reason why we can't, in the same way, 
have jurisdiction over the the individuals who own these tankers and 
let them disclose on the one hand that they are going to use our 
ports and then designate the Secretary of Commerce or Secretary 
of the Treasury or whoever for personal process. 

With respect to safety features and the capability of ship captains, 
we should exercise greater jurisdiction. If, after one or two accidents 
these pilots should be taken off the oceans so they will not continue 
to be a threat to our environment. 

We want to know why one arm of the Government, the Maritime 
Administration requires collision avoidance systems and dual radar 
on subsidized U.S. tankers, but they are not required by the Coast 
Guard. It costs one-tenth of a cent I am told — Senator Magnuson, you 
know this — one-tenth of a cent per gallon of gas for improved safety. 
We are not talking about an undue burden or creating an energy crisis 
or anything of that kind. If we required segregated ballast sj'stems 
or gas inerting systems or any of these things on existing tonnage, they 
could be done at a minimal cost with ultimate advantage to the 

The recent tanker incidents — over 10 since December 15 — have dem- 
onstrated once again the need for major improvements in* the way 
this Nation manages tanker operations. 

The sad fact about this, though, is that none of this is new. Bade 
in 1971, 1 chaired hearings when we were trying to get the Ports and 
Waterways Safety Act passed. We knew about many of these prob- 
lems then, but in spite of our desires to do something about them, 
in spite of the hearings which Senator Magnuson and I chaired in 
1975 and the additional hearings last year, we have not been able to 
gain enough attention to get something done. It is regrettable that it 
has taken so many tanker accidents to gain that attention. 

If we look at a few of these accidents, we find that they illustrate 
some of the problems we need to deal with, and which we will seek 
information about in these hearings. 

The Argo Merchant: As is well known, the ship ran aground in 
heavy seas, spilling its entire cargo of heavy fuel oil. The ship was oif 
course. It had very little navigational equipment, and much of that was 
not operational. The ship was poorly maintained, and had a poor 
safety record. 

The Smswena: This one blew up wit in Los Angeles while it was 
empty. It had no inert gas system which might have prevented the 
fumes from causing the explosion. Most tanker accident deaths and 
injuries result from fires and explosions. 

The Olympic Games: This one ran aground in the Delaware River 
and spilled 133,000 gallons of oil. As a ship operating in confined 
waters, it had no auxiliary propulsion and control machinery. Nor 
did it have a double hull which might have prevented the spill. 

The Grand Zenith. : No one seems to know for certain what happened 
tot his tanker, hut it appears to have sunk. An unusually large portion 
of tankers of this vintage (about the same age as the Argo Merchant) 
have broken up at sea in heavy weather. 

J nst these few incidents out of the long list raise a whole range 
of questions about safety records, navigation equipment, operator and 
crew training requirements, the inspection of older ships, maintenance 
requirements, and the need to use the shipping lanes that we have 
already set aside for safe ship traffic. In fact legally, I do not believe 
at this* time, that if the Coast Guard found a ship leaking, they could 
do anything to require that ship to be fixed. 

Much is at stake here. While the oil that tankers bring in is abso- 
lutely vital to our well-being, we can no longer tolerate such major 
environmental damage, and such serious economic threats to our 
coastal areas and ocean fisheries. The problems associated with tanker 
operations need to be corrected. 

A recent study of Congress, Office of Technology xYssessment, at the 
request of the National Ocean Policy Study, provides a good litany 
of the now all-to- familiar problems we are seeing. 

Tanker spills, for example, are the source of 5 to 15 times as much 
oil as all offshore drilling and port operations combined. But pollu- 
tion control regulations are far less stringent for tankers than for 
either deepwater ports or offshore oil and gas operations. Tankers 
accidently spill 200,000 tons of oil each year, worldwide, and 12,000 
tons in waters within 50 miles of the U.S. coast, Yet there are ways 
to reduce pollution through improvements in tanker design and con- 
struction. Such design improvements include: double bottoms and 
double hulls, inert gas systems to help prevent fires and explosions, 
added maneuvering devices, improved navigation systems, and im- 
proved tank cleaning and ballasting systems. The cost of many of 
these systems is small compared to the overall expense of tanker 
operations, yet many of them still are not required on ships operating 
in U.S. waters. 

Existing laws are not adequate either to assign liability or to 
compensate individuals or institutions for damages resulting from 
oil spills. In particular, under existing statutory and case law. dam- 
aged parties hick effective nrotection against economic losses that may 
result when an oilspill reaches shore. 

While advances have been made in oilspill cleanup equipment, fur- 
ther improvements are needed. For instance. OTA estimated that 
even the most advanced USCG equipment i'nr hi^h-seas containment 
of oilspills would he effective in winter seas off the east coast only 55 
percent of the time. The recent problems ; >i c ntaining the spill i 
the Argo Merchant, off Nantucket, bear out this view about the 
limitation of present cleanup technology'. Further work is needed on 


cleanup methods — and on ways to prevent tanker spills from occurring 
in the first place. 

The effects of oilspill pollutants cannot be determined with any 
accuracy, and recent research efforts have not clarified conflicting 
claims b}'' oil companies and environmental groups regarding the 
amounts and consequences of marine pollution. It appears that very 
little public money is allocated to projects that address the unknown's 
of these effects. In particular, what is not known and cannot be meas- 
ured at this time is the severity of damage related to amounts and 
concentrations of oil, the effects of petroleum on the food chain and 
the sea food consumer, and the long-term effects of chronic discharges. 

Problems such as these have existed for too long, and stand to get 
worse as tanker traffic off our shores increases. The hearings today and 
tomorrow should bring out the facts about these recent, regrettable 
accidents, and help us in our efforts to improve ranker operations 
in U.S. waters. 

I look forward to hearing from the Secretary of Transportation, 
and the head of the Coast Guard to learn why we haven't moved more 
forcefully on this. How many new personnel are going to be in- 
cluded in the new budget coming up is something of interest to us. 

The Chairman. The Senator from New Mexico has an interest in 
this although I don't think the tankers are coming into New Mexico 
yet. You may buy a piece of land to get you to the Gulf of Southern 
California and then you would have a seaport. 


Senator Schmitt. I might say it is amazing how pervasive this 
Question is. One of the question* before New Mexico now is the possible 
transshipment of Alaskan crude into Texas for refining in that area, 
ft relates directly to the question of, are tankers going to appear 
on the California coast to provide that crude for transshipment; We 
are interested in this issue as is the rest of the country. 

Let me add my congratulation to the committee for the work you 
have clone in this area. I hope you continue your efforts and f look for- 
ward to working with you on it. 

To put the issue in perspective, there have been natural spills of 
petroleum for as long as there has been petroleum — for hundreds of 
millions of years. What man lias done is to increase the frequency and 
quantity of these spills. Unfortunately, Ave have a poor data base on 
which to determine the effect of this action. But obviously it has a con- 
siderable impact. 

J think it is important for this committee to consider what it needs 
to better understand oilspill effects and prevention as well as how to 
ameliorate the effects of spills of this kind. I think we must obviously 
stabilize and improve the present situation. That is what most of the 
legislation and testimony will be concerned with. 

I hope we won't forget that our basic problem comes from the 
dependence on foreign supplies of petroleum. We have considerably 
more control over the Alaskan petroleum than we do others. As long 
as we are dependent on foreign supplies of petroleum and dependent 
on petroleum in general we will have a problem. 

The long-term solution is the limitation of that dependence. I hope 
that during the Oath Congress, we will develop guidelines for the Con- 

gressand administration that will in I'-wt reduce this dependent . I 
will be working as hard as I can to help von implement a solution to 
this most serious problem. 

1 might mention as an aside regarding surveillance, let s not torgc 
the satellite capability of this country. We are surveilling wild ani- 
mals in Washington State and other places. We could require surveil- 
lance capability on all ships- that enter U.S. ports and I think we 
should consider that. 

The Chairman - . Well, you should know that subject well. 

Senator ScHMITT. Yes. sir. 

The Chairman. We may have to put you up there. 

Senator Schmitt. 1 worked to© hard to get here. 

The Chairman. We could got you off the ground again and you 
could report directly to the committee. 

Senator Brooke is here and we will open with the Senator from 
Massachusetts, Senator Brooke. 



Senator Brooke. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. You have an excellent 
witness list and I am privileged to lead off this testimony before you. 

It is not speculation with me. Mr. Chairman. We have been hit and 
we have been hit hard in Massachusetts and New England as you very 
well know. 

Mr, Chairman, I am grateful to have these few minutes to highlight 
to the committee those matters I believe to be of the highest priority if 
we are to prevent oilspills in our coastal waters. But first I would like 
to congratulate you. not only for holding these timely and well-orga- 
nized hearings, but, even more important, for being an early and ar! ic- 
ulate leader on the tanker safety issue. 

I want to add my word of congratulations to Senator Rollings of 
South Carolina as well. 

If the oilspill liability legislation of which you were the author in 
the last Congress had become law. rust buckets like the Argg Merchant 
and the (i mnd Zenith would, no doubt, have been out of service as far 
as i LS. is concerned. 

I was cosponsor of a similar bill, and I know you and I have shared 
a sense of frustration as we have watched the entirely predictable 
series of disasters which need never have occurred had the Congress 
moved expeditiously :2 years ago. 

Mi-. Chairman, t have prepared a legislative package to prevent 
spills and to expedite cleanup when they do happen. And T expect that 
it will be the task of your committee to weigh my proposals together 
with, several others thai will be made and present a genera] measure 
for the Senate's consideration. T would like to emphasize the points 1 
feci musi be included in the final legislative package. 

First, of course, we must establish full liability for cleanup co 
liability to be paid to third parties who suffer damage-, and a fund 
from which moneys can be <b'awn immediately pending court a. 
on various claims. All these were in your legislation last session and 
without any question they constitute the singleinost important pari 
of any law, as the incentives for shipowners to prevent spills will at 


last be in place. I would urge the committee also to adopt the pro- 
visions in my bill which extend coverage to transporters of liquefied 
natural gas and other toxic substances. 

The Chairman. I might say there that we arc just beginning to get 
shipments of liquefied natural gas and that is a dangerous product. 
We just saw in Puget Sound, within the last 2 days, our first shipment 
of liquefied gas. 

The USCG was alerted in that particular case and told the pilot, 
an American pilot to heave to and not to move. The fog was too bad 
and it was evening. The American pilot just didn't pay any attention 
to them and went right on. 

We are going to ask the USCG what they are going to do about 
that. Can the Coast Guard tell the pilot to stop or is the pilot in com- 
plete control of his own ship I 

Go ahead. 

Senator Brooke. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm glad you recognize 
that liquefied natural gas poses a great problem. We ought not to wait 
until that genie gets out of the bottle to act on that. 

Next, I am proposing that the Ports and Waterways Safety Act be 
amended to establish minimum vessel construction, equipment, and op- 
erating standards, as well as personnel training standards, which would 
be enforced upon both foreign-flag and U.S. vessels as a condition for 
entering U.S. ports. 

Eighty-five percent of the mishaps today have been caused by in- 
competency. The 85 percent part of it means the personnel have to be 
trained. Using your example, Senator Hollings, that means if he 
can't drive, he ought not come from Massachusetts to South Carolina 
or South Carolina to Massachusetts. We ought to do that same thing 

I realize it has been fashionable in some quarters to blame the 
USCG for moving cautiously and conservatively in this direction. 
Personally, I feel the responsibility belongs with the Congress. No 
line agency can be expected to make so major a step in international, as 
well as domestic, regulatory policy, in the face of State Department op- 
position and legislative inertia. 

We must set minimum and explicit standards which are tough 
enough and detailed enough to protect our coastal waters and our 
ports. And then we must let the Coast Guard use its general authority 
to expand on these as necessary. 

It is my hope that your committee will deal with both aspects of 
the tanker problem namely : first, getting the old tankers or the "rust- 
buckets" out of our waters altogether, and second, setting some similar 
standards to govern the operation of the VLCC's or "superships'' 
which cross the oceans in increasing numbers. My legislation includes 
new standards for both. 

We have had these tankers, 750 million gallons on the Argo Mer- 
chant. That is a pittance compared to what is carried by a supertanker 
and what would happen if we had a spill from a supertanker. 

I am particularly concerned that we establish new classes of ocean 
licenses for VLCC personnel based on extensive training which in- 
cludes the use of simulators. 

I do feel that new authority is needed to establish a truly compre- 
hensive tanker safety program. The USCG should have authority 


to set up a traffic monitoring system up to 200 miles from our shore. 
While this can conveniently be compared to an air traffic control 
system it need not, in fact, be so sophisticated. The use of two-way 

loran-C and transponders can provide a vessel identification and 
tracking svstem adequate to prevent major collisions. 

We might use a satellite as well. But we ought to have a tracking 
system without question. This would not constitute a right to inter- 
fere with traditional navigation rights. It would simply give us a 
way to advise vessels regarding traffic safety and to keep a record of 
individual ship performance. 

The National Transportation Safety Board should be given a new 
role in assembling and keeping s safety history on each vessel entering 
U.S. ports so that it may be checked at each entry. 

The Chairman. In that particular case I checked and they do have 
that authority now. 

Senator Brooke. Why aren't they doing it? 

The Chairman. They haven't seen fit to adopt it as a policy. You 
suggest we look at that and say adopt it as a policy. 

Senator Brooke. I suggest it be mandated, Mr. Chairman. 

Furthermore, I do believe the liability for oilspills should be 
extended throughout the 200-mile fishing zone. While we need not 
establish a general environment zone with regulations for all pol- 
lutants, the need to protect our fisheries from oil. the most pervasive 
and dangerous poison, is a logical and clear one. To enforce this pro- 
vision and the new vessel safety standards, we must expand the in- 
spection and surveillance capability of the Coast Guard and give 
special attention to the possibility of regular satellite monitoring. 

Finally, I hope the committee will reexamine the organization of 
our basic ocean research as well as our programs for developing high- 
seas-spill-cleanup technology and for improving tanker design. I be- 
lieve we should devote new efforts to the engineering and technical 
side while consolidating the science side and establishing overall 
priorities. This series of catastrophes has humbled us all by demon- 
strating the vast and frightening power of the oceans and our relative 
ignorance and helplessness in the face of these forces. 

We still don't know what the impact will be of that spill from the 
Argo Merchant in that water off of Nantucket. The art has not im- 
proved to the point where we actually know what that impact will be. 
We have to do the research. We can't wait any longer to do the 

So, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am grateful 
for your efforts today, and always, to help us understand and protect 
our seas before it is too late. 
Thank you. 

Time is of the essence. It should have been done 25 years ago. Let's 
not say this 25 years from now. Let's get it done and get it done 
tori a v. I thank you for your cooperation. 

The Chatrman. I might say we appreciate your suggestions on 
legislation. Much of it has been acknowledged in the old bill, last 
year's bill on liability. The staff has drafted a preliminary bill in 
which liability is addressed. We want suggestions and ideas. 
Senator Long, do you have anything to say? 
Senator Long. That was a good statement. Senator. 


Senator Rollings. You refer to the State Department dragging its 
feet. In 1113' experience, they have generally had a problem for even- 

I bet the Russian State Department would not be dragging its feet. 
For the simple reason that safety saves money. When you have the 
owner, operator, and insurance company one and the same, safety can 
be taken seriously. We may not want their system, but they have 
j)roved their belief in safety. My preliminary investigation shows 
they are leaders in trying to require stringent safety measures and 
better training for captains and everything else. 

There is no question that we are on the right track. We ought to 
come down hard on all vessels in our ports. 

Senator Stevens. I want to congratulate you, Senator, for your 
legislative package and to assure you that the standards that Jj&ve 
been set already for Alaska tankers meet, I think, the requirements 
of your bill. 

1 am also interested in LNG. We would like to see our LXG leave 
Alaska by tanker for many reasons. We will look forward to working 
with you and other Members of the Senate in that regard. 

Concerning liability, I hope everyone keeps in mind that the Alaska 
oil lias already been assessed for a liability fund. I'm most concerned 
that we don't' get a redundant charge on oil from domestic sou:ye- 
that will make it even less competitive with foreign sources. It is going 
to take some hard negotiating, I think, with everyone to see to it that 
this is a fair system. 

Particularly in your area where you have had this disaster, I'm sure 
your people are most concerned about it. I'm glad you used the word 
"rust bucket." That is what they are that are coming into this country. 
However, those tankers will not carry Alaskan oil. I hope we can be 
assured that the standards which have been applied to oil from my 
State will also be applied to oil from foreign sources. That, to me. 
would be a great step forward. 

We led the free world, I think, in our 200-mile fishery jurisdiction. 
I hope we will be able to declare a 200-mile pollution, environmental 
control zone as veil as our fishery zone and put into effect the stand- 
ards that should be included in the law of the sea when it finally 
reaches its conclusion — at least the minimum standards we can expect 
the world to agree to and that we can assert there ourselves. 

The xVmbassador involved with the Daw of the Sea Conference 
is here and he has many problems. I don't think we can wait any 
longer for the rest of these people to come along. 

In regard to your statement and that of Senator Sehmitt. some of 
us went to the International Satellite Conference last year. We have 
been working with Von Braun and others since 1969 to work out this 
Concept of vessel-controlled systems using satellites. 

It is very sample; it can be" done. It is like anything else, a matter 
of financing. That, too, must be brought home to the American public. 
All of these systems cost additional money and they will have to be 
paid for in some wav. 

I hope we can face up to the question of a comprehensive assess- 
ment on the users of oil. the end users, gasoline and soon, to pay for 
all of these protections that we need to assure ourselves that in areas 
such as yours— Puget Sound and Long Beach— where there is con- 


tintud opposition to our tankers cpming into these ports, we rea 
support through tho confidence of the entire using public. 

Senator Brooke. After we find out, if we knew who the owners of 
these tankers are, we might look into the profits of these tankers. 
1 ould suspect tiu\ were makinghuge profits. Maybe we won't have 
to add to tin' cost of i be consumer. Maybe it can come out of 1 lie pj i 
of the tankers themseh es. 

The chairman said 6 cents already on what we are doing. Maybe it 
to be tOoentSil don't know f We are not talking al reat deal 

mey, which means the consumer will have to pay that much more. 
We shouldn't scare the consumer that, to get safety, it is going to 

ich more. We ought to have safety, however, even if it is more 
expensive. We ought to look for alternative sources for the cost of 
the safety devices. 

Senator Stevens. I'm sure you're correct as Ear as foreign flag 
tankers are concerned. They do have a substantial competitive advan- 
tage today. They are charging more for the oil they bring from over- 

We supported, wi&h the chairman, the concept of trying to insure 
that a larger portion of this importation of foreign oil would be on 
American t .inkers. If we can't achieve this objective directly, we can 
achieve it through pollution jurisdiction. 

Senator Sghmtjt. I want to congratulate you on an excellent s# ' 
ment. We have a tremendous resource in this country in the areas of 
research. Senator Brooke especially, is aware of what his own State 
has in terms of o'ceanograpnic reach capabilities. MIT and Harvard 
are leaders in this area, as are universities on the west coast and else- 

We should insure, in whatever we try to do, an arrangement whereby 
these universities and the talent that they have is directed as rapidly 
as possible to the research side of the problem. We would be remiss 
if we don't do so. 

Senator Brooke. We have the greatest facility in Massachusetts. 
I'm glad you recognize the fact that we do — particularly at Woods 
Hole and Harvard, MIT — but we are not spending the money or 
giving them the mandate to do the job and I suggest we do that. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Our first witness i- the Secretary of Transporta- 
tion. Secretary Coleman, we will be glad to hear from you. 

Si 'tei ary ( 'oleman, we are gladto have you here. 


Secretary Coleman. Sir, I would like to ask permission to have my 
statement copied verbatim into the record and 1 will summarize it. 
e Chairman. All right. 

Secretary Colkmax. I am exercising some restraint here because in 
\ our opening remarks you said some things which I thought were un- 
fair \\ ith respe< I ;<< the I JjS< !< r. But* I trust that those who heard those 
remarks will read my statement, so I won't read the $7-page statement. 

The Chairman. Just a minute. What did I say that was unfair! 

S2 908- 77— pt. 1 2 


Secretary Coleman. For example, the general statement that the 
USCG was not doing things in this area. 

The Chairman. That is my conclusion. 

Secretary Coleman. I think that is an unfair statement. 

The Chairman. That is not unfair. It is the conclusion of myself 
and other people. That is the purpose of these hearings. 

Secretary Coleman. For example, you indicated in your opening 
statement— by the end of it, you changed it — that the problem respect- 
ing the establishment of a liability fund was attributable to the ad- 
ministration. I would like to call attention to my statement — and you 
should know this because you were the one that introduced a bill pro- 
viding for 

The Chairman. I said, "Congress and the administration." 

Secretary Coleman. Let me tell you what happened. You introduced 
a bill and President Ford sent up a bill. When you look at your bill and 
the President's, you might say they are about in accord. The House 
held hearings and a bill was reported. The Senate did not even hold 
hearings on that. That is the reason why today we do not have legisla- 
tion establishing a liability fund. It is not the fault of the USCG or 
the administration. 

The Chairman. Let's not you and I have an argument on your last 
appearance up here. 

Secretary Coleman. I would like to come up here to talk about the 
real facts, because I really don't think we serve the public well 

The Chairman. The House didn't vote on a bill at all. It never got 
out of committee. 

Secretary Coleman. It got out of committee. Check the record. You 
acted; you did everything you should have done; the President did 
eveything he should have done, but it is the Congress that did not act 
and that is why you don't have the fund. 

Senator Stevens. That is a fair statement. The bill was held up by 
another committee in spite of the fact that we acted twice on this 

Secretary Coleman. With respect to other problems, and I would 
like you to look at my statement ; the fact is, we live in an interdepend- 
ent world. And if Vietnam taught us anything, it taught us that we 
don't serve the public interest when we always try to act unilaterally. 

Everyone agrees and the USCG agrees that we want to do every- 
thing in the world we can to eliminate oilspills and to develop tech- 
niques to prevent them. But merely to suggest that this country can 
unilaterally enforce laws directed to ships, some of which will never 
land in the United States — for example, the path that the Argo Mer- 
chant was supposed to be on is the same path it would have been on if 
it were going to Canada without stopping at a U.S. port. 

I indicated the various conventions that have been negotiated. I 
think it is surprising that the majority of these conventions have 
not been ratified. It seems to me, as we approach this problem, we 
ought to realize that on both sides of the fence we have not moved 
with all of the deliberate speed we should have moved with. 

I think it is unfair to say it is the Coast Guard or the administra- 
tion that is at fault. Many treaties have been negotiated ; they have 
sat here in the Senate and they have not been ratified. 


Getting back to the summary of my statement, sir, I want to thank 
you for your invitation to discuss the recent unfortunate tanker 

The CHAIRMAN. Some of the reasons they weren't ratified is because 
we didn't think they went far enough and they didn't do the job. 

Secretary Coleman. 1 agree, but when you deal wit h 69 independent 
countries, all of which have interests in the sea, you have to negotiate 
a treaty. It seems to me if you are in this kind of situation, oftenl imes 
you don't get everything you want. "What should have been done was 
to ratify the treaty, and then we should have tried to increase the 
standards. We didn't do that. The treaty sat here. This makes future 
negotiations diflicult because it indicates that after we negotiate con- 
ventions, we don't have the ability to get the Senate to ratify them. 
The Chairman. I think Congress would ratify any treaty that went 
far enough toward achieving real tanker safety. Our complaint is that 
what was finally negotiated was not strong enough and, therefore, we 
didn't seem to have the clout we should have or we didn't adequately 
represent the people of the United States regarding these waters. 
There are a lot of reasons why, and I understand that. 

Secretary Coleman. All I am saying is 

The Chairman. In the London conference — in 1973 — the ship- 
owners from all over the world dominated that conference. 

Secretary Coleman. If you depend on 69 nations to reach an agree- 
ment — I would like you to look back on your experience in the Con- 
gress. When you deal with 100 independent Senators, oftentimes you 
don't get all your way. Therefore, you make adjustments as best as 
you can, hoping that history will demonstrate that you have moved 

The day of the gunboat is over. You no longer take a gunboat and 
put it beside Liberia and say, "If you don't do so and so, we will not 
let your ships out," I hope the public recognizes this. 

Senator Long. Mr. Chairman, I would like to put a word in at this 
point. I would be curious to see how any of those treaties would have 
prevented what we are talking about here. I'm concerned that we can 
do something about this, by acting unilaterally. That is what we are 
going to do. We are going to say, "If you are heading for an American 
port, or you are in American waters, you will have to comply with 
American standards, or you will be arrested and put into jail." 

Secretary Coleman. The International Convention on Civil Liabil- 
ity for Oil Pollution Damage would have provided a mechanism 
which Mould have helped to take care of this problem. There is no 
treaty that would have prevented the Argo Merchant accident from 

Senator Long. I'm not worried about the money. Where in those 
treaties was anything that would have prevented the ships from 
breaking in two' and having those big oilspills that the public is com- 
plaining about? 

Secretary Coleman. The International Convention on Civil Liabil- 
itv for Oil' Pollution Damage and the International Convention for 
the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation of 
Oil Pollution Damages have been negotiated, but not ratified. 

Senator Long. Even if vou had the treaty, the United States would 
have had to go out there and keep those tilings from happening that 


happened. Whether you have a treaty or don't have one, it is under the 

authority of this Government to keep the thing's from happening. 

Secretary Coleman. The Argo Merchant was in international 
waters. Until we change a lot of law, the United States generally does 
not have the authority to act unilaterally in international waters. 

Senator Long. By the time we get through with this, we will pass a 
law to put somebody out there and take care of this matter and we 
won't need the U;:ited Nations to do it. 

Secretary Coleman. When you study this problem, T think you 
will make some adjustment in that attitude. If you don't, we will be 
in trouble with the rest of the world, and we will be back to where 
we were 2 or 3 years ago. We have to respect the opinion of other 
people. We cannot unilaterally pursue these goals. 

Senator Long. I believe you will find that the people who own these 
ships have enormous influence at these international conferences. 

Secretary Coleman. They tell me that people who pay a lot of taxes 
have a lot* of influence before the committees of this Congress that 
deal with' taxes- 
Senator Long. There are many things that we can do unilaterally. 

The Chairman. All of these' agreements, if they had been tougher 
agreements. Congress doesn't need to ratify all of them. Some are 
executive agreements. 

Secretary Coleman. I Wasn't present, but we negotiated the tough- 
est agreements we could negotiate and still get a consensus among all 
of these people. 

The Chairman. You say we will be in trouble with the rest of the 
world. Why are we always in trouble ? 

Secretary Coleman. Let's look at the loran — C problem. The USCG 
took the leadership in developing loran-C. the best navigation sys- 
tem in the world. When it was first developed, the cost of putting it 
on each vessel was $40,000. The USCG, through its leadership and 
through your help, getting the money in the Congress, got the cost 
dowm to $4,000. Now, we think perhaps we could unilaterally say any 
ship coming in has to have one. But the British have also developed 
a system, and they think their system is as good as the U.S. system. 

The Chairman*. Let's not get technical with which system is the 

Secretary Coleman. What I'm' attempting to do in my statement is 
indicate the extent of the problem. It is a major problem. We do 
depend on foreign oil. 

I next summarize for you 

Senator Rollings. Will the Senator yield. Before we run on and 
on about gunboats and Liberia, and you know no one in the Congress 
has gunboats in mind for Liberia, or Vietnam, or the proposition 
of paying oiF in influence up in the Congress. 

But I would like to ask a question. 

Secretary Coleman. I would like to say, sir 

Senator Hollings. I know you are loud, but loud doesn't count. 

The Chairman. The witness will answer the question. 

Senator Hollings. The USCG has unilaterally issued standards 
for construction of LNG tankers. 

How can you unilaterally act on LNG vessels and not oil vessels? 
You won't allow an LNG vessel from a foreign-flag coming in here 
without double bottoms ? 


Admiral Silee. We would not allow them in our ports. 

Senator Rollings. You would not allow them in our ports. I have 
one witness with me Why couldn't you do that for oil? You have 
acted unilaterally and effectively in LNG. It's working. 

Admiral Su.r.i:. In Scat! le, as the Senator said 

Senator Rollings. Generally speaking in the international carriage 
of LNG, ha\ e you had any problems in that department I 

Admiral Silki;. We deal with it when it comes into the United 

Senator ROLLINGS. RaS any government complained about that re- 
quirement to you ( 

Admiral Sii.kk. No. not that I know of. 

Senator Rollings. Why can't we do that with oil, Mr. Secretary? 

Secretary COLEMAN. We have done a lot with respect t<> oil. J would 
like to leave with you the report of the marine oil transportation task 
force which indicates what we have done. 

1 agree unilateral action can he taken. It should he the last tiling 
we do rather than the initial thing we do. You have to he willing to 
accept the fact that if you do it here, other countries will reciprocate. 
Therefore, we will have problems in other areas. 

Senator HolLINGS. We are talking about a tenth of a cent per gallon 
at the most. Congress has an ( MKee of Technology Assessment and there 
are others around who can give us the cost factor. You can do it uni- 
laterally because you are doing it now with LNG tankers. 

Secretary Coleman! You have very few LXG tankers coming in. 
They are new tankers. It is a new technology. As you know, it is much 
easier when you embark on a new course to establish preconditions 
than if you have heen doinir something for some time and then try to 
change it. 

Senator Rollings. British Petroleum requires it on all of their 
■ Hide oil carriers. Why should British Petroleum do that unilaterally 
and why not the USCG and you as Secretary of Transportation? 

Secretary Coleman. We are doing a number of things. If you look 
at the task force report you will conclude we are doino- a lot. I concede 
v, e have to do more. Ohvionsly this has heeome a major problem. We 
will try to cooperate and pet done what has to he done. I didn't want 
\r, leave the impression we haven't done anything; We have done a lot. 

The Chairman. No one has suggested you have done nothing. What 
we suggested and I have for a long time, before you even were down 
there, that we are not doing enough. And you a<rree with that. 

Secretary Coleman. On that we are in agreement. Therefore. 1 have 

asted lt» minutes of my 15 minutes. But I have corrected the record 

far as what I thought would he the impression left of the USCG 

and the administration doing nothing. I say we haven't done all we 

should have. But under Brock Adams* leadership I think we will do 


The Chairman. Supposing there is a gray area where they are 
worried that they might be overstepping something. Isn't it better to 
err in favor of safety than not do anything '. 

1 want you to understand another thing. Over the years I happen to 
have handled the authorization for the USCG. And 1 don't think I 
have ever denied them any reasonable request. In fact, we always In- 
to <_ r et more for the USCG. 


I know it needs more manpower. It is going to cost a little more 
money. But as the Army Engineers say, the benefits to costs are great. 

Secretary Coleman. I agree with you on that. 

The Chairman". Let's not get into an argument about this. 

Secretary Coleman. I apologize. 

But in listening to your statement, I had the impression that you 
didn't realize the great work the USCG has done. 

The Chairman. I wanted to congratulate you for being a pretty good 
Secretary of Transportation. 

Secretary Coleman. Including the one that issued a national trans- 
portation policy. 

Senator Stevens. Let me preface a question by saying we all have 
great regard for you, Bill. You have done a great job. Your successor 
is a good friend of ours. He will have an expanding role as you would 
have had if you stayed there. 

When we saw the Manhattan go through the Northwest Passage — 
you will recall the reason that there are no tankers going through 
there — Canada declared a 100-mile environmental pollution jurisdic- 
tion. It was pretty obvious there would be no Manhattan. 

I'm sure that as a lawyer you know we can impose limitations on 
the tankers that are going to offload oil in this country far more 
stringent than what we can impose on those in the high seas that will 
pass our country. You would agree with that ? 

Secreary Coleman. Yes, sir. 

Senator Stevens. We are talking about not only moving to the 
maximum extent possible with regard to the tankers coming into our 
country, but moving to the maximum extent we can in international 
law to limit those tankers that will pass through our water because of 
the extended 200-mile zone. 

My question is, are you saying from the point of view of your ex- 
perience in your capacity as Secretary of Transportation, that you 
feel we should confine our efforts to those tankers that are going to 
come into this country and get that job done first rather than move 
into the extended zone jurisdiction now ? 

Secretary Coleman. We should do both. I know that the path that 
the Argo Merchant was supposed to be on would have been the same 
path it would have been on if it had been going to Canada, so we have 
to do both. We certainly can take a look and say that whenever any 
tanker comes into the United States there are certain controls we 
would have over it. We do, in fact. 

As a result of your appropriations actions, Mr. Chairman, we now 
have a system under which tankers have to notify us 24- hours before 
they come into a U.S. port — and that stops into a computer. If a tanker 
has had a previous incident in any U.S. port, the computer reveals 
that. When Ave received notice that the Argo Merchant was coming in, 
our Boston computer indicated that the vessel previously had been 
kicked out of Boston Harbor because of oil spillage. We arranged for 
a pilot to fly out and observe the vesseh Also, before the tanker Could 
have come into U.S. waters, it would have been boarded by the Coast 
Guard to see whether that violation had been taken care of. 

In this instance we were moving as fast as we could. In spite of the 
fact that the vessel had all of the navigation equipment it needed, it 
was off course and it hit a shoal. This could have been a brandnew 


tanker with a double bottom, and if it hit where it did hit there was 
nothing that could have prevented thai incidenl unless you could say 
that perhaps the captain was incompetenl and shoulql not have been 
in charge of the vessel. As far as I know, however, we have found 
nothing in the investigation that would cause us to say that this cap- 
I "in was incompetent. 

I agree with you. Senator Stevens, that we have to take care of the 
problems. But we do have the vessel control system, for example. It 
will be in operation in Valdez before they begin to ship out the Maskan 
oil. I; is in operation in San Francisco and Puget Sound, and is close 
to being implemented at Xew Orleans. 

You do know that Mr. Chairman, and partly due to your leadership, 
Senator Long, the Deep-Water Port Act will have a tremendous ef- 
fect. I won't have to cry on your shoulder about the pressure I got 
from Russell Train and the Justice Department. I think a responsible 
Secretary of Transportation should recognize there should be deep- 
water ports and that they make sense. 

The Chairman. The control system is not complete. It has been 
built gradually, consistent with your funding. 

Secretary Coleman. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you believe the control system should be 

Secretary Coleman, That is one of the things I have asked the 
task force to look at. 

The Chairman. Generally? 

Secretary Coleman. Generally I think there is no doubt about it; 
there is more traffic on the ocean. Thirty-five ships per day bring 
in oil. Forty-three percent of our oil is being imported. 

Under the leadership of this committee and the USCG, we arc 
attempting to make changes. Every change we attempt to make — 
and. Senator Long, you laiow about the deepw T ater ports and how 
hard you fought for that and the pressure I got. But there are a 
number of things we will have to do and it will have to be a cooperative 
effort. We must recognize in the past we have not done enough and 

Senator Long, The Secretary has been making decisions. The worst 
thing in Government is that we never get decisions made. Sometimes 
people are criticized. 

I want to congratulate you, Mr. Secretary. You have been making 
decisions. What you did with regard to the offshore ports will help 
with pollution problems. 

Secretary Coleman. I hope those will go forward and be con- 

Senator Stevens. Lei's, not lose sight. 

You mentioned the Arr/o Merchant was going to Canada 

Secretary Coleman. If it had been going to Canada, it would 
have been on the same path. 

Senator Stevens. Because of the Alaskan oil situation we created 
a liability fund and made the Canadians beneficiary of that fund. 
They created a fund and did not make us a beneficiary of their fund 
in spite of the fact that their tankers go into Maine. 

They acted unilaterally in regard to the Arctic situation and we 
did not argue with them. 


To a certain extent our Canadian neighbors ought to get the 
message that control of pollution is not a one-way street. They owe 
us reciprocity in terms of liabilities and control. They have unilateral 

Admiral, T am informed that some of their standards are toucher 
than ours already as far as entering their ports in the Maritime 

Secretary Colemax. Since I have been Secretary of Transporta- 
tion I have tried to make sure that in negotiations respecting these 
international transportation! matters the DOT is coequal with the 
State Department. If I leave suggestions to Brock Adams, it will 
encourage that he continue that. If you check the recent records, 
you will find that the DOT has had more to do in these matters. I 
know Brock will continue that. I hope the Congress will help him. 

The Chairman - . As long as we are on this subject, because this is 
of some interest to us in the area of surveillance, up in my area — 
all over, but particularly in my area — the Admiral comes from that 
area and knows it well — Did you ask in the budget for an increase in 
funds to accelerate the training and control systems ? 

Secretary Colemax. We did not. 

The Ciiairmax. You say you think it should be expanded? 

Secretary Colemax. "With reason. When you look at the budget 
you will see that I negotiated well for the USCG. 

The Chairman. If you don't ask for it, the President won't know 
you want or need it. 

Secretary Colemax. It is not in the present budget. However, when 
you look at the overall USCG budget, you will see we did quite well. 

The Chairmax. This is not the Appropriation Committee. 

Will you put in the record how much you requested for the control 
system ? 

Secretary Colemax. I will send that up to you. 

The Chairmax. And has the USCG put in the record how much 
they asked for. how much you cut out, if any, and how much the 
budget cut out on you, if any. 

Secretary Colemax. The moment the budget is made public, which 
will be before I leave office. I will undertake to inform you in writing 
of the figure and I will undertake to inform you what the USCG 
asked me for. I don't think that I ought to inform you what I asked 
the President for. I think that is confidential. But I will authorize 
the USCG to tell you what they asked me for. 

The Ciiairmax. The budget is coming up here in the next week or 
10 days. 

Secretary Colemax. I don't want to tell you the figure now. But I 
will give it to you the moment the budget is made public, and I au- 
thorize the USCG to tell you what they asked me for. 

[The following information was subsequently received for the 
record :] 

President Ford's fiscal year 197S budget provides for 11 additional military 
positions to improve system effectiveness. The fiscal year 1978 Coast Guard 
budget request to the Secretary provided for 35 positions. Because of the press- 
ins - nature of the requirements related to VTS Pusret Sound, the additional billets 
the Coast Guard proposed respertins that system were internally programed 
from existing resources. 


The Chairman. To extend the control system, to accelerate even the 
present plans. to continue it in other places or to move ri out in Pugel 
Sound to the end of the Strait^, you have to ask lor more inoneyorp) 
the budget formore money than you had last year; is, that correct '. 

Admiral Sh.kk. We clon'l have full agreement with the Canadians 
about what we should be doing. 
The Chairman. But you do have to ask fop: more paoney \ 
Admiral Siler. lTes y sdr. 

The Chairman. In the meantime, the State Department tells us— 
and von people would know about this — that they are attempting to 
make an agreement with Canada on the allocation of costs, for joint 
operation and all of those things that go with a control system in and 
out of the Si rait and clear up to Yaldez. 

Admiral Siler. We have separation systems up to Yaldez. They are 
not fully successful, but they are becoming more effective. 

The Chairman. You have the authority to make it mandatory,. 
Admiral Siler, Only if we have agreement with Canada that they 
will be mandatory. We would want to use ( Canadian waters. 

The Chairman. If the Secretary feels we should be doing more 
to accelerate our plans for the expansion of the control system, then 
he should have asked the budget for more money than the present 
plans called for. 

Secretary Coleman. T will give you any information you want other 
than — I don't think it is right as a Cabinet ofliccr to tell you what I 
asked the President for. 

The ( 'ii.uKMAx. I am willing to wait. 

Secretary Coleman. With respect to regulations,, any time we act 
unilaterally we have to weigh the foreign policy considerations. 

Second, we still have double hulls under consideration, even the: 
their cost effectiveness is not clear. There are great technical problems 
with respect to double bottoms. In fact, some countries-have specifically 
prohibited them. As you know, we have regulations which say that for 
new tankers you have to segregate the hull. We have under active 
consideration whether there should be a regulation saying that for 
existing tankers you have to put in a segregated hull. 

With respect to all new tankers, the regulations require a iras incit- 
ing system and we have under active consideration wdiether you should 
now apply that to the old and smaller tankers. 

With respect to navigation, we already have a system for assigning 
lanes in international waters. 

We have developed a standard marine navigation vocabulary using 
Ensrlish as the standard language. 

We are taking a. close look at whether we should now unilaterally 
require loran-C on tank ships over 1,600 gross tons cominsr into 
U.S. waters. We have a problem if we do it and if other nations de- 
velop their own systems and impose them unilaterally. Then some 
i--.' 1 - would have to have five or six systems. 

We are studying new design and construction standards and we 
think we ought to move toward the adootion of international st 
on the qualifications of training and watchkeeping of officers and 
We are pressing negotiations relating to substandar 


With respect to cleanup technology, we have the technology to work 
in 5-foot seas with 20-knot winds and 1.5-knot currents. If sea con- 
ditions become worse than that, we do not yet have the technology to 
deal with them. But this is an area we got into only in the last several 
years. As fast as we develop the technology, we will apply it. 

We have a pollution control strike force that moves all around the 
United States to step in and help. 

We tried burning technology with respect to the oil spill off Cape 
Cod. It didn't work. As far as we know, we have no technology as 

Senator Pell. I would take strong issue with the fact that it didn't 

Secret ary Coleman. You were there. 

Senator Pell. There were two experiments that were made. One, 
when we went out and could not find sufficiently large pancakes. A day 
or couple of days later, they did find a pancake of sufficient size and 
five, I believe it was, of these substances called tokal were put on it. 
It was agreed it burnt between three-quarters of an hour, and an hour. 
There is disagreement as to whether the oil burned enough. The USCG 
said it did not. The fellow, whose product it was, said it was partially 

I have been trying to get another test. I have been unsuccessful. I 
have talked to the Commandant, I hope that this can be worked out 
between the Coast Guard and EPA. 

We ask that this test be taken, not just by one of the Government 
branches who are already inclined to downgrade it, but also with some- 
body from my office or from the people who manufactured this sub- 
stance, so that they can be satisfied that it does or does not work. I'm 
proud to be an officer in the Coast Guard. I'm the only one in the Con- 
gress. I think of the job they did, landing on that hulk, working on 
it, with 45- and 50-knot winds, 10-foot seas. It is easy for us to sit back 
in armchairs and be critical. I do believe the Government — there is 
ground for criticism. They did not move ahead either with the explod- 
ing or burning technique earlier and that is subject to criticism. 

Secretary Coleman. Senator Pell, we sent you another report yes- 
terday. The USCG, I can assure you, will continue their research effort. 

Senator Pell. The principle is simple. If you put a chemical onto 
a slick and there is sufficient thickness, depending on the waves, then 
presumably it can be made to burn. 

Senator Stevens. May I suggest that Senator Hollings and I are 
on the board of the Office of Technology Assessment and perhaps you 
should submit to our board a request for an independent analvsis of 

Senator Pell. I would be delighted to. 

Secretary Coleman. In conclusion, I would like to say, on January 1, 
I appointed a departmental panel to examine the adequacy of conven- 
tions, laws, and regulations with respect to the shipment of oil over 
water. They provided me an interim report on Monday. I will share 
a copy of the report with the committee. 

It summarizes, better than I can, everything that has been done, 
what lias to be done, where we have made mistakes, and where we have 


not made, mistakes. If you will indulge me, I will submil that. I have 
asked the Coast Guard to study and report to me about all navigation 
and guidance systems which would provide as near a fail-safe system 
as possible. And then, obviously, after telling me. they can see whether 
they are practical. I can say, since the FAA is also in the DOT, that 
when these incidents began to happen, they called and there have been 
diseussions with the Admiral as to whether some of the technology 
used with respect to aviation can be transferred and used with respect 
to the sea. 

Senator Stevens. Mr. Secretary, you had a task force, I under- 
stand, recently involved in this area. 

Secretary Coleman. Yes, sir. 

Senator Stevens. Have you had a report? 

Secretary Coleman. It came to me yesterday morning. I will give 
you a copy of it. 

Senator Stevens. Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. I have some questions here. Some of them have been 
partially answered in our colloquy. Am I wrong in suggesting that — 
and are you saying that we can and should do more about tanker safety. 

Secretary Coleman. No: you are not, We must recognize that 
today 4:) percent of our oil is imported into this country. We have 
a tremendous task, both in the international arena and also domesti- 
cally. We must become more concerned with the environment. Yes; we 
must do something more. 

The Chairman. Do you agree that the USCG has the legal au- 
thority to require strong standards which would govern design, con- 
struction, equipment and to manage all tankers in U.S. waters? 

Secretary Coleman. I agree with that 95 percent. I think there are 
certain international situations where it may not be appropriate to act 

The Chairman. Do they have the legal authority ? 

Secretary Coleman. It is my understanding that they have the 
authority under U.S. law. Perhaps there are certain things that they 
might attempt, where I think a sophisticated international lawyer 
might say, "You can't impose that on a foreign ship."' 

The Chairman. I'm talking about what we gave the Coast Guard. 
Did we give them that authority '. 

Secretary Coleman. On the basis of my understanding and reading 
of (lie statutes and the advice of my general counsel, I would say that 
we have the statutory authority to take the necessary actions. 

The Chairman. Therefore, in this particular case, we need not pass 
further legislation on USCG authority, unless we may want to clarify 
certain things. 

Secretary Coleman. One problem that must be addressed, is that 
until an oilspill actually happens and threatens our shores, we have 
no authority to use the' pollution fund to put equipment in place to 
contain or clean up the spill. 

The Chairman'. We are going into that problem later. Liability is 
a very complex legal matter. But you do have the authority to do 
what T suirsested. That authority comes under the Ports and Water- 
ways Safety Act of 1072. The question is: Why has your Department 


developed tanker safety regulations which are less stringent than those 
required by the Maritime Administration? 

Secretary Coleman. The Maritime Administration deals solely with 
ships manufactured in U.S. shipyards, owned by U.S. citizens and. as 
Senator Rollings said, most of which are subsidized and paid for 
by U.S. taxpayers' money. 

Under that sot of circumstances, you may be more stringent than 
you might be with respect to a foreign vessel that has already been 
built. That doesn't mean you can't exercise authority. Every time you 
do. you have the problem as to how far you. as an administrator, should 
recommend we go to actively apply standards? 

The Chairman. There is a difference in policy, because we are deal- 
ing with a particular class of ships, the subsidized ships. 

Secretary Coleman. When the Federal taxpayer puts up most of 
the money, you can impose many more standards on a new ship than 
yon can on an old ship made someplace else. 

The Chairman. Don't you think the regulations should be uniform ? 

Secretary Coleman. Whenever possible, an administrator should 
try to provide uniform regulations. The problem is that uniform inter- 
national standards applied to U.S. -constructed ships would probably 
be less stringent than domestic standards. 

The Chairman. The United States may establish, under its au- 
thority, unilateral tanker safety standards which are more stringent 
than those indicated in the international agreements, not treaties. 
agreements: is that correct? 

Secretary Coleman. Yes. sir, and we have in certain cases. 

The Chairman. I would like to know what you have done with 
this particular authority in the past. 

Secretary Coleman. As 1 say in my testimony, we have imposed 
standards which, in certain cases have exceeded those set forth in the 
Annex of the 1973 Marine Pollution Convention, even though Ave 
haven't ratified the convention. 

The Chairman. But. you have the authority to make them tougher. 

Secretary Coleman. Yes, sir. We have done so. 

The Chairman. Xow the next question is — and this gets back to 
the heo-innino- G f your testimony — in lO": 1 -, the United States signed 
the IMCO Treaty on maritime pollution from ships; is that correct? 

Secretary Coleman. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Why hasn't this administration forwarded the 
treaty to the Senate for its advice and consent ? 

Secretary Coleman. That one has been under— let's put it this 
way — it has been unduly delayed, sir. The bureaucratic expression is : 
"It has been under interagency review.'" There are various parts of 
the Government that haven't been able to present a united front on 
what should be done. 

The Chairman. Maybe we better start looking at someone else when 
we start pointing fingers. Three years this treaty has been down there. 
I have urged they send it up and still it hasn't been sent up to the 
Senate. This deals particularly with oil pollution. I'm saying this is a 
situation where the State Department hasn't seen fit to tell you people 
to send it up. I guess. 

Secretary Coleman. I think it involves other interagency problem-. 

The Chairman. Don't you think this delay is unconscionable ? Why 
should they take so long ? 


Secretary Coleman. It is a delay I regret, and if I can do anything 
about it between now and 1 binute before L2 on the 20th, I will try to. 

The Qhairman. 1 have other questions for you and the USCG. 
fTowever, I will yield to Senator Hollings. 

Senator Hollings. Mr. Secretary, with respect to the Ports an. I 
Waterways Safety Act, weren't the regulations for foreign-flag ves- 
sels to be promulgated by January L976. Why haven't they been is- 
sued'? Y^OU have done it for the American-Hag vessels ^ Why not the 
Poreign-flag vessels? 

Secretary Coleman. If you are talking about rule \'-). it was issued 
tin- 18th of December r.>7( : >. and it is to become effective April 1. L9TT. 

The reason we can'1 move faster is because there are laws winch 
require that certain preliminary administrative procedures he fol- 
lowed, such as public notice. We issued rule 13. -2 days before the Arr/o 
Merchant incident happened, so it's evident we did not issue it because 
of the incident. 

Senator Hollings. Admiral, you testified last year about the need 
for additional positions. There is no restriction about your requests. 

Did you request the L,SO0 you said you needed for enforcement of 
the Port and Waterways Safety Act? bid you ask for these? 

Admiral We asked for most of them. 

Senator Hollings. What does that mean \ 

Admiral That was the wrong figure when I said 1,50ft. We 
asked for a refined figure that was close to that. 

Senator Hollings. I'm looking at the record. Senator Beall of Mary- 
land at that time asked and you said 1,537. That is not a round figure. 
That was pretty specific. How many did you ask for? 

Admiral 1 don't have those figures here now. sir. We did ask 
for more resources from the Department and the Department asked 
lor some of those from the Office of Management and Budget. 

Secretary Goleman. I will authorize the Commandant to send you 
a letter saying what he asked me to put in the budget. 

Senator Hollings. This is my frustration. John Volpe once testified 
that if he had organized the Government he would not have included 
the rSCG under the DOT. Safety problems and everything else 
have increased at least 10 times and the USCG gets less and less. 

If we have an accident in South Carolina, we have to get a heli- 
copter all the way from Miami. 

T know the Secretary is busy with SST problems and air bags and 
everything else. I saw the I'St '( r plane once in New Delhi 

Secretary Coleman. I wasn't in it. 

Senator Hollings. John was. We talked about deepwater ports. 
Unless we have minimum safety standards for these tankers using 
rhe deepwater ports, there will be a pollution problem. 

Frankly, the majority of vessel pollution continues. These are the 
things we are asking about. Why don't we get more men and go to t he 
L'lio-mile limit, how many men are you asking For? We want To move 
dramatically into these new responsibilities. 

Secretary CofjEMAN. These events demonstrate the wisdom of Presi- 
dent Johnson when he put the DSCG into the DOT. These are trans- 
portation problems. Sometimes international considerations are given 
more weight than, perhaps, they should, and sometimes we have prob- 
lems :is a result of that. 


I hope that one tiling that lias happened, and I'm proud of this, is 
that the Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of State are co- 
equal in this area. 

Senator Pell I'm delighted that you invited the National Ocean 
Policy Study Group to participte in these hearings. I, too, have had 
doubts when the USCG went to DOT. I thought it should have been 
combined with the Oceanographic and Survey of Vessels Group. 

The thought should be given to having an ocean agency with the 
USCG as the lead agency in it. I have great sympathy for Senator 
Hollings' views in this regard. Years ago when I was in the USCG 
1 was in the public relations department for a period of time. In the 
service we had quite a battle. There used to be a saying that in our 
obscurity lies our security. We would argue about that a little bit. It is 
still part of the basic problem. 

The USCG is maybe not as aggressive as some of the other — cer- 
tainly the other arms of the service and some of the other Government 
agencies in pushing itself and asking for what it needs. 

Getting to my question, Secretary Coleman, what would be your 
view as to whether or not there is an undue number of instances of 
spills in the last 2 months. How does it compare with 1 year ago or 2 
vears ago? Very often around the country you hear a rumor that the 
Russians are behind this, men from Mars. 

Are there more incidents or is it the same number and are they 
being reported more vigorously ? 

Secrtary Coleman. In 1976 there were more incidents than in 1975. 
It is reflective in part of the fact that there are man} 7 more ships 
coming in despite the shock of the Arab oil embargo. "We committed 
ourselves to becoming energy self-sufficient in this country and that 
didn't happen and today we are importing 43 percent of our oil. There 
are more ships coming in. 

Senator Pell. Taking into account more ships and the relative 
growth, is the number of incidents and spills alarmingly dispropor- 
tionate to what they were a year ago ? 

Secretary Coleman. They are reflective of the growth. 

The Chairman. There was an article in last night's Star, quoting 
the tanker advisory center, an organization based in New York City 
which says that records for oil tanker losses and the amount of oil 
spilled in the ocean were set in the first 9 months of last year well before 
the wreck of the Argo Merchant. 

So, last year was even worse than the year before by the statistics 
from the tanker advisory committee. 

Secretary Coleman. But the fact is you have more ships coming in 
every day and I don't think this indicates anything sinister. 

For example, with respect to this inference that the Liberian ships 
are the problem, the situation, according to our statistics, is that within 
the limit of the U.S. territorial waters there are more oilspills by 
American ships than Liberian ships. According to the statistics I 
looked at yesterday, the average age of the American fleet is greater 
than the average age of the Liberian fleet. That is misleading. It has 
to be redefined. 

There are more Liberian ships and they go under the Liberian flag 
from day one. 


The typical animal cost of manning a I '.S. ship with a I '.S. crew is 
$1,700,000 per ship. I (' it is under the Liberian Hair von can get man- 
ning for as little as $300,000 per year. Also, the Jones Act ana the tax 
laws make a difference. With respect to tax consequences, it is not a 
matter of tax evasion with all due respeel to the chairman. It is a mat- 
ter of tax avoidance. In this country, if you pass a tax statute, someone 
can read that statute and figure out a way to avoid paying the tax. 

If one acts legitimately within the statute it is unfair to say it is 
evasion. Evasion connotes that someone is doing something illegal. 

Senator Pell. Thank you for laying tl t rest the rumor that is going 
around the country, that there are sinister or external causes for these 

Secretary Colemax. The rumors I hear are probably different than 
those you hear. 

Senator Pell. Common Cause vigorously criticized all of us who 
supported the amendment calling for oil to be transported in Ameri- 
can vessels newly built and we were given dire reasons for having 
supported it . And in this case Common Cause was proved incorrect. 

Secretary Coleman. We realize, that Congress has a serious problem 
and you have to do something. We felt the only way we could help 
would be to act jointly. Maybe we can act on the basis of common 

The Ciiairmax. I hope you are not trying to justify runaway flags. 

Secretary Colemax. The reasons why there are such are not the rea- 
sons given in the press. 

The Chairman. For an oil company it costs less to operate the ship 
with a foreign flag. They are not inspected like they should be. They 
pile up. Again, it is tax evasion. 

Standard Oil of Xew Jersey, I believe, and I will correct the record 
if I'm wrong, has what they call a Panamanian oil company. It was 
located in the backroom of a Xew York bank, not in Panama. They 
piled up the profits which are high. 

But they would only bring them into the country during the year it 
was propitious for them to bring it in for taxation purposes. 

Secretary Colemax. That happens under laws passed by this Con- 

^ Senator IIollixg. Jarring my memory with respect to the San- 
sinena, Senator Tyclings was concerned about registering that unsafe 
vessel to begin with. 

Admiral Siler. I don't think the incident you are referring to was 
under the USCG's cognizance. It was a matter of trying to bring it 
back into the United States for registry. 

Senator IIolltxgs. The DO!) was really involved, not yourself. 

Secretary Colemax. With respect to the incident in the Delaware 
River, the moment a ship comes to the Delaware River, a U.S. pilot 
goes aboard. When that incident happened it not only had an Ameri- 
can pilot on it, that brought it up the Delaware, but they also had a 
U.S. pilot in charge of the docking. 

As the ship turned around, one of the engines went out and it lost 
its power. If they had had another tug out there, the tug could have 
pushed the tanker away. I would have to say that in my best judgment, 


perhaps that incident would not have happened if the tanker had a 
double bottom. 

However, with the Argo Merchant you could have had a triple bot- 
tom and that incident still would have happened. 

The Chairman. There isn't too much you can do to legislate against 
human error. 

Secretary Coleman. The Senator from New Mexico left us with the 
idea that if we could invent a surveillance system that is fail-safe it 
would improve our situation tremendously. 

The Chairman. Do you think we have approached the State's prob- 
lem as much as we should ? What is the legal authority of the State of 
Washington, or the States along the Delaware River, to regulate the 
traffic themselves. 

Secretary Coleman, That is one of the things we are looking at, Mr. 
Chairman. It is a fact, under present law, you do have pilots licensed 
by the State. They can under certain circumstances bring the ship 
through relatively dangerous waters. 1 think we must make sure that 
those licenses and pilots are handled in the proper way. 

I understand that in the case of the incident that happened in Wash- 
ington that was a State-licensed pilot. 

The Chairman. There is the complexity. The State of Washington 
passed a law limiting the size of the tankers entering certain waters; 
ARC( ) brought a suit in which it said the State had no authority and it 
was a Federal matter. 

The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court; and yesterday the 
Supreme Court issued an order allowing the State law to continue in 
effect until they heard the case. It could be a year before that question 
of jurisdiction is decided. In the meantime the State may call upon 
the Federal Government to act. 

Secretary Coleman. In a democratic system we must have a court 
system. When there is a serious question of constitutional law and if 
the Supreme Court feels there was substantial injury, then I can't 
criticize the Supreme Court for continuing the injunction. 

The Chairman. We have a Democratic caucus that starts at 12 
o'clock. We have to recess. I don't know how to handle this. We didn't 
get far this morning with our witnesses. 

Secretary Coleman. I apologize, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. We may have to go into detail with other 
witnesses, including the FSCG. 

Senator Sohmitt. Secretary Coleman, I hope that when you leave 
your present capacity you will not be lost to the Government for your 
advice and counsel. Hopefully we will have other conversations on 
that subject. 

Secretary Coleman. I have a bag and I will travel, sir. 

Senator Sciimitt. Rag may have been an unfortunate choice of 

Just to clarify the record — and there were questions behind me 
here — when you say the Argo Merchant incident would have occurred 
no matter what kind of ship it was, I presume you are referring to 
the fact that the weather conditions and bottom conditions at the time 
would have destroyed any ship. 

Secretary Coleman. Yes, sir. And the ship did have navigational 
instruments which were working. It had a depth finder. If he looked 
at it he would have known where it was. 


Senator Schmitt. It should have been adequate for navigation. 

Secretary ( !< >leman. Right. 

Senator Sghmttt. In the case of a possible fail-safe system. I pre- 
sume you're speaking of one where the course of ships entering the 
U.S. waters would be monitored. Then, at some point if they went oil 
course an alert would be sounded, the USCG would respond and 
prevent an incident from occurring. That could have happened with 
the proper equipment and monitoring system. 

Secretary Coleman. That could have happened in this case. This is 
something we are looking at closely. When we first looked at it, w 7 e 
were looking at it from the point of view of having the instruments 
on land. 

Tho radar was flat. You could go pretty high, a million dollars a 
tower and not get what you wanted. The FAA is also in the DOT 
and they are in active discussions with the USCG to see if they have 
technology which can be transferred to the Coast Guard. 

Senator Schmitt. I think the state of technology is such that this 
can be done. The appropriation is another job. 

I certainly would hope that the Department would continue to 
examine this and report to us at some time on it. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. I am going to ask the USCG about a couple of 
incidents up in the straits. There were ships going the wrong way in 
tho outbound lane. One of them was a Chinese ship. Nobody aboard 
could speak English. When they got the order they didn't know where 
it was. They didn't have maps or anything else. 

Secretary Coleman. Yes, sir. We have a navigational language sys- 
tem which we have developed. To say these things are easily corrected, 
they are. But I'm embarrassed when I go abroad that I seldom can 
speak the language of the country that I go to and we have to under- 
stand that some of these people don't speak English. 

Senator Hollings. Mr. Chairman, I have one comment, Mr. Secre- 
tary. I think you said that the deepwater ports off New Jersey and 
Delaware were prohibited by the environmentalists. 

Secretary Coleman. I said there were sufficient environmental objec- 
tions raised, that that project was dropped. However, the captain of 
the port tells me that would be the best way to handle oil coming up 
the Delaware. 

Senator Hollings. The Office of Technology Assessment studied the 
deepwater port proposals off of New Jersey and Delaware and they 
found out that industry didn't like the economics of it and the problem 
wasn't just caused by environmentalist objections. 

Secretary Coleman. Industry is not adverse to objecting to reason- 
able conditions. I would not limit that just to the environmentalists. 
My recommendation from the USCG is that the best way to handle the 
problem in the Delaware River would be to have a transshipment. 
That would have avoided our problem. 
The Chairman. Any further questions? 
[No response.] 

The Chairman. Mr. Secretary, there may be questions that some 
of the others who have had to leave may want to ask. 

Secretarv Coubman. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for 
the courtesies you have given me, and I join Senator Brooke in saying 

82-008 — 77— pt. 1 3 


that you have taken the leadership in this regard. I think it is an 
important problem and I know 1 leave it in good hands between 
you and Secretary Adams. 
[The statement follows :] 

Statement of Hon. William T. Coleman, Jr., Secretary, Department of 


Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for your invitation to 
discuss the recent unfortunate tanker accidents and the steps which have been 
taken, are being taken, and are planned to help reduce the causes and mitigate 
the effects of such accidents. 

Before I address these specific accidents and our actions, I feel that a few 
words on the general subject of energy, oil, and oil importation are in order to 
provide proper perspective. Despite the momentary traumatic impact of the 
Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the voiced intention of our country to hasten our 
efforts toward becoming "energy self-sufficient", we have regressed rather than 
progressed. During 1975 (the last year for which we have complete figures), 
we imported 300 million tons or 6.3 million barrels of oil a day. This is an in- 
crease of almost 25 percent over the figures for 1972. Our oil importation con- 
tinued to increase during the past year and present projections indicate that 
total oil imports to the United States are expected to increase by about 70 percent 
between 1975 and 1980. Some 94 percent of the oil we import is carried in foreign 
flag vessels and about 40 percent of that in ships of Liberian registry. 

In assessing these figures, I believe that some perspective may be gained when 
we realize that the entire cargo of the SS Argo Merchant consisted of approxi- 
mately 180,000 barrels, or less than 3 percent of one day's imports. In other 
words, on average the equivalent of 35 Argo Merchants, in terms of capacity, 
arrive each day at U.S. ports carrying foreign oil. These figures, of course, do not 
encompass the vast amount of domestically produced oil that is shipped each day 
in coastal and inland waterways. Our actual tankship arrivals in U.S. ports 
during the past year approximated 30,000. This figure includes various size 
vessels, a large percentage of which are small U.S. flag tankers operating primarily 
in the domestic trades (some 60 percent of these total arrivals, however, were 
foreign flag tankships) . 

I mention these "arrivals" in order to give a concept of traffic volume and to 
provide some perspective on port congestion problems. Our existing ports, pri- 
marily because of channel depth limitations, severly limit the size of entering 
tankers. Even with the advent of deepwater ports within the next few years 
(which I heartily endorse both because they will increase capacity as well as 
reduce environmental risk) and their capability to receive the very large newer 
supertankers which are the major worldwide carriers of oil today, it is estimated 
that the number of port calls in 1980 will approximately equal those in 1975 
(because of increasing oil importation) with port congestion a continuing prob- 
lem. Obviously, reducing the number of transfer operations would reduce the 
overall risk of pollution. However, increasing the capacity of individual ports. 
either on- or off-shore, raises the specter of larger single oil pollution incidents 
at a given location. 

I have presented the above discussion in order to emphasize several points. 
It is quite obvious that we are going to import oil, and apparently in increasing 
quantities for some years to come. This oil will continue to arrive in ships — 
principally foreign flag ships over which we have limited control, unless we 
legislate restrictions against their use or provide economic incentives for U.S. 
flag vessel operation. 

Because there exists a common misconception to the effect that ships are 
registered under foreign "flags of convenience" solely for the purpose of avoiding 
more stringent and costly U.S. safety and maintenance standards, the whole 
question of foreign flag registry for ships owned by U.S. citizens needs to be 
addressed. While it is true that U.S. standards of safety and maintenance are as 
high as anywhere in the world, the fact is that the Liberian fleet contains some 
of the safest, newest and best maintained ships in the world. In fact, a study by 
the Coast Guard suggests that Liberian tankers spill a smaller percentage of the 
oil they carry in U.S. waters than do Italian, Greek and even U.S. tankers. 

The reasons Liberian registry, for example, is preferred over U.S. registry are 
Indeed economic and safety and maintenance considerations are secondary. In 


the first place, since Federal law requires thai U.S.-flag merchanl shii^ employ 
r.s. crews (at a typical annual cost of about .Si. 7 million i , substantial labor costs 
can i>t> saved by registering a ship under the Bag of a country where no such 

restrictions exist and the vessel can be operated with a crew cost as little as 
$300,000 per year. Liherian registry has been popular because, in addition to 
such arrangements in regard to manning permitting savings of more than .SI 
million a year. Liberia has a stable government and has tax laws favorable to the 
shipping industry. 

Additionally, because of the international nature of maritime transportation, I 
believe that there is an urgent need to appraise our national policy relative to our 
present executive agency approach to international agreements and standard 
sett Ing (including our Law of the Sea negotiating posture). This country has long 
been concerned about undue infringements on the freedom of the seas. We must 
come to gi'ips, however, with the difficult problem of reconciling this policy with 
the need for additional regulations, whether they be imposed under international 
agreements or unilaterally. 

I would like now to discuss in particular several recent incidents which have 
been the catalyst for this hearing. On December 15, the SS Argo Merchant ran 
aground 28 miles southeast of Nantucket Island in international waters. The 
grounding was apparently caused by navigational error. The entire crew was 
safely evacuated by the U.S. Coast Guard. Because this ship casualty posed a 
srave and imminent danger to the coastline and related interests of the United 
States, the Coast Guard intervened under the authority of the Intervention on 
the High Seas Act, even though the ship was in international waters. Despite 
extensive pollution control efforts by the Coast Guard, the Argo Merchant spilled 
its cargo of heavy oil. The spilled oil subsecpiently moved away from the U.S. 
coastline. Inasmuch as this incident occurred in international waters and in- 
volved a ship of Liberian registry, a marine board of investigation has been 
convened by the Government of Liberia in New York to ascertain the detailed cir- 
cumstances of the casualty. 

< >u December 17, the SS Sansinena suffered a massive explosion while moored 
at an oil terminal in Los Angeles harbor. The vessel had discharged her cargo 
and was taking on bunkers and ballasting its cargo tanks at the time of the ex- 
plosion. Between 10,000 and 20.000 gallons of oil were spilled into the harbor and 
the resultant fire was not extinguished until the following day. Blight persons 
were killed and nearly 50 injured. The National Transportation Safety Board 
and the Coast Guard are jointly investigating this incident and a marine board of 
investigation is inquiring into the circumstances surrounding this casualty. 

On December 24, the Liberian flag tank vessel Oxiceoo Peace started leaking 
bunker oil through the skin of the vessel while off loading cargo at the Hess oil 
terminal on the Thames River at New London, Conn. Subsequently, it started 
leaking oil through a fracture in the vessel's hull. Although the contents of the 
tank were immediately transferred to another tank. 5000 gallons escaped into 
the river. The master advised that while the vessel was outbound in the Dela- 
ware River enroute to New London it struck a floating or partially submerged 
object. However, no damage was detected until arrival at New London. Clean up 
of the terminal beach area and a Coast Guard investigation to determine all the 
circumstances surrounding the casualty are still in progress. 

On December 27, the fully laden SS Olympic (lames grounded in the Delaware 
River, punctured a cargo tank and spilled 133.000 gallons of crude oil. The 
grounding occurred while the vessel was maneuvering in a narrow channel in 
preparation for mooring, apparently as a result of a loss of power. The oil spill 
spread over a 22-mile area of the Delaware River and its connecting Wetlands 
and tributaries. This oil spill has been essentially cleaned up. A forma! Coast 
Guard investigation has been convened. 

On December 28, the inbound and fully laden crude oil carrier SS Daphne 
grounded while approaching the harbor entrance to Guayanilln. Puerto Rico. The 
vessel was refloated by offlanding part of its cargo into barges. There was no 
apparent damage to the vessel and no pollution occurred. 

On January 3. the Panamanian registered tanker Grand Zenith was reported 
overdue from a Voyage between Teesport, U.K. and Providence. Rhode Island. 
There were 38 persons on board the vessel and it was loaded with 8,232,000 gallons 
of N.R. G oil. The Grand Zenith was last heard from on December 30 when she 
was reportedly 37 miles south of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. Searches have been 
conducted utilizing Canadian, U.S. Air Force, and Coast Guard aircraft. On 


January 7, two personal flotation devices stencilled with the name of the vessel 
were recovered by the CGC Dallas 270 miles east of Nantucket, Massachusetts. 
On January 4, the Liberian registered tankship Universe Lender ran aground 
in New Castle Range of the Delaware River near the mouth of the C & D Canal 
with 21 million gallons of light Nigerian crude oil on board. The Coast Guard ad- 
vised the master of the Universe Leader that no attempt should be made to move 
the vessel until it was completely refloated by lightering. The following day the 
Universe Leader swung free. An investigation of the incident is now being con- 
ducted in Philadelphia. Testimony indicates that the pilot chose to ground the 
vessel in order to avoid a collision. 

On January 7, the SS Mary Ann, a Liberian ore/oil carrier had a fire and explo- 
sion which injured two crewman during tank cleaning operations. At the time of 
the casualty, the vessel was in the Atlantic Ocean at 38°00' N and 70°00' W. The 
Mary Ann later entered Delaware Bay and the vessel was safely anchored. Assess- 
ment of the damage will be conducted by the Captain of the Port, Philadelphia 
before the vessel will be permitted to enter the port. 

Annexed to my statement is a more detailed account of each of these incidents 
including a chronology of events describing Coast Guard activities in the SS 
Argo Merchant case. 

I have personally visited the Philadelphia area and the Nantucket Shoals area 
for a first-hand view of these major oil spills and am concerned with the potential 
impact on the environment resulting from these incidents. My concern is height- 
ened by the potential for an increase in the frequency of these types of accidents 
because of the growing dependence of our country on foreign imported oil. 

The safe, environmentally protective operation of vessels is an international 
problem and the United States has been in the forefront in promoting interna- 
tional efforts to improve vessel safety. As of the present, 18 conventions have been 
adopted under the sponsorship of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative 
Organization (IMCO), and ten of these Conventions have entered into force, eight 
of which have been ratified by the United States. The Coast Guard representing 
the United States, has been an active participant in conferences held under the 
auspices of IMCO which have resulted in twelve Conventions dealing directly with 
or having an effect on, tank vessel operations. These conventions are as follows 
(those marked with an asterisk have not been ratified by the United States) : 

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by 
Oil (London, 1954). 

The International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (London, 1960) . 
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (London, 1960) 
(will be superseded by 1972 Convention on July 1, 1977). 
International Convention on Loadlines (London, 1966). 
♦International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships (London, 

International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in 
Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (Brussels, 1969). 

♦International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage 
(Brussels, 1969). 

♦International Convention for the Establishment of an International Fund 
for Compensation of Oil Pollution Damage (Brussels, 1971). 

Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at 
Sea. 1972 (London, 1972). 

♦The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 
(London, 1973). 

♦Protocol Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Marine 
Pollution by Substances Other than Oil (London, 1973). 

♦International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (London, 
The Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas, as implemented by 
the Intervention on the High Seas Act, provided the legal framework for the 
Coast Guard's actions in the Argo Merchant grounding. It would have been 
equally applicable had the vessel not been bound for a port in the United States. 
It should be kept in mind that a similar incident could involve a vessel having 
no contact with the United States upon which we could base the applicability of 
domestic laws. Thus, we should implement international agreements imposing im- 
proved construction and operating standards as well as effective compensation 

Just such an incident, that of the Torrey Canyon in 1967, led to the develop- 
ment of the Intervention Convention, the Civil Liability Convention, and the 


Fund Convention. These Conventions ensure that coastal state governments and 
Individual claimants have clear rights of action against foreign flag vessels which 
cause, or threaten, a pollution incident, and they provide a source of funds for 
cleanup and damage compensation. The recognized need for these provisions led 
to the formulation of two voluntary agreements, the Tanker Owners' Voluntary 
Agreement Concerning Liahility for Oil Pollution (TOVALOP) and the Contract 
Regarding an Interim Supplement to Tanker Liability for Oil Pollution 
(CRISTAL) intended to till the interval until the Civil Liability and Fund Con- 
ventions could come into effect. Over 90 percent of the free world tanker owner 
and cargo owner interests participate in these agreements. 

The Civil Liability Convention was transmitted to the Senate by the President 
in 1970, and the Fund Convention in 1972. The Senate has not given its advice 
and consent to ratification, apparently out of concern that the liability limits and 
funding provided by these conventions are inadequate. In addition to ratifying 
these conventions, we need legislation to establish an efficient and comprehensive 
regime to ensure the cleanup of oil spills and the compensation of damages caused 
by these spills was recognized several years ago. The Coast Guard and the De- 
partment of Transportation have participated in interagency efforts, since early 
in 1974, to develop legislation to accomplish this. In May 1975 the Chairman of 
the Committee introduced a bill on this subject and in July 1975, the President 
transmitted a proposal for a comprehensive liability and compensation regime. 
Another related bill was reported in the House, but the Senate took no action on 
any of these proposals. The Administration's proposal not only provided an un- 
limited fund, financed by a direct tax on oil, to compensate United States claim- 
ants for oil spill related damages, it would have integrated the provisions of the 
Civil Liability and Fund Conventions to provide United States claimants and 
shipping interests the financial benefits of these conventions. 

As desirable as these items are, they do not deal with the problem of preventing 
the discharge of oil into the sea. However, the 1973 Pollution Convention does 
address this, particularly the major aspect of the problem, the intention or 
operational discharge of oil or oily residues resulting from tank cleaning and 
the discharge of oily ballast. The Convention adopted far surpasses, both in 
breadth of coverage and methods of control, previous international require- 
ments. This Convention would replace a convention adopted in 1954 and imple- 
mented by the United States by the Oil Pollution Act. of 1961. The 1973 Pollution 
Convention has as its major aim the complete elimination of intentional pollu- 
tion of the marine environment by oil and the minimization of accidental dis- 
charges. It sets construction and equipment standards and establishes operating 
procedures, including the use of segregated ballast and the discharge of oily 
residues to shore facilities for treatment. The Department is preparing imple- 
menting legislation and I anticipate that the legislation and the 1973 Convention 
will be submitted for your consideration in the near future. In the interim, the 
Coast Guard has issued regulations which do, in fact, implement Annex I of 
the Convention, applicable to United States tank vessels, and foreign flag tank 
vessels which enter the navigable waters of the United States to engage in 
commercial service. I will cover these regulations in more detail in a moment. 

For many years, we have had regulations concerned with the design, con- 
struction and operation of tank vessels. These regulations, which have been 
regularly updated, have been promulgated under the authority of the Tanker 
Act as well as other legislation and mainly have addressed safety of the crew, 
the vessel, and port areas. In 1970 and 1972 two significant environmental laws 
were enacted by the Congress, the Ports and Waterways Safety Act and the 
Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Since then, numerous regulations have been 
promulgated under this legislation. 

Under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), the Coast Guard 
was given responsibility to establish procedures, methods and requirements for 
equipment to prevent discharges of oil from vessels and from onshore and off- 
shore facilities. The Coast Guard determined that the transfer of oil was a 
prime source of operational oil pollution and focused its first set of regulations 
published under the Act on marine oil transfer facilities and vessels engaged in 
the transfer of oil in bulk. Since the promulgation of these regulations, our data 
indicate that they have been effective in reducing the number of discharges of 
oil during transfer operations. Regulations have also been promulgated by the 
Coast Guard under the authority of the FWPCA specifying (1) procedures for 
notifying responsible Federal officials of a pollutant discharge; (2) prescribed 
methods and procedures to remove discharges of oil from Coastal regions ; and 


(3) policies and procedures for administering the Pollution Fund authorized by 
Section 311 (k) of the Act. 

Since the enactment of the Ports and "Waterways Safety Act, a number of 
Steps have been taken. As a first step, efforts were directed to the development 
of international standards and. as discussed earlier, the 1973 Marine Pollution 
Convention is a direct result of those efforts. Additionally, as is required by 
Title II of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, regulations have been issued 
for the protection of the marine environment relating to tank vessels carrying 
oil in bulk. Following the procedures mandated in Title II, the Coast Guard 
considered : the need for the regulations, the extent to which the proposed 
regulations would contribute to the safety or protection of the marine environ- 
ment, and the practicability of compliance with the regulations, including cost 
and technical feasibility. In consideration of the above factors and other por- 
tions of Title II, the regulations that have been promulgated have been based 
upon, and in certain cases have exceeded, the provisions of Annex I of the 1973 

According to available statistics, the major source of oil pollution worldwide 
is normal tanker operations, i.e.. tank cleaning and ballasting, and thus the 
ma jor thrust of the regulations is directed at that source. The regulations are 
applicable to U.S. tank vessels and foreign tank ships that enter the navigable 
waters of the United States for commercial service. They impose stringent 
operational discharge limits and require that new tankers in excess of 70,000 
dwt be provided with segregated ballast spaces to preclude the necessity of 
introducing ballast water into the cargo tanks as a normal condition. 

These regulations, as well as Annex I of the Convention, are also aimed at 
minimizing accidental pollution by requiring that new tankers have greater 
subdivision and damage stability. The regulations also limit the size of their 
cargo tanks. 

As a further effort in minimizing accidental pollution, the regulations also 
address an issue ignored by the 1973 Convention. Nevertheless, it was decided 
that U.S. regulations should provide additional protection against accidents. 
Analysis of accident data shows that side-damaging accidents are as much a 
problem as bottom-damaging ones, both with respect to frequency of occurrence 
and amounts spilled, and that double bottoms would only provide protection 
against the latter. Since collisions and groundings are statistically comparable 
hazards, it was decided to specify that the required segregated ballast, spaces 
be arranged as protective spaces against both hazards as fully as possible. An 
extensive discussion of this concept, as well as of the regulations as a whole, may 
be found in a number of published Departmental documents. 

Presently the Coast Guard has under study whether to extend the segregated 
ballast concept to large, existing tankers. This matter is also under very active 
consideration by the IMCO Marine Environmental Protection Committee. The 
Coast. Guard contracted for an in-depth study on the question of retrofitting 
existing tankers. The study has only been recently completed and no decision has 
been reached regarding whether to proceed with, withdraw, or revise the pro- 
posed action. 

Regulations have also been promulgated which address the prevention of fire 
and explosion on new U.S. flag tankers. These regulations, which implement 
an IMCO recommendation on the subject, require inert gas systems to be installed 
on new. large tankers. Studies are presently under way to determine whether 
to extend the requirements to smaller tankers and/or to foreign flag vessels 

Numerous other activities have also been taken under Title II. These include 
an active R&D program, including studies of other design concepts for tankers. 
As this Committee is aware, the Denartment has forwarded to the Congress an 
annual report of the Coast Guard efforts under Title II of the Ports and Water- 
ways Safety Act for each of the last five years. Since these reports are readily 
available, I will not take time here to repeat their content. I do wish to state, 
however, that many positive steps have been taken to improve the safety of 
tank ship operation and to protect the marine environment. 

T should now like to turn to the subject of navigation. The safe navigation 
of a shin must be considered one of the more important concepts being discussed 
today. While the majority of oil pollution incidents in U.S. waters involve 
relatively straightline operational spills related to cargo transfer, the accidental 
pollution caused by some collisions, rammings or groundings is most distressing 
and certainly causes wild fluctuation in pollution statistics. 


Safe navigation on the high, seas by vessels of all cations is largely facilitated 
by international agreements. One of these, the Convention on the International 
Regulations tor Preventing Collisions a1 Sea, 1972, will replace the existing 1960 
International Rules en July 15, 1977. Developments in marine transportation 
technology have been incorporated in the newer convention. For instance. pro- 
Vision is now made lor interaction with very large or very fast ships. Another 
new provision sets requirements for the behavior of vessels using traffic separa- 
t i"ii schemes. 

I'll- ('east Guard maintains a system of traffic separation schemes in the ap- 
proaches to onr busier i>orts. These schemes are submitted to the Inter-Govern- 
mental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) for international adoption. 
Increased traffic density coupled with use of ships of greater tonnage and higher 
speed have indicated to technical exerts that wider application of the principle 
of traffic separation could contribute substantially to safety by reducing the num- 
ber of ships meeting on opposite or nearly opposite courses and by providing for 
a more orderly flow of traffic. 

The Coast Guard actively participates in the development and maintenance of 

traffic separation schemes worldwide. There are presently nine such schemes 

iir coasts, and two more being developed. The Argo Merchant had intended 

to utilize the IMCO-approved Boston approach scheme on its last voyage. The 

system is considered adequate and no changes are indicated. 

Shipping safety fairways are also established to help vessels approaching the 
U.S. to avoid collisions with offshore oil and gas rigs. 

other contributions to safety stem from two recent IMCO Resolutions, one of 
which addresses establishment of fairways through off-shore exploration areas 
and another of which addresses items such as dissemination of navigation in- 
formation, and the charting and manning of offshore production platforms and 
similar structures. If offshore resource development installations proliferate, we 
will make every effort to utilize shipping safety fairways and traffic separation 
schemes to permit ships to pass safely through development areas. 

We continue extensive participation in other related items in the international 
forum. For instance, a Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary, using the Eng- 
lish language as standard, has been developed and refined and is undergoing 
user tests at the present time. In another area, we provide complete participa- 
tion in continuing development of standards and adoption of traffic separation 
schemes and other routing measures on the high seas. We similarly participate 
in the development and review of international requirements and recommenda- 
tions on shipboard navigational aids and equipment. International standards are 
in varying stages of development and review. Our participation in international 
activities allows us to develop domestic requirements — even those applicable to 
foreign shipping — without some of the problems of conflict or redundancy that 
might stem from unilateral action. Coincidental with — even leading — similar 
international development, we have been developing standards for some time to 
reduce a perceived deterioration in certain aspects of vessel operation. To assist 
our efforts, an intensive ship hoarding program, using experienced Coast Guard 
marine inspectors with recent seagoing experience, was conducted to assess in- 
stalled navigational equipment and practice. Approximately 300 vessels, on all 
i onsts. were boarded without particular attention to vessel type or nationality. 
Practically Kio percent of the vessels had radar, gyro compass, magnetic com- 
pass, fathometer. RPM indicator, and radiotelephone. In almost every case, all 
of tins equipment was operational. Approximately 90 percent of the vessels 
boarded had the correct publications for the area. Likewise, Coast Guard in- 
spectors found the vessel's watch to be adequately manned and sufficient per- 
sonnel aboard to safely and properly operate the vessel. 

The Coast Guard is also preparing to issue final rulemaking applicable to all 
self-propelled vessels of 1.000 or more gross tons operating in the navigable 
waters of the U.S. Their general thrust is to set a minimum level of proper 
navigation practice ami associated equipment The purpose is to reduce the level 
of vessel casualties resulting from unprofessional performance or substandard 
equipment. We will also publish a proposal for a requirement to equip certain 
vessels with a collision avoidance device. 

Continuing in this vein, the Coast Guard is continuing to work under the 
mandate of Title I of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. In summary, we 
have already taken action as follows : (1) guidelines for field-level action in tern- 
porary or emergency situations have been established: and <2) a series of v< 
traffic services, based upon a careful study of port needs, are in various stages 
of development, design and implementation. 


Certain categories of vessel collisions, rammings and groundings can be 
prevented by vessel traffic control. Coast Guard activity in this regard dates 
back to 1896, when Congress authorized establishment of the St. Mary's River 
Patrol. In the 1960's the Coast Guard experimented with the use of harbor 
surveillance radar in New York and San Francisco harbors. The passage of the 
Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 led to a major Coast Guard involve- 
ment in the field of vessel traffic management. A 1973 Coast Guard study of all 
United States ports and waterways indicated a number of areas that were 
experiencing the number and type of vessel casualties that would indicate a need 
for a vessel traffic service. Six Coast Guard vessel traffic services are currently 
operational or under construction, at a total cost to date of nearly 30 million 
dollars. Coast Guard vessel traffic services of varying degrees of sophistication 
are presently operating in San Francisco, Puget Sound, and Houston-Galveston. 
In 1977, vessel traffic services will become operational in New Orleans and Valdez, 
Alaska ; and in 1978, one will become operational in the port of New York. 
Detailed analysis of two other areas, the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf Intra- 
coastal Waterway, will be completed this year, to ensure that any project 
undertaken is cost effective. 

In offshore areas, if the navigation system and a qualified personnel are on 
board the vessel, a sophisticated shoreside monitoring system is not necessary. In 
this respect, the situation is not analogous to air traffic control where the extreme 
approach speed and density of traffic may not allow the aircraft pilot sufficient 
reaction time for independent decision making. Vessels are relatively slow moving 
in relationship to the ground and each other. Consequently, sufficient time is 
available for the vessel master to fix his position (if he has the means) and 
calculate collision or grounding avoidance maneuvers. 

Loran-C now provides accuracy within % of a nautical mile over about two- 
thirds of the U.S. East Coast waters, throughout the Bering Sea, and in parts of 
the Hawaiian Islands and surrounding waters. The system is being expanded to 
provide coverage throughout the Great Lakes and in the U.S. Coastal Confluence 
Zone except northern Alaskan waters and some Hawaiian areas. Early realiza- 
tion of the full potential benefits offered by Loran-C in coastal and offshore 
navigation requires that users be educated in the benefits and uses of the system. 
Loran-C will be developed, progressively, to provide precise navigation in harbor 
entrance areas and major harbors. Precise identification and realization of the 
full potential of Loran-C require several years of research and development. 

A notice of proposed rule making is presently being drafted to require Loran-C 
equipment and personnel competent in its use to be carried by all tank vessels 
over 1600 gross tons entering the navigable waters of the U.S. We have under 
consideration extending this requirement to other classes of vessels at a later 
date. This rule would, by extension, thereby require this equipment in the 
Coastal Confluence Zone in the approaches to the ports of this country. The 
accuracy of navigational information to be obtained by this equipment will pro- 
vide the mariner with a continuous fix on his position and should obviate the 
requirement for establishment of any sophisticated and costly offshore traffic 
control service. 

As I pointed out earlier, the major source of oil pollution from ships is the 
result of tanker operations. The remaining portion (15%) of oil pollution from 
ships stems from tanker accidents. The regulations which have been placed into 
effect and the Pollution Convention when in force will be effective in eliminating 
operational pollution. The regulations and conventions are also aimed at mini- 
mizing accidental pollution. 

In order to reduce accidental pollution, attention must be given to the cause 
of the accidents. Vessel design can only go so far. I have previously discussed 
navigation regulations. The Coast Guard has also been actively studying the 
adequacy of its qualifications and training standards for officers and crews 
of U.S. ships. They will be publishing new standards for qualification and training 
of officers and crews serving abroad U.S. oil tankers as well as for other types of 
ships such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships and chemical tankers. Similarly. 
IMCO has been very active in preparing for a 1978 conference which is to develop 
an international convention containing standards on the qualifications of train- 
ing and watch-keeping of officers and crews- of vessels. Following completion 
of that effort. IMCO has on its agenda, at the insistence of the United States, the 
question of establishing international manning standards for ships. 

IMCO has recently encouraged that greater attention be given to the problem 
of "substandard" ships. Procedures have been adopted for the control of ships 
by port states which are intended to assist flag states in securing compliance 


with the provisions of the international safety conventions. Further, guidelines 
ha v.- heen developed for carrying out the conventions' control provisions with 
emphasis heing given to providing guidance in identifying whether a ship should 
be taken by both port and flag states. It is intended that IMCO will follow up on 
actions taken hv flag states to rectify the condition of vessels identified as sub- 
standard. As a corollarv action, the Coast Guard, by means of IMCO and bilateral 
discussions with maritime officials in other countries, will attempt to encourage 
better flag state enforcement of tanker standards. 

With respect to new design and construction standards, concepts such as ex- 
tending the segregated ballast requirements to smaller tankers, on requiring 
smaller tankers to have built-in protection spaces, such as double bottoms, are 
presently under active review. These concepts as well as others are being exam- 
ined not onlv for their technical feasibility, but also the benefits versus cost of 
such concepts are being compared with the benefits expected to result from other 
measures such as those previously mentioned. 

Further, the application of new design requirements must be examined with 
respect, to their applicability to existing ships. At the end of 1975, there were 
some 3 700 tankers in the world of 10,000 dvvt or over. Many of these tankers 
carry oil to the United States. While efforts at improving the design and con- 
struction of tankers must continue, it is not thought to be an area which will 
provide improvements to the marine environment in the short term. 

For the immediate future, there appear to be several areas worthy of careful 
consideration, some of which are well underway in the Coast Guard's regulatory 
program, such as the navigation safety mentioned previously. I believe we should 
also seek to improve enforcement of existing laws, regulations, and conventions. 

Internationally, wwk is underway in establishing standards of training and 
qualification of ship crews. It must be recognized that this effort will take a 
number of years to come to fruition. As an indication of our intense concern for 
the need to have properly qualified officers manning tankers trading in United 
States ports, consideration should be given to requiring that principal vessel 
officers meet United States personnel qualification and experience standards. 
Such a program should, I feel, be interim in nature pending the coming into force 
of a satisfactory international convention. We shall pursue this concept. 

An important' part of any comprehensive program to control oil pollution in 
the marine environment is to plan to contain, recover, and clean up any accidental 
discharges as rapidly as possible to minimize their adverse effects. Since acci- 
dents will occasionally occur despite our best efforts to prevent them, a balanced 
contingency plan to cope with those emergencies is therefore an essential part of 
any program. _ , 

Such an instrument exists in the form of the National Oil and Hazardous 
Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, promulgated by the Council on Envi- 
ronmental Quality. This plan assigns specific responsibilities to various Federal 
agencips in such a manner as to ensure a well coordinated response to any pollut- 
ant discharge This plan is issued under the authority of the Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) of 1972. as amended. Under the plan, the Coast 
Guard is assigned a lead agencv role in the Coastal regions and the Great Lakes 
and in ports and harbors. These Coast Guard responsibilities include the assign- 
ment of pre-designated on-seene coordinators for all areas of responsibility ; the 
development of regional response plans to identify potential problem areas ; the 
identification of available pollution control resources: the establishment of a 
means of responding rapidlv and effectively to any pollution incident: and the 
maintenance of Emergency Task Forces through the Coast Guard Captain of the 
Port system that are trained and capable of responding to pollution emergencies. 

Under the FWPCA and the National Plan, the Coast Guard is also charged 
with maintaining the National Strike Force which consists of three strike teams 
manned bv specially trained and specially equipped pollution control experts. 
These Coast Guardsmen provide technical advice to on-scene coordinators during 
more routine pollution incidents and assume responsibility for containment and 
cleanup under the direction of the On-Scene Coordinator in those incidents which 
exceed local pollution control capabilities such as the Argo Merchant casualty. 

When a polluting discharge occurs in the navigable waters of the United States 
and the contiguous zone, an area out to 12 miles from our coastline, the Act 
requires the person responsible for the discharge to immediately advise the appro- 
priate Federal agency. Once the on-scene coordinator receives such a report, it is 
his responsibility to evaluate the situation and initiate whatever Federal action 
may be required. As a matter of policy, the party responsible for the discharge 


will be encouraged to take appropriate cleanup actions. If the responsible party 
refuses to take action or his efforts are inadequate or untimely, the ou-scene 
coordinator will asssume responsibility for the cleanup operation using commercial 
contractors, emergency task force personnel and equipment, the National Strike 
Force, or any combination of these resources as the circumstances of the incident 
may dictate. 

To meet its responsibilities under the National Plan, the Coast Guard has 
conducted a number of Research and Development projects to improve the state 
of the art in containment, recovery and cleanup of oil spills. AVe must remember 
that prior to 1970 there was little demand for this capability and that this 
technology is therefore still in its infancy. 

Advanced equipment developed by the Coast Guard thus far for use in coping 
with pollution incidents resulting from vessel accidents includes an air deliverable, 
high capacity pumping system for pumping oil or oil-water mixtures from damaged 
tankers, a high seas oil containment system and a high seas recovery skimming 
system. These containment and recovery systems will function effectively in 5 foot 
seas, 20 knot winds, and 1% knot currents. There are presently fifteen 612 foot 
containment barriers, eighteen pumping systems and one oil recovery system in 
the Strike Team inventory. An additional oil recovery system is on order and 
scheduled for delivery. Any or all of this equipment can be fully deployed within 
24 hours of notification. Although this first generation equipment represents a 
significant capability and the best that exists in the world today, when on-scene 
conditions exceed their design limits as occurred in the Argo Merchant incident 
where the winds were at times in excess of 50 knots and the seas approached 20 
feet, this equipment is virtually useless. Research is on-going to increase this 
capability, but it must be recognized that there is a practical limit to the contain- 
ment and recovery of oil. Until we develop technology to control the seas and the 
weather, it is not reasonable to expect men and equipment to function under 
any and all circumstances that may be encountered on the high seas. 

An important goal of our pollution response program is to obtain a sufficient 
amount of response equipment to have a high seas containment and recovery 
capability in each of the major ports of the United States. A possible alternative 
method of funding the development and procurement of this equipment would be 
through the use of the fund established by the proposed Comprehensive Oil Pol- 
lution Liability and Compensation legislation. Also, consideration should be given 
to using a portion of the fund to support research and development and to fund 
personnel and to enhance the spill response capability of the Coast Guard and the 
Environmental Protection Agency. Since the monies for the fund will be derived 
from a barrel transfer charge, this would be consistent with the idea that related 
services provided by the Government for a certain segment of the population 
should be supported by funds derived from that sector. Once a sufficient amount 
of response equipment has been procured, the Coast Guard should be able to make 
a major deployment of response equipment to the most probable locations of major 
spills within six hours of notification. 

To supplement the staging of this equipment in major ports, the Coast Guard 
has developed a high-speed surface delivery system. Ten units of the first genera- 
tion system are presently being procured. This device will be utilized for trans- 
porting equipment from a staging site to the scene of an incident. The system is 
a planed hull sled designed to be towed by helicopter or ship. Other areas which 
the Coast Guard is presently investigating include the identification of special 
requirements for response operations in cold weather environments, and a recoyery 
device that will be able to remove oil from areas where currents are as strong 
as 10 knots. 

As part of our deep water ports licensing program, we have been investigating 
the characteristics that containment and removal equipment must have to function 
properly in 10- to 12-foot seas. This technology, if feasible, will also be applicable 
to offshore drilling operations and vessel casualties similar to the Arqo Merchant. 
If these parameters can be defined, they will be utilized to develop the next 
generation of "high seas" response equipment. The reason for our uncertaintv 
in determining the equipment characteristics is because Coast Guard experts 
believe that there is some point at which the natural mixing action of the 
weather will disperse the oil into the water column and make containment and 
cleanup infeasible. 

The Coast Guard will continue with its effort to advance the state of the 
art in the area of pollution response to ensure that the best technology is 
available to cope with oil pollution resulting from major vessel incidents and 
from offshore oil exploitation and production activities. 


Befmv I leave this Bubjeet, there bas been considerable Interest expressed in 

some quarters in disposing of oil through burning. Burning Is an alternative 

provided the circumstances are favorable for Buch action, in the case oi the 

irgo Merchant, conditions were most unsuitable. Cold Industrial oil such as the 

type involved in this Incident will nor hum without some catalyst. Burning ol 
this type of oil may be sustained where conditions and the behavior oi the oil 
can be reasonably controlled through the use of wicking agents. Previous experi- 
ments with wicking agents, and tests conducted on the Argo Merchant spill, 
indicate thai this method of disposal is not adequately developed to be used 
operationally in the open sea. The Coast Guard plans to examine all aspects of 
the disposal question to determine if a useful method of burning spilled oil can 
be developed. . . 

The enforcement of Federal regulations pertaining to marine safety and 
environmental protection, including inspection Of vessels, waterfront facilities, 
and cargo transfer operations, is a rather massive operation for the Coast 
Guard. Investigations of incidents which involve marine safety require trained 
individuals. Enforcement patrols and surveillance of U.S. ports and waterways, 
while assisted bv technological advances, must be carried out using personnel 
resources. For example, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) 
requires the Coast Guard to investigate oil spills of all types from all sources 
that occur in U.S. waters, and the Pollution Prevention regulations issued under 
the Act require the monitoring of 25 percent of all liquid hulk transfer opera- 
t ions, and the hoarding of thousands of vessels and barges. 

In acting on legislation, the efforts made by the United States to improve 
the Internationa] legal regime should he supported. The Civil Liability Conven- 
tion is in effect and United States ship owners are required to meet obligations 
Imposed by it. despite the lack of ratification by the United States. United States 
interests are participating in the voluntary agreements, TOVALOP and CRISTA!.. 
The United States should ratify and implement the Civil Liability and Fund 
Conventions to gain the benefits they provide. We can provide additional protec- 
tion to United States claimants, as deemed necessary, while continuing efforts to 
improve the international coverage. 

There is an additional problem which should be remedied by legislation. 
Because of an apparent oversight, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act 
does not provide funding under the Pollution Fund for the purpose of staging 
equipment at the scene of a potential pollution incident unless an actual discharge 
occurs, or some rather restrictive requirements involving a marine disaster occur- 
ring to vessels in U.S. navigable wafer are met. No matter what the potential 
source of pollution, the responding agency must be given the leeway to make 
all appropriate preparations to prevent, and mitigate damage from a potential 
discharge, regardless of whether or not it subsequently occurs. It is certainly 
more reasonable to have taken precautionary measures that prove in the end to 
have been unnecessary than to jeopardize resources unnecessarily by waiting for 
a discharge to happen before initiating action. 

I also believe that much more can he done by the United States to copc^ with 
this overall problem. 

As a first, step. I have appointed a panel chaired by the Acting General Coun- 
sel of the Department and including the Commandant of the Coast Guard; the 
Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Environment. Safety and Consumer 
Affairs; and the Chief Counsel of the Coast Guard. The panel is examining the 
ocean transportation system for oil as it applies to the United States and the 
adequacy of our laws and regulations relative to tanker operations. 

The panel is examining proposals such as : 

Requiring douhlo-hull construction of new tankers and examining the concept 
of retrofitting to provide double hulls on existing tankers ; 

Providing specially designed ocean-going vessels at selected locations for the 
purpose of spilled-oil pickup and salvage efforts ; 

Providing qualified U.S. pilot personnel for all foreign flag vessels upon enter- 
ing tiie U.S. economic zone; 

Requiring all officers on all tankers entering the United States to have U.S. 
licenses and reevaluating those licenses at frequent intervals ; 

Expanding the installation and scope of vessel traffic system controls in U.S. 
ports: and 

Requiring the escort of tank vessels from the 100-fathom curve into American 

Each of these proposals could be very costly, if at all practical, and will re- 
quire extensive Investigation. Some could he barred for the present by their in- 


ternational implications and I should like to again stress Mr. Chairman, the need 
for a firmly enunciated unanimous overall U.S. policy relative to international 
vs. unilateral regulation. In the meantime, the panel is carefully examining other 
shorter-term solutions, many of which the Coast Guard has under preparation as 
I have previously discussed, and will he coming forward with positive recom- 
mendations in this regard within a regard within a reasonahle period of time. 

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. Now Admiral Siler and I will be 
happy to answer any questions you may have at this time. 


SS Argo Merchant. — Synopsis of Grounding and Pollution in the Atlantic 

SS Sansinena. — Synopsis of Explosion and Fire in San Pedro, California With 
Loss of Life. 

SS Olympic Games. — Synopsis of Grounding, Damage, and Pollution in Dela- 
ware River. 

SS Daphne. — Synopsis of Grounding In Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. 

SS Oswego Peace. — Synposis of Collision with Submerged Object in Delaware 
River and Pollution in New London, Connecticut. 

M/V Grand Zenith. — Synopsis of Presumed Loss in North Atlantic Ocean. 

SS Universe Leader. — Synopsis of Grounding in Delaware River. 

SS Mary Ann. — Synopsis of Casualty in North Atlantic. 

Chronology of Events Concerning Grounding of SS Argo Merchant. 

"SS Argo Merchant" Synopsis of Grounding and Pollution in the Atlantic 


At approximately 0700, EST 15 December, the Liberian tank vessel SS Argo 
Merchant reported it was aground aproximately 28 miles southeast of Nantucket 
Island, Massachusetts. The vessel stated that her engine room was flooded and 
it was in danger of breaking up. The vessel was loaded with 27,000 long tons (or 
approximately 7.3 million gallons) of number 6 fuel oil. The incident was immedi- 
ately assumed to be a potential major pollution incident. 

The Argo Merchant was built in 1953 in Hamburg, Germany. The vessel meas- 
ured 18,743 gross tons, 12,892 net tons, and was 644.5 feet in length. The owner of 
the vessel was the Thebes Shipping Company and the vessel's home port was 
Monrovia. Liberia. At the time of the casualty the vessel was bound for Salem, 

The weather on scene 15 December was : winds from the southeast at 15 knots, 
with 6 foot seas and visibility of 10 miles. 

Shortly after reporting the vessel aground the master requested permission to 
pump oil over the side. The Coast Guard refused permission and the Coast Guard 
Cutters Vigilant and Sherman and a Coast Guard C-130 Aircraft were immedi- 
ately diverted from other missions to the scene. Helicopters with dewatering 
pumps were also launched from the Coast Guard Air Station in Cape Code. 
Within one hour of the grounding the Regional Response Team was activated 
and the deployment of Atlantic Strike Force was requested from Elizabeth City. 

At approximately 0800, 15 December the portable pumps were delivered to the 
vessel by Coast Guard helicopter. At this time the master requested evacuation of 
his crew. The CGC Sherman arrived at approximated 1115 and assumed on scene 
commander (OSC). The CGC Vigilant arrived at 1130. A damage control team of 
8 men from the Sherman boarded the Argo Merchant shortly thereafter. The Argo 
Merchant's engine room was flooded, disabling her propulsion machinery; only 
emergency electrical power remained available. Although portable pumps had 
been placed on board, the engine room could not be dewatered because of heavy 
oil in the water fouled the pumping mechanism and burned up the pumps. Evacua- 
tion of nonessential personnel was begun by helicopter ; the cutters were unable 
to approach closely because of the shoal. 

At 1455, the Commandant at the request of the Commander, First Coast Guard 
District, determined that the Argo Merchant posed a grave and imminent threat 
to the coastline and related interest of the United States and granted permission 
to implement the provisions of the Intervention on the High Seas Act, 33 USC 
1471 et. seq. Under this authority the pollution fund was activated with an initial 
limitation of $500,000. 

At 1544 the Commanding Officer of the Atlantic Strike Team was enroute to 
the tanker via helicopter for an initial evaluation of the situation. Later that 


afternoon the OSC contracted Cor a commercial tog and barge for offloading. At 

1930 the vessel lost emergency power and all nonessential personnel were evac- 
uated. At 2230 the lirst ADAPT (specially designed high capacity pumps capable 
Of handling oil and water mixtures) equipment was lowered to the vessel by 

At approximately 0430, 10 December Atlantic Strike Team personnel began 
dewatering the engine room utilizing ADAPTS equipment. At 0040, the OSC 
requested additional personnel from the Gulf and Atlantic Strike Teams. Three 
hiuh seas containment barriers and 2 additional ADAPTS systems were also 
requested. At 1127 the OSC requested two Army Sky Crane helicopters to lift 
heavy equipment. At 1252, the flooding was believed to be under control. The 
water level in the engine room decreased to 7 feet. 

At approximately 1500, 10 December it was determined that the efforts of the 
owner/agent were inadequate, and the master and the owner/agent of the Argd 
Mi rchiint were notified that the U.S. Coast Guard was assuming complete control 
of the efforts to salvage the vessel and eliminate the pollution threat. 

By the late afternoon of 16 December the CGC Bittenmcet arrived on scene 
with additional ADAPTS equipment. Yokohama fenders (large resilient cushions 
to prevent damage to vessels mooring alongside in heavy seas) and a containment 
boom were delivered to CG Air Station Cape Code. Personnel from the Navy 
Superintendent of Ship Salvage were enroute to represent the Coast Guard as 
salvage masters. At this time the weather began to deteriorate. 

At 2130, 16 December the CGC Sherman advised that the vessel was flooding 
rapidly in all spaces with bulkheads and decks buckling. Evacuation of the 
remaining 13 persons on board was commenced. The on scene weather at the 
time was wind from 020°T at 25 knots with 7 foot seas, 3 mile visibility, and light 

On the morning of 17 December the vessel was still aground but intact. The 
vessel was spilling oil which was apparently being discharged from ruptured 
lines, vents, open tank tops, and ullage openings on the main deck. A high seas 
containment boom had been brought to the scene by the CGC Bittersiveet but 
deployment was deferred for better weather. The Superintendent of Ship Salvage 
personnel also arrived on scene. At 1430 the OSC held a meeting with the Super- 
intendent of Salvage, salvage master, owners representatives, and strike team 
personnel to evaluate the situation. 

On 18 December settling of the vessel continued with the starboard aft portion 
flooded to the 0-2 deck. Heavy oil was observed to a radius of V2 mile to the 
southeast. Coastal Services, Inc. was hired by Massachusetts State authorities 
and deployed to Nantucket. The amount of oil lost was estimated at 100,000 
gallons. The salvage master surveyed the vessel by helicopter and found the 
vessel's condition to be stable, apparently still structurally fairly sound and was 
of the opinion the vessel would remain hard aground. The wind was from 295° at 
35 knots with 8 foot seas. 

On 19 December it was estimated that 1.5 million gallons had been discharged 
to date. The strike force personnel with the assistance of the tug Shelia Moran 
set the port anchor on the Argo Merchant. The Yokohama fenders were also 
secured alongside in preparation for lightering the cargo to barges. An additional 
$1,000,000 was authorized for expenditure from the pollution fund. An estimated 
$486,000 had been expended to date. 

On 20 December the weather had abated to where the seas were negligible. 
The CGC Spar and CGC Bittersiveet set mooring systems for a lightering barge. 
The fenders were rerigged as they had been swept aboard the Argo Merchant by 
swells. Efforts were also made to run out the starboard anchor. 

On the morning of 21 December the wind increased to 30 knots and the seas to 
8 feet At 0830 the Argo Merchant split in two without warning, approximately 
100 feet aft of the bridge. The stern section sank to the 0-3 deck. Although some 
motion was apparent in the bow section there was no indication that it would 
float free. At this time it was estimated that 50-75% of the cargo had been Lost 
The rate of discharge was estimated at 10.000 gallons per hour. Beach patrols 
were instituted on Nantucket Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Cape Cod to 
monitor oil coming ashore. Coastal Services and Jet Line Services were hired 
to deploy equipment to Nantucket in the event oil came up on the beaches. Prepa- 
rations were made to take underwater photos and bottom samples to determine 
extent of settlement of oil. The CGC Evergreen was also ordered to undertake 
a mission of determining the immediate effects of pollution on the fishing grounds. 
At 1552 the Fleet Weather Center issued a storm warning. During the evcnint: 
the winds increased to 40 knots and seas to 12 feet. 


On 22 December weather conditions precluded further attempts to offload the 
vessel. The U.S. and Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Services established three 
bird reception facilities and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental 
Management began development of a volunteer coordination system. The CGC 
Evergreen sailed to conduct an ecological survey of Nantucket Shoals and Georges 
Bank. That afternoon the bow section broke in two. The bow section moved along- 
side the stern section and was driven into the stern and midship sections. Con- 
centrations of oil were found extending 90 miles east of the tanker with heavv 
concentrations up to 12 miles. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute R/V 
Oceanus took surface, mud, and bottom samples of water, bottom grabs, optical 
transmissivities and temperature observations 40 miles northeast of the tanker 
on the night of 20 December without further measureable oil in bottom fauna. 
Surveys conducted by the CGC Evergreen and by U.S. Navy divers aboard the 
CGC Vigilant also found no oil on the bottom. 

In the succeeding days numerous overflights were conducted in an effort to 
map the oil flow and determine the extent if environmental damage. On 2S 
December burn experiments were conducted using wicking agents, kerosene, 
and thermite ignition sources. These experiments failed to produce significant 
burning of the weathered oil. An exclusion zone was established within a 5 mile 
radius of the Argo Merchant with the CGC Bittersweet standing by for enforce- 
ment. On 30 December 20 mm gun fire was used to puncture a hole in the upturned 
bow section in order to release entraped air and cause the section to sink to 
preclude its further movement toward the shipping lanes. 

On 3 January 1977 an oil flight survey flight, found oil extending ISO nautical 
miles 120°T from the vessel with concentrations in some areas 50 nautical miles 
in diameter. The concentrations and the wreck site were connected by a lessor 
slick less than 20 nautical miles wide. Oil coverage of affected areas was one 
percent or less was observed except near mile 170 where there was a concentra- 
tion of two percent. The bird processing station was closed ; 62 live birds and 95 
dead birds had been collected. The total cost of the bird cleaning effort was 
$12,000. The beach contingency force has been reduced due to projected wind 
and oil drift forecasts. 

The oil will be tracked as long as it remains in a slick, a cluster of pancakes 
or an otherwise discernible form. A considerable amount of oil remains aboard 
the Argo Merchant and the future course of action with respect to this oil is still 
under study. 

■"SS Sansinena" Synopsis of Explosion and Fire in San Pedro, California 

With Loss of Life 

The SS Sansinena was a Liberian registered tankship 810 feet in length, 71.763 
DWT, owned by the Barracuda Tanker Company and built in 1958 by the New- 
port News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation. 

On 16 December 1976 the SS Sansinena arrived at the Union Oil Terminal, San 
Pedro, California, with two types of Indonesian crude oil. The vessel's 34 cargo 
tanks were emptied and stripped by 1730 the following day. The vessel's four 
main cargo pumps simultaneously ballasted nine cargo tanks while bunkering of 
the ships fuel tanks was in progress. 

At 1940 the ballasting was approximately half completed. Because of the 
weather conditions a vapor cloud of fumes expelled while ballasting the cargo 
tanks remained over the deck. A flash flame started aft of the midship house 
near the cargo manifold and found its way into the No. 10 center tank causing 
the initial explosion. This explosion proceeded forward, aft. and outboard with 
tremendous force. The entire tank deck structure including the midship house, a 
total of 2,500 tons of steel, was blown completely off the ship, end-for-ended, 
inverted and dropped on the terminal dock. 

The Coast Guard cutter Venturous proceeding inbound at the time of the 
explosion arrived almost immediatelv and became on-scene coordinator. The 
CGC Venturous, CGC Point Evans, CG 41377, CG 40003, and two HH 52A heli- 
copters rescued 23 survivors of the thirty-two man crew. Eight persons died and 
several were injured as a result of this casualty. 

At 2015 the lire was contained and approximately one hour later under control. 
Coa*t Guard vessels began deploying approximately 4.000 feet of oil containment 
booms around the vessel and terminal dock. It was estimated that 20,000 gallons 
of bunker oil spilled into the harbor. Most of the surface oil was contained 
within this pollution barrier. The Captain of the Port closed the outer harbor and 

the Los Angeles harbor main channel at 2153 to all vessel traffic. The Coast Guard 

Pacific Area Strike Team arrived In LOfl Angeles early in the morning of 18 
December. After initial surveillance of the area the Strike Team .livers assisted 
the commercial pollution clean up companies in Locating areas of submerged oil 
which was in some pockets is Inches thick. By 22 December it was estimated 
that less than 2,000 gallons of oil remained to he cleaned up. The Coast Guard 
continues to monitor the clean up and salvage operations, it is estimated that 
the total damages resulting from this casualty will exceed 106,000,000. The Coast 
Guard Marine Hoard of Investigation, convened to determine the circumstances 
surrounding this casualty, is still in session. 

■ss Olympic Games" Synopsis of Grounding, Damage, and Pollution in 

Delaware River 

On 27 December at about 1545 the fully laden SS Olympic Games, a 734 foot, 
32,280 gross ton Siberian tank vessel, grounded in the Delaware River, punc- 
tured a cargo tank, and spilled 133,000 gallons of crude oil. The grounding 
occurred while the vessel, which had a draft of over 39 feet, was maneuvering in 
a narrow channel in preparation to mooring at an off loading terminal and was 
caused by a main propulsion machinery failure. The astern throttle maneuvering 
valve stuck, stripped and thereby eliminated the capability of the vessel to go 
astern. The tugs in attendance were unable to control the vessel in the narrow 
channel without the assistance of the ship's astern maneuvering capability. The 
terminal area had a controlling depth of between 35 and 3G feet. The pilot was 
depending on high water to make a safe mooring. The vessel grounded in the mud 
near buoy 9M, Marcus Hook Range, one mile south of Commodore John Barry 
Bridge. The resultant oil spill spread over a 22 mile area of the Delaware River, 
its connecting wetlands ami tributaries. This casualty was reported to the Coast 
Guard by the Tug TAMA 0, which was escorting the Olympic Games upriver. At 
1625, a Coast Guard utility boat was diverted to the scene and upon arrival 
reported that oil was coming from the vessel's port quarter. 

The Olympic Games was refloated at approximately 1659 and proceeded to the 
British Petroleum Refinery, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. The vessel arrived 
at riie refiner^: at 1710 and immediately the cargo tanks were sounded by the 
crev,-. Ir was estimated that 133,000 gallons of light crude oil had been dis- 
charged into the Delaware River. The vessel agents notified Coast Services and 
Underwater Technics and contracted their services to boom off the tidal marshes 
and small tributaries to prevent the spread of oil along the river. The vessel 

was 1 med off at the British Petroleum Dock and 50,000 gallons of crude oil 

was effectively contained. 

The Commander of the Third Coast Guard District was notified at 1945. The 
Captain of the Port, Philadelphia requested district support, helicopter over- 
flights of the <vrne, the activation of the Regional Response Team, and the 
assistance of the Atlantic Strike Force, all of which were immediately directed. 
The Captain of the Port, in the meantime notified the National Wildlife and 
Fisheries Service. Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environ- 
in. anal Control, and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The E.P.A.'s Region Two Response Team was activated at 2230. Also at 
approximately the same time divers entered the waters of the Delaware River 
to examine the bottom damage to the Olympic Games. The divers reported that 
there was a six inch diameter hole in the No. 1 Port Cargo Tank at the turn 
of the bilge. 

In the early morning hours on 2S December, a night-Sun equipped helicopter 
from Cape May. New Jersey, conducted a helicopter overflight of the area for 
the purpose of mapping the oil spread. The crew determined that approximately 
six miles of the river was affected with intermittent patches of oil. The E.P.A. 
::bo arranged for an overflight of the area with their sensor aircraft. 

The CG 41394 arrived on scene at 1059 and a safety broadcast concerning the 
incident was made at 1722. 

The Olympic Games commenced cargo discharges at about 1S00 to the 
r.ritish Petroleum Refinery. At 0220 on 28 December a Coast Guard represent- 
ative boarded the Olympic Games and reported that the No. 1 Port Cargo Tank 
contained -JO feet of oil and approximately 20 feet of water. The discharge of 
cargo was discontinued from the No. 1 Port Cargo Tank while the remaining 
tanks were offloaded. This allowed the vessel to get sufficient freeboard so that 
temporary repairs could be made to the punctured tank. 


Various overflights of the casualty scene were made during the morning on 28 
December These reports indicated that there was a scattered irridescenee of 
oil and concentrations over twenty-two miles of the Delaware River from the 
Delaware Memorial Bridge north to one mile south of the Coast Guard Base 
Gloucester The contamination of oil was largely confined to the Delaware and 
Pennsylvania shorelines with little impact on the New Jersey shoreline. 

The Coast Guard's on scene commander allocated the booming and clean up 
activity among three individual companies. Clean Water, Inc. operated along 
the south bank of the Christina River to the southern extremity of the spill on 
the Delaware Shore; Underwater Technic, from the Christina River to the 
British Petroleum Refinery ; and Coastal Services on the New Jersey shore and 
parts of the Pennsylvania shore. . ■ 

On 28 December at 0731, the Coast Guard Cutter Red Oak was underway to 
check the aids to navigation in the vicinity of the grounding. All aids were found 
to be working properly, Marcus Hook L.B. 9M (LLNR 2261) had been recently 
moved to facilitate dredging and was 75 yards from its charted position. A local 
Notice to Mariners had been issued regarding this relocation. Coast Guard per- 
sonnel continued to monitor and assist in the clean up effort. Also Coast Guard 
helicopters and vessels continued to patrol the area of the spill. 

The Master of the Olympic Games was arrested on 29 December by the United 
States Marshal at the direction of the United States Attorney in Philadelphia 
for violations of 33 USC 407, 411 and 1321(b) 5. After arrest he was released 
on $50,000 bail. 

Along the Delaware River, ice and wind conditions slowed recovery operations 
of the oil The oil was sandwiched between layers of ice in many locations. 

Clean up of the terminal area was completed on 29 December. Temporary re- 
pairs to the vessel's hull were completed 31 December and the vessel moved to 
the Marcus Hook Anchorage. The vessel departed the Port of Philadelphia on 
1 January enroute Freeport, Bahamas. 

The National Fish and Wildlife Service reported that five to seven hundred 
waterfowl perished. . 

A formal Coast Guard investigation has been convened in Philadelphia to 
determine the circumstances and cause of the casualty. 

SS "Daphne" — Synopsis of Grounding in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico 

At 1910 on 28 December, the Liberian flag ore/oil carrier SS Daphne, fully 
laden with crude oil, grounded in pilot waters while approaching the harbor en- 
trance to Guayanilla. Puerto Rico. An effort to free the Daphne utilizing 4 har- 
bor tugs failed and partial offload of the cargo to a lighterage barge was necessary 
to refloat the vessel. The next morning the tank barge, San Juan I, was brought 
alongside and an oil containment boom was set around the vessel. 40,000 barrels 
of crude oil were off loaded and the vessel was refloated on 30 December. In 
accordance with prior instructions from the Coast Guard, the vessel immediately 
put to sea, sounded all tanks, and checked carefully for any signs of damage. 
When it was established that there was no leaking, the vessel was allowed to re- 
enter Guyanilla harbor. An oil containment boom was immediately set around 
the vessel and transfer operations were monitored in case leakage developed. 
None did, and a subsequent inspection by divers revealed no damage. 

The apparent cause of the casualty was an error in navigation by the Captain 
of the Daphne. Upon approaching the Guayanilla, he requested the services of 
the harbor pilot and was told to proceed to one half mile off Entrance Lighted 
Buoy No. 1 where the pilot would be waiting. The harbor pilot was still on board 
another vessel at a dock in port. The pilot clearly saw the Daphne about 2% 
miles away and realized that the vessel was not in the proper area. He imme- 
diately used the radio to advise the vessel to turn around and go back out, and 
he would be out shortly. Within minutes Daphne grounded. The pilot boarded 
about an hour later. 

Investigation by the Coast Guard of the events leading up to the casualty re- 
vealed two significant facts. The Captain of the Daphne believed that the vessel 
was six tenths of a mile from its actual location, and one of the aids to navi- 
gation in the area was damaged. The error by the Captain was due to the tech- 
nique he used for fixing the position of the vessel. Radar ranges and bearings 
were being taken from land masses and buoys. Because of low lying land the 
radar presentation of the shoreline was not accurate, and the master used two 
buoys on almost reciprocal bearings for position fixing. This technique is not a 
good navigational practice. 


It does not appear that the damaged aid caused this casualty. The lens of 
Bahia de Guavanilla entrance lighted Buoy No. 1 was missing which caused it 
to show white'instead of green. It was functioning properly in all other respects 
and the discrepancy did not mislead either the captain or the pilot, possibly be- 
cause of the unlimited visibility which allowed all of the other aids to show 
clearly. . • ,. 

Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, San Juan, is investigating the casualty. 

"Oswego Peace"— Collision With Submerged Object in Delaware River and 
Pollution in New London, Connecticut 

On 24 December the Liberian flag tank vessel Oswego Peace started leaking bun- 
ker oil through the skin of the vessel while off loading cargo at the Hess oil 
terminal on the Thames River at New London, Conn. The vessel had started 
heating its own No. 1 bunker fuel tank and as the draft lessened because of off 
loading cargo, the recently heated bunker fuel started leaking through a fracture 
in the vessel's hull. The contents of the tank were immediately transferred to 
another tank; however, 5,000 gallons escaped into the river. Divers made an 
underwater examination and found a fracture 1" wide and 8" long beside the 
keel jammed full of wooden slivers and sticks. After off loading cargo and com- 
plete transfer of oil from the tank the vessel departed enroute to a Jacksonville 
Shipyard for drydocking and permanent repairs. The master advised the Coast 
Guard Investigating Officer that while the vessel was outbound in the Delaware 
River and enroute New London it struck a floating or partially submerged ob- 
ject however, no damage was detected until arrival at New London and heat was 
applied to the congealed oil in the damaged tank. Clean up of the terminal beach 
area and a Coast Guard investigation to determine all the circumstances sur- 
rounding the casualty is still in progress. 

M/V "Grand Zenith" Presumed Lost in North Atlantic Ocean 

On 3 January 1977 the Panamanian registered tanker Grand Zenith was re- 
ported overdue from a voyage between, Teesport, U.K. and Providence, Rhode 
Island. There are 38 persons on board the vessel and it was loaded with 8,232,000 
gallons of NR.6 oil. The vessel had an estimated time of arrival of 1000, 2 Janu- 
ary 1977 The Grand Zenith was last heard from on 30 December when she was 
reportedly 37 miles south of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. Searches have been con- 
ducted utilizing Canadian, U.S. Air Force, and Coast Guard aircraft. The CGC 
Dallas has been designated on scene commander. Through 9 January 1977 a 
total of 264,339 square miles of ocean had been searched for the ship and her 
crew. On 7 Januarv 1977, two personal flotation devices stencilled with the name 
of the vessel were recovered by the CGC Dallas 270 miles east of Nantucket, 
Massachusetts. Other debris sighted, but not recovered included pieces of ply- 
wood, a trunk, and a mattress. Search efforts will be suspended after 10 January 
1977 unless further sightings are made. 

"Universe Leader" Grounding in Delaware River 

On 4 January 1977 at approximately 8 :30 p.m., the Liberian registered tank- 
ship Universe Leader ran aground in New Caste Range of the Delaware River 
near the mouth of the C & D Canal with 21 million gallons of light Nigerian crude 
oil on board. The Universe Leader is 815' long, 125' wide, 61' depth, 85,515 DWT, 
built in 1956 in Kure, Japan. 

At approximately 11 P.M., on 4 January lightering operations began to remove 
6,300,000 gallons of crude oil before attempting to refloat the vessel. 

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port advised the master of the Unto* 
Leader that no attempt should be made to move the vessel until it was com- 
pletely refloated by lightering. 

At approximately 10 :30 p.m. on the following day the Universe Leader with 
four tugs in attendance started to swing free, and by 11 :30 p.m. was afloat in 
the channel. 

After an inspection by Coast Guard Marine Inspection personnel, permission 
was granted for the vessel to proceed to the point of discharge. 

A one man formal investigation is presently in session in Philadelphia. 

The testimony indicates that as the Universe Leader was proceeding in- 
bound up the Delaware River toward Philadelphia the Pilot contacted the out- 
bound Texaco California and agreed to a port to port passage. The Pilot aboard 
S2-90S— 77— pt. 1 4 


the Universe Lcad<r stated that the Texaco California failed to turn in time 
thereby blocking the channel and forcing the Universe Leader into a collision 
or grounding situation. The Pilot chose to ground the vessel and avoid the 

SS "Mary Ann" Synopsis of Casualty in North Atlantic 

On 7 January at about 2320 (local time) a distress call was initiated from 
M/V Mary Ann, a 798 foot, Liberian ore/oil carrier reporting that the vessel 
experienced a fire and explosion which injured two crewmen during tank cleaning 
operations. The vessel's position at the time of the casualty was 38°00" N and 
70°00' W. At 0008 on S January the vessel reported that the fire was extinguished 
and that medical assistance was required. The CGC Ingham departed ocean 
weather station Hotel at 0132 to assist. The Mary Ann at 0122 reported that it 
did not require any assistance and that the vessel was underway enroute to New 
York. It requested that arrangements be made for a doctor to meet the vessel 
at Ambrose Light. The CGC Ingham resumed normal operations and returned 
to station. 

At 0525. the Mary Ann again requested assistance because it was taking on 
water and not making any way through the rough seas. The assistance position 
was 38°10' N and 70°30' W. A HC 130, a fixed wing aircraft from Coast Guard 
Air Station St. Petersburg was dispatched at 0G21 since the vessel was taking on 
water in No. 2 hold. Also the CGC Ingham again departed ocean weather station 
Hotel to assist. 

At 0585 the Mai Curia, an Italian tanker began escorting the Mary Ann toward 
Cape Henlopen until relieved by the CGC Ingham. The HC 130 arrived on scene 
and reported the Mary Ann's position of 37°30' N and G9°55' W to the CGC 
Ingham. The CGC Ingham arrived on scene at 1245 and released the MV Mai 
Carl a from its escort. The CGC Cherokee arrived on scene and relieved the CGC 
Ingham of escort duties at 0702 on 9 January. At 1454 an HH3 helicopter from 
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City evacuated the patient to a Norfolk 

The Mary Ann entered Delaware Bay at 1315 and the vessel was safely an- 
chored at 1415. Assessment of the damage will be conducted by the Captain of 
the Port, Philadelphia before the vessel will be permitted to enter the port. 

Chronology of Events Concerning Grounding of SS "Argo Merchant" 

(All times are local and approximate as stated in message traffic) 

December 2, 1976 : 

1035: Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) advised Commandant that 
Argo Merchant would probably be scheduled to enter port in Boston vicinity in 
next two weeks. Because of record of ship the Captain of the Port intended to 
board the vessel upon its entering U.S. waters. If vessel status found to be un- 
satisfactory vessel would be ordered to depart U.S. waters. 

December 15, 1976 : 

0700: SS Argo Merchant Liberian reported herself aground and in danger of 
breaking up 27 miles southeast of Nantucket Island. The vessel was carrying 
174,000 barrels (approximately 7 million gallons) of number 6 oil, and had a 
crew of 39. Engineroom was reported flooding. A Coast Guard C-130 was im- 
mediately diverted to assist and the CGC Sherman and Vigilant were diverted to 
the scene. Winds were from the southwest at 15 knots, seas were six feet, 12 
miles visibility, temperature 43°F. 

0800: Pumps were dropped to the vessel to control flooding in engine room. 
Atlantic Strike Team requested verbally. Regional response team activated. 

0900-1000 : Aircraft on scene reported no pollution. Crew remained on board 
with five Coast Guard helos in the immediate area standing by to evacuate 
the crew. Master requested permission to pump cargo into sea to refloat vessel. 
Permission denied at 1230. 

1100 : CGC Sherman on scene. 

1130 : CGC Vigilant on scene. Total of six pumps delivered. 

1150: First District Commander requested Commandant to make determina- 
tion that Argo Merchants cargo constituted imminent substantial threat to U.S. 
shoreline and marine environment under Intervention Act 33 U.S. Code 1471 
et. Sec. 


1230: cc.c Sherman advised to pass to master <»r Argo Merchant thai permfts- 
bIod to discharge Argo Merchants cargo Into sea denied. Sherman also advised 
to pass that Intervention Art permission was being sou-lit. 

1251 : Atlantic Strike Team personnel enronte with .". A.DPTS systems. Navy 
diving team beign dispatched. CG€ Sherman has dispatched damage control 
team to Argo Merchant. 

1347: Vessel lias begun to pivot to starboard. Discharge of oil has been 
observed. Sherman has commenced evacuation of unnecessary personnel. Sher- 
man's DC team believes vessel holed in bottom. Navy diving team cancelled due 
to vessels condition. 

142.": Atlantic Strike Team contingent arrives at Coast Guard Air Station 
i !ape Cod with 3 ADAPTS systems. 

14".: Commandant determined Argo Merchant and hor cargo presented grave 
and imminent threat to coastline and related interests of the U.S. Authority 
granted to implement provisions of Intervention Convention if actions by owner/ 
agents of vessel considered by District Commander to be inadequate, not timely 
or inappropriate, to abate threat of polluiton. Pollution fund activated. Funding 
level initially set at $500K. .. , 

1544 : Commanding Officer of Atlantic Strike Team enroute Tanker for initial 

1630: Flooding in engineroom at the 19' level. All damage control pumps 
burned out due to oil in water being pumped. 

1651: OCS contracted with a tug and barge for offloading. McAllister Tug 
Margery B. enroute with the tank barge XEPCO 140, ETA early daylight hours, 
1(> December. This action was necessary due to owners failure to hire any tug 

or barge. , , _ . 

1902: 19 crewman. 11 man DC party, strike team personnel onboard. Engine- 
room continues to flood. Substantial oil in engineroom. Believe engineroom not 
holed but Hooded from ruptured bunker tanks. Stability of vessel in question. 
Master of vessel will make no statement concerning stability. Last daylight 
overflight indicated discharge of oil had ceased. Attempting to hire additional 
tug. Yokohama fenders requested. Planning to attempt to deliver one ADAPTS 
by air. 

1930 : Vessel lost emergency power due to flooding, 11 crew and 5 Coast Guard 
personnel evacuated. 

2000: 4 Atlantic Strike Team members on board. 

■J2::0: First of ADAPTS equipment lowered to vessel, on second attempt by 
II-3 helicopter. 

2400: Tug Margery B with a NEPCO barge anchored in Provincetown. Mas- 
sachusetts, due to forecasted heavy weather. The Coast Guard was not advised. 

December 16, 197G : 

041.": Water still rising, final two loads ADAPTS gear delivered by H-3's. 
Eight CG, 8 crew raid fonr company salvage reps on board. 

(HMO: Atlantic Strike Team commenced dewatering engineroom, no signs 
of pollution. 

0940: OSC requested additional personnel from the Gulf and Atlantic Strike 
Teams, three high seas containment barriers and two additional ADAPTS 

'lOOO: Commander, First Coast Guard District with Commandant's repre- 
sentative (C.-W), overflew stranded vessel. No oil spilling overboard. Sheen 
ohserved on water from oil in discharge from ADAPTS pumping out engine- 
room. The flight also attempted to locate NEPCO lightening barge, due on scene 
this morning, without success. Radio contact revealed tug and barge had delayed 
departure from Provincetown and wore now proceeding to scene via Cape Cod 
canal and were due on scene after midnight. 

1122 : Readiness posture of Gulf Strike Team raised due to full deployment of 
Atlantic Strike Team. 

1127: OSC requested two Army Sky Crane helicopters to assist as required. 

1252 : Flooding now controlled. Pumping of engineroom continues. Water level 
lowered approximately 7 feet. Apparent source of Hooding is ruptured sea valves. 
No pollution observed from vessel. Murphy Pacific retained for salvage by owners. 
Two additional tugs enroute. CG oeeanographer and CG naval architect enroute. 

1 157 : First District Commander assumed control of all salvage activities 
under the Intervention Convention, as actions, efforts, of owner/agent considered 
to be inadequate. 


1726 : CG naval architect calculating stability and discharge plan. CGC Bitter- 
sweet on scene with additional ADAPTS. Fenders and additional boom at CG Air 
Station Cape Cod. Navy Supervisor of Salvage personnel enroute to represent 
Coast Guard as salvage master. 

2139 : Commencing emergency evacuation of personnel aboard Argo Merchant. 
Flooding out of control, soundings taken indicate vessel's bulkheads collapsing. 
Weather 25 knots wind, 7 ft. seas. 

2300: OSC requests high seas skimmer. Two Coast Guard C-130's one Air 
Force C-141 preparing to deliver additional High Seas Barrier, ADAPTS pumps 
and the High Seas Skimmer to CGAS Cape Cod. Evacuation of people complete. 
Severe hogging and buckling of deck plates of vessel occurred. 

December 17, 1976 : 

0859 : Vessel remains aground, but intact. Does not appear to be twisted, or 
working. Water is washing over the main deck astern. List is fluctuating be- 
tween 5-10 degrees. Vessel is spilling oil which is apparently being discharged 
from ruptured lines, open tank tops, ullage holes on main deck washing into 
water. Slick 150 feet w T ide blowing down wind as far as is visible. Three ADAPTS 
left on board. High seas skimmer, ADAPTS at Air Station Cape Cod. Army 
skycrane enroute. Bittersweet has high seas boom aboard awaiting better weather. 
Weather at scene, winds 20 knots, seas 10 feet. Supervisor of Salvage personnel 
at scene. 

1345 : Oceanographic overflight of area completed. 

1430: OSC meeting held at Cape Code with USN Supervisor of Salvage, 
Salvage Masters, owner representatives, and strike team personnel to evaluate 

1500 : Overflight revealed trail of oil runs with current from ship to two miles 
north thence to 2y 2 miles west thence back to ship. Oil consists of patches of 
heavy oil two to fifty feet in diameter and two to three inches thick and trailing 
thinner. Patches slowly breaking up due to waves and wind action. Large sheen 
also visible covering approximately 25 to 30 mile area. Estimate of loss extremely 
difficult, but presently medium spill with probability of being a major spill. 
Owners relinquished control of Murphy Pacific Marine. U.S. Navy contracted 

December 18, 1976: 

1029 : Settling continues, starboard aft awash to 0-2 deck. Heavy oil radius : V2 
mile SE. CGC SPAR, at Buzzards Bay, loaded with fenders and barge mooring 
gear. Coastal Services, Inc. hired by Mass. State, deploying to Nantucket. Tug 
Moira Moran with barge New Jersey, and Margery McAllister with Nepco 140 
standing by in Nantucket Sound. Estimated 100K gallons spilled. Occasional 
waves breaking as high as stack. Visible pollution approximately y 3 size of day 
before observations. Very little oil emitting from ullage openings. Globs of oil 
extend approximately y 2 miles southeasterly and dissipate rapidly. Salvage tug 
enroute. Requested EPA overflight made with high resolution color camera. 
Wind 30 knots, seas 14 feet. Amount of oil lost extremely difficult to assess, esti- 
mated at 100,000 gallons, declared major spill. Weather permitting, Salvage 
Master and Atlantic Strike Team to board vessel to re-evaluate situation and 
implement offloading plans. 

1115 : Drift surveys being conducted as weather permits. 

1300 : Weather 35 knot winds, seas 20 feet. 

1701 : Ship listing 12° to 13° to starboard. Salvage master surveyed vessel from 
helo, feels vessel's condition is stable, structurally still fairly sound, and states 
that it will remain grounded. Amount of pollution difficult to assess due to sea 
conditions. Consists mostly of pools of heavy oil rapidly breaking up. Four 
members of Strike Team on board vessel to uncage anchors for future place- 
ment by tug. Spill rate slowed probably because of cooling of oil. $120K spent to 
date. Wind 35 knots with 8 foot seas. Twice daily inspections of Nantucket 
Beach initiated. 

December 19, 1976 : 

AM: Salvage conference held. Vessel status. 15° list, unchanged. Estimate 
is that 1.5 million gallons discharged to date. Seven Strike Force personnel on 
board running out the port anchor with tug Sheila Moran. Yokohama fenders 
alongside and in place. Wind 22 knots, seas 1 foot. One ADAPTS units recovered 
from vessel. Four Navy JBF DIP skimmers brought in to Cape Cod. Pollution 
overflight made. Only able to set port anchor. 


142S : Expenditures to date estimated at $486K. Addition $1 million requested. 
1032: Ceiling of $1.5 million established by Commandant. 

December 20, 1976 : 

Vessel remains as before, aground with 15° list. Wind 11 knots with 
negligible seas. Strike Team running out starboard anchor. CGC's Spar and 
Bittersweet on scene setting four moorings. Sky cranes deploying additional 
equipment Mooring systems being rigged for lightering barge Barges wailing 
by in Nantucket. Slick extending generally in a 060° T direction out to GO miles. 
Fenders rerigged as swept on board by swell overnight. 

December 21. 1976 : 

0003 : Six Strike Team personnel on board to rig for transfer operations. Barge 
moorings being set by CGC's Bittersiceet and Spar. Tug Sheila Moron and Vigilant 
small boat attempting to place starboard anchor. Wind 20 knots, seas 1 foot. 
Slick and vessel as before. Rigged Aids to Navigation light on ship. 

Approximately 500 birds reported killed. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
coordinating. CGC Spar and CGC Bittersweet released. Tug Curb, salvage tug. 
on scene. Weather, winds 13 knots, seas five feet. 

0S45: Argo Merchant split without warning, just aft of kingpost, 100 feet aft 
of bridge. Stern section sunk. Water level on stern at 03 deck. Bow section 
apparently sinking. Bow shows no indication of floating free. Motion of bow 
is mild yaw and pitch. Slick tends to 100°T. Slick described as moderate. Estimate 
40-75% of cargo lost. Rate of discharge approximately 10,000 gallons per hour. 

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute vessel Ocean us to conduct oil slick and 
bottom sampling, oceanographic stations and possible current meter stations 
in vicinity of Argo Merchant. Weather, wind 13 knots, seas 5 feet. Numerous 
telegrams received from concerned citizens. 

Beach patrols instituted on Nantucket, Marthas Vineyard, and Cape Cod. 
Monitoring slick. Hired Coastal Services and Jet Line Services to deploy 
equipment to Nantucket and for contingency. State of Mass. terminated con- 
tract with Coastal. Preparations being made to take underwater photos 
and bottom samples to determine extent of bottom sampling. Contingency plan 
made to tow bow to vicinity of 39°N 6S°W if possible. 

1552 : Fleet Weather Center issued storm warning. 

182S: Woods Hole Oceanographic Study cancelled due to weather. Winds 
37 knots, seas 9 feet. 

1S46 : CGC Evergreen ordered to prepare to undertake mission to determine 
oil pollution effect on fishing grounds. 

2100: Vigilant reports stern and bow as before, but weather prevents close 
inspection. Weather, winds 40 knots, seas 12 feet. 

December 22, 1976 : 

0615: Icing on the ship y^" thick but condition on subject vessel remains the 
same. Heavy oil concentrations near tanker estimated at 1.5 million gallons by 
oil recon flight. Tug CURB anchored 3 mi. SE of Woods Hole, radar inopera- 
tive. Current sea state on scene weather precludes master from entering Woods 
Hole. Wind 45 knots, seas 15 feet. 

0730 : Vigilant reports stern section unchanged, 03 deck now r awash. Bow sec- 
tion still driving into stern due to seas and wind. Bow in same relative position 
but has lost buoyancy and bridge house is totally under water, and only 100 feet 
of deck aft of forecastle above water. Unable to see pollution due to spray and 
waves. Due to weather and probable icing aboard, recommend no operations 
today. Weather, wind 42 knots, seas 15 feet, temperature 24 °F. 

0924: Conditions as above. U.S. and Mass. Fish and Wildlife established three 
bird reception facilities. Mass. Dept. of Environmental Management to develop 
a volunteer coordination system. Upon break in weather OSC intends to have 
starboard anchor set to keep sections from working together. Test integrity of NR4 
cargo tanks by transferring to cargo hold using available pumps. If successful 
and reserve buoyancy is enough to float will tow to sea and sink. If not floatable 
after transfer of cargo will transfer cargo and sink refloated vessel at sea. 

CGC Evergreen sailed to conduct ecological survey of Nantucket Shoals and 
Georges Bank. 

1430: Vigilant reports bow and stern sections do not appear to be grinding 
together. Forefoot of bow is 8 ft. out of water, waterline aft is 50 feet aft of fore- 
castle break, inclined 40 degrees from horizontal, 5° starboard list, believe for- 
ward section may have settled lower in water. Pollution tends 230°T, moderate 


strength. Weather, winds 23 knots, seas 8 feet, temperature 33°F. Awaiting direc- 
tion of OSC. 

1540 : OSC reported subject vessel has broken into three pieces. Second break 
just forward of forward house. Monitoring of slick and study of ecological con- 
ditions continues. Bow section has slid along side stern section and is driving into 
stern and midship section. Oil discharging from Nr. 3 port tank at rate of approx- 
imately 500 gallons per hour. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute R/V Ocean us 
took surface, mid and bottom samples of water, bottom grabs, optical transmissiv- 
ity and temperature observations at 3 locations approximately 40 miles NB of 
tanker on night of 20-21 December. No obvious oil in bottom fauna. Samples 
awaiting complete analysis. 

Oil recon flight found oil extending from tanker toward 100°T for 90 miles. 
Heavy slick and moderate concentration found extending 12 miles to east of 
tanker. Heavy concentrations found extending 12 miles to east of tanker. Wind 
23 knots, seas 8 feet. 

Bird receiving station set up at Nantucket. Jet Line/Coastal Services have 
equipment strategically located on Nantucket. 

December 23, 1976 : 

0609: Winds 19 knots seas 3 feet. Evergreen taking water and bottom samples. 
Water and bottom in areas checked, appear clean. Reevaluating need for equip- 

1125 : Transported Navy Divers to Vigilant. Setting up for diving OPS in vicin- 
ity of Argo Merchant. Surveys of water and bottom by R/V Delaware and Ever- 
green continuing. Pollution as before. Oil coming out of bow section — can't tell 
where. Decided no hope of towing off into deeper water. Oil extending 100° T for 
90 miles from vessel. Heavy slick and moderate concentration found extending 
12 miles to the east 

Bird receiving station set up on Nantucket 25 birds processed through center. 

1300: Winds 8 kts, seas 1 foot. Vessel searched as possible all doors and 
hatches opened to aid in bow sinking. 

1511 : Reduced amount of Navy equipment. Retained sufficient quantity to have 
contingency against possible shoreline pollution from spill. Press briefing held. 

1717 : CGC Evergreen and Research vessel Delaware 2 conducting oceanographic 
sampling in area. $624,000 expended to date. Vigilant conducted diving operations 
in vicinity of vessel to 140 feet no oil found on bottom. Held conference with 
Mr. Tully of Tulco Inc. to discuss feasibility of using Tullanox 500 as burning 
agent. EPA and CG Air Station personnel participated. Wind 5 knots, seas 3 feet. 
Search of vessels bridge by Atlantic Strike Team revealed no navigational or 
engineering logs. Aerial oil survey showed pollution tending 100°T for 83 miles 
with a maximum width of 35 miles. Concentration appears to be reduced from 
previous flight. 

December 24, 1976 : 

0400 : CGC Evergreen departed scene having completed environmental sampling 

0730 : Pollution by vessel tends 230°T consisting of very small pieces of solid 
material or tar balls widely scattered emitting sheen. Volume greatly reduced. 
Winds 13 knots, seas 2 feet. 

1030: Conducted initial test of wicking agent provided by Tulco Inc. Proved 
safe enough for aircraft. 

1440: Surveillance overflight conducted with Senator Pell aboard. Burn test 
scheduled for this date cancelled because overflight could not find large enough 
pancake of oil for test Tress conference held in conjunction with experiment. 

1800: Vigilant completed 8th water sampling station. Winds 15 knots, seas 2 
feet. Overflight revealed only 5 ducks with oil on them in area with over 31.000 
ducks. Oil mapping flight conducted. Work being continued to forecast time 
and location where oil might come into contiguous zone or shoreline. 

December 25, 1976 : 

0740 : Two thin streams of thin brown oil 10 feet wide coming out of vessel, 
extend down-stream with occasional small patches of thicker black oil. Tends 
270°T from vessel. Salvage vessel Curb continues to work moorings. Vigilant 
is taking water samples for NOAA analysis. Wind 15 knots, seas two feet. 

0840 : Informal report received from Coast Guard R&D Center on CGC Ever- 
green's bottom samples indicating no oil present, except for trace amount of 
undeterminable source in one sample. Samples of oil have been analyzed, specific 


gravity la 0.96. EPA assuming responsibility for coordinating studies of environ- 
mental effects uf spin. 

1102- Pollution much diminished. Two Btreams of thin brown ol! 10 feel wide 
extend downstream with occasional small patches of thicker black oil. streams 
tend 270°T. Tulco reports need of at least lo foot diameter one-half inch thick 
slick Cnable to conduct floating oil burning experiment duo to Inability to locate 
oil in sufficient concentration. Oil mapping flight conducted. Slick much reduced 
in width. Cost to date $667K. 

1809: Weather forecast for next twenty-four hours for winds trom SSW at 
120 knots changing in easterly direction to NB at 40 knots with gusts to 48 knots 
by late I'M "jo Deo mber. 

2017: Due to predicted shift in wind a third cleanup contractor activated to 
cover Chatham area. Costs to date $707K. Oil reconnaissance flight found oil 
tending in general direction 110°T and is .">."> miles wide and is S shaped. Eastern 
extent of oil not fully determined hut extends at least 85 miles. Vigilant continues 
to obtain water samples for oil analysis. 

December 26, 1976: 

0620 : Wind 13 knots, seas 5 feet. 

1348 : Vigilanl continues to obtain water samples. Salvage vessel Curb retrieved 
lost mooring system and has been released. 3000 drift cards have been air dropped 
to aid in oil drift predictions. 55 birds to date have been picked up on Nantucket 
Island. Land-tiil storage areas for storage of oil soaked materials lined up. Look- 
ing into feasibility of utilizing Navy Mark A' skimmers for deployment by CGC 
Bittersweet in spill area for collection of large oil pancakes. 

2015 : Winds 40 knots, seas 5 feet. 

December 27, 1976 : 

0S05 : Winds 25 knots, seas 8 feet. Patches of heavy black oil 1 to 10 square 
feet coming from Argo Merchant. Estimated costs to date $848K. 

1400 : Winds 35 knots, seas 8 feet. OG Helo completed burn tests. Video tapes 
returned to Boston for viewing. Cancelled immediate plans for offshore skim- 
ming operation due to slick location. Additional 1000 plastic drift cards launched 
for predicting direction of flow of the oil. Establishing wreck buoy at scene of 
Argo Merchant. 

•JJOO: Examination with search light reveals how section turned over and sank. 
Unable to determine details due to heavy weather. Winds 24 kuots, seas S feet. 

December 28, 1976 : 

0937 : Wind S knots, seas 2 feet. Conducted burning experiments. Wicking agent 
ignited but oil would not ignite. Overflight for mapping purposes continuing. 

1520: CGC Vigilant relieved by Bittersweet. 

1555: Pollution tends 240°T from Argo Merchant consists of thin brown oil 
and sheen. Estimated costs to date $1,132,602. NOAA official reported that in- 
dividual from Beverly. Mass. found 15 drift cards. 

December 29, 1976: 

07.").".: Winds 2.". knots, seas 3-5 feet overcast at 1000 feet. CGC Bittcrsiceet 
taking water samples daily. Mapping overflight cancelled due to weather. 

1215: Established 1000 yard radius prohibited zone around Argo Merchant. 
Zone to be enforced by CGC Bittersweet. 

1335: Wind shifted and increased to 30 knots, seas becoming confused. Bitter- 
SiOeet observed approximately sixty birds. Mc, of which were oiled. Vessel com- 
pleted five water sampling stations secured due to weather. 

1711 : CGC Dattas directed to conduct bathythermograph survey in vicinity of 
Argo Merchant to determine currents. 

December 30, 1976 : 

0700: Winds 40 knots, seas 06 feet, 1000 foot overcast. Party aboard CGC gj>ar 
awaiting break in weather to try another burn test. Bittersweet allowed to pro- 
ceed to lee due to weather. Weather has prohibited daily overflights by aircraft 
for last two days. Plywood drifter deployed to track current. 

1449: Permission granted to fire 20MM non explosive projectiles into Argo 
Merchant fore peak tank to puncture skin and release trapped air. Firing info 
deep tanks not authorized. 

1740: Extended $1,147,610 to date. Projected forecast projections for next :: I 
days indicate offshore winds to dominate. Due to buoyancy of 1m>w OSC believes 


no cargo in deep tanks and requests permission to fire into deep tanks as well 
as peak tanks. 

2159: Permission granted to fire into deep tanks and fore peak tank. Purpose 
of shelling wreck to stabilize bow section on bottom to create safer conditions 
for determining amount of oil remaining on board. 

Coast Guard R&D Center conducted a number of tests using NRG oil in vari- 
ous water/oil emulsion levels, including pure and unweathered NR6 at an am- 
bient temperature of 40°F. The NR6 was in contact with sea water, various 
igniters, lighter fluid, and JP fuel used with Tullanox 500. No sustained com- 
bustion was observed at any of these tests. Maximum weight loss of fuel observed 
was 1%. Further testing scheduled. 

December 31, 1976: 

1102 : Winds 35 knots, seas 10 feet. Pollution tends 110°T. Oil emanating from 
bow and stern sections. One mile downwind slick is 2 percent pancake, 70 per- 
cent sheen, beyond one mile no pancakes, after six miles ten percent sheen and 
after seven miles no pollution observed. Pancakes observed were 2-3 feet in 
diameter. Estimated cost to date $1,147,610. Awaiting break in weather. 

1700 : Wind 15 knots, seas 4 feet. Bird cleaning and handling count 109 proc- 
essed, 62 dead on arrival, 47 alive. CGC Spar conducted burn test was unsuc- 
cessful, H3 filmed experiment. H3 deployed NASA Satellite tracking BTT Buoy 
on large oil pancake in position 40-20N 67-01 W. 

January 1, 1977 : 

1138 : Winds 15 knots, seas 4 feet. CGC Bittersweet fired on the bow section 
some 20MM armour piercing ammunition. Bow settled with about 10 feet re- 
maining above the surface. King post and after section of bow believed to be 
resting on the bottom. Pollution was intermittent during firing. Discharge of oil 
ceased when bow settled. 

January 2, 1977 : 

Cost to date estimated at $1,147,633. CGC Dallas bathythermograph data col- 
lection completed. Water column samples from Bittersweet received. Weather 
forecast winds 25 knots, seas 10 feet. 

January 3, 1977 : 

0800: Anticipated weather, winds 10-15 knots, seas 2-4 feet. Meetings held 
to discuss plans and criteria with scientific personnel for continued tracking 
of oil, threat possibilities, and timing of actions with those probabilities. 

0822: Oil survey flight found oil tending 180 nautical miles (nm) 120°T from 
vessel with concentrations 50 nm in diameter located near miles 90 and 155. Con- 
centrations and wreck site connected by slick less than 20 nm in width. Oil cov- 
erage one percent or less except near mile 170 where concentration of two percent 
was observed. Pancake size less than 10 feet in diameter except near mile 170 
where 50 foot diameter pancakes were observed. Concentrations near mile 155 
appear entrained in offshore flow of NE side of eddy centered near 39-35N, 67- 
20W. Attempting diving operations with Strike Team personnel when weather 
permits to determine amount of oil still in vessel. 

1808 : Wind 12 knots, seas 3 feet. Bird processing station terminated : totals 
62 alive, 95 dead : total cost of operation $12,000. Tug Whitefoot hired to assist 
in diving operations. Additional drifter cards released in areas of heavy oil con- 
centrations. OSC meeting with CG/NOAA team to discuss scientific data col- 
lected to date. NASA overflight conducted this date. Beach contingency force re- 
duced due to projected wind and oil drift forecasts. Daily patrols are being con- 
tinued by CG Chatham Station. Weather hampering diving operations to deter- 
mine amount of oil remaining on board. 

January 4, 1977 : 

1127: Decision made not to expand the prohibited zone. 

1345: OSC requested RRT be reconvened to address questions concerning 
remainder of Argo Merchant operation. 

1810 : Wind 15 knots, seas 3 feet. HC-130 flight found oil within limits predicted 
by CG Oceanographic Unit. Estimated total cost to date $1,152,680. Diving opera- 
tions continue to await break in weather. 

January 5, 1977 : 

0950 : Wind 25-30 knots, seas 4-5 feet, current 2-3 knots. Condition not suitable 
for diving. Tug Whitefoot to remain on scene to evaluate conditions for diving. 
BTT buoy at 39-14N, 66-45W. 


1839: Tug Whitefoot enroute Woods Hole due to poor weather. On scene 
weather winds 15 knots, seas confused, swell 6-8 feet. State of Massachusetts 
has resumed normal bird operations. Bird receiving center at Nantucket airport 
will be open 1400-1700 daily. Total costs to date $1,177,422. Mapping flight can- 
celled for 6 January due to weather. Weather conditions prohibit diving on 6 
January. MSO Providence preparing contingency plan for Buzzards Bay Area 
should pollution problem occur in that area. 

January 6, 1977 : 

Whitefoot to investigate if conditions suitable for diving during slack tide 
period of 45 minutes duration. 

The Chairman. We will recess until 2 :30. 


The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

I understand this morning that there was some complaint that some 
members of the press couldn't get into the room, that the room was 
already filled up with people who want to report this hearing. The 
fire regulations are such that I guess the policeman at the door had 
to limit the number of people who were in here when the room gets 

Now, if there is any member of the press that doesn't have a place to 
sit. just tell them to come around through here so we can accommo- 
date them. We couldn't get a bigger room; that is our problem. I tried 
to get a bigger room, but I guess we just couldn't find one today. They 
are all occupied. 

Many members of the committee want to ask the USCG admiral 
several questions. But you do not have a regular statement ? 

Admiral Siler. No, sir. 

The Chairman. I would suggest that we excuse you temporarily and 
go on with some of the prepared statements. You don't mind because 
you were going to be here anyway, for the rest of the hearing? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I regret the inconvenience, but that is the way 
things go. 

The next witness will be Russell Train. Mr. Train is the Adminis- 
trator of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

There should be several Senators here; they are on their way from 
another meeting, I hope, soon. 

Mr. Train, we would be glad to hear from you. 


Mr. Train. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I have got several different statements here winch T would ask you 
to include in its entirety in the record and I will attempt to shorten it 
somewhat by leaving some of it out and reading 

The Chairman. Mr. Train, I think you ought to read your com- 
plete statement, for the benefit, of everyone here. I think that it is most 
important that vro know what your feelings are. 

Mr. Train. All right, sir. 

The Chairman. Tt is only 15 pages, which is n little short for this 


We would be glad to hea r it. 

Mr. Train. I will be running a bit over 15 minutes. 
The Chairman-; We would like to remain within that, but there are 
so many people interested in this we just have to do the best we can. 
Is there anyone out there that can't get in ? Find out, please. 
| Pause.] 

Mr. Train. I do appreciate this opportunity to discuss the severe 
problem of tanker oilspills which have recently occurred in and near 
American waters. . . 

It is sobering to recall the prominence of catastrophic oilspills m 
the history of environmental protection over the last decade. The 
accidents involving the Torrey Canyon in 1967 and the Ocean Eagle 
in 1968, and the oil leak from offshore drilling at Santa Barbara in 
1969, were catalytic events in the development of our environmental 

The recent rash of accidents involving foreign-flag tankers, starting 
with the tragic and disastrous wreck of the Argo Merchant off Nan- 
tucket Island in mid-December, followed by at least 10 additional 
tanker accidents during the holiday period, has shocked and outraged 
the American public. 

The events of the past weeks have demonstrated that transport of 
oil by tanker requires renewed attention. Hence, this hearing today is 
most timely and welcome. 

My initial reaction to the Argo Merchant catastrophe was a mixture 
of anger and frustration. One can only react in anger at the evidence 
of apparent human negligence and faulty navigation that reportedly 
put the vessel 20 miles off course and into the shoal waters where 
she ran aground and finallv broke up. One can only be outraged over 
the potentially disastrous impact of the spill on the Georges Bank 
fishery resources, or the livelihood of those thousands of families who 
are dependent upon the fishing industry, upon the birdlife as well as 
the rare and endangered animals, such as whales and seals which are 
caught in the path^of the oil, on the fragile ecology of our sensitive 
coastal waters, and on the magnificent recreational resource of Cape 
Cod and Nantucket. 

This sense of outrage is compounded by our relative helplessness 
and frustration both in controlling and containing the damage from 
this particular spill and in our seeming inability to effectively safe- 
guard the international transportation of oil by tanker. 

At this time, we must not limit our focus upon the Argo Merchant 
incident. This disaster is merely symptomatic of a larger problem 
extending bevond specific ship accidents : The discharge of large quan- 
tities of oil into the marine environment. We must also not underesti- 
mate the complexity of the problem at hand. If we can learn from our 
recent experiences and develop effective regulatory and technical meas- 
ures to limit the risks of tanker oil transport, then the tragic costs 
arising from the wreck of the Argo Merchant will have yielded some 

While this hearing is focused on the regulation of tankers them- 
selves, we must recognize that the issue of safe transport of oil in the 
marine environment must be considered in the broader context of the 
development and implementation of the Nation's overall energy policy. 
Careful siting of new refineries, for example, can reduce risks of 
accidents and should avoid entirely sensitive and productive estuarine 

environments. My observation of the recent major spill in the Dela- 
ware lias convinced me, for example, that locating refineries in the 
Upper Chesapeake Bay would be an invitation to disaster, assuming 
t hut those refineries would be serviced by waterborne transport. 

Establishment of deepwater ports well offshore can greatly reduce 
discharge of oil near shore if the oil is brought ashore by pipeline 
buried beneath the ocean bottom. I might add that, having heard Sec- 
retary Coleman's testimony this morning concerning deepwater ports, 
that when T was chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality 
in July of 107.'), 1 was the administration's main proponent in favor 
of deepwater port legislation. And so far as I am aware, I don't believe 
that EPA or any other environmental arm of the Government has ever 
commented adversely on the Delaware proposal. 

Now I do believe, however, that there were expressions of environ- 
mental opposition from private groups as to that particular port pro- 
posal. I believe, if memory serves, that the proposed facility was lo- 
cated close to the mouth of the bay and was not located well offshore 
on the Outer Continental Shelf. Environmentalists' concern over deep- 
water port locations can certainly be affected by the particular siting, 
the stringency of traffic controls, and other regulatory controls that 
may be in effect. 

1 Fse of pipelines rather than tankers to bring oil ashore from OCS 
drilling sites can reduce the likelihood of spills. More importantly. 
effective and extensive energy conservation can reduce risks from oil 
transport by eliminating the need to transport quantities of imported 
oil at all. 

The subject of this hearing, however, is on means to limit discharges 
of oil by tankers. My testimony will focus on three issues: 

First, the need to build and retrofit tankers so that discharge of oil 
during operations or as a result of accident are reduced ; 

Second, the need to improve present liability mechanisms so that 
the costs of cleanup and compensation can be met; 

Third, the need to examine procedures and practices regarding 
tanker operations to insure that all reasonable precautions to prevent 
accidents are employed. 

With regard to tanker design and operation standards, the basic 
international agreement is the International Convention on the Pre- 
vention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil, negotiated in 1954, and ad- 
ministered by IMCO. This treaty is primarily concerned with the dis- 
charge of oily ballast waters. The 1971 amendments to this convention 
relating to tank arrangement and size limitation have not been ac- 
cepted by the signatory nations. 

Tn 1073 IMCO sponsored an international meeting in London for 
the purpose of thoroughly revising the marine, pollution standards. T 
believe those particular minutes have been embodied in the 1973 con- 
vent ion. which of course, also, is still not in effect. 

The Chairman. Now as I understand it, this is the last meeting 
they have had. 

Mr. Train. I believe it was the last plenary session. 

1 cochaired, with the Coast Guard Commandant, the U.S. delega- 
tion to that London conference. The conference produced the Inter- 
national Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships which 
contained regulatory provisions and five technical annexes. 


The convention establishes construction, and equipment, and design 
standards for new and existing tankers and requires segregated ballast 
designs for new tankers of more than 70,000 deadweight tons and it 
also deals with the intentional discharge of oil and oily wastes at sea. 

Unfortunately, the convention did not provide the stringent stand- 
ards sought by the United States. 

Senator Hollings. What were those studies? Why were thev so 

Mr. Train. You are anticipating my statement a bit, sir. That issue, 
as I recall, rose this past November. 

Senator Hollings. Excuse me. Go ahead. 

Mr. Train. For example, our proposal recommending double bot- 
toms for vessels with a capacity of 20.000 deadweight tons or larger 
found little or no support among the other nations — the Argo Mer- 
chant, incidentally, had a capacity of about 30.000 tons. 

At present, the 1973 convention has not been ratified bv any maritime 
nation including the United States, nor has enabling legislation been 
submitted to the Congress. 

The Chairman. At this point, that treaty has not been submitted 
to us. We have asked occasionally whv it hasn't been brought up here, 
at least for us to make a beginning. Other nations haven't touched it. 

Mr. Train. That is correct. 

Enabling legislation has been prepared and is now in the OMB 
clearance process, I suspect that the convention has not been ratified 
by maritime states primarily because of the pendency of the currently 
unresolved law of the sea negotiations. I note in hearings last March 
before this committee it was indicated that the enabling legislation 
was in interagency review at that time. 

The Chairman. And this is one of the reasons why everything has 
been so complicated. And the Law of the Sea Conference hasn't come 
to any conclusion either. That's whv we finally passed the 200-mile 
limit because we couldn't wait any longer, because of the depletion 
of fish stocks. 

Mr. Train. T should point out that U.S. difficulty in ratifying has 
been compounded by the fact that the convention covers inland 
waters — at the insistence of the European nations concerned with the 
protection of international rivers, such as the Rhine and the Danube, 
and there is substantial industry opposition in the U.S. to such 

Despite the lack of ratifications by maritime nations, these same 
nations have used the 1073 convention as a main argument for why 
the law of the «en negotiations should not grant port and coastal states 
substantial power over pollution by vessels. 

We are therefore in danger of having no effective international 
regulation of this area either through the law of the sea or the 1973 
convention. Thus, while the international maritime community pro- 
crastinates, the threat posed by oilspills increases. 

It should also be noted that the 1973 convention would apply only 
to new vessels. However, virtually no new tankers have gone under 
construction for the past few years. Hence, the issue of retrofit of 
existing tankers — both as a means of reducing intentional discharges 
which, by the way, contribute 90 percent of the transportation-related 
discharges of hydrocarbons to the marine environment, according to 


the National Academy of Science, and of providing defensive space 
as protection against groundings and collisions — has emerged as of 
central importance. 

Unless increased attention is directed to the retrofit of existing 
tankers, I personally see no way that major additional protection by 
way of design and construction standards can be secured over the 
next decade. 

The Chairman. So when you talk about the next decade, you are 
talking about 10 years ? 

Mr. Train. I guess that is what I mean. 

The Chairman. It could be longer than that ? 

Mr. Train. It might well be longer than that. 

In this connection, prior to the meeting last fall of IMCO Marine 
Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) I recommended to the 
Coast Guard that the United States propose establishment of a work- 
ing group to draft rules for existing tankers. However, while it is my 
understanding that there is some international support for such retro- 
fit proposals, the United States recommended at the MEPC meeting 
that their consideration be deferred pending completion of USCS 

Senator Rollings. Why is this so important? 

Mr. Train. I think that is best addressed to the USCG. I think 
it may go to cost effectiveness, to safety issues, and the actual efficacy 
of some of the retrofit proposals. I am really not an expert in that 
particular area. 

The Chairman. But they did recommend it be deferred ? 

Mr. Train. That is correct, sir. 

I might read just a short paragraph from my letter to the Com- 
mandant, of November 23, 19 < 6, this past November: 

This agency, EPA, believes that MEPC 6 would provide an excellent oppor- 
tunity for the United States to provide leadership in combating pollution from 
existing vessels. Accordingly, EPA does not believe that the U.S. delegation 
should suggest deferral of the agenda item until some unspecified future time. 
We believe, rather, that the United States should use its considerable influence 
to break the present impasse at MEPC and should suggest the formation of an 
MEPC work group with a mandate to develop specific international regulations 
for existing tankers and to present its proposal no later than MEPC 8, presum- 
ably to be held in November 1977. 

I would make that part of the record, if that is the wish of the 

[The letter follows:] 

November 23, 1976. 
Adm. O. W. Siler, 
Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Admiral Siler: Last June I communicated this agency's views on the 
Coast Guard's Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Segregated Ballast 
in Certain Existing Tank Vessels. At that time I expressed our strong supporl 
of this step toward fulfilling the international community's commitment to the 
complete elimination of willful and intentional pollution of the seas by oil by the 
end of the present decade. 

It is my understanding that the Coast Guard continues to be undecided on 
this matter at this time, as reflected by the absence of further action on the 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking, and by the Coast Guard's draft position 
paper on segregated ballast in existing tankers for MEPC VI. 

This agency believes that MEPC VI would provide an excellent opportunity 
for the United States to provide leadership in combating pollution from existing 


vessels. Accordingly, EPA does not believe that the U.S. Delegation should merely 
state its indecision and suggest deferral of the agenda item until some unspeci- 
fied future time. We believe, rather, that the United States should use its con- 
siderable influence to break the present impasse at MEPC, and should suggest 
the formation of an MEPC work group with a mandate to develop specific inter- 
national regulations for existing tankers, and to present its proposals no later 
than MEPC VIII, presumably to be held in November 1077. 

If there are other technologies — such as improved crude washing — which can 
be shown to be equally or more effective, then such technologies should of course 
be considered by the work group, either singly or in combination with retro- 
fitting; the resolution establishing the work group could easily reflect such 

Finally, it is EPA's view that the United States should, if necessary, offer to 
chair the work group and to host any required intersessional meetings. 
Sincerely yours, 

Russell E. Train. 

Mr. Train. A second group of issues to be confronted concern the 
liability arising in the aftermath of a tanker casualty. There are two 
international conventions, known respectively as the 1969 Liability 
Convention and the 1971 Fund Convention, which deal with liability 
questions. The Liability Convention, which has now been ratified by 
the requisite number of states, has not been accepted by the United 

It permits any person to bring suit against a vessel owner for dam- 
ages caused by an oilspill and to recover up to specified limits. By 
so doing, the convention modifies the traditional rule limiting recov- 
ery to the value of the ship and its cargo. However, this agreement 
only applies to damage to the territory or territorial sea of a contract- 
ing party and as a result it might not have been available for compen- 
sation in the Argo Merchant mishap even had the United States rati- 
fied the treaty, and most likely would not have been available. 

The Chairman. Was that sent up to the last Congress? 

Mr. Train. Yes sir, it was sent up in the last Congress. 

The Chairman. When was the date ; do you remember ?' 

Mr. Train. I don't know. 

The Chairman. We will find out, 

Mr. Train. The Fund Convention provides an additional measure of 
protection in cases where the Liability Convention is either inapplica- 
ble, or its coverage limits have been reached. The fund would be com- 
posed of levies paid by oil imports and would proAade compensation for 
damages or cleanup costs up to a $30 million ceiling. This convention 
is not presently in effect and it has not been ratified by the United 
States. If and when it is activated, coverage of the Fund Convention 
will be geographically limited to the same extent as the Liability 
Convention. Accordingly, persons or governments damaged by the 
Argo Merchant disaster could not have looked to the fund for com- 
pensation, absent an impact on U.S. territory or territorial sea. 

The Chairman. Has that convention been sent to Congress. 

Mr. Train. Yes, sir, it has. I believe at the same time, I am unable 
to provide the committee the date. 

The Chairman. So the two of them were up before Congress some 
time during the session ? 

Mr. Train. That is correct. 

Both the Liability and the Fund Conventions have developed analogs 
in the Tanker Owner's Voluntary Agreement Concerning Liability 
for Oil Pollution (TOVALOP) and the contract regarding an interim 


supplement to tanker liability for oil pollution (CRISTAL). The 
former provides no relief to private parties, being limited to com- 
pensating governmental cleanup costs. The latter, while it permits 

claims by private persons, does not extend to consequential damages 
or ecological impairment. 

Finally, section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control 
permits the Federal Government to recover its cleanup costs in the 
aftermath of a violation of that section's discharge standards in the 
territorial sea or contiguous zone — that is, within 12 miles of our 
coast. Limits of liability are $100 per gross ton, up to a maximum of 
$14 million, unless the Government can show "willful negligence or 
willful misconduct within the privity and knowledge of the owner." 

It appears that the Olympic Games spill — that was the one on the 
Delaware — will give rise to a claim by the Government for its clean up 
costs, but the costs of the Argo Merchant disaster — occurring as it 
did beyond the contiguous zone — will be borne by the American tax- 
paver, subject to whatever relief may be available through TOVALOP 

The existing compensatory sj T stem provided by international agree- 
ment, voluntary industry efforts, and domestic legislation does not 
adequately supply the financial remedy for oilspill incidents. How- 
ever, I should point out that President Ford submitted during the 94th 
Congress the Comprehensive Oil Pollution Liability and Compensa- 
tion Act. That bill would have created a $200 million compensation 
fund, established through a per barrel tax on imported oil and avail- 
able to compensate all damages suffered as a result of an oilspill. 

More importantly, it would have applied the liability coverage to 
vessels and spills in areas where the United States has sovereign rights 
over natural resources. 

Thus, in the case of the Argo Merchant spill, had this legislation 
been passed, the United States would have had a clear legal basis to 
press claims against the owner and operator for both cleanup costs 
and certain damages. 

The Chairman". Now that proposal would have created liability for 
domestic oil tankers ; would it not ? 

Mr. Train-. I believe it would have been funded by a levy on 

The Chairman. Only importers. 

Mr. Train. On the importers of oil. 

Th Chairman. And that received no approval from the Congress? 

Mr. Train. It was not finally approved. 

The Chairman. It came up. There was some opposition. 

Senator Holt.incs. We had trouble getting our committees together. 

The Chairman". I was going to add that : and while there was oppo- 
sition to it, we also had a jurisdictional problem over which committee 
would handle it. 

M r. Train. I am really not familiar with that history. 

Tho Chairman. I am not too familiar, either, but that is what hap- 
pened, I understand, and that is where Congress is to blame. 

Senator HoiXlNGS. We couldn't get Public "Works to go along. 

Mr. Train. I think that part of that history is the concern in some 
quarters — and this was mentioned in some of the colloquy this morn- 
ing — the limits of liability set in the convention. And I think that Sec- 


retary Coleman's point was well taken that even if it is inadequate, it is 
at least a start and it is something that we should put in place hope- 
fully, and then build on if that is indicated. But I would hope that 
Congress will have the opportunity for dealing with this. 

The Chairman. That was this committee's informal opinion about it, 
but we didn't act formally because of the jurisdictional problem.. We 
couldn't, as a matter of fact. But that is our problem. That is where 
we can do something. 

Mr. Train. To pick up with my statement. 

The liability of the ship's owner and operator would have been at 
least $4 million under this new domestic system and, since the bill also 
removed the limitation on liability in cases of gross or willfull viola- 
tion of applicable U.S. safety, construction, and operating standards, 
had such charges been proven, the Argo Merchant's liability would 
have been unlimited. The bill also required that ships entering U.S. 
waters establish evidence of financial responsibility for the new liabil- 
ity limits. Finally, the bill included implementing language for the 
1969 Liability Convention and the 1971 Fund Convention. 

The comprehensive legislation was reported out of the House Mer- 
chant Marine and Fisheries Committee as H.R. 14862, which has been 
mentioned here, but no Senate action took place. 

The approach taken by both the administration's proposal and the 
H.R. 14862 should, I hope, be seriously considered by the Congress. 

The scope of our domestic regulatory authority only extends to 
the waters over which the United States presently has jurisdiction. 
Some have suggested that the United States unilaterally establish a 
200-mile pollution zone off our shores. Since the current law of the sea 
negotiations have been designed to develop both internationally appli- 
cable rules and to avoid a diversity of conflicting unilateral actions 
around the world with all the attendant potential adverse impacts on 
freedom of navigation, the United States has consistently opposed the 
establishment of such pollution zones by other nations and has refused 
to take such an action at home. 

The Chairman. The United States has proposed the establishment 
of such a pollution zone ? 

Mr. Train. It has been certainly the policy of the President as re- 
flected by the State Department and in submissions to the Congress, 
no pollution zone has been recommended to the Congress. And this is 
the position which has been reflected in the United States and the law 
of the sea negotiations as well. 

The Chairman. This has been the position of our delegation at the 
Law of the Sea Conference ? 

Mr. Train. That is correct, sir. 

The Chairman. All right. 

Mr. Train. However, given the increasing uncertainties of the 
outcome of the law of the sea negotiations, we should now reconsider 
promptly and aggressively our unilateral options. 

Senator Hollings. You mean unilaterally ? 

Mr. Train. Yes. 

Senator Hollings. Then we agree. One gentleman comes and says 
you can't and another comes and says : We shall do it. 

I rather agree with you. There is no question about it. I think 
perhaps the 200-mile zone for fisheries could be extended to include an 
antipollution zone. 


Is that realistic ? Have you though! of thai 3 

Mr. Train. 1 have felt, as 1 discuss in the next paragraph or go, that 
it would be entirely appropriate for the United States to take uni- 
lateral action to set still' stringent standards and enforce them with 
respect to vessels, foreign or otherwise, coming to U.S. ports, irre- 
nve of where they are located. I think there you have a practical 
problem of how far out you want to work on this issue. 

But the coming to the United States should be used as the jurisdic- 
tional fact, not merely the fact that a. given ship is moving through 
a certain portion of "the water outside of our normal jurisdiction. 

There was discussion this morning that the Argo Merchant could 
have been moving to Canada. Now aside from the fact that it was 
in fairly sensitive waters insofar as our coasts are concerned, I would 
personally have some questions about our unilaterally seeking to 
impose standards on vessels simply passing on" our shores and not 
actually heading into our ports. That. I think, is a clear distinction, 
and I do discuss this more at greater length. 

Aside from the question of unilateral action to establish a pollu- 
tion zone, the United States has clear authority to set a wide variety of 
regulatory requirements with respect to vessels entering U.S. ports. 
Such action should not lie confused with the pollution zone issue. 

We have generally been reluctant to set such special rules, par- 
ticularly those involving design specifications, again because of concern 
over similar and possibly differing actions by other countries. 

However, here again it seems to me that the time has arrived when 
the United States should reassess this position and assert by statute 
and regulation a more aggressive approach to setting standards de- 
signed to protect our own shores and our own interests. All tankers, 
whether new or existing, which use U.S. ports should be held to st net 
standards of design, construction, operation, maintenance, surveil- 
lance, and boarding. 

In this regard, I understand that the USCG has now promul- 
gated regulations requiring segregated ballasts on new tankers oyer 
70,000 deadweight tons and has extended this requirement to foreign 
vessels entering American ports. This action was taken under the 
Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 and represents an initial 
step in the effort to set stricter standards for vessels affecting U.S. 
lands and waters. 

The Chairman. Now in that particular case, as I tried to point out 
this morning ; we do not need legislation to take action. 

Mr. Train. That is correct. 

The Chairman. We have to look at it in the context of treaties and 
things of that kind, but we could take the action now under our law. 

In other words, I suppose a President of the United States could 
direct, say, the USCG to do this. Or the USCG could be directed by 
the Secretary. But whether they do it or not. or whatever the reasons 
are whether they do it or not, they have the authority to do it. 

Mr. Train. Yes, sir; as I understand it. 

Senator Holt/inos. And they could extend that down — the Argo 
Merchant was 28,000 tons — to the already existing vessels. 

The USCG has that responsibility under the Ports and Waterways 
Sa fety Act. 

Mr! Train. Mr. Chairman, reluctant as we may be to take unilateral 
actions outside the normal framework of International agreement, I 

82-908— 77— pt. 1 5 


cannot overstress the extent to which the United States has had diffi- 
culty in obtaining serious consideration of its positions in the IMCO 

In 1973, -we actually had to muster a blocking one-third vote in the 
plenary sessions to defeat a committee proposal that would have 
limited the authority of port states to apply more stringent standards 
to vessels entering their ports. In other words, there was a move that 
would have by international convention had we ratified it, contra- 
vened the authority enacted by the Congress in the Ports and Water- 
ways Safety Act. 

Bear in "mind that the general formula for amendments to IMCO 
standards requires, in addition to a requisite number of approvals, 
requires the approval of states registering 50 percent of the world's 
gross merchant tonnage. 

As matters now stand, therefore, a handful of nations have effective 
control over the articulation of new, stringent international stand- 
ards. They would have an even greater control had the defeated pro- 
posal been adopted. I make these points to emphasize the mood among 
our maritime partners. 

The Chairman. Would that include the foreign-flag nations, such 
as Liberia and Panama ? 

Mr. Train. I assume it does. 

The Chairman. Were they represented at the meetings? 

Mr. Train. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hollings. The multinationals have control of the Congress ; 
they could easily control a little IMCO convention. 

Mr. Train. I think I better go on. 

The strength of that mood should not be underestimated. As matters 
now stand, in the absence of supranational regulatory authority, the 
development and ratification of international standards depends, in 
the final analysis, on the consent of the regulated industry. 

The third area of opportunity for reducing the risk of tanker ac- 
cidents is the provision of the new requirements in the area of naviga- 
tional aids, ship surveillance, crew qualifications, and ship traffic 
control. These fall within the professional expertise of the USCG, and 
I would defer to them in terms of feasibility and cost effectiveness. 

However, it does seem to me that modern electronic and satellite 
technology clearly could provide an additional margin of protection 
for tanker operations near shore. 

In light of the complexities of this problem of tanker safety and the 
shortcoming of existing policy and practices made evident by the 
wreck of the Argo Merchant, 1 stated at a Senate hearing in Boston 
on December 22, that I intended recommending to the President that 
a national task force or commission be formed. 

I have since submitted this proposal to the President and have also 
personally discussed it with him. The President has approved the 
concept and has asked Secretary Coleman and me to work together 
to develop it. Since then Secretary Coleman and I have agreed to 
develop detailed plans for such an investigation and to recommend 
its implementation to the incoming administration. 

I might by way of amplification simply point out to the panel, my 
purpose in making the recommendation concerning the task force. 


I wished to bring the environmental interests represented by EPA 
into a discussion of parity with the USCG in the development of this 
investigation and also, to bring in the other agencies which so obviously 
have an important interest. 

In my view, this task force should be jointly chaired by the DOT .and 
the EPA. And alternatively, if you wanted a single lead agency, having 
some doubt perhaps about a dual chairmanship, the Council on En- 
vironmental Quality could be selected to chair the task force. 

The Departments" of State, Defense, and Commerce (in particular 
XOAA), and the Federal Energy Administration should also par- 
ticipate. I also believe that representatives of the States and private 
groups should participate. 

The Chairman. You mean States within the United States? 

Mr. Train. Yes. 

I think it is fair that the reason why we haven't moved ahead with 
a formal establishment of such a group is due to the transition be- 
tween two administrations occurring at the moment. 

I think the President himself while still very supportive of this 
concept, believes that to try to set a formal regime of this kind at 
this date probably was not too practical and probably should await the 
new administration. 

The charge to the national task force should be to review and exam- 
ine the broad range of issues concerning the safe transport of oil by 
sea. Among other things, I would expect the task force to consider: 

International conventions, statutes and regulations governing trans- 
port, of oil by tanker ; 

Issues of ship design, including retrofit of existing tankers: and I 
again emphasize that since the problem is mainly concerned with 
tanker retrofit, we are really spinning our wheels in trying to empha- 
size new vessel design and construction rules. 

Mechanism of compensation following tanker accidents: Naviga- 
tional equipment, ship traffic control systems, vessel power system in- 
spections and satellite surveillance of ships ; 

Contingency plans and cleanup capabilities; 

Research arid monitoring of oilspill damages ; 

Improved enforcement practices; and finally, possible governmental 
reorganization to improve the coordination and effectiveness of marine 
protection activities. I think in this area we have three major focal 
points of interest : the USCG. EPA, and XOAA. 

And I would think at this time when consideration is being focused 
upon various reorganization proposals, that one could anticipate a 
combination of those three main areas of interest; again, the USCG, 
EPA. and XOAA. into what I would call either a Department of the 
Environment or Department of Oceans and the Environment, a single 
department or entity that can coordinate and provide the kind of 
leadership that this area needs. 

I was hoping that the USCG would have finished their testimony 
before I made this suggestion because I don't know how they feel 
about this. 

But in any event. I have made this suggestion at various times 
myself. I suspect Senator Hollings may have had something to say. 


Let me finish one paragraph here and then we will be through this 
statemenl ;m<l perhaps you will have questions. 

Notwithstanding the comprehensive scope of the review that would 
be assigned to the national task force, I would hope and expect that 
such an effort could be undertaken rapidly and result in concrete 
recommendations foractionin the near future. 

This concludes my prepared statement. 

Senator Holltnghs. On that last recommendation that you outlined, 
on governmental reorganization, Mr. Train, as you well know, we 
have discussed this in the National Ocean Policy Study, sponsored by 
63 Senators comprising some eight committees. 

After a 2-year study, we recommended just that. And S. 3889 was 
introduced just for review Last year because again it was late. But we 
asked that consideration he given to Department of Environment and 
Oceans and we would be quite agreeable with a new department of 
energy, energy production and operational independence, on one side 
and then on the other side, a regulatory body with EPxV, NOAA, 
I >( !G and everything else in a separate department. 

Xow with respect to these others that you listed, however, we didn't 
go into a complete study. When you talk of a task force, to go down 
this list, T think you have listed the mechanisms for compensation, 
contingency plans, cleanup capability, search and monitoring oil- 

I hold in my hand a report of the Office of Technology : An Assess- 
ment on Oil Transportation by Tankers, an Analysis of Marine and 
Safety Measures, issued in July of 1975. And the composition of that 
particular board, its advisory committee, of course, has such distin- 
guished persons as Harold Brown. 

The people on the review panel, just a portion of it, not the oceans 
programs staff, include a member of the staff of Maritime Transporta- 
tion Research Board of the National Eesearch Council, Mr. TV. O. 
(Tray of Exxon, Eldon V. C. Greenberg, a professor with the Depart- 
ment of Political Science at Pittsburgh; Arthur McKenzie, the Di- 
rector of the Tank Advisory Center, right on down to Salvage Associ- 
ation and others. 

We thought that that particular study was a very comprehensive and 
good one. If needed, we could do it all over again, but I would think 
that what you have given in your testimony is dramatic evidence to 
the effect that we ought to act now. 

As Chairman Magnuson has pointed out, this committee had some 
difficulty last year trying to get togeher with other Senate committees. 
After listening to State officials, they didn't think, as you indicated 
1 minute ago. we had enough courage to act, So after considering, the 
State officials, the leadership within the other Senate committees and 
other interested Senators in November we designed oilspill liability 
and compensation bills. 

And if you doivt move forward, Mr. Chairman, it is because I thinkj 
we. are going to be a little bit ahead of this task force. I hope we are 
not ahead on reorganization. And I am particularly pleased that your 
testimony supports that reorganization. 

What has EPA done now with respect to determining the damages 
to the marine environment of all these spills? What have you done to 
study the damage to the environment and how much money do you 


have Eor cleanup Responsibility? I low much does the USCG have? This 
thing has not been fully funded. 

What happens if one of these large supertankers breaks up in the 
mid-Atlantic in one of these cold winter storms? Those are the kinds 
Of things that we would like to hear about. 

Mr. Train. Well. EPA has a research program that is complemen- 
tary to research in NOAA in terms of the effects of oil on marine life 
in I he ocean environment. 

We have a laboratory which works in this area, both in the labora- 
tory and in the held. 

I can't tell you the exact amount of funding involved in this. I would 
imagine it is probably less than $2 million. It is not large. 

There is of course also, as you know, a little private research in the 

We are undertaking to coordinate the damage assessment work with 
respect to the A/r/o Merchant spill? And EPA is coordinating an effort 
which involves both EPA, the USCG, NOAA. Bureau of Land Man- 
agement. Interior, MIT, University of Rhode Island — probably there 
are others — to assess the impact of this oilspill. 

We expect a preliminary report in April and a final report I believe, 
to the extent anything can be finalized in this area, a year from this 

You are quite correct that our knowledge of the impact of these oil- 
spills on the marine environment is only in its infancy. 1 think one of 
the areas where we have the least knowledge is the long-term effects 
at relatively low levels of pollution, particularly chronic pollution of 
the sea. This is the kind of pollution I think that typically would re- 
sult not so much from a dramatic accident but from the discharge of 
oil, the intentional discharge which contributes such a large percentage 
of the oil in the oceans. This kind of research is going to take a long 
time and is, as I said, really in its infancy. 

Senator Hollings. Mr. Ileyerdahl testified after his trip to Bar- 
bados that on his second trip, 10 years after the first, he couldn't dip 
his toothbrush in the mid- Atlantic without getting oil on it. Except 
for 3 days of the 43-day trip, there were nothing but oilspills. So I 
am interested in getting to the basics of the oceans and finding out 
exactly "what has happened. 

That is what turned him into an environmentalist and that is why 
he has been before this committee. 

The Chairman. I thank you, Mr. Train, for this testimony. 

You talk about this task force, but you also suggest that you rec- 
ommended to the USCG that the U.S. propose establishment of a work- 
ing group to draft rules for existing tankers right now. 

Is that correct I 

Mr. Train. This was a suggestion that [MCO establish such a work- 
ing group. Now the USCG does have a study underway on the retrofit 
issue. I don't know what the status of this is. There may be something 
thai you would inquire of the USCG. 

The Chairman. There are a lot of reports here. That have started 
to reach up so you can see them: reports after reports after reports. 
He has a lot over there. We are running out of storeroom space f< r 


Now I appreciate that there has to be some study of the future as we 
move down the line. But in the meantime, it seems to me that we can 
establish standards now that we ought to do so ; don't you agree with 

Mr. Train - . I believe we should ; yes. I believe that really begins to 
get into where the USCG has the expertise and I do not. 

The Chairman. There may be some arguments or some conflict as to 
what the standards should be for upgrading the standards of all the 
ships entering our ports. And I don't see how we can antagonize any- 
body in the world if we say that if you are going to bring a ship into 
our port, we want it safe. 

It seems to me — I haven't been to — in fact. I haven't been to one since 
you and I were in Stockholm the last time on environmental matters — 
but we sent people up there. But on this issue it is the ship operators 
that seem to control the situation. 

If we told the Coast Guard right tonight, this afternoon, that you 
have to establish ship ownership, it would be an impossible job to find 
out who owns the ship. 

Now in the meantime, while working toward good international 
agreement, we are losing patience, like on the 200-mile limit. We can't 
wait much longer. We don't need legislation. 

But my question is : Who is going to tell the USCG or the DOT to 
go ahead and make these regulations now. Is it the President ? Would it 
be your agency ? Or would we wait until the task force comes up with 
a report? Here is one from the Department of Transportation that 
just came up this morning. Look at it. Look at the size of it. And here is 
a whole stack of them. 

Acting for the public concern in this matter, somebody has to say, 
while we are working some of these things out, we must establish some 
good standards for ships, particularly oil tankers entering our ports. 

I may be oversimplifying but that is what I think we ought to be 

Mr. Train". I agree with you. 

The Chairman. And I don't think the present standards are 

Senator Hollings. Mr. Train, with respect to your report in April, 
would it evaluate the impact on the New England fisheries? 

Mr. Train. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hollings. How quickly will it be available to give some eco- 
nomic stability to that area ? 

Mr. Train. It will give a preliminary picture of the biological im- 
pacts in the area of the spill and the affected sea area, the Georges Bank, 
for example. Whether it will get into the economic aspects that you 
described I just don't know. 

Senator Hollings. These people are in trouble and are waiting. 

Mr. Train. We will look at that. 

The Chairman. We don't need legislation to do what I think we 
should do now. I guess we might have to pass legislation directing 
somebody to do something about it. 

Mr. Train. That is what was suggested by Senator Brooke if I under- 
stood his testimony. I would personally think that that would be build- 
ing a rigidity into the statute that should be avoided, if you can. 


And I think that this process that yon have undertaken here in pub- 
lic hearing, getting all of us up here to express our views, I think can 
provide an important impetus to the kind of action you are looking Cor. 

I don't really mean to put forward this idea of an interagency task 

force as a procrastinating device. I think I see it as a way of 

iig us all involved in this provide greater visibility. I think it is 

important to have outside public interest groups involved, for example, 

in the States, and I think that they will help keep that lire going. 

I see a progress underway which, with active oversight by the leg 
lative branch, can help at least assure aggressive forward movement. 
I don't think it will solve all of these things within a week or two. 
S me of these suggestions would take quite a long time to put into 
place. Some of them can be done rapidly. 

And as you yourself said today, some of these things have been 
studied already and that a large amount of information is already 
available, which would support positive decisions. 

The Chairman. It has been our experience up here that it drags on 
and on. "We are at a point where we are clearing legislation that re- 
quires no appropriation with the budget. I suppose this would have 
to be cleared because it would require some more wherewithal. 

But I think that the American people want to be more assured of 
protection now. And that means as soon as possible. 

If you are familiar with Puget Sound, we can't afford to have a 
big tanker in Puget Sound. It is almost landlocked. I don't know how 
you would get an oilspill out of Puget Sound. It would be disastrous. 
We must reduce to an absolute minimum the possibility of spills, 
collisions, and things of that kind. San Francisco Bay is in the same 
situation. The two ships involved down there didn't even have con- 
nection, radio connection, between ships. 

Xow this is something that somebody can say the Coast Guard 
should have required a long time ago. 

The Senator from New Mexico, do you have a comment? 

Senator ScmrrrT. I am still learning about this very complex sub- 
and I am impressed by the complexity of the problem. 

When a study is conducted, sometimes we forget to relate what we 
are going to do with all of the information. I might just ask for a 
little explanation of the study on the Argo Merchant spill that will 
be completed preliminarily in April. Do you have a strategy of how 
you use this information ? 

Mr. Train - . This is a responsibility, primarily, of the EPA in ar- 
riving at a quantitative damage assessment for the purpose of de- 
termining damages, if any, in a given spill situation. 

- snator Schmitt. For judicial purposes? 
p. Train. Yes ; ultimately. And so that is the basic thrust of the 
work we are doing. 

Senator ScHwrri*r. Do you have any data on what the worldwide 
natural leakage is of petroleum deposits? Has this ever been estimated 
or determined ? 

Mr. Train*. I am sure it has been estimated. How accurately, I am 
not sure. T am not familiar with the estimates. 

Senator ScmrrrT. In the Santa Barbara area, natural leakage Iras 
i present throughout history. In fact, there are many of these 
throughout the world. 


Almost every natural deposit of natural gas or oil does leak and 
if it leaks too long, it is not there any more. It sometimes leaves its 
evidence for geologists. 

It seems to me that this is one estimate that might be worth making 
in the not too distant future so we know from where we start in any 
given region. Sometimes we may get excited about leakage that really 
isn't as important as the natural leakage. However, this certainly isn't 
true in the case of the Argo Merchant. 

Mr. Train. I will inquire into that. I imagine that the U.S. Geo- 
logical Survey would probably be the source of information, the best 

Senator Schmitt. NOAA or USGS. 

I think that we may have a responsibility to consult with other com- 
mittees, such as Interior, and other energy-related committees, to 
make sure that there is always a balance between what we are trying 
to do to protect the environment and what others are trying to do 
to protect the national security from petroleum supply interruption. 

As I said this morning, the long-term solution must be to lessen 
our use of petroleum and I hope that we as a Senate and as a Con- 
gress, will move in that direction as rapidly as possible. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Well, I don't think we need any more statistics on 
spills or leakages. It is bad ; everybody agrees it is bad and is bound 
to get worse unless we do something. It is bound to affect marine life 
and if you affect a small part of it, you will have a cycle starting. 

Senator Schmitt. The only point I was trying to make is that 
marine life has been affected by leakage of petroleum throughout 
time. Having the data on natural leakage would give the foundation, 
the base, to understand what we are doing to the marine environment 
now by accelerating the leakage. This forms a very important part 
of the puzzle. We should be considering it. It may have been con- 
sidered. I don't know. 

The Chairman. We have the technology to make a shipment of oil 
as a substance almost fail-safe— we have 'the technology. And if we 
have it. why not put it to use? 

Senator Schmitt. I would agree with that. 

The Chairman. It is going to cost something and we are going to 
have to bear the cost. And I think the people are willing to bear that 

It took us a long time to do it with our own rivers. I remember one 
time when there was in the Congress a public works bill to develop 
our rivers, and I thought it would be a good idea for everybody to 
deposit their own sewage upstream, at least 2 miles upstream. 

Everybody talked me out of it. But I wish I had done that. They 
would have seen that it was taken care of. They thought that was 
terrible and I was going to ruin the whole program. I gave it up. I 
think that is the saddest story of my congressional life. 

We thank you, Russell, and we appreciate your contribution to this 
serious problem. 

We are going to act, some way, right now. By right now, I mean 
within a very short time, at least a temporary gap to try to achieve 
what you are talking about in the long run. 

Mr. Train. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 


The Chairman. Now. I don't want to have the USCG people here 
testifying until some of the other Senators are here who have aid 
Of questions they want to ask you. 1 t I am presenl and jusl one other 
Senator, you mighl think thai 1 am taking advantage ol yon. 

So we will go ahead with Mr. Blackwell, AdmimEtoatoroi the Man- 
time A> lminist rat ion. 


Mr Black-well. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee and 
participants in the National Ocean Policy Study, I am pleased to ap- 
pear before von today to testify on behalf of the Department ol Com- 
merce on tanker safety requirements and other activities under Mari- 
time Administration programs designed to improve vessel safety. 

Title II of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1072. as amended, 
provides for the promulgation by the USCG of rules and regulations 
for the protection of the marine environment from pollution by vessels 
carrying in bulk oil and other inflammable or hazardous substances. 

The principal subjects of regulations contemplated by the act are 
design and equipment standards for all vessels which enter U.S. navi- 

(To })lp Wilt GTS. 

^ While the Coast Guard has primary overall responsibility for tanker 
safety, the act requires the Coast Guard to consult with the Secretary 
of Commerce, in this case the Maritime Administration, with respect 
to all rules and regulations. Amendments to the pollution regulations 
set. forth in 33 CFR part 157 were published in final form by the 
Coast. Guard in the Federal Register on December 13, 1976. 

The Maritime Administration cooperates closely with the Coast 
Guard in carrying out its responsibility, especially in the area of oil 
pollution control. Some of our effort includes adoption of pollution 
control and safety measures for the design and operation of tankers 
built with construction-differential subsidy. 

Our cooperation with the Coast, Guard and industry in this regard 
extends to development of national and international safety standards, 
training of merchant seamen, and research and development programs. 

Prevention of oil pollution from tankers and other merchant ships 
can be accomplished by eliminating intentional discharges and by 
minimizing accidental discharges. Given the international nature of 
merchant shipping, the United States has Concentrated its efforts on 
encouraging and participating in the. development and the enforce- 
ment of sound international standards for vessel design and operation. 

To date, the International Agreement on Prevention of Pollution 
from Ships, which was drawn up in London in 1073, under the aus- 
pices of IMClO, re-mains largely unratified by many nations that 
signed it, including the tlnited States. 

The Chairman. One of the reasons suggested here this morning 
for the delay was interagency approval. Was it sent to your outfit? 

Mr. Blackwell. Yes, sir. "We pari icipated. 

The Chairman. Did you agree or disagree? 

Mr. Blackwell. We commented on this in terms of tho ultimate 
regulations that were proposed and later adopted by the USCG. We 
favor those. 


The Chairman. Have you sent it on ? 

Mr. Blackwell. These are the regulations that were promulgated 
under the Waterways and Safety Act which came out of the London 

The Chairman. Proposed ? 

Mr. Blackwell. They are in effect now. They have been published 
in the Federal Register, and they are in effect. 

The Chairman. Just recently ? 

Mr. Blackwell. Yes, sir. 

In the interim, the Coast Guard has unilaterally adopted certain 
provisions of the 1973 convention as national regulations. These regu- 
lations for the prevention of oil pollution apply to U.S.-flag ships and 
to foreign-flag ships entering the navigable' waters of the United 

I want to emphasize that while these regulations have been adopted 
unilaterally, they are the product of international negotiations in 
which the United States, including the Maritime Administration, has 
actively participated. 

Mr. Chairman, while I have great confidence in the U.S. Coast 
Guard, I do not believe that they should be expected to police the 
world's merchant fleets. Strong international enforcement procedures 
are needed to implement international standards, requiring the coop- 
eration of all nations with merchant fleets. 

The Chairman. Supposing you don't get the cooperation? 

Mr. Blackw t ell. Then you will have to act unilaterally, considering 
the spills we have had off our coasts in the last 3 weeks. 

The Chairman. You recommended strict regulations on subsidized 
ships without international agreements. Why should we just limit it 
to that ? Why don't we do it on all ships ? 

Mr. Blaceavell. I think we should, sir. I think, however, it is a lot 

The Chairman-. Don't explain it. You have answered mv question. 

Mr. Blackwell. We concur with the approach taken bv the USCG. 
There are many significant advantages of international standards. 
Pollution of the ocean is an international problem which requires an 
international solution. Regulations of worldwide applicability offer 
the most practical promise for marine environmental improvement. 

Individual national regulations, no matter how strong, could pro- 
duce a patchwork of requirements which could not be uniformlv ap- 
plied to merchant shipping. In addition, the application of uniform 
construction and operating standards to all vessels in U.S. navigable 
waters will not adversely affect our merchant marine's competitive 

The Maritime Administration has emphasized pollution abatement 
in formulating design and safety standards for tankers constructed 
with construction-differential subsidy (CDS). MarAd's Standard 
Specifications for Merchant Ship Construction include provisions for 
invoking compliance with regulatory body requirements, for con- 
tributing to the physical safety of the vessel, for facilitating the safe 
navigation and operation of the vessel, and for mitigating pollution. 

Section 70 of these standard specifications has periodically been 
revised to prescribe the pollution control standards and regulations of 
the EPA, USCG and IMCO. 


I wish to correct a misirapression left on the record by Mr. Coleman. 
He seemed to indicate this morning that the higher standards were 
required for U.S. ships because they were subsidized, and that the 
full cost of compliance with these standards was borne by the Govern- 
ment. That is not true. 

In terms of these additional requirements on U.S. ships, the U.S. 
owner pays what has been determined to be a representative foreign 
cost and the Government pays the difference between the actual U.S. 
construction cost and the foreign cost. 

I will be pleased to make a copy of section 70 available to this 

Due to administrative time lairs in the promulgation of USCG reg- 
ulations, MarAd can and has implemented certain pollution control- 
related provisions, [trior to their becoming national standards. Exam- 
ples of such requirements, imposed before regulations went into effect, 
include collision avoidance radar and cargo tank inerting. Adoption 
of these specifications as a requirement for all vessels built with 
CDS will have a positive impact, Mr. Chairman, in preserving 
i he quality of the marine environment by significantly reducing all 
ship-generated pollutants. 

I would like to add. Mr. Chairman, that the subject of double bot- 
toms has come up. At this time, there is not a requirement in the United 
States or elsewhere for ships to have double bottoms. Nevertheless, 
some 25 ships have been built in the last 3 years in our country or are 
under construction, in which the operators have, in fact, voluntarily 
included double bottoms. Some of those ships will be used not only in 
our foreign trade, but also in domestic trade. U.S. vessel operators 
have gone ahead of their counterparts abroad in building into their 
vessels these additional safety features. 

Maritime Administration requirements for U.S. vessels built with 
Government assistance complement USCG regulations, which apply 
to all U.S. -flag ships and to foreign-flag ships entering U.S. navigable 
waters. MarAd also maintains construction representative offices at 
each of the major shipyards building vessels under subsidy contracts. 
The construction representatives monitor shipbuilding progress and 
assure that construction is in accordance with approved plans and 
specifications, of the Maritime Administration. 

A major objective of the Maritime Administration's research and 
development program has been the avoidance of ships' casualties. 
MarAd's program has concentrated on the development of the equip- 
ment and facilities whicn foster the attainment of this goal. Unique 
in this regard is the computer-aided operations research facility 
(CAORF), recently dedicated at the Federal Maritime Academy at 
Kings Point, X.Y. This laboratory's principal purpose is martime 
casualty prevention. The CAORF simulator is used to test and eval- 
uate ship operations in harbor confines and in the open sea. And under 
this system we can simulate any harbor in the world, vessel behavior, 
the weather, and all ship characteristics. 

Its ability to realistically simulate vessel performance during navi- 
gation and harbor piloting operations, under a wide range of environ- 
ments and traffic conditions, makes this research facility the most 
advanced of its type in the world. 

Current CAORF experiments are underway to analyze human 
response to high-stress marine situations, which are aimed at reduc- 
ing ship accidents and increasing the efficiency of vessels in harbor. 


CAORF is also being used to evaluate the desirability of proposed 
equipment and or procedural changes in vessel operations. 

Tln> CAORF program is augmented by the systematic development 
by MarAd of advanced navigating equipment to minimize or elimi- 
nate the sources of ship casualties. Collision avoidance systems have 
been tested at sea in conjunction with the industry and under evalua- 
tion by tenuis of shipmasters. New and advanced conning systems, in- 
corporating improved safeguards and integrated controls, have been 
developed and tested at sea. 

The Maritime Administration also has currently underway a proj- 
ect concerned with the use of antistranding sonar to avoid groundings 
and strandings of the type that destroyed the Argo Merchant. 

I designing commercial antistranding devices is an extremely complex 
task, but early results are promising. We have also pioneered the de- 
velopment of marine satellites to provide high-accuracy navigation 
data on vessels at sea. 

The Chairman. What is the satellite \ 

Mr. Blackwell. It is called MARISAT, an acronym for Maritime 

The Chairman. Do vou contract with someone to use it? 

Mr. Blackwell. We have a contract with COMSAT General Corp., 
which is the manager of a consortium that also includes ITT, RCA, 
and Western Union International. 

The Chairman. And use of satellites is proceeding well according to 
your information? 

Mr. BlackwUll. It's proceeding extremely well. Of course, it's ex- 
pensive. In my view, regardless of the expense, its use is warranted by 
t he type of marine, casualties that this country has experienced in the 
last 3 week's. It seems to me that if we could prevent one casualty 
every several years the system would be worth it. Some 34 merchant 
vessels, including U.S. vessels, have been equipped with MARISAT 
communication capability. A maritime satellite venture, with partici- 
pation by U.S. and foreign business interests, is being formed, using 
MARISAT as a model. 

I might also say it has other applications for merchant ships, based 
on experience during the Middle East and the Mayequez crises. We 
were having extreme difficulty communicating between Washington 
and these U.S. vessels because we didn't have the ability to contact 
them through satellite. That is not a possibility. It's in fact a reality. 

Other programs by the Maritime Administration are aimed directly 
at promoting tanker safety, and have involved the study, development, 
and evaluation of equipment designed to avoid tanker explosions and 
to establish improved operating procedures for inerting tanker holds. 
In addition to its casualty avoidance program, MarAd has worked 
closely with the industry to prevent oily discharges and to reduce the 
probability of an extent of damage from oilspills at sea. On a more 
basic level, MarAd, together with the industry, has been concerned 
with scientific assessment of the effects of oilspills upon sea life. 

A complete list of MarAd research and development projects relat- 
ing to tanker safety and spill control will be made available for the 

The Sansinena casualty could have been prevented if that vessel had 
been inert ed. 

Section 216 pf the Merchant Marine Ad. L936, as amended, fc6 U.S.C. 
1126, authorizes the Secretary of Commerce— MarAd — to provide 
training for U.S. merchant marine personnel. MarAd offers safety- 
related training to licensed and unlicensed seagoing personnel. The 
program was initiated in L957 58 to provide effective simulated and 
"hands-on" training in critical skill areas concerned with ship and 
marine environmental safety. 

There arc now I've MarAd regional schools which provide training 
in the effective and timely use of electronic navigation systems. These 
schools are located in New York, New Orleans, Toledo. San Fran- 
cisco, and Seattle. All schools provide collision avoidance radar 
observer courses and radar recertification exercises. 

Radar simulators arc used in teaching contemporary operation and 
interpretation techniques. More than 1,700 U.S. merchant seamen 
received radar training at the schools during fiscal year 1976, Train- 
ing is also available in the operation-interpretation-maintenance of 
ship gyrocon and in the operation-interpretation of the loran 

(long range navigation) electronic system of navigation. 

MarAd also provides U.S. merchant seamen with practical fire- 
fighting training in cooperation with the Military Seal iff Command — 
MSC— of the Department of the Navy at a field exercise training 
facility at Earle, X.J., and at an MSC/Navy facility at Treasure 
Island in San Francisco Bay. Since 1973 some 7,000 U.S. merchant 
seamen have received "hands-on"' training at these two facilities, more 
than 3.000 in fiscal year 1976. 

Expansion of the MarAd's firefighting training program for mer- 
chant seamen is currently being contemplated. A contract lias recently 
been negotiated for a comprehensive standardized firefighting manual. 
Also, proposals have been requested for a "Research and Design of a 
Standardized Merchant Vessel Oriented Firefighting Field Exercise 
Training Facility and Curriculum." 

In December 1976, MarAd published "Shipboard Guide to Pollu- 
tion-Free Operations," a comprehensive pollution abatement manual 
for U.S. tanker crewmen. It's this document here, Mr. Chairman, and 
copies are available for the committee. 

Also, in July 197r>. we published a "Curriculum on Marine Pollu- 
tion Abatement." These and related educational materials provided 
by MarAd have been very well received and will be made available to 
the committee. 

In summary, it is our view that the best way to solve the overall 
oil pollution problem would be throno-h international adoption and 
enforcement of adequate standards. However, this is a slow process. 
In the interim, ye impose relatively stringent standards for tankers 
built with CDS. and we support Coast Guard efforts to further 
strengthen standards for tankers operating in U.S. waters. 

In addition, we have underway a variety of research and develop- 
ment and training programs aimed at preventing and ameliorating" 
the pollution effects of marit ime accidents. 

That concludes my statement. 

The Chairman. We appreciate this review of what you have been 
doing at MarAd. You do have a good record.] think we are all pleased 
with the fact that you are concentrating on training programs on t liese 
important things which involve pollution and the operation of tankers. 


The fact is that the standards that you have set for the oil ships 
under the American-flag subsidized ships are very high. If those stand- 
ards were applied to all of the ships we would have very little trouble. 
But you can only direct your activities to those ships which are under 
your control, that is the subsidized ships. 

Mr. Blackwell. We can do that, Mr. Chairman, but I believe that 
imposing higher standards on U.S. -flag vessels, providing it doesn't 
render them noncompetitive, also sets a standard for the rest of the 
world to shoot at. Our standards become the international standards. 
The Maritime Administration feels that we are not only protecting 
the U.S. Fleet and eliminating opportunities for pollution, but because 
we are imposing higher standards on U.S. -flag ships, other nations will 
simply have to follow our lead. 

The Chairman. Can you provide the committee with information 
concerning the costs of transporting oil by vessel from Venezuela, 
Indonesia, the Persian Gulf, relative to the overall price of oil? 

Mr. Blackwell. Yes, sir. 

[The following information was subsequently received for the 
record :] 

The relationship of water transportation cost to the total delivered price of 
imported crude oil will, of course, vary depending on tanker market conditions 
and the market price of crude at point of production. Over an extended period, 
however, it can be expected that ocean freight rates will average an amount 
sufficient to fully cover vessel costs including a reasonable return on investment. 
It is therefore possible to derive fairly accurate long-term average freight rate 
estimates for various size vessels in various trades based on an analysis of costs. 
In turn, these can be compared to recent average oil prices in Venezuela, In- 
donesia, and the Persian Gulf to derive a reasonable estimate of the requested 

We have performed the necessary calculations using information provided by 
FEA with respect to dock-side oil prices and Maritime Administration vessel 
cost estimates for the size of vessel appropriate to each trade. The results are 
summarized in the table below. 


[In dollars per barrelj 

Venezuela Indonesia Saudi Arabia 

Average dockside price i $11.84 $13.84 $12.87 

Estimated shipping cost' .34 1.21 1.55 

Total delivered cost - 12.18 15.05 14.42 

Shipping as a percent of total 2.79 8.04 10.75 

1 Average prices provided by FEA are for the month of October 1976. 

* The trade route in each case represents a weighted average route to the United States from each origin. Shipping cost 
represents an estimated cost-based rate for a typical vessel size range for each trade area as follows: Venezuela — 55,000 
to 74,999 dwt range; Indonesia— 75,000 to 99,999 dwt range; Saudi Arabia— 225,000 dwt vessel to Caribbean with trans- 
shipment from that point aboard a vessel in the 55,000 to 74,939 dwt range. 

The Chairman. What is that ? 

Mr. Blackwell. In the period immediately before the Arab oil em- 
bargo it was a substantial number. In some cases the freight rate 
equaled the price of the oil. 

Senator Schmitt. Equaled the production cost ? 

Mr. Blackwell. I disagreed with the witness this morning who said 
that shipowners generally could absorb the costs of these additional 
pollution devices without passing them on to the consumer by taking 


i> costs out of their profits. Most tanker companies are operating at 
losses or on a marginal basis. We have the lowest freight rates for • 
perhaps in the last 20 years. This morning quotations for oil from the 

Persian Gulf to the Ignited States or to Western Europe was world 
scale 20. This compares to world scale 460 which existed before the 

i oil boycott. 

In fact, the operators have a choice of either keeping their ships in 
layup or putt ingthem into this business. 

The Chairman. What I'm trying to net at for the record is that if 
put in the pollution, antipollution things that you talk ab< 
sty measures, what is the percentage? We come up with 

Mr. BiiACKWELL. It's nominal. It has to be nominal. 

The Chairman. That is what 1 mean. To do the things we are talking 
al iout and hope will be done is not a big item. 

Mr. BiiACKWELL. Even to retrofit the current fleet. I think Mr. Train 
was quite correct. Any emphasis on shipbuilding would be severely 
misplaced. Unless we have cargo preference or the extension of the 
Jones Act in the United States there will be no tanker building in this 
country nor will there be any abroad. We have 50 million deadweight 
tons in layup worldwide. This shortage is projected to exist until the 
early 1980's'at least. 

Senator Schmitt. You mean surplus. 

Mr. Blackwell. Yes. If we are to make improvement in the state of 
art of delivering oil in terms of pollution avoidance, it will have to be 
made with the fleet currently in existence, very likely with retrofitting 
involving segregated ballast. Somebody will have to bear that expense, 
and the ships will carry less oil. We are going to have a great many 
more tankers coming to the United States with reduced capacity than 
we have now carrying the same amount of oil. (At the end of 107G the 
import level had increased to 9 million barrels a day.) The probability 
of accidents will increase as the number of tankers increase. 

So, taking costs into account, we have to make a tradeoff between the 
increased potential incidence of mishaps or collisions as a result of 
additional units coming to the United States, and the fact that each 
vessel will very likely be safer. Whether the disadvantage of additional 
vessels offsets the advantage of increased vessel safety is a question that 
really has to be studied. 

The Chairman. Of course, there is always the cost factor. That 

dominates these international meetings. It's going to cost us too much 

lo this or that. All of the people in the business of transporting oil 

want to do it as cheaply as possible. I understand that, That doesn't 

mean we should be derelict in our responsibilities. 

Mr. Blackwell. I'm not talking primarily about the cost. To carry 
same amount of oil, under the program of retrofitting the current 
fleet, there would be more ship calls in the United States than there 
presently are. As I understand it, there are about 300 a day now. 

The Chairman. That is all the more reason why we should do some- 
thing about oilspills. safety, and pollution. 

Mr. Blackwell. The more ships you have, the more likely it is that 
you will have a mishap. 

The Chairman. We should do something about it. 

Mr. Blackwell. I am not suggest ing that we shouldn't do anything. 
It requires study and consideration. 


The Chairman. Study ? 

Mr. Blackwell. Yes. sir. Despite the catalog of studies you have. 

The Chairman. Here is a bunch of studies right here. There are 
more over there. We have them this high. What is the percentage 
now — this was mentioned today — what is the percentage of imported 
oil carried under the American flag. Is the figure of 5 percent cor- 

Mr. Blackwell. T think 4 percent would be closer. 

The Chairman. Four would be closer. 

Mr. Blackwell. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Leaving out tankers, what is the percentage of all 
imports into the United States under the American flag? Less than 

Mr. Blackwell. All imports, it would be roughly 5 percent; in the 
liner category, close to 30; in tankers, about 4; and in dry bulk cargo, 
about 1. 

The Chairman. In other words, we carry only about 1 percent of 
our own 

Mr. Blackwell. We carry about 5 percent of our total exports and 
imports by weight and about 17 percent by value. 

The Chairman. When we suggested, the Congress, that American- 
flag ships carry at least 30 percent of the imported oil in the United 
States, so we could get some employment, it was pocket vetoed. 

Mr. Blackwell. It was pocket vetoed with a message from the 
President, yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I know you are familiar with the decline of the 
American merchant marine, which for many reasons should not occur. 

Mr. Blackwell. I agree, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you have any questions ? 

Senator Schmitt. I have a couple, Mr. Chairman. 

I thought the review was excellent. It brought to mind not only the 
problems but really the excitement of the potential — if we can just 
figure out how to mobilize the new technology — of things like satel- 
lites, onboard navigation, collision avoidance, shipboard simulation 
and shipbuilding techniques, which we should have on hand in this 
country and do have. If we can mobilize these into a strategy with 
specific milestones, then I think we can see some light at the end of the 
tuhiiel, as the expression goes. 

Maybe that is the challenge for this committee and for others in 

I have a specific question. You made the statement that you felt 
certain requirements on American ships created pressure on foreign 
ships. In light of the competitive nature of shipping, would you elabo- 
rate on that ? 

I'm not sure I understand. 

Mr. Blackwell. Yes, sir. Whether it was under the total free market 
system or under cargo preference, if we had the very highest stand- 
ards on U.S. tankers, it seems to me that the exporters, the importers, 
the vessel owners, and the people responsible for the movement of oil 
and its development would be cognizant of the type of problems that 
have affected their industry as a result of these last 3 weeks of literal 
public outcry in the United States. It is as strong in Britain and it 
was strong in Italy when there were spills— also in Spain and the 

Malacca Straits. I believe the cosl of providing that little extra '-.wo 
, m the vessels is so small that the r< sponsible people in the business will 
opt to take the better ship. . 

II" we have American ships out there, I think the other ships will, 
in fact, he rendered not technologically bul almost e • Uy noncom- 
petitive, if lean use that expression^ 

Senator Schmitt. You say,"] think." 

Do you feel thai there isa way to maybe say, "I'm sure ? 

Mr. Blackwkll. No, 1 don't think so. Because we have different 
types of people in the business. 

There were some statements made in this morning's testimony re- 
garding the makeup of the Siberian fleet On one hand, some press 
dispatches have indicated that it is made up of a hunch of old, rusty 
nocks. On the other hand, some people have indicated it IS made up 
of some of the finest vessels in the world. Both statements are true. 
it is a dichotomous fleet. 

The major oil companies and many responsible people in the busi- 
ness operating under Liberian or runaway or flag of convenience n g- 
istry do. in fact, have very, very line fleets and have good standards 
on the ships. They are concerned about delivering oil. They are con- 
cerned about not creating spills; they are concerned about things 
that this economy and Congress, might do as well as what other coun- 
tries might do. That is one element of the business. 

There is also another element of the business involving operators 
who are in it for a quick buck, who operate the older ships, who take 
ships which no longer have a useful life in the United States or which 
can't pass the quadrennial inspection that our USCG makes. I have to 
say that all over the world the TJSGG has the reputation of being 
tougher in terms of marine inspection than any other government or 
licensing supervisory marine inspectors in the world. 

The Chairman. Tougher than whom ? 

Mr. Blackwell. Tougher than anyone. 

The Chairman. That still may not be tough enough. 

Mr. BnACKwr.LT,. In terms of the ships that are built in the United 

The Chairman. To be tough they had no place to go but v,p with 
some of these other standards. But we have the best, I agree with you. 

Mr. Blaokwell. Many U.S. shipowners feel they are too tough. 

The Chairman. Sure, they never want to be inspected. 

Mr. Black well. In any event, you have two different types of 
fleets in that flag of convenience registry. Many are out to make the 
quickest buck, to put on the cheapest crew. They avoid maintaining 
their vessels. The fact is. you can't expect small countries which gather 
a great deal of their revenue from registering foreign ships or regis- 
tering ships owner! by other economic interests in their countries to 
exercise stringent control of those ships. They want that revenue. Thev 
want those fees. If Panama exercises strict control, the ships will 
run to Liberia. If the Liberians do it, they go to Malaysia. 

The Chairman. Singapore is another one. 

Mi-. BioACKWELL. You just chase them around the world. They are 
looking for a place to rest where they can <2vt the cheapest crews, least 
stringent regulations and also, very importantly for both, the good 

82-908— 77— pt. 1 6 


guys and the bad guys in Panamanian registered and Liberian reg- 
istered ships, the tax break. That is extremely important. 

I think it is time, Mr. Chairman, that both Houses of Congress and 
the Treasury Department take a look at whether it really is wise mari- 
time, environmental, and tax policy to allow Americans to own for- 
eign-flag ships, registered in these flags of convenience countries and 
at the same time, through our Internal Revenue Code, subpart F, par- 
ticularly, to give them a break on taxes. They are not creating jobs in 
this country in the shipyards, and they are not creating jobs for Amer- 
ican sailors. They are doing nothing for the United States and we are 
giving them a tax break and it makes no sense at all. 

The Chairman. I thoroughly agree with you. 

"We have been on these runaway flags for a long time. 

If you have any ideas as to how we can constitutionally legislate 
a change, how we can put a tax on them as they come in 

Mr. Blackwell. All you have to do is change subpart F to make 
those earnings ordinary income and not deferred. Their taxes are 
deferred as long as they are putting those incomes into new vessels. 

The Chairman. We allow that in our Merchant Marine Act. 

Mr. Blackwell. That is right, with the capital construction fund. 

The Chairman. They can pile up profits. They can pile up those 
profits and let them stay and they are not taxable if they use them 
to build a new ship. If they take them and use them for any other 
purpose they become taxable like regular income. 

Mr. Blackwell. Flag-of-convenience operations made some sense 
prior to 1970. The old 1936 act, which provided Federal assistance to 
shipbuilding and ship operation prohibited operating subsidy to be 
paid for liquid bidk carriers, that is tankers. 

For Americans to participate in the international movement of cargo 
thev had to go abroad. 

After 1970 it is no longer true. We can put American ships, tankers 
on full parity with their'foreign counterparts through CDS operating 
differential subsidy, title XI financing assistance, and capital con- 
struction fund, which is also a deferrad tax situation very much as 
they enjoy abroad. There is no reason to go abroad any longer. 

The Chairman. I wish you would get down on the Senate floor when 
we have your appropriation up for subsidy. You know how many 
times I have been in that spot. Construction and operational subsidies 

Mr. Blackwell. We both have our scars, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Subsidy is a bad word. 

Senator Schmitt. I realize the tax issue is maybe a little off to the 
side of this but this is twice now that it has come up as a major 

I don't know whether it would be appropriate to ask for testimony 
on that, from both sides of the question. 

The Chairman. I think we should. We will ask them again. There 
has been plenty of testimony on that, It is a tax evasion device. That 
is what it amounts to and the oil companies agree. They don't deny 

Senator Schmitt. Mr. Blackwell has pointed out that the social 
conscience, hopefully, has increased in the shipping industry and in 
the energy industry. I hope they are listening to the hearings today 


to the other things bcinir said so that that conscience starts to 
tak- effect. 

I don't think there is much left for some of those industries unless 
illy they become more responsive. They arc listening. They h 
enough people hired around them. 

. Blackwell. I think I may have lost some friends today, too, Mr. 

Senator Schmttt. I'm a supporter of the free enterprise system and 
will continue to be. However, that doesn't moan the system doesn't 
have to be responsible. I think we are hearing that a balance has to be 

One final question from Senator Stevens actually. Since he isn't 

here I would like to ask it. Rather than a specific fund with fixed 

per barrel for oil liability, would a sliding fund based on the 

quality of safety equipment in a tanker be appropriate? "Would you 

to comment on that? 

Mr. Blackwell. T don't know what the difference would be in gross 
revenues. I tend to react negatively. Even though you will charge more 
to a ship below the safety standard, it seems you are acquiescing in 
allowing the ship to enter the trade and then penalize the operator. 
I think we should forbid the ship from coming in. 

The Chairman". Again, for the record, the Liberian fleet is the 
largest merchant marine in the world today. It has 2.600 vessels and 
- r of them tankers, totaling 73.3 million gross tons. And it also 
produces the largest total losses in dollars and cents. 

Mr. Blackwell. I would like to make another comment, if I may. 
about that portion of the Liberian fleet operated by the major oil 
companies. "We have never seen that fleet. 

The Chairman. The Liberians have never seen them either. 

Mr. Blackwell. Those ships have been largely built in the last 10 
years of such staggering sizes that they can't enter U.S. ports. We 
get the vessels under 70.000 tons which tend to be older and inferior. 
We don't see the so-called better Panamanian ships because they can't 
get into our harbors. 

The Chairman. Ninety percent of our domestic carriers are over 30 
years of age. 

Mr. Blackwell. T don't know about that figure. 

The Chairman. That is the figure I have. But they are inspected 
and have to meet standards and so on and so forth. 

I know of some instances where they said we require inspection. 
So they have these private associations hired by ship people to inspect 
the ship. That is putting the fox. really, in the henhouse. They don't 
inspect them. Panama never sees the ships unless they go through the 

We thank you very much. We appreciate your testimony. 

Senator Schmitt. It was excellent testimony. 

[The following information was subsequently received for the 
record :] 

Standard Specifications for Tanker Construction 

section 70 — pollution abatement systems and equipment 

1. General 

'a'i It is the general intent of this section to specify appropriate pollution 
control measures to be taken in the design and operation of all tankers in order 
to protect and enhance the quality of the marine environment from ship-generated 
jK)Hutants, such as oil, sewage, garbage and smoke. 


(b) All vessels shall be so equipped and operated as to prevent the discharge 
of oil into or upon the navigable waters of the United Slates, adjoining shore- 
lines and waters of the Contiguous Zone in such quantities as to cause a film 
or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or upon adjoining 
shorelines. (Implementation of Section 11 of "Water Quality Improving Act of 
1970" as published in the Federal Register of September 11, l!!TO. 

(c) All vessels shall be equipped with toilets and urinals and shall lie provided 
with marine sanitation devices designed to prevent the discharge of untreated 
or inadequately treated sewage into or upon the navigable waters of the United 
States. (Implementation of Section 13 of the "'Water Quality Improvement Act 
of 1970" as published in the Federal Register of June 23, 1972). 

2. Cargo oil tanks 

The size and arrangement of cargo tanks shall be such as to limit the oil out- 
flow from tanks assumed to be breached by collision or grounding to a value of 
30,000 cubic meters ( 1,059,000 cubic feet) or 400 times the cube root of the 
deadweight, whichever is larger, but in no case exceeding 400,000 cubic meters 
(1.410,000 cubic feet). The oil outflow shall be calculated in accordance with 
the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) Resolution 
A.246(VII) adopted 15 October 1971 by IMCO Assembly. Credit may be tal en 
for reduction in oil outflow in case of bottom damage when a cargo transfer 
system is installed as prescribed in Article 3(c). 

3. Cargo piping systems 

(a) Remote shut-down of all main cargo pumps shall be provided at the load- 
ing and discharge manifold on the deck, port and starboard, and at the cen- 
tralized cargo control station. 

(b) Quick closing valves with means of local control shall be fitted at the 
loading and discharge manifold. 

(c) To reduce the calculated oil outflow due to grounding, an emergency cargo 
transfer system may be installed having a high suction in each cargo tank, and 
capable of transferring cargo oil from a breached tank to any other segregated 
ballast tanks or other available cargo tanks. The pipes for the emergency suction 
should be installed at a point 3 m (10 feet) below the load waterline* but not 
less than m (20 feet) from the bottom of the tank. Manual control of these 
valves shall be provided on the deck as well as remote control from the centralized 
control station. The requirements of this paragraph are not mandatory, except 
when this cargo transfer system is used to reduce the calculation for oil outflow. 
(By the use of this system larger tanks may be used). 

(d) Means shall be provided to contain any oil spillage around each oil load- 
ing and discharge manifold and oil transfer connection area. 

- ! i. Bilge, ballast systems and cargo/ballast systems 
(a) General. — 

(1) All bilge and ballast systems shall be so arranged as to assure that all 
oily bilge or ballast water will be discharged either overboard, through an ap- 
proved oily water separator, or directly into a designated slop tank which decants 
the effluent to 15 ppm or to a shore ballast reception and treatment facility. (See 
Article 1(b)). 

(2) Cargo ballast systems shall be so arranged to insure that oily ballast 
water or tank washings are: (1) decanted or discharged overboard via an ap- 
propriate oil content meter: (2) retained on board for "Load-on-Top"; or, (3) 
discharged ashore to a reception and treatment facility. 

(3) Vessels shall be fitted with slop tanks having a capacity to retain on 
board all oily wastes and oily bilge slops that may accumulate while operating 
in the navigable waters of the United States. 

(10 Tank vessels. — Tank vessels shall be designed to meet one of the three de- 
sign alternatives described below : 

(1) All tank vessels shall be designed to allow for deballasting and tank clean- 
ing operations by means of the "Load-on-Top" method. The method shall allow 
the oily ballast and tank washings to be pumped to a designated slop tank or 
tanks. All decanted ballast w r ater discharged overboard shall not contain oil 
in excess of the maximum limits prescribed for the receiving waters. 

(2) All tank vessels not equipped to handle deballasting and tank cleaning 
operations by th» Load-on-Top method shall be designed for segregated ballast 
operation. In such cases sufficient tankage for all weather operations in ballast 
condition shall be assigned exclusively for segregated ballast. 


(3) Alternatively, an effective oil 'water separator system of Pull flow capacity 
equivalent to al least one main cargo oil pump shall be installed wi h au( natic 
shut-down or recirculation <>f effluenl when the oM contenl of the effluent exct eds 
15 ppm. i Sec An tele 1(b) t. 

(c) oil'/ water separator*. — Approved separators Installed In the bilge and 
ballast system shall be capable of producing an effluenl c ntainlng not i 
than 15 ppm. < Sec Article It 1 ') >. 

m1i Oil content meter*. — An oil content meter shall sample each bilge, oily 
ballast and lank washing overboard discharge line. The <'il content meter shall be 
fitted with an alarm device sel at a preset valve to shut-down the pump or operate 
an appropriate valve In the discharge line to recirculate the flow automatically 
when the oil content in the overboard discharge exceeds 15 ppm. The meter will 
be considered as meeting this Btandard Of 1"> ppm if the standard can be met in 
certified laboratory tests, i See Article Kb) i. 

(e) Shore connection. — Discharge stations shall be fitted for the bilge and 
ballast system en the main deck, pert and starboard, to enable oily bilge and 
ballast water to be piped to shore facilities. Remote control of the bilge and 
ballast pumps shall be provided at the discharge stations on the main deck". 

To enable flexible piping at shore reception facilities to be connected with the 
Ships discharge pipe lines for residues from machinery bilges, both lines shall 
be lifted with a standard discharge connection in accordance with the following 

Standard dimensions of flanges for discharge connections 

Description Dimension 

Outside diameter 215 mm ( 8% in. ) . 

Inner diameter According to pipe outside diameter. 

Bolt circle diameter 183 mm (7 3/16 in,). 

Slots in flange 6 holes 22 mm (% in.) in diameter equl-distantly placed 

on a blot circle of the above diameter, slotted to the 
flange periphery. The slot width to be 22 mm (% in.). 

Flange thickness 20mm (% in.). 

Bolts and nuts: quantity 

diameter 6, each of 20 mm (% in.) in diameter and of suitable 


The flange is designed to accept pipes up to a maximum internal diameter of 
Uo mm (5 in.) and shall be of steel or other equivalent material having a flat 
face. This flange, together with a gasket of oilproof material, shall he suitable for 
a service pressure of kg/cm (85 PSI ) . 

The steel materials used shall meet the material specifications of standard B 
K;.."i steel Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings of the American National Standards 
Institute I ANSI). 

(f ) Overboard discharge piping. — Overboard discharge piping from oily/water 
separators and "Load-on-Top" operation shall be fitted with at least two shut-off 
valves as close to the shell as possible. 

.". Fuel oil system 

All overflow piping in the fuel oil system discharging overboard shall be fitted 
with an alarm with indicators at the filling station and control console. 

6. Sewage treatment and liquid waste disposal systems 

(a t General. — Any vessel equipped with toilets, showers, lavatories, laundries 
or a galley shall be provided with suitably sized holding tanks to retain the 
sewage and liquid waste while in port or in restricted waters. In lieu of holding 
tanks an approved sewage treatment plant which will meet the requirements of 
the U.S. Coast Guard may be provided to handle human wastes. 

(b) Sewage treatment plant. — The design and operation of the sewage treat- 
ment plains' shall meet the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency 
and U.S. Coast Guard. 

Where sewage treatment plants are used to handle human body wastes only, 
holding tanks shall also be provided to handle other wastes (grey water i. 

The marine sanitation device shall be capable of discharging to dockside 
facilities. Provisions shall be made to facilitate infernal cleaning. 

(c) Holding tanks. — When provided, holding tanks shall be of sufficient 
Capacity to retain all accumulated drains from urinals, toilets, showers, lava- 
tories, laundries and galleys and shall be capable of holding 56 cubic meters 
(15,000 gallons i of accumulated sewage and liquid wastes, or have a live day 
capacity based on the total ship complement of .26 cubic meters (70gallons) daj 


person. When using recirculation or vacuum flush systems, holdiug capacity for 
these low flow systems will be based on individual system requirements. Holding 
tanks for "grey" water, where no sewage solids are discharged into the tank, 
shall only be fitted with manholes, air vents to the weather deck, an overflow to 
the sea above the deep water line, and all necessary piping connections. When 
organic solids are discharged into the tank, air shall be supplied to the tank to 
keep solids in suspension. 

Each tank shall be fitted with means to discharge to dockside facilities. 

Provision shall be made to prevent the accumulation of noxious and explosive 
gases in the holding tanks and vents. 

The tanks shall be equipped with manholes, air vents to the weather deck, an 
overflow to the sea above the deep load water line, and all necessary piping 
connections. All air vents that terminate above the weather deck shall be located 
where odors will not be objectionable. 

Sufficient air shall be supplied to the sewage holding tank in order to prevent 
the contents from becoming anaerobic and to keep the solids in suspension. A 
pressure regulator and shut-off valve shall be provided to control the air flow 
into the tank. The capacity of air required shall not be less than .7 cubic meters 
(25 CFM) at 34 kPa (5 psig) per 28 m (1000 ft) tank capacity. 

Each holding tank shall be fitted with a level indicator and a separate high 
level alarm. The remote level indicators and alarm annunciators shall be placed 
on the engine room control console. The level control electrodes should not be 
in direct contact with sewage and the unit should be arranged for easy access 
and maintenance. 

On vessels where the engine room is aft, or where it is impractical to have the 
sewage system distributed throughout the ship, a holding tank or a small in- 
dependent sewage treatment system shall be provided for the engine room toilets 
and lavatory drains. 

Provisions shall be made for the use of water and steam for tank cleaning 

(d) Piping. — All liquid wastes from urinals, toilets, showers, lavatories and 
laundries shall be led to the sewage treatment plant or holding tank. Sewage 
drains shall be led to the treatment plant or holding tank independent of other 
drains. Shore connections fitted with 102 mm (4") pipe shall be located on the 
main deck, port and starboard, to enable sewage and liquid waste to be pumped 
to shore facilities. 

(e) Pumps. — Each sewage system shall be equipped with two (2) sewage 
pumps connected in parallel. The pumps shall take suction from the holding tanks 
or sewage treatment plant and shall be capable of discharging overboard in- 
dependently of other drain lines and to the shore connection. The sewage pumps 
shall be of the non-clog marine type, suitable for handling raw sewage and either 
sea or fresh water as required. 

7. Stack emission 

(a) General. — All stack emissions shall meet the air purity standards estab- 
lished by the ports of call of the vessel, the standards of the San Francisco Bay 
Area or the standards of New York City, whichever are most restrictive for the 
operation intended. 

(b) Smoke indicator. — Each boiler shall be equipped with a combination visual- 
photoelectrical smoke indicator which shall clearly indicate the absence or 
presence of smoke. The indicator shall be provided with an alarm which actuates 
when the smoke intensity exceeds the value established by Article 7(a) above. The 
indicator shall be provided with an auto or semi-auto pressurized lens cleaning 
system to insure cleanliness of the lens. The indicator shall be visible in the 
vicinity of the Central Control Console. A recorder shall be coordinated with the 
smoke intensity alarm to record the duration of pollution above the standards 
established by Article 7(a) above. 

8. Inert gas systems 

All tankers over 100.000 DWT and having tank sizes greater than 10.000 ev 
meters shall be equipped with an approved inert gas system to prevent tanker 
casualties from fire and explosion. See Section 68 for details. 

9. Collision avoidance radar 

All tankers must be equipped with a collision avoidance radar system which 
complies with the requirements of Section 94.4 of this specification. 

Tanker Construction Pbogbam 

bevisions of section 70 of the standard specifications fob mi. ik iiant ship 


Pursuant to the Final Opinion and Order of the Maritime Subsidy Board in 
Docket A-75 (served August .':o. 107.". ). notice is hereby given that the following 
revisions to section 70 of the standard Specifications for Merchant Ship Con- 
struction have been adopted by the Maritime Subsidy Board: 

(1) Revise Article 4(c) (3), (d >. and (e) to require a new standard for oil con- 
tent meters and oily water separators (15 ppm). 

(2) Add a clarifying sentence to Article - for emergency cargo transfer to per- 
mit a reduction in the calculated oil outflow in the case of bottom damage. 

(3) Revise Article 4(c) to permit recirculation as an alternative to requiring 
automatic oil/water separator shutdown in the event of high oil content. 

(4) Revise Article 4(f) to standardize shore connections to meet IMCO and 
USCG requirements. 

(5) Add a clarifying sentence to Article 4(e) indicating alternative designs 
that may be used in the bilge and ballasting system of tank vessels. 

(6) Add a clarifying sentence to Article 6(a) indicating design alternatives for 
sewage treatment plant. 

(7) Substitute in Article 7 known stack emission purity standards for the 
presently required Environment Protection Agency standards since there are 
no Environment Protection standards for stack emissions at present. 

(8) Add a new Article 8 detailing inert gas system requirements to comply 
with Docket A-75. 

(9) Add a new Article 9 to reference the collision avoidance radar system re- 
quired by Docket A-75. 

Further, the following revisions to section 70 were adopted by the Board as a 
result of comments received pursuant to notice by the Board's proposed revisions 
to section 70, published in the Federal Register of July 29, 1974 (39 FR 27483) : 

(10) Retitle Article 4 to read "Bilge, Ballast and Cargo/Ballast Systems" in- 
stead of "Bilge and Ballast Systems." 

(11) Revise the wording of paragraph 4(a) (1) to clarify the intent of that 

(12) Include in the first paragraph of Article 6(c) requirements for holding 
tanks for grey water. 

Section 70 of the Maritime Administration Standard Specifications consoli- 
dates all pollution abatement features of cargo and tanker construction and oper- 
ation to control oil, sewage and air pollution. A complete text of the revised sec- 
tion 70 is published herein as an attachment to this notice. 
Dated : February 5, 1975. 
By Order of the Maritime Subsidy Board. 

.Tames S. Dawson. Jr., 
Secretary, Maritime Subsidy Board. 

Standard Specification for Merchant Ship Construction 

section to : pollution abatement systems and equipment 

1. General (a) It is the general intent of this section to specify appropriate 
pollution control measures to be taken in the design and operation of all merchant 
ships in order to protect and enhance the quality of the marine environment from 
ship-generated pollutants, such as oil, sewage, garbage and smoke. 

(b) All vessels shall be so equipped and operated as to prevent the discharge 
of oil into or upon the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines 
and waters of the Contiguous Zone in such quantities as to cause a film or sheen 
upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines. 
(Implementation of section 11 of the "Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970"' 
as published in the Federal Register of September 11, 1970.) 

(c) All vessels equipped with toilets and urinals shall be provided with marine 
sanitation devices designed to prevent the discharge of untreated or inadequately 
treated sewage into or upon the navigable waters of the United States. (Imple- 
mentation of section 13 of the "Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970" as pub- 
lished in the Federal Register of June 23. 1972.) 

2. Cargo Oil Tanks on Tank Vessels : The size and arrangement of cargo tanks 
shall be such as to limit the oil outflow from tanks assumed to be breached by col- 


lision or grounding to a value of 30,000 cubic meters or 400 times the cube root 
of the deadweight 400 DWT, whichever is larger, but in no case exceeding 40,000 
cubic meters. The oil outflow shall be calculated in accordance with the intergov- 
ernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) Resolution A. 246(VII) 
adopted 15 October 1971 by IMCO Assembly. Credit may be taken for reduction in 
Oil out How in case of bottom damage when a cargo transfer system is installed as 
prescribed in Article 3(c). 

3. Cargo Piping Systems on Tank Vessels: (a) Remote shut-down of all main 
cargo pumps shall be provided at the loading and discharge manifold on the deck, 
port and starboard, and at the centralized cargo control station. 

(b) Quick closing valves with means of local control shall be fitted at the load- 
ing and discharge manifold. 

(e) To reduce the calculated oil outflow due to grounding, an emergency cargo 
transfer system may be installed having a high suction in each cargo tank, and 
capable of transferring cargo oil from a breached tank to any other segregated 
ballast tanks or other available cargo tanks. The pipes for the emergency suction 
should be installed at a point 3m (10 feet) below the load waterline, but not less 
than 0m (20 feet) from the bottom of the tank. Manual control of these valves 
shall be provided on the deck as well as remote control from the centralized con- 
trol station. The requirements of this paragraph are not mandatory, except when 
this cargo transfer system is used to reduce the calculation for oil outflow. (By 
the use of this system larger tanks may be used. ) 

(d) Means shall be provided to contain any oil spillage around each oil loading 
and discharge manifold and oil transfer connection area. 

4. Bilge Ballast Systems and Cargo/Ballast Systems: (a) General. 

(1) All bilge and ballast systems shall be so arranged as to assure that all oily 
bilge or ballast water will be discharged either overboard, through an approved 
oily water separator, or directly into a designated slop tank which decants the 
effluent to 15 ppm or to a shore ballast reception and treatment facility. 

(2) Cargo/ballast systems on tank vessels shall be so arranged to insure that 
oilv ballast water or tank washings are: (1) decanted or discharged overboard 
via an appropriate oil content meter; (2) retained on board for "Load-on-Top"; 
or, (3) discharged ashore to a reception and treatment facility. 

(3) Vessels shall be fitted with slop tanks having a capacity to retain on board 
all oily wastes and oily bilge slops that may accumulate while operating in the 
navigable waters of the United States. 

(b) General Cargo Vessel. 

A 100 percent segregated ballast system shall be provided for ballasting and 
deballasting of the designated segregated ballast tanks in order to maintain the 
vessel's stability characteristic in accordance with the damaged stability require- 
ments presented in section 1 for one compartment flooding without the use of oily 
ballast in the fuel or liquid cargo tanks. Means shall be provided for both direct 
sea flooding and pump discharge to the segregated ballast tanks, The system shall 
be served by a clean ballast pump with standby service from a bilge and ballast 
pump or a general service or bilge pump. 

At no time shall ballast water be placed in fuel tanks or cargo oil tanks. 

Remote liquid level indicators shall be provided at the ballast control station for 
all segregated ballast tanks. 

(c) Tank Vessels. 

Tank vessels shall be designed to meet one of the three design alternatives 
described below : 

(1) All tank vessels shall be designed to allow for deballasting and tank clean- 
ing operations by means of the "Load-on-Top" method. The method shall allow the 
oily ballast and* tank washings to be pumped to a designated slop tank or tanks. 
All decanted ballast water discharged overboard shall not contain oil in excess of 
the maximum limits prescribed for the receiving waters. 

(2) All tank vessels not equipped to handle deballasting and tank cleaning 
operations by the Load-on-Top method shall be designed for segregated ballast 
operation. Iii such cases sufficient tankage for all weather operations in ballast 
condition shall be assigned exclusively for segregated ballast. 

(3) Alternatively, an effective oil/water separator system of full flow capacity 
equivalent to at least one main cargo oil pump shall be installed with automatic 
shut-down or recirculation of effluent when the oil content of the effluent exceeds 
15 ppm. ( See Article 1(b).) 

( d ) Oily Water Separators. 

Appoved separators installed in the bilge and ballast system shall be capable 
of producing an effluent containing not more than 15 ppm. (See Article 1(b)). 

(e) Oil Content Meters. 


\n oil content meter snail be Installed In each bilge, oily ballad and tank 
washing overboard discbarge line. The oil content meter small be fitted with an 
alarm device sel at a presel valVe to shnt-down the ap or opera! appro- 
priate valve in the discharge Line to recirculate the Bow automatically when 
the oil contenl In the overboard discharge exceeds 15 ppm. The meter will be 
considered as meeting this standard of 16 ppm If the standard can be mel In 
certified laboratory tests. (See Article 1(b) ). 

ill Shore Connection. 

Discharge stations shall be fitted Cor the bilge and ballast system on the mam 
deck port and starboard, to enable oily bilge and ballast water to be piped to 
shore facilities. Remote control of the bilge and ballast pumps shall be provided 
at the discharge stations on the main deck. 

'!',, enable flexible piping at shore reception facilities to be connected with the 
ships discharge pipe lines Cor residues from machinery bilges, both lines shall be 
fitted with a standard discharge connection in accordance with the following 

table : , 

Standard dimension* of flange* for diselianje eonneetions 

Description: Dimension 

Outside diameter 215 mm (8% in.). 

Inner diameter According to pipe outside diameter: 

Boll circle diameter- 1N3 mm < 7 :< i<; in.). 

Slots in flange holes 22 mm (% in.) in diameter equi-distantly 

placed on a bolt circle of the above diameter, slot t ed 
to the llanse periphery. The slot width to he 22 mm 
{% in.). 

Flange thickness 20 mm (% in.). 

Bolts and nuts: Quan- 6, each of 20 mm (% in.) in diameter and of suitable 

tity, diameter length. 

The flange is designed to accept pipes up to a maximum internal diameter 
of 12.1 mm (5 in.) and shall be of steel or other equivalent material having a flat 
face. This flange, together with a gasket of oilproof material, shall be suitable for 
a service pressure of <> kg/cni a < 85 PSI ) . 

The Steel materials used shall meet the material specifications of standard 
R IB..! Steel Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings of the American National Stand- 
ards Institute (ANSI). 

( g) Overboard I Hscharge Fiping. 

Overboard discharge piping from oily/water separators and "Load-nn-Top" 
operation shall be fitted with at least two shut-off valves as close to the shell as 

."i. Fuel Oil System: All overflow piping in the fuel oil system discharging 
overboard shall he fitted with an alarm with indicators at the filling station and 
rout rol console. 

6. Sewage Treatment and Liquid Waste Disposal Systems: (a) General. 
Any vessel equipped with toilets, showers, lavatories, laundries or a galley 
Shall be provided with suitably sized holding tanks to retain the sewage and 
liquid waste while in port or in restricted waters. In lieu of holding tanks an 
approved sewage treatment plant which will meet the requirements of the U.S. 
Coast Guard may be provided to handle human wastes, 
(b) Sewage Treatment Plant. 

The design and operation of the sewage treatment plants shall meet the stand- 
ards of the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard. 

Where sewage treatment plants are used to handle human body wastes only. 
holding tanks shall also be provided to handle other wastes (grey water). 

The marine sanitation device shall be capable of discharging to dockside fa- 
cilities. Provisions shall be made to facilitate internal cleaning. 
(e) Holding Tanks. 

When provided, holding tanks shall he of sufficient capacity to retain all accu- 
mulate:! drains from urinals, toilets, showers, lavatories, laundries and galleys 
and shall be capable of holding 56 cubic meters (15,000 gallons) of accumulated 
Bewage and liquid wastes, or have a five day capacity based on t!i<> t < 1 1 .- j 1 ship 
complement at .26 cubic meters (in gallons) day person. When using recircula- 
tion or vacuum flush systems, holding capacity for these low flow systems will 
be based on individual system requirements. Holding tanks for "grey" water, 
where no sewage solids are discharged into the tank, shall only be fitted with 

manholes, air vents to the weather deck, an overflow to the sea above the deep 
water line, and all necessary piping connections. When organic solids are dis- 
charged into the tank, air shall be supplied to the tank to keep solids in 

Each tank shall be fitted with means to discharge to dockside facilities. 

Provision shall be made to prevent the accumulation of noxious and explosive 
gases in the holding tanks and vents. 

The tanks shall be equipped with manholes, air vents to the weather deck, 
an overflow to the sea above the deep load water line, and all necessary piping 
connections. All air vents that terminate above the weather deck shall be 
located where odors will not be objectionable. 

Sufficient air shall be applied to the sewage holding tank in order to prevent 
the contents from becoming anaerobic and to keep the solids in suspension. A 
pressure regulator and shut-off valve shall be provided to control tbe air flow 
into the tank. The capacity of air required shall not be less than .7 cubic meters 
(25 CFM) at 34 kPa (5 psig) per 28 m 3 (1000 ft. 3 ) tank capacity. 

Each holding tank shall be fitted with a floatless type level indicator and 
a separate high level alarm. The remote level indicators and alarm annunciators 
shall be placed on the engine room control console. The level control electrodes 
should not be in direct contact with sewage and the unit should be arranged 
for easy access and maintenance. 

On vessels where the engine room is aft, or where it is impractical to have 
the sewage system distributed throughout the ship, a holding tank or a small 
independent sewage treatment system shall be provided for the engine room 
toilets and lavatory drains. 

Provisions shall be made for the use of water and steam with tank cleaning 

(d) Piping. 

All liquid wastes from urinals, toilets, showers, lavatories and laundries 
shall be led to the sewage treatment tank. Sewage drains shall be fed to the 
treatment plant or holding tank independent of other drains. Shore connections 
fitted with 102 mm (4" pipe) shall be located on the main deck, port and 
starboard, to enable sewage and liquid waste to be pumped to shore facilities. 

(e) Pumps. 

Each sewage system shall be equipped with two (2) sewage pumps connected 
m parallel. The pumps shall take suction from the holding tanks or sewage treat- 
ment plant and shall be capable of discharging overboard independently of 
other drain lines and to the shore connection. The sewage pumps shall be of 
the non-clog marine type, suitable for handling raw sewage and either sea or 
fresh water as required. 

7. Stack Emission, (a) General. 

All stack emissions shall meet the air purity standards established by the 
ports of call of the vessel, the standards of the San Francisco Bay Area or 
the standards of New York City, whichever are most restrictive for the opera- 
tion intended. 

(b) Smoke Indicator. 
_ Each boiler shall be equipped with a combination visual-photo-electric smoke 
indicator which shall clearly indicate the absence or presence of smoke. The 
indicator shall be provided with an alarm which actuates when the smoke 
intensity exceeds the value established by Article 7(a) above the indicator 
shall be provided with an auto-semi-auto pressurized lens cleaning system 
to insure cleanliness of the lens. The indicator shall be visible in the vicinity 
of the Central Control Console. A recorder shall be coordinated with the smoke 
intensity alarm to record the duration of pollution above the standards estab- 
lished by Article 7(a) above. 

8. Inert Gas Systems : All tankers over 100.000 DWT and having tank sizes 
greater than 10,000 cubic meters shall be equipped with an approved inert eas 
system to prevent tanker casualties from fire and explosion. 

a Collision Avoidance Radar : All tankers must be equipped with a collision 
avoidance radar system which complies with the requirements of § 94.4 of this 


[FR Doc.75-3093 Filed 2-7-73 ;8 :45 am] 
Maritime Administration Research and Development 1'kojects 


7 ,'/>,/,'or design 

I Lite Cycle Costs of Selected River Tank Barge Configurations (Cnntnyt 

No riS&84). The effectiveness of single-hull Inland tank barges and double- 

bull bar-es , preventing oil spills was compared. Double-hulls to barges would 

rent 97 percent of ejected oil spills, but would cost $100,000 per barge to 

Segregated Ballast Tanker Design (Coutract No. 2-36313). Evaluate eco- 
nomie imnact of segregated ballast desigu concepts on oil tankers. 
*Tr£8rUo** Tests-Varying Ballast (Contract No. 3-36209). Seakeeping 
and maneuvering tests on a VLCC for varying levels of ballast to determine 
r of displacement on ship performance and support U.S. position on segre- 
gated ballast levels in tankers for 1MCO. **-»•- , K oon - n ^ tw 
clean Ballast Tanker Design (Contract No. 2-35227 and 5-3S0o0). Def- 
inition of economic impact of providing segregated ballast and tanks in large 
crude carriers to prevent dirty ballast disposal problems. 

-, Clean Ballast Tanker Design— Computer Calculations (Contract No. 2- 
23609). Calculations required for pollution control and prevention Program. 

6 LNG Test Tanks— Liquid Sloshing (Contract Nos. 3-36281 and 3-36282). 
Investigate loads and resulting dynamic forces on tank walls and structural 
members of liquid sloshing in model tanks subjected to simulated ship motion. 
Results will be used in design of a safer full-scale LNG containment tank. 

7 Leakage Through Cracks in LXG Tankage (Contract No. 3-35301). De- 
velop leakage rate data for LNG tank material as a function of crack geom- 

stressfluid properties and pressure for a more efficient and safer LNG 
iainment system. 
LNO Program Support (Contract No. 400-3S041). Test and evaluate a 
range of materials for cryogenic marine application and recommend techniques 
and equipment to insure safe LNG tank performance. 

9. Submarine Transport Conceptual Design (Contract No. 4-37032). Deter- 
mine economic and operational factors associated with a technologically feasible 
commercial submarine to transport oil and other products from Arctic areas. 
(Includes study of submarine, terminals, navigation systems and environmental 

10. Resistance, Propulsion and Maneuvering Characteristics of Marad Sys- 
tematio Series for Large Full-Form Merchant Ships (Contract No. 1-35587). 
Determine the hydronamic characteristics of such vessels in deep water, with 

ial attention to the maneuverability of large oil tankers, including perform- 
ance of additional rudders while stopping or backing. 

11. Maneuverahilitji. Resistance and Propulsion Characteristics for Bluff Form 
Single Screw Vessels' in Shallow Water (Contract No. 5-38074). Extend investi- 
gation of characteristics of large oil tankers to shallow water. 

12. The Use of Systems Identification Procedure to Determine the Maneuvering 
fficients of Bulk Oil Vessels During Full Scale Ship Trials (Contract Nos. 

3-3fi291 and 5-3S073). Develop methodology for determination of maneuvering 
"icients during full scale ship trials (vice model tests). 

Terminal design 

1. Offshore Terminal (Contract No. 1-35409). Evaluate need for and feasibility 
of alternative deepwnter offshore terminals to handle crude oil imports by 1980 
With drv bulk capabilities to be added subsequently. 

2. Offshore Terminal Support (Contract No. MA-6502). Develop test program 
for evaluation of offshore terminal oil transfer safeguards and report of program 

ns for evaluation of preventive measir-es and containment of oil spills dur- 
inr tanker oil transfer at offsliore terminal facilities. 

3 sin air point Mooring (Contract No. MA-6562). Develop state of the art 
<"!<■' ^mentation for a single point mooring system. 

4. Offshore Deepwater Facilities Submerged Breakwater (Contract No. 
4-37028). Develop engineering design and cost estimate for a bottom mounted 
wave alternation system for a single point mooring in 100-foot water depth. 

Ship control 

1. Human Engineering — Bridge Conning (Project No. MA-4221). Human fac- 
tors and guidelines involved in bridge control for better bridge design and man- 
equipment relationships. 

2. Integrated Conning System (Project Nos. 1-35410 and 4-37093). Design, 
fabricate, install and evaluate an integrated conning system to provide more 
effective control of a vessel for navigation, piloting and harbor maneuvering. 

3. Collision Avoidance (Contract No. 4-37130). Identify factors which con- 
tribute to ship collisions and develop collision avoidance logic, concepts and 
standards on which to base improved collision avoidance systems. 

4. Ship Operations in Restricted Waterways (Contract No. 5-38056). Identify 
factors which affect risk of collision and grounding in restricted waterways and 
develop risk models for evaluating improved vessel and port designs. 

5. Electronic Docking System. Design, develop and test an instrumentation 
system that displays a ship's docking status to provide the docking officer with 
essential information to safely approach a dock. 

6. Integrated Lookout System (Contract No. 6-38057). Develop an integrated 
lookout system to provide the ship conning officer with additional threat data 
to improve safety of ship operations. 

7. Standard Conn (Contract No. 6-3S006). Develop and evaluate a standard 
conn containing all display and control equipment necessary to maneuver a 
large ship and which can be operated by one or two persons. 

8. Integrated Ship System-Phase I (Contract No. 3-36225). Develop automa- 
tion alternatives for a coastal tanker (GT) a large tanker (VLCC) and an LNG 

9. Computer Aided Operations Research Facility (Contract No. 1-3515). 
Develop a facility to simulate a ship control system and marine operating 
environment for the evaluation of ship bridge equipment, personnel, vessel 
maneuverability and port characteristics. 

Monitoring and surveillance 

1, Maritime Sonar Systems (Contract Nos. 2036228 and 6-38510). Design and 
evaluate "anti-stranding" shipboard sonar system to warn of bottom conditions 
and sub-surface obstacles that are hazardous to ship passage. 

2. Hull Status Monitoring System (Contract No. 4-37119). Develop automated 
system which monitors static and dynamic hull status, including draft, trim, 
stability, hull stresses and flooding. 

Navigation and communications 

1. Maritime Satellite Navigation/Communications System (Contract Nos. 
1-35594, 4-37044. 4-37071). Design a global operational satellite system providing 
navigation, communications and surveillance, and demonstrate capabilities using 
ATS-5 and ATS-6 and shipboard pre-prototype equipment. 

2. Low Cost Navy Navigation Satellite Equipment (Contract No. 400-28012). 
Evaluate low-cost radio navigation hardware for maritime use based on Navy 
satellite systems. 

3. Remote Radar Transmission Processing and Display (Contract No. 2-36289)., 
Provide satellite communication terminals to process and transmit ship radar in- 
formation ashore for collision avoidance analysis. 

4. Marine Radar Interrogater-Transponder (Contract Nos. 3-26249 and 5- 
38938). Develop and evaluate radar transponder which provides radar target 
enhancement, radar target identification and capability of sending limited navi- 
gational safety data messages over radar transponder system as ship collision 
avoidance aid. 

r>. Participate in Interagency and Joint Government /Industry Advisory Groups. 
For development of ship radar specifications, ship radar transponder specifica- 
tions, collision avoidance system specifications and a national plan for navigation. 

Tditk cleaning 

1. Tanker Tank Cleaning Methods (Contract No. 2-26279). Develon an im- 
proved tank cleaning technique and equipment which will reduce pollution of 
the ocean by oil. increase safety in tank cleaning, and, if possible, reduce man- 
hours and effort involved in tank cleaning. 


•j. Electrostatic Tanker Explosion* (Contracl No. 4-37065). Evaluate an elec- 
tromechanical device which i- designed to dissipate the electrostatic chai 
generated i>y tank cleaning equipini at. 

Oil pollution previ ntment and aoaU m 

1, Shoreside Pollution Control (MA 6562). Summarize regulations governing 
discbarges from shoreside facilities whicli receiye and treat Bhipyard oily wastes 
;iimI recommend improved practices. 

2. Poft connection and Separation Facilities (Contract No. •_' 36202). Define 
requirements Cor port facilities to handle expected oily waste Loads and aocepl 
the impact of probable deepwater oil terminals on coastal porl facility require- 

:;. Fate and Effects of Oil in the Sea (Contract Nos. MA-6562, 400 28013, M)0- 
2801 1 1. I Jevelop analytical techniques to measure and trace small concentral ions 
of hydrocarbons In ocean waters in order to determine the levels of oil discharge 
from sbips which are harmful to the marine environment. 

4. Oil/Water Monitor (Contract No. MA-6562). Establish oil/water monitor- 
ing testing and evaluation capability. 

5. Pollution Prevention and Control (Contract No. 1-35049). Develop and test 
of pollution abatement systems and equipment. 

0. Supertankers — ^Environmental Impact Statement (Contracl No. •"'. 36270). 
Provide environ mental impact statement support for Marad tanker CDS Program. 

7. Environmental Impact of Supertankers (Contract No. 400-28015). Develop 
a basis for establishing national policy concerning supertanker terminals and 
operal ions. 

8. Pollution Control (ind Prevention— Merchant ships (Contract No. 5-3860). 
Review nse of crude oil in Washing Oil etirgo tanks and continue ocean sampling 
to assess background oil content. 

!>. Oil/Water Separator (Contract Nos. MA-4152, MA-3854, MA-6562, PIMA 
70 551, PIMA 70-503, 0-3") 107. -too -L'SOl'.')). Development and evaluation of ship- 
board oil-water separator system to prevent pollution of the seas from oil dis- 
charged with ballast water. 

The Chairman. Now we will have Mr. Learson of the Law of the 
Sea ( inference. 

Senator Schmitt. "Welcome, Mr. Learson. This will all be in the 
record and I'm sure the chairman will have questions for you when 
he returns shortly. 


Ambassador Learson. Thank you very much. 

With mo today T have Terry Leitzell, an attorney and legal adviser 
from the office of the Slate Department. 

Senator Schmitt. If I may correct the record, I should have said 

Ambassador Learson. That's all right. 

I have a long statement here and in retrospect I believe with the 
wonderful testimony you had from the previous speakers, it covers a 
good part of my talk. I would like it to be part of the record. 

Senator Schmitt. Yes, sir. 

Ambassador Learson. I will give you a summary of my report 
and in particular I will point out the facts which pertain to the law 
of the sea where I hold competence as the chief negotiator. 

It is my understanding that 90-plus percent of the traffic going up 
and down our coasts eventually enters one of our ports. "With this as a 
given, so to speak, the strategy of the law of the sea negotiation is 
built around port state control, port state authority. That is on 
pollution matters. 


Now, I have five points. The first point, it is clear that in internal 
waters, including ports, that port state has complete jurisdiction 
to establish regulations for the prevention of pollution. 

Article 16 of the text that we are working with, which is attached 
to my testimony, indicates that authority. 

Second point, in the territorial sea, again the coastal state has com- 
plete jurisdiction to deny entry into port of any ship not meeting 
standards set for control of pollution by that state for its ports. 

Article 24 attached to my statement indicates that authority. 

Three, in the sea beyond the territorial sea, the convention estab- 
lishes the right for enforcement of international standards, A, to the 
flag state ; B, to the coastal state ; C, to the port state, 

When the violations are gross or flagrant, all three have the right 
to prosecute. For lesser violations, prosecutions would be carried out 
by the flag state or by the port state if the flag state has been his- 
torically negligent in prosecuting these minor violations. 

This 'provision is in there directly to take care of the problem of 
flags of convenience. 

Senator Schmitt. Who makes the decision whether they have been 
historically negligent? . 

Ambassador Learson. The port state can make that decision. 

All four of those points that I have covered are a definite improve- 
ment in the present status of the international law pertinent to pollu- 
tion control. . 

My fifth point is on the negative side. In the territorial sea, articLe 
20 attached to my statement, indicates that the coastal states cannot 
establish regulations for design, construction, equipment, or manning 
of foreign vessels bevond international standards. This article, as it 
exists in the treaty at the moment, is in opposition to the Ports and 
Waterways Safety Act. We are fighting this. 

In summary, Mr. Chairman, the Law of the Sea Treaty text should 
improve pollution control and we are using as the keystone in that 
improvement, port state control. I believe we can live with interna- 
tional standards on the sea beyond the territorial sea as long as we 
have this jurisdiction over the rules for ships entering our ports. 

This should indicate— this should give us control over the U.S. 
problem with 90 percent of the ships going up and down our coasts. 
cn f ovin£r our ports. 

Thank you, sir. 

Senator Scitmttt. Thank vou. m 

The Chairman. I'm sorrv ; I missed part of the testimony, but there 
is one basic question. In your discussions regarding the 2.00-mIle eco- 
nomic zone, 'fisheries is now out of that. It is a separate matter: is 

tlllf" OOT*I*(?Ct 

Ambassador Learson. Insofar ns the treaty is concerned, it is still 
in tl>o treat v, but we have our own law. 

The Chairman. But we have taken unilateral action on that, 
Ambassador Learson. Yes, sir. . -in • • 

T^e Chairman. Now, in further discussions, has oil pollution, 
safety at seas, been part of that 200-mile economic zone discussion ? 

Embassador Levrson. Yes, sir. That was my really third, and per- 
haps the fifth point is more pertinent. In the economic zone the eco- 
nomic zone is reallv the sea'goino: out for 200 miles from the coast 
In that entire area, we have the problem of standards, et cetera, beyond 


international standards. As r said, yes. that is the one negative item 
in the treaty at the moment. This is not settled in the territorial 
and we wish to renegotiate that. 
The Chairman. What I'm trying to establish is that the Law of the 

Sea ('on Terence, within the concept of the 200-mile economic zone, could 
establish authority to ^i't sf ringent rules on ships coming into that 200- 
mile, for tankers, for instance. Is that correct ] 

Ambassador Learson. Yes, sir, if they are heading for port. 

The Chairman. We could do that now on ships entering our port, 
entering our own waters. Now, does that concept conflict any, or is it 
Working at cross purposes with these other conferences that, say, 
Russell Train mentioned today \ 

Ambassador Learsox. No, sir. In the economic zone, the convention 
gives to the — first, it gives duties to the flag state, relating to preven- 
tions of pollution. That is article 82 that I referred to. Furthermore, 
it outlines the obligations of the flag states. Then it gives enforcement 
rights as outlined to the flag state, coastal state or port state, all 

The Chairman - . Chapter 3, article 44, section D, of the single nego- 
tiating text which we have a copy of here, says: 

The coastal state shall have jurisdiction with regard to the preservation of 
the marine environment, including pollution control and abatement. 

Ambassador Learson. Part 2. This article 44 is under serious dis- 
cussion, will be changed, and will be cross-referenced to the articles 
in part 3 which pertain to pollution. But, this is a temporary thing. 
It has not been changed, but we are sure of that. 

The Chairman. Could the Law of the Sea Conference — I guess they 
could — establish international standards for shipping? 

Ambassador Learsox. The law of the Sea will not set interna- 
tional standards, but it will set up a requirement that international 
standards be the standards in the economic zone. And the international 
standards are set largely by IMCO. 

The Chairman. Supposing a conference like the last London con- 
!' '-nee in 1973 had established international standards, the Law of 
the Sea Conference would pick those up so that they would be the 

Ambassador Learson. Yes, sir, they would. They would be the 
international standards. 

The Chairman. My point is, do you have to wait on them to do it? 

Ambassador Learsox. We have to wait on those becoming effective. 
The only international standards effective are those ratified by the 
nations. TThen that treaty is ratified, those will be the standards and 
it will pertain to the Law of the Sea Conference, as well. 

The Chairman. Have you sent any treaties up to the Senate yet, 
from the Law of the Sea Conference ? 

Ambassador Learsox. No, sir. We are not in that position, unfor- 

The Chairman. Have you made any agreements? 

A mbassador Learsox. Xo. sir, we have not. 

Senator S iimttt. Isn't there a fairly broad agreement in the Law 
of the Sea negotiations up to now, with some major bottlenecks? In 
ns of total number of changes, you probably have agreement in 
i rcent of them. 


Imbassadpr U aksox. There is a basic consensus on most of the arti- 
cles in what we call section 2 and section 3 of this convention. We are 
in a deadlock over section 1, which is the deep seabeds. This is an 
Ldealogical battle which ip being foughj. , .. .. 

Senator Schmttt. What would be the eflect of a unilateral declara- 
t ion of a 21 m 1-mile limit on those j 

Ambassador Learson. Pollution. 

Senator Schmitt. Yqs. . . ,; . , 

\jnbassador Learson. It would be my belief that there is no need 
for a 200-mile pollution zone for the reasons I have mentioned, namely, 
thai the ships that are going up and down our coast, we can control 
the standards at the level where they enter our ports. They will be 
complying without the overt move of declaring a 200-mile zone. In 
other words, it will give you the same effect. 

The Chairman. Do you ajrree that the United States presently has 
the legal authority under international law to require tanker safety 
standards higher than international standards? 

Ami lassador Learson. Within ports, yes, sir. 

The Chairman, Yon agree with that? -) 

Vmbassador Learson, Yes, sir. The treaty will substantiate it. _ 

The Chairman. Good luck up there. When are you meeting again? 

Ambassador Learson. May, sir, and we will need luck. 

Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

[The statement follows:] 

Statement of Ambassador at Large T. Vincent Learson 

Mr Chairman- The recent series of incidents involving foreign flag tinkers 
has highlighted the serious and continuing problem of protecting our coasts and 
resources from damage from pollution from vessels. I have been a sailor tor many 
years and have seen first-hand the damage that can be caused by oil pollution. The 
Ioag.term impact of such pollution is less obvious but perhaps much more serious 
than the immediate and observable damage. The solution to this problem has 
proven to be elusive. The United States has undertaken many efforts both 
internationally and domestically, to prevent pollution and has often been in 
the forefront 'of international efforts. Our success has obviously been less than 
100 percent. EPA Administrator Russell Train has urged the creation of an 
interagency task force to urgently undertake an analysis of the problem of 
oil spills from vessels and to search for more effective solutions. The beginnings 
of such an interagency effort have already taken place. I strongly support that 
effort and urge quick Executive Branch action in cooperation with the Congress 
to produce a program of effective measures to reduce vessel pollution, consistent 
with our global interest in protecting the marine environment and in meeting our 
other oceans objective. My preliminary view is that those measures should be 
implemented through strict requirements for entry and use of U.S. ports. In 
addition, we are working to forward to you very soon the 1973 Convention on 
tho Prevention of Pollution from Ships and its implementing legislation. 

Mr. Chairman, I would like to outline briefly the existing international law 
applicable to these problems and then to indicate the direction of the Law of the 
Sea negotiations on the vessel pollution problem. This discussion will focus on 
the legal basis for preventive measures and enforcement action by the coastal 
State. T will touch briefly on liability issues later. As you know, the recent 
incidents varied in their location with some in United States waters and some 
beyond. The legal situation differs depending on the location. 

First, let me deal with our rights in internal waters including our ports. This 
would cover such incidents as the recent grounding in the Delaware river, inspec- 
tions in port, incidents during loading operations, etc. In general, the United 
states has complete jurisdiction in these areas and may legislate and enforce 
pollution control regulations by domestic law without restriction. However, there 


are certain rest rations on our inspect ion rights since some Internationa] conven- 
tions to which we are party require us to accept flag state Inspection certifies 
at lace value unless we have clear grounds for believing thai Hie vessel is not in 
compliance with the regulations of the relevant convention. However, we can 
apply our own domestic regulations even if they are more strict than the regula- 
tions of international conventions. There were efforts (luring a 1973 Interna- 
tional conference on vessel pollution to restrict our rights to regulate vessels 
in our ports but those efforts were defeated. There is no legal impediment from 
our point of view to U.S. imposition of its domestic regulations on all vessels in 
our ports. The Law of the Sea Conference's Revised Single Negotiating Text and 
the existing 1958 Territorial Sea Convention specify this right and I will submit 
the relevant articles for the record. I should make it clear, however, that such 
regulations must be carefully drawn taking into account existing international 
regulations and future international efforts. We should ensure, for example that 
domestic regulations, while perhaps more stringent than international ones, 
are not in fact incompatible, thus making compliance impossible. 

Second, there are significant powers to deal with incidents in our territorial 
sea. Under present international law, the United States has sovereignty in the 
territorial sea subject to the requirement to allow vessels to engage in innocent 
passage. With regard to pollution controls, this means that we may legislate 
and enforce effective vessel pollution control regulations in the territorial sea. 
Such actions must not hamper innocent passage but that restriction still leaves 
us a great deal of flexibility. There have been strong efforts in the Law of the 
Sea Negotiations to restrict coastal State regulatory powers in the territorial 
sea and to eliminate any coastal State power to establish requirements regarding 
the design, construction, equipment and manning of vessels. Only internation- 
ally agreed regulations would be applicable to such matters. The United States 
is strongly resisting these attempts but the support for the restrictions is very 
strong. All of the major maritime powers as well as many developing countries 
support the restrictions which appear in the present Revised Single Negotiating 
Text of the Conference. We will continue to fight on this point. 

Third, beyond the territorial sea is the area of high seas where, for example, 
the Arffo Merchant casualty occurred. The basic legal ride on the high seas is 
that there is freedom of navigation. Coastal State rights are limited. The most 
significant coastal State right is the right to intervene in the case of a maritime 
casualty. The 1069 Convention on Intervention provides that the coastal State 
may take action to prevent grave and imminent danger to its coastline or related 
interests from oil pollution which is reasonably expected to have major harmful 
consequences. The United States invoked this right in the case of the Aryo 
Merchant. The Convention on Intervention grew out of the aftermath of the 
Torni/ Canyon disaster off the coast of England in 1967 and is intended for only 
the most serious cases. 

In addition to this coastal State right, there are several types of existing obli- 
gations on flag States with regard to their vessels. The Convention on the High 
Seas provides that the flag State shall take adequate safety measures regarding 
manning, construction, equipment and sea-worthiness of its ships and shall apply 
regulations to prevent oil pollution from vessels. Also, there are several specific 
conventions containing technical regulations and specifications for safety and 
the prevention of pollution. These include the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, 
the lf>.~4 Convention for the Prevention of the Pollution of the Sea by Oil and 
the 1973 Convention for the Prevention of Pollution by Ships. The latter is not 
yet in force. All of these conventions include numerous technical requirements. 
In the area beyond the territorial sea, they provide for exclusive flag State 

In the Law of the Sea negotiations, there have been extensive negotiations on 
a new regime for the prevention of vessel source pollution. It has been recognized 
in the Conference that we cannot depend solely on flag States for the promulga- 
tion and enforcement of regulations. Consequently, the Revised Single Negotiat- 
ing Text contains a mixed regime which puts certain obligations on flair States 
but also provides specified rights for coastal States and for States with vessels in 
their ports. The text has been negotiated at some length and the provisions for 
vessel pollution control in the economic zone are very close to being accepted by 
consensus. The provisions emphasize the importance of increased enforcement 
rights and divide the responsibility between flag States, coastal States and States 
with vessels in port. Flag State obligations have been significantly strengthened. 
82-908— 77— pt. 1 7 


The Flag State is obligated to investigate any reported offense by one of its ves- 
sels against the internationally agreed regulations and to prosecute if a violation 
is indicated. Article 82 of the Committee II text, which I will submit for the 
record, places a strong administrative obligation on the flag State to in fact con- 
trol its vessels. This is aimed directly at tbe basic problem with flags of con- 
venience—the lack of effective control for safety and environmental purposes. 
The coastal State may, in the economic zone, investigate and prosecute any vessel 
for a serious discharge causing major pollution damage in violation of the inter- 
national regulations. 

It should be noted that this type of enforcement right would not be useful in 
preventing casualties such as the Argo Merchant. 

Finally, the port State may investigate and prosecute any vessel for any 
violation of the international regulations, regardless of the place of the incident. 
I should note that the present text provides the flag State with a limited right 
to take over prosecutions of its vessels from other States. Of course, the port or 
coastal State may take further action if the flag State prosecution is inadequate. 

In summary, present international law provides extensive coastal State powers 
for the United States in its ports and internal waters and in the territorial sea. 
In the area beyond, our authority is limited to the right of intervention. The 
Law of the Sea Treaty should preserve these rights, although some of our terri- 
torial sea rights are threatened, and will expand our enforcement rights in ports 
and in the 200-mile economic zone. 

Mr, Chairman, I would like to take a moment to explain our position on these 
issues in the Law of the Sea negotiations and our rationale for it. 

We have recognized for some time that the present international regime for 
vessel pollution prevention is inadequate and that further action was needed. 

In determining our position for the Law of the Sea negotiations, we had sev- 
eral factors in mind. First, we recognized a clear need for increased protection 
for the marine environment. Second, we wanted to preserve freedom of naviga- 
tion on the high seas, including the area within the proposed 200-mile economic 
zone. Consequently, we felt that coastal State rights of action beyond the terri- 
torial sea should be limited so as not to allow foreign nations discretionary 
rights to interfere with navigation in the open ocean. However, we also felt 
that strong regulatory powers should be established and confirmed for nations 
with vessels in their ports. Thus, a system which emphasized the powers of port 
States achieved both of our objectives — the prevention of interference with U.S. 
vessels on the high seas and the strong right of individual States to ensure that 
vessels entering ports are safe and sound ships. For the United States, almost 
all of the traffic off our coasts enters U.S. ports. We have been willing to agree 
in the negotiations to a direct right for the coastal State to act in its economic 
zone in serious cases. But the burden of regulation and enforcement would fall 
on the port State. We have insisted on the retention of essentially unrestricted 
rights to apply and enforce domestic regulations to vessels in port. Also, we have 
urged acceptance of a right for the port State to take enforcement action against 
any vessel in its port for any violation of the international regulations In 
general, this position is being adopted in the Conference. 

The issue of liability for damage caused by oil spills, particularly in the area 
beyond the territorial sea. is complex and highly important. During the last 
session of Congress, both the Administration and the Congress worked hard on 
the 'Comprehensive Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation Act of 1976" 
Also we submitted two conventions for advice and consent— the Convention on 
Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage and the Convention on the Establish- 
ment, of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 
Neither convention has been ratified by the United States, although the Liabilitv 
Convention is in force internatonally. The Liability Convention provides for 

F Si £nvS V f Sel °^ nerS J? 0i ! Rpi11 dam *ges up to a specified limit. The 
Fund Convention would provide additional protection up to a higher limit The 
orTerrl™ nf^Tf °^ limi ^heir coverage to damage in the^erritor a'l sea 
tWontPvt of ■ rhJ onl%} ^° Pe th f J?" liabilit ^ Proems can be worked out in 

S^SS5££!LSSt^? T* betW ^ n the ■**#»* Branch and the Con- 
gress and consequently I will not comment further here 

vonVcoU^ff'^A^S 5 T Wan t! ^terete that I share the concern of vou and 

^S^SSSZ^JuS^X^T PreSS f ° r ViSOr ° US and rapid action 
Thank you. 


Submission hy Ambassadob at Labge T. Vincent Lea] 

aui [OLE 10 

1. The coastal stale may take the necessary steps in its territorial sea to pre- 
vent passage which is not innocent. 

2. In the case of ships proceeding to internal waters, the coastal State shall 
also have the right to take the necessary steps to prevent any breach of the 
conditions to which admission of those ships to those waters is subject. 

3. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 4, the coastal State may, without 
discrimination amongst foreign ships, suspend temporarily in specified areas of 
its territorial sea the innocent passage of foreign ships if such suspension is es- 
sential for the protection of its security. Such suspension shall take effect only 
after having been duly published. 

4. There shall be no suspension of the innocent passage of foreign ships 
through straits which are used for international navigation between oue part of 
the high seas and another part of the high seas or the territorial sea of a foreign 

rA/Conf/62/WP.S/Rev.l/Part II, G May 19761 

Revised Single Negotiating Text 
Part II 


Rights of protection of the coastal State 

1. The coastal State may take the necessary steps in its territorial sea to pre- 
vent passage which is not innocent. 

2. In the case of ships proceeding to internal waters or a call at a port facility 
outside internal, the coastal State also lias the right to take the necessary steps 
to prevent any breach of the conditions to which admission of those ships to in- 
ternal waters or such a call is suhject. 

3. The costal State may, without discrimination amongst foreign ships, sus- 
pend temporarily in specified areas of its territorial sea the innocent passage of 
foreign ships if such suspension is essential for the protection of its security. 
Such suspension shall take effect only after having been duly published. 


Duties of the flag State 

1. Every State shall effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control in ad- 
ministrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag. 

2. In particular every State shall : 

(a) Maintain a register of shipping containing the names and particulars of 
ships flying its flag, except those which are excluded from generally accepted 
international regulations on account of their small size; and 

il»i Assume jurisdiction under its internal law over each ship flying its flag 
and its master, officers and crew in respect of administrative, technical and social 
matters concerning the ship. 

3. Every State shall take such measures for ships flying its flag as are neces- 
sary to ensure safety at sea with regard, inter alia, to : 

( a ) The construction, equipment and seaworthiness of ships ; 

(b) The manning of ships, labour conditions and the training of crews, taking 
into account the applicable international instrument ; 

(c) The use of signals, the maintenance of communications and the preven- 
tion of collisions. 

4. Such measures shall include those necessary to ensure : 

(a) That each ship, before registration and thereafter at appropriate inter- 
vals, is surveyed by a qualified surveyor of ships, and has on board such charts. 
nautical publications and navigational equipment and instruments as are appro 
priate for the safe navigation of the ship; 

(In That each ship is in the charge of a master and officers who possess ap- 
propriate qualifications, in particular in seamanship, navigation, communications 
and marine engineering, and that the crew is appropriate in qualification and 
numbers for the type, size, machinery and equipment of the ship; 

(e) That the master, officers and, to the extent appropriate, the crew are fully 
conversant with and required to observe the applicable international regulations 


concerning the safety of life at sea, the prevention of collisions, the prevention 
and control of marine pollution, and the maintenance of communications by radio. 

5. In taking the measures railed for in paragraphs 3 and 4 each State is re- 
quired to conform to generally accepted international regulations, procedures and 
practices and to take any steps which may be necessary to secure their 


6. A State which has clear grounds to believe that proper jurisdiction and 
control with respect to a ship have not been exercised may report the facts to the 
flag State. Upon receiving such a report, the flag State shall investigate the 
matter and. if appropriate, take any action necessary to remedy the situation. 

7. Each State shall cause an inquiry to be held by or before a suitably quali- 
fied person or persons into every marine casualty or incident of navigation on 
the high seas involving a ship flying its flag and causing loss of life or serious 
injury to nationals of another State or serious damage to shipping or installa- 
tions of another State or to the marine environment. The flag State and the other 
State shall co-operate in the conduct of any inquiry held by that other State into 
any such marine casualty or incident of navigation. 

The Chairman. I guess the U.S. Coast Guard will have to come back 
tomorrow. I hate to cause you this inconvenience. Other members of 
the committee, Senator Hollings and Senator Long, want to ask ques- 
tions of the U.S. Coast Guard. Some of them will be technical. We 
need your help in the technical matters. 

We are in recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. 

[Whereupon, at 4 :40 p.m., the hearing was adjourned to reconvene 
at 10 a.m. the following day.] 



U.S. Senate, 
Committee on Commerce, 

Washington. B.C. 

The committee was reconvened, pursuant to adjournment, at 10 
a.m. in room 1224 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building; Hon. Warren 
G. Magnuson (chairman of the committee) presiding. 

The Chairman. All right. The committee will come to order. 

We have changed rooms this morning hoping we would be able to 
accommodate, more people than we could yesterday in the Commerce 
Committee room, but this room is not much bigger. 

I don't know whether it does accommodate more people or not, or 
whether the acoustics are as good in here as they are up in the Com- 
merce Committee room. 

Because we have a long list of witnesses today, we will start right 
now. Several other Senators on the committee will be here, but we will 
go right ahead now. 

I welcome Senator Anderson here today on the committee. The 
others will be along. 

Our first witness today is the distinguished Senator from Massa- 
chusetts. Senator Kennedy. 

We will be glad to hear from you. 



Senator Kennedy. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, members 
of the committee. 

First of all 

The Chairman. Can you hear the Senator in the back of the room ? 
All right. 

Senator Kennedy. I want to first of all, Mr. Chairman, express to 
you the very warm appreciation of the 6 million citizens of my State, 
and I am sure I speak for all Xew Englanders, and commend you for 
holding these hearings today on a matter of such enormous eonseouence 
to the livelihood of tens of thousands of people of my State. This is 
a matter important to our national interest as well. 

T think any of us who know your record. Mr. Chairman, know that 
this is not a new issue to you. I took the liberty during the course of 
oiu' own hearings' up in Boston of our Administrative Practice and 
Procedure Subcommittee, of quoting you on these subject matters back 
in 1075 and 1976, at your hearings with the U.S. Coast Guard. 



I think anyone that roads your legislative history and who under- 
stands your Long-time interest and concern about this problem can 
adequately say thai if the administration, if the USCG, if Congress 
had followed your leadership in this area, there wouldn't be the kind 
of crisis situation which exists today off the coast of Massachusetts and 
New England, and one that endangers the other parts of this country. 

So I want to at tho outset commend you for the leadership which 
you have demonstrated in the past. 

Thank you for holding these hearings today and, hopefully, dur- 
ing deliberations by yourself and the members of the committee, that 
the legislation which I have introduced can make a constructive and 
positive contribution in fashioning a legislative solution to the prob- 
lems we are facing at this time, problems which have been labeled by 
Russ Train and by others as being the greatest environmental disaster 
this country has ever seen. 

We have experienced not only the breakup of a tanker and the 
extensive pollution of waters of our coast, some 7.6 million gallons, but 
we have also seen the breakup of other ships in recent days off our 
coast. We have been extremely fortunate and lucky that our situation 
hasn't been duplicated. 

We have an Argo Merchant coming into a Massachusetts port to 
supply the energy needs of our State every single day. Every single 
day. Testimony we received up in Massachusetts from fishermen, those 
are out on the seas, demonstrates the fact that just about every day 
and every night they see these ships plying the waters of Massachusetts 
and Xew England which include some of the most treacherous waters 
in the world, failing to comply with navigational procedures and by 
their very presence, providing a very direct and immediate threat to 
our environment. 

What we are asking today in our legislation is something very simple, 
Mr. Chairman, and something which I know that you feel and I feel 
the authority for which already exists, in the Waterways Safety Act of 
1 072. Tli ere has been too much timidity, too much bureaucratic lethargy 
over the last 5 years since the law has been in effect to develop the kind 
of safety procedures we need. 

The legislation which I have introduced. Mr. Chairman, recognizes 
first of all, that it is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, to expect 
that there can be international agreements readied on tanker safety. 

The efforts that have been made in the past have failed to come to 
grips with the problems. They have really been window dressing. And 
it seems to me a cruel irony that on one hand the work of this com- 
mittee and the Congress resulted in the 200-mile limit for the protec- 
tion of our fishing resources and on the other hand, States are in 
danger of being completely undermined by the increasing threat of 
pollution of our waters. 

I think that anyone who looks at the flow chart lines and sees that 
we are importing more and more of our oil product, must recognize 
that this is going to continue to be a problem for us. 

So. Mr. Chairman, I would hope that in the development of this 
legislation, we would move ahead in the important area of adopting 
for the c ealnnes tho same kinds of procedures in many respects that we 
arlont for tho airlanes. 

The technology exists. We have seen that in the OTA report of over 
a year ago. a technology analysis of a number of these recommenda- 


tions. Wo have seen it in the correspondence, from which I quote in 
jnv formal testimony, from the DOT. 

'Their interagency committee shows that from aerial surveillance l< 
is not only possible, but quite easy, to develop the kind of monitoring 
system whirl! the FAAdoes for airplanes Eorthe ships that are coming 
into ports in this count rv. 

The Chairman. This is not a new technology. 

The Senator from New Mexico is quite familiar with it. You 
can use satellite communicai ions to do this. 

Senator Kennedy. Exactly. 

The CTi sjrman. I really hadn't thought of that until yesterday, like 
the control of airplanes coming in. 

Senator Kennedy. I will include in its entirety in the record a letter 
from Keith McDonald, the Interagency Task Force on Satellite Sys- 
tems, to me. 

T will just read this short paragraph : 

The Task Force concluded that current operational technology supports the 
application of satellites for communication and position determination of air- 
craft, ships, and oceanic areas. Specifically, it is possible to provide satellite 
monitoring of ship traffic within the 200-mile zone. 

This is their conclusion. The technology is there. I think it is un- 
fortunate and tragic that we haven't employed it. 

Second, obviously, we want to make sure that the ships that are 
coming into port are going to stay in the ship lanes. 

I mean we have well-marked lanes across the waters into Boston 

There is instance after instance where tankers that are coming in 
simply fail to comply by staying in the ship lanes. There is no reason 
in the* world why we caVt require that they will remain in the sea- 
lanes. We can insist, Mr. Chairman, that we are going to require ade- 
quate navigational gear. 

You are aware that, in too many instances, many of these ships have 
woefully inadequate navigational gear. There is no reason whatsoever 
that we can't require that it be on board ship. 

There is a serious question in the Argo Merchant whether the captain 
had it turned on. 

But what we can require is that they stay in the sealanes and we 
ran begin the radio communication which will be effective in monitor- 
ing the course. 

They must. I think, have adequate navigational equipment. We 
ought to be able to require segregated ballast and double bottoms. 

You are familiar with those provisions. They have been applied to 
the larger ships. 

It is necessary, I believe, to require the same for the smaller ships. 

Propulsion and maneuvering assessment is extremely important. 

There is no reason there can't be annual inspections of these ships 
in American ports, and that ought to be a part of any legislation. 

We ought to, in addition, require the licensing and the training of 
tanker personnel. 

We do that in a wide variety of areas when highly technical equip- 
ment must be used. We do it in the health area. We do it in other 
areas. We can require that the people who are going to come into our 
ports be adequately trained. 


The Chairman. It may not be an exact area, but it comes pretty 
close (o it. We do that now with the importation of cars to be used on 
the highway and we have them inspected once a year. There is no rea- 
son wliv we can't require ships coming in to be inspected, too. 

Senator Kennedy. It seems to make eminently good sense. Obvi- 
ously, the inspection is for the safety, well-being, the general welfare 
of the American people. 

The Chairman. It doesn't make any difference whether it's on land 
or sea. 

Senator Kennedy. That same reasoning ought to be applied m the 
area of the ship lanes. I think any legislation ought to include pro- 
visions for the development of oil spill technology. Instead, we have 
only crisis reaction in instance after instance when we do have spills. 
Important technology isn't coordinated; it isn't consolidated; and it 
seems to me that any legislation ought to have provisions dealing 
with technology. 

The liability fund is not a new issue to this committee. Senator 
Biden and myself introduced legislation and amendments to the Outer 
Continental Shelf legislation last year to accomplish this. It seems to 
me we can require a 5-eent contribution for offshore drilling and from 
tanker companies as well until we can get the fund up to be used as a 
resource in assisting any area of the country that should be adversely 

Other provisions deal with the liability of the companies. 

Finally, in our legislation, Mr. Chairman, we have a requirement 
for full disclosure of who owns the oil. Incredible as it may seem, it's 
becoming virtually impossible for us to find out who owned the oil 
that was actually spilled off the Massachusetts coast. Everyone is pass- 
ing the buck. 

Xo one wants to assume the responsibility for it. 

The Chairman. Who owns the ship ? 

Senator Kennedy. Who owns the ship is a question as well. Full 
disclosure is something I believe essential in any legislation. 

Mr. Chairman. I outlined in detail, those provisions in my formal 
statement. I would like to have the formal statement made a part of the 
record, but in an attempt to try and comply with the time constraints, 
we have only highlighted the provisions. 

I can't, emphasize strongly enough the importance of moving expe- 
ditiously on this legislation. It is absolutely essential. 

I have heard Mr. Train talk about various environmental chal- 
lenges that exist in this country, but never more eloquently than when 
he talked about the real dangers which exist for our Nation from this 
kind of pollution. 

It's absolutely devastating. And the. American people, the citizens 
of my State just have every right to expect action by the Congress in 
this important area of public policy. I want to pledge to work closely 
with you and the members of the committee in seeing that it's achieved. 

The Chairman. Well, we appreciate your testimony as usual, Sena- 
tor. It's comprehensive and well thought out. We have a. committee 
draft of legislation which pretty much coincides with yours. There is 
some other legislation that will be introduced, and then we have had a 
bill on liability prior to this and we have had a problem with treaties 
which were held up in committee last year. 


Of course, our Job is to put them together and bo come out as soon 
as possible, I couldn't agree with you more, with a bill that will at 
least direct itself to reducing the possibility of collisions or oil spills 
to an absolute minimum. We have a variety of standards. The Mari- 
time Administrator testified yesterday that the standards for subsi- 
dized ships are much higher than any of the standards in international 

waters. . ... 

We have had little or no success in international meetings to ra - 
those standards. I guess you have to do it by law. Don't you agree with 

me \ 

Senator Kennedy, I couldn't agree with you more. We have had 3 
years of discretionary authority as you brought out in your L975 and 
1976 hearings and nothing has been done. I think it's absolutely neces- 
sary to mandate these requirements. We are not talking of resources to 
implement this. This system has a very, very small price tag. The 
technology is available. The cost to the consumer is de minimis; and 
it is basically exclusionable. . . . 

I know the arguments made about how we arc going to insist that 
the international fleet conform with these requirements. I just can't 
helj) but believe we can put these requirements on ships that are 
coming into our ports. If they want to do business, they will comply 
with it. It's not onerous. Most of the major responsible shipping firms 
are moving into compliance with a number of these features. I think 
this is absolutely essential. 

It doesn't do any good to have standards which are not applied when 
the ships are at the bottom of the ocean and their product is spilled 
al ! over the fishing areas of this country. 

The Chairman. All right. The Senator from Minnesota, do you have 

anv questions? . 

Senator Anderson. Senator. I wonder, you made reference to the 
liability bill you and Senator Biden are sponsoring. 

I would hope that legislation would also cover the Great Lakes. Do 
you know that it does? 

' Senator Kennedy. Yes. That was an amendment on the (H S ml I 
last year. It does. I think it does point out that these are applicable 
not only to maritime States but obviously the Great Lakes as well. 

We will look forward to working with you on that. 

The Cii \nnr.\N. These bills cover all navigable waters, which molude 
the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes have a lot of tough problems in 
navigation. Tf you had a big spill in the Great Lakes, Lake Superior 
for instance, you would have some real problems. There is no way to 
get if out. No tides or anything of that kind to get it out. 
" It's pretty serious. And you have to have some of the refineries in 
the Great Lakes to supply the growing needs for the whole Middle 
West, for energy, fuel supply. Well, we thank you very much. 

Senator Kennedy. Thankyou, Mr. Chairman. 

[The statement follows:] 

Statement of Hon. Edward M. Kennedy, U.S. Senator From Massachusetts 

Mr Chairman. I want to thank the committee for giving me the opportunity to 
testify here this morning on the need to fundamentally alter our regulations of oil 

We have had nearlv a dozen tanker accidents in a month off our shores. The 
head of the Nation's Environmental Protection Agencv termed the Argo Merchant 
disaster off Nantucket as the Nation's worst oil spill into the ocean. 


We cannot afford a single additional tanker accident that could have been 
avoided, and the Argo Merchant spill could have been avoided. 

The F.A.A. monitors supersonic airplanes; surely we can monitor a 30.000- 
ton tanker traveling at 15 knots an hour. 

The Argo Merchant, from all reports, ran up onto the Nantucket Shoals, 
because of faulty navigation equipment and/or faulty navigators. It clearly did 
not have aboard the latest in navigational equipment. But if we had a mandatory 
shipping lane, and a transponder automatically giving off the ship's position t'o 
an on-shore Coast Guard monitoring station, we could have warned the Argo 
Merchant it was heading for the shoals. 

Instead, we have 7.6 million gallons of thick, black industrial water fouling 
the waters off our shores and constituting a potential disaster for the Georges 
Bank fishing grounds. 

The Argo Merchant spill is perhaps the most devastating symbol of our failure 
to adequately police the world's tanker fleet or establish effective and safe tanker 
traffic systems near our shores. 

The hearings that my Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure 
conducted in Boston three days before Christmas into the Argo Merchant dis- 
aster made it quite clear that executive agencies had not acted with sufficient 
diligence in the area of tanker traffic controls, tanker navigation and construc- 
tion standards, ownership disclosure and oil spill technology. 

The discretionary authority that was granted to the executive agencies under 
the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 has been abused. Delay, timidity 
and bureaucratic lethargy characterize the past five years of that law's history 
despite this Committee's determined action. 

And this Committee has tried, I know, to push the Coast Guard in this regard. 
I recall the hearing of this Committee in January 1975 when the chairman 
obtained an admission from the Coast Guard that they could keep any tanker out 
of our ports if it failed to comply with regulations unilaterally issued under the 
Ports and Waterway Safety Act. 

Then a year ago, the Coast Guard again acknowledged this authority. Unfor- 
tunately, the authority to issue regulations in a wide range of areas has not been 
forcefully used. 

The explanation offered is that it should b« done internationally. Yet. when 
there was an international agreement such as the 1973 International Convention 
for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, it remained stalled in the executive 

Yesterday, I understand the Secretary of Transportation attributed the three- 
year delay in sending the Convention to the Senate to "interagency review." 

I prefer the view of Russell Train, who testified before my subcommittee last 
month. He said : "It seems to me that, given the increasing uncertainty of the 
outcome of the law of the sea negotiations, we might do well now to reconsider 
our unilateral options. 

"Aside from the question of unilateral action to establish a pollution zone, 
the U.S. has clear authority to set a wide variety of regulatory requirements 
with respect to vessels entering U.S. ports. We have generally been reluctant 
to set special rules . . . however, here again, it seems to me that the time may 
well have arrived when the U.S. should reassess this position, and assert by 
statute and regulation, a more aggressive approach to setting standards designed 
to protect our own shores and our own workers." 

That conclusion reaffirms my own belief that it is our responsibility to estab- 
lish a 200-mile pollution liability zone to protect the 200-mile fishing zone we 
established a year ago. 

It makes little sense to preserve our fishing grounds from foreign fishing 
fleets if they are going to be stained by oil from foreign tankers. 

As Chairman of the Office of Technology Assessment. I also have followed the 
excellent recommendations which OTA has provided in the area of tanker con- 
struction, navigation, personnel, training, maintenance, and operating standards. 

There are definite improvements that we can make in the way tankers are 
built, in the way they are manned, and in the way they are permitted to operate. 

Congress must remove the discretion from the current law and mandate tough, 
strict, and timely regulations. 

My view is not based on the past weeks of horror alone. It is based as well 
on the apnalling record of increasing numbers of tankers lost and a rising amount 
of oil spilled in the oceans of the world. I know you have seen the statistics 


with some 004 accidents during the Oral '•) months of 1976 and the spilling of 

62 million gallons of oil into the oceans. 

However, it is really the past live years of lost opportunities (hat could ha 
meant a safer and more pollution free marine environment lliat makes compre- 
hensive new legislation essential for the protection of the public interest. 
Whether it is OTA or the tiAo's continuing reports, this committee's beai 
or the court transcripts on the Argo Merchant disaster, it is evident thai new 
legislation is needed. 

Based substantially on the recommendations of OTA, the National Academy ol 
Sciences studies and the GAO reports. I introduced yesterday the Federal Tanker 
Sat'ei v and .Marine A ati-pollul ion Act of 1977. 

! hope the committee will examine it as part of its current review. T believe 
the Nation is ready to support effective and rapid congressional action in this 

Let me cite some of the major provisions of the legislation : 
First, the hill will mandate the establishment of a traffic monitoring system 
modeled on the air traffic control system we have in effect today both uer< and 
abroad. Either through satellite radar or other monitoring we can follow 
every tanker on its course in the 200-mile zone. The Argo Merchant was not 
being monitored when it turned off its planned course — because there are no 
mandatory shipping lanes and no system in place to monitor tanker movements 
at the present time. This hill requires mandatory lanes and on-shore monitoring. 
The ('(asi Guard not only will know when a ship is out of those lanes, hut 
it will he able to inform the ship's captain. We know that human error is a 
factor in some 85 percent of the vessel accidents occurring in the world. This 
system will he a double-check on the human being. And it wlil make no distinction 
between foreign and domestic tankers. It was a Liberian tanker which broke up on 
the Nantucket shoals. But it could just as well have been a Panamanian or 
Honduran tanker as well. . 

one- a ship enters our 200-mile limit, the need to begin the monitoring 
process is clear. We want to be able to insure that mandatory shipping lanes will 
he established as far out to sea as necessary to insure that a tanker— once it has 
been advised it is outside the lane-will have time to stop before hitting 
something. Many of the larger tankers have a stopping distance of 15 times 
their own length. ' . .. 

In that regard, I would like lo call the committee's attention to the lettei 
I received from the Council of American .Master Mariners. Inc.. an association 
of American-flag shipmasters who in commenting on the proposed offshore 
drilling in the North Atlantic strongly urged the creation of "fairways", unim- 
peded ship lanes and asked for Coast Guard navigation. 

My bill will mandate the establishment within the 200-mile zone of traffic 
monitoring systems in the approaches to Puget Sound. Houston and Boston in 
firsl year after enactment with the phasing in of the remaining major traffic 
areas' approaching other ports no later than five years after enactment. 

While the bill would not mandate a satellite monitoring system. I want to 
inform the committee that a satellite system of monitoring is fully in accord 
with current technology according to the FAA. I received a letter yesterday 
from the FAA whose pertinent parts I want, to read to the committee. It reads 
as fellows- "We understand that in your December 22, 1970, hearings in Boston, 
vou mentioned the possibility of monitoring, by the use of satellites, maritime 
traffic carrying environmentally hazardous cargo within the 200-mile zone. Your 
staff recently contacted us concerning this matter; Mr. Schneider apparently 
bad heen informed of the FAA's involvement in an interagency las': force 
investigation of the joint use and combination potential of existing and planned 
satellite systems for providing communications, navigation and surveillance 
services for civil aeronautical and maritime users . . . The task force concluded 
that current operational technology supports the application of satellites for 
communication and position determination of aircraft and ships in oceanic areas. 
Specifically, it is possible to provide satellite 'monitoring' of ship traffic within 
the 200-mile zone ..." . . . 

Second, in addition to monitorimr the ships when they are making then- 
approaches, my hill will require that a full traffic control system, to minimize 
the danger of collisions, he in place in every major U.S. port. We now have in- 
port systems in place in Puget Sound. Houston, and San Francisco. Two others are 
to he opened this year. 


This bill would mandate extension to the other major ports including Boston. 
1 1 includes monitoring entry, movement, departure, routing, speed and other 
maneuvering and anchoring and mooring requirements. 

Third, ship-board navigational equipment of the most modern category would 
be required on both new and existing tankers including Loran C, short and long 
range radar and collision avoidance radar, as well as the transponder system 
needed to permit the indentification of each ship by the traffic control system. 

Fourth, new tankers over 20,000 deadweight tons, rather than the 70,000 now 
in effect, would have to be equipped with segregated ballast capacity and double 
bottoms. Existing tankers would have to be retrofitted over a five-year period 
with similar requirements, although the secretary could waive that require- 
ment in specific cases where it would not void the safety purposes of the legisla- 
tion. Other construction standards would include inert gas systems. The test 
must be if it doesn't meet our safety rules, it does not sail in our waters or enter 
our ports. 

Fifth, propulsion and maneuvering systems would be assessed as well and tug 
assistance required when those systems are found not to be adequate. 

Sixth, annual inspections as well as spot inspections would be carried out by 
the Coast Guard to cover all aspects of the new standards. 

We simply cannot afford to permit multiple offenders such as the Argo Mer- 
chant, which had a record of 18 separate safety related incidents, to continue 
operating without restraint. Once a ship has that kind of record, it should have 
to prove ahead of time, that it is both seaworthy and in compliance with all 

We want, and the fragility of our marine environment requires, before-the-fact 
assessment of the condition of these tankers. After the fact, they are at the 
bottom of the sea and their cargo of oil cannot be pulled from the sea and poured 
back aboard ship. 

Seventh, additional personnel licensing and training requirements would be 
required for U.S. tankers. Equivalent standards would be required of foreign- 
flag tanker crews. 

Eighth, the Secretary of Transportation, through the Coast Guard, would 
undertake a new and intensive oil spill research and prevention program to 
develop the technology of how to deal with potential spills. 

Again, it was clear at our hearing that inadequate research is available into 
what should be done when a tanker has grounded and is in danger of breaking 
up. We do not know the best combustion agent for No. 6 oil or whether an effec- 
tive combustion agent can be found. We do not know whether congealing agents 
can help the solidification process which begins once the heating of industrial 
oil ceases so that the oil will not leak at all. 

Again we need more research ahead of time. Additional research combining 
Coast Guard, EPA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation is authorized 
in this legislation. 

Ninth, the bill establishes a ,$250 million liability fund with unlimited liability 
for cleanup, absolute liability for damages in the case of violation of any stand- 
ards or regulations or gross negligence and no-fault damage liabilitv of at least 
.$50 million. 

This title of the bill is similar to the bills introduced by the distinguished 
chairman and by the Senator from Delaware, Mr. Biden, and mvself in the 
previous Congress. However, it differs in that it extends the liabilitv protection 
throughout the 200-mile zone. 

Tenth, and finally, the bill requires full disclosure of the ownership of each 
tanker. In order to make the liability provisions more effective the Federal 
Government, which will be primarily involved as it seeks to recoup the funds 
it has spent out of the liability fund, must have full knowledge of all aspects 
of tanker ownership. 

The owners of the world's tanker fleets must be pulled out of hiding and held 
responsible if they are going to keep sending high-risk ships with hazardous 
cargoes into our waters. 

These are some of the provisions that I am hopeful will aid the committee 
m seeking remedial legislation to the tanker safety and marine pollution crisis 
we race today. 

The Chairman. Now, the next two witnesses are from mv home 
Mate where thereare some very serious problems because of the very 
nature of Puget Sound itself and the narrow straits comin°- in The 


first witness is a Congressman from (lie State of Washington, Don 
Bonker, we will be glad to hear from you. 

Mr. Bonker. Thank you. Senator, and thank you also for the op- 
portunity to testify before your committee. 



Mr. Bonker. Before I begin, I would like to commend the Senate 
Commerce Committee chairman, Senator Magnuson, for demonstrat- 
ing once again that he is far ahead of the times: His demands for 
stricter safeguards, specifically his recommendation for double hulls, 
for his passage of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972, and 
for his continuing work on legislation for an oilspill liability law. 

Mr. Chairman, without j^our persistant earlier efforts I believe we 
would be in far more serious trouble today than we are. I appear be- 
fore the committee for two reasons. As you know, Senator, I represent 
a district in your home State, the State of Washington, which will 
become a possible point of entry for the transportation of oil from 
Alaska into the interior. 

Now, this poses a great and threatening problem. Just last year I 
sponsored a bill which would include within the National Park Serv- 
ice 7y 2 miles of that spectacular coastal stretch along the straits as 
part, of the National Park Service. Now that completes 57 miles we 
have developed over the years of beautiful coastal area that we have 
tried to set aside for future generations. 

These oil tankers that come in from Alaska will be passing right 
through this area. If we don't have adequate safeguards, if we have 
the kind of disaster in the northwest that we have seen now in other 
parts of the country, then we are going to seriously damage that 
coastal area. 

Xow the threat comes with an impending oil crisis which all of us 
can agree, but in our State and in fact throughout the west coast we 
see the economic forces very hard at work to determine 

The Chairman. You also represent the north side of the whole 
Columbia River, or a portion that would be involved in this problem; 
don't you ? 

Mr. Bonker. That is correct, Senator. In fact they are building 
oil refineries along the Columbia on the Oregon side and there is an 
expectation of traffic on that side. You are familiar with the recent 
court decision on the Waterway Safety Act which said the courts 
could not specify more rigid standards. I know you took exception to 
that earlier court decision. 

I am pleased to see the Supreme Court in their wisdom is going 
to take a serious look at that issue to see whether or not the States 
do have 

The Chairman. They said on the record that they would review 
tlie case, and that the injunction would stand against the oil com- 
panies until they reviewed the case. It was somewhat of a victory 
because it will give us time to get at these things, assuming one way 
or another, whether they agree with the lower court or overturn it. It 
doesn't make much difference. The problem is still there. The State 


legislature started, I think they met yesterday, to take a look at their 
Law which limited the size of tankers coming into Puget Sound. 

The lower court said this is a Federal matter rather than a State 
matter. This is a knotty legal question. It deals also with the relations 
with ( !anada. Goahead. 

Mr. Bonker. Well, Senator, while national attention has been 
focused lately on the tragedies off Nantucket and in the Delaware 
River and Los Angeles Harbor, unsettling news has come, too, from 
the Straits of Juan de Fuca, through which all traffic to Puget Sound 
must pass. 

Last October 19, the 86,000-ton tanker White Peony was found 
sailing through the straits in the wrong lane despite special traffic 
separation regulations designed to minimize the threat of collisions. 

On December 21, the Norwegian liquefied petroleum gas carrier 
Fern V alley, while sailing into Washington State waters for the first 
docking of a ship of this kind north of San Francisco, simply ignored 
special restrictions, including daylight passage through a particularly 
treacherous area. That is along that Cherry Point location. 

The Chairman. Don't you think you ought to add that in that 
particular case that there was an American pilot aboard. 

Mr. Boxker. That has not been the only example, Senator. 

The Chairman. He ignored all the instructions. 

The problem is — which we will go into a little later — who is the 
boss, the TTSCG or the pilot of the ship. 

Mr. Bonker. Just, to dramatize that further, on December 28, a 
Panamanian log ship, the Crown Pearl, monitored repeated Coast 
Guard orders to halt and still sailed 7 miles beyond the point at which 
a Puget Sound pilot should have boarded her. So the repeated ex- 
amples of ships ignoring Coast Guard requirements for regulation 
in that area, as well as having local pilots aboard. 

Although all three incidents ended without mishap, I am alarmed 
that they could occur with such frequency in waters covered by special 
regulations, included in a vessel traffic system, and afforded the benefit 
of intensive monitoring and surveillance services in recognition of 
the grave risks posed by oil spills and other vessel mishaps. What 
in theory is safety, is in practice, not working. 

The threat can only grow. For Washington State, the frequency 
of oil tankers visits seems certain to rise when crude oil begins to 
flow through the Alaskan pipeline, a prospect that will undoubtedly 
be shared to some degree by most of the west coast. 

The Chairman. We will put your statement in the record in full, 
but you skipped over, "On December 28, a Panamanian" — did you 
mention that? The Crown Pearl? 

Mr. Bonker. Yes. T made reference to it. 

The Chairman. Go ahead. 

Mr. Bonker. Just in conclusion. I cannot speak with equal famil- 
iarity about the east coast, but the continued high demand for tanker- 
supplied petroleum coupled, I suspect, with tanker transport needs 
associated with expanding our continental shelf oil production, all 
this adds up to more risk. That is why I think this committee and 
Congress should be acting more specifically on legislation. 

Although I recoojiize the damages caused bv Nantucket and Dela- 
ware spills are still not fully known, the immediate areas of both sites 
did appear to benefit from natural dissipation processes. In Puget 


Sound, such would not be the case. The ebb and flow of the tides in 
tin' Sound would simply slosh spilled oil about. Flushing could occur 
only over an extended period, and each backward and forward move- 
ment in the meantime would inevitably wreak further havoc on all 
the scenic, recreational, economic, and environmental qualities that 
make Puget Sound a unique American coastal area. 

The worst records for oilspills on the west coast and the toughest 
places to mop up spilled oil are the lower Columbia River and Pugel 
Sound, the very areas in Washington State that are the most sensitive 
to the effects of spillage. 

Mr. Chairman, you may be familiar with a Coast Guard training 
exercise that occurred in our area about 1 j'ear ago, demonstrating the 
perils inherent in failing to get tough with the problems of oil tankers 
and oilspills. The scene was Dungeness Spit along the eastbound ship- 
ping lane in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. 

A hypothetical 3,500-barrel oilspill, which certainly was a modest 
enough target in view of recent events, was the target. Oilspill control 
teams arrived but encountered high winds and heavy seas, and the 
USCG was forced to conclude that the spill, had it been real, would 
have gone uncontained. 

I might mention my own personal frustration with the USCG 

The Chairman - . I hope the chairman won't be accused of having a 
conflict of interest there. l>ecause that is where I hunt ducks when I am 

Mr. Bonker. We want them to be pure ducks. Senator, untarnished 
by oil. 

I chaired some hearings in Seattle last year. We had all representa- 
tives, Federal, State, and local levels, in what turned out to be a very 
successful project for marine firefighting purposes and the Coast 
Guard participated, with a good deal of cooperation, but at the head- 
quarters level they refused to back it up. 

I think we need a Coast Guard that will have to be assertive and give 
that maximum protection because they arc the agency that has the 

I know much of your hearing testimony indicates existing statutes 
are deemed sufficient to do the job. That is an acceptable contention 
only if the reasons why theory is not practice are fully explained and 
only if convincing corrective measures are presented. 

And I might conclude. Mr. Chairman, by saying, as a member of 
the House International Relations Committee, we will pursue similar 
legislation. We encountered the same problems you did last year on 
the oilspill liability bill which passed out of our Merchant Marine 
Committee and died in the Public Works Committee. I imagine the 
oil interests were active in seeing that this legislation didn't pass, but 
I know that we are going to produce stronger legislation this time. 
They probably would have been better off had they allowed the bill 
to pass in the last session. 

The Chairman. I refer you to an article in the paper this morn- 
ing in the Jack Anderson column which purports to give the reason 
wh v it didn't pass in the House Public Works Committee. 

Mr. Bonker. Well. I think this time our eyes are open and we have 
the responsibility to act. 

The Chairman-. We will put it in the record at this point. 

[The article follows :] 


[From tbe Washington Post, Jan. 12, 1977] 
The Oil Industry's Power to Pollute 
(By Jack Anderson and Les Whitten) 

With one oil tanker after another bleeding oil upon U.S. coasts, the American 
people not only are struck with the environmental blight, but also must pay most 
of tlie cleanup cost. 

The secret papers of the shipowners reveal how they bamboozled Congress 
in the late 1900s to absolve them from financial liability. They anticipated the 
nasty oil spills which have now polluted our shores. They lobbied behind the 
scenes, therefore, to make sure they wouldn't have to pay the damages. 

In fact, they foresaw an environmental catastrophe, which hasn't yet happened. 
Someday they expect a giant, 200,000-ton supertanker to break up and belch 
50 million to 80 million gallons of oil into our coastal waters. This would be 
enough to stain the surf and blacken the beaches for hundreds of miles. 

We began to investigate the oil industry's awesome power to pollute after the 
tanker Argo Merchant broke apart on a shoal off Nantucket and gushed more 
than 7 million gallons of oil into a pounding sea. 

We made trips out of state and out of the country to question oil insiders. We 
obtained documents in English and Greek proving that the international petro- 
leum and shipping industries blocked the laws that might have saved our coasts 
from the oil blight. 

In Athens, Brussels, Lisbon, London, New York and Rome, according to these 
documents, international oilmen, shippers and insurance moguls conspired pri- 
vately as early as 1967 to thwart the U.S. anti-pollution bills. 

They were worried about the inevitability of oil spills. The huge supertankers 
carry enough oil to contaminate an entire seacoast. These long, whale-shaped sea 
monsters were constructed of such thin steel for their size, warned the experts, 
that they would rip apart if they ever ran aground. 

Members of Congress, foreseeing the danger, began drafting some tough lia- 
bility laws. This U.S. move could set a worldwide standard, which could raise 
insurance rates sky high or make the supertankers uninsurable, the shipowners 

From their viewpoint, the most dangerous measures were introduced by Sen. 
Edmund S. Muskie (D-Maine) and Rep. Paul G. Rogers (D-Fla.). The bills would 
have assessed the cleanup costs to the industries that make a profit from oil. 

The shipowners tracked these bills more carefully than they had ever monitored 
a storm at sea. "Prospects of the (Muskie) bill's passage . . ." warned one lobby- 
ist gloomily, "are considered to be very good." 

The shipping lobbyists were joined by the oil lobbyists. "The American Petro- 
leum Institute will lobby to limit the liability of a shipowner," happily reported 
one agent to his Athens-based bosses. 

Meanwhile, shippers and insurers met privately in Rome in late 1967 to con- 
sider the problem. This was followed four months later by another secret 
meeting in Lisbon. They finally agreed, according to a memo by one participant, 
to oppose "strict liability on shipowners for damage caused by the escape of oil." 

They hoped to limit the liability of shipowners to a polite explanation. "The 
owner of a vessel from which oil has escaped, causing pollution, (should) 
explain how the oil was permitted to escape," it was proposed. 

In case of a disastrous oil spill, in other words, the insurance-shipping crowd 
wanted to let the owners off with a simple account of the accident. It would be 
left to the victims to clean up the oily mess. 

Representatives of the world insurance and shipping industries slipped up to 
Capitol Hill in July, 196S, to sell this idea to the House Public Works Committee. 
They paid a quiet call on Richard Sullivan, the chief counsel, who was processing 
the antipollution legislation. 

"We were pleased to learn," wrote one agent back to his superiors, that 
Sullivan would "abandon" tbe idea of holding the shipowners and oil companies 
totally liable for their oil accidents. 

The lobbyists also "argued strenuously against (unlimited) liability for re- 
moval costs" of spilled oil. "Mr. Sullivan and his staff finally agreed," the 
memo reported trumphantly. 

In the last Congress, environmentalists again tried to place more liability for 
oil spillages on the oil industry and the tanker fleets. But once again, their 
efforts were bottled up by the special interests. 


Footnote: Sullivan, who was merely carrying out order.-., told us ho remem- 
bered the 196X meetings. He admitted the memos made him "look like I was In 
somebody's pocket." But he insisted he acted In what he thought was the public 
interest. "Maybe 1 should have been tougher," he Sighed 

The Chairman. Any questions ? 
Senator ANDERSON. Xo. 
The Chairman. All right. 
[The statement follows :] 

Statement of Hon. Don Bonkek, U.S. Representative From Washington 

Mr. Chairman, the House, too. is deeply concerned about oil spills and oil 
tanker regulation. I share those worries, both through personal conviction and 
through concern for our State and my district, which stand to lose so much if 
ever visited by oil spill disaster. As a member of the House Merchant Marine 
Committee, I also want to convey my commitment to securing a meaningful oil 
liability law and to insuring that our intent on tanker design, construction, 
and operation standards is carried out. 

While national attention has focused lately on the tragedies off Nantucket 
and In the Delaware River and Los Angeles harbor, unsettling news has come, 
too. from the Straits of Juan de Fuca, through which all traffic to Puget Sound 
must pass. 

Last October 19, the S6,000-tons tanker White Peony was found sailing through 
the Straits in the wrong lane despite special traffic separation regulations de- 
signed to minimize the threat of collisions. 

On Decemher 21, the Norwegian liquified petroleum gas carrier Fern Valley, 
while sailing into Washington state waters for the first docking of a ship of 
this kind north of San Francisco, simply ignored special restrictions, including 
daylight passage through a particularly treacherous area. 

And, on December 28, a Panamanian log ship, the Crown Pearl monitored re- 
peated Coast Guard orders to halt and still sailed seven miles beyond the point 
at which a Puget Sound pilot should have boarded her. 

Although all three incidents ended without mishap. I am alarmed that they 
could occur with such frequency in waters covered by special regulations, in- 
cluded in a Vessel Traffic System, and afforded the benefit of intensive monitor- 
ing and surveillance services in recognition of the grave risks posed by oil spills 
and other vessel mishaps. What in theory is safety is, in practice, not working. 

The threat can only grow. For Washington state, the frequency of oil tanker 
visits seems certain to rise when crude oil begins to flow through the Alaskan 
pipeline, a prospect that will undoubtedly be shared to some degree by most of 
the West Coast. Alaskan crude oil transport is projected to produce at least 
20 serious accidents, according to the Federal Energy Administration. 

I cannot speak with equal familiarity about the East Coast, but the con- 
tinued high demand for tanker-supplied petroleum coupled, I suspect, with 
tanker transport needs associated with expanding outer continental shelf oil 
production, certainly do not mean reduced risk. 

Although I recognize the damages caused by the Nantucket and Delaware spills 
are still not fully known, the immediate areas of both sites did appear to benefit 
from natural dissipation processes. In Puget Sound, such would not be the case. 
The ebb and flow of the tides in the Sound would simply slosh spilled oil about. 
Flushing could occur only over an extended period, and each backward and for- 
ward movement in the meantime would inevitably wreak further havoc on all 
the scenic, recreational, economic and environmental qualities that make Puget 
Sound a unique American coastal area. 

The worst records for oil spills on the West Coast and the toughest places to 
mop up spilled oil are the lower Columbia River and Puget Sound, the very areas 
in Washington State that are the most sensitive to the effects of spillage. 

A Coast Guard training exercise about a year ago demons', rated the perils in- 
herent in failing to get tough with the problems of oil tankers and oil spills. 
The scene was 1 >ung( ness Spit along the eastbound shipping lane in the Straits of 
.loan de Fuca. A hypothetical 3,500-barrel oil spill, which certainly was a mo 
enough target in view of recent events, was the target. Oil spill control teams 
arrived but. encountered high winds and heavy seas and the Con.^t Guard was 
forced to conclude that the spill, had it been real, would have gone uucontained. 

Clearly, our safety and regulatory systems are ineffective. 

82-908— 77— pt. 1 8 


The United States must have a meaningful oil spill liability law, which will 
hold accountable those responsible for oil spills and will provide compensation 
Cor damage caused. I am co-sponsoring with colleagues on the Merchant Marine 
Committee, a liability bill and I will work to insure swift, positive committee 

Standards for tanker construction must insure the maximum feasible levels of 
safety are achieved. Congress, should, if it must, legislate specifics such as double 
bottomed hulls, segregated ballasts, and effective collision avoidance systems. 

I know much of your hearing testimony indicates existing statutes are deemed 
sufficient to do the job. That is an acceptable contention only if the reasons why 
theory is not practice are fully explained and only if convincing corrective meas- 
ures are presented. 

As a member of the House International Relations Committee, I appreciate 
the sensitivity that accompanies regulations affecting the commercial activities 
of other nations. However, the United States cannot hope to deal effectively with 
oil spills tankers and those who operate them withdut guarantees that our 
standards will be met by the foreign flag tankers that represent more than 90 
per cent of the tanker tonnage visiting our ports. Here, too, there is too much 
talk about problems and too little evidence of constructive action. 

Tougher regulation or the enactment of new standards will also be of modest 
benefit if not applied to existing vessels, which constitute the bulk of the world- 
wide tanker fleet, for years to come. 

Congress charged the Coast Guard in 1972 with the responsibility for prevent- 
ing damage to or the destruction of oil tankers and protecting our water and its 
resources from environmental harm. I trust there was an expectation then that 
this responsibility would be exercised effectively. I certainly hold similar ex- 
pectations today. 

The time, Mr. Chairman, has ended for speculation on why tanker regulation 
is failing, and the time has come to insure that it becomes effective. You have 
now begun that work, and I appreciate the opportunity to express my commit- 
ment to seeing that the task is completed. 

The Chaieman. The new Congressman from my State, Norman D. 
Dicks, who represents an area in Puget Sound, is the next witness, 
He doesn't need any introductions to the chairman because he is my 
former administrative assistant and participated in many of the things 
that the Senator from Massachusetts and Congressman Bonker 


Mr. Dicks. Mr. Chairman, it is indeed a great honor to be able to 
testify before the committee. I must say I share the thoughts of 
Senator Kennedy and Congressman Bonker; I think everyone in 
the Congress knows of your great leadership in this area. I had the 
opportunity to work with you on some of this legislation and to suffer 
with you through the frustrations of not being able to get more re- 
sponse out of our executive agencies. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the time has come for 
the United States to act unilaterally to protect our environment 
against catastrophic oil spills. The time has come to set higher stand- 
ards for tanker construction and operation. 

The Argo Merchant has made its last run. But tankers with similar 
accident records will still carry crude oil into U.S. ports and, at 
present, the USCG has no way of keeping track of them, let alone 
preventing them from coming in. 

This is but one of the many tanker safety problems that are being 
covered in these hearings. It is my hope that the evidence presented 
here, together with the tragic events of the last 3 weeks, will mobilize 


public suppod and move the ( longress to enacl a tougher body of laws 
to protect our marine environment and coastal population. 

I know the chairman will be pushing as hard as he can for tanker 
safety and oilspill liability legislation on this body. If enough of Ins 
legislative eraftsinanship "has rubbed off on me, I may be able to help 
move forward companion legislation in the House. 

But we all knew that the legislative process takes time. Is there 
anything that can be done in the short, term? In my judgment, the 
answer is clearly yes. Most people don't think of the USCG as a regu- 
latory agency: but that's precisely what it is in the matter of tanker 
sa Fety. And like other regulatory bodies, it has proven to be less than 
enthusiastic mcairyhig out its mandate. 

In passing the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, the Congress gave 
the V+CCx The tools to promote the health and safety of the marine 
environment. Yet 5 years later, we're still waiting for the UhCOr to 
move off dead center to actively promote the public welfare. 

In my view. Mr. Chairman, this committee's hearing have already 
built a "compelling record for strengthening the USCG's regulatory 
role so I will not dwell on this issue here. I would like to use my 
remaining few minutes in placing the matter of tanker safety in a 
slightly different context thaxtthe other witnesses. _ 

The 'destructive capability of nuclear weapons is well known to 
all of us If even one such weapon is fired in anger or in error, it will 
be a tragedy of major proportions. To prevent the catastrophic dam- 
ages resulting from the use of even the least powerful nuclear weapon, 
this country has developed a highly complex— and highly successful- 
command and control system. 

•V major oilspill causes catastrophic damages of a different sort. 
Yet the command and control system associated with tanker traffic 
is absolutely minimal. It is senseless to draw too close a parallel be- 
t ween the damages resulting from a 200-kiloton weapon or a 1,000- 
square-mile oil slick. . 

My main point is that: In both cases, enormous damage to the 
environment would follow. A 1,000-square-mile oil slick— such as the 
one which occurred when the tanker Metula ran aground off the coast 
f Chile— would cover the entire surface of Puget Sound. 

We have designed a complicated and rigorous safety system to pre- 
vent nuclear accidents. But when it comes to the prevention of tanker 
accidents, we still don't have a comprehensive system in p ace— let 
•done a strong and rigorous one. These figures will graphically illus- 
trate my point: In 1977, the DOD plans to spend $539 million m 
research and development funds to improve its command and control 
system During the same period of time, I am advised that the 
Maritime Administration will spend $7.5 million for research and 
development to help prevent tanker pollution. 

This country has only one mandatory vessel traffic control system 
in place, and "that was' done because of the Senator's leadership, in 
the Puget Sound area. . 

The Chairman. I didn't intend— and Senator Hollings and I orig- 
inally started this because we are both on appropriations, too— it to 
be limited to Puget Sound. This was sort of a pilot operation that 
worked so well, as far as it goes, that the USCG has recommended 
and will continue its expansion, to New Orleans, San Francisco bay. 
and all the others involved, and soon Chesapeake Bay. 


And in all fairness it does take a little time to expand it but surveil- 
lance systems should cover every possible ships' waterway within the 
United States where the danger is apparent. It's too bad this has moved 
as slow as it has, but Ave did appropriate as much money as the USCG 
has asked for. 

I must say in fairness to the USCG that they have proceeded within 
their capabilities, as far as they go, year by year. I think part of this 
must be appropriations to do more. I am not so sure that the tragedy 
that happened in the mouth of the Mississippi River would have'ever 
happened, if that system had been installed on the Mississippi River. 
Close to 100 lives were lost. 

If we had a system down there, I don't think it would have happened. 
And neither do the people from Louisiana. 
m Mr. Dicks. I certainly agree with the Senator. Knowing how persua- 
sive the Senator is, particularly with the new Democratic administra- 
tion coming into office, we can accelerate and expand the system in 
Puget Sound. As you know, that system needs additional funding to 
get the rest of the radars in place to make it a complete and compre- 
hensive system. 

The Chairman-. I am going to suggest, that the USCG extend that 
system clear up to Valdez, so that we have a svstem going in and out 
of Valdez clear down to the lower States. 

Again, we will have to put our money where our mouth is in that par- 
ticu lar case if that is what we want done. 

Mr. Dicks. As a freshman, potentially a member on the Appropria- 
tions Committee on the other side, I will certainly work with the chair- 
man to achieve that goal because I think it's very important. 

The USCG, as you said, needs more money to do its job properly 
but it also needs a change in attitude about its regulatory role. Up until 
now, the USCG has rested on narrow and questionable legal <Touncls 
as an excuse not to impose unilateral safety standards for tanker 
traffic m U.S. waters. I can understand the USCG's desire to move in 
concert with the international community in setting safety standards ■ 
but it looks to me like the international community is badlv in need 
of some leadership here and this is too important an area to wait for 
t he last man to jump on board. 

This is not the time to hide behind narrow and restrictive refla- 
tions which have been torn apart by legal scholars. The USCG needs 
to develop a mandatory vessel traffic control system, as the Senator 
has suggested, nationwide using radars just like our airports through- 
01 1 fi the J\ ation a nd the world. 

The USCG also needs 

w^LS^T^*' T i ie ! las * witness ™ had late yesterday afternoon 

s dd S: f T del f ^ion at the Law of the Sea Conference. He 

Sit mte 7 atl <f*l ^w, as they look at it, the United States 

hStSSmony * * g ° Ur P ° rtS ' 6VeCT laterally. That was 

m^fefvsSLvSf 1 ? alS ° P ° int ° llt t0 ^ he cha ™™ several years ago 

■ "llv llforo TMrr?« P f/ e 5?r YeSS ? ls ' the USCG did act nnilater- 

^tnffislSent ° W ^ ™ ™ ^ ^^ ™ C0 ' S 

The Chairman. We did regulate cruise ships in particular If vou 

SSSXSSS^ 1 ^ Uni !i d Stat / S y ° Ur **> £2*^5 higC 
standards than those ships would meet for other countries. 


Mr. Dicks. They didn't like it, just like the oil companit Barenl going 

to Like it, but it can be done. I think, also, Mr. Chairman, the ! S( '< ; 
also needs to develop its own data base so that those tankers with miser- 
able safety records will not be allowed to enter U.S. ports until they 
have received a clean bill of health prior to entry, in fact, I donl 

know if this has to be done by the State Department in bilateral 
agreements, but I would like to see a system of preclearance at the 
point of origin, so wedont set these unsafe ships at sea with oil, and I 

would like to know if that is a possibility. 

If our tanker safety programs are inadequate today, imagine the 
problems we will face a few years from now as our need for imported 
oil rises. We on the west coast face a special problem— how to handle 
the -2 million barrels per day of Alaskan crude. This oil may represent 
a tenfold increase in tanker traffic now crossing Puget Sound. 

Other ports of entry on the west coast will undoubtedly face similar 
problems. An integrated regional approach to handling Alaskan crude 
is needed. I hope this is one area in which the committee will devote 
special interest, perhaps in hearings on the west coast later this year. 

But this is a parochial issue ; whether we live on the west, east, or 
gulf coasts— we're all faced with a much larger and more basic prob- 
lem — what to do about tanker safety. 

Many of us, from all parts of the country, are coming to the same 
conclusion on this issue. Maybe we are sickened by the pictures we see 
in the newspapers of tarred waterfowls; maybe our fishing grounds 
have been battered: maybe our coastline has been smeared; maybe we 
have been struck by the realization that our waterways will be plied 
by an increasing number of tankers too large to comprehend. 

But for whatever reason. I believe that a fire is building in this coun- 
try to regulate these vessels more closely and I feel confident that the 
USCG will feel the heat, especially with Brock Adams as Secretary of 
Transportation and with you, Mr. Chairman, as chairman of the Sen- 
ate Commerce Committee. 

Let me end on this point. I think in summary this serious problem is 
just like the 200-mile limit. At this time, however, the agency without 
the leadership to move forward is not the State Department, though 
I think they are probably in the background playing a negative role 
in this matter, but it's the USCG. It's time to move unilaterally to get 
a higher standard for oil tankers that want to come into our ports and 
I think the time to act is now and we will try to do our best to help you 
over in the other House. 

The Chairman. We thank you very much for the statement. Senator 
from Minnesota, do you have any questions ? 

Senator Anderson. Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Mr. Dicks. I would like to submit for the record just one addendum 
to my statement, if that would be all right, 

The Cir urman. All right. It will be put in the record. 

[The following information was subsequently received for the 
record :] 

"Supersiiip," Xoel Mostert, Rnopf, 1074, Pages .°.30-331 

Only ruthless arbitrary unilateral action can save the sea and the environment. 

Nothing else can possibly be effective. 


Such unilateral action is relatively simple because the major tanker terminals 
are in relatively few countries, and principally in the main consuming areas, 
North America, Europe, and Japan. If tankers are forced by the nations between 
which they mainly sail to maintain rigorous standards of safety, operation, and 
crew health at risk of being severely penalized or even shut out from the ports 
they serve, there can be no doubt that they will comply. The way to force them 
would be to make them subject to scrupulous examination upon arrival. 

The Canadians already have embarked upon such a unilateral course. Their 
arctic waters pollution act serves as a precedent which is gradually being ex- 
tended to all waters; Ships entering Canadian territorial seas are increasingly 
being forced to offer themselves and their standards of operation for examina- 
tion according to Canadian rules. Nothing less than such action will make the 
tanker operators part with more of their profits to give their ships the sort of 
overall safely and seaworthiness that they should have had in the first place ; and 
it goes without saying that if such measures strenuously enforced bring a respite 
for the coasts and inshore waters, then they will bring one for the deeps as well. 

The oil is running out ; as a resource it is finite, and always was. The seas were 
infinite, and should have remained so. We'll find something else instead of oil 
to light our lamps and to turn our too-many wheels. The seas we shan't replace. 

The Chairman. We have a long list of witnesses here. I did have to 
tell the USGC people to wait until today. I know they were disap- 
pointed because they were ready to testify immediately after the pres- 
ent Secretary of Transportation testified. They are here again and I 
think it is all right for them to listen to some of this testimony. 

But I did tell three of these witnesses — I hope I am not unfair to the 
USCG in this respect— that we would hear from them first. Some of 
them are from out of town. The USGC is right here. This is one of the 
most important problems they have to be involved in and if they will 
bear with me, we can get through with a couple of witnesses here before 
wo get to them with a lot of specific questions on technology and many 
other things. And a question involving the matters out in the Puget 
Sound area. 

So I am going to call now on Mr. Paul Hall, president of the Sen- 
farers International Union, who is here to testify. 

Paul, we will be glad to hear from you. Now, you sent to the com- 
mittee a letter on this matter, dated — whatever the date is — it is just 
recently. Is that correct? 

Mr. Hall. Yes. 

The Chairman. We will put that in the record in full and I think it 
was a well-thought-out letter and we appreciate you advising us. I 
know you want to expand it now by your own statement. 

[The letter follows :] 

The Seafarers International Union 

of North America — AFL-CIO. 
IVasMnffton, B.C., December 30, 1978. 
Hon. Warren Magnitson, 
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator Magnuson : We were pleased with the news that you are sched- 
uling committee hearings into the recent maritime disasters in our waters involv- 
ing the Liberian-flag vessels Argo Merchant and Sansinena. I am certain that 
these hearings will contribute to the welfare of all Americans and their 

We believe that the hearings should not be limited to these disasters alone, but 
should entail a comprehensive examination of America's oil transportation sys- 
tem. Obviously, the present system, as evidenced by the Argo Merchant, Sansinena 
and Olympic Games incidents, is woefully inadequate to protect the marine envi- 
ronment and the American people. Unfortunately, it takes disasters of this mag- 
nitude to dramatize the need for swift action. 


As one who has Long sought to remedy the situation, you afo well aware that the 
present system is Inherently deficient Despite the fad thai the oil is used to fuel 
America's Industry, paid for by American consumers and threatens America's 
waters and resources, tin" oil transportation system is not a U.S. system. In fact, 
approximately 9G percenl of the oil transported to the United States is carried 
aboard foreign built, registered and manned vessels. Only about 4 percent of our 
oil is carried on American-flag ships. 

Significantly, a very substantial number of these foreign-flag vessi Is are Sag- 
of-convenience vessels. Their owners, especially American oil companies, register 
the vessels under the l.iherian, Panamanian, or other such flairs in order to escaj* 
American taxes, American Labor, American safety standards and American 

Against this background, Mr Chairman, we ask the Committee on Com- 
merce to consider the following: 

1. The present oil transportation system is largely outside real American 
control, in terms of how the vessel is built, the training and qualifications 
oi' ils crew, and how it is loaded, unloaded and otherwise operated. In fact, 
it is unfortunate and ironic that the will and desire of Congress to rectify 
this situation has been frustrated by the executive branch. 

For example, the Energy Transportation Security Act of 197-1. passed by 
the Senate and the House of Representatives, would have reserved the carriage 
of up to 30 percent of America's oil imports for United States-flag vessels. 
These vessels would have been built in American shipyards in accordance 
with stringent American standards, been manned by highly skilled and trained 
American seamen, generated tax revenues for the United States Treasury, 
contributed to the fight to achieve American energy independence and se- 
curity, and provided the maximum measure of protection for the American 
consumer and our marine environment. Unfortunately, this legislation was 
pocket-vetoed by President Ford. 

It is intei'esting to note that the major opponents of this legislation were 
the same oil companies who are the largest owners of Liberian-flag vessels. 
The oil companies, with surprising assistance from the media, argued that the 
use of American vessels would cost American consumers a few cents more 
at the gas pumps and in their fuel bills. As one who fought so strongly for 
this legislation, you must find it distressing that even if these claims were true, 
the ultimate cost to the American people resulting from the Argo Merchant, 
Sansincna and other disasters, in terms of loss of life, capital and resource 
losses and irreparable environmental damage are infinitely greater than any 
cost, that might result from the use of United States-flag vessels. 

2. The present oil transportation system with its reliance on foreign-flag 
vessels to carry approximately 96 percent of our oil precludes effective enforce- 
ment of America's environmental protection statutes. 

As you know, the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972. which you authored, 
found that the carriage by vessels of certain cargoes in bulk creates substan- 
tial hazards to life, property, the navigable waters of the United States and the 
resources contained therein. It declared it to be national policy that minimum 
standards of design, construction and operation of all such vessels be established. 

"While such standards are supposed to be applicable to United States-flag 
vessels and foreign-flag vessels in our waters, our over-reliance on foreign 
vessels- makes meaningful standards and enforcement impossible. There is 
little that can be done to assure foreign compliance with some standards. Unless 
we have a U.S. oil transportation system under U.S. supervision beginning at 
the design stage and continuing through operations, our environmental goals 
will be frustrated. The United States will continue to find itself faced with 
the choice of denying entry to hazardous noncomplyintr foreisrn vessels like the 
Anrn Merchant and Sansinena — (which will further accentuate our oil supply 
shortage — or allowing entry to these vessels because we need oik 

?>. Wo respectfully ask that the Committee on Commerce consider the fact 
that- our present oil transportation system perpetuates the unfounded theory 
of "effective eontrok" Many Liberian-flag vessels, owned bv foreign corporations 
with American stockholders, are considered by opponents of a strong United 
States-flag merchant marine to be under the so-caUod "effective control" of the 
United States, supposedly available to this nation in time of emergency. Yet. as 
many experts in and out of crovernment have noted, there is only one type of 
control — the real and unequivocal control that attaches when a vessel flies a 


nation's flag. In fact, these vessels are no more under U.S. "effective control" 
for national security purposes, than they are for tax, safety and environmental, 
manning or other purposes. 

4. AVe ask the committee to examine the situation on our Outer Continental 
Shelf and to consider the fact that the present oil transportation system, if al- 
lowed to continue, will be duplicated in OCS operations and activities. Already 
foreign drilling rigs are commencing work in the OCS without complying with 
American standards and without any requirement that they employ trained 
American workers while in our waters. Unless we act now to rectify this situa- 
tion, this frontier may suffer irreparable ecological harm, aside from the security 

Obviously, Mr. Chairman, the mere use of United States-flag ships will not 
eliminate the risk of future pollution accidents. But, an oil transportation system 
involving U.S.-flag ships will mean that, for the first time, the United States will 
nave a larger measure of control and influence over the carriage of oil, thereby 
minimizing environmental risks. We believe that a comprehensive inquiry, as out- 
lined above, will best assure effective solutions to a serious national problem. 

We stand ready to cooperate with your committee and again, commend you for 
your leadership. 

Paul Hall, 



Mr. Hall. Thank you very much, Senator. I will be brief. 

The Chairman. I want to say for the record that for people in mari- 
time labor, that is American maritime labor, this isn't just a johnny- 
come-lately thing because something happened in the last 3 weeks. You 
have long had a great concern about this whole matter and have sug- 
gested many times that these things were going to happen. And they 
did. And they could happen again. 

Mr. Hall. Thank you very much, Senator. I appreciate this oppor- 
tunity to appear before you. It is a privilege. 

My name is Paul Hall. I am president of the maritime trades depart- 
ment of the AFL-CIO, the constitutional body created by the AFL- 
CIO to represent the interests of the trade union members in the mari- 
time industry. The MTD is comprised of 43 national and international 
unions with a total membership of approximately 8 million. 

I am also president of the Seafarers International Union of North 
America, AFL-CIO. The SIU represents seamen manning American- 
flag vessels of all types engaged in our Nation's foreign and domestic 
shipping trades and in barge and tugboat operations on the Great 
Lakes and the 25,000-mile network of U.S. inland waterways. 

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to have this opportunity to participate 
in these hearings into the recent maritime disasters in our waters, in- 
cluding those involving the Liberian flag vessels Argo Merchant, San- 
sinena, and the Olympic Games. 

As our Nation continues to rely heavily on imports of oil, as opera- 
tions accelerate on the Outer Continental Shelf, and as plans for our 
first deepwater ports begin to take shape, it is imperative that we 
closelv examine the means by which oil reaches our shores. We hope, 
therefore, that these hearings will serve as the storting point for a 
comprehensive review of our Nation's oil transportation system. 

As you know. Mr. Chairman, and members of this committee, 
approximately 96 percent of the oil presently transported to the 


United States is carried aboard Eoreign-built, registered and manned 
vessels. About only -1 percent of our oil is carried on American >' 
ships. Consequently, we rely on a foreign oil transportation system 
which is inherently deficient and woefully inadequate to protect the 
marine environment as well as American people. Ii isessi atiallya 
tern outside, us wc have heard toda^ . rol of the 1 fnited States 

in every respect. 

Most of the 

The Chairman. I don't Like to remind you of this; ii is kind of a sad 
story. We tried to suggest to the country that at least 30 percent of I he 
importation oil be carried under the American flag. Just 30 percent 
It is now, as you say. down to 4, and the bill was pocket-yeteod. 

''"here is a long story about the pressure that was involved in that 
particular case on which I could give you chapter and verse, and you 
know it well, too. 

Mr. I [all. Yes, I do. sir. 

The Chairman. But I think the point should be that the 4 percent 
of our oil that does come in under American-flag is carried in ships 
of a higher standard of safety for oilspills or collisions, whatever 
you want to call it— manning and everything else — than 90 percent 
of the oil carried by foreign vessel-. 

Mr. Hall. The record will support that. Senator. 

The Chairman. There is a great, great gap between the standards 
that are used. 

Mr. Hall. Most of the foreign-flag vessels involved in our oil im- 
port trade are American-owned, ilag-of-convenience ships. Their own- 
ers, principally the major American oil companies, register these ves- 
sels under the Uberian, Panamanian, or other such flags in order to 
escape American taxes, American labor, and American safety stand- 
ards and requirements. 

Congress has, in fact, recognized and attempted to provide a meas- 
ure of protection against this situation through its passage, as you 
have indicated, Senator, of the Energy Transportation Security Act 
of 1974. This legislation ultimately would have reserved the carriage 
of up to 30 percent of America's oil imports for U.S. -flag vessels. 

These vessels would have been built in American shipyards in ac- 
cordance with stringent American standards. They would have been 
manned by highly skilled and trained American seamen, contributed 
to our national security and provided the maximum measure of pro- 
tect ion for the American consumer and the marine environment. 

Unfortunately, as you have indicated. Senator — — 

The Chairman. \Ve covered this. 

Mr. Hall. I ain happy you did. Unfortunately, this legislation was 
pocket^ vetoed. 

Mr. Chairman, the remarks by Senator Kennedy, who said they 
don't know who owns the oil that spilled from the Argo Merchant. 
I hope the people in the northeastern States take notice of that dif- 
ficulty the next time it conies up on the floor of the Congress 

The Chairman. T want to repeat, the DOD has views on the great 
runaway fleet in the world. They have a specific interest in it. and they 
should have. For instance. Liberia has the greatest merchant fleet now 
in the world, larger than any big marit ime country. 


Some of those ships, in the, case of an emergency, are said to be 
under out effective control. We found out in World War II that we 
did not have any such control, even though the Norwegians and the 
British and others joined the pool. They had to use them themselves. 
So we spent several billion dollars building ships, victory and liberty 
ships, to build up our fleet. 

This is what it cost us in World War II. Just think what it would 
cost us now. I don't know how you can justify effective control, as I 
said yesterday, when you have a ship owned by American oil com- 
panies, insured by the British, operated by the Greeks, with an Italian 
officer and a Chinese crew operating in the Red Sea. I don't know 
how that works. 

Mr. Hall. You are quite correct, sir. 

Notwithstanding claims of the oil companies to the contrary, the 
sole purpose of registering vessels under a flag of convenience is to 
avoid something — taxes, decent wages, environmental standards and 
requirements — not to contribute to the Nation's well-being. 

It is not surprising that the major opponents of this legislation were 
the same oil companies who are the largest owners of Liberian-flag 
vessels. The oil companies argued that the United States should not 
increase the utilization of American vessels, despite the obvious em- 
ployment, tax, environmental and national security benefits that would 
result, because it would cost American consumers a few cents more in 
their fuel bills and at the gas pumps. We believe that this argument is 
an insult to the American people. 

In the first place, no one — not the consumer or the Government — 
knows for certain what it actually costs the oil companies to ship their 
foreign-produced oil on their foreign vessels to their refiners. In 
fact, it appears that, rather than reflecting costs, this price is no more 
than an artificial number set to enable the oil companies to transfer the 
greatest possible profits to their foreign-flag-of-eonvenience shipping 
subsidiaries. These subsidiaries and, therefore, their enormous profits 
are basically beyond the reach of American taxation. 

Mr. Chairman, I again remind you of Senator Kennedy's state- 
ment that they haven't even located the owners of the oil. Also neither 
the legislature nor administration know the true cost of transporta- 
tion aboard these tankers for bulk oil. 

Therefore, the argument it will cost so much more percent per 
gallon, per barrel, to carry oil in U.S. ships is ridiculous because they 
won't let us know what it really costs, and they won't let you know, 

The Chairman. There are a great number of people who suggest 
that we would raise the price of oil, and that there is the argument that 
if you 7-nise the price of gasoline people would buy less. But the rise 
in price in some cases would only go to the profits, not for safety. 

Mr. Hall. Precisely. 

Second, even if one accepts the oil companies' claim as true. 
the ultimate cost of the American people resulting from the Argo 
Merchant, Sansinena and other disasters, in terras of loss of life, 
capital and resource losses and irreparable environmental damage, is 
infinitely greater than any cost that might result from the use of 
U.S. -flag vessels which we believe offer the maximum measure of 
protection for the American people and our marine environment. 


The Ports and Waterways Safety Act of L972, developed by this 
committee under your leadership, Mr. Chairman, states thai the 
carriage of certain 'bulk cargoes including oil by merchant vessels; 
B tes substantia] hazards to Pife, property, the navigable waters of the 
United States and their resources. The act declared as a matter 01 
national policy that minimum design, construction and operation 
standards for all such vessels should be established. 

We believe that the Ports and Waterways Safety Act should be 
Vigorously enforced bv the I'SHl to prevent noncomplying vessels 
from entering our waters. Construction standards, winch have proven 
to contribute to the protection of the marine environment, should be 
developed and applied to all vessels— foreign-flag and Amencan- 
ilai: — which carry our oil. . . .. 

However, it is extremely important to consider that the imposition 
of vessel desi<m and construction standards, while necessary, is only 
the first step. We contend that the greatest threat to our environment 
Is posed not by the vessel itself but by the nature of the crew and 
officers on board the vessel. 

The flag-of-convenience vessels which carry a substantial portion 
Of our imported oil are manned by foreign crews, as you have previ- 
ously discussed, who have not had the vigorous training ot their 
American counterparts. m 

Let me give you an example. At our union s school, lor example, tue 
Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship in Piney Point, Md., oper- 
ated in conjunction with industry management, a young man seeking 
a career at sea goes through a 12-week entry rating program. During 
this time, he acquires basic seaman's skills which will qualify him to 
serve as an entry-rated or beginning seaman in the deck, engine and 
Steward departments and equip him to perform his duties aboard 
ship safely and efficiently. Equally important, he also learns the im- 
portance of teamwork and discipline, particularly under disaster con- 
ditions, to the safe and efficient operation of a vessel. 

\lso. during our entry-rating program, particular emphasis is 
placed on lifeboat and firefighting procedures. Our trainees are given 
examinations by the T'SCG and they must pass these tests, all ot 
them, before graduating from the school. 

We also offer upgrading programs to provide merchant seamen 
with the additional training required to keep pace with advancing 
technology. These ships. Senator, are extremely sophisticated and are 
"rowing more so every day. 

Deck department upgraders study such subjects as modern cargo- 
handling equipment, fire prevention and safety at sea: engine depart- 
ment upgrading includes courses in the operation and maintenance of 
boilers, engines, generators, pumps and other machinery. Upgrading 
qualifications for seafarers are set under the standards of the L.S. 
Coast Guard, and T might sav they are high, and candidates are re- 
nuired to pass Coast Guard-administered examinations for their 
licenses or endorsements, not just for the crew but for the master on 

Tt is mv opinion Mr. Chairman, that we will continue to run an un- 
necessarily high risk of future oilspills if we continue to rely on flag- 
of-convenience vessels with their untrained seamen to carry a sub- 
stantial portion of our oil. 


Senator, I am not criticizing those sailors on the Argo Merchant. 
I am not saying there aren't good sailors on those vessels, but it only 
takes a few mistakes such as off Nantucket to create a disaster. The 
wiper that was at the wheel when that vessel broke up might be a fine 
young man, but he is a wiper and he should be down in the engine 
room. It would be the same as if you asked the people cleaning the decks 
down below to ask them to come up and chair this meeting. 

The Chairman". I one time went to the Orient when I was a young 
man as a wiper on a ship. They wouldn't even let us up on the deck. 

Go ahead. 

Mr; Hall. Thank you. Senator. I, too, also shipped for quite a while 
as a wiper and I agree, Senator. 

This committee has the opportunity to recommend legislative and 
regulatory actions that signify a rededication to the goal of protecting 
our Nation's marine environment. Insofar as the vessels which carry 
our oil imports have an enormous impact in this area, we respectfully 
urge this committee to once again take the lead in Congress by sup- 
porting the enactment of legislation like the Energy Transportation 
SecurhVy Act. By mandating the carriage of a portion of America's 
oil imports to American, U.S.-flag vessels, we would introduce a meas- 
ure of control and protection over the transportation of oil which the 
United States certainly does not presently have. 

Further, in reviewing this question and seeking meaningful an- 
swers, we respectfully urge the committee to consider the following: 

First, the theory of "effective control," relied upon by critics of a 
strong U.S. -flag fleet, should be permanently laid to rest." This theory, 
in which an American-owned foreign-flag vessel will supposedly 
respond to our Nation's needs in time of emergency, encourages the 
use of flag-of-convenience vessels by the oil companies. Yet, as many 
experts in and out of Government have noted, there is only one type 
of control — the real and unequivocal control that attaches when a 
vessel flies a nation's flag. In fact, these vessels are no more under 
U.S. "effective control" for national security purposes than they are 
for tax, safety and environmental, manning or other purposes, as you 
have previously stated. Senator, and I won't belabor the record with 
further testimony to this extent. 

This has been demonstrated time after time after time. They would 
not move cargoes on many occasions in the Vietnam sealift. At the 
time of the embargo in the Mediterranean, the President of Liberia 
told every Liberian-flag vessel not to aid in the movement of war 
material to our ally, Israel. So we know it is simply not true that these 
shins are under U.S. control. The record is quite clear on this point 
and to ignore it will certainlv lead in the future to disaster. 

Second.the situation on the Outer Continental Shelf in which foreign 
drilling rijjs are allowed to operate should be examined. Therein lies 
the danger that the recent series of accidents and spills will be dupli- 
cated. Alreadv, foreism drilling ri<r=; are commencing work in the OCS 
without complying with American standards and without any require- 
ment that thm emplov trained American workers while in our waters. 
Uriless wo act now to rectify this situation, this frontier may suffer 
irreparable ecological harm. 

< Thev are moving into Baltimore Canyon in which there will be many 
oil wells drilled. If you get some of these big rigs going 100 miles out 


and you have a drilling accident, the entire ea.-t coast will be threat- 

Third, the way in which the Coast Guard administers its responsi- 
bilities relating to the merchant marine and the marine environment 
should he closely reviewed. We are in accord with all the testimony 
I have heard here this morning regardingthat issue. 

We believe the U.S. Coast Guard's fundamental responsibility is to 
provide the Nation with the safest possible marine navigation system. 
Yet the USCG has been reluctant to impose stringent construction 
and operational standards on all vessels in American waters, choosing 
instead to wait for possible future international action. This decision, 
however, precludes real protection because foreign nations and the. 
owners of foreign vessels will determine the quality of our marine 

Obviously, Mr. Chairman, the mere use of U.S. American-flair ves- 
sel- and American crews will not eliminate the risk of future pollution 
accidents. But, as long as we must rely on a water transportation sys- 
tem For oil, the increased utilization of U.S. -flag vessels and crews will 
provide the United States with a larger measure of control and in- 
fluence over the carriage of oil than it has by relying almost exclusively 
on foreign-flag and foreign-manned vessels. We believe that our recom- 
mendations, which will result in a greater reliance on American vessels 
and merchant seamen, can minimize environmental risks. 

Senator. I want to thank you very much and make a couple of clos- 
ing remarks. 

We are not criticizing the USCG. We know they are under tre- 
mendous pressure from shipowners' interest and particularly the inter- 
national oil operators' interest. Under that pressure we think they 
make certain decisions favorable to those interests. We have asked for 
kearings before the appropriate subcommittee, in the House of Repre- 
sentatives into this question. 

Let me give you an example. Now, recognizing I am talking to an 
old wiper, which for the benefit of the uneducated here, is part of the 
unlicensed personnel in the engine room. Recently the USCG set up 
a regulation which allowed the companies operating oil tankers on the 
west coast to run a sealed engine room operation, meaning without 
one unlicensed engine department man in that engine room. 

Mr. ( -hairman, if something goes wrong with that propulsion plant, 
as recently happened and you have no competent personnel in the 
engine room, you can lose control of that vessel and you are gone. I 
suggest the USCG is honest in all these matters and they are good, 
competent people when it comes to safety as a general rule. Certainly. 
In iceberg chasing, they are second to none. 

However, when they come in contact with the big oil corporations 
bke Standard Oil of California, and as in this case, they agree to a 
pealed engine room, they are playing with potential danger. 

People hear us talking They say, well, the hungry sailor is bitching. 
They want more jobs. It is not that at all. Of course, we are hungry 
as a group; of course, we want employment, but that is not the only 
side of the picture. That is not the only side. There are other things. 

T wouldn't want to be a sailor on the ships with the sealed engine 
rooms. I wouldn't, want to be the cook on that kind of a ship, because 
you are all on the same boat, as the saying goes. There is a lot 


more, involved than in saying the cost of employing one, two or three 
more rceople. . . 

The interesting thing, and the shortcomings of some of this thinking, 
it might save the wages of the people for Standard Oil of California, 
but in turn look at what it can cost. Look at the dangers that are in- 
volved in this kind of operation. 

I think it is absolutely ridiculous. I know the USCG is in this room 
and I want them to know I look forward to that day when we can face 
each other right across the table, and go into these issues in depth. We 
have been waiting for that opportunity a long, long time. 

Senator, if we don't correct the USCG attitude and enforcement 
policies, we are in real danger. They tell us on the one hand we 
cannot move unless the international community moves, but they will 
do things for the international oil company operator in American 
waters, such as permitting a sealed engine room. What is being done 
and used there. Senator is~for this kind of manning for the advantage 
of other people from other nations to take these issues into IMCO. 

We participate in IMCO and we know something about it. The very 
act on the part of the USCG in reducing manning on board these 
ships is used to pressure internationally for worldwide reduction 
of shipboard manning to the detriment of safe marine operations. The 
international operators use the thing the USCG has done here to batter 
down conditions. 

Through the utilization of the USCG's domestic policies on the 
international level Standard Oil of California, Esso of New Jersey, 
and the rest are trying to beat down international standards. So it is 
a farce and don't let them kid you, Senator. 

I am sure you won't. Make them cut it out and put it on the line. 
Make them tell you the whole thing about how that works. 

These people' have corrupted the whole economic situation. There 
is no question of the role that Esso played in the embargo. It is a 
known fact. They were the right arm and the left arm of the King of 
Saudi Arabia. 

It is a matter of public record. They have done it time after time. So 
don't listen to this business about it is just a bunch of sailors howling 
because they are hungry. First, we are sailors and we are hungry, but 
there is a. lot more involved. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Senator Hollings ? 

Senator Hollixos. Thank heavens you got here. We had the Secre- 
tary of Transportation on yesterday, Mr. Hall. You know when a 
fellow is on the way out, he doesn't want to be besieged with all these 
appearances, but I understand the Secretary of Transportation asked 
to be heard yesterday. He is a distinguished gentleman. But he was 
making a good little jury talk. He had something about Vietnam and 
acting unilaterally and we didn't want gunboat diplomacy and even 
intimated payoffs by shipping companies to Senators, or whatever it 
was. I wish some investigative reporter would follow up on it. I don't 
know of anyone getting paid off. 

You have brought it back into perspective. This tanker thing is the 
biggest copout on the environment and regulations and things that 
we have found sound and necessarv for the operation of American 


industry and the economy. This has been the biggest copout and big- 
irritant to me, to get to what you just said. 

I wrote Mr. Kissinger, and Secretary Zarb; and I wrote to Mr. 
Richardson because he told me he was the energy czar, early last year 
and asked, "Could you furnish the basis on which oil was imported and 
the arrangements or agreements we have >o we can really get to tlhe 
bottom of this." I didn't want to take over the negotiations or anything 


They delayed in every way possible for 4, 5, 6 months in one instance, 
answering those letters, calls, followups. 

Now we know our own ( iovernment does not know what's happening 
with the boycott. I already talked to Jim Schlesinger about this same 
thing here and I said : "We have to get this thing up on top of the 
table where we can do an effective job and find where the truth lies." 

Your adversary would say. "We can't afford you, Paul Hall, you 
are too expensive. You are forcing us to use foreign shippers." What 
is your response to that? 

We have other witnesses that will talk about that later in the 
lien ring. I want you to respond to it. 

We all get contributions and are proud of them. I live on the ocean : 
my address is 2 Balsam Drive in Port side. S.C Since we are now 
having conversation about wipers, you should know how you really 
completed my education. Because after 2 years in the military, I got 
tired of it, and I went out and tried to get a job and they said I 
couldn't get one unless T bought a $600 union card from you. 

T didn't have $600. so I couldn't get the job. 

Mr. Halt-. We missed a great prospect. Senator. 

Senator Holxings. What is your response to the cost question ? 

T think this is fundamental, and we will get to this. That is what 
the USCG and the Secretar}' says, it is all international, and besides 
we can't afford it. What do you say about that? 

Mr. Hall. Senator, at one time crew costs was the main argument 
advanced to try to justify the use of foreign ships. 

Strangely enough, there is no longer that much outcry. Let me tell 
you why. Sometime some years ago. to build a vessel you could build 
one for $5 million. The crew cost against that amount of capital was 
a considerable profit and loss factor. To give you a few common 
denominators, at the end of World War IT. the Liberty ship — 2.000 
tons, 10 knots — was the workhorse of the American freight ship fleet. 
The workhorse of the American tanker fleet was a T-2 tanker, 14.400 
tonnei-. speed approximately 12 knots. 

Xow measuring the cost of the crew against that kind of delivery, 
cargo performance, consider a tanker recently built in Brooklyn, a 
120.000-ton tanker, capable of a speed of 18 to 22 knots. You take that 
120.000-ton tanker, at IS to 22 knots and lay that against a vessel 
of 14.000 tons at 12 knots, you take and project it into a voyage from 
the Persian Gulf and the improvement in productivity will run as 
high as 30 to 40 to 1. 

We have a vessel. American vessel, with American crew and flag 
that runs to Europe, for example, and to the Far East: that vessel 
is a thousand-footer, carries a thousand trailers; she moves. Senator, at 
a speed of 33 knots, a speed equal to the Queen Mary, which is the 


world record. So you have a vessel that is 10 times as great as the 
Liberty shin, moving at 33 ■> times the speed of a Liberty ship. 

The manning on those. Senator, on some of the super vessels, we 
carry a crew from the master down of 28 men. On the smaller vessels, 
we carried a crew of from 38 to 47, master down. So when you look 
and you compare the costs, over this period of time, no industry has 
accepted automation to the degree maritime has. 

Incidentally, listen to me. USCG, sitting in the back of this room. 
that wasn't enough, however, to satisfy California standards and 
Esso. They had to cut it to the bone beneath that. 

So as you take crew cost of an American vessel today, Senator, it 
has been 'reduced from the size of what would have been three slices 
of the pie down to half a slice. : 

I will tell you what the real cost is. It is meeting the standards, the 
requirements of American society. It is meeting the standard and 
requirements of getting money. Did you know the biggest cost item 
on a vessel todayls money. Most people don't think of that. They are 
paying more for money than anything else. If Standard of New 
Jersey keeps taking it out of the country they will pay more. 

Senator Hollt^gs. With the Saminenk we are paying in lives. 

Mr. Hall. Precisely. When you talk about the comparable costs, 
there is no comparison at all. 

A further example, look at the other end, back in the days when 
they used this as a major argument they would use for a classic 
example of comparison, the Japanese. Well, today, after several strikes 
over a period of years, the gap between the Japanese sailor and 
American sailor has narrowed. 

The Japanese were tough competitors for U.S. shipowners, as was 
Great Britain. For the first time in the history of the British maritime 
industry they have had three strikes in the past 10 years. There were 
never strikes in the British maritime industry. Because of the social 
unrest there have been strikes. The gap is closing there. The crew 
cost factor is not a viable reason for declining to employ U.S.-flag 

Now. let me give you an example of how the competition goes. 

I call your attention to the Sealand Corp. Keep in mind now, 
it does not s^et one cent of subsidy. They are the largest American 
shipowner and the world's largest container ship operator. They 
competed head-on with the Japanese and with the Norwegians; the 
best sailors in the world. 

What happened ? A head-on fight in the Pacific with the Japanese 
and Norwegians and this American operator. Not with a big 
American subsidized guy but a nonsubsidized one. Sealand ran them 
into the ground. 

You know who is now doing Sealand in? The Soviet Union. It is 
not honest competition, it is not the Japanese, Norwegians, or anyone 
else. The Russians came in with a nationally owned fleet, no profit 
system involved, and they slashed the rates. 

It is not a question of money from the American taxpayers: it is 
the free-enterprise sailors competing against the world's foremost 
state-owned fleet. 

When you talk about maritime, Senator, I don't know how you can 
keep from going all over the lot because it involves a lot of things. 


Senator IIollings. To get to that fundamental point, you talk 
about one leader CJ.iiicl.iil, who got elected because he mis able to 
pelivertheoil in Warld War I? 

Only -A percent of our oil comes in American bottoms. I want to 
emphasize what you really said. Yo,, answered the question by noting 
that, Liberia said no in the V.mi Kippur war to ose any of their 
Pag vessels for delivery of oil. 

Mr. Hall. Yes. 

Senator Hollixgs. I know we had to use the C-5's out of South 
Carolina. We didn't even have a place to land them. Can we, in Con- 
gress, intelligently appropriate $5 million to get in a national reserve, 
and not have have the fleet to deliver it? How can we do it? 

Mr. Hall. Precisely. 

Senator Hollings. These foreign-flag drilling rigs are an eve opener 
to me. Can you elaborate a little on that part of your testimony 
where you say — ' ' are coming in now, foreign drilling rigs commencing work on the Outer 
Continental Shelf. v/uitn 

We are going to be like Bossy the Cow, give her a full pail and she 
will kick it over. 

Mr. Hall. I will give you a very brief description. Right now, off 
the east coast, there are some rigs in from Canada with foreign crews 
who are not doing the exploration work. Thev have made several drill- 
ings. >so effort has been made to check them'out. This is done by con- 
sortiums of the major oil companies that put together a combination 
first for the bidding and second, for the work. 

■ They have involved themselves in subcontracts, much the same as 
is done with all of these kinds of operations. It is now this structure 
that brought m the foreign operation. Now, you have the question of 
what domain these things come under. 

By that I mean, what flag, what regulations, which in effect, means 
precisely what it did on the tankers. What safety rules will apply 2 
What standards will exist ( What will happen? 

Is this why we feel that compared to some of these tankers, if you 
have this thing going on out on the Continental Shelf, vou could 
really have a tremendous situation. There is no question about it at 
all. I would suggest to this committee and to anyone else, in particular 
to the environmentalists who have any interest \>r involvement in this 
situation, you had better look into it. Obviouslv. we are for proper 
development of the Continental Shelf, but we 'think it would be a 
disgraceful situation to let these things get under the wrong control 
and jurisdiction. 

Regardless of what the Secretary of State will tell vou about 
unilateral action and all, the people who control the Continental 
Shelf development are the same people who control the tankers we 
are talking about. You can control a tanker to some degree if the 
TJSCG applies force to these rules. It will be difficult, like we say; 
it is a tough job as you recognize, but if you think that will be tough, 
if yon don't put some jurisdictional claim on how those rigs are 
equipped, manned, then you have something that is a nightmare. 

Senator I [< .lungs. Thank you verv much. 

The CiiAimrAx. The Senator from Marx land. 

82-908— 77— pt. 1 9 


Senator Sarbanes. Thank you. I want to thank you for a very 
thoughtful statement. On the cost factor that Senator Hollings just 
alluded to, we had extensive hearings in the House as you recall. I 
think it is fair to reach the conclusion that the books are kept by the 
oil companies with these foreign-flag ships in such a way that they can 
use it to justify any cost arrangement they want to make, that we have 
never really been able to get to the facts. We are simply left with, I 
think, the overriding suspicion that the whole accounting structure 
is designed to enable them to put the profit anywhere they want to put 
it in the whole chain of operation. 

I take it that is one of the points you are making here today. 

Mr. Hall. Yes. 

Senator Sarbanes. In my own view, the combination of the legisla- 
tion we passed requiring the carriage of oil in American bottoms, 
coupled with the mandatory application of safety regulations, to- 
gether, could do more to improve safety in this area than anything 
else. It would insure, I would assume, first-class ships in terms of 
operation, and then put the pressure on all the remaining foreign car- 
riage to improve their standards to a comparable level. 

In other words, we would end up setting the standards and requiring 
them to move up to it. At the moment, it appears to me they set the 
standard and drag us down to it. Let me ask one question on the com- 
parison of crew training, which is something you are pretty expert 
about. How wide is the gap between the training our people receive in 
terms of operating the ships and what generally prevails for foreign 
crews? I know you may want to be gentle toward them. 

Mr. Hall. Among the legitimate maritime nations, as a general rule, 
there are exceptions and variations. They have training programs that 
are comparable. I don't think they are the best. I will tell you why in 
a moment. But you see, that is not the problem. They are our legitimate 
competition, in free world enterprise. If we can't compete and meet 
it, that is the way it goes. 

On the other side is the Liberian crews, it could be Panama or 
Honduras or anywhere else, the Senator made the point, with the 
mixture of the crew on such vessels — again, this is no reflection on 
nationality — there is no requirement on sea time to be a crewman on 
those ships. Some companies impose it, On some of the Liberian ships, 
the decent operator— decent only in the safety of vessels— tries to do a 
good job. 

Senator Sarbanes. That is self-imposed by the operator, and not 
required by Liberia ? 

Mr. Hall. Precisely. As far as Liberia, there are no requirements. 
The use of the Liberian flag is an accommodation to beat taxes. If 
these people do anything to handicap this runaway operator, then the 
flag isn't that good. You see they sell this flag very cheap. And they 
can only compete with that against the other cheap flags, such as 
Panama, by having no requirements. 
_ If you have to meet safety requirements in Liberia, then the ques- 
tion is: Why don't you go to the cheap one? This is not the onlv 
runaway-flag nation. There are others, including Panama and 

The Chairman. Singapore is in the business now, too. 


Mr. Hall. Yes. And there are others who have moved in. 

We have constantly challenged this. There are no safety require- 
ments. There are not going to be for the simple reason that when they 
stop selling the cheap flag with no strings, then it is no longer a cheap 
flag. This is why they are not going to do anything. On the American 
end, the American mates and pilots, I can't speak for them — I am qoI 
one — have a very competent school. It is probably the most outstanding 
licensed school for deck department personnel in the business. 

In the MEBA, the marine engineers have a great engineering school. 
We go to sea with both of them, the graduates of both schools. We are 
the unlicensed crew. I stack those guys up against any trained officers 
in the world. 

By golly, I wish they would apply the same standards to Standard 
Oil of Xew Jersey. We would be happy. You don't do any good help- 
ing a kid cheat on a lifeboat examination. You might be* in that life- 
boat with him. The Scandinavians and British and others do have 
training programs. I would be safe in saying, they do, as a general 
rule, have competent crews. That does not include those areas where 
they can't get their own crews. 

It would interest you to know, the traditional maritime nations are 
running out of sailors; in Greece, one of the great maritime nations, 
they ran out of sailors. Let's take Holland, one of the great seafaring 
nations : they can't get enough Dutchmen that want to go to sea. They 
fly an entire crew from Hong Kong. We know there are no training 
schools in Hong Kong for sailors. They fly them into Rotterdam by 
the nlaneful because the young Dutchmen don't want to go to sea. 

You go down there in the Caribbean today and see that grand old 
Norwegian flag and look at that crew. There's another kicker to this. 
If the Liberian-flag vessels gave jobs to one single Liberian, one guy 
that wanted to do good for underprivileged people, why argue with it. 
the poor Liberians are hungry. You know how many jobs those poor 
Liberians got, don't you ? Zilch. Nothing. 

They shop for labor like some people shop for commodities. If the 
labor market is cheaper in Hong Kong, they go there; if it is Singa- 
pore, they go there. Where is the flesh the cheapest? It is really a 
slave market. This is where they man their ships and there are people 
who specialize in bringing these crews in. 

Senator Saebanes. I think the distinction you make between the 
responsible maritime countries and the flag-of-convenience countries 
is an important one. The convenience nations, in my opinion, have 
Undercut our national security, as witnessed in the Mideast troubles. 
They have undercut our taxes, undercut our job possibilities in this 
country and now. as these latest incidents have indicated, are polluting 
our environment. We have to get at what is behind the use of the flags 
of convenience and you pretty well laid that out for us on the table 
this morning. 

Mr. Hall. You have to be fair. An accident can happen to any ship. 
An oilspill can occur. We think they are terribly important, but we 
don't rest our case on the question of these disasters. A ship is a piece 
of equipment. That is our point. A piece of equipment is as good as the 
people who are on it. It is like your truck or your car. like a crane or 


something, you can get the finest piece of equipment in the world. If 
you don't have the right guy on it, the trained person, forget about it. 

So these things can happen even with good personnel. Accidents do 
happen. Ajnerican vessels have had those problems. It is not just that, 
but I think you put it for the first time in the proper way. It is an 
undermining of everything. 

The only argument is a question of degree. It is a question of secu- 
rity of the employment, economy, and now, of the environment. You 
art ; absolutely right. It is everything. 

Senator Sarbanes. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Senator from Minnesota. 

Senator Anderson. Mr. Hall, you are telling us we have the oppor- 
tunity to use American labor, American ships, better environmental 
standards and perhaps pay a little more doing that along the way or 
deal with the environmental disasters? 

Mr. Hall. Precisely. 

Senator Anderson. Mr. Chairman, the Energy. Transportation, and 
Security Act that was pocket-vetoed: are the hearings taking place 
right now on that particular legislation? What is the status of the 
biTl that was vetoed ? What are the plans on that ? 

The Chairman. Senator Hollings has been handling that matter. 

Senator Hollings. We are going to start hearings and reintroduce 
the bill. In fact, it has already' been reintroduced. 

The Chairman. All right, Thank you. 

All right, Mr. McKenzie. Tell us what the Tanker Advisory Cen- 

ter is. 

Mr. McKenzie. I am the director of this Tanker Advisory Center, 
the main business of which is to supply computerized tanker casualty 
data to the industry. I have been in the industry 

The Chairman." Is it paid for by the industry? By contributions 
from the industry ? 

Mr. McKenzie. No. It's solely my own. I have clients. Some are 


The Chairman. It's not a contract ? , 

Mr. McKenzie. Not a contract. By jobs. 

Senator Hollings. Describe it. For instance, what has been your 

Mr. McKenzie. If someone wishes to charter a tanker they will 
oftentimes come to me and ask me to provide them a list of the casual- 
lies to that tanker. All the data that we have is public information 
provided by Lloyd's of London in a daily newspaper that has been 
published for 270 years, every day, that lists all the casualties to vessels 
around the world, that they know about. 

Now, I have taken this information for the last 13 years and com- 
piled it and coded it and we are just about to put it on the General 
Electric timesharing computer for people to use it. 

The Chairman. Mr. McKenzie, if you don't mind, I wish you would 
step aside for 10 or 15 minutes because Mr. Champion who is the pipe- 
line coordinator for the State of Alaska must catch a plane. He came 
a long wav and needs to leave shortly. 

Mr. McKenzie, it will just take a few minutes. 



Mr. Champion. Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. We will put your statement in the record in full. 
Thou you summarize it for us. 

Mr. Champion. Yes, sir. The testimony that T am going to put in the 
re ord iu full is the testimony of Governor J. Hammond of the State 
of Alaska. 

The Chairman. You represenl the Governor? 

Mr. Champion. Thai is correct. 1 am also including with that a series 
of technical discussions on various correspondence and reports that 
have been done on behalf of the State of Alaska. 

The Chairman. All right. Go right ahead. 

Mr. Champion. As I say I am speaking for the State of Alaska and 
for Governor Hammond. 

Since my testimony to this committee on March 2. 1976 regarding 
the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 107-2. little if any, encourage- 
ment has been offered by the Federal Government in response to 
incorporating advances in safety features in the marine transportation 
of crude oil from Alaska to west coast ports. 

As you know, Mr. Chairman, the State of Alaska has. for the past 2 
years, assumed a lead role in working with Congress and other States 
in an attempt to have meaningful enforcement of the intent of Con- 
gress in the passage of the Ports and "Waterways Safety Act of 1072. 
We feel much of the efforts of the Coast Guard and the maritime 
transport industry has been directed at the avoidance of this intent. 

Now, if this statement appears harsh I feel compelled to remind the 
committee that the State of Alaska is not responding to the recent 
sensationalism resulting from the series of unfortunate incidents which 
have been recently publicized. 

My concerns are genuine and stem from a longtime commitment- — — 

The Chairman. The Governor of Alaska has made his views on this 
public on many occasions. 

Mr. Champion. Yes. sir. In 1075, the State of Alaska became suffi- 
ciently concerned that the DOT had not pursued tanker safety regu- 
lations with the same intensity displayed in offering assurance to Con- 
gress and the Nation that vessels in the TAPS trade would incorporate 
the highest reasonable safety standards. 

Therefore. Alaska, with your State of Washington, had discussions 
with the affected west coast States as well as the Province of British 
Columbia. The result of these meetings we have had between our States 
and the work done by the Congressional Office of Technology Ass 
merit resulted in the following recommendations : 

I would first read what we are recommending be implemented in 
tanker safety systems, then I will give a little bit of background of 
each one. 

First, retrofit of segregated ballast. Second, double bottom and 
double hulled tankers. Third, gas inerting systems. Fourth, collision 
avoidance systems. Fifth, loran-C and loran-C retransmission caps- 


bilities. Sixth, lateral thrusters. Seventh, stopping ability. Eighth, 
redundant boilers or propulsion units and last but not least, increased 
standards of personnel training and licensing. 


Regarding the retrofitted segregated ballast, which I think we in 
Alaska would establish as our highest priority, the oilspills into the 
oceans and rivers in the final months of our Bicentennial Year as a 
result of the grounding of the Argo Merchant on Nantucket Shoals 
and the Oly?npic Games in Delaware River and the explosion of the 
Sansiena in Los Angeles Harbor totaled over 8 million gallons, a 
staggering volume. 

The Chairman. One tanker is completely missing. 

Mr. Champion. That is correct. There is another one completely 
missing. During that same period of time, that same 1 -month period, 
some 25 million gallons of oil, three times that volume were delib- 
erately discharged into the oceans of the world by the world's tanker 
fleet through normal ballasting operations and associated tank clean- 

Moreover, 25 million gallons of oil are discharged deliberately into 
the ocean each and every month of the year as a result of ballasting 
and tank-cleaning procedures from the present world's tanker fleet. 
This fact is literally unnoticed in the world's press. 

This 300 million gallons per year concerns me personally and is the 
very reason why I corresponded with Secretary Coleman on the issue 
of oil tanker standards some 2 years ago. That was dated March 25, 
1975, and is attached for the record. 

Mr. Chairman, as you know, 1976 was not a particularly good year 
for those of us concerned with the safety and environmental systems 
of oil tankers. However, in my opinion the highest point in this regard 
was the U.S. Coast Guard's advanced notice of proposed rulemaking 
in May of 1976, which suggested the retrofit of segregated ballasts 
would apply to all U.S. waters, to both U.S.-flag vessels, and foreign- 
flag vessels. 

Upon receipt of the advanced notice, Governor Hammond im- 
mediately responded thanking the Coast Guard and recommending 
that it be accepted. 

Additionally, Governor Evans of the State of Washington, Governor 
Straub of the State of Oregon, and Governor Hammond issued a joint 
letter to the USCG expressing satisfaction with the advanced notice. 

In reviewing the public comments received on that advanced notice, 
it is noted State officials from Maine, New York, Maryland, Florida, 
and California independently endorsed the Coast Guard's advanced 
notice. Moreover, not a single official of any State within our Nation 
voiced opposition to this advanced notice. The public response was 
overwhelmingly favorable to segregated ballast. 

However, during the late fall of 1976 it became evident to us, the 
State of Alaska, that the proposed rule of retrofit of segregated 
ballast for all tank vessels would not be enacted by the Coast Guard. 
Therefore, the State of Alaska authorized a legal memorandum on 
title II of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act which says the Coast 
Guard is wrong in their position, which inhibits them from separating 


out foreign trade vessels from domestic trade vessels. I will give you 
the conclusions of that memorandum. 

It states, first, title II of the Ports and "Waterways Safety Act 
distinguishes between U.S. -flag vessels operating in the domestic and 
foreign trades and gave the USCG authority to promulgate regula- 
tions differentiating between the vessels based on the trade in which 
they are operating. 

Two, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Act, Public Law 93-153, and the 
1973 amendments made therein to the Ports and Waterways Safety 
Act reinforced the congressional authorization to differentiate be- 
tween vessels operating in foreign and domestic trades, at least with 
respect to vessels engaged in the TAPS trade. 

And three, regulations promulgated by the Coast Guard pursuant 
to belief by the Coast Guard that it lacks the authority to differentiate 
between vessels operating in the foreign and domestic trades would 
be subject to challenge. 

This legal memorandum was forwarded to Secretary Coleman by 
Governors Evans, Straub, and Hammond prior to the grounding of 
the Argo Merchant on December 10. 

Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I am now making the 
same request to you that Governors Evans, Straub, and Hammond 
made to Secretary Coleman on December 10 of last year. That is, to 
mandate the retrofit of segregated ballast on existing tankers operating 
in the U.S. waters. 

The United States would then assume world leadership in efforts to 
reduce the 300 million gallons of oil being intentionally discharged 
into the world's ocean each year. Now the cost to retrofit a 90,000 dwt, 
for example, for segregated ballast is estimated to be between $550,000 
and $600,000. 

Mr. Chairman, if I may indulge myself with a personal comment, I 
personally feel unless the Congress of the United States takes action, 
the U.S. Coast Guard will not mandate or will not put into effect its 
proposed rule of segregated ballast. I sincerely hope when they testify 
after I do, that they prove my statement wrong, but I don't think they 


At the national level, in January 1973, an Advanced Notice for Pro- 
posed Rulemaking was published which informed the American public 
that the U.S. Coast Guard was considering construction standards for 
new tankers which would require segregated ballast incorporating 
double bottoms. 

The analvsis of double bottoms appeared in Marine Technology in 
January 1973, entitled "Effectiveness of Double Bottoms in Prevent- 
ing Oil Outflow from Tanker Bottom Damage Incidents," by Lit 
Cmdr. J. C. Card of the U.S. Coast Guard. A copy of that is also 
included for the record. 

It basically concluded that : 

Double bottoms would bave been effective in from 00 to 00 percent of rases. 
The vertical beam damage sustained by a tanker involved in a bottom damaging 
easnaltv is not related to the size of the tanker, and in some bottom damaging 
casualties, double bottoms would not prevent the tanker involved from polluting. 

However, in these eases the presence of the double bottoms would reduce the 
amount of outflow when compared with tankers suffering the same damage which 
are not fitted with double bottoms. 


For example, the 134,000-gallon oilspill resulting from the recent 
grounding of the Olympic Games, had it had a double bottom that 
oilspill would not have occurred. 

In 197S, when the tanker Corinthos. which was struck by the Edqat 
M. Queeney at the exact same location, had been a double hulled 
tanker, 25 lives could have been saved and a 500,000-gallon oilspill 
could have been prevented had there been double hulls in that tanker. 

I am sure Ave could go on with many other cases to make this \\\<x\- 
fication. As I stated last March when I testified before this committee 
the State of Alaska recalls the promises made by then-Secretary of 
Interior Rogers C. B. Morton to Congress stating that the Depart- 
ment of the Interior was studying the implementation of the latest 
technological advances, including segregated ballast and double bot- 
toms in the trans-Alaska pipeline transportation system. 

I feel these tankers must utilize segregated ballast by means of either 
a double hull or double bottom to fulfill that promise to our State as 
well as to our Nation. 

m For the record, a double bottom tanker represents a 3- to 4-percent 
increase in construction cost over a conventional tanker and a double 
hulled tanker represents a comparable 5- to 6-percent increase How- 
ever, there are some savings offsetting that partially in the turnaround 
time m port because you do not have to deballast the tanker. 


Another important issue is gas inerting svstems. The problem with 
shipboard explosions, I think, is well recognized throughout the world 
To date, both IMCO and ICS have recommended against the use of 
high-capacity tank cleaning machines without the use of an inert gas 
system. The Mar Ad, in considering the explosion hazard on the larger 
tankers, requires inert gas svstem installation on newly constructed 
subsidized tankers of 100.000 dwt and greater. 

It is important to note, however, that while IMCO, ICS, and Mar Yd 
have recognized the special explosion hazards which exist on the large 
crude carriers during the course of tank cleaning operations, the ex- 
plosion potential remains for all tankers, regardless of size It is 
important to recognize, though, that over 80 percent of the' crude 
handled m L.S. ports is aboard tankers of less than 100,000 dwt 
which have no regulatory requirement for inert gas systems. 

I need not remind this committee of the recent explosion in Lon<r 
Beach, Calif., where the Sansmena exploded after diseharo-ino- C ar<»S 
with the resulting loss of 50 lives and environment damage. & 

An inert gas system installed during the course of original con- 
struction increases capital costs by approximately $800,000 to $1 
million, whereas on retrofit the cost is about 25 percent higher. 


I am disappointed that during the past year the U.S. Coast Guard 
saw ht to entirely delete the requirements for the vessel's radar to be 
fitted with a collision avoidance system as thev originally proposed in 
their advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, dated June 28, 1074 

Abridge officer must be provided with some sort of svstem which 
continuously determines and displays the risk of collision. The theory 


that providing him with equipment to plot relative mot ion will accom- 
plish the same end is not only dangerous, but also irresponsible. 

I strongly urge the Federal Government to require at a minimum 
to marine radars operating at all times. Additionally, at least one of 
those units should be provided some form of collision avoidance 


With the construction of loran-C transmitting stations throughout 
the coast of North America to ultimately provide loran-C coverage 
over all waters of the United States, at the American taxpayers' 
expense, it seems logical all tankers entering U.S. waters should be 
provided with a loran-C receiver. 1 cannot categorically state that a 
loran-C receiver would have prevented the Argo Men-hunt incident. 
If she were provided with such a device, the notion of her sailing 
without a navigational fix for 15 hours would be remote indeed. 

The unique ability of loran-C to be provided with retransmission 
capabilities affords it the option of also being utilized as a shoreside 
surveillance system for vessels equipped with a loran-C receiver and 
VHF transceiver. This would be similar to the aviation t raffic system 
where you have j^our transponders for air traffic control. 

"We were advised in a report to the Alaska office of the pipeline co- 
ordinator entitled, "An Overview of Marine Vessel Traffic Systems," 
dated February 1976. I feel that the inclusion of loran-C retrans- 
mission in the Valdez Harbor and Prince "William Sound should 
significantly reduce the potential for pollution from groundings and 
collisions at a relatively low incremental cost. 

Despite Secretary Coleman's statement, I feel that if loran-C re- 
transmission capability had been present in the Nantucket Shoal 
area, an incident such as the Argo Merchant probably would not have 
happened because, first, the ship would have had accurate navigation 
available and, second, the surveillance unit would have been aware 
of the ship's position and could have forewarned her of her proximity 
to the shoals in time. 

For the record, a loran-C system may be installed aboard ship at 
the cost of approximately $40,000. The additional installation of the 
leran-C retransmission capability would be an additional $20,000. 


Tanker maneuverability, we feel should be made available by use 
of lateral thrusters or with the use of tugs. 

Because of the forthcoming large tanker operations and the related 
weather conditions, Alaska has long been concerned about the issue 
of tanker safety through Valdez Narrows. We initiated a realtime 
simulation study of a 1(>5.000 dwt tanker transiting the Valdez Nar- 
rows both in the loaded and ballast conditions, under various wind 
conditions, and assisted by various combinations of tugboats. "We have 
not made a complete assessment of the results to determine what 
further experiments need be conducted. 

Presently two facts are clear. First, the output of such experiments 
provides significant insight to ship controllability in a site specific 
are:; and is essential input to establishing vessel traffic system operat- 
ing conditions, and second, that there is a threshold level in terms of 


wind force and operating draft above which tugboats are necessary for 
tankers to safely transit Valdez Narrows and higher winds above 
which no tanker can safely transit the narrows even with tugboat 


We believe improvement should be made in vessel stopping ability 
although dramatic improvement cannot be expected with increased 
power alone. However, we do feel it's worth while because it is available 
at relatively small expense. 


Most vessels operating in U.S. waters do have redundant boilers and 
power units. However, we feel that this requirement should be ex- 
plicitly made to preclude any tankers operating in the United States 
without an alternate source of propulsive power. This does not include 
twin screws. They can be driven from a single power source. 


_ Over 50 percent of the collision or grounding type of tanker casual- 
ties can be attributable to human error. Moreover, the tanker casualty 
list has not shown any decrease over the past year ; in fact, both the 
number of accidents and the associated oil pollution have actually in- 
creased over the original 1969-74 casualty data, where the actual num- 
ber of operating tankers throughout the world are annually involved 
in oyer 600 accidents with the results of oil pollution in excess of 50 
million gallons each and every year. 

In the past 6-year period tankers throughout the world were in- 
volved in 3,763 accidents. Also 523 caused significant pollution for a 
total of over 1 million tons of oil spilled upon the oceans of the world. 
. We feel a considerable advance in the level of safety within the ma- 
rine industry could be achieved by adopting some of the "tried and 
proven" techniques in the field of aviation such as real-time simulators. 

A thorough review of the 1972 Ports and Waterways Safety Act 
leads me to conclude that your congressional mandate to the USCG 
was to apply stringent tanker construction and operations standards. 
Moreover, the standards for tankers operating in domestic trade were 
to be more stringent than the IMCO requirements for vessels operat- 
ing in international trade. 

It was my pleasure to sign into State law in 1976 the Alaska tanker 
and petroleum facility bill. This bill authorized the Alaska Depart- 
ment of Environmental Conservation to establish a "risk schedule" to 
be applied to the various tankers operating in Alaskan waters. The 
department is now in the process of developing the methodology and 
regulations for implementation of the act. 

In retrospect, I feel the apathy exhibited by the Federal Govern- 
ment during the past 4 years has not been entirely negative. One 
positive feature has been the lesson we cannot be assured the executive 
branch of the Federal Government and the Federal courts share the 
same degree of concern for the protection of the environment as do 
the various affected States. 


The nine basic points which areoutlined herein represents the rikajor 
elements whieh are lacking in the marine transportation of crude oil 

todav. It is the position of the State of Alaska that these systems 
should have boon studied and instituted under the Ports and Water- 
ways Safety Aet of 1972 under the authority granted to the FSCG. 

A review of that act clearly shows that the V^CCi lias failed to 
promulgate a substantive increase in the quality of tanker construc- 
tion, operation, and safety standards. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Act 
also provided for the institution of state-of-the-art technology to de- 
velop a quality of trade that is unsurpassed historically. 

In closing, Mr. Chairman, the State of Alaska believes the Coast 
Guard must consider many other factors besides the economic welfare 
of the maritime industry or international maritime cooperation in its 
decisionmaking process. Xot the least of these considerations should 
be a concern for maintaining the quality of the Alaskan environment. 
And a desire to fulfill public interest in our State and throughout the 
Nation as well. 

We are not opposed to tanker transportation. We only ask that 
appropriate safety and environmental standards be applied. Thank 

The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Champion. That figure you used 
about the dumping of oil throughout the world, could you repeat that 
again? You say there are how many gallons discharged per day? 

Mr. Champion. Each month there are a total of 25 million gal- 

The Chairman. Each month? 

Mr. Champion. Each month. There are 300 million gallons a year 
deliberately dumped in the oceans of the world in the process of tank 
cleaning and deballasting. 

The Chairman. Which naturally would have to be the subject of 
international agreement ; wouldn't it? 

Mr. Champion. It is, of course. In normal operation of the tankers, 
deballasting occurs just prior to entering the port where you load. 

The Chairman. Except coming in and out of our ports or waters. 

Mr. Champion. That is correct. 

The Chairman. "We can control that. 

Mr. Champion. Yes. We could. 

The Chairman. I have been reading, the Senator f rom South Caro- 
lina would know this better than I do, that the ships that go down the 
Gidf Stream and come close to the Florida coast are dumping all the 

Senator Hollings. Eight. 

The Chairman. Within the 200-mile limit or right off the coast. 
The Coast Guard tries to run them down, and they have an awful 
time. You have to be a bunch of detectives to know who did it. 

I see they caught one. I think he is before the courts in Florida, 
the master, who was fined or something of that kind. 

Xow. is a surveillance system in operation in and out of Yaldez ? 

Mr. Champion. Not at this time. 

The Chairman. The USCG is attempting to do this? 

Mr. Champion. Yes. 

The Chairman-. There again is a question where Congress has to 
respond with the wherewithal to do it. 


Mr. Champion. However, we feel the USCG surveillance system is 
inadequate, because it includes only radar, and it is a very limited 

The Chairman. Whatever it includes, it's got to be done. When is 
the first oil, in your estimation, going to be delivered to ships? 

Mr. Champion. I will stick my neck out and predict the first tanker 
will be loaded in early August of 1977. 

The Chairman. This year. And the estimate is how many gallons 
per day will be coming down — or barrels? 

Mr. Champion. The initial production rate will be 600,000 barrels 
a day. within a period of 3 months, phasing into, what we call phase II, 
1,200.000 barrels a day, the west coast 

Tl le Chairman. The normal operation will be over a million barrels 
a day coming down ? 

Mr. Champion. 1,200,000 barrels a day before the end of this year. 

The Chairman. By tanker ? 

Mr. Champion. By tanker. 

The Chairman. Where is it going to go? 

Senator Hollings. Not to Japan ; is it ? 

The Chairman. They are talking about sending it to Japan, making 
an exchange. 

Mr. Champion. The TAPS trade fleet have been modified in recent 
months to include PanaMax tankers, 90,000 deadweight tankers which 
are the largest size tanker that transit the Panama Canal. 

I assume a portion of that oil will be going into Texas ports through 
the Panama Canal. 

The Chairman. Puget Sound is taking a look at the problem, and 
Los Angeles. 

Mr. Champion. Los Angeles and San Francisco harbor. 

The Chairman. Coming down the coast. 

Mr. Champion. I would point out, to put one more thing in perspec- 
tive here, of what we are talking about, if we take the TAPS trade as 
it is constituted and modify every single tanker in that trade to incor- 
porate all of the safety advantages, all the systems on board, we are 
asking for, all that cost is passed on to the consumer in the price of 
gasoline, it will add one quarter of one cent per gallon to the cost of 

The Chairman. I read those figures someplace. 

Senator Hollings. You said one-quarter of a cent. I wanted to know 
whether you factored it out, because I thought you used a high figure 
on the loran C. We were told it is $15,000 in mass production, or even 

Mr. Champion. We have deliberately stayed on the high side on 
costs to be conservative as possible. 

The same process as with the computers, they start out high and 
pretty soon they are $12.95. 

Senator Hollings. For the environmental safeguards, segregated 
ballast, double bottoms, gas inerting system, and all the other things 
you outlined in your statement, you say it will cost about a quarter of a 
cent per gallon. 

We are talking about a quarter of a cent, with respect to a great need 
not only for the safety and the environment and other things, it is not 
only desirable, but necessary. 


Mr. Champion. I could not agree with you more. 

The Chairman. I was going to make a parallel. 

For years, the Federal Government has participated in what we 
call public works projects costing millions. The Army Engineers give 
us what we call a B-C ratio, a benefit to cost, and in this case the bene- 
fits are groat and the cost is ininiinuni. 

Mr. Champion. We have been accused on a number of occasions, in 
the State of Alaska, and I am sure you probably heard some of this 
yourself, we are acting in restraint of trade, that we are going to run 
the. price of crude oil, of gasoline products up to where American in- 
duct ry can no longer compete wit h foreign trade. We are talking about 
a cost of 8 cents on a 12 or 13 dollar barrel of oil. 

I wonder who are the irresponsible ones in this line? 

The Chairman. Well, we appreciate your recommendations. 

Senator Hollings. Mr. Champion, that trip all the way from Alaska 
Was worth it because you have given very, very important testimony. 
While we squeezed you in, I think you have given one of the most, sig- 
nificant statements, number one because you are representing a Repub- 
lican Governor, and I say that not in a partisan fashion, because they 
tried to do that when Ave began these hearings on yesterday, that it was 
a Republican White House versus the Democratic Congress. 

It is not that kind of thing at all. It is very important, and we are 
very grateful to your Governor. I can say something about a junket 
here. Five U.S. Democratic Senators went up to Alaska, last August, 
and we trot to see, courtesy of the Coast Guard and Governor Ham- 
mond, a loran C station. I saw a liquefied gas plant, and we traveled 
tho pipeline all the way from Prudhoe to Valdez. 

The next time you report about our junkets, say that these are edu- 
cational things where we learn something so that we will know how to 
ask questions intelligently. 

Here you represent an oil State and you have been giving significant 
testimony demanding that we do a more adequate job with the Coast 
Guard and with the present laws. 

I think we have adequate laws on the books. They have not been 
as assiduous as we thought they should have been. You have one-half 
the coastline of the United States. I think we ought to point these out 
in the testimony you have given. 

It is excellent. I didn't know you were going to appear, but I ap- 
preciate your appearance and your colleagues. 

The Chairman. Senator Stevens, who is a. member of this commit- 
tee, fully intended to be here this morning, but he has been called 
down to the Transition Office: he is conferring now with Mr. Carter. 

I wish, maybe they would talk a little bit about this problem. 

Mr. Champion. I most assuredly appreciate his comments yesterday. 

The Chairman. He has been very active. There, again. Senator 
Stevens belongs to the opposition party. lie has been very active fol- 
lowing tho lines of your testimony and what Senator Hollings I 
myself feel is necessary. 

Senator Housings. Senator Gravel was with us on that trip to 
Alaska to the pipelines. 

Air. Parker, falter Parker, I wanted to express my personal opin- 
ion and my extreme than!.:-, to you for keeping press are on, because I 


don't know where Ave would have been without you. It's been a long 

(The statement follows :) 

Statement of Hon. J. S. Hammond, 1 Governor of the State of Alaska 

Mr Chairman, since my testimony to this committee on March 2, 1976 regard- 
ing the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972, little, if any, encouragement 
has heen offered hy the Federal Government in response to requests by many 
states and individual citizens to incorporate advances in safety features in the 
marine transportation of crude oil from Alaska to West Coast ports. The State 
of Alaska has been attempting to work with industry as well as Federal agencies 
to solve environmental and technical problems associated with the total system 
of petroleum transport for the past seven years. Most importantly, Alaska has, 
for the past two years, assumed a lead role iu working with Congress and other 
states in an attempt to have meaningful enforcement of the intent of Congress 
in the passage of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. We feel much of the 
efforts of the Coast Guard and the maritime transport industry has been directed 
at the avoidance of this intent. 

If this statement appears harsh, I feel compelled to remind this committee that 
the State of Alaska is not reacting to the senationalism resulting from the series 
of unfortunate incidents which have been publicized recently. My concerns are 
genuine and stem from a long time commitment of my administration to the 
highest environmental safeguards within the bounds of economic and technical 
practicability. Many of us in Alaska and throughout the Nation relaxed our 
vigilance regarding the marine transportaion of Alaska's oil after the signing 
of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act in 1972. The President of the United 
States stated that "Under this Act the Coast Guard gains much needed new au- 
thority to protect against oil spills — by controlling vessel traffic in our inland 
waters and territorial seas, by regulating the handling and storage of danger- 
ous cargoes on the waterfront, by establishing safety requirements for water- 
front equipment and facilities, and by setting standards for design, construction, 
maintenance and operation of tank vessels." This statement offered us, what we 
felt was, the necessary assurance. 

In 1975, Alaskan officials became aware that the Department of Transporta- 
tion had failed to pursue tanker safety regulations with the same intensity dis- 
played in assuring Congress and the Nation that vessels in the Trans-Alaska 
Pipeline (TAPS) trade would incorporate the highest reasonable safety stand- 
ards. Therefore, Alaska, in cooperation with the State of Washington, con- 
vened joint discussions with various government members of the affected West 
Coast states as well as the province of British Columbia. A result of these efforts 
and the excellent work accomplished by the Congressional Office of Technology 
Assessment, is that Alaska recommends the following systems be mandated as 
soon as possible into tank vessels operating in U.S. waters : 

l. retrofit of segregated ballast 

The oil spills into our oceans and rivers during the final month of our bicen- 
tenuial year as a result of the grounding of the Argo Merchant on Nantucket 
Shoals and the Olympic Games in the Delaware River and the explosion of the 
Sansinena in Los Angeles Harbor, totals over eight million gallons, a staggering 
volume. However, during that same month over three times that amount, or 
some 25 million gallons of oil, were intentionally discharged by the world's 
tanker fleet into our oceans through normal ballasting operations and associ- 
ated tank cleaning. Moreover, 25 million gallons of oil are pumped into our 
oceans each and every month of the year for the same purpose by the present 
world tanker fleet. This fact is literally unnoticed by the Nation's press. This 
three hundred million gallons per year concerns me personally and is the very 
reason why I corresponded with Secretary Coleman on the issue of oil tanker 
standards some two years ago. In that letter, dated March 25, 1975, I expressed 
concern over the apparent relaxation of tanker standards as promised to the 
State of Alaska, as well as the Nation, prior to the passage of the Trans-Alaska 
Pipeline Act of 1973. A copy of that letter is attached for the record. 

Mr. Chairman, to illustrate that concern please allow me to read the second 
paragraph of that letter. "Alaska finds itself on the horns of a dilemma. Timely 

1 The attachments to this statement start on p. 2S1. 


oil royalty payments will be required to keep the State's fiscal resources solvent. 
However, il appears that a definite West Ooasl Oil Port Development Program 
floes not exist which is capable Of receiving Alaskan oil resources. Chen this 
tonstrainl of Inadequate facilities, it Is curious to us why promised stringent 
construction requirements for the r.s. vessels carrying Alaska crude are ap- 
parently being relaxed. It was only by the most adamant reassurances of the 
Federal Administration that vessel design would be of the highest quality to 
insure the protection of the marine environment that the Alaska Pipeline Bill 
was ever allowed to pass Congress." 

Mr. Chairman, as you ksow, 1!)7C. was not a particularly good year for those of 
OS concerned with the safety and environmental standards of oil-tankers; 
however, in mv opinion the highest pohK" In iiiis regard was the U.S. Coast 
Guard's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making of May 13, 1976, which sug- 
gested the requiring of retrofit of segregated ballast would apply to all U.S. 
waters, to both U.S. flag vessels and foreign flag vessels. Upon receipt of that 
Advanced Notice I immediately responded with a letter on May 10, 1976 to the 
Coast Guard praising them for their action and 1 truly felt that at least a partial 
solution to the issue of tanker pollution was to be achieved. A copy of that 
latter is included for the record. Additionally, Governor Evans of the State of 
Washington. Governor Straub of the State of Oregon and I issued a joint letter, 
daied June 22, 1070. to the U.S. Coast Guard expressing our satisfaction with the 
subject Advanced Notice and added that our respective States were beginning to 
identify iO.000 Dead Weight Ton (D.W.T.) in lieu of 70,000 D.W.T. as the 
boundary for application of improved safety and environmental standards in 
vessel design. A copy of the June 22. 1070 letter is also included for the record. 
In reviewing the public comments received on that Advanced Notice of Proposed 
Eule Making with respect to the retrofit of segregated ballast, it is noted that, 
also .state OfSoials from Maine, New York. Maryland. Florida and California 
Independently endorsed the Coast Guard's subject of Advanced Notice of Pro- 
Rule Making and their comments are contained in the Coast Guard 
docket •CGI) 76 075." Moreover, not a single official of any state within our 
N) tion voiced opposition to the Coast Guard's action on the issue of retrofit of 
gated ballast. The public comments were overwhelmingly in favor of the 
proposed rule. 

In September 1076, the Office of the Pipeline Coordinator of the State of 
Alaska prepared a study for the U.S. Coast Guard on the oil tankers scheduled to 
transport Alaskan crude to West Coast ports. This study showed that only 
twelve of the initially proposed 26 tankers earmarked for the Alaskan trade were 
Segregated ballast tankers and concluded in stating that the act of retrofitting 
segregated ballast represented the only reasonable method by which to upgrade 
these tankers in order to meet even this minimum standard. These vessels, 
however, would not meet the defensive space requirement. A copy of that study 
is also included for the record. 

During the late Fall of 1976, it became evident to our State that the proposed 
rule of retrofit of segregated ballast for all tank vessels would not be enacted 
by the Coast Guard. Therefore, the State of Alaska authorized a legal memo- 
randum on Title II of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act with respect to dif- 
ferentiating U.S. flair vessels in coast wise trade (Jones Act vessels) from U.S. 
flag vessels in foreign trade and foreign flag tankers. A copy of this legal memo- 
randum is included for the record. 

The U.S. Coast Guard position is that it is legally precluded under Title II of 
the Ports and Waterways Safety Act from promulgating standards for U.S. flag 
tank vessels based on whether they are operating in the foreign trade or domestic 
trade. This review determined that if the Coast Guard is correct, their conclusion 
could substantially limit their ability to protect the marine environment. For 
example, if pursuant to its Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making of May 13. 
1976 (41 FR 19672), the Coast Guard determined for any reason not to impose 
a segregated ballast retrofit requirement on U.S. and foreign flag vessels operat- 
ing in foreign trade, the Coast Guard's legal interpretation would preclude it. 
from applying the requirement to vessels operating in domestic trade, including 
vessels engaged in the transport of oil between Alaska and the Lower 48 states. 
Further, the Coast Guard's legal interpretation would preclude it from making 
an ind"pendent determination of the environmental efficacy and desirability of 
applying the segregated ballast retrofit requirement solely to vessels engaged in 
the domestic or TAPS trades. Clearly, a legal interpretation by the Coast Guard 
that so restricts their ability to accomplish the marine environmental protection 


objectives of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act should be of serious concern* 
to Congress as well as the legislatures of the effected states. 

However, this legal memorandum prepared for the State of Alaska, together 
with legislative history, and case law clearly dictates that the Coast Guard's 
restrictive conclusion is incorrect. Specifically, the legal memorandum concludes: 

(a) Title II of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act distinguished between 
U.S. flag vessels operating in the domestic and foreign trades and gave the Coast 
Guard authority to promulgate regulations differentiating between the vessels 
based on the trade in which they are operating. 

(6) The Trans- Alaska Pipeline Act (Public Law 93-153) and the 1973 amend- 
ments made therein to the Ports and Waterways Safety Act reinforced the Con- 
gressional authorization to differentiate between vessels operating in foreign 
and domestic trades, at least with respect to vessels engaged in the TAPS trade. 

(c) Regulations promulgated by the Coast Guard pursuant to belief by the 
Coast Guard that it lacks the authority to differentiate between vessels operating 
in the foreign and domestic trades would be subject to challenge. 

This legal memorandum was jointly forwarded to Secretary Coleman by 
Governor Evans, Governor Straub, and me prior to the grounding of the Argo 
Merchant on December 10, 1976. We, as governors of the northwest states, urged 
him to proceed with regulations requiring the retrofit of segregated ballasts for 
existing tankers transiting our State waters. We also stated that if he could not 
see fit to issue a regulation to include both U.S. flag tankers and foreign flag 
tankers, to at least issue regulations requiring the retrofit of certain U.S. flag 
tankers in coast wise trade (Jones Act Tankers). Since all of the tankers pres- 
ently scheduled for the TAPS trade are Jones Act Tankers they are therefore 
protected from foreign competition. 

Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I now am making the same 
request to you that Governor Evans, Governor Straub, and I made to Secretary 
Coleman on December 10, 1976. to require the retrofit of segregated ballast on 
existing tankers operating in U.S. waters. If it is not feasible to regulate both 
foreign flag tankers and U.S. flag tankers, then commence with the Jones Act 
protected U.S. flag tankers in coastal trade. By so doing, the United States 
would then assume world leadership in efforts to reduce the 300,000,000 (three 
hundred million) gallons of oil being discharged annually into the oceans in- 
tentionally by tank vessels. 

The cost to retrofit a typical 90,000 D.W.T. tanker to the standard of segre- 
gated ballast required for new tankers is estimated to range between 550,000 
and 600,000 dollars 


In the preparation for the 1973 International Maritime Consultative Organi- 
zation conference on Marine Pollution, the United States was assigned a study 
on segregated ballast tankers. The study, which was completed in February 
1973, covered a range of tankers from 21,000 to 500.000 D.W.T., both crude car- 
riers and product carriers. The United States concluded that segregated ballast 
is economically feasible aboard tankers of 20,000 D.W.T. and greater, and that 
the segregated ballast capacity should be achieved, in part, by fitting a double 
bottom throughout the cargo length. The height of the double bottom was deter- 
mined to be necessarily at least 1/15 of the beam for two reasons; first, it was 
intended that the segregated ballast water would be carried in the double bot- 
tom to significantly reduce the problem of intentional discharge of oily ballast 
at sea: second, the double bottom would provide a degree of protection against 
accidental discharge of oil in the event of grounding. 

At the Notional level, in January 1973, an Advanced Notice for Proposed Rule 
Making was published by the Coast Guard which informed the American public 
of proposed construction standards for new tankers which would require segre- 
gated ballast, incorporating double bottoms. 

An analysis of double bottoms appeared in Marine Technology in January 
1973. entitled "Effectiveness of Double Bottoms in Preventing Oil Outflow from 
Tanker Bottom Damage Incident," by Lt. Cmdr. J. C. Card, of the U.S. Coast 
Guard. This analysis considered all tanker groundings which resulted in oil 
pollution within United States waters from January 1969 through April 1073. 
A total of 30 of these groundings resulted in oil pollution. Lt Cmdr. Card con- 
cluded : 1) If the 30 tankers had been fitted with a double bottom whose height 
was at least 1/15 of the beam, in 27 groundings pollution would have not oc- 


curred. The double bottom would have been effective in !MJ pet cent of the cfl 
Furthermore, <si percent of the total oil outflow, would haw been prevented. 2) 
If the 30 tankers bad been litted with a li meter double bottom, in all but one, 
pollution would have been prevented, a '.'<; percent effectiveness. :ii The amount 
of vertical beam damage sustained by a tanker Involved in a bottom damaging 
Casualty Is not related to the size of the tanker. 4) In some bottom damaging 

casualties, double bottoms would not prevent the tanker involved from polluting. 

However, in these eases the presence of the double bottoms would reduce the 
amount of outflow when compared with tankers Buffering the same damage 
which are not litted with double bottoms. .", » Bottom damaging casualties oc- 
curring in U.S. navigable waters are typical of those occurring on a world wide 

initial reports indicate that the 134.000 gallon oil spill resulting from the 
recent grounding of the oht>>ii>ic Oames in the Deleware River would have been 
prevented if the Olympic (lames had been fitted with a double bottom. In a 
similar vein, if the tanker GOfinthOB, which was struck by the Edgar M. 
Queeny in that same location of the Delaware River on January 31, 1973, had 
been a double hulled tanker, it appears that 25 lives would have been saved and 
the fHHXOOO gallon oil spill would have been avoided. The Corinthos would have 
suffered only minor hull damage to her outer hull, since the ensuing fire and 
explosion would have been eliminated. Many other similar cases can be cited 

As I stated in March 1976 when I testified before this committee, the State 
of Alaska recalls the promises made by then Secretary of Interior, Rogers C. B. 
Morton, to Congress stating that the Department of the Interior was studying 
The implementation of the latest technological advances, including segregated 
ballasts and double bottoms in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Transportation System. 
I feel that oil tankers operating in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline trade must utilize 
Segregated ballast by means of either a double hull or double bottom to fulfill 
that promise to our State as well as to our Nation. 

A double bottom tanker represents a three to four percent increase in con- 
struction cost over a conventional tanker and a double hulled tanker represents a 
comparable five to six percent increase. Offsetting these costs somewhat are 
savings in operating costs achieved by reducing the time necessary for port 


Let me address, for a moment, the problem of ship explosions. Flammable 
cargoes, such as crude oil and refined products, have hydrocarbon vapor in the 
space above the liquid cargo surface. In a loaded tanker the hydrocarbon/air 
mixture is normally too rich for combustion to occur. However, a flammable 
mixture can and does occur within the tank during cargo loading and discharg- 
ing. At both times the ignition potential is highest through electrostatic dis- 
charge phenomena, or by the introduction of other elements to the tank atmos- 
phere, such as tank washing apparatus, wherein a direct ignition source comes 
into contact with the flammable mixture. 

An inerting system will reduce the oxygen level well below the lowest flam- 
mable limit by displacement of the oxygen with an inert gas. The inert gas is 
normally exhaust gas form the ship's engines. 

To date, both the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization 
(IMCO) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have recommended 
against the use of high-capacity tank cleaning machines without the use of an 
inert gas system. The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), in considering 
the explosion hazard on the larger tankers, requires inert gas system installa- 
tion on newly constructed U.S. Government subsidized tankers of 100,000 D.W.T. 
and greater. 

It is important to note, however, that while IMCO. ICS and MARAD have 
recognized the special explosion hazards which exist on large crude carriers 
during the course of tank cleaning operations, the explosion potential remains 
for all tankers, regardless of size. I need not remind this committee of the recent 
incident in Long Beach, California, where a tanker exploded after discharging 
the- cargo with the resulting loss of nine lives 50 injuries, destruction to prop- 
erty, and environmental damage. It appears prudent to me to have a more ex- 
tensive requirement for inert gas systems aboard tankers. As a matter of record, 
according to information supplied by MARAD, major oil companies will, for the 
most part, only operate a large tanker that is fitted with an inert gas system. In 
fact, most of the major companies have retrofitted their large tankers with inert 
82-908— 77— pt. 1 10 


gas systems. I hope that in the near future the Coast Guard will not continue to 
lag behind the shipping industry on such matters of marine safety. However, 
while on a world scale the majority of large crude carriers are being fitted with 
inert gas systems, more than 80 percent of the crude handled in U.S. ports is 
aboard tankers of less than 100,000 D.W.T. which have no regulatory require- 
ment for inert gas systems. 

An inert gas system installed during the course of original construction in- 
creases the capital cost of a tanker by approximately $800,000 to one million 
dollars, whereas on retrofit this cost is about twenty-five percent higher. 


I am disappointed that during 1976 the Coast Guard saw fit to entirely delete 
the requirements for the vessel's radar to be fitted with a collision avoidance 
system as they originally proposed in their Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule 
Making, dated June 28, 1974 (39 Federal Register 24157). While I can agree that 
the more sophisticated types of such systems might present the Coast Guard with 
problems in codification without some prejudicial disposition to one design or 
another, at this point in time, it would seem that some of the more basic elements 
of such systems should presently be required. A bridge officer must be provided 
with some sort of system which continuously determines and displays the risk of 
collision. The theory that providing him with equipment to plot relative motion 
will accomplish the same end is not only dangerous but also irresponsible. 

When a bridge officer is assessing the risk of collision, he must be provided 
with a device which displays the information needed in a manner conducive to 
rapid and easy assimilation, so that he can make a timely decision. Having one or 
even two radars as required by the proposed regulations as covered in the Federal 
Register of May 6, 1976 (Coast Guard (33 CFR 164.35(a), 33 CFR 164.37, and 
33 CFR 164.35(j) ) simply does not assure the fulfillment of that goal. 

Radar, whether being employed as a collision avoidance device or as an elec- 
tronic navigation device, requires something more than simply being aboard the 
ship. Specifically, it requires minimum performance characteristics which is a 
higher level requirement than merely "operating" although the currently pro- 
posed regulation does not even contain this requirement. The Coast Guard's own 
study concerning current operational practices and equipment used on vessels 
(see page 18766 of the Federal Register of May 6, 1976), indicated that during 
a spot check of 301 vessels ordered and equipped with radar, nine were found to 
have inoperative units and 67 more had not been turned on. 

I strongly urge the Federal Government to require, at a minimum, two marine 
radars operating and functioning properly at all times. Additionally, at least one 
of those units should be provided some form of collision avoidance system. 


With the construction of Loran-C transmitting stations throughout the coast 
of North America to ultimately provide Loran-C coverage over all waters in the 
United States, at the American taxpayers' expense, it seems logical that all tank- 
ers entering U.S. waters should be provided with a Loran-C receiver. While I 
cannot categorically state that a Loran-C receiver, or any other electronic long 
range navigational aid would have prevented the ARGO MERCHANT incident, 
it would appear to me that if she were provided with such a device, the notion of 
her sailing without a navigational fix for fifteen hours would be remote indeed. 

I recognize that for certain situations, the radars, the radio direction finder, 
and the depth sounder serve as good and necessary electronic navigation devices. 
There are, however, situations that require need for longer ranges, better accu- 
racy, and flexibility from electronic navigation systems. In our view, that solution 
is Loran-C. 

Loran-C can be provided with retransmission capabilities affording the option 
of also being utilized as a shore-side surveillance system for vessels equipped 
with a Loran-C receiver and a YHF transceiver. As we were advised in a report 
to the Alaska Office of the Pipeline Coordinator entitled, "An Overview of Marine 
Vessel Traffic Systems," dated February 1976, I feel that the inclusion of Loran-C 
retransmission in the Valdez Harbor should significantly reduce the potential for 
pollution from groundings and collisions at a relatively low incremental cost. 
A copy of that report is attached for the record. 

If Loran-C retransmission capability had been present in the Nantucket 
Shoal Area an incident such as the A/770 Merchant may not have occurred be- 


cause 1) the ship would have had accurate navigation available, and 2) the 
surveillance unit would have been aware of the ship's position and could have 
forewarned her of her proximity to t be shoals in t hue. 

A Loran-C system may be Installed aboard ship al the cost of approximately 
|40,000. The additional Installation of the Loran-C retransmission capability 
would he an additional $20,000. 


An important asi>eet of tanker controllability is that when a tanker speed 
through the water reaches a certain minimal level there is insufficient directional 
control afforded by the rudder alone. This so-called IpSH of "steerage way" at 
low speed leaves a tanker vulnerable to collisions as well as susceptible to 

In order to afford a tanker more turning moment at lower speeds, the con- 
cept of lateral thrusters and the employment of tug boats should be considered. 
In a case study on a Single screw, single rudder. 00,000 D.W.T. tanker, at a rudder 
angle of 30°, the turning moment at a ship speed of 3 knots is less than 20 per- 
of the turning moment at 8 knots. With a l.HOO hp lateral thruster employed, 
however, the combined turning moment generated at 3 knots by the rudder and 
the thruster is increased by two and one-half times. Similar improvements are 
available with installation on larger tankers, although with these ships generating 
greater inertia, these advantages are less effective. 

In low speed operations, maneuvering aids are absolutely essential to provide 
lateral control to a tanker. Tug boats have been used traditionally to fill this need. 
However, the effectiveness of lateral thrusters is such that at zero speed they will 
deliver lateral thrust approximately equal to that delivered by a tug of the same 

I feel the use of tugs can replace the need for lateral thrusters and that lateral 
thrusters are valuable primarily in circumstances where tugs are unavailable. 

Because of the forthcoming large tanker operations and the related weather 
conditions, Alaska has long been concerned about the issue of tanker safety 
through Valdez Narrows. Accordingly, we have initiated a Real-Time Simulation 
Study of a 165,000 D.W.T. tanker transiting the Valdez Narrows both in the 
loaded and ballast conditions, under various wind conditions, and assisted by 
various combinations of tug boats. (See "A Real-Time Simulation Analysis of a 
165,000 D.AV.T. Operating Through Valdez Narrows," Office of the Pipeline Co- 
ordinator. November 1976, copy attached for the record.) A complete assessment 
Of the results has not yet been made to determine what further experiment need 
mducted. Presently, two facts are clear. 1) that the output of such experi- 
ments provide significant insight to ship controllability in a site specific area and 
are essential input to establishing Vessel Traffic System operating conditions, and 
2 i that there are threshold levels in terms of wind force and operating draft above 
which tug boats are necessary for tankers to safety transit Valdez Narrows and 
higher winds above which no tanker can safely transit the Narrows even with 
tug boat assistance. 


The stopping performance of a ship is governed by size, speed of approach, 
loading condition, astern thrust, and time lag in reversing the propeller. It is 
of prime importance to minimize delays in response to engine orders, and make 
full use of astern power. However, a large tanker's stopping response is rather in- 
-••nsitive to the time delay factor beyond that achievable with current propulsion 

Therefore, Alaska has espoused the concept that all tankers should he provided 
With controllable pitch propellers or be provided with increased astern power. 
Although dramatic improvement in stopping performance cannot he expected 
with increased power alone, this is worthwhile because it is available at a rela- 
tively small expense. Other alternatives which might he considered are combining 
a reversible slow speed diesel with a controllable pitch propeller, or combining a 
ducted propeller with either steam turbine or diesel machinery. Tug boats are 
regularly used to provide stopping force at slow speeds within a harbor. Given a 
tug fixed to the tanker so that the fullest speed of the tanker and tug is always 
the same, the effect of the tug boat is essentially that of an added constant 
retarding force. Their affect will vary as functions of ship size, approach speed. 
ship horsepower, number and size of tug boats, local conditions in terms of wind, 
■current, channel configuration, etc. are modified. 



The occurrence of a loss of power is not frequent during the normal operations 
of a tank vessel. It should be noted that during approach and departure from 
port, the varying demands placed upon the propulsion system to increase and de- 
crease fuel consumption, boiler temperatures, and steam production have a 
marked effect on the probability of a tanker incurring a power failure. As wit- 
nessed in the recent Olympic Games incident on the Delaware River, power fail- 
ure is a very real problem. 

Tankers should be provided with an alternate main power system. Depending 
on the propulsive mode, tbis may be a redundant boiler or diesel engine. Twin 
screws are not considered as redundant propulsion since twin screws can be 
driven from a single power source. 

Most tankers throughout the world would meet the requirement of redundant 
power but it is not necessarily required under certain existing national and inter- 
national marine safety requirements. My point, thus, is that such a requirement 
should be explicitly made to preclude any tankers operating in U.S. waters with- 
out an alternate source of power. 


Over 50 percent of the collision or grounding type of tanker casualties can be 
attributed to human error. Moreover, the tanker casualty list has not shown any 
decrease over the past year; in fact, both the number of collisions and the asso- 
ciated oil pollution have actually increased over the original 1969-1974 casuulty 
data, where the actual number of operating tankers throughout the world are 
annually involved in over 600 accidents with the result of oil pollution in excess 
of fifty million gallons each and every year. With this record the need for im- 
proved personnel training and licensing is self evident. 

By contrast, frequency of accidents within the aviation field as reported by the 
National Transportation Safety Board shows significant progress in improving 
overall flight safety. In fact, the level of safety has increased dramatically in 
recent years. While caution must be exercised in the transferring of technology 
from the Aviation Industry to the Marine Industry, many of the principles are 
similar. Therefore, a considerable advance in the level of safety within the Marine 
Industry could be achieved by adopting some of the "tried and proven" techniques 
in the field of aviation. 

A thorough review of the 1972 Ports and Waterways Safety Act leads me to 
conclude that your Congressional mandate to the Coast Guard was to apply 
stringent tanker construction and operations standards. Moreover, the stand- 
ards for tankers operating in domestic trade were to be more stringent than 
the IMCO requirements for vessels operating in international trade. Alaska's 
concerns for adequate tanker standards have been increased with the realiza- 
tion of the joint problem of inadequate West Coast port facilities to accommodate 
Alaskan shipping and the temporary surplus of Alaskan crude for West Coast 
markets. Thus, strong pressure can be expected for government and industry to 
utilize older U.S. tankers to accommodate the Jones Act demand generated by 
longer voyages to the Gulf of Mexico as well as to use foreign bottoms with 
little if any jurisdiction exercised by the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Frankly, the distinction of promulgating one set of standards for tankers 
engaged in domestic trade versus allowing foreign tankers to operate in U.S. 
waters at substantially less rigorous construction and operation standards is 
questionable to many of us concerned with reducing the potential risk to the 
safety of crews and the marine environment. As an illustration of this I refer 
to the Coast Guard's statement that although they had reservations about the 
Argo Merchant entering U.S. waters they had no authority to prohibit the ship. 
The U.S. Coast Guard tells us that their only recourse is to require a ship that 
they have determined to be hazardous to leave the port in a loaded condition. 
To require such a hazardous vessel to be returned under such conditions is sheer 
folly. This places the burden of environmental protection directly upon the 
Captain of the Port who must judge whether a vessel should encounter such 
risks in a loaded condition. I suggest that a reasonable and sane man will always 
choose to unload such a vessel to preclude the opportunity for environmental 
disaster. Therefore, the shipping company suffers little inconvenience. 

It was my pleasure to sign into State Law in 1976 the Alaska Tanker and 
Petroleum Facility bill. This bill authorized the Alaska Department of Environ- 
mental Conservatism to establish a "risk schedule" to be applied to the various 


tankers operating in Ainskan w;itcrs. The Department is nuw in the proceed 
of developing the methodology and regulations Por Implementation <>f (lie act 
The basic premise of the act is to offer an economic incentive for industr\ bO 
respond w i 1 1 1 various standards regarding training and licensing erf crewmen, 
communications, and tanker construction standards, among others, to all tankers 
plying Alaskan Coastal waters. 

Ir is my personal belief and the hope of all Alaskans that share my concern, 
that the Ports and Waterways Safety An does not preclude individual states 
from promulgating stringent standards necessary for the prudent protection 
of our seas, inland waterways and shorelines. 11 is we shall continue to do as 
long as we feel necessary. 

The nine basic points I have outlined herein represent the major elements which 
are lacking in the marine transportation of crude oil today. It Ls the position of 
the state of Alaska that these systems should have heen studied and instituted 
under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 19TL' under the authority granted to 
the U.S. Coast Guard. A review of that act clearly shows that the Coasl Guard 
has failed to promulgate a substantive Increase in the quality of tanker construc- 
tion, operation, and safety standards. Toe Trans-Alaska Pipeline Act also pro- 
vided for the institution of state-of-the-art technology to develop a quality of 
trade that is unsurpassed historically. 

Further, I would like to remind this committee that under Subsection 201(7) 
of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. as amended by Section 401 of the Trans- 
Alaska Pipeline Act, adequate tanker safety and environmental standards were 
to be made effective for the transportation of oil in foreign trade before 
January 1, 1976 and in coast wise trade not later than June 30, 1074. This mandate 
has not been met by the Coast Guard. 

In closing, Mr. Chairman, the State of Alaska believes that the Coast Guard 
must consider many other factors besides the economic welfare of the maritime 
industry or international maritime cooperation in its decision-making process. 
Not the least of these other considerations should be a concern for maintaining 
the quality of the Alaskan environment and a desire to serve the public interest 
in our State and throughout the nation, as well. 

The Chairman. I will tell all the other witnesses, that after Mr. 
McKenzie, we will have to recess until 2 :30 this afternoon and we will 
be back up in the Commerce Committee room. 

( to ahead. 


Mr. aIcKexzie. Recent tanker catastrophes are not unexpected. They 
a; e part of an ever-growing phenomena of the tanker industry. Losses 
of oil carriers worldwide have heen increasing at an alarming rate. In 
order to highlight this subject, it will be necessary to present a few 

Ill 1976 at least 19 tankers totaling 1.129.000 deadweight tons were 
total losses. This is nearly 50 percent greater than the tonnage lost in 
li'7"). It is six times greater than, that lost in 1004. 

Since 19G4, 198 tankers, equalling more than 7 million deadweight 
tons have been total losses. Four of these were masssive oil carriers, 
each of more than 200,000 deadweight tons capacity; and eight others, 
each more than 100,000 deadweight, tons capacity. 

As a result of these 19S total losses. 1,054 seamen iliod and over 500 
million gallons — 1.G94.600 tons — of oil entered the oceans. 

Loss ratios of 15 nations with at least 1 million deadweight tons of 
tanker capacity is shown in the following table. The loss ratio is 
obtained by dividing the total deadweight tons lost by the total dead- 
weight tons at risk during the 13-year pericd from 1904 to 1976. 


I suggest, Senator, I quickly touch on these figures. I will start with 
the nation with the best ratio and work to the bottom. I will give the 
name of the nation's flag, the number of tankers lost and the ratio 
expressed as a percent : 

Russia: 0, 0.00; West Germany : 1 tanker lost, 0.05; French: 3 tank- 
ers lost, 0.06; Japanese: 3 tankers lost, 0.0G; British: 11 tankers lost, 
0.12; American: 9 tankers lost, 0.15; Swedish: 1 tanker lost, 0.17; 
Danish : 1 tanker lost, 0.26 ; Norwegian : 18 tankers lost, 0.27 ; Liberian : 
68 tankers lost, 0.50; Panamanian: 17 tankers lost, 0.51; Spanish: 3 
tankers lost, 0.58; Italian: 9 tankers lost, 0.64; Netherlands: 2 tankers 
lost, 0.70 : Greek : 26 tankers lost, 0.76. 

Now, the other 26 losses flew various flags 

The Chairman. You mention loss ratio; are you talking about 
dollars and cents or just ships ? 

Mr. McKenzie. This is the ratio, Senator, of the tons — the tonnage 
of the vessels lost divided by the tons at risk. 

This is the normal way in the industry we express it. 

The Chairman. All right. I just wanted you to explain thai. 

Mr. McKenzie. Of nations with smaller fleets. Liberia and Panama, 
oftentimes referred to as "flags of convenience," rank 10th and 11th in 
the list ; however, four traditional maritime nations have even greater 
loss ratios. 

Thirty-six percent of the total losses resulted from fires and ex- 
plosions; 21 percent were due to strandings, 14 percent were caused 
by weather, 12 percent from collisions, and the remaining 17 percent 
from a variety of reasons with engine room flooding prominent. 

But what about the cause of these calamities? They related to a 
range of factors in the interaction of the man and his ship. There 
appears to be two broad categories of causes ; those that are primarily 
caused by the people operating the tanker, and those that occur on 
older vessels that suffer structural failures. 

We know from an analysis of the data that the incidence of lossos 
duo to strandings, collisions, and fire and explosions in cargo tanks 
only, are spread over all sizes and ages of tankers. 

This suggests that the human factor probably is the main causal 
factor. However, when we look at all the other type of losses we 
note that the great majority occur in tankers over 10 years of age. 

This leads us to the conclusion that the condition of the older tankers 
contributed to their demise. 

The recent loss of the Grand Zenith, last reported 50 miles south 
of Nova Scotia, is a typical case of the older vessel succumbing to the 
perils of the seas. She was the seventh tanker in the last 7 years that 
sunk in the approaches to the east coast of the United States. 

One hundred thirty-two seamen died in these seven casualties. 
Three of the vessels were registered in Liberia, two in Panama, one 
in Cyprus and one was a U.S. -flag tanker. 

There were several similarities in these seven casualties. All of the 
tankerswere of what we call handy size, between 17,000 and 35,000 
deadweight tons capacity. 

At time of sinking, all were more than 13 years old. All encountered 
bad weather while fully loaded, and, of course, all lost their entire 
cargo to the oceans. 

Unless steps are taken promptly, this litany of tanker horrors will be 


repealed annually, as the world's tanker fleet grows to meet the trans- 
portation requirements. 

In addition to these total losses, there are hundreds of partial Ios 
each year, some resulting in accidental oilspills. And, too, there are 
about 3 million tons of oil routinely discharged into the oceans by 
tankers carrying out their normal routine of washing cargo tanks and 
pumping contaminated ballast overboard. 

The Chairman. Does your figure coincide with the previous witness ? 

Mr. McKenzie. Three times higher, sir. 

The Chaieman. Three times higher? I was startled by his figures. 

Mr. McKexzie. The figures came from the National Academy of 
Science study, which the input was basically British Petroleum in 
that, study. They made an estimate. I think it is three times higher. 
Tankers try to separate the oil from the dirty ballast and tank wash- 
ings. The oily mixtures are retained aboard the tanker and the rela- 
tively clean water is discharged into the sea. This method, called 
load-on-top, derives its name from the system of letting the dirty 
water settle for a few days, discharging the relatively clean water 
overboard and retaining most of the oil mixtures in the cargo tanks. 

At the next loading port the incoming cargo is loaded on top of the 
oily mixtures, hence the name. 

_ Some tankers do not use the method at all, and there, are significant 
differences in effectiveness of those tankers that do use the system. 

The problem arises from the difficulty in separating all the oil 
from the water, before the water is discharged overboard. The best way 
to prevent oil from being discharged overboard is to eliminate the 
need to put water in the cargo tanks. 

Are we powerless to stem this rising tide of catastrophes, accidental 
oilspills and the discharge of millions of tons of oil routinely into 
the oceans? Must we reconcile ourselves to oil-contaminated beaches 
and tar lumps floating throughout the oceans of the world? 

It is quite feasible to reverse this tragedy of our times, at least in 
the waters that are under the control of the United States. Tankers 
can operate safely and economically without polluting the environ- 
ment. The program I am recommending is aimed at achieving that 

Require all foreign and U.S. -flag tankers over 10,000 deadweight 
tons operating in U.S.-controlled waters to do the following five 
things : 

First, provide casualty records to charterers and to the authorities. 

Second, require all tanker officers to demonstrate their competency 
on simulators. 

Third, retrofit, segregated ballast tanks, SBT, on existing tankers. 

Fourth, prohibit putting water in cargo tanks. 

Fifth, fit double hulls on future new tankers. 

The cost to the American people for adopting this program would 
be less than 1 cent a gallon of oil consumed. 

I would like to expand on my reasons for recommending these 

First, providing casualty record to charterers and authorities. Tf 
casualty records were made available to charterers and authorities, 
it. would become economically untenable for most tankers with poor 
records to remain in service. Charterers would seek vessels with bet- 


ter records. Authorities would require high risk tankers to accept 
operating delays and greater assistance from tugboats, pilots, and 
so forth. 

Casualty information is maintained now by each ship classifica- 
tion society. This critical data should be provided to each tanker each 
year and become part of the official records of the vessel. At the present 
time this casualty data is only released if the owner gives his per- 

Four years ago the ICC forced interstate movers to provide con- 
sumers with report cards on their past performance. The carrier's per- 
formance on customer claims, accuracy of estimates, record on late- 
ness, and other standards is now a vital part of the program to im- 
prove service. The tanker industry can benefit from a similar program 
of providing charterers and authorities with an official picture of their 
past performance concerning casualties. 

The Argo Merchant was recently on charter for 3 years. I have 
been told that during that 36-month period the tanker was not work- 
ing for more than 400 days, due to casualties and repairs to casualties. 

Would any of us hire that vessel to carry our cargoes, if we knew 
her record ? 

The Liberian ore/oil carrier that grounded on the south coast of 
Puerto Rico last month had a record of similar groundings, as re- 
ported in Lloyd's list. In October 1974 she was stranded for 23 hours 
while trying to enter Leghorn, Italy. One month later she was 
grounded off the south coast of Puerto Rico for 25 hours. And in June 
197.") she ran aground in Southwest Pass, Mississippi River, and was 
stuck for 10 hours. The double bottom in this combination carrier 
prevented any oil spills in those incidents. 

But why so many strandings? If the authorities in Puerto Rico 
had known the record of this tanker, combined with a long list of 
other casualties, would they have required extra precautions by the 
vessel as it approached Puerto Rico ? 

Bad casualty records are not limited to tankers flying "flags of 
convenience." Some of the most modern, best-equipped tankers in the 
world fly flags of convenience. And traditional maritime nations have 
their problems with tankers under their flag. There is a British-flag 
tanker in operation today that was built in 1966. That tanker has 
already accumulated 41 reported tanker casualties during 11 years of 

Second, require all tanker officers to demonstrate their competency 
on simulators. Officers on tankers and pilots should be required to 
possess a certificate of proficiency indicating they have been checked 
out. by competent authorities on a simulator within a 2-year period. 
Officers of tankers and pilots now earn their licenses after completing 
a prescribed amount of study, supplemented with some actual ship- 
board experience, provided they pass a written examination indicating 
their knowledge of the professional requirements. 

This licensing should be supplemented with a demonstration on 
simulators of their proficiency to handle emergency situations. 

These simulators, for deck and engine officers, are becoming more 
and more common in the shipping industry. 

The U.S. Maritime Administration just put into operation at Tvimrs 
Point a remarkable sophisticated navigation simulator that would 


be idea] for checking the proficiency of deck officers and pilots in 

n:i\ igat ional skills. 

Engine room simulators have been recognized as useful foT many 
years. Engineering officers assigned to the atomic-powered U.S. flag 
Vessel Savannah, spent many, many hours on ah engine room simula- 
tor installed at Kings Point. 

Just as pilots of airplanes are checked for proficiendy on simulate 
so should all tanker officers and pilots be checked. 

Third, retrofit segregated ballast tanks on existing tankers. The ad- 
Vantages of segregated ballast tanks in reducing pollution from 
tankers has been studied and accepted by nations. However, imple- 
mentation has been very, very slow. Nations are hesitant to require 
then- tanker owners to utilize segregated ballast tanks lest it make 
their vessels less competitive with nations that do not require it. 

Existing tankers fitted with segregated ballast tanks discharge 
significantly less oil overboard performing routine tanker operations. 
And with segregated ballast tanks properly located, a loaded tanker 
in had weather will have less stress on her hull and be more capable 
of remaining afloat. Segregated ballast tanks even offer some prOtec- 
tion against accidental pollution caused by collisions or contact with 
Jixed objects if the hull is pierced, when the segregated ballast tanks 
are located outboard of the cargo tanks filled with oil. 

Three nations recently presented a study to the T T nited Xations 
agency known as IMCO, recommending segregated ballast tanks on 
existing tankers over 70.000 deadweight tons and immediate investiga- 
tion of the feasibility of segregated ballast tanks for smaller tankers, 

The USCG presently is considering regulations requiring existing 
tankers trading to the United States to install segregated ballast tanks 
on vessels of 70,000 deadweight tons and over. 

Most tankers operating in U.S. -controlled waters are less than 70,000 
deadweight tons. 

To be effective the regulations for segregated ballast tanks should be 
extended to all tankers over 10.000 deadweight tons. 

The IMCO study, performed by Norway, Greece, and Italy, found 
that the additional freight rale required to cover the economic con- 
sequences of segregated ballast tanks ". . . may on average be in the 
region of 15 percent ." 

Fourth, prohibit putting waiter in cargo tanks. "Water sprayed into 
cargo tanks to clean them is a safety hazard and also the source of a 
great deal of pollution of the seas by oil from tankers. The tanker 
industry recently made a significant breakthrough in developing 
operational procedures that clean tanks most effectively and safely 
without using water. 

Tankers equipped with segregated ballast tanks and the ability 
to clean their tanks without using wate* 1 would be free from op, 
tional pollution. They would also be safer. 

Regulations should prohibit segregated ballast tank tankers from 
putting water into their c:<rgo tanks. If a tanker finds it necess-n-y to 
put water into its tanks, it should lie required to obtain a certificate 
of cleanliness of the tank, pumps, and lines from an authorized 

Last, fit double hulls on new ves'-els. "Oouble hulls nrovide additional 
projection against accidental spills following collisions, strandings, 
and contact with fixed objects. 


Examples of spills in U.S. waters that probably would have been 
avoided if the tankers had been equipped with double hulls are the 
Olympic Games in December of last year in the Delaware Kiver; the 
Corinthos also in the Delaware Kiver in January 1975 ; Exxon Gettys- 
burg at New Haven in January 1971; and the Delian Apollon in 
February 1970 in Tampa Bay, Fla. 

The double hull also provides space for segregated ballast up to 60 
percent of the loaded displacement, which covers all the tanker's 
ballast requirements in all kinds of weather. 

The United States submitted a study to IMCO several years ago on 
segregated ballast tankers. In the study it showed the increased cost 
of building and operating a 250,000 deadweight tanker fitted with a 
double hull. The increased construction cost was estimated to be 17% 
percent and the increase in required freight rate was calculated to be 
17.2 percent. 

I am aware of the arguments advanced in some quarters suggesting 
double hulls, or at least double bottoms, might be dangerous or actually 
increase the amount of oil spilled in the event of a casualty. 

I do not agree with the conclusions drawn by the proponents of 
those views. Some collisions have been due to improper use of radar. 
These are known as radar-induced collisions. 

However, in my judgment that does not invalidate the radar as a 
worthwhile navigational aid. 

That concludes the discussion of a program to improve tanker 

The cost of requiring tankers to meet these proposals would result 
in about a 20-percent increase in tanker transportation costs. At the 
gasoline pump the increase would average about 0.5 cents per gallon. 
' In my opinion, we cannot afford to reject the benefits that result 
from these costs. 

The Chairman. That is a very good contribution, Mr. McKenzie. 

It has many facts we don't have, and we appreciate it very much. 

Senator Hollings. I know everyone is behind time, and we are 
about half an hour or 40 minutes late to another meeting. But 
Mr. McKenzie, to add to your credibility, I think the record should 
show, aren't you an old tanker captain yourself? 

Mr. McKenzie. I never sailed as a captain. I worked for 11 years 
as a seaman and officer on tankers. And I worked up to and got my 
license and came ashore. 

Senator Hollings. Was that all with free enterprise? 

Mr. McKenzie. All with the same company. Both on the tanker 
and on shore, it was with one company. 

Senator Hollings. What company? 

Mr. McKenzie. Exxon. 

Senator Hollings. You are still on good terms? Don't they use 
your information with them? 

Mr. McKenzie. I am on good terms until right now. I don't know 
about after this morning. 

The Chairman. You may go back to being a wiper after this. 

Mr. McKenzie. I may. 

Senator Hollings. A vice president of Gulf came up before this 
committee about 2 years ago. The Government was going to sell 10 


million acres of Outer Continental Shelf land without any idea of 
the true value. We asked the vice president of Gulf if hie was going 
to sell that same 10 million acres to Exxon, wouldn't he a\ :mt to do 
dome exploratory drilling, and so forth, to find out whether they were 
getting a fair price? 

He said, certainly, that would be a good business judgment. T asked 
him why couldn't the Government do it? He left our room upstairs 
and hasn't been back in Washington since. 

You helped and participated with the Office of Technology Assess- 
ment, on the report on "Oil Transportation Tankers: Analysis of the 
Marine Pollution and Safety" matters. 

I think it is very significant that you point out and emphasize the 

Now, specifically, since we are limited in time, you were talking 
about segregated ballast requirements on all tankers in excess of 
10.000 deadweight tons. Isn't it a fact that no additional authority, 
legal authority, is required for the USCG to do that? 

In other words, if they can do it for 70,000 tons, they can do it 
for 10.000.^ 

Mr. McKexzie. I assume they can, if they so desire. 

You probably know more about whether they have the authority 
than I do. 

Senator Hollixgs. The USCG should know more about safety than 
we. as Senators, and when we pass the general requirements over to 
a marine body and a responsible group as they are, Ave expect them 
to move forward and be leaders, rather than giving closed engine 
rooms, and resisting even what free nations have gone into. Now they 
are recommending 70,000. You are recommending it can be done at 

I think this is the real significance and real thrust of what we are 
trying to get at. 

It can be done without passing another law by Congress or without 
the President recommending anything. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Thanks for waiting. TVe will recess 
until 2 :30 this afternoon, upstairs in room 5110. 


The Chairman'. The committee will come to order. 

We will proceed with the hearing where we left off. On the witness 
li>f. I am going to suggest we hear from Mr. Calhoon first, then we 
will have the USCG after Mr. Calhoon. 

"\Yo are delighted to have you. 


Mr. Caliioox. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman, we have a prepared statement that I would like <<> 
submit for the record, but in the face of some of the comments made 
earlier today I would just like to make a couple of points of the pie- 
pared statement and go into some more basic problems that we haven't 


The Chairman. OK. We will put this in the record in full. 

Mr. Calhoon. Thank you. Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman, in the prepared statement there are two points I 
would like to bring to the committee's attention. The first point in 
the second paragraph 

The Ci!.\ii:.max. For the record. I think we should identify you. 

Mr. Calhoon is the president of the National Marine Engineers 
Beneficial Association. 

Mr. Calhoon: Thank you. Senator. 

In the second paragraph, the last three lines : 

In the late 1940's when the USCG put the heist on the Bureau of Marine In- 
spection and Navigation from the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Cong 
in their own wisdom saw the benefit of putting a statutory requirement liar 50 
percent of the marine inspectors in the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Naviga- 
tion come from the U.S. Merchant Marine. 

For a period of years after the late 1940's, the USCG made an effort 
to comply with that law. But in the mid-1950's, they had problems with 
the law and they make no effort today whatsoever to comply with that 
provision of the law. Mr. Chairman, this is very important because 
it goes to a technical agency of the U.S. Government. Do they have 
the technical capabilities to carry out the laws of which they are en- 
trusted with and the regulations? 

Mr. Chairman, I seriously doubt the technical capability of the 
USCG to write regulations and to enforce those regulations on tank- 
ers. I think they are wholly lacking in expertise in tanker operations. 
I think it would be incumbent upon the USCG to prove to this com- 
mittee their technical competence in people, in decisionmaking ca- 
pacities, that have experience in the oil transportation business. 

Mr. Chairman, these tankers that bring oil into our shores are char- 
tered by the multinational oil companies. They know the conditions 
of those tankers and they know the conditions of those crews and until 
a penalty is applied to the owner of that oil we will never have clean 

To have a situation where you limit the total liability of the ship 
and its cargo, like the Argo Merchant, you have no liability, but there 
are ways of fingerprinting oil and it doesn't matter whether that ship 
spills the oil deliberately by cleaning their ballast tanks or accidentally. 
If that oil is fingerprinted and recorded it can be identified on any 
coastline in the world it washes ashore on. 

If the liability is placed on the owner of the oil. then you will have 
an owner of substance that you can go after for financial liability. 
That is a basic point in my statement. 

I would like to get into what is the basic problem and why we have 
the particular problem we do. We are a victim of history and geog- 
raphy. The good Lord saw fit to make our eastern seaboard very "shal- 
low, and gulf seaports also have shallow draft ports. The tanker evolu- 
tion that has been carried on over the last 30 years — and when you 
talk of the tanker evolution I am talking about moving from the 
14.000-ton tanker to the 500,000-ton tanker in increments over the 
years— results in a situation where the oldest rust buckets of the 
world are those engaged in the commerce of carrying oil from foreign 
countries to the United States. 

We are the garbage dump for tankers of the world. The 40.000- to 
60,000- to 80,000-ton tankers were built in the late 1940 ? s and early 


lOaO's for international trade. Only in the (J.S. Bhipyards do yon see 
this type tanker being built anymore. 

When Admiral Benkert of the USCG made a statement on national 
television saying that the Liberian tankers are newer tankers than 
the American tankers, he was distorting the truth. The Liberian fleet, 
as a whole, may be younger than the American fleet. But I don't think 
the American citizen is really concerned with the age or condition of 
the tankers that are carrying oil to Bangor Bay or .Japan. They are 
interested in the age and condition of the tankers carrying oil to 
American shores, and because of this geography and evolution of 
tankers we get the oldest junk in the world. When they are not suit- 
able for any other trade, they are put into the American trade. They 
cannot compete in the other trades because size makes them 

Mr. Chairman. I would like to go to basic safety on a ship and I 
don't think that subject has been touched on. The basic strength and 
safety of a ship, and T am talking about the vessel per se, I am not 
talking about the qualifications of the crew or an interface of man 
ami machinery. I am talking about the gut, basic strength of the ship, 
and I am no expert on it. 

But my understanding is that the USCG does not write the specifi- 
Cations. The U.S. (oast Guard merely puts in the Federal Register 
the specifications written by the American Bureau of Shipping. And 
the American Bureau of Shipping is in competition with Lloyds of 
London and Veritas of Norway and Veritas of France. So, in your 
tanker business, you have the Seven Sisters with a world monopoly on 
the movement of oil who can register their ships in either one of these 
(societies, so there is competition within the society. The oil companies 
•determine the standards of the world and the USCG adopts the 
Standards of the American Bureau of Shipping. 

Mr. Chairman, over the last 30 years, the safety standards and the 
reliability of American ships have pone down. If the trend is not 
turned, the US( K ' will drag us down in the gutter to as low as Liberia. 

Mr. Chairman, 30 years ago it was unheard of or unthinkable for a 
ship to go to sea with one boiler, but the USCG approves it today and 
we have sailing under the ^.merican-flag ships with one boiler. We 
have sailing under the American flag, approved by the USCG, ships 
■with only one generator in the engine room. 

Twenty to thirty years ago there would be two or three generators 
in the engine room. T had a chief engineer m m . v office last week who 
chief engineer on a modern American ship, moving from Alaska 
to California, and they had 17 steering engine failures in one voyage 
and they got their ship in by him sitting aboard the ram on the steer- 
ing engine, working the electrical apparatus by hand. And he said, 
"1 felt like a Lone Banker, bouncing around out there; I came in 

We had a terrible accident in Xew York Harbor a few years a<xo 
on :) vessel called the Sect W/fch. a modern American, dry carjgo ship. 
As T understand this accident, the regulations require two independent 
ni".' >ering a vessel from the bridge. \s the vessel was going 

through the narrows, the steering engine failed. Lo and behold, i' 
failure was put on personnel, but they had two steering engines and 
they had two wheels. They had two independent systems, except 
where they were linked to go into the steering engine room, it was 


through one rod in which the pin fell out and there was no steering 

on the ship. 

Mr. Chairman, when I first started going to sea in 1939, the plates 
on a ship, the deck plates were an inch or more thick. The larger the 
ships get, the thinner the plates are. And rapidly, since they put in 
computer design the situation gets worse. When it was an old hand- 
designed ship, with naval architects and marine engineers and drafts- 
men? when they drew a line they added a few pounds of steel for 
safety so they would be on the side of safety. 

Now, with the computer design, where they can run 800 or 900 
designs on every component in a few minutes, on a computer, it is 
brought down to the narrowest minimum that meets the lowest quali- 

In mv opinion, that has made ships very, very tender. 

Mr. Chairman, the USCG will tell you, or they have told us repeat- 
edly, that they are only interested in safety of navigation. The rest of 
the work on the ship is no damn business of theirs, bo if a man has to 
work 72 hours straight to get the machinery ready to go, he is still 
qualified to stand the watch, and take the ship out of harbor or take 
the ship at sea. Hours at labor at which seamen are not covered by the 
Wage and Hour Act; you know, the number of hours that have to be 
worked is no concern of theirs and does not go to the safety of the 

Mr. Chairman, the ecologists and the maritime unions are in com- 
plete agreement on the ecological features that should be in ships. 
There is not one ecological feature that the environmentalists have 
proposed that we could oppose. When those ships sink at sea, it is 
our members that are dying. It may be somebody else's property 
getting contaminated, but it is our brothers that are dying. 

All the environmental claims that have been around for years have 
not been incorporated into Coast Guard regulations. The first time 
I saw an inert gas system was on a Sun Oil tanker built in World 
War I. It costs practically nothing to install, it costs practically noth- 
ing to operate, and it is practically impossible to have an explosion 
aboard a tanker with an inert gas system, but there is no requirement 
that, all American ships or all the ships have it. 

The same is true of segregated ballast tankers. For years the 
USCG gave us a "Gandy Dance" that this load on top (LOT), was a 
good substitute for segregated ballast. Today they are giving us the 
same "Gandy Dance" on double bottoms. Every single dry cargo ship 
I know of in the world has double bottoms. I have never heard of an 
explosion on a dry cargo ship from gas forming in double bottoms, 
but the USCG tells us we shouldn't put double bottoms on tankers 
because there may be a gas explosion in a double bottom. But those 
double bottoms can be inerted by an inert gas system just as the tanks 
can, and it eliminates the excuse of an explosion. 

Mi-. Chairman, I am an engineer and I am not an expert on naviga- 
tional equipment, but I do know that you can go to the motorboat 
show that opens in New York in a week or two and a 42-foot pleasure 
boat, built by ChrisCraft will have more modern and more backup 
electronic equipment than the average oceangoing ship. And they tell 
us about < he tremendous cost. 

But you will have two fathometers, you will have, not RDF, you 
will have automatic radio direction finders; all you have to do is push 


a button and get a digital readout. You will have loran, or Omega 
as the low-frequency navigation. There is no requirement that this be 
carried on American ships, by and large, and no requirement that 
they be carried on the world ships. 

Of the first accidents that happened, Mr. Chairman, I respectfully 
submit that the one off Nantucket would not have happened if it had 
loran. The one off Puerto Rico would not have happened if il had 
loran. The one in Philadelphia would not have spent any oil if it had 
double bottoms and the one in Los Angeles would not have blown 
up if she had had an inert gas system. 

Mr. Chairman, what I am really saying is that we are in the Dark 
Ages; we are really in the Dark Ages in marine safety. Mr. Chairman, 
as you examine the competency of the USCG to write and enforce 
regulations covering marine safety, I will leave you with a thought 
that, from the day the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation 
came into being, and this union was formed to create the Bureau of 
Marine Inspection and Navigation, that was the reason for the forma- 
tion of the MEBA, up until World War II we greatly improved 
safety, from the day it was turned over to the USCG we have gone 

Mr. Chairman, I can say to you in all due honesty that the com- 
petency of the crew, and the American shipowners training that he 
must live within the law, are the two major factors and the difference 
between the safety of American ships and foreign-flag ships. If it 
wasn't for the competency of the crew, and if it wasn't for the belief 
that you must observe the laws, I think our accident record would be 
average with the rest of the world. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

I wanted to ask just one question for the record. You say that all 
dry cargo ships have double bottoms. Is that correct ? 

Mr. Caliioox. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And you haven't heard of any breakdowns in the 
hulls and things like that in dry cargo ships ? Some tankers have double 
bottoms, some do not, as we know. 

Now, you also mentioned that the Bureau of Marine Inspection 
should be taken out of the USCG and placed under the Maritime 

Mr. Calhoon. Department of Commerce. 

The Chairman - . Department of Commerce. That's a proposal we 
have heard about before, and naturally we are going to take a look at 

Lastly, you suggest that if we do something about the liability situa- 
tion, and put the onus of liability where it belongs, with the owner, 
the operator or both, wherever it may be, that charter companies would 
exercise much more care in inspecting tankers before they carry the 

Mr. Oalhoox. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. In other words, they would take a look before they 
got into the kind of a mess that some of them now are in. You think 
that some of this was because it was difficult to trace the ownership? 

Mr. Caliioox. Difficult for what? 

The Chairman. In tracing the ownership. They can hide behind a 
lot of complex papers, and say they are not the owners. "We may be 


the owner of the ship but we don't own the oil." Well, no one on the 
Argo Merchant wants to claim the ownership of the oil right now. 

Mr. Calhoon. Obviously that is one of the great advantages of being 
in Liberian registry, you can hide the ownership. 

Mr. Chairman, it may be of interest, and I have not seen it in the 
newspapers, it may be of interest to you that the Sansinena that blew 
up in Los Angeles harbor is the sister ship to the Torrey Canyon that 
broke up off of England and put all the oil on the shores of England a 
few years back. It may be of interest to you and this committee to 
just look at some of these ships, where their ownership is. 

Now, I don't know who owned the Sanswena when she blew up in 
Los Angeles harbor, but I do know who was a substantial owner in the 
Sansiru na a few years ago. 

Senator Rollings. When it was granted an exemption from the 
Jones Act by the Treasury Department. Remember ? 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hollixgs. Who was the owner ? 

Mr. Calhoon. Peter Flannigan. 

Senator Hollings. Right in the White House. 

Mr. Calhoon. Right in the White House. The ship that leaked out up 
in Connecticut was owned by Onassis, and one of the other ships, the 
ship that leaked the oil in Connecticut, the original owner was Charlie 
Wilson, the ex-Secretary of Defense and one of the other owners of 
one of these ships was Onassis, so they do have friends in high places. 

The Chairman. Well, generally I think that you favor higher 
standards on foreign ships coming into American waters. Is that true ? 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Senator from South Carolina ? Senator Long? 

Senator Long. Thanks, no. I appreciate what is being said here but 
I will yield. 

Senator Hollings. Mr. Calhoon, you know, you have made some 
serious statements relative to the USCG. I have, too. I think perhaps 
the author of that expression, Mr. Chairman, "benign neglect" is one 
of our colleagues and it has been my observation that the USCG may 
be guilty of that. You said safety improved until after World War II, 
and from then on it has been going down hill, and under the auspices 
of the LTSCG when it went into the Department of the Treasury. 

No Secretary of the Treasury was really concerned with the USCG. 
I really haven't found the Secretary of* Transportation to be much 
interested either, with all the seat belts and air bags and SST and 
airport safety and noise and pollution and everything else, to really 
have any time to get down to the USCG. 

I almost feel like there has been a policy of benign neglect on the 
part of admirals to keep those Filipino cooks around for the mess 
and make sure Comt Guard One is ready to take the Secretary out 
to make his cabinet speech around the land. 

When you talk about competence in the oil transportation business, 
why you say they don't have anybody over there that knows anything 
about tankers, their construction, or the safety features? 

Mr. Calhoon. The law requires that 50 ; >ereent of marine inspectors 
be from the merchant marine. With 50 percent of their inspectors 
from the merchant marine, the merchant marine personnel would 
move up into higher positipns, When they stopped hirinir from the 


merchant marine because it didn't fit into their command situation, 
they cut off the input of people who had experience in tankers. 

The USCG has no tankers, and they don't bring anylxxly from 
the merchant marine in their operation* who does have experience. 

By this point in history, most of the old merchant marine people 
in the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation and those hired by 
the Coast Guard in the late 1940's or early 1950's are retired or right 
on the edge of retirement, and even those people were dealing in 14,000- 
to lG,000-ton tankers. They have, to my knowledge, nobody with expe- 
rience on the large modern tankers. 

Senator Hollings. I see. 

Mr. Calhoon. Instead of me saying they don't have one, I think 
burden of proof should be put on them. 

Senator Hollings. Right. They have got some expertise when you 
talk about fingerprinting. I think the USCG has developed finger- 
printing of oil slicks. We have been looking into trying to do just 
that. But now one more time on the matter of reorganization. I think 
your statement said it should be transferred to the Maritime Adminis- 
tration. Would they have such expertise? 

Mr. Calhoon. At least they would have the ability to hire the peo- 
ple with the expertise, as they did for the 100 years before the Bureau 
of Marine Inspection went into the Coast Guard. 

Senator Hollings. I see. I think that's significant. Mr. Chairman, 
the Congress and the Government generally have been a little derelict 
in trying to give responsibility as a lead ocean agency to the Coast 

I think we could get them up and out and away from just custodial 
care. We will then have some results. 

I appreciate what you are saying. I think I will yield my time to 
those other Senators. 

The Chairman. Senator Long. 

Senator Long. I just want to agree with the witness. I think that 
those Americans who would rather invest their money overseas than 
invest it here and who would think that there is no worse fate con- 
ceived than being hired in America to do a job, knowing it's Amer- 
ican money paying for it, and have altogether too much influence in 
this country of ours. 

Now, you indicated that we can protect against these spills — 
certainly those that foul the beaches of America, and the fishing 
grounds of America — unilaterally. 

We don't have to do this by means of the United Nations or United 
Nations-sponsored Conference on the Law of the Sea. I suspect that 
we will find that those people who operate the Liberian Merchant 
Marine out of a building right across the street from the White House 
have even more power in those international conferences than they do 
in this Government. 

Mr. Calhoon. They may. 

Senator Long. So if we are going to get something done about this 
thing, we will never get it done in the international conferences. We 
have to get it done by action of the United States providing leader- 
ship and then calling on the rest of the free world to do likewise. 
Is that your view? 

Mr. Calhoon. I agree. You wouldn't let somebody in the country 

82-908 — 77— pt 1 11 


come in with typhoid fever and walk around the streets. "Why let a h 
ship come in and pollute your harbors? It's the same philosophy. 

Senator Long. We have the right to say that we are not going to 
let that ship come into American ports or unload here in this country 
even from one of the offshore ports unless it meets certain standards. 
If it doesn't meet those standards, and if it doesn't comply with our 
navigational guidance systems, as well, then we can just go out there 
and arrest those people. 

They haven't hesitated to arrest our seamen on the least pretext 
when they didn't like it ; or have they ? 

Mr. Calhoon. No, sir. Our members can tell you what the inside 
of every seaport jail in the world looks like. 

Senator Long. Including those fellows that dare fish 10 miles off 
Mexico or 150 miles off Ecuador. Isn't that right? 

Mr. Calhoon. That's right. 

Senator Long. They can do it. I am amazed when the Secretary of 
Transportation came to us and said we couldn't do anything unless 
we got the International Conference to agree with it. If that's what 
we are counting on, Ave may all be in our grave looking down or looking 
up as the case may be, before anything is going to happen in that 

Senator Schmitt. I am interested in your statement. I am looking 
forward to hearing from the USCG Who has been experiencing some 
high wind and heavy seas over the last couple of days. I hope they 
have some remarks on what has been said the last couple of days 
and I will wait for their comments. 

The Chairman. Senator from Maryland. 

Senator Sarbanes. I had one question I wanted to ask Mr. Calhoon. 
It was a very helpful statement. Could you contrast the crew quali- 
fications on American-flag ships with the qualifications, if any, required 
on the flag-of -convenience ships ? 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes. The American crew qualifications are very 
rigid. The Coast Guard has prescribed certain ways in which you 
can enter the merchant marine with no skills. To move from that 
rating up you must go to the Coast Guard and take an examination. 
To move from an unlicensed rating to a licensed rating, you must 
take an extensive written examination that really is very difficult to 
pass unless you have had a college education. It takes an awful lot 
of training to pass that examination. It's very, very rigid. 

The Liberian ships, Panamanian ships — I read in the paper where 
they were upgrading their standards — but I respectfully submit to 
you their standards are a piece of paper. When I was sailing you 
could get a Liberian engineer's license for $75 under the table, $5 
on the table. I understand the Liberians will now issue you a license 
based on your having a license from any legitimate maritime nation. 

So the way to get a Liberian license or Panamanian license todav 
is to steal an American license, and then photostat that license with 
the name blanked out with a white piece of paper. 

And then write your name on the photostatic copy, then take a 
photostat of that copy and go to the Liberian Consul' and they will 
issue you a Liberian license in any capacity. So whatever standard 
they have is merely a piece of paper. There is no enforcement, There 
is no supervision and it's a public relations gimmick to even sav there 


are standards. You could bjB throwing coconuts out of the tree Lost 
week and be master of a vessel this week. 
The Chairman. Does that comprise now the largest merchant 

marine in the world? 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes. sir. 

The Chairman. The Largest in the world, much Larger than that of 
the United States? 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. We welcome the Senator from Rhode Island here. 
No one lias a greater stake in this matter than New England. We have 
had a lot of witnesses. If you have any questions of the present 
witness, go ahead. 

Senator Chafee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

] am delighted to be here. I would just like to ask one question. 
Are there any tankers now in service that have double bottoms < 

M r. ( Jalhoon. Y>s, sir. 

Senator Chafee. Of any number? I don't know. It's my impression 
that the number of double bottom tankers is very limited. lam familiar 
with some that are either now being built or were just completed down 
at Sparrow's Point, Md., at the Bethlehem yard that do not have dou- 
ble bottoms. 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes, sir. There were some built in the last 3 or 4 years 
in San Diego. 

The Chairman. The staff tells me there are 25. 

Senator Chafee. There are 25 tankers in the world with, double 

Mr. Calhoon. In this country, I believe. 

The ( Chairman. That's correct. 

Mr. Calhoon. Mr. Senator, I will address myself to the question of 
why there are not more double bottom tankers. I do know two tankers 
that were built and I have seen exorbitant figures on what it cost to put 
double bottoms on the tankers, but one of the owners who was building 
two tankers in San Diego, Calif., was asked by the Maritime Adminis- 
tration after the contracts were let and the ships were under construc- 
tion to amend plans to put in double bottoms and he agreed. He told 
me the cost of installing those double bottoms as an add-on. which is 
more expensive than in the original design, was $370,000. When he 
offers that ship in a charter market, he cannot get one additional edit 
per year because it has double bottoms. If he spends a million dollars 
on additional safety equipment, the multinational oil companies will 
only pay him the same rate as they are paying the lowest Liberian ship. 
So he cannot amortize his costs of these safety features over the life of 
the shin. 

When a shipowner puts this into a ship, it's a gift to mankind. 
It's not a business investment. 

Senator Chafee. In getting back to MarAd, which you were 
referring to earlier, I know those vessels being built in the United 
States that MarAd is currently subsidizing are not double bottomed 
I have no other questions. I am not arguing against double bottom. I 

am just saying 

The Chairman. The Maritime Administration, before they pay the 
construction subsidy for vessels, these vessels have to come under 
higher standards, much higher standards than other American ships 


that are not under subsidy. The highest standards, I think in the world 
today, are applicable to U.S. subsidized ships, which of course are not 
all merchant marine. 

Senator Chafee. I appreciate that. Even with their high standards 
they do not have double bottoms. 

The Chairman. Some of them do not. That is correct. 

Senator Chafee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Long. It seems to me, if MarAd did not require any double 
bottoms sort of begs the question. The real question is : Should we \ 
require double bottoms? Most people are not going to put something 
on purely for the good of the public, unless it increases their profit. 
Unless we find some way to make it to their advantage to build safer 
ships and to build ships' that will do much less polluting, and protect 
the public interest better, they are not going to do it. They just don't 
do that as a matter of charity. They do it because it is either to their 
advantage economically or because you make them do it. Otherwise, 
they won't do it. 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes, sir. If I can use a phrase that I hear quite 
frequently from the oil companies, there must be an incentive. 

The Chairman. But under the 1936 Merchant Marine Act if a ship- 
owner wants to put extra safety equipment or double bottoms and ap- 
plies for a subsidy, the Maritime Administration could grant that, 

Mr. Calhoon. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Within the capability of the amount of money that 
Congress appropriates for subsidy, they could. As you point out, there 
are some that don't. 

Senator Chafee. I guess, Mr. Chairman, the real purpose I think 
there is a lot of merit in this double bottom. I certainly have followed 
Mr. Calhoon's testimony. I was just curious as to why the United 
States in subsidizing its own vessels and paying a lot of attention to 
safety, has not required double bottoms. Now, that is not really — per- 
haps'that is not in your bailiwick to answer that question; we should 
have somebody from MarAd, but it seems to me a logical step nnd 
maybe it will be taken now as a result of all of those recent accidents. 

Mr. Calhoon. In my opinion, the reason they are not required to 
have double bottoms today is there have been too many red herrings run 

Senator Chafee. You mean the explosion problem you mentioned ? 

Mr. Calhoon. The explosion problem, the grounding problem, and 
I answered that by saying all dry cargo ships have double bottoms and 
those don't seem to create a problem on dry cargo ships ; but all of a 
sudden, they are a tremendous problem on tankers. 

Senator Rollings. We do have our OTA report of July 1975, and 
it shows there there were 34 tankers in the world with double bottoms, 
28 of them at that particular time were U.S.-flag vessels. They list some 
from Chevron, Sun Oil, and Mobil. In fact, a little note here indicates 
that about seven additional tankers with partial double bottoms are 
under construction at that time by Mobil. 

The Chevron folks, at the time we made the study, said it did cost 
more in the initial construction of the vessel. But they also said it cost 
less in the operation, because you didn't have to clean the tanks as 
often. This study is about a year and a half old. I would say in round 
figures, there are now about 50 in the world, over 32 to 33 under the 
American flag. 


Mr. Calhoun. Mr. Chairman. I will comment that double bottoms, 
per se, make the ship safer, because it allows you to load your ballast 
in the lowest part of the ship and increases the stability of the ship 

The Chairman. It makes a better ship in bad weather. I know that. 

Mr. Calhoun. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman*. Thank you. I appreciate your coming. 

[The statement follows:] 

Statement of Jesse M. Calhoun, President, National Marine Engineers' 
Beneficial Association 

Mr. Chairman. I am here on behalf of the members of the Marine Engineers' 
Beneficial Association, a union which represents engineers abroad U.S. -flag 
vessels. Because of the importance of oil to the economy and well-being of this 
country, our union believes that the recent foreign flag tankers casualties have 
an importance which goes far beyond the millions of gallons of petroleum products 
carried aboard those ships. 

If we fail to take immediate action which results in reducing the danger to our 
ports and coastal regions posed by unsafe foreign ships, we will endanger the 
ability of the United States to establish a viable national energy program based 
on energy independence and the maximum use of domestic energy materials. 
Already, voices are being raised in opposition to increased reliance on tankers 
to transport oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the lower 48 States and from 
new areas of offshore production to coastal refining regions. 

These voices come from people who are understandably concerned when they 
view eight tanker casualties within just one month. What they must understand — 
and what the American people must come to realize — is that tanker transportation 
of oil can be safe and environmentally sound. We have proved this with U.S.-flag 
tankers. Their record of oil spills in 1973 was 1 gallon spilled for every 100,000 
gallons of oil transported. Since that year, new environmental regulations have 
resulted in a reduction of oil spills from U.S.-flag ships. 

Mr. Chairman, for the sake of our national energy policy and the safety and 
environmental protection of our coastal areas and ports, we must act unilaterally 
and in concert with other nations to enforce strict safety standards for any and 
all foreign flag vessels which enter U.S. territorial waters. 

It may seem to be a coincidence that eight tankers flying foreign flags have 
been involved in major casualties during one month. Mr. Chairman, let me assure 
you. These casualties are no coincidence. They are the direct and almost inevita- 
ble result of the use of flags of convenience by major U.S. oil companies and 
others. They are the direct and almost inevitable result of the failure of the U.S. 
Coast Guard to exercise its authority and responsibility to assure that any vessel 
coming into a U.S. port— no matter what flag it flies— be in good condition and 
equipped with adequate and operational navigation equipment. They are the 
direct and almost inevitable result of the influence which multinational U.S. oil 
companies have over the policies of the federal government. And they are the 
direct and almost inevitable result on the increasing reliance which this country 
has placed on imported oil and our failure to require that a reasonable portion 
of that oil be carried in U.S.-flag ships. 

This country is in the grips of an energy crisis. Most of the public lost sight 
of that fact when the long lines at gasoline stations disappeared. But the shortage 
of available energy supplies is even more acute today than ir was during the 
Aral> oil embargo three years ago. Domestically, we are producing less and con- 
suming more oil today than we were then. As a result, we must import more and 
more oil from foreign countries. 

Today, more than half of all oil consumed in the United States comes from for- 
eign sources, and more than 40 percent of our crude imports come from the very 
countries which cut off our oil supply three years ago. The only way this im- 
ported oil can reach the United States from the Middle East and Africa is by 
tanker. And the largest fleet of tankers in the world flies the Liberian flag — 
1,014 ships accounting for S9y 2 million deadweight tons. 

This committee knows all-too-well how this tiny country of Liberia, with no 
natural harbors of its own, acquired such a massive fleet of ships. The first 
ingredient of the Liberian recipe for instant maritime supremacy is composed 
yt U.S. tax laws which permit American shipx>ing companies to hide their 


foreign-flag snipping profits from being taxed. Add to this the fact that Liberian 
law does not require the recording of ownership of corporate holdings and that 
Liberia's tax and mortgage laws are also quite favorable to foreign shipping 
companies and mix with the generous desire of the major U.S. oil companies 
•iiid others to avoid U.S. requirements for safety, environmental protection, and 
crew qualifications, and it is easy to see why the Liberian tanker fleet has 
doubled in the past 10 years. 

There have been statements by the Coast Guard and the Department of Trans- 
portation to the effect that the worldwide Liberian fleet is at least as safe as any 
(.llier fleet of vessels. In these and other actions, officials of the present adininis- 
1 ration have proved themselves to be effective spokesmen for foreign flag shipping 
interests. The facts. Mr. Chairman, reveal a different conclusion. 

Most U.S. ports can only handle smaller vessels. The largest tanker which 
can call directly on an East or Gulf Coast port, for example, is a 70,000-ton ship. 
Ji is a fact that very few ships of this small size are being built anywhere in 
the world except the United States. As a result, most of the foreign itag tankers 
calling at U.S. ports were built during the 1950's. Only these smaller ships 
are capable of making it into our ports. And it was these smaller ships which 
were involved in the eight casualties during the past month. Mr. Chairman, 
many of these ships are rustbuckets which should not be allowed in or near U.S. 

A brief examination of the Liberian-flag vessels of 70.000 deadweight tons or less 
which are operated by some of the major U.S. oil companies reveals the advanced 
age of those Liberian vessels which are capable of calling directly on Gulf and 
East Coast ports. 

Gulf Oil Corporation has 14 Liberian-registered ships with an average age ob 

17 vears. SoCal has 10 of these ships and Phillips has another 4. with an average 
age of 17 years. Getty has 8 Liberian-registered ships with an average age o: 

18 years. Of course, there are also older vessels flying the U.S. flag, but thej 
must meet standards and requirements which foreign flag ships can avoid. 

Mr. Chairman, this committee took testimony nearly a year ago which citec 
the failure of the Coast Guard to adopt and enforce adequate tanker safer? 
measures to protect the environment. As long as four years ago. this committee 
initiated legislation, eventually signed into law. which gave the Coast Guarc 
authority to adopt navigation and safety regulations which would apply to am 
vessel in U.S. waters. If the Coast Guard, and the Department of Transportation 
of which it is a part, had implemented the authority which Congress delesratet 
in 1072, it is very possible that these recent casualties would not have occurred 

One of the reasons for the failure of these agencies to act is a direct resuli 
of what President-elect Carter has called the "revolving door policy" whicl 
permits industry officials to assume government positions having a direct effee 
on the industry from which they came; and government officials going to the 
industry which they formerly regulated .It is a clear fact of American govern 
ment that the U.S. oil industry has an excessive degree of influence in the execu 
five branch. Ending the revolving door policy can go a long way toward reducing 
that influence. 

In testimony before this committee yesterday. Secretary Coleman cited a long 
string of international treaties and conventions as both strengthening tankej 
safety and limiting U.S. ability to act unilaterally to enforce tanker safety. We 
believe that the United States must enter into international agreemens govern 
ing maritime transportation. But we also recognize the clear limits of multi 
lateral approach. 

The Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization was created ii 
1948. IMCO has had many accomplishments, but it takes years to agree on poll 
cies and even more years before those policies become adopted in practice. Foi 
example. Secretary Coleman referred to IMCO's adoption of procedures designee 
to give attention to the problem of substandard ships. The procedures and snide 
lines to which he referred are not likely to be put into \iraetiee until 19S5. Il 
we wait until then, the United States will be at the mercy of foreign flag rust 
buckets for another 8 years. 

After citing a host of international agreements which permitted the Coast 
Guard to intervene in the Argo Merchant casualty. Secretary Coleman conclude? 
by saying that, inasmuch as the accident occurred in international waters ant' 
involved a shin of Liberian registrv, the investigation must be conducted by the 
Government of Liberia and not by the United States. 

Mr. Coleman, the Coast Guard intervened in the Arpo Merchant grounding 
because that ship and its cargo posed a direct threat, to U.S. territory. We see 


mo reason for our government t<> refrain from undertaking an Investigation of 

its own to determine the cause of that grounding. 

We iniLst nut shrink from unilateral action in maritime affairs. Ship> carry 
Bore than $80 hillion of carp» to and from the United States each year. We 
WOUld not shrink from stopping tin- entry of unwanted insects, diseases and crops 
into our country. The same Logic must he applied to prevent substandard snipe 
from entering our water-. 

It is time that we adopted standards which required adequate safety and navi- 
gational equipment on vessels of all sizes and of all flags making use of U.S. 

It is time that we upgraded our construction requirements for tankers to 
require double bottoms just as we do for dry cargo ships. The danger of a gas 
explosion can be eliminated by requiring the installation of an inert gas system. 

It is time that Congress mandated that the .National Transportation Safety 
\\. rd conduct independent investigations of maritime accidents occurring in U.S. 
waters, whether or not they involve U.S. flagships. 

It is time that we took the Bureau of Marine Inspection out of the Coast fluard 
and placed it under the Maritime Administration, which has overall responsibility 
for merchant marine affairs. In addition to heiim a sound reorganization pro- 
posal, this recommendation would make it possible for the inspection of merchant 
- to be done by those with merchant marine experience — a situation which 
has not existed under the Coast Guard despite a statutory requirement that at 
least half of the inspectors come from the merchant marine. 

And it is time that we adopted cargo preference requirements for imported oil. 
Among the many reasons to support this proposal is the fact that we will always 
have a greater degree of control over ships which fly our own flag. That control 
includes construction, operation, equipment and crew requirements and standards 
which will provide the American people with far more assurance and protection 
than will ever he possible under any international agreement affecting foreign 
Uns ships. 

Finally, Mr. Chairman, we believe that the oil spill liability law should be 
changed to provide that the character of any oil tanker be jointly liable together 
with the owner of that vessel for any damages resulting from an oil spill involving 
the chartered ship. Far more than any international agreements, this one measure 
will assure that the oil companies which charter these vessels exercise due care 
in inspecting the tankers which carry their oil. 

Mr. Chairman, the world's oil supply is limited. But it is also clear that the 
United States will be depending on oil for many more years, and tankers will 
play a major role in transporting that oil. We urge this committee to consider 
the measures which we have recommended SO that we can continue to have ac 

e oil we need in a manner which gives adequate protection to the environ- 
ment and the people of the United States. 

The Chairman. Now, the Coast Guard. 

Admiral, we appreciate you waiting. Tlio witness li-t wasn't neces- 
sarily in order of appearance, and we did have these other people from 
out of town. Yon have listened to their testimony and you surely 
must have something that you wish to say about these particular state- 
ment--, some charges, and other observations regarding the USCG and 
the problems we have before us. I understand you do not have a 
prepared statement. 


Admiral Sru R. That is correct, sir: T do not have a prepared state- 
m< 'it. T would like to start by reading a portion of the task force study 
that Mr. Coleman referred to. that I think I ather well the policy 

of the USCG with respect 


The Chairman. Would you identify the officers with you ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. To my left, I have Rear Admiral Fugaro, 
Chief of the Marine Environment and Systems Office. To the right, 
I have Rear Admiral Benkert, Chief of our Merchant Marine Safety 
Office, and Captain Hallberg, who is the Deputy Chief Counsel of the 
Coast Guard. 

The Chairman. Marine Environment — how do you define that? 

Admiral Siler. He has the responsibility for port security, marine 
traffic systems, and marine environment protection. I would like to 
start by reading a portion 

The Chairman. You do have a Division of Environmental Pro- 
tection. Is that correct? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. Under Admiral Fugaro. On page 17, of 
the task force report, it states: 

There are no easy and immediate solutions. We must, however, vigorously 
pursue ways of minimizing human error from improved seamanship, technology, 
and broaden its adaptability, strengthen design and maintenance of vessels, 
ensure adequate resources and technology are available to contain and clean- 
up spills and help create economic incentives that will encourage ship owners 
to exceed minimal standards and to ensure that those who are victims of the 
pollution including the public are compensated adequately. 

We must upgrade our efforts to seek tougher international standards and to 
ratify appropriate international agreements, where absolutely necessary to 
protect our agreements, we should act unilaterally to ensure all ships, using 
our coastal waters, and perhaps beyond, meet certain minimal standards. The 
steps we take must be technologically feasible proven effectiveness, economically 
reasonable, and consistent with our foreign policy objectives. 

We must address the real causes of tanker accidents, as best we can define 
them and allocate our resources to those efforts that will be most effective in 
reducing risks. 

This, then, is the legal and policy foundation upon which we build 
our recommendation for prevention, cleanup, and compensation. 

The Chairman. What is that? 

Admiral Siler. That is in the report that Mr. Coleman gave the 
committee yesterday. 

Senator Hollings. That says to act unilaterally ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

Senator Hollings. The Secretary testified against it, didn't he? 

Admiral Siler. He said we should not act unilaterally, unless abso- 
lutely necessary. 

Senator Hollings. Is it necessary in vour opinion or not ? What is 
your testimony? I can read reports* and listen to Secretaries. What do 
you think we ought to do? Act unilaterally or not? 

Admiral Siler. I think we should not, if we can twist the arms of 
the foreign governments to improve their merchant marine. 

Senator Hollings. You belong in the State Department. 

Admiral Siler. I am part of the Federal Government, sir. 

The Chairman. Let me follow that with an important question. Do 
you have the legal authority, in your mind, to act unilaterally ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Just yes or no. 

Admiral Siler. I said, yes, sir. 

The Chairman. You do ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Then, of course, we can shorten this up a little bit. 
Why haven t you acted? 


Admiral Siler. Let me road from tho Ports and Waterways Safety 

An. if 1 may, a paragraph: 

Tlie Secretary shall consult with other appropriate Federal departments and 
agencies and technically, with the Administrator of the Environmental Protec- 
tion Agency, and Secretary of Commerce, with regard to all rules and regulations 
for the protection of the marine environment. Publish proposed rules and regu- 
lations and permit interested persons an opportunity for hearing, in prescribing 
rules or regulations the Secretary will consider, among other things, the nerd 
tor such rules and regulations, the extent to which such rules and regulations 
will contribute to safety or protection of the marine environment and the prac- 
ticability of compliance therewith, including cost and technical feasibility. 

One of the problems that we have in acting unilaterally is the prac- 
ticability of compliance therewith, including the considerations of for- 
eign policy objectives. We have— I have to correct something I said 

The Chairman. How do you determine what the compliance will 
or will not be until you make the regulation % 

Admiral Siler. i started to say. in correction to something I said 
yesterday, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Rollings asked the question whether Ave 
had had any objections to regulations that had to do with LNG vessels, 
and I said, I knew of none. I didn't at that time. However, I have been 
informed since, there has been an aide memoir© filed with our State 
Department in objection to the regulations we have established for 
LXG vessels. 

We have also had the same sort of objections to our unilateral action 
having to do with segregated ballast. 

Senator Hollings. Admiral, you didn't know that yesterday, so you 
found that out for us. Now, what country was that? 

The Chairman. Liberia? 

Admiral Siler. United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Norway, at 

The Chairman. When did they file that ? 

Admiral Siler. About a month ago. 

The Chairman. That wouldn't be news to you. They objected to 
it in the conference, didn't they ? 

Admiral Siler. That is correct. 

The Chairman. They all objected to it. They don't want to do this. 

Admiral Siler. That is correct. Our problem is, we lose some of our 
leverage to get them to do something in their own countries when they 
know we are going to act unilaterally in some regard, anyway. 

The Chairman. Well, T don't know. 

A dmiral Siler. It is a difficult problem. 

The Chairman. I have been listening to that on fisheries for so 
long I can't remember. 

Senator Hollings. Section 201 of Public Law 02-340 reads : "All 
vessels, regardless of tonnage or size or manner of propulsion and 
whether self-propelled or not, and whether carrying freight or passen- 
gers for hire or not which are documented under the laws of the United 
States, air'— or I am adding the emphasis — "or enter the navigable 
waters of the United States, except public vessels other than those 
engaged in commercial service that have on board liquid cargo in bulk, 
which is (a) inflammable or combust ible, or (?>) oil.'" and then it goes 
clown to "requires rules and regulations for these vessels". 

After we had hearings, we didn't put anything in the law about 
power and policy. Wc wanted to make the USCG the load agency for 


this Nation's marine safety. And I now am dismayed to find a com- 
mandant that is 1 ryingto make the foreign policy of the United States. 
If you have a back pocket on Henry Kissinger", you might be able to 
learn it, I have been up here for 10 years and I don't know what it is. 

1 would like to hear from Admiral Benkert on marine safety, because 
I (hmk he can help this hearing some. 

Admiral Benkert, do you have anybody of competence working on 
oil tanker safety? You heard the previous testimony. You head'the 
Division of Marine Safety. I have at feeling that you 'are filled up and 
are ready to tell us a few things, even though we might not want to 
listen to it. I want to listen. 

The Chairman. Prior to his answer, Public Law 92-340, pao- e 7, 
section 13, says : : 

The Secretary may, subject to recognized principles of international law deny 
entry to the navigable waters of the United States to anv vessel not in comiV'niicV 
with the provisions of this section. 

Now that clearly sets forth your authority; is that correct? 

Admiral Stler. Yes. sir. That is correct. 

The Chairman. All right. OK. 

I just wanted to get this clear. 

Admiral Siler. With respect to that, sir, I refer again to the para- 
graph I read before, consult with other appropriate Federal depart- 
ments and agencies. 

The Chairman. That has nothing to do with it. 

In other words, you are going 'to consult anyway on all kinds of 
things. You consulted in all these meetings, but I am trying to say if 
yon decided to raise the standards of ships entering American port's or 
denied their entrance because of certain factors, you can do it* is that 
correct ? 

Admiral Sii/er. That is correct, sir. 

Senator Rollings. Have you received anv directive, correspondence,, 
or suggestion directly or indirectly from the Department of State that 
you should not issue sueh reimlations ? 

Admiral Siler. Not directly. 

We have received certainly indirectly, in our consultations with the 
State Department, that we would weaken our position in IMCO and 
therefore weaken our position in international negotiations. 

Senator Hollixgs. Is there any other admonition they give other 
than weakness in international negotiation? Did you receive any other 
directive or correspondence at all ? 

Admiral Siler. In discussions regarding the law of the sea. yes, sir. 

Senator Rollings. What you are saying in essence, we shouldn't 
disturb the Law of the Sea Conference. You know, I have followed 
that for some time. It meets and it meets and it m°ets and it meets, and 
it, goes from Caracas to Geneva to New York. They are never goino- 
to agree. 

That is why your Congress explicitly disregarded that admonition 
about law of the sea, and moved to the' 200-mile limit here in the next 

2 months, effective March 1. They must have gotten this message from 
the Congress, that we tried hard." we've been to Geneva, to New York, 
and we have made every kind of effort in the world to get a law of the 
sea. but you are telling this Congress you are not going to move until 
the Law of the Sea Conference is resolved? 

Admiral Siler. No, sir, I didn't say that. 


Senator Hollings. You say you air not going to issue regulations 
because it might weaken the negotiations? 

Admiral Silf.ij. Mr. Hollings, this book is the book of regulations 
we have issued under this. These are the reports of what we have been 
doing for the past 5 years with regard to the Ports and Waterways 
Safety Act. 

We have, been proceeding, as the law requires us to. to proceed under 
the Administrative Procedure Act, to take care of environmental 
impact statements, to take care of economic impact statements and 
consult with other Federal agencies, and we have been doing a great 

Senator Hollings. I will get to the segregated ballast question in 
detail. But Admiral Benkert, can you give us some of your comments 
with respect to the competence of the USCG to actually promulgate 
safety regulations for tankers? 

Pear Admiral Bexkert. Yes, sir. I would be delighted, Senator. 

I have been associated for a number of years with our marine safel y 
function in the USCG. When I haven't been at sea in the USCG, 
aboard ships, I have been involved directly with our marine safety 
proa-rams. . 

I have working with me. sir, in our field offices and here m \\ ashmg- 
ton, a large number of dedicated USCG and civilian personnel who 
are highly qualified, highly competent and, I might add, highly ac- 
quainted with the merchant marine, with the ships that operate in the 
merchant, marine and with the personnel that operate our merchant 

Senator Hollings. And that includes oil tankers. 

Rear Admiral Benkert. Yes, sir, including oil tankers. 

We have a number of officers in the USCG who are licensed office rs 
of the merchant marine, and as Mr. Calhoon rightly said, we don't 
have f)0 percent but we were not required by law to have 50 percent. 

An agreement was made when the BMIX came into the USCG, 
in 1946, that the USCG would attempt to develop this type of per- 
centage of our personnel with district, merchant marine experience. 

A law was passed, giving us the authority, setting up the ground 
rules for taking in this type of personnel into our business. We have 
recruited people under this, to the best of our ability. 

We have a large number of officers. I don't have the number at my 
fingertips, but I have about a dozen of them working for me here 
righl in Washington who are licensed merchant marine officers, a num- 
ber of whom have sailed on tankers and who, in fact, are very well 
acquainted with this business. 

Although I personally have not sailed in the merchant marine and 
I am not a licensed officer of the merchant marine, I have had a very 
wide, association with the ships and the people. T have inspected ships, 
I have ridden ships, I have boarded ships both here and in foreign 
countries. I have working for me naval architects who are the equal 
of any naval architects in the country or any other country, and any- 
body that tells me that we do not have qualified people to handle this 
kind of problem, sir, I discount what they say entirely. 

Senator Rollings. That pertains specifically to the oil transporta- 
tion business. 

I know you were using the general phrase "merchant marine" and 
"architects," which could design any and every ship. 


Rear Admiral Bexkert. Yes, sir. 

Seng-tor Hollixgs. I am talking about what Mr. Calhoon was talk- 
ing about. 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. I have a number of officers who have specifi- 
cally sailed on tankers. I have one who is on the Poling Marine Board 
of Investigation, on a casualty, that is meeting tomorrow. I have an 
officer on my staff who is a member of the Marine Board of Investiga- 
tion on the Sansinena who is an ex-tanker skipper. 

Senator Hollixgs. With respect to the architects, have they designed 
any oil-carrying vessels? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. These people have not, no, sir. They are 
sailors. But I have people who have been involved in the design and 
naval architecture in every aspect of tanker design across the board for 
many, many years, including both civilian and military personnel. 

The Ciiairmax. I just have two or three general questions. I won't 
go into too much detail now. 

Does the USCG believe that U.S. regulations, either final or pro- 
posed, are the best possible for improving the overall tanker safety? 

Admiral Siler. I wouldn't say the best, no, sir. I think we have to 
keep working to improve it constantly. The ones we have proposed are 
a definite step in the direction of improving our safety, and we have to 
keep improving it and doing more. 

The Chairmax. Are you talking about U.S. ships ? 

Admiral Siler. These regulations, according to the law, are to be 
applicable both to the United States and those foreign vessels bringing 
oil to our ports. 

The Ciiairmax. You have heard others testify that your standards 
do not apply or haven't been applied to foreign vessels/ 

What standards do you have that apply to a vessel coming into our 
ports ? 

Admiral Siler. The same as those of the United States. 

Excuse me. Let me qualify that to some extent. 

The Chairmax. I think you better qualify that. 

Admiral Siler. I am not sure they are aware of the fact we issued 
a regulation in December that made many of these regulations appli- 
cable to foreign vessels bringing oil into the United States. 

The Ciiairmax. They are not effective ? 

Admiral Siler. Let me ask Admiral Benkert to amplify that. 

The Chairmax. Either they are or are not effective. If you do have 
some, are they running around some other agency? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. No, sir. 

The Chairmax. Are they in effect now to stop ships from coming in ? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. We have regulations, sir, as to foreign-flag 
vessels. And if I might— might I give a couple of specific instances 
of these you are speaking of 

The Ciiairmax. I don't want to go ship by ship. They are lower- 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. Pollution regulations, we 'have pollution 
prevention regulations that apply to foreign-flag vessels in our waters 
issued some 1V 2 years ago that are very pertinent to this subject. 
They are not design and construction. 

I am talking about in this case — about operating requirements within 
our waters. These have to do with the transfer of cargo from vessel to 
terminal, terminal to vessel, which is a very big part, by the way, of our 
oil spillage problem in our waters. 


We have specific requirements in that arena which arc applied to 
foreign^flag vessels fully, which we attempt to enforce to the besi of 
our ability, and which we are enforcing toda v. 

Now, when you talk about design and construction requirements 

The, Chairman. Wait a minute. All the testimony has been thai the 
standards for foreign ships are so much lower than the standards we 
have, for American ships that it is folly that they should come to our 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. Some of the testimony I have heard is in 
error, Senator. 

The Chairman. What regulations do you have on foreign ships 
coming in ? 

_ Rear Admiral Bexkert. Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regula- 

The Chairman. You are talking about after they get here and then 
transfer oil. 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. In that case we are talking about, in our 
waters, when they get here. 

I would like to talk design and construction, if I might. 

The Chairman. That is one. 

"What is the second one ? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. Let's talk about design and construction, 

"\Vc have put our requirements which, in effect — although the 1973 
pollution convention has not been ratified, either by the United States 
or by most other foreign countries, and it is certainly not in effect 
internationally today — by regulations we published last month, we 
have, in effect, placed into effect the provisions of Annex 1 of the 1073 
pollution convention, for both the U.S.-flag vessels in the foreign 
trade and foreign-flag vessels entering our waters. 

Xot only that, but in addition to the basic provisions of the conven- 
tion, we have a number of other requirements in those regulations 
which are over and beyond the specific internationally agreed upon 
convention of 1973. Specifically in the area of segregated ballast re- 
quirements, we have required foreign-flag vessels to have segregated 
ballast in particular locations aboard the vessel to act as protective 
space on that vessel. 

This, in effect, means a location requirement for that segregated 
ballast space. This is over and beyond any concept of international 
agrement, and it is in effect for foreign-flag vessels of over 70,000 dead- 
weight tons. 

The Chairman. The international agreement you refer to hasn't 
been sent up here. And many have said that it is wholly inadequate. 

Admiral Bexkert. Senator, I think it has some shortcomings. If you 
will bear with me. I would like to say why. 

The. Chairman. Have you stopped any ship from coming in \ 

Admiral Benkert. We have prevented vessels 

The Chairman. Wait. Have you stopped any ship from coming in, 
any tanker registered under a foreign flag from coming into a United 
States port? 

Admiral Bexkert. Senator, we do not 

The. Chairman. Have you or haven't you ? 

Admiral Bexkert. We have prevented a ship from off-loading cargo 
in our ports and we have, in effect, told them he cannot operate. 


The Chairman. When? 

Admiral Bexkert. We have a number of instances of vessels we have 
prohibited from o tf -loading cargo in our ports or for that matter from 
loading cargo in our ports because of deficiencies in the vessel. 

The ( ) i [airman. They are in port by this time ? 

Admiral Bexkert. We don't feel we have the authority on the high 
seas to stop a vessel. Senator. 

The Chairman. But you have the authority from saying that they 
can't come in. 

Admiral Siler. Mr. Chairman, the Argo Merchant itself was sent 
from the port of Boston because it had discrepancies that were not in 
compliance with our regulations. We sent it to sea and would not allow 
it to come back in until repairs were made at sea. and in the instance of 
this particular voyage, Ave were planning to meet it and inspect it and 
not, allow it into port, strictly because of the compliance with the 
pollution regulations. ., , . . . 

Senator Housings. What about long-range navigation equipment i 
Vic vou talking about foreign-flag vessel regulations ? Do you have any 
regulations with respect to long-range navigation equipment or its 
maintenance and inspection? You don't have anything on that? 

Vdmiral Siler. We don't have regulations on long-range electronic 
navigation for American vessels yet, but we will have by the end of 
this month. The same regulation will include the requirement for 
collision-avoidance radar on these vessels. This would be a notice of 
proposed rulemaking which will be issued by the end of this month 

With respect to collision-avoidance radar, as Mr. Blackwell said, 
they were ahead of us in issuance of this regulation in MarAd, we 
delayed because we did not want to require a specific brand name oi 
radar and it was difficult to describe collision-avoidance radar m 
sufficiently broad terms that it was possible not to direct a single brand 

11 With respect to loran-C, we have delayed until we have loran-C 
available. We do not have loran-C completely covering the west coast 
at the present time. We do not have loran-C covering the gulf coast 
at the present time. But we will require loran-C aboard American 
vessels and those vessels operating into our ports, such that they will 

have to have loran-C 

The Chairman. All vessels? _ 

Admiral Siler. All vessels coming into the east coast or west coast 
as of the 1st of July of this year. 

The Chairman. Go ahead. - 

Admiral Siler. And the gulf coast when we have it available. 

Senator Hollings. The east and west coast by the first and when 

in the gulf? . ., . , . -, 

Admiral Siler. By 1078. The notice of proposed rulemaking regard- 
ing that will be issued by the end of this month. 

The Chairman. Why wait so long? ... 

Admiral Siler. We haven't had loran available except on tw east 
coast, not even good coverage in the coast of Florida or until very 
recently, or even at the present time there 

The Chairman. Loran-A had been available. 

Admiral Siler. Yes. sir. . , 

' The Chairman. That's better than having nothing : isn t it >. 


Admiral Seler. Yes, it is better than nothing, but it ia not nearly 
as good as loran-C. 

The Chairman, in that kind of technology you start out with what 
you have, then as the other becomes available you trade it in. or use it. 
You haven't done that at all. 

You mentioned some of the reflations you have on foreign ships. 
I want you to put thai down in black and 'white. Those that are now 
being enforced by the l'S( '(.'. 

I!eai- Admiral Benkert. Yes, sir. 

Senator Holltngs. When you talk about the regulations, that is 
what 1 thought he. was referring to in December, those refer to vessels 
in excess of 70,000 tons. 

Admiral Siler. That's correct. 

Senator Hollings. How about below 70,000 tons coming into the 
ports of the United States? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. May I answer this? 

Senator Rollings. Please. 1 "am not trying to be trick v. 

Rear Admiral Benkert. Senator, we have a large' number. The 
majority of the vessels that come into our ports — as far as tankers are 
concerned. 70,000 tons is probably a break point. We do have a large 
number of tankers that come into our ports that are over 70.000 tons. 
Capacity wise. I would have to get you the figure, but Ave do have a 
large number of smaller vessels that come into our ports. 

I would like to say this. Senator, if I may. We are Studying, and I 
dont mean trying to get together a novel or anything else. I mean 
studying specifically the possibilities and the technical feasibility and 
- as we are required to do by the Ports and Waterways Safety Act 
of requiring segregated ballast on smaller vessels and of expanding 
our inerting system requirements to smaller vessels. 

Senator Hollixos. The reason I asked, we looked over that chart 

The Chairman. Let me say something. You've been studying it for 
how lonir \ 

Rear Admiral Bexkkrt. Sir, we have to go through a procedure in 
accordance with the law that this Congress passed. Senator. We put 
out a proposal. 

'Hie Chairman. I didn't ask you that. 

Rear Admiral Bexkekt. If Ave put out a proposal 

The Chairman. I asked you a simple question. How long have you 
been studying it \ 

Rear Admiral Benkert. We have been studying the question of 
segregated ballast and putting out an advance notice and final regula- 
tion on that for some 2 years. 

The Chairman. What were von doing before 2 years a^o 9 You 
knew about it then? 

Rear Admiral Benkert, I think we had a lot of other things, that 
Ave were approaching prior to that time, sir. in the way of regulatory 
action. * ° J 

'I he Chairman. The law says you eould take action and you just 
haven t taken it. This is the problem that bothers me. There is always 
a study. It is to study this and study that. In the meantime these 
tilings are going to happen. 

I just, don't know why it takes so long. Here we are, vou have a stack 
of studies that high. Everybody is studying. In the meantime, tankers 
are sinkmcr. 


Rear Admiral Benkert. These are accomplishments, Senator, right 
here. Tliis regulatory package right here is regulations that are either 
in effect or have been proposed and will be in effect. 

The Chairman-. Have been proposed. 

Admiral Benkert. We are required to do that by law. 

The Cttatrman. How long do you have to wait? 

Admiral Benkert. Once we put out a proposal we have to wait 
for all the comments that we get from that proposal. When we get 
the comments we have to absorb the comments. 

The Chairman. Comments from whom? 

Admiral Benkert. The public, environmentalists, Congress, 
other Government agencies, and from anybody else, sir, that wants 
to comment on it, including foreign nations, if the regulations, ob- 
viously, affect their vessels. 

The Chairman. Don't you give them a time schedule to follow? 

Admiral Benkert. Yes, sir. But if we give them a 45- or 60-day 
time limit for comment, we then have to study those comments. We 
can't just throw them in the wastebasket. We have to study them 
and make an honest appraisal, which is what is required of us, 
Senator, by the law. 

The Chairman. I get the impression you are going to raise the 
standards on foreign ships? 

Admiral Benkert. Yes, sir, you do. 

The Chairman. When do you think that will happen ? 

Admiral Benkert. Senator, we have already proceeded on this 
specific regulations which we issued last December. We have also 
issued, as I mentioned before — we have issued regulations relative 

The Chairman. I mean the regulations you issued last December 
are not adequate, in my opinion, to meet the problem. I am talking 
about putting into regulations some of the things that we have been 
listening to or that have been talked about for years by some of us. 

When do you intend to do that ? 

Admiral Benkert. We can run down the list, if you desire. 

The Chairman. I want a list of the regulations*you have on foreign 
ships right now. 

Admiral Benkert. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I would like to know of any ships that you stop. It 
is easy to say you would have stopped the Argo Merchant, or you would 
have stopped all these other things. 

.Admiral Siler. We can provide you with a list of those vessels that 
we have stopped. In addition 

The Chairman. How many are there ? 

Do you have any idea ? 

Amiral Siler. It is not a large number, because— approximately 
three or four a year. 

The Chairman. How many have you stopped from coming into our 
ports? u & 

Admiral Siler. I said approximately three or four a year. 
The Chairman. You answered my question. I just want to know 
how many foreign ships you have stopped coming into our ports. 
Admiral Sher. I said three or four a year. 


The important thing is, we deter thorn from heading for our ports 
when we put these regulations out. I don't think it is as important 
that wo stop thorn as 

The Chairman. When you put thorn out, when aro thoy effective ' 

Admiral Sii.kk. Would you like me to put the list of those regula- 
tions in the record? It is throe pages long. 

The Chairman. When you talk about stopping foreign ships, 3 or 4, 
that is big number out of — what is it, 8,000? 

Senator Hollixos. 300 a day. 

The ( ' n \ i km a x. 31 H > a day coming in. 

Admiral Siler. I think the important thing is the number we detor 
from coming in because of the regulations. 

The Chairman. We would like that in the record. 

Senator Ihn i.incs. The Avgo Merchant, Oswego Peace, Olympic 
Games, Daphne, Grand Zenith, the Austin, the Lackymedia, right on 
down — they all are below that 70,000 tons that you regulated in 

Admiral BENteEttT. May T answer that? 

Senator Hollixos. I Wanted to give you the comment. 

Let's look at the charts. We don't need a study. 

Admiral Benkert. Yes, sir. We don't need a study for that. But 
what we do need. Senator — and I believe this is the heart of the 
matter — if you desire, or we desire, or this country desires to apply 
stronger regulations, for example, for the smaller vessels that come in r 
we are required by the law to appraise the effect of instituting those 

And the process for this, sir, as Admiral Siler has said, with the Ad- 
ministrative Procedures Act Which we are bound by; with NEPA, 
which requires environmental impact statements, which we are bound 
by; by the very provisions of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. 
this does take some time. Senator. 

Senator Hollixos. As a sailor, do you think we ought to do it? 

Roar Admiral Benkert. I do. But wc are bound 

Senator Hollixos. And I do, too. You tell me what is necessary, 
what laws are necessary to get you out of that maze of the Law of the 
Sea Conference. 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. It is not really that. It is our own legis- 

Senator ITolltxos. We have to got something out of this other 
than TV. We want to get something on the board so we can move 

You say as a sailor — I respect each of you, but I respect you, par- 
ticularly, because I have already heard you aro an old salt and aro 
going to raise hell, and so I'm glad to have you. I thought you would 
say yes, and that is tho way wo feel on this committee. 
Xow, how do wo do that ? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. Maybe tho commandant would rather 
talk and T shut up. But if I can say one tiling. Senator, if wo want — 
and our legal counsel, who is sitting on my right hand, would verify 
this. Captain Hallberg — if wo have a regulatory scheme which we 

desire to put forth, such as you arc speaking of here 

Senator Hollixos. One that is realistic. 

Rear Admiral Bkxkf.rt. Realistic and practicable and can be done, 
we must go through this procedure which is set up by law; rightly or 

S2-90S— 77— pt. 1 12 


wrongly. It requires a tremendous amount of time for us to get out a 

Senator Sabbanes. Has your counsel asserted on your behalf that 
the USCG has acted as expeditiously as it can with respect to the 
statutory requirements I 

In other words, you have given the notice, the required number of 
days, acted expeditiously with respect to the comments, and moved 
as quickly throughout since the law was enacted in 1972 ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes. sir. 

Senator Sabbanes. You don't contend that ; do you ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

Senator Sabbanes. How can you make that contention? 

Two years ago you came before this committee, and, in response to 
questions by the chairman, you stated then you had the power to pre- 
vent the entrance of these ships into our harbors if vou chose to do so. 
You said yourself earlier today you abstained from acting for foreign 
policy reasons. 

Now, if that is the case, give us that reason, but don't take the com- 
mand and tell us you have acted as quickly as vou possibly could at 
every point along the way. and you have been bound bv statutory re- 

Is counsel telling us that ? 

How does that square with your eariler statement that the reason 
vou exercised forbearance in acting is because of foreign policy 

Admiral Siler. You are putting a slightly different 

Senator Hollixgs. How do you do it for 70,000 tons without what 
you described ? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. It took us a year and a half to process 
that regulation. 

Senator Hollings. Then why can't vou do for all below 70. those » 
Admiral Siler. Mr. Hollings, we can't. I'm still saying we proceeded 

as expeditiously 

Senator Hollixgs. All you had to do was have some different 

The Chairman. This act was passed in 1072. If it takes 5 years to 
go through what you suggest there, it looks like it is gohVto take 
many, many months, even longer, even if vou decide vou are goino- to 
nave stricter regulations, why. we will be about 6. 7. 8 years before'the 
regulations took effect when we practically directed vou to do some- 
thing m 19(2. 

Admiral Siler Mr. Chairman, if we want to get the regulations 
out right away if you pass a law that waives the Administrative Pro- 
cedures Act and the Environmental Protection Act, we can get them 
out immediately. & 

Senator Sarbanes. Haven't, you foregone moving unilaterally on 
he regulations, not because of the time period but because of what 
>ou earlier referred to as foreign policy considerations? 

Admiral Siler. No, sir. 

TVe have gone unilaterally, but we have gone slowly because we are 
agendel COnslder fchoSG &**& ™d confer with other Federal 

20 0001*? IT " LUX0S - If - V011 (lid {t for 70 - 000 ' why didn't you do it for 


Admiral Sum. We could have, and if we would have, we would have 
ba d twice as many statements and it would havetaken much Longer 

The important thing aboui the 70,000 tons is that is the size of the 
tanker where we feel it would be most effective, because those are the 

$ S wehad U 8aid the smaller ones, or ships being built, rather than 
retrofitted, it really wouldn't have had much effect We aronot building 
many ships around the world of Less than 70.000 tons. What we are 
talking about under that size is Largely retrofitting or special purpose 

^retrofitting, as Mr. Train said yesterday— he recommended that 
we <«■■> to the international convention and take a strong position with 
record to retrofitting. L am afraid he forgot in 1973 he headed the con- 
vention delegation thai talked about double bottoms that we were 
roundly defeated in the international convention on that subject, but 
avc wanted To take a strong position in the international area on 

ret rofittin°\ 

He said we were delaying indefinitely; We said, delay one more ses- 
sion and our Marine Environmental Protection Committee meets on a 
semiannual basis: wo will go to the next meeting with a strong position 

on retrofit. , . . ,-, 

- lator Hoixings. You and I have been to those things together. 

The Chairman. When is the next one going to take place? 

Rear Admiral Fugaro. June of this year, in London. 

Senator Hollings. There are nice restraints there. 

The Chairman. Seven years? 

If you were roundly defeated, isn't that all the more reason why you 
should have taken the unilateral action? , .. 

Admiral Sii.f.r. That is precisely why we did take unilateral action 
with regard to segregated ballast. 

The Ch mkman. But that took a long time. 

A Imiral Siler. We have to go through the administrative proce- 

The Chairman. That took 3 years. ,,.-,.._. -n 

Vdmiral Siler. We still have to £0 through the Administrative Pro- 
cedure Act once we determine what direction we are going to go. 

If we are going to do it under an international treaty, we have to do 
it one wa v. and unilateral] v we have to do it another way. 

We still have to go under the, Administrative Procedures Act and 
the environmental requirements and 

The Chairman 1 . That is like asking the fire department to pull 
around the block and ask the neighbors if they should put out the 
fire. In the meantime. yOu are sitting there. 

Do von have any rush orders when you send these things around i 

Senator Schmttt. Having just come out of the administrative 
branch of Government, I would say some of these things have been 
done remarkably fast. It is a problem. .,.,'- * ^ • 

The Chairman. Thev haven't done this remarkably fast. Anything 
that needs to be done Van be done fast. T understand their position. 
Thev are not going to move against that while the people up above them 
might still be there. ...'•.', v . 

Senator Holijngs. I would respectfully submit it is simply a dif- 
ference in position. 


We believe in unilateral action, and the distinguished Commandant 
says he does not. 

Admiral Siler. But we have read your intent, Mr. Hollings, and 
wo have taken unilateral action, and we have referred these unilateral 
actions to the other Federal agencies and indicated that the intent of 
Congress was that we take that action and we have proceeded that 

We feel it does complicate some of our negotiations and we have 
seen those complications. We have seen less credence given to our posi- 
tions in other international negotiations. 

Captain Hallberg, my chief counsel, would like to make a statement. 
The Chairman. I have one more general question. 
How would you compare foreign-flag vessel safety programs with 
the U.S. program ? 

Admiral Siler. I notice the Star today quoted Mr. 

The Chairman. I am not talking about the Star. I said how would 


Admiral Siler. It quoted Mr. Coleman as saying that foreign ves- 
sels are safer than American vessels. That is not what the USCG says, 
and that is not what I say. 

The Chairman. I am asking you, not what Mr. Coleman says. I am 
asking you how would you compare foreign-flag vessel safety pro- 
grams with the U.S. program? How would you compare them? Are 
they better or worse ? 

Admiral Siler. It is generally lower than the United States. Some 
very good. Some mediocre. 

The Chairman. It is way lower, isn't it ? 
Admiral Siler. In some instances. 

The Chairman. I have a list of some of the ships, the safety condi- 
tions, the people that man them, the utter lack of knowledge of what 
to do when a ship is in trouble. I would think on a scale, the foreign 
ships are way down. 
Admiral Siler. Many of them are. That is correct. 
The Chairman. You run into ships that have all kinds of viola- 
tions. Here's two or three ships that have as many as 14, 15 consistent 

But what I am trying to say is that the safetv standards of foreign 
ships, particularly tankers, are very much lower than U.S. ships ; & is 
that correct ? 

Admiral Siler. It is a difficult statement to make across the board. 
The Chairman. You want to study that for a while ? 
Admiral Siler. If you would like us to, sir. 

The Chairman. You know in your own mind that it is much lower. 
Admiral Siler. There are some very definitely that are much lower. 
The Chairman. There may be some ships that are better. But over- 
all, of the thousands of tankers, it is very low; the conditions aboard 
them are terrible, on some of them it is almost slavery. 

That is the advantage the oil companies get by having a foreign flas;. 
They wouldn't be there if they didn't have these advantages. That is 
the only thing we are talking about. 

Then we have pollution and oilspills. Even the loss of oil is im- 
portant, isn't it? 
Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 


The Chairman. We think we should protect the American public, 
and require ships coming into our port to maintain higher standards. 
That goes from the bottom all the way on up. That means some action. 

We can pass a bill baking action in this particular field. We fooled 
around with the 200-mile limit long enough to do it. It was practically 
unanimous when wo were through. 

What you have been saying here today in a general way is exactly 
what I heard for something like 8 years on the 200-mile limit. V\ r e can't 
odo that, we can't do this. 

All right. 

The Senator from Maryland has some questions. 

Senator Sabbanes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Admiral, I take it the USCG, with respect to American crews on 
American-nag ships. test9 and licenses crewmembers. Is that correct? 

Admiral Siler. That is correct. 

Senator Sarbanes. What is the purpose of that testing and licens- 

Admiral Siler. Generally, it is for professional competence. Ad- 
miral Benkert can explain that. 

Senator Sarbanes. I take it you want to be sure that, among other 
things, the vessel is safe and that ships are being operated by people 
who know how to operate ships. Is that correct? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. Yes, sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. Do you test or judge foreign crews on foreign- 
flag ships? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. .No, sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. In no way? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. No, sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. Can a foreign-flag ship come sailing into an 
American port. I am not blaming you, just asking the question — 
with an utterly incompetent crew as far as the USCG or American 
authorities are concerned ? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. They can sail to our port, sir, but when 
they come into our port, the foreign-flag vessel must lie under the 
navigational control of a pilot. In this case, because it is a foreign- 
flag vessel, this is a province of the States, and each State has a 
pilot system, and they put a pilot aboard the vessel, in effect, to 
navigate the vessel. 

Senator Sarbanes. So we are at their mercy until they get a pilot on? 

Roar Admiral Benkert. As far as the crew, we have no basic con- 
trol over that crew. 

Senator Sarbanes. American-built ships have to meet standards 
as to design and construction which have quite a heavy emphasis 
on safety feature- \ 

Rear Admiral Benkert. Yes. sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. Are those administered by you? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. Yes. sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. Do foreign ships have to meet any such sf-ind- 
- as far as we are concerned, other than the pollution thing 
you referred to earlier? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. All of the major foreign-flag vessels 
that come into our country, their Hag slates are signatory to the 
International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea in 196Q. They 


also arc signatory bo the Load Line Convention. This moans there 
are a large number of standards which those countries have agreed 
to implement and enforce as far as design, construction, and a num- 
ber of other aspects. 

Senator Sarbanes. Is there a gap in. terms of safety between those 
standards and the standards that are applied or imposed upon 
American-flag ships ? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. Some of the standards are higher, and 
some vary, in the sense we have different requirements to accomplish 
the same result. 

Senator Sarbanes. How do you enforce the compliance with the 
international requirements? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. We go aboard vessels, under the provi- 
sions of the Solas Convention. What is in there is called a control 
provision, this is agreed to. It is in the Convention. We go aboard a 
foreign-flag vessel and Ave have agreed internationally we can ex- 
amine this vessel to, in effect, see 

Senator Sarbaxes. I Tow frequently do you do that ? 

Rear Admiral Benkert. I would like to tell you what we do. Mr. 
Sarbanes. Very frequently, sir, on foreign vessels. We don't hit each 
one every time they come into port, but on a continuing basis we 
examine foreign-flag vessels for basic certification under the Solas 

Senator Sarbaxes. I guess yon clearly impose a much higher 
standard both with respect to vessel safety and crew competence, 
with respect to American-flag vessels, than you have imposed upon 
foreign-flag vessels. 

Rear Admiral Benkert. With crew standards, yes, sir, very defi- 
nitely. But on the safely standards, some of the ships that come into 
our country have safety standards comparable to ours. 

Senator Sarbaxes. In fact, foreign-flag vessels are coming in with 
a significantly different standard than American vessels? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. As far as the crew is concerned, that is 

Senator Sarbanes. You have the power, have you not, to move 
with respect to safety concerns to prohibit the entrance of foreign 
vessels if they don't meet the standards that you think are appro- 
priate ; is that correct ? Since 1972 ? 

Rear Admiral Bexkert. Xo. sir. If they have a Solas certificate, 
the United States agreed when we became participatory to the Solas 
Safety Convention of 1060. that we would essentially accept foreign-? 
flag vessels which were certificated by their own country, to be in 
compliance with that international convention* 

Senator Sarbanes. Since 1072, under the law you have had the 
authority to issue unilaterally regulations that would keep tankers 
out that did not meet the standards that you thought were neces- 
sary, have you not? 

Admiral Steer. Not the safety standards. The pollution standards, 
yes, title II of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act says, with regard 
to safety, "provided that rules and regulations for vessel safetv es- 
tablished hereunder and the provisions of this subsection shall not 
apply to^ vessels of a foreign nation having on board a valid certifi- 
cate of inspection recognized under law or treaty by the L'nited 


Senator Sarbanes. What was the unilateral authority which you 
conceded to earlier in the tesi imony '. 

Admiral Siler. That is wdth regard to section 13 

Rear Admiral Benkert. Under title II in the Ports and Water- 
ways Safety Acl dealing with pollution prevention. 

Senator Sarbanes. You can deny them entry if they are nol in 
compliance with the regulations promulgated by the FSCtW 

Rear Admiral Benkert. We can issue regulations which we 
require them to comply with. We can chase them out or 

Senator Sarbanes. You can keep them from coming in. can't you \ 

Rear Admiral Benkert. It' you mean can we l>oar<l them, 20, 30, 
4<i miles offshore, to sec it' they comply, I would defer to our coin 
but I don't think wecan do that legally. 

Senator Sarbanes. Would you like to be able to do it ? 

Admiral Sdler. 1 am not sure how we would board them that 
anee offshore, Mr. Sarbanes. 

Senator Sarbanes. I am searching here to find what the USCG 
is going to do to solve these problems we are having, and I am 
re-: My not get ; ing very far. 

Let me ask you to do a couple of thing's. First of all, I would like 
you to submit a chronology, following the enactment of the 1072 
legislation, that shows step-by-step the actions taken by the USCG 
to substantiate your assertion earlier that yon have acted expediti- 
ously. I want a chronology that says, the act took effect on such-and- 
such a date, within 00 days the Coast Guard did such-and-such. It ga \ 
61 1 days for comment, following comment for such-and-such, to show in 
ct you have acted expeditions^ at every stage in order to move 
to fulfill the responsibility in the act. 

Second. I would be interested in what these foreign policy objec- 
tives are that you discussed earlier that inhibited you from acting- 
in this area, as 1 understand it. 

Admiral Siler. I would like to say, there obviously has been no 
complete inhibition. There has been a hesitancy, because we have 
made, it a point to confer with other Federal agencies, the Comm 
Department, the State Department, ami so on, prior to enacting 
something that is of a unilateral nature. 

We obviously have proceded with unilateral laws and can do -■>. 
It creates problems. 

Senator Sarbanes. Does it create problems with the flag-of-con- 
venience nations \ 

Admiral Siler. Yes. sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. "What are the foreign policy objectives of the 
Vi ited States that are intimately involved with the flag-of-con- 
venience nations? 

Admiral Siler. I didn't say there were any. You are putting a 
different construction on what I said. T believe. We have problems, 
if we do it unilaterally, with countries such as the United Kin-- lom 
and Norway, and other such countries that have very fine merchant 

The fiag-of -convenience nations also have problems. 

Senator Sarbanes. Does the USCG suggesl that the Secretary of 
DOT. at the time the Secretary was considering landing rights for the 
Concorde in the United State--, request that those nations interested in 


those landing rights be more accommodating toward the United 
States with respect to matters involving the oceans and ship control 
that we have been talking about here today ? 

Admiral Siler. No, sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. Why not? 

Admiral Siler. We were never asked the question with regard to the 
Concorde, sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. Did it occur to you maybe to volunteer to the 
Secretary the idea since those nations that seem to concern your own, 
that they ought to reciprocate with respect to some of the decisions we 
are concerned about ? 

Admiral Siler. It did not occur to me, because that was a matter in 
the cognizance of the Office of the Secretary and the FAA. We were 
not referred to in any way at that time, sir. 

Senator Sarbanes. Yet you tell us that you go to these international 
conferences and try to take a hard-line position and end up coming 
back emptyhanded ? 

Admiral Siler. No, sir. We do not come back emptyhanded. We 
come back with some very fine accomplishments in the international 
arena. W^e are recognized as the leading agency in marine safety and 
environmental protection on merchant ships. 

I have to stress very strongly the USCG is the lead agency in this 

Senator Sarbanes. You are part of the DOT. It seems to me, you 
were in a particularly good position since the Secretary had to make a 
decision of such importance to these other countries, to have used 
some leverage, if that is what you want to talk about. 

You are apparently sensitive to the foreign policy considerations, 
from what has been said earlier today. 

Admiral Siler. With regard to the State Department chaired 
Shipping Coordinating Committee, when we proceeded to go to the 
IMCO conventions or safety conferences, yes, sir, we are very much 
interested in the foreign policy implications, and the State Department 
usually heads this delegation and we accompany them for technical 

Senator Sarbanes. What does the USCG intend to do now to bring 
a stop to all this and how quickly ? 

The Chairman. They intend to study the matter. 

Admiral Siler. No, sir. We have a long list of regulations which we 
have proposed and we will be placing into effect in the very near 

Senator Sarbanes. What is the very near future ? 

Admiral Siler. Some of these regulations will be issued within the 
nest month. There are a good many recommendations in the DOT 
study here of areas which we will be working on. Many of these we 
will be able to implement shortly. In each case, where we have not 
taken those procedures which are required by law, it will take some 

Senator Sarbanes. Could I ask the Deputy Chief Counsel, under 
the law and moving on the fastest timetable possible, what is the pe 
riod that must expire between the issuance of the regulation and its 
taking final effect, leaving aside the question of court challenges? 

Captain Hallberg. We get court challenges also. You are talking 
about a period of approximately 6 months. That is not allowing any 
time for the digestion of public comments. When they are received, 
we not only have to read them but we have to respond in the preambl 



Many of them are very good comments, many of them are very thought 
provoking and can't be brushed aside. 

We also have in many instances the necessity of holding public hear- 
ing's. These take time.So, it is a function of how comprehensive the 
Regulation you are proposing is, as to the time frame from the sugges- 
tion to the final publication of it. 

Senator Sarbanes. If upon the effective date of the legislation the 
USCG wanted to reach a point in terms of the policy decision. I take 
it those regulations could have been effective within a year. Is that 
correct ? 

Captain IIallberg. I believe that is true. I would like to point out, 
we were constrained at the time by the provision that the regulations 
not be effective earlier than January 1, 1974. And the reason for that 

Senator Sarbanes. I will accept that statement. Let's take Janu- 
ary 1, 1974, add 1 year to it, that gives us January 1, 1975. Let's give 
it another 6 months, that gives you July 1, 1975, and this is January 
of 1977. 

Captain Hallberg. We have a substantial number of regulations on 
this topic in force now. 

Senator Sarbanes. But you made a decision back then that the reach 
and scope of those regulations was going to be far short, in substantive 
terms, of what I gather you are now prepared to move on. Is that 
correct ? 

Admiral Siler. Not exactly, no. 

Senator Sarbanes. The regulations you are talking about promul- 
gating will go further in terms of what is now in existence. 

Admiral Siler. We are examining many areas, and as we see the 
effectiveness of those regulations in preventing pollution, j'es, sir, we 

Senator Sarbanes. I think we ought to be candid with one other. 
With respect to the scope and effect, it was your concern to move in- 
ternationally, not unilaterally, based on a sensitivity to foreign policy 
considerations. Is that right ? 

Admiral Siler. That entered into our consideration, yes, sir. 

The Chairman. It seems to me that when you talk about the inter- 
national situation, of all people that should be cognizant of it, you and 
ourselves, when we get done, the harm that the foreign, runaway flags 
do to us, when we get down below 5 percent of our total exports and 
imports under the American flag, that you should have taken action a 
longtime ago to minimize these dangers. 

Now, you just mentioned one thing. You accept the certification of 
a ship under the flag under which it flies. 

Admiral Benkert. Under the Solas Convention, yes, sir. Our law 
requires this. 

The Chairman. So that if Liberia, which has the biggest merchant 
marine in the world now, certifies a ship as this or that, you accept it? 

Admiral Sixer. For safety purposes. Not marine environmental 
protection purposes. 

Admiral Benkert. Under the provisions 

The Chairman. I thought pollution in these tilings were part of the 
safety of the ship, too. I don't know about collision and all that, but 
what you are talking about is merely for safety at sea. But that includes 


Admiral Siler. Not completely, no, sir. The double bottom issue, seg- 
regated ballast, those things 

The Chairman. It also includes navigation! 

Admiral SiLER. Safety of life at sea provides for quite a few things 
other than just navigation. Our safe navigation rule which was issued 
last May as a proposal, proposes operational requirements such as ra- 
dar plotting, proper watch on the bridge, requires equipment such as 
the gyrocompass and radar 

The Chairman. 1 know that, but you do accept the certificate from 
the flag count ry, Singapore. Liberia, and so on ? 

Admiral Yes. sir. 

Senator Holltngs. Admiral Siler. with respect to Liberia, and 
foreign policy. I understood you to answer one of Senator Sarbanes' 
questions to the effect that we should be careful against retaliation by 
Liberia. What mote devastating act could they do than to forbid ves- 
sels from carrying oil to the United States? In the Yom Kippur War, 
we were dedicated to free Israel, and we know about their foreign 
policy, and they could retaliate in that way. But how can they re- 
taliate with respect to international shipping, if we don't have any 
ships that go to Liberia ? 

What kind of retaliation are you talking about from Liberia? 

Admiral Siler. I don't think I mentioned retaliation. I think I said 
it made it more difficult for us to maneuver and negotiate in interna- 
t ional conferences. 

Senator Horxixos. What leverage do we have with Liberia? They 
certainly don't support our foreign policy. We don't have any vessels 
going there. 

Does Liberia have any ships, do they construct vessels at all in 
Liberia I 

Admiral Bexkert. Xo. 

Senator Holungs. We don't have any American vessels going to 

Admiral Bexkert. Yes. We do. We have some American vessels that 
go to Liberia. 

Senator Holi.ixgs. What does that consist of ? 

Admiral Benkert. We have a freight traffic with Liberia, sir, 
but 1 wouldn't be able to give you the figures on it. 

For example, Farrell Lines*, located— home office in Xew York, has 
run ships through South Africa for many years. There is some traffic. 

Senator Holungs. Very minimal S 

Admiral Benkert. Very small. 

Senator Holi.ixcs. There couldn't be any retaliation when we get 
down to trying to effectuate these safety requirements. I don't see the 
reason for hesitation, other than, of course, your own inhibitions to 
act unilaterally. 

Admiral Silee. We have an international navigational svstem and 
of those stations is in Liberia, one of the most friend'lv nations 
toward the United States in Africa. That station is there and is oper- 
ated by Liberia. 

Senator Sarbanes, What are some of the things von fear with re- 
spect to safety and pollution factors, if applied on a nondiscriminatorv 
basis i What would happen if you said we won't permit ships that are 
defective to come into our waters, and announced that as a policy, and 
enforced it i What are the consequences vou fear? 

Admiral Silkk. I'm not certain Fm qualified to answer a question 
,.f',l i;1 , sort. I think we should speak to the State Department aboul 
foreign policv implications of such an action. 
Senator SarbaWes. If von give me that answer, then it seems to me 
ould have been no hesitancy or mhlbition felt by the l »< . 
with respect to pressing forward for safety regarding these waters, 
and if such a position were to be taken, it ought to be taken by the Mate 
rtment not by the TJSCG. - , 

S Imiral Siler. But we are required to issue the regulation, and we 
are required to confer with the other Federal agencies TV e also are 
trying to make this applicable to ships that bring m 94 percent ot 
our imported oil, 94 percent . .. 

Senator Svrbanes. There is a difference between conferring with 
other Federal agencies and deferring to them, winch seems to me 
to be what .you have done in this instance. ,,_.,.« . K . . 
Senator Chafes. Admiral, let me approach a little different subject 
iu connection with this problem. 

It seems to me there can be ships that are tit and seaworthy, and 
well-manned with good crews— even American vessels—and yet they 
still get into trouble. The Argo Merchant did not fill that descrip- 
tion by a longshot but she ran aground outside our navigable waters. 
Mv question is this: Is there anv possibility of us setting up some 
kind of a traffic monitoring system solely for tankers, to control tank- 
ers coining into our approaches so we can keep them out ot trouble— 
example, going aground on the Nantucket shoals? 
Admiral Siler. Certainly. . 

Senator Chafee. I know anything is possible, but is it reasonably 
feasible, or does it present a monstrous problem because of numbers or 
expense or adequate locations? ■ " 

Admiral Siler. It can be done. It's within the realm ot feasibility 
without, any doubt: as Mr. Schmitt knows, we can use satellites with 
-,. mde'rs to indicate where they are. 
The FA A is at the present time setting up an air traffic control sys- 
on the oceans, using satellites. So we could make certain that any 
• is that were coming into the United States carried transponders 
: were capable of sending a signal to that satellite, and we could 
then be aware of where the tanker was. 
I'm not certain that that particular type of system would be cost- 
tive if we reviewed it from that point of view, but if we review it 
from the point of effectiveness in simply avoiding any kind of ac- 
cidents, it's quite possible. 
Senator Chapee. Thank you. 

Senator Homjngs. Admiral, do you or your colleagues wish to add 
anvthimr further? 

I don't believe the Chairman has any more questions, other than 
those submitted in writing. 1 

Admiral I would like to make a couple of comments with 

>ct to some of the things said by other speakers, as we went 

igh, if we have just a moment. 

With regard to conventions that have been sent up for concurrence 

of the Senate, the liability convention was sent up in 1070. 1 believe it 

Was. and the fund convention was sent up in 107-2 for concurrence. 

1 S^n p. 412. 


With respect to making certain that vessels stay in the proper sea 
lanes on the high seas to which Mr. Kennedy referred, there would be 
no way at the present time, and until the law of the sea is changed in. 
some way, where we could assure that they stayed in the lanes on the 
high seas. 

Of course, it would be quite possible within the territorial waters of 
the United States, but very few vessels would be in that close. 

With regard to Mr. Dicks' comments, we have vessel traffic systems 
either under development, or actually in effect in Valdez, Puget Sound, 
San Francisco, Houston, New Orleans, New York, we are considering 
them in the Chesapeake Bay and in the intercoastal waterways in some 

However, I should point out the GAO has made a very strong point- 
that these vessel traffic systems we are developing should be as simple 
as possible, and not as sophisticated as possible. 

The system that Mr. McKenzie referred to of tank cleaning, which 
does not require segregated ballasts, is known as crude washing. 

We have been putting riders on vessels using the system in order 
for us to be as familiar as possible, regardless of what Mr. Calhoon 
says about knowing what was going on, and we want to make sure that 
system is safe before we impose it on the merchant marine. 

We do have a large number of our officers who are well qualified on 
tankers. My chief of staff is a former merchant marine officer, Mer- 
chant Marine Academy graduate who had been the master of a tanker. 

We offer commissions to Merchant Marine Academy graduates and 1 
the State maritime schools, direct commissions in the ITSCG, when they 
graduate from those schools. 

One of the main purposes in transferring the Bureau of Marine In- 
spection and Navigation from a civilian organization to a military 
organization was to make certain we did not pass that $5 over the 
table, and so much under the table that Mr. Calhoon mentioned was 
done in Liberia, and I'm quite certain that it is not done as it once was,, 
perhaps without the kind of military supervision we have now. 

One other point that I think is very important to mention. Mr. Hall 
mentioned, Mr. Calhoon mentioned as well, the fact that we had 
reduced the number of persons in the engine room. 

I wonder how many wipers Mr. Calhoon and Mr. Hall would like 
on Mr. Schmitt's mission to outer space. Perhaps we should have more 
wipers on your trips, but at the same time, there is a great deal of 
technological improvement that has taken place. 

Mr. Schmitt didn't need a wiper. I don't think we need wipers in 
every case in the engine room, in spite of the fact I'm sure you were- 
a good one when you were a wiper. 

We now run vessels a good deal of the time with no people in the- 
engine room, as long as we have a monitoring system. 

We are trying to take advantage of technological improvements, and 
because of that, we have obviously reduced the manning a great deal' 
and at the same time improved the quality of our merchant marine. 

That is all I would like to say, sir. 

The Chairman. Did you have some questions? I wanted to go into 
a few specific matters here. It will take a little while. 

Senator Schmitt. If I may have a minute or two. I am learning, 
Admiral. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your testimony and! 
the testimony of other witnesses in this area. 


As I gather, there really aw — correct me if I am wronir— five areas 
that we are dealing with, They, in turn, are subdivided as to the 
size of the tanker, or size of the ship concerned. First, operational 
regulations in port. Second. operational regulations in U.S. waters. 
Both of these have to do with pollution and some of them have to do 
with safety. 
Third, construction regulations. 

Then the procedures for surveillance. That is. how do you tell 
whether a ship is getting into trouble, where the ship is, and when do 
we have to intercept for whatever purpose? 

Then the procedures for enforcement are the fifth area. 
Does this cover the major areas with which we are really concerned 
at the present time '. -. ' 

Admiral SiLER. We never referred to it as surveillance in the past 
because we consider our vessel traffic system as safety approaches. So 
we have used them as services — they amount to surveillance, but it is 
primarily in most of our locations' now, again], because the General 
Accounting Office and we have insisted that it be as simple as possible. 
These have started with simply a reporting system rather than a 
surveillance svstem. 

If a man savs this is mv location, most of the people who are on our 
waters are competent to' determine that position. The vessel traffic 
systems are only in port areas. We have not gone offshore. It is a new 
concept if we go offshore. . 

Senator Schmitt. But part of the discussion has been whether we 
Should do that, and if so. is it feasible. Then superimposed on this is 
the question of size. For srood reasons or bad, 70,000 tons was picked 
as a dividing point. Because new construction, or maybe just because 

of the sheer number of those vehicles you would have 

Vdmiral SffiER. That is for certain requirements, largely because 

that is the size of the new ships that are being built. These regulations 

we were issuing were to make certain new vessels be bulk properly. 

If we do it for smaller vessels, the greatest portion of that is retrofit. 

- nator Schmitt. So it creates a new spectrum of problems that will 

have to be dealt with in more detail in the regulations themselves. 

Vdmiral Siler. Yes. It would have to be dealt with in detail. Also. 
since it iroes back to existing ships, it introduces new problems as to 
the cost. It is much easier to put something in a newly constructed 
vessel than to no back into one and put a system into that ship. 

Senator Schmitt. If vou had to give your gut feeling about rea- 
sonable regulations of pollution, safety, and so on, applied to tankers 
of all tonnages operating in U.S. waters, when would you see retro- 
fitting being reasonably possible within the limitations of the Federal 

Admiral Shjer. There are so many different types of regulations. 
I don't know that I can come up with a specific date of that sort 
at all, because I think in many instances we are going to have to use 
a gradualism type of approach, and try this, and it takes quite a 
while to develop each one of these regulations, 

We did determine in 1072 that we were going to take as many actions 
a<= possible. Each one of these developed a now type of problem, a 
new type of engineering, a new type of research and development in 
some instances. 


All of these tog-ether. I think, make it so complicated it would be dif- 
ficult for me to say there is any specific date when we are going to 
have a fail-safe program in the waters of the United States. I would 
like to be able to say next year or this year we will have a fail-safe 
program. I don't think it is going to happen, because it does require 
}>eople, and human error is probably as much our problem as anything 

We are trying through international negotiations, again, to im- 
prove the manning standards and the crew training of people abroad 
as well as in the United States. We think we have good crew training. 
But with each one of these things that we are taking up, we also have, 
to work in the international sphere to make certain those, persons who 
man vessels, at the present time 94 percent, if we can have cargo prefer- 
ence, why, perhaps we can reduce that, but it still requires a great 
deal of emphasis in the foreign area. 

So I don't know if I can gave you a specific date. 

Senator Schmitt. Final question with respect to the growth of the 
USCG. Since there were many new responsibilities thrust upon you 
in 1972 as a result of legislation, has the period since then been a 
major growth time for the USCG, particularly administratively? 
Are you performing your added responsibilities with the same admin- 
istrative staff you were operating with a few years ago ? 

Admiral Siler. No, sir. We had some growth. For increased vessel 
boarding, vessel inspection, harbor patrols and movement in courts 
and so on, we have gotten 916 people since the act was put into effect. 
We have 384 people specifically for Federal water pollution control. 
And in response, we have gotten 51 people for Ports and Waterways 
Safety Act, and we have gotten 92 for Federal water pollution con- 
trol, so we have had some growth. 

Senator Schmitt. Is this since about 1972 ? 

Admiral Siler. 1972. 

Senator Schmitt. Which of these people are working on the reg- 
ulations that are being drafted and proposed ? 

Admiral Siler. We have had very little, if any, growth in the 
regulation development area. 

Senator Schmitt. Has that been a problem in lengthening the time 
it takes? 

Admiral Siler. Yes. We have had a great deal of backlogging in 
our legal office because of the development of specifics of regulations. 

Senator Schmitt. Thank you. Admiral. I think that has been a 
problem in many agencies in dealing with some of these laws. First,, 
you must understand the laws that the particular legislation inter- 
faces with or interacts with and then prepare the drafts that have to 
be coordinated through the agencies before you ever publish anything. 

Next, the. public review period, with the assimilation of comments 
that come from public review. Then you must be able to implement 
the regulations once they become effective. There is a timelaar in there. 
I wwi't try to justify the lag in the case of the USCG and the ports 
and waterways legislation, because I haven't been around long enough, 
to find out whether you have been negligent or not. I suspect a large 
part of the delay is just a problem of the bureaucracy. I have lived 
with that. 

I hope this Congress or some Congress can do something- afcoufc it. 
because the Government is being tied in knots by overlapping legis- 


latum and the necessity fco work one law against another 1 uopta that 
when 1 finally understand the problem 1 will be able to complimes* 
you. I will reserve that until I do. 

Thank you, sir. 

Thank you. .Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. I hope you are around that long. 

1 have a lot of specific} questions, and 1 don't, know that we should 
o-o on with them all tonight. The Senator from Massachusetts wanted 
to be hereto ask questions, and the Senator from California and others 
involved in this. And I hope you will put in the record— I am not con- 
cerned with all of those— many of those regulations. But I don't think 
they deal with the basic policy problem we are. balking about. The reg- 
ulations deal with technical, 'mechanical problems and things of that 


But the basic policy question is whether or not we are going to go 
ahead and put tougher regulations on foreign ships coming into our 
shores. The regulations are not now adequate. You admit that ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes. sir. 

The Chairman. Second, the USCG must be the agency to fight uni- 
laterally for these tougher regulations. This has been our policy. I 
don't think the problem is just the USCG. It goes up above to the 
Secretary. I have, listened to this all these years and the general result, 
I think is a catering to foreign countries in the whole maritime field. 
This has put us down to a shocking level — only 4 percent of our total 
exports and imports are now carried in vessels flying the American 
flag. That is wrong. Then there is the question of control, effective 
control over ships. 

Would you endorse a law by Congress directing you to take stronger 
steps ? 

Admiral Siler. We need waiver of the acts that require certain 
other actions. 

The Chairman. I am talking about a. law directing you to go ahead 
with the type of standards that we are generally thinking about, 
tougher standards. That is what the bills are about. Would you object 
to that ? 

Admiral Siler. I think it would be perhaps difficult to develop in 
view of the fact that certain other laws would be perhaps in conflict. 

The Ciiairmax. Oh. we would repeal all the laws that are in conflict. 
Don't worry about that. 

Admiral Siler. If you would repeal all the laws that arc in conflict, 
I would have no problems. We might have problems enforcing it 

The Chairman. Y'ou are familiar with some of the bills that have 
been introduced. Would that be against your feeling of policy for the 
United States? 

Admiral Siler. I think it might complicate our lives in other areas. 

The C ii \i km a x. Here we go again, sir. 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. That is our problem. 

The Chairman. Then, therefore, I know we have passed a lot of 
laws up here in the period I have been around ; I have been in Congress 
for 40 years. That is a long time. A lot of laws. A lot of water over 
the dam. If the people who are responsible for the administration of 
the laws don't believe, in the laws, sometimes they aren't worth any- 
thing. Just not worth anything. They just, drag their heels or they fail 
to go to the budget to get the wherewithal to do it, and I get the impres- 


sion that the USCG if we passed the law, may be reluctant to carry it 
out because you don't feel that way right now. 

We mio-ht convince you of that, but you don't feel that way, and the 
whole history of this problem has been that you haven't. That is the 
real problem. We could be wrong. I know it's complicated. 

The question of liability is complicated. 

Admiral Siler. This problem is a very complicated one, yes, sir. 

The Chairman. We have to move on it. You wouldn't suggest that 
since the passage of the 1972 act that we have moved 

Admiral Siler. I think we have moved quite fast. 

The Chairman. You think we have. 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What safety regulations are in there? What has 
upgraded the safety regulations of foreign ships ? 

Admiral Siler. We have three pages of those. 

The Chairman. We will keep those on record. Everybody that 
testifies says it's inadequate, it's weak, it's timid; and people who 
should know. 

Admiral Siler. Mr. Chairman, I would also like to say 

The Chairman. Nearly everyone agrees, and I could get even more 
witnesses who wanted to testify on that point. We got a lot of testi- 
mony submitted for the record, and very few supported USCG efforts, 
except some of the other areas that haven't testified. 

Admiral Siler. I think Mr. Blackwell said we were doing a good 

The Chairman. Mr. Blackwell said we ought to have tougher, 
stronger regulations now. He said "now." 

Admiral Siler. And we say we should have. 

The Chairman. This is the problem. Congress is going to pass a 
law, is going to pass a law directing you people to do something. 

Admiral Siler. With respect to the Alaskan comments, Mr. Chair- 
man, each of the items 

The Chairman. You mean of Governor Hammond ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. My own Governor felt the same way. 

Admiral Siler. Each of those items are under study or under de- 
velopment by the Coast Guard and some of them are being imple- 
mented at the present time. 

The Chairman. I can't conceive that the Governor of Washington, 
the Governor of Alaska, the Governor of California, Governor of 
Oregon, on the Pacific Coast, all of the same opinion are all wrong. 
They can't all be wrong, can they ? 

Admiral Siler. We are not saying they are wrong, sir. 

The Chairman. All of them feel that same way — that you are not 
doing what you should be doing. I have been to a lot of shipping con- 
ferences in my time as chairman of this committee. I know what they 
do in those conferences. 

As a result our total merchant marine is down, down, down, down 
and we give in to them. We just fold up and give in to them. 

At the conference in London, everybody over there represented the 
operators of these ships, from other countries. We are not going to 
get any place with these international conferences for the things we 
are talking about, to prevent pollution. They are not very concerned 
about polluting our shores and we are. That is the problem. We are. 


sion that the USCG if we passed the law, may be reluctant to carry 
out because you don't feel that way right now. 

We might convince you of that, but you don't feel that way, and tl 
whole history of this problem has been that you haven't. That is tl 
real problem. We could be wrong. I know it's complicated. 

The question of liability is complicated. 

Admiral Siler. This problem is a very complicated one, yes, sir. 

The Chairman. We have to move on it. You wouldn't suggest ths 
since the passage of the 1972 act that we have moved 

Admiral Siler. I think we have moved quite fast. 

The Chairman. You think we have. 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What safety regulations are in there? What hi 
upgraded the safety regulations of foreign ships ? 

Admiral Siler. We have three pages of those. 

The Chairman. We will keep those on record. Everybody tin 
testifies says it's inadequate, it's weak, it's timid; and people wl 
should know. 

Admiral Siler. Mr. Chairman, I would also like to say 

The Chairman. Nearly everyone agrees, and I could get even mo: 
witnesses who wanted to testify on that point. We got a lot of test 
mony submitted for the record, and very few supported USCG effort 
except some of the other areas that haven't testified. 

Admiral Siler. I think Mr. Blackwell said we were doing a goc 

The Chairman - . Mr. Blackwell said we ought to have toughe 
stronger regulations now. He said "now." 

Admiral Siler. And we say we should have. 

The Chairman. This is the problem. Congress is going to pass 
law, is going to pass a law directing you people to do something. 

Admiral Siler. With respect to the Alaskan comments, Mr. Chai] 
man, each of the items 

The Chairman. You mean of Governor Hammond ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. My own Governor felt the same way. 

Admiral Siler. Each of those items are under study or under d( 
velopment by the Coast Guard and some of them are being implt 
mented at the present time. 

The Chairman. I can't conceive that the Governor of Washingtoi 
the Governor of Alaska, the Governor of California, Governor c 
Oregon, on the Pacific Coast, all of the same opinion are all wron^ 
They can't all be wrong, can they ? 

Admiral Siler. We are not saying they are wrong, sir. 

The Chairman. All of them feel that same way — that you are nc 
doing what you should be doing. I have been to a lot of shipping cor 
ferences in my time as chairman of this committee. I know what the 
do in those conferences. 

As a result our total merchant marine is down, down, down, dow 
and we give in to them. We just fold up and give in to them. 

At the conference in London, everybody over there represented th 
operators of these ships, from other countries. We are not going t 
get any place with these international conferences for the things w 
are talking about, to prevent pollution. They are not very conceme< 
about polluting our shores and we are. That is the problem. We are 


Admiral Siler. Yes. sir. 

The CHAIRMAN. Right now I want to take a few minutes to ask' you 
questions about Washington Slate. 

Now, what role do you believe the individual Suites should play in 
the Nation's marine transportai ion proa-ram ! 

I will say to the Senator from Xew Mexico this is very importanl 
where you nave hie; inland seas within the State such as Pligel Sound 
or within two or three States, of Chesapeake Hay. and Delaware l>:iy. 
What role do you believe they should play '. 

Admiral SlLER. Certainly the States should run their pilotage sys- 
tems. I think Admiral Benkerf ean address some of the other items 
that should be taken care of. 

The Chairman. He expressed his opinion about our State laws some 
rime hack. 

Admiral Bexkert. Yes. sir. T did. 

The Chairman. Yes; I know you did. And you and I disagreed 
about it. I said that wasn't your business what the State Legislature 
passed. Hut if they called on you to give some advice about the law, 
technical advice, then you should give it and I guess'£o;U did. too; you 
aave them some technical advice hut you said the State was all wtong 
in passing the law at that time. But our State did pass the law. It's now 
in court. Hut what role do you think the State should play '. I am ask- 
ing you honestly. You must have some opinion about it. 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. One of the problems we have with saying 
exactly where the State should enter in is the amount of international 
traffic that conies into a port area. When there is international traffic, 
then I think the Federal Government should have the primary say. 

When it is only within the port, obviously that is the responsibility 
of the State. 

The Chairman. Are you saying that there could be State action that 
would be a help and not a hindrance to safety regulations and what we 
are talking about in inland seas' like Puget Sound 1 ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. In port areas and certain restricted areas, 
yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Have you asked the States for their view on tankers 
and on these things we are talking about \ 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. This was submitted to the States for 

The Chairman. They have two strong committees in the House and 
Senate of the State legislature. 

Admiral Siler. We have received comments. I think, from all the 
west const States on these regulations. 

The Chairman. Do you believe State authority to regulate tanker 
safety should be preempted by Federal law. 

Admiral Siler. Generally, yes. sir. 

The Chairman. All right. You answered the question. 

Admiral Siler. Because of international implications. 

The Chairman. You answered the question, and you believe the 
States should be preempted by Federal law. Now. that mailer the 
court agreed to hear. 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Monday. But in the meantime, there may l>e a long 
lag there, before the court makes a decision. 

s- !IOS— 77— pt. 1 13 


Senator Schmitt. If the Senator would yield, I should have added 
that to my list, after implementation come the court cases. 

The Chairman. And there are congressional lags, too. But there are 
matters that can't wait. What plans do you have for surveillance 
and control beyond Port- Angeles? You know where that is? 

Admiral Siler. At the present time we have the voluntary vessel 
traffic separation scheme beyond Port Angeles. That's the one the 
Chinese were in violation of. 

The Chairman. Oh, we got all kinds of vessels going the wrong 

Wa .V . -r , i 

Admiral Siler. That's exactly what our concern is. It's voluntary 
at the present time until we reach agreement with the Canadians. I 
tliink we are making headway on that. Also we had discussions with 
the State Pilot Association, to see if we can make 

The Chairman. Down to the comparable point on Vancouver 

Admiral Siler. If they came over and used Neah Bay as their 
pilotage station as well, yes. 

The Chairman. Since you are so close to the State Department, 
these negotiations — they have been going on now for a long time- 
how long are they going to go on ? 

Admiral Siler. They are tied up with the Law of the Sea Con- 
ference. I think we have resolved that problem. I think we are ready 
to proceed 

The Chairman. What has the Law of the Sea Conference to do with 
safety in Puget Sound ? 

Admiral Siler. The question of international straits, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. All right. Here we go ahead again. 

Surely your people out there must be alarmed about these wrong- 
way ships that are coming in? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. You told one ship to stop, didn't you ? 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. "Don't go on to Cherry Point, with that cargo of 
liquefied gas." The first one to come in, that's dangerous cargo, and he 
ignored your orders ? 

Admiral Sher. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I wasn't surprised when I read his name. Then 
there is a big argument, a big discussion in the papers at home about 
who's boss aboard the ship. When the USCG says you do this or don't 
do that, do they have the authority or the piiot of the ship? Have 
you resolved that ? 

Admiral Siler. According to the Ports and Wateways Safety Act. 
we are the boss. 

The Chairman. That's what you should say. 

Admiral Siler. There is a problem with respect to the State pilot. 

The Chairman. But you said the State should control the pilot. 
What do we do about that? 

Admiral Siler. I hope they take action against him. 

The Chairman. Have they cited him ? 

Admiral Siler. I don't know. He has been reported to the State. 

The Chairman. Now, how long will it take to establish it? I realize 
you are waiting for the Canadians. Can you find out when we are 


<r ing to come to a decision on it ? And let's not wait for the Law of 
The Sea Conference. You can't catch up with them. They will be in 
Vienna next year. . 

Admiral Siler. I would like to provide something tor the record. 

The Chairman. Then Hong Kong, Singapore. 

Admiral Siler. I would like to provide something for the record on 
our estimates on that. . . 

The Chairman. Who, down at the State Department, should we ask 
to come up here and bring us up to date on that ? 

I o-uess we would ask the Canadian desk, wouldn't we ? 

Admiral Siler. I'm not sure whether it would be the Canadian desk 
or the Law of the Sea people. ,, ™ 

The Chairman. Leave the Law of the Sea people out ot it. Ihey 
were here yesterday. They said you should do something now. You 
heard them. • ;«.;] . , 

Admiral Siler. I'm sure the Canadian desk would be able to give us 

some answers. , . .„ . . , , 

The Chairman. If it is agreed, and we hope it will be very quickly, 
this thing ought to be done quickly. You could extend it to Iseah Bay 
Do vou have anv estimate what the cost would be lor the UbCU? 

Admiral Siler. Speaking of extending the vessel traffic system out 
there, because at the present time we don't have one out there. 

The Chairman. I know vou don't. That is why I am asking. 

Admiral Siler. I don't have an estimate on extending the traffic 
system out there. We would have several options. One would be simply 

a ^e^fra^™ One is the piloting, and the other is extension of the 

tra fcWal I SnER. Of course, we started the vessel traffic system in 
Puget Sound without radar. We would do that, 

The Chairman. Do that first? r ^ , 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. We have to, because it would take some 
time to have radar in position. But we could give you an estimate 
of what it would cost to have simply the extension with radio com- 
munication for reporting and also radar. 

The Chairman. That is a beginning. 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Now. vou have another problem. In one case, in 
one of the ships— I think it has been four or five in the last 6 days- 
one of the ships pleaded the fact nobody aboard understood English, 
and there was no pilot aboard. I don't know just what you do about 
that. ' 

Do vou have people that can handle that ? 

Admiral Siler. That is covered by our safe navigation rules, so 
we would have' certain equipment aboard, and we are establishing 
some language that ought to be able to at least tell him he is in the 
wrong- place and he should know that before he comes into our 

The Chairman. Because you can't have somebody that understands 
every single language in the world. 

Admiral Siler. No, sir. We have certain phrases that could be used. 
The Chairman. They didn't have any maps, any charts. 


Admiral Siler. That is in our requirement. He would have charts, 
up-to-date charts. 

The Chairman. So you will nail that down right now and stop what , 
they call wrong-way ships? 

Admiral Siler. If he had the up-to-date charts, he would have 
known he should have been on the south side of the strait. 

The Chairman. I understand that to keep in the channels is a vol-j 
urftary matter with foreign ships, rather than mandatory. 
Admiral Siler. It is voluntary. 

The Chairman. Would you make it mandatory? 

Admiral Siler. That is the thing that is tied up with the Canadian 

The Chairman. Let's find out how long it is going to be tied up. 
In the meantime, they may bump into all the ships coming in and 
out. spill oil all over. That is the problem of waiting, waiting, waiting. 

There have been a lot of wrong-way ships that have not been, 
reported. They went through, and nobody paid any attention. 

Admiral Siler. Since it is voluntary, I believe that is probably 

The Chairman. They finally ended up at Cherry Point or some 
place. Indonesian oil comes in there. 

Admiral Siler. Indonesians would have to pick up a pilot at port 

The Chairman. They all have to pick up a pilot at Port Angeles, 
but I'm talking beyond. 

Admiral Siler. Not if it is a coast wide voyage. He would have his \ 

The Chairman. This is a real danger point at night. I mean, for 
the benefit of people here that don't know, that is a narrow strait. ! 
What is it across, 30 miles? Eighteen miles to Victoria from Port 

When you have two lanes, one of them outgoing, one ingoing, if 
yon make a mistake, you haven't got much leewav, particularly at 
night when there is a fog, which is almost every night. It is. It 'is a 
dan ge rous t h reat . 

Now, there was one other thing I was going to ask in that area. 
Well, I will either give you these questions later, so you can answer 
later, or we will come back here. 

I think we will have to come back, because we do want to have the 
State Department in and find out about this. 

Second, just— is English a uniform requirement of the traffic code? 

Admiral Siler. Is English what? 

The Chairman. A uniform requirement. You have taken that step, 
too? r ' 

Admiral Siler. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. By golly, it has been worth while this last few 
mirmtes. 1 ou are moving, for a change. 

Admiral Siler. That has been done on an international basis, Mr. 
C 'hairman. 

The Chairman. All right. 

You will hear from us. 

["The following information was subsequently received for the 


Department of Transportation, 

I'.S. Coast Gti IRD, 

ira.s/u"//r/'"». D.C., January SI, 1911. 

lion. WarRI \ G. MaGNTJSON, 

Chairman. Commerce CommitU e, 
is. s> nate, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman : During the hearings <>n tanker safety before the Sen 
Commerce Committee on 11-12 January, Secretary Coleman and I testified with 
respeel to the international Impacl of Coast Guard regulatory programs under 
the Torts and Waterways Safety Act of T.iTi'. The testimony of subsequent wit- 
nesses and certain reports in the press made apparent the fact that our testi- 
mony was not clearly understood; As a consequence, erroneous conclusions were 
drawn concerning a uumber of important issues. Principal among these are the 
relationship between the Coast Guard and Department of State, the effect of 
ti continuing Law of the Sea negotiations on our regulatory efforts, and the 
C -Taints of existing international law on Coast Guard authority to act pur- 
suant to national legislation. With this letter. T hope to clarify our testimony 
and to set the record straight on these important issues. 

First. Mr. chairman, let me emphasise thai there should be no apprehension 
concerning the relationship between the Coast Guard and the Department of 
State. That relationship is a constructive and cooperative one. There is no 
disagreement as to the statutory authority of either organization nor is there 
coercion or undue influence by one upon the other. 

Nor is there any basis for the confusion concerning the effect of the ongoing 
Law of the Sea negotiations on the regulatory efforts of the Coast Guard. This 
confusion, although understandable because of the complexity of the issue, has 
regrettably resulted in a serious misapprehension of our position and attitudes. 
The Coast Guard is fully abreast of the work id' the Law of the Sea Conference 
and of the ramifications of the United States Government position on Law of 
the Sea issues which pertain to both our operational and regulatory roles in iui- 
plementing l.s. law. We take into account the potential impact of proposed Coast 
Guard actions upon the U.S. LOS negotiating position in order to avid ci 
ing problems for our negotiators in that forum. To this end. Coast Guard officers 
are on the I'.S. Delegation to the Law of the Sea Conference and members of 
my staff continuously review LOS developments. As a consequence, we are able 
to direct our efforts so as to carry out our particular statutory functions effec- 
tively while not impeding the ability of U.S. negotiators to achieve the broad 
objectives of our Government in these sensitive negotiations. 

As you know, tiie Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea has 
held four substantive sessions with a fifth session scheduled to convene in New 
York in May of this year. While limited progress toward agreement on a compre- 
hensive convention has been made, it is fair to observe that many crucial issues 
remain outstanding and the end id' negotiations is not yet in sight. The United 
Staler certainly stands for the proposition that a widely acceptable, conawehen- 
sive LOS convention is highly desirable, provided that certain key principles are 
incorporated into treaty provisions. One such principle is freedom of navigation, 
including freedom of transit through internal ional straits and preservation of the 
high seas character of economic zones. In application, this principle also would 
safeguard the right of innocent passage through territorial seas. <>n the other 
hand, as Ambassador Learson stated in his testimony before 'he Committee on 
11 January, the freedom id' navigation principle does net impede a coastal stale 
from exercising its sovereignty with respect to foreign shipping within its inter- 
nal waters and territorial sea. I agree with that statement, and my remarks 
before the Committee were intended to convey my agreement. 

Nonetheless, unless we are prepared to disregard certain prior international 
Commitments, our righl to act within our internal waters and territorial sea is 
restrained where the United states, in an aol of sovereignty, has voluntarily 
agreed to limit its actions. For example, we are bound by the Convention on 
Safety of Life at Sea. i960, to recognize t!><- certificates of the ships of ■■ 
parties to that Convention. Unless we have reason to believe that the construc- 
tion and equipment of a ship do not correspond to the standards which the 
ship's certificate attests, we must accept the certificate at face value. Failure to 
to do so is a failure to abide by our treaty commitments'. Thus, as a practical 


matter we do not have absolutely free reign to act in any way we choose with 
respect to foreign vessels entering our ports. To put it another way, taking into 
account the many maritime treaties and conventions to which the U.S. Govern- 
ment is party, acting unilaterally within the limits of our domestic laws can be 
unlawful where the action exceeds agreed limits or is proscribed by prior inter- 
national commitments. So long as the United States remains a party to these 
treaties and conventions, the Coast Guard is constrained to act within the limits 
of national restraint which they establish. Thus our mandate under the Ports 
and Waterways Safety Act, while broad, is not unbounded. 

Other governments already are deeply concerned that we have exceeded or 
intend to exceed limitations established under international agreement. 

Eight aides-memoire on this subject have been filed with the U.S. by a total of 
twelve governments 1 since mid-1974. These communication protest "unilateral 
action" by the U.S. in the form of Coast Guard rule making in several limited 
areas which, in the view of the protesting governments, is not consistent with 
U.S. commitments under specified conventions and treaties. While the Coast 
Guard has carefully considered these protests it has nevertheless persisted in 
these regulatory measures. However, the concerns reflected in these protests 
surely must be taken into account by the U.S. Government in considering the 
effects of broad unilateral action in the field of international shipping. 

There is another aspect to our international relations which should be 
considered by the Committee. That is the role of the Coast Guard in providing 
leadership and technical expertise in international forums where we, in collabora- 
tion with the Department of State and other agencies, negotiate on behalf of the 
United States. A number of comments have been made during these hearings 
that existing international agreements are too weak or insubstantial to have 
practical value in protecting our national interests. Charges have been heard that 
international mechanisms to control shipping are ineffective and unresponsive. 
Such a grim picture of the situation is far from accurate. It is true that some 
international standards for shipping are not as high as we should like. It is true 
that time is required to elaborate technical conventions and yet more time is 
required for them to come into force. The United States has been a leader among 
governments in negotiating higher standards for safety and environmental 
protection, faster means for adopting amendments, better methods of enforce- 
ment, and broader application of standards and sanctions. The Coast Guard 
has provided the technical expertise, the staff support required to study and 
analyze problems and proposals, the delegates to work out solutions and negotiate 
texts, and the leadership of delegations to technical conferences. 

Over the years our nation's achievements have been significant. This lias 
been due in part to respect for the Coast Guard in the international maritime 
community — respect for its professionalism, evenhandedness, and practical 
approach. The United States has a considerable investment in this reputation. 
If the Coast Guard became known as a proponent of unilateral action, outside 
the bounds of existing international agreements developed through tough and 
prolonged negotiations, our credibility would rapidly deteriorate and the ability 
of the U.S. to raise international standards through negotiations would end. In 
short, a decision for far-reaching unilateral action contrary to existing agreements 
would inevitably destroy our power to improve maritime standards and practices 
on a global scale through international processes. 

Mr. Chairman, a government cannot regulate international shipping in a 
national vacuum. In a complex world, quick solutions to complicated problems 
can create new and undesirable difficulties for our nation. We believe we have 
acted responsibly and responsively under the laws which pertain. We believe we 
are achieving significant and concrete results both domestically and interna- 
tionally. We believe our course of systematic, technicallv sound, 'and deliberate 
regulatory action is in the best interest of the United States. 

I am not ignoring or attempting to evade the question of what possible actions 
by the Coast Guard are not technically proscribed bv prior international com- 
mitments. As I previously said, I am attempting here to clarify prior misunder- 

T-^7 P , r 1 %-S^l Cn ' o 0ir ^ Wer t- fil 1 ed ^ ln 5 ! T i '? liall:r or Jo^tly. by the governments of Denmark, 
xJthStand? Norw S aT?Itaiy F and a Gree B c? iUm ' FmC *' Federal RepUbHC ° f Germany ' Jaimn ' 


endings I assure vou that if our beliefs and actions are deemed inconsistent 
with the best interests of the United States, then the Coast Guard will, upon 
roceiTine a mandate to do so, unhesitatingly adopt a new course. 

I request that this letter be included in your Committee's report as a clarifica- 
tion of my testimony. 

SinC6rely ' O. W. SH.EB, 

Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commandant. 

The Chairman. I think there's some other witnesses. We just can't 
do this all in 2 days, you know. But you people have got to move uni- 
laterally, quickly. 

Forget about the State Department or anybody else. It you listen 
to the State Department all the time, we would be drying up all over 
the United States economically, and the merchant marine and every 
airline would be a foreign airline; fisheries, every ship off our shore 
would be a foreign ship if we listen to them completely. 

All right. 

Thank vou verv much, right now. 

Is Mr. Scott here % 


Mr. Scott. I am Hal Scott, the president of the Florida Audubon 


The Chairman. Florida Audubon Society, Maitland, * la. 

Mr. Scott. I am testifying today for my society and the National 
Audubon Society. . _ ''" 

Although I have heard much today with which I philosophically 
agree, I liave avoided commenting on them in my statement. Instead 
I have directed my attention solely to tanker accidents and how they 
can be prevented. 

Even if we were to ban all foreign ships from our shores, take respon- 
sibility for marine safety away from the USCG, and nationalize the 
Nation's oil companies, we would continue to have serious accidents 
involving tankers. What can be inferred from the recent rash of mari- 
time disasters is that our marine transportation system is archaic and 
is in need of prompt and thorough overhaul. . 

Whether tankers can safely transport the huge amounts of oil we 
Americans use every dav depends upon more than the way the vessel 
is designed and built. Safe operation is basically a function ot an 
adequate marine transportation system ; the essential elements ot which 
arc the ship, the crew, the cargo, and the route traveled, including the 
equipment and personnel not normally aboard the ship which assist 
it in completing its passage in safety. 

There is an Excellent paper written by five USCG officers regarding 
management of mid-Atlantic offshore development risks in wnicn 
they point out that accidents usually develop in relatively long se- 
quences of changes and errors. 

Very often the search for a "cause" of an accident ceases as soon 
ns we have found the nearest violation of law or regulation or proce- 
dures, without anv additional investigation for other changes or errors 
which may have played a role in events leading to the accident. 


The more complex (he system, the more "error opportunities" are' 


Each of the error opportunities identified presents a correction op- 
portunity. It is to these correction opportunities in the system that] 
we need to direct our attention. 

The marine transportation system generally ignores the fact that 
human beings make mistakes. 

Human errors have to be taken into consideration in modernizmo 
our marine transportation system and the means provided to convict 
such errors before they result in accidents. 

Most maritime accidents happen not because seamen are incompetent 
<>;■ irresponsible, but because they are human beings who operate in 
a system which too frequently chooses to ignore 'the fact that any 
man, no matter how well-trained or how extensive his experience, is 
able of making serious errors of judgment. 
On May (1, 1976, the V^Cd published in the Federal Register a 
series of proposed navigation safety regulations that in total comprise 
a naxlest beginning toward modernizing conditions under which all 
vessels in excess of 1,600 tons operate in U.S. waters. 

The principal thrust of the proposal is to simply codify exisrino- 
practices employed by prudent navigators and shiphandlers. The pro* 
posed regulations would, for the first time, require larger vessels like 
tankers to have marine radar, a fathometer, and other important navi- 
gation and control equipment. 

Unfortunately, the changes proposed, though important, render 
little more than first aid to a patient in need of major surgerv They 
ignore completely or address inadequatelv some of the most' serious 
deficiencies in our marine transportation system. 

The USCG itself has an impressive reservoir of dedicated, wall, 
educated officers and men from which can be drawn the leadershin and 
expertise required to design and operate an efficient marine transpor- 
tation system. 

Congressional support manifested bv adequate funding, bolstered bv 
a public demand that those modifications which, can be made now be 
accomplished promptly is what is needed to mobilize that talent 

U e need support by an administration that believes in properlv 
protecting our marine resources and supports strono- navigation safety 

Florida's experience with Secretary of Transportation Coleman in 
connection with our efforts to protect the State's coastline from super- 
tanker traffic generated by deepwater ports suggests that many of the 

^Sr ™R5 touched on toda y demonstrate that the administration, 
not the (S( x is at fault. Hopefully the new administration will deal 
with the problems inherent in our archaic marine transportation svs- 
tem in a decisive way. Only if the Congress and the administration 
act m concert will tanker accidents be reduced significantlv. 

I hank you. J 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. Sorry to keep you waiting, 

but- wecouldn t help it. * °' 

[The statement follows :] 


Mr Chairman and members of the committee. I am Hal Scott President of the 
Hernia Audubon Society, Florida's oldest and largest conservation organization! 


It is nn honor to testily before you today on behalf of my own organization ami 

tht' .National Audubon Society. 

The fact that we have chosen to present separate testimony docs not mean 
that our societies wish to disassociate themselves from the testimqny presented 
for a large group of conservation organizations by Bldon V. C. Greenberg of the 

Center for Law and Social Policy. < >n the contrary, we concur wholeheartedly 
with that testimony. 

our separate testimony has its genesis in the support and advice we have 
given and continue to give the state of Florida in its efforts to minimize the risks 
to which its coastline will be subjected as a result of tanker movements gen- 
erated by two deepwater ports in the Gulf of Mexico for which the Secretary 
of Transportation has recently issued licenses. 

The flurry of tanker accidents which has focused the nation's attention on 
the problems associated w r ith the transportation of crude oil and refined petro- 
leum products by water can— if we reject the easy answers and simplistic 
solutions — help us to better understand why such accidents occur and what we 
can do to reduce their number and severity in the future. 

In seeking ways to effectively control the operation of oil tankers -and other 
vessels carrying hazardous substances in our water — we would be well advi-od 
to keep in mind George Bernanos' observation that "The worst, the most cor- 
rupting lies, are problems poorly stated." 

if we listen to those who infer from the recent accidents that all foreign 
flag tankers are rusty tubs manned by incompetents, that the 1'. S. Coast Cuard 
'- inept or uncaring, that the oil companies are irresponsible, or that the cause 
of these tragedies can be readily ascertained and simple corrective, action can 
enable us to avoid them in the future, we will lie misled to our own detriment. 

What can be inferred from the recent rash of mariiime disasters is that our 
marine transportation system is archaic and in need of prompt and thorough 

Tankers of great size and in large numbers piying our coastal waters and 
on- ports and waterways are a fact of life: and their numbers and size will in- 
crease enormously in the years ahead. Whether they can safely transport the 
huge amount of oil we Americans use every day depends upon considerably more 
than the way a vessel is designed, built, operated and maintained. 

Safe operation is a function of an adequate marine transportation system, the 
es^ aitial elements of which are the vessel, the crew, the cargo and the route 
of travel (including equipment and personnel not normally aboard the ship wl 

-f it in safely completing its passage),. The failure of any t a-t of even one of 
these elements can turn what might have been a safe passage into a disaster. 

An inattentive officer on watch, inadequate aids to navigation along the route 
traversed, the lack of good navigation p$ communications, efluipment on a y< - 
bridge, or an improperly loaded cargo are all examples of such failures. 

Though tanker accidents are not new to Americans, the grounding id' the Argo 
Merchant, followed in rapid succession by a series of marine disasters threaten- 
ing our shores, has generated an intense interest in accident avoidance that was 
Clearly absent earlier. 

Careful evaluation of accidents, each of which constitutes a failure of the 
marine transportation system, can assist us in determining how we can modify 
that system to make it more effective. 

A brilliant paper written by five Coast Gu&fd oflfews dqes much to help US 
understand what accidents are. how they oc :ur and how they can lie prevented. 1 

They quote with approval the fallowing definition i d by 

William G. Johnson (MORT: The Management Oversight and Risk Tree) : 

1 1 i An unwanted transfer of energy : 

1 1! ' Because of lack of barriers aria/or controls ; 

C J , ) Producing injury to persons, properly, or process : 

(4 i Preceded by sequences of planning and operational errors which: 
• " i Failed to adjust to changes in physical or human factors 
I 6 i And produced unsafe conditions and 'or nhsa fe acts ; 

< 5 > Arising out of risk in an activrt y ; 

1 6) And interrupting or degrading the activity. 

The definition, the authors note. ". . . indicates the* role of sequences of events 
in accidents. Accidents usually develop through relatively long sequences of 
Changes and errors. Very often, our search for 'The Cause' of an accident ceases 

' Miiniigcment Of Mid-Atlantic Offshore Development Risks by LCDR W. D. Snider, 
LCDR G. J. Buffleben, LCDR J. R. Harrald, CDR K. F. Bishop and LCDR J. C. Card. 


as soon as wo have found the nearest violation of law, regulation or established 
procedures without any additional Investiagtion for other changes or errors 
which may have played a role in events leading to the accident." 

"The more complex the system," the Coast Guard officers observe, "the more 
error opportunities present, so that even low error rates can produce significant 
numbers of . . . accidents. 

"Each of the large number of casual factors identified presents a correction 
opportunity — elimination of any one will usually interrupt the sequence of 
events and prevent the accident. 

I have appended reports of four accidents — about which we are already well 
informed — which I would urge the reader to peruse if at all possible before 

Examination and evaluation of the accident reports can enable us to identify 
some of the "error opportunities" present in the marine transportation system 
and suggest ways in which they can be subject to early identification and 

They provide convincing proof that our marine transportation system is both 
inadequate and archaic. Among the lessons to be learned from them — and from 
accidents like the grounding of the Argo Merchant — are : 

(1) Accidents will occur even to vessels 'managed by the most responsible 
companies. Experienced, well-trained officers can and do make mistakes; 

(2) Human error must be taken into consideration when modernizing our 
marine transportation system and the means providing to detect and correct such 
errors before an accident occurs ; 

(3) Adequate aids to navigation are essential to the safe operation of any 

(4) All tank vessels — and any vessel transporting a hazardous cargo — operat- 
ing in waters under U.S. jurisdiction should be required to have on board and in 
operation at least Loran A/C, a fathometer, radar, collision avoidance equipment 
and up-to-date charts. All personnel whose duties require them to operate such 
equipment should be thoroughly familiar with it and be able to demonstrate the 
ability to promptly and correctly interpret the information provided by it : 

(5) High standards for officer and crew performance must be established and 
enforced for all vessels entering U.S. waters ; 

(6) The poorly defined relationship between master and pilot greatly increases 
the risk of accident and is an anachronism we can ill-afford. The pilot, who is 
usually more familiar with the area and who actually conns the vessel, should 
exercise legal as well as defacto command of the vessel ; 

(7) Traffic separation schemes and vessel traffic systems are essential in 
congested areas: 

(8) More attention must be paid to bridge design and organization — especially 
on older ships ; and 

(9) If we are to protect those rights over which we now claim exclusive ju- 
risdiction, we must exercise control over vessels operating in a 200 mile zone 
surrounding our shores. We need not interfere with the innocent passage of such 
vessels, but we must have the power to set operating standards for them and to 
hold them accountable under our law if, through negligence, they pollute such 
waters or cause property damage. 

That these glaring deficiencies in our marine transportation svstem have not 
long ago been rectified must, to a considerable extent, be laid at the door step of 
the U.S. Coast Guard. 

On May 6, 1976 the Coast Guard published in the Federal Register a series 
of proposed Navigation Safety Regulations that in total comprise a modest begin- ' 
?*™ toward modernizing the regulations under which all vessels in excess of 
1600 gross tons operate in U.S. waters. Though the principal thrust of the pro- 
posals is to ". . . simply codify existing practices traditionally emploved by 
prudent navigators and ship handlers," the proposed regulations' would, for the 
first time, require larger vessels like tankers to have marine radar, a fathometer 
and other important navigation and control equipment. 

Unfortunately, the changes proposed, though important, render little more 
than first aid to a patient in need of major surgery. Thev ignore completely or 
address inadequately some of the most serious deficiencies in our marine trans- 
portation system. 

Absent from the proposed regulations, for example, is a requirement that 
vessels of more than 10.000 gross tons have at least one of their radars 
•* 'U e ^ mpped ""^h an 'anti-collision' device." That suggestion had been included 
in the Coast Guard's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in the 
Federal Register on June 28, 1974. 


(For several years all tank vessels constructed under the U.S. Maritime 
Administration Tanker Construction Program, which through subsidies, encour- 
ages the maintenance of an American tanker licet, have heen re(iuired to ". . . 
have a radar system including a collision avoidance display and alarm system 
. . . installed.") 

Failure of the proposed regulations to include a requirement that Loran A/C 
position huding equipment he installed on all vessels entering U.S. waters cov- 
ered by that system Is also difficult to understand. Since the proposed Naviga- 
tion Safety Regulations cover only vessels in U.S. waters— our busy Interior 
waterways and that crowded coastal ribbon surrounding us— they are addressed 
to those navigators most in need of the ability to accurately determine where 
they are at all times. 

Reliable Loran-C receivers are available now at reasonable prices. Further- 
more. Coast Guard sponsored research has developed sophisticated ship guidance 
systems that can even be used to drive a vessel's auto-pilot. 

The proposed Navigation Safety Regulations which would require that all ves- 
sels in excess of 1,600 gross tons have at least one marine radar device should 
also be accompanied by a substantial increase in the number of Racon installa- 
tions. Racon is an electronic aid to navigation, either onshore or buoy-mounted, 
which, when triggered by a ship's radar beam, causes the Racon's position to he 
clearly identified on the ship's radar scope. Although the system responds only 
to ship-board radar equipment operating in the three centimeter or "x" band, 
the proposed Navigation Safety Regulations do not specify that this band must be 
used by all vessels operating in U.S. waters. Fortunately, the "x" band is the 
most commonly used, but this regulatory oversight results in the failure to take 
full advantage of an important aid to navigation and safety. 

Other important changes in the marine transportation system can be made 
now or are the subject of on-going efforts by the Coast Guard. 

In a paper entitled "The Globtik Sun Incident — A Case for Marine Track Main- 
tenance," Lt. Coindr. Roger W. Hassard of the Eight Coast Guard District wrote, 
"What could be easier than a Loran-C guidance unit with pre-programed way- 
points such that the operator need merely determine . . . the identification code 
of the desired fairway and insert this into his black box which would then pro- 
vide the necessary data to allow the vessel to intercept and proceed along the 

"The technology is available and systems have been huilt which can do it. It's 
about time for such equipment to get out of the laboratories and evaluation 
programs and into real world applications where they just might be able to 
prevent future Globtik Sun incidents."' (Such systems are now on the market 
at prices as low as $7,000. ) 

A very sophisticated Loran-C guidance unit now costs approximately $15,000, 
and in volume would probably sell for $10,000. Even at the higher cost, the instal- 
lation of such a system aboard all tankers would be a wise investment if it 
enabled us to avoid even one incident like the Globtik Sun collision which re- 
sulted in the loss of seven lives and the costs approximating 50 million dollars ! 

The Coast Guard already has the capability, through the use of radio com- 
munication links coupled with Loran-C retransmission equipment located on- 
board ships, to monitor traffic along busy or inherently hazardous tanker routes. 
The system, used on routes where compulsory vessel traffic systems or separa- 
tion schemes existed, would enable us to detect developing human errors and 
correct them before the chain of errors and changes resulted in accidents. The 
capability exists. What is lacking is the funding and manpower to implement it. 

With adequate funding, the Coast Guard could carry out the research and 
development necessary to increase the reliability and speed marketing of these 
and other sophisticated systems currently under development which utilize 

There is a pressing need to increase the number of aids to navigation it now 
operates and maintains, and to up-date many of the outmoded ones. Adequate 
range markers and buoys need to be placed wherever their absence presents 
a threat to marine safety. All such installations should be made radar reflective. 

Many of the radio beacons the service operates are old, unreliable and expen- 
sive to maintain. Fifty-seven and two-tenths percent of all such installations are 
so-called "sequence beacons" that operate only one out of every six minutes. If 
adequate funding is forthcoming, t lie Coast Guard plans to reduce the number 
of "sequence beacons" to 33% percent. 

An important element of accident prevention is accurate and detailed data 
about each mishap. 


It is extremely difficult to obtain meaningful information from existing Coas* 
Guard accident statistics. Since the principal focus of the current reporrhV sv* 
tern is determination of "responsibility;r' opportunities to gather data and gen 
.rate information that would alert us to the peculiarities of various vessels (size 
egupiment, configuratfon, etc.) are frequently overlooked, and the preventative 
capabilities <>f the system are thereby minimized. 

Among the more difficult modifications yet to be made in the marine tranJ 
portation system in an effort to reduce the frequency and severitv of tanker 
accidents arc : l 

Establishing general standards for bridge design and equipment that will 
.mahle those on watch to fulfill thier duties in a more efficient way 

Requiring that to serve as a key officer or crewman aboard any vessel an indi- 
vidual must be familiar with its equipment and operating characteristics \nv 
employee of a U.S. airline would be required to undergo a familarization course 
before being allowed to serye aboard an aircraft with which he was not th<7- 
oughly acquainted. Many states and crewmen are assigned to ships without 
regard to whether they are acquainted with the class of vessel on which thev will 
Ik- Serving. A third mate familiar witli the latest radar can find himself aboard a 
vessel whose radar equipment is so old that he is incapable of using it as fully 
as his duties require ; ■ 

Assuring that foreign flag vessels and crews meet D S standards • 

Establishing sea lanes in busy areas outside U.S. waters where accidents in- 
volving tankers could cause considerable harm to our marine and coastal 
resources; «*»«■ <-.,«. ( .n 

Extending U.S. jurisdiction over marine traffic out to 200miles • 
Providing precision electronic ship guidance in difficult harbors and narrow 
channels. The Coast Guard's Loran-C Mini-Chain demonstration project in 
Michigan's St Marys River is worthy of substantial support. The system which 
uses shipboard Loran-C guidance equipment already available 'remiires the 
establishment of a series of specially located Loran-C transmitting stations 
T tilizmg the mini-chain, the Coast Guard has demonstrate,! that it can " 
Provide a vessel's pilot with an indication of distance from the centerMne of 
the channel, accurate to within 25 to 50 feet." Adaquate fuming of the proiect 
could make it available soon for use in especially hazardous waterways With 

th^lTfn^hfn^^ 1 ? W ;; n!<1 ** f;;f " ;1 wlth the kiml of ^avoidable' disaster 

that led to the Dehan Apollon grounding in 1070; 

Minimizing conflicts between fixed structures and tankers. The establishment 
of adequate fairways is the responsibility of the U.S. Armv Corps of Engineers 
but the tendency of oil rigs to be sited in or close to principal shipping routes 
makes it a matter of concern to the Goi I Guard. Xot all existing fairways ; ,re 
wide enough and in water deep enough to safely handle anticipated traffic' The 
development of our Outer Continental Shelf resources on the Atlantic "coast 
makes it imperative that Congress act to assure that adequate fairwavs are 
established and maintained. 

In whatever fashion we seek to resolve the problems to which the irao Mer- 
chant and he.- sisters have so shockingly drawn nr attention, if is imperative 

to recognize that the U.S. Coast Guard is gi sly under-funded and under-staffed 

I nless that condition is rectified promptly, any attempt to modernize our marine 
transportation system will be abortive. 

In the course of examining tanker accidents, it is easy to forget that the vast 
majority of such voyages are completed without incident due to the skill of the 

men who man the world's tanker fleet. Marine disasters— and poor sea 
manship— are rarities, not the norm. Most maritime accidents happen not because 
seamen are incompetent or irresponsible, but because thev are human beings who 
operate in a system which too frequently chooses to ignore the fact that anv 
man— no matter how well-trained or how extensive his experience— is capable 
of making serious errors of judgement. 

Lnlike the aviation transportation system which anticipates human error and 
provides the means to minimize its potential for disaster, the marine transporta- 
tion system is almost devoid of organization and equipment from which an 
erring navigator can Obtain assstance in time of need. 

That condition need not continue. The means to correct it are within our "rasp 
and by Judicious planning the steps to modernize the marine transportation svs- 
an lie undertaken without undue strain on the nation's resources 
•«' "f the deficiencies inherent in the system must be addressd bv the Con- 
gress. Only il can redefine the relationship between pilot and master. Onlv in 
the legislative process is to be found a prompt solution to the Coast Guard's 


lack of jurisdiction over foreign flag vessels operating in waters over which we 
claim exclusive rights to minerals and fisheries. 

Only the Congress can assure proper protection for states such as Florida 
whose coastlines are threatened hy increased tanker tratiic generated by the 
ojK'ralion of deepwater ports. 

.Many of the problems to which I have directed my attention, however, can be 
dealt with effectively if the Coast Guard is able to vigorously apply the regula- 
tory authority it already possesses. Unfortunately, that elite military organiza- 
tion has until now lacked the funding and the political support necessar\ toe: 
it to initiate the fundamental Changes to which our marine transportation sys- 
tem must ultimately he subjected. The system must he modernized to assure 
that the operation of tankers — and all vessels transporting hazardous cargo - 
in U.S. waters — results in the smallest possihle risk to the environment which 
can he achieved within the limits imposed hy economic reality. 

The Coast Guard has an impressive reservoir of dedicated, well-educated officers 
and men from which can he drawn the leadership and expertise required to <1. 
and operate such a system. Congressional support — manifested hy adeqt 
funding — bolstered hy a public demand tha those modifications which can he- 
made now he accomplished promptly is what is needed to mobilize that talent 

The marine disasters involving the Ihiinn Apollon, the Oregon Standard 
the Arizona Standard, the Edgar M. Queeny and the Corinthos, and the Olobtil: 
Sun — and others equally or even more serious such as the Argo Merchant — 
makes crystal clear the need to change the ways in which tankers ply the world's 
oceans. Though statisically small, the damage caused by such accidents i> 
potentially so enormous that the expenses to he incurred in modernizing 
marine transportation system are fully justified. The costs involved will have 
little effect on the price of a gallon of gasoline at the pump and can he produc- 
tive of a substantial contribution to our efforts to protect our unique costal and 
marine resources. 

An article hy Dr. Elvis J. Stahr. president of the National Auduhon Society. 
Which recently appeared in the New York Times succinctly summarizes the 
problems and prospects to which I have herein directed my attention. In con- 
cluding my testimony I would like to share it with you. 

Lessons From Argo Merchant 

Before fortuitous winds blow the Argo Merchant from our minds, it is time to 
examine the circumstances that make such accidents increasingly probable 
and to consider measures to reduce their occurrence. At present rates of growth, 
the amount of oil moving across oceans and through crowded channels will 
multiply six times hy the end of the century; aim this does not include oil 
transported hy ship from offshore wells to coastal refineries. I"n!ess stringent 
safety measures are imposed, we are headed for far greater catastho] lies. 

The Argo Merchant from all accounts was a floating menace, lint tankers that 
are well maintained and well manned also suffer mjor accidents, because our 
system of marine transportation is archaic, providing no room for human error, no 
adequate organization or equipment to assist the mariner in time of need. 

Any hopes that the Intergovernmental .Maritime Consultative Organization or 
the l.a\v of the Sea Conference mighi facilitate the adoption of uniform standards 
are no longer realistic, and we remain at the mercy of such countries as Liberia, 
Panama and Cyprus to enforce alarmingly low standards for most of the world's 

In T.iTL' CohgrCSS passed important legislation to remedy this situation. The 
Ports and Waterways Safety Act charged the UiS. Coast Guard to develop ade- 
quate standards for all tankers entering U.S. waters. Hut it has done next to 
ii thing to carry out that assignment and has even exempted most vessels from 
safety requirements intended by Congress. 

What must lie done? 

The ('oast Guard must develop standards for the repair, maintenance and 
alteration of older vessels. 

Ships entering U.S. wafers must lie required to carry more sophisticated elec- 
tronic equipment — particularly collision-avoidance radar. 

The Coast Guard should accelerate its Vessel Traffic System in narrow 
channels and speed the replacement of the obsolete Loran-A with Loran-C, 
which allows a navigator to determine his position within a radius of one- 
quarter mile with !»."» percent reliahility. 


Vessels must be better manned. The major attraction of flags of convenience 
id the low wages paid by the maritime industry. This often results in crews 
being Ill-educated and Ill-trained. 

Certain BtandardS required of very large new ships must he applied to smaller 
vessels already in service. As the Argo Merchant illustrates, a vessel of 'less than 
70,000 tons can do significant damage, yet ships of this size under U.S. flag 
would not he covered by current regulation. 

For an ecosystem despoiled, there is no adequate compensation ; nonetheless, 
Congress should pass legislation which, hy means of an oil transfer tax. would 
create a fund to compensate victims of oil spills as much as possible. The Interna- 
tional Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, in operation since 
Tune 107o defines the nature and extent of liability but sets a ludicrously low 
maximum' of $14 million in compensation and provides a large loop hole by 
exempting Acts of God. , J ' "' J „ '" 

Not onlv must the United States raise standards for U.S. ships, equally it 
must enforce such standards for ships of foreign flag within its wnters. Serious 
consideration must be given to enforcing pollution controls to 200 miles from our 
chores It will avail us little to claim exclusive control of fisheries to 200 
miles if thev are then destroved by oil spills. And coastal states should exercise 
the power to prevent substandard vessels from entering their waters. That we 
are powerless to act when a ship, however irresponsibly operated and main- 
tained, goes aground, endangers our fisheries and causes millions of dollars of 
damacre is no longer tolerable. 

World opinion and common sense dictate that all nations ndhere to the safety 
rules for aircraft laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization. A 
comparable U.N. agency should regulate sea craft, wheih have no less capacity to 
kill— if more slowly— by poisoning the seas. Since the prospects for this are at 
best dim we have no alternative but to impose our own standards. By virtue of 
the importance of trade with the United States, whatever the United States deter- 
mines is necessary will in practice become the international standard. 

It was negligent acts of man that put the Argo Merchant on the Nantucket 
shoals • it was an Act of God that saved the disaster from being far worse. But 
7.5 million gallons of oil is a puddle compared to the spills that lie ahead unless 

we act soon. 


The Delian Apollon 

Without modern aids to navigation few— if any— of our busiest harbors would 
be usable bv any but small vessels. Given the Coast Guard's very limited budget 
for such aids there is a natural tendency to regard them as dispensable luxuries 
Events such as that which occurred in Tampa Bay on February 13. 1970 suggest 
that attempting to hold down the budget in such a fashion is. in fact, false 

eC It°was five am. when Captain E. G. Evans boarded the Liberian tanker 
Dclinn ipollon at the Tampa sea buoy to pilot the vessel, loaded with 107.000 bar- 
rels of fuel oil, to the Florida Power Corporation's Weedon Island plant near-. 

' Ground 8 fog" not uncommon to the area from December through March, had 
been reported bv the U.S. Weather Bureau at Tampa International Airport. By 
3 -18 a m visibility at the airport had decreased to one-quarter mile. i 

'in Tampa Bay, however, visibility was estimated to be eight miles as the 
Delian A.pollon entered the channel, which is 400 feet wide and has a controlling, 
depth of 30 feet. The vessel had a draft of 22'S" forward and 28'0" aft. 

By 6:15 a.m. a slight west wind was blowing fog over the bay and visibility 
was decreasing rapidly. . ' 

At 6-50 a.m., shortly after sunrise, the Delian Apollon arrived at the last safe 
anchorage. Once past this point there would be no stopping until the Florida 
Power Plant was reached. 

Since he could see the lights of St. Petersburg and the lighted range markers 
in the channel into which he had entered. Captain Evans elected to proceed, con- 
fident that he could reach Weedon Island before the fog closed in. 

Evans had adequate experience to make such a judgement. He had been a> 
Tampa Bay pilot for eight 'and a half years and had made approximately fifty 
passages to the Florida Power Plant, including two since the first of the year. . 

The most difficult part of the trip to which the Delian Apollon was committed' 
was initiated at approximately 7:20 a.m, as she entered the privately owned 


Weedon Island channel. Though the depth continued at 30 feet, the width of 
the channel was reduced to 270 feet. 

Captain Evans could see the range markers as the ship entered the Florida 
Power channel but two minutes later fog moving off the luterbay Peninsula 
obscured (hem. The Dclian ApolUm was in trouble. 

The only aid to navigation by which the pilot could determine her proximity 
to the channel centerline was no Longer usable. (Because there were no outbound 
range markers in the Weedon Island channel. Captain Evans was denied even 
the hope that he could align his ship by reference to range markers aft.) Though 
he had observed that the radar was in excellent operating condition, it was of 
little value in the Weedon Island channel since none of the buoys were equipped 
with radar reflectors. • . 

At 7 -24 a.m., despite all the pilot's efforts to keep the ship in the channel, the 
Delian Apollon was aground. Two cargo tanks holed, she leaked 20,000 gallons of 

heavy Bunker C oil. + „ r.„~_ 

The grounding, Coast Guard investigators concluded, was due primarily to Cap- 
tain Evans' failure to delay the vessel's passage at the last safe anchorage. He 
wa< the Coast Guard rei>ort noted, aware that visability was decreasing and 
kmw that the absence of radar reflectors on the buoys in the Weedon Island 
channel would render ". . . radar information alone inadequate to safely nav- 
igate the vessel in that channel." 

No reference was made in the report to the failure of the marine transportation 
system to compensate for errors of human judgment which can be predicted to 
occur under just such circumstances. The report makes no note of the absence 
.if outbound range markers which could conceivably have enabled Captain Evans 
to stay in the channel. 

The inability of the system to prevent the accident resulted in what the report 
termed ". . . severe damage to marine life and waterfront property." 

The Oregon Standard and the Arizona Standard 

There was a dense fog covering San Francisco Bay shortly before midnight 
February 17. 1971 as the tanker Oregon Standard completed taking on the last of 
103349 barrels of heavy bunker oil. The master was called and advised that 
visibility was limited to 200 or 300 yards. He was already aware that the Oregon 
Standard's sister ship, fehe Arizona Standard was due in the area about 2:00 a.m. 
with a cargo of crude oil. 

Captain Morris Emerson, a thoroughly competent professional, was familiar 
with the channel he would transmit and aware of the risks. In addition to 40 
years" experience at sea — most of it as a ship's master — he was qualified to pilot 
vessels in the Bay. , , , . 

('■ -indent that he could safelv make the passage to the sea. he ordered the ship 
to get underway from Long Wharf at 12:21 a.m., February IS. 1971. Captain 
Emerson reported his departure to the San Francisco Harbor Advisory Radar 
(HAR) at 12:49 a.m. on the designated channel. ISA, and proceeded on his way 
with the assistance of the second mate, an officer with 43 years' experience. 

II LR had been operated by the Coast Guard since January 1!>70 as an experi- 
ment in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of such a system in reducing acci- 
dents in the Bay and its approaches. , 

The Ports and Waterways Act which now authorizes the Coast Guard to operate 
such systems was yet to be enacted in February 1971. It was necessary, therefore, 
to conduct the experimental program on a voluntary basis. Ships entering or de- 
part in" the P.av were urged to utilize HAR, but participation depended upon the 
attitude of ships' operators and masters. Merely by making an initial departure 
or entrance report on Channel 18A and guarding that frequency during passage 
through the Bay, a- vessel could use HAR's services. \ 

Inbound to Long Wharf, the Arizona Standard had been operating in dense fog 

for more than two and a half hours when she heard her sister ship's departure 

r.nort on Channel ISA. Nine minutes later at 12:58 a.m. Captain Parnell of the 

zona Standard notified HAR that his vessel was entering the main channel. 

Harry Hamilton Parnell had been Master of the Arizona Standard for two 
years and was an experienced mariner. The chief mate who assisted him oil the 
bridge during the inbound passage through the Pay also held a master's license 
and bad served as chief mate on the ship for six years. Both men were fully 
Qualified and licensed to pilot vessels in the waters of the Bay. 
' Captain Parnell conned the vessel while the chief mate operated the radar 
primarily seeking information that would assist the Master in determining the 


ship's position from time to time. Tin 1 sec. >nd mate handled the engine order 
telegraph which enabled the bridge to expeditiously communicate the Captain's 
orders to the engine room. 

In addition, a lookout was posted on the wing of the bridge and a second look- 
out was sent forward to the bow while the vessel was transiting the channel. 

I1AK advised the Arizona Standard of the tyregtm standard's position at; 
1 :20 a.m. hut had been unahle to communicate with the latter ship since her de- 
parture report was received at 12 :40 a.m. 

Shortly after his only contact with HAR. Captain Emerson of the Oregon 
Standard, seeing no traffic on radar, switched from Channel 18A to Channel 10, 
on which he normally communicated with his company's home office. The vessel's 
other radio was turned to Channel 16. At 1 :15 the how lookout was relieved de- 
.-i lit,- the continuing low visibility. 

On the bridge the Master and second mate were kept extremely busy and made 
no attempt to monitor Channel ISA durinsr the remainder of the voyage. Either 
i -cause they were preoccupied with their duties or because the radio volume was 
turned too low. they failed to hear repeated calls on Channels 10 and 16 from the 
Arizona standard. 

The failure to monitor Channel ISA prevented HAR from assisting Captain 
Emerson in locating the Arizona standard by radar. 

Aboard the Arizona Standard the chief mate made radar contact with the Ore- 
gon standard at six miles. He failed to determine her course or speed, however. 
directing his attention instead to identifying various natural phenomena that 
would enable the master to more accurately track his chosen course. A few min- 
utes later the contact was lost at a range of approximately two and a half miles 
when the Arizona standard was about one and a half miles from the famous 
Goldtert Gate Bridge. Continued attempts to raise the Oregon Standard on Chan- 
nel 10. 16 and 18A were unsuccessful. 

( 'aptain Emerson of the Oregon standard was conning his ship by its Raytheon 
radar which had originally been set on the five-mile range scale despite the fact 
that there were also scales of 15 and .10 miles to which it could have been set. 

Shortly before the Arizona Standard came into the five range, the master 
switched to the one and a half mile scale and kept the radar on that' setting until 
his -hip nea red the Golden Gate Bridge. 

The second mate had used the ship's other radar on the six mile scale for 
two or three minutes during which he might have detected the rapidly approach- 
ing Arizona. Standard. In those few minutes, however, he had been extremely 
busy with a host of other duties that severely limited the attention he could 
pay to the radar screen. In addition to the extremely important navigari .n 
tasks he fulfilled, he was supervising the helmsman, operating the encine 
order telegraph, listening for fog horns, serving as an additional lookout, and 
performing all the duties normally required of the deck watch officer. 

After briefly switching the radar range scale to three miles, the second mate 
set it at one and a half miles. With the Arizona standard only three miles away, 
both the Oregon standard's radars were set on the one and a half mile scale. 

As be approached the narrow Golden Gate Bridge. Captain Emerson observed 
a contact he correctly presumed to be the Arizona Standard at 8/10 of a mile! 
The master went immediately to the port wing of the bridge where he was joined 
shortly by the second mate who informed him that the contact on radar was 
approaching rapidly on a collision course. 

Before Captain Emerson could make radio contact with the Arizona Standard, 
she loomed out of the foju r . 

The collision which occurred at about 1 :40 a.m. almost directly under the 
Golden date Bridge in the center of the channel fortunately resulted in no 
loss of life on either vessel. The breeching of three of the Oregon Standard's 
cargo tanks, however, resulted in the spilling of approximately 800,000 gallons 
of oil. much of which folded the coastline from Half Moon Bay, approximately 
25. miles south of the Golden Gate Bridge, to Kellam Beach, about 20 miles north 
of tin- bridge. 

Xo accurate count of the birds injured or killed by the spill is available, 
but only about 3.5 percent of those treated survived. There is no accurate method 
ot determining the amount of damage to sea life. 

The cost of efforts to clean up and minimize the damage from the spill — 
excluding the effort's of volunteers — exceeded $4,000,000. 

The accident served :m abrupt notice of the desperate need for vessel traffic 
systems in channels such as that in San Francisco Bav. 

21 ■:> 

ft testified also to the fad thai even the most experienced, beal trained offl 
■ailing for highly responsible operating companies will make human errors, - 
ut which will have disastrous consequences. No more eloquent plea for new 
equipment, better bridge design and organization, and sophisticated assist 
from s turces external to the vessel to aid in the recognition and prompt corre< 
of human error could be fori bcomlng. 

The National Transportation Safety Board's report of the accident rele 
on July 28, T-»~i produced a series of recommendattoiis thai are as valid tot 
Is they were then. Among them wer£ suggestions that : 

Mi The Coast Guard study the feasibility of developing a method of traffic 
separation for inbouttd and outbound traffic in the Golden date channel ; 

(2) The Radio Technical Commission for Marine Services actively support 
and encourage the maritime and electronic industries' efforts to develop and 
utilize collision avoidance systems : 

(3) Vessel operators, the American Institute of Merchant Shipping, and the 
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers give due consideration to Hie 
development of coordinated bridge workspace arrangements and task assign- 
ments. . . . 

The Edgar M. Qiieeny and the Corinthbs 

Shortly after noon on January 30. 1975, the Bilffeur M. Queeny, an American 
Hair vessel loaded with a highly toxic and volatile cargo* tied up to the Monsanto 
Dock in the Delaware River near Bridgeport, New Jersey; The Queeny was under 
the command of Captain Fay Kellog who had served a- its master since Au- 
gust 1970. 

The pilot was Captain Sverre Soreuson, 

The relationship between the two men was an unusual one. Unlike most pi 
who board a ship for a short time to conn it through a harbor, Captain Soreuson 
would stay aboard the Quean/ as she visited various ports along the e;,sr coast. 
At times he would spend as much its a week with the vessel, providing pilotage 
service for her as she made her rounds. Captain Soreuson had personally par- 
ticipated in at least 100 of the Queeny' S docking, undocking maneuvers. 

It was not surprising, therefore, that the two men— both comptent profes- 
sionals — Should have developed considerable respect for eaili other and worked 
well together. 

Approximately 1.400 yards away, across the river at the British Petroleum 
Company's Dock No. 1 in Manvis Hook, Pennsylvania, the Liberian tanker 
Oorinthos was offloading a cargo oi" 407,000 barrels of Algerian crude oil. a third 
of which had already been transferred to the refinery. 

Most of the Corinthos predominantly Greek crew, including Captain Konstanti- 
DOS Marinos, his wife and their three-J«a*-old son. were asleep in the living spaces 
located in the after section of the vessel. 

Cargo transfer was proceeding under the control of the (Uirii)lhos' Chief Mate 
Georgios C. 1'eroulakis. although actual supervision of the operation was being 
exercised by Second officer Georgios Balalas. Pumpman Christos Fergadakis 
was on deck assist ing t he second mate. 

Chief Mate Peroulakis made a round of the vessel at abbul midnight, found 
offloading operations proceeding routinely, and went to the ship's dining room 
for a snack. 

Just past midnight on January 31, P>7."> the last of the lines holding h< r to 
the dock were cast off and the Queeny began a voyage up the river to Paulsboro, 
New Jersey. 

In order to proceed on her way. it was necessary for the Queeny to first make 
B 180 degree turn. By ten minutes after midnight the vessel had worked suf- 
ficiently clear of the dock to enable the tug Tanda tt to engage the port bow 
of the larger ship to assist in turning her completely around. 

At approximately 12:10 a.m. the Queeny'% engines were placed on half ahead 
and ftdl right rudder applied to increase the rate of turn. Ten minutes later 
the pilot dismissed the tug. Having previously seen Captain Soreuson maneuver 
the vessel in this same crossing without the aid of the tug. tin- master gave DO 
thought to the dismissal of the Tan&a 12. 

Shortly thereafter, however, Captain Kellog expressed concern to the pilot 
about the vessel's track as it proceeded to make its turn. 

"Captain, she should make that okay." was the pilot's response. 

A minute later an apprehensive master suggested to the pilot that he thought 
". . . we better go astern, because we will he very close on this maneuver." Captain 

82-908— 77— pt. 1 14 


Sorenson, engaged in a radio conversation with another vessel regarding the 
Queeny's plans, did not respond. 

Because he was legally responsible for the ship even though the pilot was 
actually conning her, the master took command of the vessel. With the Corinthos 
lii (proximately two ship lengths away, the master ordered the engines "full 
astern." The third mate promptly "rank up" the command on the engine order 

The pilot, upon hearing the signal, reassessed the situation and was heard to 
suggest that the Captain repeat his full astern order. ' ' 

In the Queeny's engine room the initial full astern order was acknowledged 
bv First Assistant George Zahar at the throttle station. Before full astern power 
could be applied, however, it was necessary for the ship's propeller to come to 
a complete stop, a process which took about one minute. By the time the followup 
order "full astern" was received, the propeller was already turning about 70 
revolutions per minute and Zahar had the throttle open as far as it could safely 

be set. 

On the bridge Captain Kellog and Captain Sorenson watched helplessly as the 
Queeny's bow closed with the unsuspecting Corinthos. At the pilot's suggestion the 
master ordered the starboard anchor dropped, but the bow watch to whom the 
order was directed had already fled his post in the face of the impending collision. 

At approximately 12 :29 a.m. the bow of the Queeny contacted the Corinthos. 
There was an immediate explosion, followed in less than 60 seconds by another 
of far more violence which sent flames 400 to 500 feet into the air and propelled 
debris from the exploding ship over a distance of half a mile. 

Aboard the Corinthos Chief Mate Peroulakis acted to secure cargo operations 
immediately after the collision, but found the entire ship forward of the deck 
bouse engulfed in flames. Unable to fight the fire, Peroulakis retreated aft to 
the vessel's stern where the crew was collecting. Captain Marinos ordered the 
chief mate to lower the life boat but was advised that the hot debris falling 
about them made this impossible. 

The crew was then ordered to abandon ship on the starboard side to avoid the 
fire onboard and the burning oil in the water. 

On the Queeny's bridge the Captain, noting that the shaft revolution indicator 
was reading zero (the third mate having instinctively rung up "stop" on the 
engine order telegraph after the collision ordered "full astern." As a result of 
confusion, however, it was almost two minutes after the explosion before astern 
power was finally applied. 

The pilot and master continued to maneuver the vessel in an effort to extricate 
her from the Corinthos, while on deck a small group of men fought to control 
the fires aboard the Queeny. By 12 :41 a.m. the Queeny was free and at 1 :00 a.m. 
she anchored in Marcus Hook Anchorage Area 7. 

The fires aboard the Queeny were quickly controlled, but the Corinthos con- 
tinued to burn even after she broke in half and sank during the following after- 
noon. Not until more than 48 hours after the collision were the flames aboard 
her extinguished. 

When it was all over, the Captain, his wife and son and 22 other persons aboard 
the Corinthos were dead or missing and presumed dead and an additional five 
were injured. One man on the Edgar M. Queeny lost his life and six suffered 

i Property damage caused by the accident exceeded $20,000,000. Extensive pol- 
lution of the Delaware River occurred, resulting in clean up and containment 
of the pollutants at a cost exceeding $2,000,000. 

In retrospect, it is surprising that loss of life and property and environmental 
damage was not even greater. 
■ "Common, ordinary luck," the Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation 
reported, "was a principal influence responsible for averting a catastrophic con- 
fl;isrration and/or release of toxic fumes in the Marcus Hook area of uncontrol- 
lable magnitude. A lack of wind isolated the fire from the British Petroleum Re- 
finery and the array of similar surrounding refineries and also permitted the 
Erir/ar M. Queeny to remain alongside of the Corinthos inferno for at least eight 
minutes and escape relatively unscathed." 
-Despite the established legal responsibility of the Queeny's master, no one 
will ever really know whose action or inaction caused the accident to occur. 

The Marine Board of Investigation concluded that ". . . the Edgar M. Queeny 
may have cleared the Corinthos if Captain Kellog had placed his vessel's engines 
astern at the time he first expressed apprehension to Pilot Sorenson regarding" 
tbe turn." 


Yet knowledgeable tanker masters have suggested that If Captain Eellog "Lad 
not panicked," his vessel's imw would have cleared the Qorinthos. 

Only one thing is certain: the poorly defined relationship between master and 
pilot cannot be allowed to continue. If such an accident can occur when two 
men who know and trust each other are tilling the roles in question, it is quite 
apparent that the risk Is completely unacceptable when the master is unfamiliar 
with the area and he and the pilot are strangers, uncertain of each others' abili- 
ties, and perhaps unable to even speak the same language. 

The Glob til: Sun 

In order to make it possible for vessels to safely transit the Gulf of Mexico 
(which has in excess of 3,000 offshore structures), fairways have been estab- 
lished leading to and from major ports along the Gulf coast. Two miles wide, 
the fairways provide a route free of obstructions through these potentially dan- 
gerous waters. 

A safety lane two miles in width would seem adequate for even large ships- 
provided they are manned by competent officers and crews, outfitted with the 
proper equipment, and both men and equipment function as planned. The task of 
avoiding an obstacle as large as an offshore oil rig equipped with Hashing lights 
on a clear night would not seem an imposing one. 

Nevertheless, safe navigation demands the mariner know whore he is at all 
times. The only way he can do this is to use all the relevant equipment available 
to him — often. If one piece of equipment casts doubt on the accuracy of a fix, the 
cautious navigator rechecks his position. 

Failure to operate in accordance with that philosophy cost seven men their 
lives when, in the early morning hours of August 15, 1075, the 33.000 DWT 
Bahamian tanker Globtik Sun, carrying light crude oil from Aruba. struck an 
unmanned Chevron Oil Company production platform approximately 100 miles 
southeast of Galveston, Texas. 

Five and a half hours prior to the accident the first mate had fixed the ship's 
position by "shooting the stars" with a sextant. A small change in course to 
heading 307 degrees was ordered and the auto pilot set. 

At midnight Second Mate Eduerdo Sulit relieved the navigational watch and 
was joined by an ordinary seaman who acted as lookout. 

Sulit. whose license as a second mate had been issued by the Government of the 
Philippines only three months earlier, had served on the Globtik Sun a total of 
eight months. His only prior experience as a deck officer involved two years as 
third mate on board various small intercoastal vessels in the Philippines. 

When Sulit assumed the watch the ship was still on auto pilot, heading 307 
degrees. No attempt had been made to recheck the ship's position since 8:00 p.m.. 
nor did Sulit attempt to do. so. The radio direction finder, which might have 
helped the second mate determine his position, had so large an error it was 

. The only position finding equipment aboard the Globtik Sun was not compatible 
with the Loran-A system covering the Gulf of Mexico. 

Half an hour after he came on watch, Sulit turned on the ship's radar and at 
12 :45 a.m. observed a target nine miles distant on the starboard side. He made 
no effort to plot and evaluate if and appears to have ignored the radar thereafter. 
' i approximately 1 :30 a.m. the Globtik Sun struck the well-lighted Chevron 
platform, opening a wide gash in the ship's number one cargo tank. The crude oil 
which it held promptly ignited. 

The collision — on a clear night — with a well-licrhted oil rig resulted in the loss 
of seven lives, the total destruction of the Globtik Sun and damage to the plat* 
form of such severity it was deemed beyond repair. 

Miraculously, most of the 3.10.000 barrels of oil carried by the vessel was not, 
spilled and did not burn. The Houston Chronicle (8/16/75) quoted a Coast Guard 
spokesman at the height of the fire as expressing fear that. "If the heat continues, 
it muld buckle the ship and we'll have oil all over the Cnlf of Mexico." 

The Globtik Sun tragedy served to focus attention on several deficiencies in the 
marine transportation system not readily discernible. 

(11 Umicler existing Coast Cuard regulations no vessel — including a tanker — 
is required to have any njnotronio equipment on board except communications - 
and a radio direction finder. Not even radar or Loran are mandated by existing 

(2) Collision-avoidance radar to alert the watch of an impending collision 
could have prevented this accident. 


i .*'. i Poreigh vessels involved in accidents such as this which occur outside U.S. 
waters i twelve miles from the coastline) are not subject to action by our govern- 
ment. The "Outer Continental Shelf Act" fails to extend federal authority to 
activities involving foreign ships operating in the OCS area. 

Lack of even the power to subpoena witnesses prevented the Coast Guard from 
conducting a thorough investigation into this tragedy. The facts about it will be 
known only if the flag nation conducts a thorough investigation into the accident 
and makes public its final report. 

The United States is powerless to act against the owners and operators of the 
vessel or the officers upon whose shoulders responsibility for the tragedy rests. 
Whether their licenses are revoked or suspended as a result of ineptitude depends 
solely upon the whims of the nation under whose flag the Olobtik Sun sailed. 

The Chairman-. All right, Mr. Leeper. 



Mr-. Leeper. Mr. Chairman, I am honored at this opportunity to 
appear before you. 

You have my statement, I think. I have reduced it and highlighted 
it in 15 minutes, so with your permission, I will proceed. 

My testimony is based on experiences and knowledge gained in 
more than 15 years as a professional analyst of maritime affairs, in- 
cluding 8 years as a project manager with the Maritime Transporta- 
tion Research Board of the National Research Council/National 
Academy of Sciences. 

I am currently managing the Washington, D.C. office of the trans- 
portation consulting firm of Simat, Helliesen and Eichner, Inc., 
having joined the firm in December of 1975. Currently the firm's 
clients include the Department of Transportation, the Maritime Ad- 
ministration, and other public and private organizations in transpor- 
tation-related activities. 

I was asked to appear in these hearings to present the findings of 
a National Research Council study published in June of 1976 entitled 
''Human Error in Merchant Marine Safety." 

While I was associated with the Council, I served as a project 
manager for the Human Error Study under the direction of a panel 
whose members were appointed by the National Academy of Sciences. 

To bring the study on "Human Error in Merchant Marine Safety" 
into proper perspective. I think it is necessary to deal briefly with 
the problem as it was perceived at the time the 'study was initiated. 

A Washington Post, article on August 2, 1972, proclaimed that ships 
oi the world's marine were sinking at the rate of a ship a day. 

In 1973. Lloyd's Register of Shipping reports that 21 of the 363 
vessels reported lost were of U.S. flag. 

The Chairman. You put it plainly, you can sav a ship goes down 
every day someplace. Every day. 

Mr. Leeper. Yes. 

The Chairman. Go ahead. 

Mr. Lkepkr. The current cost of merchant marine casualties exclud- 
ing human lives lost has been estimated to exceed $300 million per 
year for the U.S. oceangoing merchant marine alone. 

Additionally, it has been estimated that the loss of a VLCC off 
the I .S. (-oast could cost in the order of $100 million in terms of the 
value of the hull and cargo alone. This excludes environmental dam- 
age which is almost impossible to estimate. 

21 '9 

These costs, however, are insignificant when compared to the po- 
tential destruction that a merchant marine casualty can cause. 

A classic example of this potential can be related in the collision 
of the merchanl ships Imo and Mont Blemo in Halifax Harbor in 
EJecemberof 1917. These two vessels exploded and eventually claimed 
the lives of L,600 people, completely devastating the city of Halifax. 
Although the Halifax Harbor incident was many years ago, I am 
Kware of at least one near miss involving an ammunition ship in San 
Francisco harbor during the Vietnam era. As increased numbers of 
LNG and VLCC vessels enter our harbors, the possibilities of such 
catast rophes will become less and less remote. 

Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that vessels involved in 
hazardous cargo carriage — tankers, chemical carriers, liquefied natural 
<ras carriers, et cetera— represent the fastest growing segment of the 
world's merchant marine. At the same time, some of the merchant 
Beets that are growing the most rapidly are those with the least na- 
tional regulation and often the poorest safety performance. 

For instance, the Panamanian fleet has more than doubled in ton- 
nage since 1072 and consistently registers high-loss ratios. Panama 
lost L.13 percent of its active tonnage to casualties in the most recent, 
data vear. 107r>. 

Contrary to popular opinion, the United States is not a leader m 
the safe operation of its merchant vessels. The National Academy of 
Sciences— "Merchant Marine Safety Study," published in 1070. found 
that the United States ranked eighth in safety performance in tc, 
of tonnage lost through casualties as a percentage of active tonne 

The studv went on to compare the U.S. vessel loss record with that 
of Great Britain. For vessels of 1.000 gross tons and over, it was deter- 
mined that the United Kingdom had a lover level of vessel losses over 
a 7-year period and that there was an 88.5 level of confidence that this 
difference could not have happened by chance. 

In other words, the study showed that we weir 88 percent sure that 
v is casualty diff< rential was caused by some real difference in either 
the way we build orihe way sve operate our ships. 

Although no new studies of this type have been done since L9T0, 
a cursory inspection of Lloyd's statistical tables for vessels ion g] 

- and over shows that this pattern has not changed significantly, 
HI -nit. this level of confidence has probably risen. 

In 107",. the United States lost 0.21 percent of its active tonn 
to merchant marine casualties, thereby registering a poorer safety 
performance than France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Nan 
Poland, U.S.S.R., Sweden, and Great Brifci 

Merchant marine casualties can result from a number c 
including a series or combination of events and circumstances. In most 
«, human error or personnel fault is a contributing, if not funda- 
mental, causal factor. 

The greatest number of vessel losses can be traced to <noundi] 
collisions, tires, and foundering, all of which invariably im 
human judgments. In 1972, the chairman of the American Hull In- 
surance Syndicate revealed that 85 percent of his claims payments 
e for human-error-caused casualties. 
\'S(Tj figures for fiscal year 107:. -how that only 8 percent of 
the vessels involved in casualties cited material or mechanical failures 
a- the primary cause. These and other data point to the overriding 


importance of human performance in the operation of our merchant 

This was the problem presented to the National Research Council's 
Panel on Human Error in Merchant Marine Safety. During its early 
deliberations, the panel concluded that it required a somewhat un- 
usual data base to come to grips with the basic causes of human error 
in merchant marine casualties. 

As a result, the panel asked the Maritime Administration to con- 
duct an indepth survey of merchant marine personnel in order to 
determine the underlying causes of merchant marine human error 
casualties. This survey was undertaken by the National Maritime 
Research Center at Kings Point and completed and released to the 
panel in July 1975. 

The survey conducted by the XMRC employed questionnaires and 
interviews with merchant marine operating personnel : 1.400 question- 
naires were distributed throughout the U.S. merchant marine: 359 
individuals responded for a return rate of 25.6 percent. The analysis 
of the indepth interviews and the questionnaires provided both quan- 
titative and qualitative inputs to the panel. 

Of those responding to the questionnaire, 10 percent were pilots, 
20 percent masters. 38 percent deck officers, 8 percent chief engineers, 
9 percent engineering officers. 10 percent tug and harbor craft" opera- 
tors, and 5 percent were in the other categories. 

The survey tended to group the causes of human error into roughly 
two dozen major categories. The more significant of these categories 
were physical fitness, emotional stability, alcohol use, fatigue, per- 
sonnel turnover, and operational discipline. 

For each of these categories. I will present brief samples of both 
quantitative and qualitative responses from the indepth survey 

^ The questionnaire and interview responses to the issue of physical 
fitness aboard ship were quite revealing. When asked if they had ever 
been in a casualty or near-casualty situation where a sudden illness, 
heart attack, fainting, stroke, dizziness, et cetera, of someone aboard 
was a major causal factor. 15 percent of those responding to the 
question answered "yes." 

When asked if impaired eyesight of someone on the bridge had been 
related to an emergency condition, 23 percent of those responding to 
the question answered "yes." 

Of those responding to the question of eyesight, 33 percent iden- 
tified the pilot and 25 percent identified the'master as the individual 
experiencing the impaired eyesight. 

The qualitative responses concerning physical fitness were also very 
revealing. In one interview, a master stated that his current second 
and third mates were 65 and 73 years, respectively. He was concerned 
about their abilities to climb ladders, inspect hatches, and adequately 
perform other necessary functions. 

A deck officer recalled. "An AB was sent aloft. It was unknown that 
he was an epileptic and had run out of pills. None of this was known 
until +he incident occurred. Such a thing should be noted on the 
man s Z-card. It could have happened on the wheel in confined waters." 

Another seaman recalled, "The captain had a heart attack near 
Hell s Gate. The mate took over. The captain was 70 years old." 


The Advancing age of merchant marine personnel is becoming a 
problem. Exhibil :'> shows the median ages for the various categories 
of seamen operating in the U.S. merchant marine. 

For instance, the median age for licensed deck officers lias advanced 
steadily in the past LO years and is now 48.8 years <d' age. The median 
age for licensed engine officers is 4!>.l. This means that one-half of the 
deck officers in the U.S. merchant marine are over 48.8 years of age, 
and one-half of the licensed engineering officers are over 1 i>.l. Some 
of these men are ranging into age 70. By contrast, the median aire of 
an airline pilot in the United States is approximately 39. 

Closely associated with physical fitness is emotional stability. "When 
asked whether emotional stability of anyone aboard ship had ever been 
a contributing factor to a casualty or near casualty, 25 percent of those 
responding to the question answered "yes." 

The use of alcohol is apparently a significant problem for mer- 
chant seamen. More thai: half of those responding, 53 percent, cited 
instances where drunkenness of a crewmember, officer, or pilot was a 
factor in an incident. 

There are numerous events where alcohol was involved. 

One master recalled, and T quote, "The quartermaster relieved the 
wheel at 0400 in an intoxicated state and then swung the ship's rudder 
to starboard in a narrow channel." 

Another master stated, "A man in an emergency resorted to drinking 
and fell overboard, drowning." 

In another instance, "The master was inebriated upon leaving an- 
chorage ; the chief mate quietly took over and an alert QM cooperated." 

Of those responding to the question, 31 percent said that excessive 
fatigue had contributed to a casualty or near casualty; 61 percent of 
those answering said that the amount of time on watch or work tired 
the men involved. 

One master indicated, "Fatigue is dangerous, an all too common 
characteristic on short turnaround containerships. I have been up for 
48 hours continuously, piloting, docking, and unlocking." 

Excessive personnel turnover is another area of major concern in 
merchant marine casualties. Seventy-eight percent of those respond- 
ing to the question in the indepth survey felt that there was a slight 
to very high relationship between personnel turnover and casualties. 
There Were numerous responses in the qualitative portion of the inter- 
views and in the questionnaires that referred to personnel turnover. 

In addition, there seems to be a failure in operational discipline. 
Twenty-six percent of those responding to the questionnaire recalled 
casualties resulting from failures to follow operational procedures. 
Thirty-two percent of those said that the procedures were not followed 
because personnel "did not want to bother." Forty-three percent of 
those said that when they reported aboard a new ship they were usually 
left to shift for themselves. 

"When there is a breakdown in operational discipline, there are indi- 
cations that appropriate disciplinary action is rarely taken for viola- 
tions of regulations or rules. For instance. 44 percent of those respond- 
ing to the question recalled a casualty or near casualty relating to 
drunkenness in which no disciplinary action was taken. 

In addition to the survey, the panel relied on other sources, including 
an analysis of existing data bases, casualty flow analyses, and maritime 
job description evaluation-. 


After considerable deliberation, including some rather heated clif- 
ferences of opinion, the panel made 21 recommendations listed in 
priority order. These recommendations are directed specifically to- 
ward improving human performance aboard ships of the U.S.-flag 
merchant marine. Some of the more significant of these recommenda- 
tions arc as follows. The pane] recommended: 

First. The USOG should take immediate action to require anticolli- 
sioii devices aboard [J.S.-flag oceangoing merchant vessels. 

Second. The USOG should take action to resolve ambiguity in au- 
thority and responsibility between pilot and master in pilotage waters. 

i ftird. The Maritime Administration should start a program of 
improving bridge design through experimentation. Experimental de- 
signs should be installed and tested aboard ships built under subsidy. 

Fourth. The USOG should formalize operating procedures for ships 
in the U.S. merchant fleet and take action to enforce these procedures. 

Fifth. The USCG should establish a program of required physical 

Sixth. The USCG should establish a program for qualification of 
key crewmembers by vessel type. 

Seventh. The Maritime Administration should pursue a comprehen- 
sive program of research to increase job satisfaction among U.S. mer- 
chant mariners as a means of retaining high caliber personnel and 
increasing vigilance aboard ship. 

Eighth. U.S. companies and unions should increase their efforts to 
control alcohol abuse aboard ship. 

Ninth. The USCG should consider taking action internationally to 
relegate sound signals to use in emergencv situations only. 

The recent series of unfortunate casualties involving Liberian-flag 
vessels serve to emphasize the fact that we have only partial control 
over the men and ships that ply our coastal waters. Perhaps even mere 
disconcerting for Americans is the fact that even if we did have total 
control of both men and ships, it might not make much difference. 

For instance, in 1974. in terms of tonnage lost as a percentage of 
actual tonnage, Liberian-flag vessels had a better safetv record than 
U.S. vessels. In 1974. according to Lloyd's statistical tables, the U.S. 
fleet lost 0.2^ percent of its commercial tonnage of 100 gross tons and 
over to casualtv. while the Uiherian-flag fleet lost only 0.19 percent. 

That year — 1974 — was. of course, an unusual year. Over the long 
run, the US. -flag fleet has consistently outperformed the Liberian 
fleet in safetv in term< of lx>th tonnage and vessels lost. The United 
H ttes has maintained reasonable safetv performances, ranking some- 
where in the middle of the pack in terms of the traditional maritime 

However, the U.S. -flair fleet was not consistently the best performer. 
In 1°74. a particularly bad vear, the United States ranked 18th out of 
the 36 countries listed by Lloyd's statistical analysis. In 1975. the U.S.- 
flag commercial fleet ranked 12th in safetv performance in terms of 
tonnage lost as a percentage of active tonnage. 

]n my opinion, the solution to the immediate problem of protecting 
lives and shorelines as well as conserving our precious energy re- 
s' inreeslies in a two-part effort. 

First of all. we must begin to bring our enormous technical and 
administrative capabilities to bear on the problem of improving our 


U.S.-flag merchant marine safety performance. Certainly, with our 
technical resources, wc should settle for no less than the world's safest 
diant marine. We should set our goals for an, error-proof U.S.-flag 
marine delivery system, part icularly where volatile energy ca rgoes are 

"With 85 percent of our casualties resulting from human error, i(. is 
obvious that we must concentrate on personnel recruiting, testing, 
and training capabilities. We must also pour more of our technologi- 
cal talent ami dollars into creating mechanical and electronic aids bo 
improved navigation. 

My own personal formula for success in improving U.S.-flag mer- 
chant marine safety performance is to establish :i program of required 
annual physical examinations for key operating positions among 
TjT.S.-flag ships. These should be tough, job-oriented physicals with 
examining doctors held responsible for their judgments. 

There should be a mandatory retirement age far key pos 
aboard ship similar to restrictions imposed on airline pilots. 

The USCG should initiate dynamic proficiency checks either aboard 
ship or with simulators for the issuance and renewal of licenses. 

The USCG should require collision avoidance radar equip;. 
ard U.S.-flag ships . 

The second, and equally important, part of my two-part solution 
would be to take action to carry a greater peneentage of our foreign 
trade cargo on U.S.-flag ships so that we can exercise direct and p 
tive control over a greater portion of the maritime traffic plying 

tal waters. The U.S.-flajr fleet carries only 5-8 percent of U.S. 
foreign trade tonnage. While in the liner trades we carry a respectable 
30.3 percent, in the tanker trades we carry only 11.8 percent and in the 
irregular or bulk services we carry only L.o percent. 

While Liberia, Panama, and other nations may be taking action to 
improve the safety performance of their fleet-, there is no nay thai 
these countries can bring to bear the type of technological and admin- 
istrative capabilities available to us in the United States. 

In addition, in the United States we have an underutilized, young, 
well-educated, and technologically adaptive labor pool that v,'}\ pro- 
vide the type of high caliber seafarers that are desperately needed. 

I personally feel that the best method for improving U.S.-flag 
participation in U.S. foreign trade and at the same time impro 
Safety along our coasts, is to directly engage in bilateral agreements 
with some of our kev trading partner--, particularly those involved 
in our tanker and bulk commodity trad..-. 

Such agreements should split tonnage to be carried by each of the 
trading partner- on a nearly equal -hare basis. This would not only 
build up our own fleet, but the fleets of our trading pai ba 

part of negotiating these agreements, we could insist that our own 
stringent construction and maiming requirements be applied equally 
to the ships and erews of our trading partners. 

I realize thai bilateral agreements may take years to negotiate. As 
an interim measure, ir is probably desirable to institute some type of 
phased-in preference cargo policy thai will reserve eargos for U.S.- 
flag ships and increase the U.S.-flag share of our tanker and bulk 
commodities t rades. 


The Chairman. By trading partners— this is sort of a new subject— 
I mean new to the hearing — the people that sell the oil, say, Saudi 
Arabia, and people that buy it, the United States, should get together 
more to see that the people that transport follow out certain regula- 
tions ? 

Mr. Leeper. Yes, sir. 

I was thinking that the ships of Saudi Arabia and the ships of the 
United States would carry the bulk of this trade. 

The Chairman. I have been reading lately Saudi Arabia was 
thinking about that because they don't want a bad ship in their waters. 

Mr. Leeper. No ; I don't believe they would, either. 

I think if we have safety standards written down in a bilateral 
agreement between the two nations, that the trading partner will build 
and man ships according to the standards. I think it is a workable 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Leeper. As this share increases, so does our ability to control 
and safeguard our coastal waters. 

Preference cargo legislation and later bilateral agreements are not 
panaceas for improving safety. They are effective only — and I empha- 
size only — if we have successfully completed our first task, that of 
improving the safety performance of the U.S.-flag fleet. 

In the years of the 1980's, maritime transportation will have an 
enormous impact on the energy and environmental concerns of both 
this country and the world. Not only will ships transport vast quan- 
tities of the world's resources, but they will carry with them a con- 
tinuing potential for creating death, destruction, and pollution on a 
scale unmatched by any other mode of transportation. 

This condition represents a grave challenge not only for the Nation, 
but for the world community as a whole. 

Thank you, sir. 

The Chaerman. Thank you. 

That is a very fine statement. 

I am sorry there aren't other members of the committee here, but 
we will be reading all this and we appreciate your contribution. 

Mr. Leeper. Thank you, sir. 

The Chairman. Mr. Herb Brand, from the Transportation 


Mr. Brand. Thank you. I should like to submit my written state- 
ment for the record and make some comments. 

I will try to highlight my testimony and then emphasize a couple 
of points that haven't been mentioned. 

My name is Herbert Brand and I am president of the Transporta- 
tion Institute, which is a maritime research organization here in 
Washington, whose membership includes 130 U.S.-flag companies 
engaged in the Nation's foreign and domestic shipping trades and 
in barge and tugboat operations in inland waters and on the Great 


Senator, we thank you for your interest in this matter. 

I might point out that you are becoming an old hand on the subject 
of oil tank ships. If your words and those of a couple of your col- 
leagues had been heeded over the years, it is not unlikely we wouldn't 
be here sitting at this point dealing with this subject matter. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Mr. Brand. My testimony points up, in effect, the fact that what 
is necessary to assure the greatest measure of control or at least to 
the degree that we can protect our shores and our waters and our 
national security is a requirement that we have an assured capability 
of TJ.S.-flag tankers to carry oil into our Nation. That capability 
would be forthcoming by means of a cargo preference law. There is 
no other way it can be done. 

Recalling the events of the past couple of years, wherein this Con- 
gress, under your leadership, brought forth a bill — the National 
Transportation Security Act — which would have required ultimately 
that 30 percent of all oil brought into this country would come on 
American-flag ships, was the best possible protection: first, from 
the standpoint of national security ; and two, from an environmental 
standpoint, as well as for the additional benefits that it would bring 
in economic advantages. It still appears that is the most simple and 
plausible thing to do. 

I think in view of all the testimony here today, it still remains the 
simplest and most direct way to deal with our problem. 

I sense from your discussions here today with the USCG and from 
those discussions of the other members of the committee with the 
Coast Guard a terrible degree of frustration pervades the committee. 

It seemed to me that it is virtually useless to talk to the USCG 
because here, after all these years with all the necessary laws on the 
books, with all the authority' that they have, we are now at the point 
where we are asking them "will you do something about this." 

We have failed, it seems to me, to deal with an insidious element in 
this whole picture, that is, the major American oil companies. 

If I may just touch on their role in this whole oil and transporta- 
tion picture: First off, we heard the remark that the Coast Guard 
must consider the international consequences of anything they do to 
enforce safetv regulations on Liberian and other foreign-flag ships. 
We heard of the State Department and foreign nation representa- 
tions and aide-memoires. So in effect, the police department has its 
guns taken away from them to cope with the problems of security 
in our society by a higher order. They are rendered virtually ineffec- 

The Chairman. That is a good way to put it. I wish I had thought 
of that. 

Mr. Brand. They are rendered virtually ineffective. Admiral Slier 
has said, it may have been Admiral Benkert, the people who make these 
representations are the United Kingdom. France. Italy, ami so forth. 
Tf T may, in addition to the 300 to 400 ships which the major oil com- 
panies operate under Liberian. Panamanian, and TTondurair and other 
runaway flans, they are politically and tactically wise enough to op- 


crate vessels which are owned by their American companies, under 
United Kingdom flag, Italian, Finnish, Norwegian, and other flags. 

I submit that the representations made by the foreign office of 
these count ries to our State Department and then laid on the USCG 
in behalf of foreign fleets are made by Exxon, Chevron, by Sun Oil, 
and the other majors, but it's the selfsame gang wherever you go. I 
realize as a representative of shipping management, that I am saying 
things that no shipowner will say up here because the real reprisals 
come from the oil companies. 

The reprisals come in the form of the fact that U.'S.-flag shipowners 
wiM not <j:ot charters if they dare open their mouths about these condi- 
tions. Isn't it strange that in a matter dealing with oil transportation, 
and ocean shipping, that we don't see any shipowners up here. People 
who would be vitally concerned about this whole subject. It's the li- 
ve ry bread and butter; 

We saw the seamen come forward and talk about it. But the man- 1 
agement of the industry did not come forward. That is because they 
operate under the veiled threat of no cargoes, if they talk out of 
turn. They exist by virtue of the oil companies who move these cargoes 
around to fit their international scheme of things. 

Now, if I may, sir, I am going to mention some friends here but I 
think I would be remiss if I didn't put it on the record because every- 
thing that fits into this picture, that has some bearing on what is under 
discussion here, should be on the record. The major American ship- 
ping association in the United States, which contains a bunch of 
great people, and imaginative, innovative shipping companies, led 
by a decent guy, Jim Reynolds— I am talking about the American In- 
stitute of Merchant Shipping which is the largest organization of 
shipowners in the United States— didn't even appear at this hearing* 
They don't appeal' for a reason which I think is tangential to what! 
am talking abouti. 

The membership of the American Institute of Merchant Shipping 
consists of liner cargo companies, independent tanker comparriesj 
and of major American oil companies who operate ships under the 
American (lag. but operate them in our coastal waters because the 
.lores Act requires that. So they belong to the American Merchant 
Marine Institute in behalf of their domestic ships, some 70 or 80 

But oolicies. such as cargo preference or matters such as this under 
•li-vnssion here, are influenced and controlled by the major oil com- 
panies who vote their domestic ship membership in behalf of their 
vasl international holdings, on all issues of concern to the oil interests 
whenever they are considered in AIMS. Now. the oil companies are 
the biggest opponents of oil cargo preference legislation. I submit 
the President himself adopted their arguments when he vetoed the 
hill of this committee in 1<>74 for cargo preference on the ^rounds, 
that it would be costly and invite reprisals. That was the oil companies 
argument against this legislation throughout the legislative battle 

.Those oil companies voted to not allow the American Institute of 
Merchant Shipping to take a position in favor of cargo preference, 
for the reason that it runs counter to their foreign-flag interests, 
which include some 400-odd ships which the American oil complies 
operate under the Liberian. under the Panamanian, under the Hon- 
tlnran. and underthe other flags of convenience. 


The Chairman. Throughout history i hey've been opposed. They did 
testify in March of last year, strongly opposed to any further con- 
trols. Opposed it. In March of last year. Two of them did. That is 
with regard to the Safety Act. 

Mr. Brand. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Strongly. That is what yon are saying. 

Mr. Brand. Yes, sir. If I may. sir. Lei me point to a little documenl 
which is put ont by an outfit called the Federation of American-Con- 
trolled Shipping. This is a consolidal ion or consortium, if you will, for 
public relations purposes of American oil and other hulk companies 
operating under what we like to refer to as runaway flags, so-called 
flags of convenience. 

The Chairman. We have the letter. 

Mr. Brand. I think because of the attention which has been drawn 
to the problem of the Liberian fla<r, the oil companies may now shift 
some of their emphasis to the Panamanian flag. They are now em- 
barked on a public relations program to dress up the Panamanian 
registry for cosmetic reasons by allegedly improving Panamanian 
safety rules. I am reading here from the Federation's latest newsletter*: 

With the cooperation of a newly formed industry advisory Committee; the Re- 
public of Panama is moving forward to Implement recently passed Legislation 
which would provide it with a worldwide ship inspection program. The advisory 
group is made up of industry experts — 

And I think it is safe to say that they are Exxon and the others — 

including ship operators, admiralty law counsel, representatives of the Federa- 
tion of American-Controlled Shipping and the National Cargo Bureau, which 
specializes in ship inspection services in the U.S. 

The group is working closely with the director of the Panamanian Shipping 
P.nreau and the government ministries concerned. 

During a recent trip to Panama, the Industry Advisory Group had the oppor- 
tunity to meet with Brig. Gen. Omar Torrijos. chief of government, and President 
P.ahas Lakas. The Panamanian leaders were advised at that time that F.xxoii 
had decided to register a new vessel. E880 Lrllarrc, in Panama in recognition of 
that nation's effort to upgrade the administration of that program. 

This whole thing is a public relations ploy designed to fool the 
American public into thinking that Panama is suddenly interested in 
inspection services. Now. everybody in this country suddenly has .an 
interest. Senator, in something that you have been arguing for. to my 
knowledge, for 25. 30 years — to improve and enhance the [T.S.-flag 

Suddenly because of this rash of terrible disasters we lind that every 
one of us," consumer, environmentalist, ship operator, shipworker, 
shipyard worker, just plain average citizen, is now engaged in a mas- 
sive hue and cry : "Let's do something." about the Liberian tankers. 

I submit that if this rash of accidents suddenly subsides and things 
return to normal, that we are going to return to normal. We may put 
up a new (traffic light. Hut unless we consider the role of the American 
ma ior oil companies and this post office box that is Liberia, which en- 
ables them to escape till of their responsibilities of American citizen- 
ship, then everything else will be a sham. Every effort will go because 
they will find a way to beat us. We will enact new laws ami they will 
run somewhere else'. Unless we put them in a box, and where they must 
Jive up to their responsibilities as everybody else does, where we can 
sec them and count them and they can't wear three-citizenship hats For 


any reason, then I think we are going to play their game and we will be 

Senator, I want to express my thanks to you and to say again, the 
quickest way to improve this tanker situation is by the way you pro- 
vided, when your committee spearheaded passage of the cargo prefer- 
ence law. I know this sounds self-seeking, but honestly, even if, you 
know, you put double bottoms on these Liberian-nag ships, American- 
controlled vessels will at least provide the greatest possible measure of 
protection we can have. 

I do hope you will include that in your consideration of ways to meet 
this problem. Thank you. 

The Chairman. That is going to be part of it when we get down to 
what we are going to do. That was, again, pocket-vetoed after we 
worked on it. If we didn't have a cargo preference law on a 50-50, you 
know, there wouldn't be any merchant marine at all. 

Mr. Brand. I shudder to think what would happen if some of the 
oil companies that are trying to breach the Jones Act were successful 
and could invade our shores with Liberian and Panamanian ships. 
Imagine what we would have to face with them running up and down 
our coastal waters. The incidence of their accidents are in the long 
ocean voyages. What would happen if they were running up and down 
our coast? I don't know. But I think there is a greater degree of risk 
than we anticipate. 

The Chairman. Under the 50-50 law, all of these countries, all the 
dire things are going to happen to us and everything else, they all 
scream. Then we were hauling goods that we were giving them, our 
own goods. At that time the merchant marine was getting down to 
nothing and then it came back a little bit. 

Mr. Brand. I have one comment on a recommendation you made. I 
certainly hope you go through with it. That is to call in the State De- 
partment, because I think it was pitiful to watch these poor guys from 
the USCG attempt to cope with a problem which thev don't even have 
in their own hands. They are negated by a higher authority and the guy 
couldn't even give you the appropriate answer to your question of why 
they don't enforce the law against the foreign-flag ships. 

So it would seem to me that the State Department, if you can flush 
out the State Department attitude on this thing, which I think will 
be a hard job, would certainly be helpful. 

The Chairman. Oh, ves. It is always somebody up above in these 
cases. I don't know whether the t T SCG actually believes we shouldn't 
do some of these things or not. They are still working for the Govern- 
ment. They don't like to, I guess, carry out what they think the policy 
is going to be. We will put it all in the record. 
[The statement follows :] 

Statement of Herbert Brand, President, Transportation Institute 

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, the Transportation Institute, an 
organization of 130 member companies engaged in the nation's foreign and 
domestic shipping trades, and in barge and tugboat operations on the Great Lake* 
ancl Inland Waters, appreciates this opportunity to express its views on how the 
United States can reduce the hazards to its marine environment arising from 
the transportation of oil. 

It is imperative that measures be adopted to reduce the incidence of 
catastrophic oil spills. Measures are also needed to reduce discharges from normal 


tanker operations which are the major source of tanker-generated oil pollution 
of the oceans. As the amount of oil that is transported increases, we cau expect 
corresponding increases in oil spilled. Unless action is taken, the finite capacity 
of the marine environment to cleanse itself could he over-burdened. 

The United States can significantly reduce the volume of tanker oil pollution 
by imposing stringent standards for vessel design, construction and operation, and 
for crew training and performance. Such a program can be most successfully 
implemented and enforced if the U.S.-flag fleet— the only fleet unequivocably 
subject to U.S. control— carries a significant portion of our oil imports. To achieve 
this aim, a cargo policy is necessary requiring that a specified percentage of oil 
imports be carried on U.S.-flag tankers. 

The purpose of this testimony is two-fold — to identify a major deficiency in 
the present oil transportation system that contributes to environmental hazards 
and to show how the adoption of a cargo policy can assist in overcoming those 


Recent events have underscored an important defect in the nation's oil trans- 
portation system: almost exclusive reliance on foreign-flag tankers to carry 
our oil requirements. Approximately 96 percent of U.S. oil imports are carried 
on foreign-flag tankers, and "flag-of-convenience" tankers account for a sub- 
stantial portion of this amount. Therefore, a comprehensive examination of the 
hazards posed by tankers to the marine environment must address the issue of 
"flag-of-convenience" fleets. 


To illustrate, since mid-December, 1976, a total of eight Liberian and 
Panamanian tankers have had accidents while transporting oil to the United 
States These incidents accurately reflect the overall high casualty rate of flag- 
of-convenience vessels. These fleets are responsible for a disproportionately 
large share of marine accidents, including accidents involving pollution. On the 
average, in recent years, the flag-of-convenience fleets' share of world casualties 
has been twice as high as their share of world tonnage. The fleets comprise only 
21 percent of world tonnage, but have been responsible for 36 percent of world 
tonnage lost. In terms of vessels, the fleets comprise only 8 percent of total 
vessels, but have been responsible for over 15 percent of vessels lost. Liberia 
has been responsible for 40.78 percent of all tanker tonnage lost, even though 
it comprises only 26 percent of world tanker tonnage. 

The Liberian and Panamanian fleets each epitomize in a different way tne 
dangers of reiving on flag-of-convenience vessels. Since the Liberian tanker fleet 
includes relatively newer tankers, a relatively low casualty rate would be ex- 
pected However, lack of crew experience and low standards of ship management 
have resulted in an unjustifiably high casualty rate. The extraordinarily high 
accident rate of the Panamanian fleet illustrates the dangers of relying upon an 
unregulated fleet with a high proportion of older tonnage. 

Moreover the poor qualitv of flag-of-convenience operations is understated by 
the unadjusted statistics. This is because these vessels spend a relatively higher 
portion of their existence on deep sea routes rather than in confined and con- 
gested coastal waters where the majority of accidents occur. 


The high casualtv rate among the flag-of-convenience fleets is best understood 
bv asking whose "convenience" is involved? The casualty rate is a direct product 
of the motives underlying registration in convenience countries. There are two 
elements supporting such registration : minimal restraints and the primacy ot 
economic considerations. The interplay of these factors allows no consideration 
for the marine environment. 

Registration in convenience countries is easily achieved. Ownership and con- 
trol of vessels bv non-citizens is allowed. Vessels may be manned by non- 
nationals Taxes "and labor standards are low or non-existent. The _ flag-nf- 
convenience countries lack the desire, power and administrative machinery to 
impose regulations that temper the narrowest private economic concerns with 
social objectives— if they tried to, they would cease to be "convenient Ihey are 
onlv tangentially affected by the actual operations of tankers registered under 


their Hags. Therefore, there is no interest in exercising responsible and effective 
control over vessel construction and operation or the certification of personnel 
Qualifications, training, and performance. 

Thus, registration in convenience countries permits escape from the effective 
sovereignty of any nation and avoidance of regulatory controls normally exerted 
by traditional maritime nations. It is not surprising therefore that the vessels 
of the flag-of-convenience fleets, compared to the fleets of traditional maritime 
nations, incorporate less safety and environment design features, are less reliable, 
employ less qualified crews, and tend to be poorly managed. 

Plag-of-convenience owners and the oil companies argue that government con- 
trols are unnecessary since they have the greatest and most direct interest in 
vessel safety. The same argument can be made by every industry opposing safety 
and environmental controls. That it should be given no more credence here than 
in other contexts is empirically demonstrated by the flag-of-convenience record. 



The most disturbing aspect of the growing reliance on flag-of-convenience fleets 
has been the inevitable effect on international standards and practices. The flag- 
of-convenience fleets represent the competitive economic norm. Other shipowners 
must attempt to reach the same cost levels as convenience owners if they are to 
compete and survive. This is reflected in the failure of the international com- 
munity to adopt safety and environmental standards and undoubtedly also has 
a downgrading effect on worldwide tanker practices and operations generally. 



The Ports and Waterways Safety Act empowers the Coast Guard to establish 
tanker safety and environmental design standards and crew qualifications, train- 
ing requirements, and performance standards. To date, this power has been little 

The exercise of the authority conferred by this Act has been hampered by the 
overwhelming reliance on foreign-flag vessels to carry this nation's oil imports. 
International political considerations have constrained the unilateral imposition 
by the United States of standards on a fleet overwhelmingly composed of foreign- 
flag vessels. Moreover, if the promulgation of standards had been pursued more 
vigorously, enforcement problems would have negated much of their effectiveness. 
This is particularly so with respect to the enforcement of operational standards 
and crew performance. 

Obviously, the greater exercise of authority under the Ports and Waterways 
Safety Act is urgently needed. However, this is only a partial solution. What 
is needed is a fundamental change in national attitude about the tankers that 
carry our oil and threaten our waters. The unbridled and narrow economic 
interests that now determine the design, construction, operation, manning 
and registry of these tankers must be tempered by the effective exercise of 
U.S. sovereignty to promote the broader objectives of the United States, in- 
cluding the protection of the marine environment. Adoption of a cargo policy 
requiring a specified percentage of oil imports to be carried on U.S.-flag 
tankers is indispensible in that regard. 

First, adoption of a cargo policy will allow the United States to impose the 
highest standards on tankers eligible to carry reserved oil. This Committee 
recognized that in the 93d Congress by requiring in H.R. 8193 that tankers 
eligible to carry the 30 percent of U.S. oil imports reserved to U.S. vessels by 
that bill incorporate the "best available pollution prevention technology" in- 
eluding double bottoms. A substantial improvement in 30 percent of the tank- 
ers entering our waters would have been no small accomplishment. Unfor- 
tunately, that legislation was vetoed on the basis that it might increase the 
cost of transporting oil by a fraction of a penny per gallon— the cost, to the 
marine environment was not computed. 

The adoption of a cargo policy would effectuate a speedy conversion to 
tankers which incorporate the most advanced safety and environmental design 
features. It is not feasible to retrofit the current fleet of foreign-flag tankers 
to incorporate some of the most desirable safety and environmental features, 
inus, the construction of new tankers is necessary. The adoption of a cargo 


policy will generate an immediate tanker construction program which could 
Elude the most advanced safety and environmental design standards. 

.Moreover, unless a cargo policy is adopted, the United States will be weak- 
ened in its effort to obtain compliance with safety and environmental stand- 
ards. Foreign-flag operators are well aware of the fact that the United States 
is dependent upon their vessels because of the lack of its own tanker capacity. 
Thus, the United States is constrained from excluding noncomplying tankers 
from entering United States ports. As a practical matter, a time period for 
compliance with new standards would be developed. However, foreign-flag 
operators can prolong indefinitely the construction of tankers which conform 
to U.S. standards so long as the United States does not have its own acceptable 

To insure compliance with United States standards, a "critical mass" of 
D.S.-flag tankers is indispensable. There must be a sufficient number of U.S.-flag 
tankers constructed to make clear that the United States will not continue 
to be dependent upon foreign-flag tankers whose design, construction, opera- 
tion, maiming and registry are determined exclusively by the economic "con- 
venience*' of their owners and oil company customers. As this Committee rec- 
ognized when it approved H.R. 8193, only a national cargo policy will result 
in the construction of such a tanker fleet. Use of U.S.-flag tankers would also 
greatly facilitate enforcement and compliance with crew qualification, train- 
ing, and performance standards. 

Additionally, once the United States takes the lead in imposing and en- 
forcing standards on its tankers, it is in a far stronger leadership position to 
break the economic "convenience" syndrome that now dominates tanker con- 
struction and operation and to insist upon the adoption of higher international 
standards. Both its moral and economic arguments would be strengthened. 

The fundamental issue is tempering the unbridled and narrow economic con- 
siderations that now determine every element of tanker construction and 
operation with a concern for broader national objectives. Protection of the 
marine environment is one major objective. As this Committee ably articulated 
when it recommended H.R. 8193 to the Senate, adoption of a national cargo 
policy reserving 30 percent of oil imports to U.S. vessels would also serve 
other vital national objectives. It would substantially strengthen the national 
security. It would contribute greatly to the U.S. balance of payments and tax 
base. It would also result in the creation of urgently needed jobs in shipyards, 
aboard ship and in component supporting industries. These jobs would include 
about double the national average of minority and other high unemployment 
groups and would constitute about 12 percent of the new jobs necessary to ful- 
fill the new Administration's objective of reducing unemployment to 5 percent 
by 1980. 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity 
to present the Institute's views to you on this important issue. 

The Chairman. The committee will adjourn until the mil of the 
Chair, but I think we will have to have some more testimony next 

[Whereupon, at 5:55 p.m., the hearing was adjourned, to recon- 
vene subject to the call of the Chair.] 

82- 90S— 77— pt. \- 


Depaktmknt of Transportation, 

U.S. Coast Guard, 
"Washington, D.V., December 1, 1976. 
Hon. Warren G. Magnuson, 
chairman. Committee on Commerce, 

< nate, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Chairman Magnuson: This is in response to your request of 12 Xoveni- 
ber V.I76 concerning tankers in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

The investigation concerning the two vessels in the Straits, the WHITE 
PEONY and WARBAH, is not complete at this time, hut will be forwarded in 
the immediate future. 

I share your deep concern for the protection of the environment and Improved 
marine safety. In this regard the Coast Guard has initiated substantial efforts 
towards this goal. Some of the more significant positive actions are outlined 

'1 be United States and Canada jointly established the voluntarly traffic separa- 
tion scheme in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on 1 March 1975. The scheme was 
designed with due regard for existing pilotage, vessel traffic routing and U.S. and 
Canadian vessel traffic management services. A cooperative U.S./Canadian 
vessel traffic management system can be established in the area with minimal 
disruption of the mariners' routine operation. The present voluntary scheme 
cannot he made mandatory until the U.S. and Canada reach agreement on 
cooperative vessel traffic management in this region. The Coast Guard is working 
and will continue to strive toward this goal. We are also examining ways t,, 
increase the mariners' awareness of the Strait of Juan de Fuca separation 

We have been investigating additional improvements to. and expansion of. the 
Paget Sound Vessel Traffic Service. Radar surveillance of the Strait of Juan de 
Fuca and Rosario Strait is being examined in this regard. Proposed amendments 
to the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Services Regulations are in final administrative 
clearance within the Coast Guard. We anticipate their appearance in the FEI>- 
ERAL REGISTER in the near future. The proposal is designed to reduce conges- 
tion <>n assigned radio frequencies and to prevent applicable vessels from getting 
underway during low visibility without permission of the Coast Guard Vessel 
Traffic Center. 

The Coast Guard has continuously supported the development and testing of 
a Standard Marine Navigational Vocabulary for international use. It has been 
subjected to a test period for some two years under the auspices of the Inter- 
Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (TMCO). The refinement 
process is Hearing completion and IMCO should soon be ready to recommend an 
appropriate amendment to the International Code of Signals. For our purpose, 
■•lie of the major benefits of the vocabulary is the standardized use of the English 

Review' of public response to proposed navigation safety regulations, under 
the authority of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1!>7L\ is Hearing comple- 
tion. This could result, in vessels without appropriate charts and other naviga- 
tional publications being prohibited from operating in the area. 

I shall continue to keep you informed on the developments of the above items 
and if I or the members of my Staff can be of further service please do riot 
hesitate to call on us. 

O. W. Su ik. 
Admiral. T'.S. Coast Guard. 




Department op Transportation, 

U.S. Coast Guard, 
Washington, D.V., December 3, 1976. 
Hon. Warren G, Magnuson, 
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, 

l '.N. Semite. 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman : Thank you for your letter of 26 October 1976 concerning 
the unfortunate collision on the Mississippi River and the related matter of 
collision avoidance systems. 

The Coast Guard has for many years contributed to the funding and support 
of the Maritime Transportation Research Board. Through our special research 
liaison representative, we have been of some assistance to the Board in organizing 
an effort directly related to maritime safety and pollution prevention. The 
project on human error was undertaken with full cooperation and assistance of 
the Coast Guard and is an example of our continued initiative to address matters 
in the maritime safety field. 

It is our intention to integrate the MTRB report, experience gained in the use 
of collision avoidance systems (including those installed under the MARAD 
program), and other information as may be available in our overall evaluation 
of the question of a requirement for a collision avoidance device on certain 
vessels. A Xotice of Proposed Rulemaking, devoted solely to this matter, will 
be published in the near future. 

The above indicates our concern and positive efforts in pursuing the mandate 
of the PWSA. Please be assured we will keep you advised of our program in 
this area. 

If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to call on me or 
members of my staff. 

T. H. Rutledge, 

Chief, Congressional Affairs. 

Department of Transportation, 

U.S. Coast Guard, 
Washington, D.C, December 21, 1916. 
Hon. Warren G. Magnuson, 
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, 
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act (Public 
Law 93-153) requires the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a Vessel Traffic Service 
for Prince William Sound and Valdez, AK., pursuant to the authority contained 
in Title I of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-340). 
The southern terminus of the pipeline will be on the south shoreline of Port 
Yaldez at Jackson Point, the Alyeska Pipeline Service Companv tanker terminal. 

On or about 1 July 1977, the Marine Safety Office, Valdez, AK. will be com- 
missioned. This U.S. Coast Guard facility will consist of the necessary adminis- 
trative, operational and maintenance buildings and offices to support the manned 
vessel traffic services, port safety, commercial vessel safety, limited search and 
rescue service and environmental protection programs of this unique area. In- 
cluded in the station facilities are 2S units of family housing and bachelor 
quarters for 20 officers and enlisted personnel. 

The manned vessel traffic service will use five VHF-FM communications sites 
between Cape Hinchinbrook and Valdez, and high resolution radars established 
at Potato Point (Valdez Narrows) and Valdez. All the remote communications 
sites and radars will be remotely operated and controlled from the Vessel Traffic 
Center at the Marine Safety Office Valdez. The communications equipment will 
provide complete VHF-FM coverage of the Prince William Sound area from 
sonth of Middleton Island to Whittier and Valdez ; the radar sites will provide 
blanket coverage of Valdez Arm, Valdez Narrows and Port Valdez. 

Federal regulations to require the participation of certain vessels (including 
tankers) in the Vessel Traffic Service are currentlv under development and 
review by the U.S. Coast Guard. These regulations will be patterned after those 
contained in 33 CFR 161 for the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service in Seattle, 
WA. A notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject should be published in the 
Federal Register by early 1977. 


If you desire any further Information about the establishment of the Marine 
Safety Office Valdez and the manned vessel traffic services to be provided, i L< 
feel free to cull the Congressional Affairs Staff, U.S. Coast Guard Headquai 
:il 202 426-4280. 

B. L. Perry, 
Vice Ldmiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Via Commandant. 

The Secretary op Transportation, 
Washington, D.C., December ?8, 1916. 
Hon. Warren O. Magnuson, 
Chairman, Committee on commerce, 
i \S Senate, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman : Recent press reports relative to grounding of the Liber- 
ian flag tank ship ARGO MERCHANT with its resultant oil spill have Indicated 
your intent to open hearings on oil tanker safety mesures "as soon as Congress 
reconvenes." Quotations have also been published voicing your criticism of the 
Coast Guard insofar as "lack of activity'' and "too easy going" efforts in inter- 
national vessel safety areas are concerned. 

There are several points which I should make in the above regard. Mr. Chair- 
man. The grounding of the ARGO MERCHANT was, without a doubt, the result 
ef human error in some form, resulting in failure to determine the vessel's 
position accurately. The event did occur in international waters and the only 
way that the Coast Guard can cause an increase in personnel standards is 
through international agreement. The Coast Guard has been exerting leadership 
in this area. For example: in the vein of personnel capability and functioning, 
the Coast Guard, representing the United States, has been and is in the forefront 
In the international arena, specifically through strong preparatory efforts under- 
way in the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) 
looking toward the holding of an International conference in 1978 dealing with 
th.' subject of Standards of Training and Watchkeeping. The intent of the United 
States throughout this effort is to insure international implementation of stand- 
ards of the maximum stringency possible. 

The Coast Guard also has been and is deeply involved nationally in human 
research and regulatory appraisal and development looking toward the upgrading 
of personnel capability and operating procedures in the maritime field. These 
efforts are. of course, carried over into United States positions in corresponding 
international deliberations and actions. 

With regard to the general, overall subject of international vessel safety. 
the Coast Guard, representing the United Stafps, has been the prime mover in 
i he initial development of such agreements as the International Convention for 
Safety of Life at Sea. the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollu- 
tion from ships, the International Load Line Convention and their continuing 
updating and improving by amendatory provisions. Additionally. I believe that 
a review of the reports prepared and submitted annually by the Coast Guard 
to the Congress describing "Activities Relating to Title II. Ports and Waterways 
Safety Act of 1972" will confirm the extensive action taken in the tanker safety 
and pollution prevention areas. 

I should like to close, -Mr. Chairman, by saying that the Coast Guard, repre- 
senting the Department of Transportation is most desirous of participating in 
any hearings or other activities to foster tank vessel safety measures. 

William T. Coleman, 


Hampton Ro vis Port Con \ni.. 
Maritime Trades Departmj 

Norfolk, Va., D< i t976. 

Dear Governor: The oil s-iil! created by the wreck of the foreign flag vessel 
Irgo Merchant and the more n cent spill in the Delaware River by the Liberian 
tanker. Olympic Games, dramatize the need for long delayed action toward a 
policy to ensure the expansion of the U.S. Maritime Fleet The Argo disaster, 


which lias imperiled our coastal areas and fishing grounds, proves the need to| 
close, once and Cor all, the tax loophole for flag of convenience tankers. 

We have seen our national security nearly destroyed in the area of merchant | 
marine tanker transportation because the oil industry has insisted on trans- 
fering its tanker business to foreign flags of convenience ships. These vessels | 
are not subject to safety precautions and other safe operating policies, which 
do apply to American flag ships. 

Flag of convenience vessels employ foreign seamen, who are hired because 
they will work at salaries lower than their more qualified American counter- 
parts. These foreign seamen are not trained to shoulder the responsibilities 
involved in safe tanker operations. We are well aware of the arguments made by 
the oil companies as to the insufficient capacity of the American flag tanker 
fleet. The answer to these arguments is to phase in a program to expand 
our own tanker fleet. The best way to start is to ensure that the maximum 
use is made of American ships in the transport of foreign refined fuels into 
the U.S. since New England has no refineries, this means that all oil imports 
into this area will he delivered in American flag ships, employing American 
personnel and paying U.S. taxes. The Northeast and especially New England, 
which is so dependent upon the importation of refined products, would be much 
more secure against spillage if all of their imports were carried in American 
flag ships manned by better trained and more responsible American sailors. 

Since the OPEC countries are rapidly building their own flag tanker fleets, we 
should enter into negotiations with these countries immediately on a quid 
pro quo policy basis whereby we would import 50 percent of our fuel require- 
ments in American flag vessels and 50 percent in OPEC vessels. 

All refined fuels which we import would be in American flag ships. The im- 
portation of refined fuels in American vessels should be our priority, while we 
begin immediately to construct an American fleet capacity sufficient to handle 
our ."0-50 U.S. flag objective. 

Saudi Arabia has recently upgraded safety requirements for tankers loading 
at its ports ; certainly we should do the same. An increase in American flag tanker 
capacity would upgrade the safety level of tankers entering our ports and sailing 
our coastal waters. This program would have no serious detrimental affect on 
Northeast consumers since modern tankers are highly automated and the Ameri- 
can labor costs are not much above cheap foreign labor; also, American maritime 
sailors are better trained and are more responsible than lower paid foreign sea- 
men — after all, the American labor force lives here and has a direct stake. 

In the event of another oil embargo, OPEC would be able to divert foreign flag 
vessels while on route to U.S. ports ; but American flag ships would continue 
on to deliver their oil to our shores. 

I hope that you will consider these points on this issue, which is so vital 
to our economy, our environment, and our security. 

Peter Buono, 

Gordon Spencer, 
Executive Secretary-Treasurer. 

Ocean Salvage, Inc., 

January 6, 1977. 
Congressman Clarence D. Long, 
Congress of the United States, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Congressman Long: From the time the Argo Merchant grounded on the 
sandy shoals off Nantucket Island, there were four days she could have been re- 
moved ; preventing the largest oil spill on the East Coast. 

When the ship grounded, steam was up and the engine was running. It was 
important that the engine room be preserved, as its power would help salvage 
efforts. NOW WAS THE TIME FOR THE RIGHT ACTION ! Instead, the only 
action taken was to remove the crew and their personal possessions. The order to 
kill the fires, or no order to maintain the fires, allowed the engine room to flood 
and the cargo to solidify. 

For four days it was reported that the ship was in no danger of breaking up. 
The plans were to fly in steam generators and pumps to pump the cargo into 


barges standing by. They estimated that it would take three to four days to 
mobilize the equipment and about two to three weeks to reheat the cargo and 
pomp it out. 

Sunday, when I again called the ('oast Guard In Nantucket and learned thai 
they had no practical salvage plans, I knew the ship was "(lone for" with the 
Impending storm. She broke in half that night. It was absolutely Incredible thai 
anyone Could set a time schedule against nature. In those waters, at. this time 
of year, you would he lucky to get two or three days between heavy seas. 

What a different story had a salvage team been put aboard, maintaining the 
engine room, ordering in salvage tugs to pull her off soon after the Coast Guard 
received the first (list ress signal of t he grounding. 

What I propose is a working team of salvage specialists he notified by the 
Coast Guard as a distress signal is received. The salvage team should he put in 
direct contact with the ship's officer to appraise the situation, if salvage Is pos- 
sible. The team would make suggestions to the ship's officer, as to what he should 
do to begin the salvage operation. This plan is very much like the one the F.A.A 
has set up on a "May Day" radio frequency of 121. r>. Specialists are immediately 
put on the radio to assist aircraft pilots in trouble. Many accidents have been 
averted by this system. 

These disasters are going to happen as ships age. Are we prepared to move fast 
to prevent or minimize a tragedy such as this off our coasts? The Argo Merchant 
began as a grounding. 

Robert 1'. IIoopkr, Salvage Master. 

AFLr-CTO Maritime Committee, 
Washington, D.C., January 10, 1977. 
Hon. Warren G. Magnuson, 
chairman, Senate Commerce Committee, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman : The attached statement of Shannon J. Wall, President 
of the National Maritime Union of America, AFL-CIO, and Chairman of the 
AJPL-CIO Maritime Committee, pertains to the subject matter of your hearings— 
the recent "runaway flag" tanker accidents— scheduled for January 11th and 12th. 

We suggest that' the heart of the problem is the safety inadequacy of these 
ships and their crews when compared to U.S. flag tankers. American seamen are 
the most qualified in the world. American-built and operated ships are con- 
structed and maintained to the highest standards in the world. 

The NMU has participated in IMCO's Subcommittee on Standards of Training 
and Watchkeeping in preparation for the Convention in 1978. They have exi»eri- 
enml considerable opposition in these Conferences in their efforts to increase 
these standards to the level American labor considers necessary. 

The suggestions we have heard to eliminate these tanker accidents— increase 
penalties, establishment of traffic lanes, double bottoms for American flag tank- 
ers—are not individually or collectively the total answer to the problem. While 
they may help, they are no panacea. How would increased penalties improve the 
situation when we* cannot even collect on the ones which exist at present? It 
these undermanned tankers cannot find their way with the navigational aids cur- 
rently operated by totally unqualified crews, how will additional equipment help? 
Double bottoms for American flag tankers, even if they were the answer, would 
not help because only 5 percent of the imported oil is carried on American Hag 
tankers. ,, 

No one can assure absolutely that oil spills will never happen again regardless 
Of how many precautionary measures are taken. However, to greatly reduce the 
chances of these spills from reoccurring we should require that I .S. flag tanker- 
be used to transport our oil cargoes. 

When your hearting schedule permits we are requesting time to further elab- 
orate on these points and others. 

Respectfully yours, „ _ 

Talmaqe B. Simpkins, 

ulirr Director. 



CUBB I'm; Uv>awvy Fl \o Taskebs 
I By Shannon J. Wall 1 ) 

n should be clear now beyond all doubt thai this country's energy supplhp 
and their delivery can't be left totally in the hands of foreign countries ami 
foreign corporations whose drive for profit leaves no room for concern for our 
economic welfare or security or the conditions of our seacoasts and lishiug 

The incredible destruction this month oi two Liberian flag tankers, the Sa$ 
senina in Los Angeles and the Argo Merchanl off New England, should once 
and for all show that as long as any oil or other needed commodities must U 
imported it is vital to control as much of the delivery system as possible. 

Reports that another Liberian flag tanker, the ss Olympic Games, has run 
aground in the Delaware River spilling thousands of gallons of oil have reached 
us. Our message to the residents of Los Angeles and New England — ami now 
New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania — is that if these tankers had been 
flying the American flag the chances are strong that these '•accidents" would not 
have occurred. 

No one, not even the greatest experts in the world, can say absolutely that 
these types of accidents will never happen again. There are. however, certain 
actions under our control that should be taken to reduce the changes of re 
currence. Realistically, the answer is not to shut out imports. About 40 per- 
cent of t>ur oil needs are imported from foreign sources. To reduce such imports 
would cripple U.S. industry, nor to mention imposing a long list of hardships 
and inconveniences on the general public. The push by some to increase tin 
penalties is nor the answer either. What good would This do? Ir will certainly 
not transform these runaways into responsible operators. 

They exist for one purpose, profits at all cost ; there is no room in their thinking 
for anything else. We might collect some additional dollars if the owners of thest 
types of operations were ever found. And what good is that? I strongly belies 
we should move firmly to reduce the chances of these accidents from ever hap 
pening again. 

How i an we achieve rhis? We can simply require rhat all or certainly a major 
part of the Oil we import be brought in by U.S.-flag ships. Such ships would be 
American-owned, safe, responsibly built and operated. The ships would also b< 
subject to U.S. laws. This would eliminate the need to sue a will-o'-the-wisp 
foreign owner in a disinterested foreign court or to become embroiled in a tanglt 
of internal complications. 

For years we have proposed oil import regulations and in 1974 Presidonr For 
vetoed a bill which would have required a modest 30 percent oi all imports to Ik? 
brought in by our rankers.. Unfortunately, parr of the pressure on the President 
to veto the measure came from New England where higher fuel cosrs were feared 
These fears were intensified through false propaganda spread by some major oi 
companies — both American and foreign — as well as their runaway flag ranker 

These tanker operators are labeled runaways because by registering in coUj 
tries such as Liberia they run away from American safety standards. America! 
raxes and the employment of American-citizen seamen. Admittedly, the use o: 
American-flag tankers could conceivably increase fuel cosrs. Fur hew does 
couple of cents more per barrel compare with the tragic loss of life, the potentia 
destruction of fishing grounds or devastation of our beaches and resort areas ar 
rhe accompanying ecological and economic loss due ro the greed of unserui n 
ranker operators and owners? 

Furthermore, if an international emergency occurs,> U.S. -Sag tanker 
would be available without question ro serve This country's need; ly a 

added bonus. We've already seen how little so-called effective control the Defens 
Department can command over These runaway flag ships which are often Amer 
can-owned. During rhe Vietnam sealift more than one such foreign rD:r vesse 
refused to sail with any defense cargo of the prevailing political views 
Of rhe country whose dag was being down or because of the sentiments of various 
nationals among the crews on the ships. 

loan-built ships are eonsrmered to the highest standard world 

and Through the United Srares Coast Guard These srandards can be enforced. 

1 Shannon ,T. Wall is president of the 4~.000-member National Marirhne Union, with 
headquarters in New York City, which represents unlicensed seamen on Ameri 
• and tanker vessels. 


U.S.-flag ships are Inspected for safetj to a greater degree than any others and 
r.s. crews are trained to more exacting standards. U.S.-fl tlso mean Jobs 

in this country, a welcome development In times <>f slack economic activity. 

With the assurance of cargoi s to keep such Bhip employed In the fao 
rat*- competition on foreign vessels which pay substandard wages, have terrible 
working conditions and generally have lower construction and operating coal 
U.S.-flag " h I of tankers would be expected to provide more d< pendable and • 
ronmentally safe delivery or oil and other needed fuels and raw materials. In 
addition, they would be available for service to tins country in times of national 

Under international law we are bound to allow most foreign tankers in our 
ports so long as they adhere to internationally agreed-upon construction and 
safeiy standards. The problem is that these Internationa] standards are much 
lower than ours and there is no competent authority to see to it that even these 
inadequate requirements are met. Environmentalists and other informed citizen- 
are unhappy with the situation and understandably so because about p.", percent 
of our total oil imports come in these ships. This extremely high exposure to 
potential danger is frightening. 

Realistically, the answer is to mandate that only U.S.-flag vessels carry this 
imported cargo. The danger to the environment and adverse economic pressures 
from foreign oil producing countries as well as foreign tanker operators will suit- 
side. No one need think that this is a precedent-setting step for us. Many foreign 
countries require varying amounts of all their imports and exports to move in 
their own ships largely for strictly economic reasons. We should do no less to 
protect our own self-interest. 

Federation- of American Controlled Shipping. 

Xciv York, X.Y., January 10, l'-Hl. 
Hon. Warren G. Magnuson, 
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, 
r.s. Senate, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman : I would like to comment briefly on the letter dated 
January 3, 1977 which you received from Paul Hall. President of the Seafarers 
International Union, and in which the claim is made that the mandated use of 
U.S. manned and built tankers in the oil import trades would somehow minimize 
tanker casualties and thus serve to protect the marine environment. 

Assuming for the sake of argument that a fleet of expensive U.S. flag ships 
were built to carry 30 percent of our total oil imports, such tankers would most 
likely be displacing the highest cost foreign flag ships— those which are generally 
the newest and best maintained vessels and which are operated by the most safety- 
conscious owners. Such U.S. flag participation would have little or no impact on 
the status of the lower cost, fully depreciated, older ships which still would be 
in the best compel i live position to carry the remaining 70 percent of oil imports. In 
Short, the several billions of dollars in additional costs which would be required 
to build and operate a domestic fleet capable of carrying 30 percent of our oil 
irts would, at best, produce a zero net gain in terms of safety. 

The claim is also poorly founded because it implies that U.S. manned and built 
ships are somehow more immune from human r, rror and the mechanical and equip- 
ment failures which underlie ship casualties. As most persons in the tanker 
Industry know, and as the public records verify, this simply is not the case. Just 
lasr week it was reported that a T'.S. flag tanker of about the same tonnage as 
the Argo Merchant had completely lost its power on a ballast voyage 18 mile-- off 
the coast of North Carolina while another U.S. flag tanker was involved in a spill 
Of 2,000 '/anon- of oil in San Francisco. 

Two months ago the largest and newest U.S. flag tanker (manned, incidentally. 
by unlicensed seamen represented by Mr. Hall's union) struck a reef off the 
coast of the Bahamas on its maiden voyage, while laden with 7"> million gallons 
of Nigerian crude oil. No spill resulted hut the tanker was reported to have 
sustained substantial bottom damage and is yet to be ,}v : 

Two years ago this month one of the most catastrophic tanker accidents In 
T'.S. waters, resulting in the loss of 11 lives and the burning of about 13 million 
gallons of oil. occurred when a U.S. flag tanker collided with a docked foreign 
tanker in the Delaware River. 

There are numerous other incidents which could be cited to und 
Mr. Hall certainly must know— that a vessel's registry, its place of construction 


and the nationality of its crew provide no meaningful guarantees against human i 
error and mechanical and equipment failures. 

Furthermore, while Mr. Hall is correct in saying that American seamen are 
"highly skilled and trained," the fact remains that there are still numerous U.S. 
maritime union restrictions with regard to hiring, placement and promotion of 
officers and crew. For example, many U.S. flag tankers are plagued by high turn- 
over rates in officers and crew members, a condition which makes it very difficult 
for shipowners to maintain safety-related training programs and to retain the 
best crews available. The high rate of turnover can be traced to extended vaca- 
tion periods under union contracts (up to 6 months for certain officers) which 
result in the excessive employment of temporary relief personnel, and to rotary 
hiring hall procedures (such as those required by Mr. Hall's union) which de- 
prive owners of the rights to select and retain the most capable and best trained 

In terms of the real issues affecting safe operation of ships and protection of 
the environment, I might mention that our organization has been concerned 
with the problem of substandard vessels for many years and has been cooperat- 
ing with the Liherian maritime authorities and. more recently, with the Pana- 
manian maritime officials in efforts to upgrade their safety programs. Our work 
in this area has convinced us that the problem of poorly maintained vessels 
operated by inadequately trained or incompetent crews is not limited to any par- 
ticular registry. Such ships do exist, but we believe that certainly less than 5% 
of the vessels in the world fleet could be so categorized. 

We are also convinced that the problem of substandard ships, pending more 
rigorous enforcement by flag sttaes and by agreement within the international 
community, can best be handled in the United States by a system of identification 
of the records of vessels and owners in this category. Specifically, we urge that 
your Committee give serious consideration to broadening, if necessary, the Ports 
and Waterways Safety Act. so as to empower the U.S. Coast Guard to compile and 
periodically publish a listing of those vessels and their owners which are found to 
be in serious violation of safety and pollution prevention conventions, laws and 
regulations, or which have been involved in excessive numbers of marine casual- 
ties placing in question the competency of the officers and crews or the poor 
maintenance of the vessels or their equipment. We believe that this form of public 
identification, if circulated to the approximately 200 companies which from time 
to time charter tankers into the United States, would provide the most effective 
national deterrent against substandard vessels entering U.S. waters. 

I am confident that you will focus your Committee's hearings on the safety 
and pollution prevention issues arising out of the recent incidents, and not 
broaden its scope, as Mr. Hall has proposed, to cover extraneous and unrelated 
matters which would only confuse the real and compelling issues at hand. 

It would be appreciated if you would include this letter as part of the record 
of your hearings. 

Philip J. Loree, Chairman. 

City of Carpinteria, 
Office of the City Attorney. 
Santa Barbara, Calif., January 11. 19Tt. 
Senator Warren G. Magnuson, 
U.S. Senate, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Senator Magnuson : I do understand that you intend to conduct hear- 
ings very soon concerning damages arising out of and resulting from oil spills. 
While I know that your concern has been precipitated by the groundings of the 
Liherian Tankers off of Nantucket, Massachusetts and in the Delaware River, 
I would like to urge you to expand your scope of inquiry to include damages that 
occur from off-shore oil well drilling. 

I was one of the principal attorneys in the case of California v. Union Oil 
Company, which was settled eventually for $9,700,000.00 arising out of the 10G0 
Santa Barbara Channel Oil Spill. 

In that proceeding, prior to the settlement, one of the major issues involved 
was damage to governments and governmental property. Serious questions were 
raised in that proceeding regarding the extent to which oil companies could or 
would be held liable for major pollution resulting from oil spills, including dam- 


ages to public property, public functions and loss of taxes. < >r course, In addition 
wben a tanker breaks up or is destroyed, tbe federal Limitation of Liability Act 
under Maritime Law comes directly Into issue. 

T strongly feel that major federal legislation In this area is drastically needed. 
mk r all, oil ocmpanies and oil Bbipping companies are in this for profit and 
they oughl not be able to pass the risk of loss off on the public and local 

gO> erninents. 

Any help, advise, assistance or facts thai I can supply In this area. I would be 
mere than happy to do so. 

Very sincerely yours. 

James k. Christiansen, 

Cit a Attornt y. 

Seattle Chambeb op Commer e, 
Seattle, Wash., January 11, 1977. 
Hon. Warren G. Magnoson, 
Senate Office Building, 
Washington, D.C. 

Dear Maggie: The Chamber notes with interest your current activity regard- 
ing tanker safety regulations, particularly the convening of the Senate Commerce 
( Jommittee this week to initiate hearings on the subject. 

One of our primary concerns is that these hearings maintain a proper focus— 
which is, that the thrust of any new tanker regulations should not be overly 
reactionary or overly-restrictive in terms of trying to impede tanker movement, 
but rather' should concentrate on means of improving the safety of those move- 

This was essentially the point of my previous letter to you of November 18, 
Copy enclosed, in which I was emphasizing the need for additional regulatory 
powers for the Thirteenth Coast Guard District and the need for greater capital 
investment here in ('oast Guard equipment, particularly additional radar sur- 
veillance equipment for the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Rosario Strait. 

There is some danger, we feel, of letting emotional overreact ion carry the day 
in view of the recent series of oil tanker mishaps around the world, and additional 
Instances of vessels not fully understanding or complying with Coast Guard 
navigational regulations in the Puget Sound area. The protected waters of Timet 
Sound, however, cannot he put in the same category with the unprotected stormy 
waters of the North Atlantic or other wide-open ocean areas. Such differences 
Should he kept in mind in formulating new federal or state regulations on tanked 
and other vessels. 

As my previous letter tried to stress, we can see no reason to delay unneces- 
sarily the actions which must take place in regard to installing additional radar 
surveillance stations in this area and the need for greater regulatory powers to he 
given to the Coast Guard. Within one or two years, the Canadian VTS system in 
Vancouver, B. C. will nearly approximate the operational procedures of airports 
as currently regulated by the FAA. and that is what we should also strive for in 
terms of regulating maritime commerce. 

In the proper concern for environmental protection of Puget Sound waters 
and the San Juan Island area, many other factors should be kept in balanced 
perspective. The delivery of crude oil to the four major northern Puget Sound 
refiners is only one aspect of tanker and other vessel traffic through the Rosario 
and Haro Straits. Many tankers exit these same waters to deliver the refined 
products to California and other markets. These products are generally more 
toxic than crude oil in terms of the potential environmental danger involved in 
a spill. The Vancouver, B.C. area has five oil refineries which will continue to 
receive crude oil tankers and also export refined products by tanker. To do this 
they will utilize both Haro and Rosario Straits. .Many other vessels destined for 
both T T .S. and Canadian trade transit these water'- and have fuel tanks full 
of toxic fuel, in some cases a capacity equal to World War II size tankers. In 
summary, the vessel traffic involved cannot he eliminated from these waters, 
but all efforts must he exerted to make the marine traffic operate as safely as 

Economics cannot he overlooked in this entire matter. The total capital invest- 
ment involved in the Shell-Texaco-Mobil-ARC< > refineries in the An.uortes-( 'hcrry 
Point area is approximately $600 million at depreciated currenl book value, and 
the dollar replacement value is approximately $1 billion. In addition, these re- 


fineries receive daily 340.000 barrels of crude oil valued at $13.00 per barrel, or 
an approximate value of $4.5 milliou per day of raw material delivery. The value 
of the refined products converted from this crude oil is substantially greater. It 
is clear that the petroleum industry alone in this area is a multi-billion dollar 
industry which must rely upon use of our area waters, and there are many oilier 
industries to consider also. Starting in 1977, every drop of this crude oil will 
have to be delivered by tanker, since the reduced Canadian exports of crude 
have dictated delivery to the midwest and complete cutoff of our Puget Sound 

In conclusion, let me repeat that the Chamber stands four-square for maximum 
safety precautions being implemented to protect the environmental quality of our 
valuable Puget Sound waters. We heartily applaud efforts in this direction, such 
as requiring English speaking crews or pilots, adequate local charts, pilots per- 
haps boarding at Cape Flattery, mandatory traffic separation lanes under full 
control of rhe Coast Guard, adequate tug escorts where necessary and feasible, 
and other precedural improvements. Most critically important, however, would 
be installation of additional shore-based radar surveillance installations for 
the Coast Guard. It would appear that perhaps two or three additional installa- 
tions will be required along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to mesh with the Cana- 
dian system, and it will require an additional one or two sites to fully cover the 
Rosario Strait area. This might cost the Coast Guard perhaps $10 to $15 million 
in additional capital investment, and would probably incur additional annual 
operating expenses. However, compared to the multi-billion dollar industries 
involved, including the fishing and recreational industries, the cost is minimal. 
Continued multi-purpose use of our waters absolutely requires such maximum 
protection, and the sooner the better. 

It would be much appreciated if you would keep these thoughts in mind as 
the federal hearings under your guidance proceed on these matters. We also are 
encouraging Brock Adams, our newly-appointed Secretary of Transportation to 
cooperate fully in these matters, and we understand he has already indicated 
a strong desire to do so. 

If the Chamber ~can provide any other information which would be helpful to 
your efforts, please let me know. 

C. Mike Berry. President. 

Seattle Chamber of Commerce. 
Seattle, Wash., November IS, 1976. 
Hon. Warren G. Magxuson, 
Seriate Office Building, 
Washington, B.C. 

Dear Maggie : You are undoubtedly aware of the critical need for substantial 
expansion of our present Coast Guard Vessel Traffic System (VTS) here in 
Puget Sound. Several events have recently taken place which only confirm 
the urgency of this need. 

Two recent events involve foreign tankers which wandered unguided into 
the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Neither ship had communications capability 
with the VTS system because of language barriers, prior to boarding by 
English-speaking pilots. The Coast Guard in both of these instances could only 
warn other vessels of the potential hazards. They were not able to accurately 
plot the locations of these ships because the present VTS system does not ade- 
quately cover the area west of Port Angeles, with the traffic lane separation 
in the Straits being voluntary, voice contact dependent on English-speaking 
masters, and radar coverage currently non-existent in the area. 

On November 3 the Puget Sound Navigational Safety Committee and 
representatives of the Canadian Ministry of Transport met at the Seattle 
Chamber of Commerce. At this meeting the Canadians dramatically demon- 
strated their current VTS capability and 1977 radar expansion plans via an 
impressive audio-visual show. The sophisticated equipment in their system, 
coupled with planned future mandatory VTS provisions, and the extensive 
training of their operators will perhaps make the Canadian svstem the most 
advanced model worldwide in the near future. 

The United States originally took the lead in waterborne traffic management 
in this region with its VTS on Puget Sound. In the last two years the Cana- 
dians have overtaken us in terms of expenditures and sophistication. By early 
1977 they will be covering with the most modern shore-based radar all of 


their inland waters, vital portions of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and aboul 
{>;, miles off the cnas! of Vancouver island Into the Pacific Mandatory features 
of the Canadian VTS pertaining to radio and navigation equipment, reporting 
procedures, traffic lanes radio and navigation equipment, charts and papers 
aboard, and English language capability will be phased In after a trial period. 

The Canadians re-emphasized at this November meeting theiT keen Interest 
in cooperating with the United stairs Coast Guard In its efforts to All the dan- 
gerous gaps in is present radar-monitoring system. These gaps arc particularly 
*cute in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, off Cape Flattery, and In the Haro-Rosarlo 
Straits area. An improved coordinated Canadian-!'. s. vessel management pro- 
gram would greatly reduce the potential human and environmental dangers 
involved in vessel collisions and groundings. 

With improved VTS coordination between the U.S. and Canada, the existing 
VTS in Alaska's Prince William Sound could easily be joined with them, 
This would make it possible to control vessels the length of the Northwest 
o ast, including tankers from the Port of Valdez to Puget Sound refineries. 

The most urgent current need is adequate funding for the Coast Guard. If 
funds can be allotted, the equipment suppliers are ready, and the Canadians 
are most anxious to cooperate in protecting our joint waters. It would lie a 
further example of the benefits of international cooperation. 

Your assistance is needed at this time to take advantage of a unique set 
of circumstances and to contribute to the avoidance of a disaster that no 
one wants to see. 

C. Mike Berry, 

Seattle Chamber of Commerce 

Industrial Management Consultant, 

Xortc 11, Mass., January 16. 1917. 
U.S. Senator Warren G. Magxusox, 
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, 
U.S. Senate, Washington, B.C. 

Dear Senator Magnuson : I should like the privilege of testifying at your 
committee's current hearings into tanker oil spills, their cause, prevention and/ 
or limitation to tolerable levels. 

I am a gravely concerned private citizen with no present ties to industry ex- 
cept as an independent, self employed consultant. I am, however, a graduate 
naval architect and marine engineer who has spent nearly 40 years in the ship- 
building industry, been General Manager of two large shipyards and as Presi- 
dent of Boston Shipbuilding Corporation, I headed a group of like-minded pub- 
lic spirited citizens in the recent, nearly successful effort to revive the industrial, 
tax-paying base of the City's economy by building a series of 40,000 DWT tank- 
ers in the former Boston Naval Shipyard. 

The basis for the Boston effort in addition to the creation of 4,000 permanent 
jobs was our appraisal of the seriously aged condition of the world's tanker fleets 
in the sizes that could safely navigate the East Coast of the United States and 
enter its ports. This combined with the compelling need to increase oil imports 
created a market opportunity for new ships in that size range. 

I will use the Boston Shipbuilding case to show that the private sector as well 
as t lie maritime unions and Congress, through the latter's drafting and 
of the well-named Energy Transportation Security Act of 1974 (U.K. 8193) 
could and did forsee the pending problem. Vigorous actions were taken to solve 
it and thus forestall the consequences of past lack of vision and cogent polic] 
on the part of the federal government with respect to maritime matters. 

The ill-advised veto of the act by President Ford foreclosed the Boston effort 
to say nothing of Congress effort. Otherwise Boston would by now have 
delivered at least one 40,000 DWT tanker and four additional would be in line 
for delivery in 1077. Other U.S. yards would have been producing at least 5 times 
that tonnage and thus by now we would have had in service or entering service 
1,200,000 DWT of modern safe U.S. flag ships specifically designed to safely serv- 
ice the U.S. East Coast. 


«ri -i .«,«« tt H fl-i<.- shins have been built in the 70's that are suitable to serve 

|Jb2 c£st we J . ?rtue of reality, as opposed to the rhetoric of Project 

ni, '. . i „,M-t isiu«'lv dependent on the import of foreign oil for the fore- 

UhW r v «" are until something is done about it, dependent on the 

:;;:;;;: tSStSbSSZ * ^£ T he S h iP s ta &at n** of suitable s ize are i ar ge* 

... ownership and management. (The newer and oil company owned 
s ,i ' •• -n ei'allv responsibly managed regardless of flag.) Thus I will backed 

u iv t e Arts of" the age of the ships by size, point out that the present rash of 
e'kdn and breakups can be expected to accelerate. In turn the problem of 
■ . , 2 1 "tion from tanker spills can well reach catastrophic proportions as the 
SedTwOTld fleet ™ pressed harder and harder to fulfill our demands, even with 
drastic conservation measures taken into account. *,,-., 

Shie our common concern as responsible citizens must be that we insure 
the transport of oil through the world's oceans without-through pollution by 
oil spills-4rreversible damaging the ocean as a living eco-systems essentia to 
life on Earth. I will propose measures based on the lesson of the Argo Mer- 
chant and other recent incidents that we can and must take. Some of them 

ai l' Immediate United States leadership in requesting the private and, in few 
cases government, classification societies for ships— such as the American Bureau 
of Shipping, Lloyds and Norske Veritas (There are 17 such bodies throughout the 
maritime nations)— to strengthen even further what for the most part are al- 
readv stringent hull and equipment standards and frequency of inspections for 
aeine tankers Then uniformly applying these standards, conduct an immediate 
one-time survey of all ships over say 5 years of age, dictating necessary re- 
pairs and reconstruction or alternately withdrawing classification. 

It should be noted here that no ship should be able to obtain cargo insurance, 
much less hull insurance, without classification and/or certification from one or 
another of these societies. There is no need to wait for action by IMCO. And 
there is too much urgency to wait for it. 

Further, since profligate use of energy in the U.S. combined with lack of fore- 
sight caused the problem, if private owners of whatever flag cannot for some 
valid reason finance the cost of immediate upgrading, then consider loans from 
the U.S. financed by diverting funds from less urgent portions of the defense 
and space budgets. 

2. Mobilize in the US an emergency new tanker construction program incor- 
porating in the ships— to be of course of useful East Coast size — all of the con- 
siderable lessons in naval architecture, design and construction for strength 
and safety at sea in winter North Atlantic conditions that we have learned 
since the existing fleet of tankers was empirically designed and built twenty 
and even thirty or more years ago. The great oil companies might well consider 
starting this as a public service — without waiting for a government program. 

3. Develop a positive and rational US maritime policy as opposed to what 
has been over the years a virtual nonpolicy. This policy must reflect the lessons 
of the past and present. The worth of US flag shipping and shipbuilding projects 
would be based on much more than strict "bottom line" economics. 

I will point out that any and all measures in the area of remedial action or 
of preventing pollution of the oceans through oil spills from tankers, absolutely 
urgent and necessary as they are, can be only part of the solution to an infinitely 
larger problem. We in the US and the industrialized world (But let's start at 
home on this one) must face up to the overwhelming evidence that our past 
and present practice of measuring our national well-being is based on a body 
of economic thought which completely ignores the real costs and effects of de- 
pleting, destroying or placing in jeopardy (Whether with oil or with nuclear 
wastes) irreplaceable natural resources and living systems which once depleted 
or destroyed cannot be re-created or replaced by man. Yet these systems are 
absolutely vital to life on earth for even the "richest" of the human race. The 
policies and practices of the US with respect to commerce and trade must recog- 
nize, respect and be consonant with the steps which I pray we as a nation will 
take to solve the larger problem. 
Sincerely yours, 

Lloyd Bergeson. 


'Pm: CotTSTl u; BooiETT, 

January /.'>, t977. 
Senator Wabren <:. Magnuson, 
I .s. 8t nate, Washington, B.C. 

Dear Senatob Magnuson: We are enclosing B message addressed by The 
Cousteau Society and The Qnion of Concerned Scientists to President-elect 
Carter, referring to the recent Maritime disasters near Nantucket and In Los 
Angeles Harbor. 

A shortened version of our joint statement has been made available to the 
media nationwide. 

We are confident thai you will give the problem of Maritime Traffic Control 
the priority it deserves. 
Yours sincerely, 

jacqttes-yves cousteatt. 
1 1 inky Kendall. 

[For Immediate Release : Dec. 22. 1976] 

Jaques Cousteau and Henry Kendall of The Cousteau Society Inc. and the 
Union of Concerned Scientists called on the Congress and the state and federal 
governments for much improved control of marine shipping and off-loading of 
petroleum products in order to drastically decrease the now large numbers of 
tanker accidents. These accidents pose serious environmental and public health 
risks. The break up of the tanker Argo Merchant, miles off course, and lodged on a 
gand bar off Nantucket as well as a recent tanker explosion in Los Angeles harbor 
are only the latest in a series of impressive warnings that the country can no 
longer disregard. Such actions are not isolated, rare events. They are occurring 
with increasing frequency. The risks are truly grave. Short range effects include : 

1. Damage to marine fisheries and birds, shellfish and finfish and bird kill : oil 
uptake by market fish that can make them carcinogenic to man at worst or at best 
unpalatable, ruining their value. 

■1. Damage to great recreational seacoast areas such as Nantucket or Cape Cod 
tor Puget Sound 1. 

3. Fire and explosions in port that put facilities and people at high risk. 

Long range and extensive effects include damage to important fisheries through 
interference with the reproductive capacity of fish and by direct mortality. These 
•an have important repercussions on stocks of important food fish which could last 
for years. Moreover, killing one species of sea life can affect other links in the 
ceanic food chain, thus decreasing stocks of otherwise unaffected fish. 

The problems of accidents in transporting and off-loading petroleum products 
ire global in scope but are especially severe in the United States, with this coun- 
try's ravenous appetite for oil. now nearly 50% imported and much of this by sea. 
The U.S. has exeee'lintrly productive marine fisheries, e.g. George's Bank, where 
the Argo Merchant's oil is now headed. Puget Sound, slated to become a major oil 
port, and the great spawning grounds that support them. Coastal recreation areas 
have already suffered damage from oil release, intentionally or unintentionally 
from tankers. 

The two recent accidents and the many that have preceded them are in major 
part the result of careles'sness and of preventable accidents. The risks are fostered 
Mul enhanced by inadequate regulations of marine shipping and of loading facili- 
ties which have allowed the carelessness and unnecessary risk so frequently 
•haraetoristic of marine operations. 

"We recommend that the administration and the Congress give specific attention 
to making substantial improvements in : 

1. Vessel pilotinc systems, 

2. The construction and maintenance of vessels and port facilities that handle 
petroleum producl -. 

3. Insurance that the quality and number of licensed ships' officers be main- 
tained at a high level (which is not always the case on board ships bearing flags 
^f convenience) and 

4. That comprehensive liability insurance be made available perhaps by the 
mandatory posting of bonds to discourage carelessness and so that certain pay- 
ments would be made to those suffering damage from accidents. 

All ahove mentioned safety measures are particularly relevant to the construc- 
tion and operation of the recently approved Superport projects in the Cnlf. 


Improvements in vessel pilotage for large ships should include procedures in- 
spired by the air traffic control system which by comparison with obsolete mari- 
time routine is far better organized, better operated and isafer. Maritime traffic 
control should include effective regulations for improving pilotage and more 
effective means for enforcing compliance with possible federal licensing of marine 
pilots. Increased attention should be paid to the current qualifications of licensed 
ships' officers to ensure (as is done with aircraft pilots) that each is at all times 

Ship building should be improved with consideration given to increased use of 
double-hulled construction for the larger tankers. Commercial aircraft all have 
more than one engine. Many tankers do not and this should be corrected. 

The marine environment and the shores on which the oceans end are fragile 
and Sensitive. We are dependent upon them for so much — to supply direct needs 
and for their great beauty — that we must not injure them. Powerful action is 
needed at once so that the protection so sorely required can be guaranteed. 

[The New York Times, Jan. 14, 1977] 
If Tankeks Carried "Marine Auditors" 

To the Editor: Two years ago, in response to a Times editorial ("The Menace 
of Oil"), three letter writers called for specific actions designed to prevent or 
lessen the chance of oil spills in U.S. harbors and coastal waters. (Arthur 
MeK'enzie, Dec. 30. 1974 ; Trevor O'Neill, Jan 15, 1975 ; Eldon V. C. Greenberg, 
Jan. 17, 1975.) Had your editorial and their suggestions been heeded even in part, 
it's unlikely that the damage from recent oil spills by tankers of Liberian registry 
could have occurred or, if so, to the disastrous degree that it did 

In the s'econd of the letters, it was proposed that tankers be required to take 
aboard disinterested marine auditors or marine auditing teams on entry into 
U.S. coastal waters and hai'bors. In effect, these observers, supplied or authorized 
by the Coast Guard or local authorities, would act as the "black box" device acts 
in air transport : both as a record if ne'ed be of actions taken or omitted in the 
hours and moments preceding an accident, and as a strong deterrent to careless 
procedures that might invite such accidents. 

Senator Warren Magnuson's committee is about to open hearings looking to 
improve pollution controls at sea and in inland waters. While awaiting enforced 
double-bottom tanker construction, stiffened harbor regulations, shipboard safety 
facilities, tightened inspections abroad and other long-overdue preventive meas- 
ures that the committee may eventually recommend mightn't the Coast Guard 
now — under existing authorizations — be moving in some way to pr'cpare for an 
early test of marine auditing procedures, starting, if possible, the hundred miles 
from shore that could be included if a tanker intended delivering its cargo at an 
American port? 

Whether by borrowing men from the Navy, recruiting retired Coa^ f Guard and 
merchant mai-ine officers or hunting out others qualified for this special duty, 
particularly through high personal integrity, the problem of manpower can 
surely be solved. The payments of se^pral hundred such inspectors for a year 
could scarcely exceed the cleanup costs and damages otherwise to be expected 
following one bad spill that their presence might prevent. Tankers known to be 
accident-prone, overly aged or of low-standard flag-of- convenience registration 
should, of course, be the first to come under such inspection. In fairness, they 
mis-lit well be asked to meet all or nearly all the expense involved. 

The seas are wide, but not wide enough for what we've so casually been doing 
to them — Charles O'Neill, Greens Farms, Conn., Dec. 31, 1976. 

Statement of Hon. Clifford P. Case, U.S. Senator From New Jersey 

The rash of oil tanker accidents in the last month has demonstrated that the 
United States can delay no longer in imposing new, stricter standards on ships 
carrying oil to this country. 

Foremost among these new standards, I believe, is one that would reouire all 
tankers en terms? U.S. ports to be built with double hulls. 

Although spills attributable to tanker accidents account for only 200,000 barrels 
of an estimate 1.5 million barrels of oil that pollute our oceans each year, tanker 


accident spills are of special Importance. The accidents usually occur In c< 
Waters. The high concentration of pollution results in greater danger of damage 
to beaches and the heavy concenl ral ion of marine life. 
Prevention of tanker accidents through stricter ship construction standards 

was one of the main objectives of Congress when it passed the Porta and Water- 
ways Safety Act of 15)712. 

That Act directed the Coast Guard to draw up and implement regulations that 
would carry out the intent of Congress, iii 1973, when the Coast Guard was con- 
sidering regulations to implement the Act, I strongly urged thai the regulations 
require oil tankers to be built with double bottoms. 

And the Coast Guard at that time appeared to be headed in the rigid direct! m. 
Unfortunately, it got sidetracked at the International Conference on Marin" 
Pollution in London. 

After the conference, the Coast Guard dropped its proposed regulations requir- 
ing double bottoms and substituted regulations requiring segregated ballast tanks 
scattered around 45 per cent of the ship's hull surface. 

In my view, the new Coast Guard regulations are a form of roulette. They con- 
stitute a form of betting that any tanker accident will puncture only that 46 per 
rent of its hull where the oil cargo tanks are not immediately adjacent to the hull. 
We cannot afford that type of a gamble. 

One of the reasons given by the Coast Guard for changing its position is that 
double bottoms provide protection only in grounding type of accidents. Protection 
also should be provided, the Coast Guard said, against tanker collisions in which 
the sides of the tankers could be punctured. 

I agree. 

That is why I favor double hulled oil tankers which would not spill oil unless 
both of the hulls of the ship are punctured in the accident. 

But the Coast Guard pulled hack from proposing regulations that require 
double hulls because it could not win international approval of this type of regu- 
lation from the International Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO). And 
the Coast Guard wanted to avoid a conflict with international law. 

I sympathize with this concern. But I believe the need for greater prote 
of our coastal waters against oil pollution can be met without conflicting with 
international law. 

The principal concern of international law in this area is to resolve the conflict 
between the basic freedom of navigation and the sovereign rights of a coastal 
state in its territorial seas, that area of the ocean which is included within a 
nation's boundaries. This accommodation has been accomplished, somewhat im- 
perii ctly, by what is known as the "right of innocent passage." 

Article 14. of the 1958 Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous 
Zone outlines this general right : 

"1. Subject to the provisions of these articles, ships of all States, win 
coastal or not, shall enjoy the rigid of inn icent passage through the territorial 

Nothing in the Convention says that a coastal nation cannot Impose specific 
requirements on any vessel before it is permitted to uuload its cargo at any of the 
coastal nation's ports. 

In other words, I believe there is no reason that we cannot, i 'ting 

with international law, ■ construction standards and other requirements 

must be met by any vessel that unloads a cargo at any port under U.S. juris- 
diction. This would not interfere with "innocent passage" of any ship passing 
through U.S. territorial waters while carrying a cargo from one foreign nation to 

There is another feature of double hulled oil tankers that is of a1 least equal 
lmpoi ' tie almost 1.5 million barrels of oil that pollute our oceans each 

year. mated thai- l million tons result from deliberate dumping during 

Standard operations of ships. 

When an oil lanker unloads its cargo, it needs to take on ballast to maintain its 
st::! iiiiv i\ r :; return trip to pick u\* more oil. The ballast is provide 1 , by filling 
the cargo tanks with water. This water mixes with tl e oils - argo 

tanks and ev< ntually is dumped l aels into the ocean. This of oil 

pollution on the oceans. It has be 3 70 to 80 

percent of all oil pollution in the oceans caused by tan] 

In a double hulled ship, the space between the inner and outer bulls cai 
for ballast instead of the ■ argo tanks. This is known as segregated ballast it pre- 
vents the ballast water from mixing with the oil wastes in the cargo tanks so 
there is no pollution when the ballast water is dumped back into the ocean. 
S2-90S— 77— pt. 1 16 


Russell Train, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the 
oil spills that resulted from the grounding of Liberian tanker Olympic Games in 
the Delaware River off -New Jersey on December 27 would not have happened if 
the Olympic Games had a double bottom. 

Siucr a double hull also adds structural strength to the critical midships ana 
of a tanker, perhaps the disaster off Nantucket Island might have been averted 
if the Liberain tanker Argo Merchant had had a double hull. 

But certainly more than the construction of the ship was wrong in the case of 
the Argo Merchant. 

The OTA study of oil tankers found that hull structural failures occurred 
most frequently in tankers over 10 years old that have not been carefully main- 

Therefore, I believe any oil tanker that is 10 years old or older should be 
required to undergo a special inspection before it is permitted to discharge 
cargo at a port under the jurisdiction of the United States. 

Similarly, I believe the officers and the crew of foreign ships should be re- 
quired to pass licensing and training requirements at least equal to that required 
of officers and crews of U.S. ships before they are permitted to discharge cargo 
at a port under U.S. jurisdiction. 

There is need for continual upgrading and improvement of navigational aids, 
vessel traffic systems, collision avoidance systems, improved communications 
systems and shipboard control itself. 

In addition, I believe the use of ports under the jurisdiction of this country 
should be limited to ships equipped with inert gas systems which reduce the 
risk of tank explosions. Such a system replaces oxygen in the oil tanks with 
inert gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Combustion, and therefore an 
explosion, cannot take place without the presence of oxygen. Many existing 
Tankers already have been equipped with systems that use flue gases from the 
ship's boiler ro drive oxygen out of the cargo tanks and thereby reduce the 
potential of an explosion. Adoption of this system on all tankers must be 

'Finally, I believe there must be further strengthening of our oil spill liability 
laws so that the pollution risk will not fall unfairly on shorefront property 
owners, fishermen and others who use the oceans for a wide variety of pur- 
poses not associated with the transportation, production or use of oil. 

I intend to introduce legislation embodying the concepts outlined in this 
statement and I would appreciate the Committee's careful consideration of this 
legislation or similar legislation. 

Statement of Harry Weiss, President, and Robert E. Woldruff, Executive 
Director, Vixeyard Conservation Society 

As the Argo Merchant disaster passes into history, we must not let the sense 
of urgency we felt at the time pass with it. 

The fears which gripped the nation then were founded in truth. We had all 
known that spilled oil might drift, harmlessly out to sea. But for several weeks, 
as 2S.0OO tons of oil was held from our shores by a delicate thread of fortuitous 
weather, we saw clearly just how high the stakes are. 

We saw then as we rarely do how tightly coupled is our welfare to the en- 
vironment's welfare. One of the world's richest fishing grounds, on which hun- 
dreds of thousands of people depend for protein in a protein-short world, was 
in imminent peril. Had the oil come ashore, the resulting economic devastation 
to New England would have been felt across the Nation. 

The lesson of the Argo Merchant is not that the odds are small for chances 
of repetition, but that the risks are unacceptably great. 

During the past three years, the Executive Branch and the U.S. Congress 
have committed the Nation to a policy which required for its implementation 
increased pi'Oduction and transportation of hazardous substances. We recognize 
the necessity for this policy but, during this same period, Congress has failed 
to pass proposed legislation which would have reduced the dangers accompany- 
ing that policy. 

The U.S. Congress, and the Congress alone, has the power to affect needed 
changes to minimize the risks of government policy; international treaties and 
ci inventions ; new federal legislation : and changes in the administration of exist- 
ing legislation. Individuals, municipalities and the states are helpless to deal 
with the hazards involved in our heavy dependence on oil from our own oceans 
as well as from other parts of the world. 


In an effort to make up Cor pasl failures, numerous bills bare been pal before 
(lie Senate and the House proposing a variety of cures : 

Increased liability of shipowners and extension of liability to Include damage 
to natural resources : 

Tightened regulation of vessel construction, equipment, manning, and opera- 
tion : 

Establishment of some kind of land-based coastal traffic control system: Im- 
provements in the safety of offshore drilling; and. Improvement of the nation's 
ability to confine and clean up a spill mice it 1ms occurred. 

'in this list should be added, by legislation or executive action, steps in obtain 
store effective international agreements in the field of water transportation. 

I'm- the most part, these legislative proposals are not new — Congress has 
-imply failed to recognize the gravity of the situation, and am. 

Congress can delay no longer, it must Immediately examine the Axgo Merchant 
affair as a symptom of a bigger problem and pass a coherent and consistent set 
of legislation before the year is out. Whether it can do so if the various pro- 
posals are examined and passed on by a variety of committees is doubtful. We 
believe it would be better if all of these related measures could be bandied by 
one joint committee of the Congress or at least by one committee in each legis- 
lative body. 

Congress must also halt, further outer continental shelf development until it 
is satisfied that the risks have been reduced. 

We have Chosen to follow a course which has been deemed to be bo the national 
advantage; we must now accept the responsibilities which accompany it. 

Statement of Eldox V. C. Greenberg 

I am Eldon Greenberg of the Center for Law and Social Policy, a public in- 
terest law firm in Washington, D.C. I appreciate the invitation to submit to the 
Committee the views of eight national environmental organizations — the Natural 
Resources Defense Council ("XRDC"), the Sierra Club. The Wilderness Society 
i-Wildemess"), the National Wildlife Federation ("XWF"), the Environmental 
Defense Fund ("EDF"). the National Parks and Conservation Association 
C'NPCA "). Friends of the Earth ("FOE"), and the Environmental Policy Center 
("EPC") (collectively the "Environmental Groups") 1 on the oil tanker safety 
Issues raised by the Argo Merchant, Olympic Games and other recent tanker 
accidents. This statement is intended to supplement the views of the Environ- 
mental Groups presented to this Committee at its oversight hearings on the 
Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 (the "Act") held March 2 and 3, 1976/ 

In the testimony given last March, the Environmental Groups expressed the 
view that, had the Coast Guard properly implemented the Act. our coastal and 
marine environment would be far better protected than it is today. We urged the 
enactment of corrective legislation to set U.S. tanker regulation on its proper 
course. The recent spate of massive oil spills off our coasts confirms the need to 
act promptly and forcefully to set stringent standards for the design, construc- 
tion and operation of all oil tankers entering U.S. navigable waters. 

The purpose of this statement is threefold: first, to clarify some misconcep- 
tions about the nature of the oil pollution threat; .second, to document the con- 

iThe Environmental Groups have a combined membership which exceeds 2.300,000 per- 
sons throughout the United States and abroad. NRDC, whose principal office is at 16 West 
44th Street New York. N.Y., and which has additional offices in Washington. D.C. and 
Palo Uto, Calif., has a membership of approximately 22.000 persons. The Sierra Club, 
whoso principal place of business is at 530 Bush Street. San Francisco. Calif., has a mem- 
bership of approximately 156.000 persons. Wilderness, which has its principal office a1 
1901 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.. Washington, D.C. and a field office in Denver. Colo., has 
membership of approximately 90,000 persons. NWF, whose principal place of business Is 
at 1416 16th Street, NW., Washington, D.C. is composed of associate members and 
members of State affiliate member organizations, comprising over 2 million persons. EDF, 
Whose principal piece of business is 162 Old Town Road. East Setauket. N.Y., and which 
has additional offices in New York City, Washington, D.C, Denver. Colo., and Berkeley. 
Calif, has a membership of approximately 58.000 persons and a TOO member scientist! 
advisory committee. NPCA, whose principal office is 1701 isth Street. NW., Washington. 
DC. has a membership of approximately 45,000 persons. FOE, whose principal pbe ■ 
business is 529 Commercial Street. San Francisco. Calif., has a membership of 20.00O 
persons. EPCs principal place of business is at 317 Pennsylvania Avenue. SE.. Washington. 
D.C. : it has no members itself but it represents coalitions of citizens around the country 
on enertrv and natural resource issues. .„»..«.. „ « ,~> „ 

= See Hearings on the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 10,2 before the Senate Com- 
mittee on Commerce, 91th Cong., 2d Sess. 118-195 (serial No. 94-6::) (Mar. 2 ... 1976). 


tinning failure of the Coast Guard to take meaningful action to reduce that 
threat ; and third, to identify ways in which Congress could legislate needed en- 
vironmental protection. 


The events of the last several weeks should have dispelled any doubts aboil 
the reality of oil pollution risks. It. is important, however, not to misconceive 
I lie nature of these risks. In particular, several misconceptions must he avoided 
(a) that the recent accidents are simply aberrations from an otherwise sounc 
record; (b) that the risks of major spills are only associated with the operation 
of a few substandard ships operated under Liberian. or Greek, or Panamanian 
flags; (c) that the danger of oil spills can be attributed almost exclusively 
to "human error" — a factor over which regulatory authorities can have little 
control : and (d) that the threat of oil spills is not likely to worsen in the future 

The Argo Merchant, Olympic Games and other recent, reported spills, do nol 
represent a new or isolated phenomenon. Oil spills are too common. On the 
average, some 200,000 tons of oil per year are spilled into the oceans as a result 
of tanker accidents. 3 Accidents of commercial vessels of all types in U.S. navi- 
gable waters have almost doubled in the past ten years, increasing from 1185 in 
fiscal year 1965 to 1918 in fiscal year 1975." 1976 was a disastrous year for oil 
spills : the Tanker Advisory Center in New York reports that in the first nine 

months of 1976 alone, prior to this winter's calamities. 198.277 tons were spilled 

more than in any previous year. 6 Large though it was. the Argo Merchant spill 
was only tenth in size on the all-time list, dwarfed bv such accidents as the 
Torrey Canyon (118,000 tons), Jacob Maersk (85,000 tons), and Metula (50 000 

This unhappy record cannot just be blamed on allegedly "irresponsible" Greek 
Liberian. or Panamanian tankers. The fact that many recent accidents have in- 
volved Liberian vessels merely reflects a statistical reality— 25 percent of world 
tanker tonnage is registered in Liberia and almost 40 percent of U S imports are 
carried by Liberian tankers. 63 Further, in implementing the Act, the Coast Guard 
has not required U.S. flag tankers to meet any higher or different desi-n con- 
struction or equipment standards than foreign flag tankers. In other" words 
there is no difference between a Liberian tanker and a U.S. tanker in terms of 
the regulatory requirements for design, construction, and equipment to which 
each is subject. Finally, there is no evidence that it is only a few substandard 
vessels which are a serious hazard to navigation; standard practice and equip- 
ment may well be at the root of the problem. ' ] 

Further, the risk of oil spill incidents cannot conveniently be attributed to 
"human error," thereby excusing regulatory action in other areas The Coalt 
Guard often argues that the overwhelming majority of accidents are the result 
of human mistakes and therefore that improvements in tanker design const™ 
t.on and equipment would have only an insignificant effect on th?S'of tanker 
accidents Of course, except in the case of equipment or structural fail re Sinvfn 
error is always a factor in accidents. Design and equipment morovemlnt^ ;Zw- 
ever are critically important for at least two reasons. First the? a low He 
master to compensate for error once it is made e - even if * ™»?ol JKE.V V 
steers his tanker toward a shoal, rapid J^SS^^^^S^ 
accident to be avoided. Second, they can reduce damage to the envTronment Lre 
an accident occurs, e.g.. double bottoms cannot prevent! dtii ^rom^f a Sound 
but they can prevent oil outflow if a grounding occurs aground, 

i^^nse. as they appear likel/toT S?t££ SThe^a^oSS'ranLS 
^National Academy of Sciences, "Petroleum in the Marine Environment" 6 (January 
- L r F , ed - Re -- !8766 (May 6, 1976). 


wNi their inevitable, attendant risk, will grow. I asl month, Secretary of Trans- 
portation Coleman issued licenses to construct and operate t\\<» deepwater ports 
the Gulf Coast — the first in the United States capable of handling super- 
tankers— with a contemplated throughput of six million barrels per day.' <»il 
Imports have been projected to average 7.8 million barrels per day In 1977, a 
rcent inn-ease over the volume just three years agOv* Obviously. If we are 
to avoid future disasters, a concerted regulatory effort must be made on all 
fronts to combat the oil pollution problem. 


The needed regulatory effort has not been undertaken by the Coast Guard, 
I do not intend in this statement to rehearse the deficiencies in the Coast Guard's 
Implementation of the Act. These deficiencies are spelled out in detail in my 
testimony of March 3, 197G before this Committee. Nevertheless, I would like 
to discuss two recent rulemaking proceedings commenced since March 1976, one 
with respect to navigational safety regulations, 10 and one with respect to the 
construction and equipment of tankers in foreign trade, 11 which serve well to 
demonstrate the inadequacies of the Coast Guard's approach to the tanker pol- 
lution problem. 

The Coast Guard's proposed "navigation safety rides" reflect the continuing 
timidity and conservatism of the Coast Guard. The proposed rules, which would 
require certain standard navigation equipment and practices, are by their terms 
intended "to prevent vessel collisions and groundings and protect the navigable 
waters from environmental harm resulting from vessel collisions and ground- 
ings." Unfortunately, all those proposed rules would do is codify existing in- 
dustry practice. Virtually no piece of equipment would be mandated unless it 
was already found on the vast majority of existing vessels. Thus, Loran A/C 
position finding equipment, which might conceivably have prevented an accident 
Such as the Argo Merchant, would not be required. Further, a device such as 
collision avoidance radar, recommended as a requirement more than four years 
■go by the National Transportation Safety Board. 1 - required by the Federal 
Maritime Administration as standard equipment on all oil tankers receiving 
construction differential subsidies. 13 urged as necessary by the National Research 
Council of the National Academy of Sciences," ami found on more than 500 
vessels in the world fleet," was rejected as being in the "developmental stage." 
The Coast Guard's approach is to turn the Act's mandate to "improve" existing 
standards on its head. 

The Coast Guard's rules for the construction and equipment of tankers in 
foreign trade 16 reflect the Coast Guard's exclusive reliance on international 
standards for its regulatory program. These rules are based entirely on the 
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships. 107.": the 
Coast Guard has flatly rejected unilateral action except in those cases "when 
international solutions are impossible or inappropriate." The result of the Coast 

S Department of Transportation, Thp Spcrp f arv's Decisions on thp Deepwater Port License 
Applications of Loop, Inc. and Seadock, Tnc. (Fpc. 17. 1070). 

"Bureau of National Affairs. Energy Users Report G-2 (Nov. Is. 1 07^t . 

,n 41 Fed. Rejr. 18766 (May 0. 1070). A copv of thp Environmental Groups' comments on 
the proposed rules, dated Aue. 4. 1978. is attached as exhibit B. 

11 tl Fed. Rep. losno (Apr. lfi. 1070) (proposed) : 41 Fed. Reg. 54177 (Dec. 13. 10701 
(adopted). The Environmental Groups' testimony on such proposed rules, dated May 20, 
1970, is attached as exhibit C. A third rulemaking proceeding, on thp anestJon whi 
segregated ballast retrofit should bp required was also commenced !.•)<<: spring. See 4i Fed. 
Pvp~ 10072 (May 13. 10701. As set forth in the comments of the Environmental Groups, 
flated June SO. 1070. on the Coast Guard's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a 

of which is attached as exhibit D, the Coast Guard's announepmpnt that if was 
considering segregated ballast retrofit was a positive and welcome step. Dnfortunatelv, it 
Is unclear whether the Coa^f Guard intends to proceed with this proposal : more than 
months have passed since the close of the public comment period, and no rule has yet 
boon formally proposed. 

12 National Transportation Safety Board, Special Study of Collisions Within the Naviga- 
ble Waters of the United states — Consideration of Alternative Preventive Measures. 

bo. NTSB NRS-72—1 (February 1072). 

in Federal Maritime Administration, Recommended Revisions to Standard Soeclficafons 
for "^prcbant Ship Construction. 3S Fed. Reg. 27537 (October 4. 1973): 39 Fed. Reg. 

rnsa (July 20. 1074). 

"National Research Council. National Academy of Sciences. Human Error in Merchant 

Marine Safety (Tune 1070) 

"See Public Pocket. CGD-73-77, Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington. D.C 
]0 The'-e rules are essentiallv the same as the regulations adopted bv the Coast Guard in 

October 107." (40 Fed. Rm. 4s270i and January 1070 (11 Perl. Rea 14701 for ,,;i tankers 

tn dompstic trade. Their substance is dlSCUSSed in thp Environmental Groups' testimony 

<n March 3, 1070. 


Guard's approach is that standards are limited to an international convention 
which may never come into force 17 and which hy its terms does not address a 
number of areas, e.g., tanker maneuverability and stopping ability, deemed of 
critical importance by Congress. 

Likewise, these rules reflect the Coast Guard's narrow view of its ability to 
regulate international tanker traffic. The regulations contain no provision for 
enforcing violations of discharge standards outside U.S. territorial waters against 
foreign flag tankers. The result is that foreign flag tankers can discharge oil with 
impunity once they are a few miles off our coasts. The basis for the Coast Guard's 
position i« tbat. under international law, no nation can exercise "sovereignty" 
over the high seas. Yet it is clear that under Section 13 of the Act the Coast 
Guard has the power to exclude any vessel from U.S. ports for failure to comply 
with its regulations, regardless of where a violation occurs. The Coast Guard 
is simply unwilling to act boldly, as it properly should, to protect the marine 


The Environmental Groups continue to believe, as they stated last March, 
that the Act provides the Coast Guard with ample authority to regulate all oil 
tankers, regardless of registry, which seek to enter U.S. navigable waters. None- 
theless, because of delay and inadequacy in implementation of the Act, some 
improvements in the Act, as well as new legislation, may be appropriate. Last 
March, we suggested six possible improvements to the Act : it should state that 
"best available pollution control technology" is mandated : it should state that 
U.S. standards must be applied unless existing international standards are of 
equal or greater stringency ; it should state that distinctions between coastwise 
and foreign trade are authorized : it should expressly state that it is not pre- 
emptive of state law ; 18 it should explicitly reject grandfathering except in speci- 
fied circumstances ; and it should mandate specific design, construction and 
equipment standards. 19 Recent events make these changes all the more impera- 
tive. Additionally, we have the following recommendations. 

(A) Establish 200-mile pollution control jurisdiction 

Last year, Congress enacted the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 
1976 (Pub. L. No. 94-265), extending U.S. fisheries jurisdiction out 200 miles. 
Our current pollution control jurisdiction is limited to at most a narrow 12- 
mile band off our coasts. In order to protect all our marine and coastal resources, 
a 200-mile pollution control zone may also be necessary. 20 The Argo Merchant 
spill, occurring outside the traditional jurisdictional limit and threatening the 
rich Georges Bank fishing area is graphic illustration of this need. The spectre 
of the Coast Guard stating that its jurisdiction is limited to passing on informa- 
tion to the Liberian Government with respect to causes of the spill is an indica- 
ion of our lack of adequate controls under current law. The U.S. must be able 
to set and enforce standards to prevent vessel source pollution in an extended 
zone off our coasts. While the Act. properly interpreted, provides sufficient 
standard-setting authority, legislative creation of a 200-mile pollution control 
zone would allow for more effective enforcement of environmental rules. 
{B) Establish radar-guided approaches to major harbors 

Under current law, and particularly under Title I of the Act, it is unclear 
whether there is authority of establish positive, radar-controlled traffic systems 
Which would extend beyond U.S. navigable waters. As the Argo Merchant accident 
again reveals, there is a need to control traffic off our coasts as tankers enter 
crowded and hazardous approaches to existing ports. Legislation should thus 
be enacted to provied authority to regulate traffic on harbor approaches. 

17 More, than three years after its negotiation, the Convention has not even been sent to 
?•« e i n *1 iv 1S country for advice and consent. As of October 1976. it had onlv l.eon 
ratified by three countries, Kuwait. Kenya and Tunisia, none of which is a significant 
maritime power. See IMCO, MEPC VI/2 (October 14. 1976). 

«.«* *E ce * March - a Y nit f, d States District Court in the State of Washington has ruled 
tH. th * Aft preempts all state oil tanker regulation. ARCO v. Evans, et ah. Civ. No. 
! ~/i? i ' *^ D - ? ash - (September 24, 1976). The decision is currently being appealed 

to the Supreme Court. ■ 

.o?„? Uch standards might include double bottoms or double hulls, collision avoidance 
LiV ; r fL? as lnertin ff .systems on tankers smaller than 100.000 deadweight tons, and 
specified maneuverability features. 

t™,«i?Ui h a P° n " tion control zone would recognize the right of innocent passage and not 
impair legitimate navigational interests. 


(C) Transfer authority for regulating vessel source pollution to an > wironmental 
agency or establish greater civilian control over the roust Guard 

The Coast Guard's failure properly to Implement the Acl necessarily raises 
the question whether it should continue to have standard setting authority in 
the marine pollution area. The history of the last four and one-half years Bug 
gests i<> us that this authority might better be lodged in the Environmental 
Proection Agency or in a new oceans agency with a clear environmental man- 
date. Alternatively, in order to overcome the Inbred and conservative nature of 
the roast Guard bureaucracy, inherent in its military structure, consideration 
should be given to establishing direct civilian control, at the Assistant Secretary 
level within the Department of Transportation, over all its operations. 
{D) Exclude substandard tankers or tankers which h«>< pen itently violated 
pollution control standards from U.S. waters 

As the story of the Argo Merchant has come out, it has become apparent that 
this was a tanker with a dismal record of compliance with pollution control 
regulations. Vessels such as the Argo Merchant should uot he trading in D.S. 
waters. The Environmental Groups believe that the Coast Guard lias the au- 
thority under the Act to establish regulations excluding from U.S. waters sub- 
standard tankers or tankers which have persistently violated pollution control 
standards. It has not done so. Legislation creating such a rule may therefore 
be desirable. 

(E) Establish standards for the repair, maintenance and alteration of older 

The Argo Merehant was 23 years old and had passed through the bands of 
manv owners. It was almost surely nearing the end of its useful life. It is 
questionable whether these old "rust-buckets" should be permitted to ply U.S. 
waters, absent certification that they are in satisfactory condition. The Coast 
Guard has authority under the Act to establish standards for the "alteration. 
repair and maintenance" of oil tankers. Once again, it has not done so, Mid 
once again, therefore, it may be appropriate for Congress to act by legislation 
either to ban vessels beyond a certain age from serving our ports, or to require 
such vessels to undergo intensive certification procedures before they are 
permitted entry. 

(F) Establisii comprehensive data-gathering program 

Our regulatory authorities lack complete data with respect to the past history 
of tankers, particularly foreign flag tankers, which trade in U.S. waters. More- 
over, there is no centralized, worldwide system for reporting oil spills. The 
United States should promote the establishment, perhaps under the United 
Nations' auspices, of a centralized data bank, to which all reports of oil spills 
would have to be sent and whose information would be available to all countries. 
Further, Congress should require the Coast Guard to obtain and periodically 
update the casualty and spill history of all tankers which seek to enter our 
navigable waters. On the basis of such comprehensive data, sound judgments 
could then be made as to whether particular vessels, or, for that matter, all 
vessels of a particular flag state, should be excluded. 

(G) Establish comprehensive oil spill liability and compensation scheme 

The Environmental Groups believe that no amount of after-the-fact compensa- 
tion can substitute for prevention of oil spills in the first instance and thai our 
primary focus must he on prevention, not compensation. Nonetheless, inevitably 
spills will occur. The United States does not now have an overall scheme of 
liability and compensation. Th\xs, a comprehensive scheme, entailing strict 
liability for polluters and an adequate fund to compensate those who suffer oil 
pollution damage is essential.- 1 This Committee has been in the forefront of the 
movement for such legislation : we urge it to proceed apace. 

to Con- 
gress on the nature nnd scope of proposal "suDerfund" legislation. Sec. p.s.. Statement «' 


■ a i nil n.n. azmf una n.t\. iii.ik.-j un un npiu uamuyc 

(December 2, 1075), a ropy of which is attached as Exhibit E. 



Much can and should be done to continue to combat the tanker pollution 
problem. Although the recent tanker tragedies are deplorable, they provide an 
unparalleled climate favoring establishment of stringent controls over tanker 
operations. If the recurrence of the^e tragedies in the future is to be prevented, 
it is essential to take advantage ot the present opportunity and institute the 
reforms necessary to insure the protection of the marine and coastal environment. 


Tanker Advisory Center, 
New York, N.Y., December 23, 1976. 

"Worldwide Tanker Casualty Returns — Third Quarter 1976 

overall results 

Two unfortunate records have been established during the first nine months 
of this year : 13 tankers, with total capacity of 940,000 deadweight tons, were 
declared a total loss. This exceeds the 815,000 deadweight tons lost during the 
entire year of 1975, which had the all time record. 


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Two of the 13 vessels In them catastrophes were larger than 200,000 dead- 
weight tons. The second record was gel by the spilling of 198,277 tons of oil In 
«> months. The nnmber of reported casualties continues to drop, probably because 
deductibles of up to $60,000 per Incident are now included in tanker hull and 
machinery Insurance policies, other factors contributing to the reduction in 
accidents is the slow down of nearly all operating tankers and the lay np of 

over 400 surplus oil carrying vessels. 


The perils of the sea apparently overtook the 21-year-old Cretan star, of 29,000 
dwt. flying the flag of Cyprus, when she ran into had weather, while loaded, 
aboul 450 miles from Bombay. After reporting severe weather conditions and 
being struck by a huge wave, no further communications could he established 
witli the tanker. She is listed as missing with all 30 crew members unaccounted 


Thirteen of the reported 17 strandings occurred in rivers or harbors. The other 
four misadventures happened in coastal areas outside of restricted inland 


The Phillipine flag Diego silmirj of 100.000 dwt.. while loaded, was in collision 

wi!h two other vessels in the Straits of Malacca and as a result lost 6,000 tons 
of crude oil overboard. Malaysian government officials said the Philippines will 
have to pay over $000,000 for the cost of righting the spill. 


Fifteen of the forty accidents in this category were caused by striking bottom 
(sometimes referred to as groundings). Eleven incidents were reported as 
hitting a dock, buoy or fixed structure. The others suffered while lightering, etc. 


One of the twenty-two fires and/or explosions that, happened in the third 
quarter took place in a cargo tank while the vessel was repairing at Bong 
Rons, with 14 men overcome by the fire. Another fire occurred in the pump-room 
of a tanker. All other calamities were in the main engine, boilers, engine rooms, 
accommodations or other spaces. 


There was a continued reduction in reporting these type of mishaps. 


Nine of the total of 42 events were clue to engine trouble. Six accidents were 
caused bv crew negligence. Anchors were lost by four tankers. Seven vessels 
broke down at sea. Two suffered steering gear troubles and three had the had 
luck of spilling oil. The remainer had a variety of reported prohlems. 

All the casualty data was obtained from Lloyd's List published by Lloyds 
of London. Tankers, ore/oil carriers and bulk/oil vessels of 0.000 deadweight 
tons and over were included in the statistics. And liquid gas carriers of 0,000 
deadweight tons and over were included if their liquid gas capacities were less 
than SO percent of their total cargo capacity. 


A valuable management tool to assist in the selection of tankers for charter 
is a tabulation of the reported casualties to that tanker and/or that owner 

This tabulation can be ohtained from the Tanker Advisory Center. A data 
hank containing over 19,000 tanker casualties, reported in Lloyds since I'.m.I. i- 
maintained by the Tanker Advisory Center. 

Get this management tool from the Tanker Advisory Center. Select tankers 
and owners with excellent casualty records. 



Center for Law and Social Policy, 

Washington, B.C., August //, 1976. 
Executive Secretary, Marine Safety Council (G-CMC/81) 
U.S. Coast Guard, 
Washington, B.C. 

Dear Sir: We are writing to express the views of the Natural Resources 
Defense Council, Inc. ("NRDC"), the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society 
("Wilderness"), the National Wildlife Federation ("NWF"), the Environ- 
mental Defense Fund, Inc. ("EDF"), the National Parks and Conservation 
Association ("NPCA"), Friends of the Earth ("FOE"), the National Audubon 
Society ("Audubon"), and the Environmental Policy Center ("EPC") (collec- 
tively the "environmental groups") 1 concerning the above-captioned Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (CGD 74-77) which appeared at 41 Fed. Reg. 18766 
(May 6, 1976) (the "proposed rules"). 2 

With the exception of EPC, which is an independent, privately financed group 
located in Washington, D.C. which provides policy analysis and research assist- 
ance to state and local environmental organizations, all the environmental groups 
are nonprofit membership organizations. Their combined membership exceeds 
2.500.000 at home and abroad. All the environmental groups share a deep concern 
about the Coast Guard's leadership role in protecting and preserving marine 
and coastal environments and have long urged the Coast Guard to adopt mean- 
ingful standards to upgrade the operation, design and construction of vessels 
operating in United States waters. 3 

The need to act now to reduce the increasing risk of collisions, ro minings, an] 
groundings in navigable waters is readily apparent. Quite apart from the often 
tragic and senseless loss of human life, the resulting pollution from many of these 
incidents poses well-documented risks to the marine environment, as well as 
possible potential hazards to human health. 4 Tanker accidents, as the Coast Guard 
is well aware, account for the dumping of more than 200,000 tons of oil into the 
ocean each year. 5 

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking states, "The purposes of the rules are to 
prevent vessel collisions and groundings and protect the navigable waters from 
environmental harm resulting from vessel collisions and groundings." 

The proposed rules, however, do little more than codify existing industry 
practice, and, at least with respect to one earlier proposal, that for anticollisioii 
radar they actually represent an unjustified retreat from emerging sound prac- 
tice. Thus, while the environmental groups would commend the Coast Guard 
for what is plainly a desirable effort to codify standard practice, they do not 
believe that the proposed rules can be expected to improve substantially the 
accidental pollution problem, and they urge that much more be done. 

1 NRDC, whose principal office is at 15 West 44th Street. New York, New York, 10035. 
and which has additional offices in Washington. D.C. and Palo Alto, California, has a 
membership of approximately 22,000 persons. The Sierra Club, whose principal place of 
business is at 530 Bnsh Street, San Francisco. California 94104, has a membership of 
approximately 100,000 persons. Wilderness has its principal office at 1001 Pennsylvania 
Avenue, N.W., Washington. D.C. 20006 and a field office in Denver, Colorado, hfis a mem- 
bership of approximately 90,000 persons. NWF, whose principal place of business is at 
1416 16th Street, N.W., Washington. D.C. 2003G, is composed of associate members and 
members of State affiliate member organizations, comprising over 2.000.000 persons. EDF, 
whose principal place of business is 102 Old Town Road, East Setauket, New York 11733. 
and winch has additional offices in New York City, Washington. D.C. Denver. Colorado and 
tterKeley, California, has a membership of approximately 58.000 persons and a 700 member 
Scientists Advisory Committee. NPCA, whose principal office is 1701 ISth Street, N.W.. 
Washington, D.C. 20009, has a membership of approximately 45.000 persons. FOE, whose 
principal place of business is 529 Commercial Street. San Francisco California 94.1 11, has 
a membership of 20,000 persons. Audubon, which has its principal office at 950 Third Ave- 
nue. New York. New York 10022. has a membership of more than 340.000 persons. EPC's 
principal plar-o of business is at 317 Pennsylvania Avenue. S.E.. Washington. D.C. 20003. 

-We note that by subsequent notice of June 28, 1976 (41 Fed. Peg. 26578), the period 
tor public comment on the proposed rules was extended to August 6 1976 

See. e.g. the correspondence and testimony collected in Hearings on the Ports and 
Wntr rwnm scfrty Art of 1972 Before the Senate Commerce Committee. 94th Con-.. 2d 
fcess. 1,18-195 (Serial No. 94-63) (March 2 and 3. 1976). and our recent comments, dated 
,iun« ..u. 1976, on the Coast Guard's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning 
segregated ballast capability for certain existing tank vessels (COD 76-07S\ 
arv irrn"" National Acad emy of Sciences, Petroleum in the Marine Environment (Jann- 

* Id. 



The proposed rules are candid In the Btatemenl of whal they are Intended to 
accomplish. They icier to a August 1975 ('nasi Guard study concerning opera- 
tional practices and equipment on approximately .*:< h » vessels, and explicitly 
state, ''With few exceptions a Large majority <>r the vessels were found t<> com- 
ply with navigation practices and equipment proposed as requirements in this 
notice." While the Coast Guard indicates that it primarily Is these few sub- 
standard vessels which "pose a serious hazard to vessel navigation," the en- 
vironmental groups are aware of n<> evidence- and none has been put forward 
hy the ('cast Guard — that the basic navigational safety problem Involves only 
the need to improve substandard practice and equipment, as opposed to the need 
to impn>\ e standard pract ice and equipment. 

The marginal effect of the proposed rules on existing practice and equipment 
is apparent if one compares the results of the referenced August 1975 study with 
the requirements of the proposed rules themselves. V>n- example, the proposed 
rules would require a "marine radar system Cor surface navigation." Section 
164.35(a). Not a Single one of 302 vessels surveyed did not have such a system. 
The proposed rules would require a "magnetic steering compass". Section 
164.35(b). Not a single one of 296 vessels surveyed did not have such a compass. 
The proposed rules would require an "echo depth sounding device". Section 164.35 
(g). 298 out of 300 vessels surveyed had such a device. The proposed rules would 
require a "rudder angle indicator". Section 164.35(e). 200 out of 300 vessels 
surveyed had such an indicator. The list could be expanded to cover virtually 
every requirement proposed by the Coast Guard, with the same results. 

By contrast, where certain equipment or practices, however desirable and 
however relatively widespread, are not found on the overwhelming majority of 
vessels, they have not been proposed as requirements. Thus, for example, though 
Loran "A" and Loran "C" were each found on more than one-third of the vessels 
surveyed, they are not to be found in the proposed rules." A course/speed recorder. 
though found on 220 out of 200 vessels surveyed, does not even have the near 
universal acceptability needed to be included in the proposed rules. 

The environmental groups believe that the Coast Guard's approach in the 
proposed rules is simply to turn the mandate of the Ports and Waterways Safety 
Act tthe "Act"') on its bead. The language of the Act could not be plainer: 
"[EJxisting standards of design, construction, alteration, repair, maintenance 
and operation . . . must be improved for the adequate protection of the marine 
environment." Section 201(1) (emphasis added). The Senate Commerce Com- 
mittee's report on the Act could not be stronger in its explanation of the Congres- 
sional judgment that existing standards were inadequate had to be improved on 
a comprehensive basis in order to prevent pollution from marine casualties. 7 It 
was not the Congressional judgment that a few substandard vessels were the 
cause of our problems, but that current practice and equipment needed upgrading 
across the board. The very facts noted by the Coast Guard that accidents have 
increased from 1185 in 1965 to 1918 in 1975 serve to underscore the correctness 
of that conclusion. It is obvious, therefore, that the proposed rules, valuable to 
he sure, are not even a sufficient first step to meet the mandate of the Act. 


In one respect, in particular, the proposed rules are almost incomprehensibly 
deficient, namely, in their failure to propose collision avoidance radar. The appar- 
ent reason for deletion of such a proposal — which had originally appeared in the 
Ooast Guard's June 28, 1974 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking — is that 
"four commenters expressed reservations," stating that anticollision radar 
devices are still in the "developmental stage". Just why these four commenters' 
views should he accepted, particularly without mentioning that other commenters, 
including the environmental groups, strongly urged adoption of the original pro- 
posal, see our letter of comments of August 10, 1074, page 43. is never stated. It 
is plain, however, that, their views not only do not comport with the facts, but, if 
adopted, would run counter to sound policy already adopted by other federal 
agencies, as well as concerned coastal states. 

'Failure to require Loran-A/C position finding equipment is unjustifiable, particularly 
beeause vessels covered by the proposed rules will be operating in waters wlx're accurate 
position determination is of critical importance. 

7 See. S. Rep. No. 72-924, 92nd Cong., 2nd Sess., 1972 U.S. Code, Cong, and Adm. News, 
27GG et seq. 


Far from being iu a "developmental stage," collision avoidance radar is an 
accepted, proven method of reducing vessel collisions, groundings and other acci- 
dents. Collision avoidance radar systems have been on the market for at least 
a half dozen years. 8 The Coast Guard's own August 1975 study shows that col- 
lision avoidance radar was already employed on more than 10 percent of the 
vessels surveyed. As of April 197(5, as appears from earlier filings in this rule- 
making, there were approximately 500 ships in the world fleet equipped or soon 
to be equipped with computerized anticollision radar systems. The environmental 
groups are not sure what it takes in the Coast Guard's view to determine that 
a piece of marine equipment is no longer in the "developmental stage", but, 
by any normal definition, collision avoidance radar systems simply cannot be 
classed as "developmental". 

There is equally little question as to the effectiveness of these systems. Studies 
carried out under both government and oil industry sponsorship have concluded 
that collision avoidance radar provides significant advantages over conventional 
radar, particularly in high traffic coastal and harbor regions where most acci- 
dents occur. 9 The Office of Technology Assessment in its report, Oil Transporta- 
tion by Tanker: An Analysis of Marine Pollution and 'Safety Measures (July 
1975), has described collision avoidance radar systems in the following terms 
(at page 68) : "The potential of CAS for reducing casualties through relief of 
deck officers' workload and improvement in decisionmaking process is generally 
considered excellent. (A MAR AD study indicated that 40-50 percent of a deck 
officer's total workload is involved in collision avoidance.) The CAS has the 
added advantage that the onboard computer itself can be used for other functions, 
including the calculation of optimal cargo stowage and ballasting to reduce hull 

The Coast Guard's failure to propose collision avoidance radar actually runs 
at cross purposes to other federal marine safety programs, as well as to action 
by various of our coastal states. The Coast Guard is presumably aware that 
anticollision radar has been required for more than three years by the Federal 
Maritime Administration on all oil tankers receiving construction-differential 
subsidies. 10 The effect of not proposing it as a general requirement can only brine 
about pressure for modification of the Maritime Administration program, and, 
at the same time, undercut the efforts of progressive shipbuilders and oil com- 
panies which have voluntarily installed collision avoidance radar. 

The unfortunate effects of the Coast Guard's action will doubtless also extend 
to regulations at the state level. The iState of Washington has establish a sys- 
tem under which tankers equipped with collision avoidance radar (as well as 
other features) need not take a tug escort when entering Puget Sound. 11 The 
State of Alaska passed only this June legislation of a similar nature. 12 The argu- 
ment is probably already being made that the Coast Guard's action demonstrates 
the misguided nature of these progressive state enactments, if it does not indeed 
positively preempt them. 

In sum, a derision not to require collision avoidance radar systems is not only 
inconsistent with the plain facts as to the present viability and desirability of 
such systems, but will positively aggravate the marine pollution problem, creat- 
ing pressure to lower standards elsewhere. 


In conclusion, the environmental groups strongly urge the Coast Guard to 
reexamine the proposed rules and move ahead to take positive action for protec- 
tion of the marine environment, not on the basis of what is being done by industry, 
but on the basis of what can be done. Only in this way can the Coast Guard 

s New York Times, October 24, 1971, at 27. 

9 See, e.g., National Transportation Safety Board, "Special Studv of Collisions Within the 
Navigable Waters of the United States — Consideration of Alternative Prevention Meal 
nres!', Report No. NTSB-NSS-72-1 (February 1972) ; Liverpool Polytechnic Mai-Mime 
Operations Research Unit. "A Comparison of Facilities on Computer Based Radars" (1975). 

10 See Final Opinion and Order of the Maritime Subsidy Board, MarAd Tanker Con- 
struction Program, Docket No. A-75 (August 30, 1973) ; Recommended Revisions to 
Standard Specification for Merchant Ship Construction. 38 Fed. Reg 27537 (October 4, 
1973), 39 Fed. Reg. 27483 (July 29, 1974). It should also be pointed out that, more than 
four years asro. the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that vessels be 
pfinnped with collision avoidance systems. See Report No. NTSB-NSS-72-1 (February 2, 

11 Chapter 88.16 RCW. 

^Alaska Amended Senate Bill No. 406, enacted on or about June 1, 1976, by the 
Alaskan State Legislature. 


fulfill the mandate of the Act which requires it to he in the vanguard of Btand- 
ani setting, not a mere codifler of existing practice. 

If you have any questions with respect to these comments, or if you desire any 
further information, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned. 
Very truly yours, 

Ei.uon V. C. Greenberg. 
Counsel to Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., et al. u 


Statement of Eldox V. C Greenberg on Behalf of the Natural Resoub< es 
Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the National 
"Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, the Environmental 
Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth, and the National Parks and Conser- 
vation Association on Proposed Rules for the Construction and Equipment 
of Tank Vessels in Foreign Trade (CGD75-240) Presented on May 20, 1976, 
to the United States Coast Guard 

I am Eldon Greenberg of the Center for Law and Social Policy, a public interest 
law firm. 1 I am pleased, to appear today to provide the views of the Natural Re- 
sources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the National 
Wildlife Federation, the National Audubon Society, the Environmental Defense 
Fund, Friends of the Earth, and the National Parks and Conservation Associa- 
tion (the "environmental groups")- with respect to the Coast Guard's proposed 
amendments to its tank vessel regulations, 33 C.F.R. Part 157, to extend their 
coverage to U.S. flag tankers engaged in foreign trade, and foreign flag tankers 
entering U.S. navigable waters (CGD 75-240), as set forth in the Federal Register 
notice of April 15, 1976 (41 Fed. Reg. 15859) (the '"proposed rules"). All the 
environmental groups are national, non-profit membership organizations deeply 
concerned and knowledgeable about the preservation and protection of the 
marine environment. They have each taken an active interest in the development 
of standards for the design and operation of oil carrying vessels, and I have been 
asked by them to coordinate the presentation of their views on the proposed rules. 

Because the proposed rules are, except in one or two respects, essentially the 
same as the regulations adopted by the Coast Guard in October, 1975 (40 Fed. 
Reg. 48279) and January, 1976 (41 Fed. Reg. 1479) for oil tankers in domestic 
trade, I do not intend this morning to focus upon the details of the regulatory 
requirements themselves. The environmental groups' criticisms of the adequacy 
of such requirements have been expressed on many previous occasions, 3 and are 
well-known. Rather. I would like to discuss two basic policy questions raised by 
the proposed rules : (1) whether the Coast Guard should be confined to the require- 
ments of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 
1973 (the "1973 Convention") In establishing design and equipment standards for 
oil tankers in international trade; and (2) whether t lie Coast Guard should 
limit its enforcement of generally accepted international discharge standards 

13 Durham Monsma. third year law student at UCLA School of Law and intern at the 
Center for Law and Social Policy contributed to the preparation of these comments. 

l The Center's address and telephone number are: 1751 N Street, N.W., Washington, 
D.C. 20036 ; (202) 872-0670. 

- XRDC. whose principal office is at 15 West 44th Street, New York, NY. 10036. and additional offices in Washington, D.C. and Palo Alto. Calif., has a membership of 
approximately 18.000 persons. The Sierra Club, whose principal place of business is nl 
530 Bush Street, San Francisco, Calif. 94104, has a membership of approximately 160,000 
persons. The Wilderness Society, which has its principal office at 1901 Pennsylvania 
Avenue, N.W., Washington. D.C. 20006. and a field office in Denver. Colorado, has a meni- 
bership of about 90,000 persons. NWF, whose principal place of business is 1412 16th 
Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, is composed of associate members and members <>f 
state affiliate member organizations, comprising over 2.O0O.000 persons. Tin' National 
Audubon Society, which has its principal office at 950 Third Avenue. New York. N.Y. 
lOO.'"-*, has a membership of more than 340,000 persons. BDF, whose principal place of bu-i- 
ne<s is 162 Old Town Road, East Setauket, N.Y. 11733, has a membership of approximately 
55,000 persons and a 700 member Scientists' Advisory Committee. FOE, whose principal 
plac of business is ."20 Commercial Street, San Francisco. Calif. 94111, has a membership 
of 20.000 persons. NPCA. whose principal office is 1701 ISth Street. N.W., Washington, 
D.C. 20009, has a membership of approximately 45.000 persons. 

:; Seven of the groups in fact currently contesting the adenuacy of such regulation* in n 
lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia [Natural 
Resources Defense Council, Inc., ct al. v. William T. Coleman, Jr., et al.. Civ. Action X". 


gainst foreign flag tankers, to situations when the violations occur in U.S. terri- 
torial waters or whether it should enforce such standards also when a violation 
of such standards occurs outside U.S. territorial jurisdiction. 

( 1 i Application of Standards Additional to Those of the 1978 Convention — It 
has been, and continues to be, an article of faith at the Coast Guard that the 
United States should only adopt regulations for U.S. flag tankers in foreign 
trade and foreign Hag tankers entering our ports which are "consistent with" the 
l!i7. -> . Convention. The Coast Guard's position, as set forth in its Final Environ- 
mental Impact Statement on Regulations for Tank Vessels Engaged in the Car- 
riage of Oil in Domestic Trade, issued in August, 1975 (hereafter cited as 
"CGEIS"), is that pollution is an international problem and, if the United States 
should move to impose standards additional to those embodied in the 1973 Con- 
vention, not only could the future of that Convention be cast in doubt, but so, 
too, would be most hopes for international solutions in the area of marine pollu- 
t Ion. Indeed, the Coast Guard has gone so far as to state that because ship source 
pollution is "best attacked in an international context," unilateral action should 
only be taken "when international solutions are impossible or inappropriate" (40 
Fed. Reg. 4S280). 

While the environmental groups agree with the Coast Guard that international 
agreements are desirable, we believe that it would be counter-productive to limit 
U.S. standards to those embodied in the 1973 Convention. Such a policy may in 
the end result in the sacrifice of our own environment and perhaps the world en- 
vironment for the sake of an international agreement which may never be gen- 
erally adopted. We reach this conclusion for two basic reasons : 

First, whatever action the United States takes, the 1973 Convention does not 
appear likely to enter into force in the near future. Today, two and one-half 
years after it was opened for signature, only two countries — Jordan and Kenya, 
neither of which is a significant maritime power — have ratified the 1973 Con- 
vention. Before it could actually enter into force, no less than 15 states, the com- 
bined merchant fleets of which constitute not less than 50 percent of the gross 
tonnage of the world's merchant shipping, must become parties (1973 Conven- 
tion, Article 15, paragraph 1). When, if ever, this will occur is uncertain. In- 
deed, because of the costly requirements of the 1973 Convention with respect to 
the provision of reception facilities for oily residues and oily mixtures, the future 
of the Convention is particularly clouded. 

Second, there are a number of areas in which there has been neither interna- 
tional discussion nor international agreement. It is difficult to understand how 
progressive United States action in such areas would undermine the chances of 
the 1973 Convention being adopted, or, for that matter, the chances of new agree- 
ments being reached. For example, if, as contemplated by the Ports and Water- 
ways Safety Act, the United States were to establish standards for maneuver- 
ability or stopping ability — subjects not addresed in the 1973 Convention or 
any other existing agreements — U.S. regulatory initiatives would not, in our 
view, be taken by the international community as a "signal" that the United 
States intended to impose additional requirements in those areas in which in- 
ternational agreements have been or could be reached. In point of fact, taking 
the initiative in this way, perhaps in order to galvanize the international com- 
munity to take similar action on a multilateral basis, is precisely what Congress 
envisioned the Coast Guard would do under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. 

Given the considerable flexibility to act, there should be every incentive to 
do so. The Senate Commerce Committee in its Report on the Ports and Water- 
ways Safety Act, emphasized that, despite its "preference" for multilateral 
solutions, it was "not willing to sacrifice the objective of protection of the 
marine environment on the altar of that principle." S. Rep. No. 92-724, 92nd 
Cong., 1st Sess., 1972 U.S. Code, Cong., and Adm. News 2766. 27S3. In its 
January. 1976 Report to Congress, Activities Relating to Title II of the Ports 
and Waterways Safety Act, the Coast Guard has indicated that it is moving 
ahead on a variety of fronts to come up wdth meaningful standards designed 
to eliminate or significantly reduce risks of vessel source pollution. And the 
Coast Guard has recognized that the 1973 Convention is a limited document 
which does not achieve all the United States would have liked in the area of 
marine pollution, particularly as far as protection against accidental spills is 
concerned. CG EIS at 6. 

In one important respect, the Coast Guard has already moved beyond the 
1973 Convention. It has proposed that distribution of segregated ballest capacity 
as "defensive space" (33 C.F.R. § 157.09[d]) be required of foreign flag tankers 


and U.S. flag tankers in foreign trade. While tbe environmental groups may 
differ with the Coast Ouard a^ io I lie adequacy of the "defensive jpac ■" require- 
ment, we believe that the Coast (luard is fully eorrecl In adopting the concept 
thai additional standards should be applied to tan ken in International trade. 
The point to be made, however, is thai this proposal reflects an understanding 
,,f our need and ability not to be bound bj the four corners of the 1973 Cow 
tion. but, to establish where appropriate, additional standards to deal with 
whole range of risks associated with the marine transport <<r oil. We would 
est that, in areas such as tanker maneuverability and stopping ability, iui- 
ikir. forward thinking action can and should be taken. 

(•_•) Enforcement of Generally Accepted International Discharge Standards 
Op rational pollution is the basic focus of the proposed rules. Kevertbele . 

ndes fall short of what might be achieved, even if the Coast Guard ' 
constrained by the standards of the 1073 Convention, because they contain no 
provision for enforcing violations of discharge standards Outside U.S. territorial 
waters against foreign flag vessels. Because of the well-known and likely long- 
term glut in the tanker market, see generally Mueller, The "Worldwide Need for 
Tankers 'Paper Presented at the Seatrade Conference on Money and Ships, 
London. March 18, T..7."i). the Coast Guard's regulations providing for incorpora- 
tion of segregated ballast capacity (33 C.F.R. S 157) are likely to have little 
impact on operational pollution because a retrofit requirement is not included.' 
Consequently, there is a pressing need to take as effective action us possible 
with respect tooperatio ial pollution from existing tankers. 

In 1974, world trade in petroleum shipped p v tanker averaged 30 to 35 million 
barrels per day: of this amount, some 5.4 million barrels per day were carried 
to the United States, almost exclusively l!»4 percent) by foreign flag tankers. 
See generally Office of Technology Assessment. Oil Transportation by Tankers: 
An Analysis of Marine Pollution and Safety Measures, 8-14 (July. 1975). In 
other words, one-sixth to one-seventh of the total oceanborne transport of petro- 
leum was destined for the United States. U.S. enforcement of operational 
requirements on foreign flag tankers, would, therefore, be highly significant, 
even in a global pollution context. 

Although the Coast Guard, in its draft environmental impact statement on 
the proposed rules indicates (at pages 23 and 24) that making adherence to 
discharge criteria a condition of entry to U.S. ports "would offer the greatest 
potential for oil outflow reduction," it nevertheless rejects this alternative as 
not feasible from a legal standpoint," indicating in the notice of proposed 
rulemaking that such action would involve "a disputable extension of United 
States legal authority and jurisdiction" (41 Fed. Beg. 15860).' The environ- 
mental groups believe that the Coast Guard 1ms not only framed the issue in 
an unfortunate way, but that discharge standards may he enforced against 
foreign flag vessels consistent with domestic and existing international law, 
as well as emerging international law. 

To frame the issue in terms of application of U.S. standards Is misleading. 
The standards in the proposed rules have nof been unilaterally developed by 
the United States. They are international standards derived from the 1969 
Amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution 
of the Sea bv Oil, 1954, 12 U.S.T. 2989. T.I.A.S. 4900. 327 U.N.T.S. 3, as 
amended. 17 U.S.T. 1523, T.I.A.S. 6109, COO U.N.T.S. 332, and the 1973 IMCO 
Convention. The issue, in other v<'r(]x. is more properly framed in terms of 
U.S. enforcement of generally accented international standards, rather 1' 
US. standard setting as such. If the proposed action is limited to en I' 
only of international standards, any contention that such action represents a 
unilateral extension of standard settin? jurisdiction is unfounded. 

In any event, it seems clear that the United States does have the power under 
existing domestic and international law to enforce discharge criteria against 
foreign flag vessels when violations of such criteria occur outside the terri- 
torial jurisdiction of the United States. The Ports and Waterways Safety Act 
authorizes such exercise of jurisdiction. The Act gives the Coast Guard authority 

*Aa far as retrofit of segregated ballast Is concerned, the environmental groans noto 
»Vt tv Const Guard's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking of May 13, 1976 ill 
Ren. 10f,72> indicates that such a possibility is under active consideration, and we 
uree that everv effort be made to act on this matter on a priority basis. 

5 Given the 'desirability of this alternative, It plainly deserres mom than tbe summary 
one pace trentmont given it In the draft statement. All its ramifications should be 
fully explored before any final action is taken. 
S2-D0S — 77— pt. 1 17 


to established rules and regulations for the operation of all vessels which 
enter r.s. navigable waters." Such authority docs not depend upon where the 
violation occurs. Jurisdiction attaches when the vessel enters U.S. navigable 
waters. Moreover, Section 201 (13) of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act 
gives the Coast Guard authority to exclude "non-complying" vessels from U.S. 
navigable waters. Exercise of this authority is fully consistent with the United 
States' absolute right under international law to exclude vessels of foreign 
registry from its internal waters. See generally Burke. Contemporary Law of 
the Sea: Transportation, Communication and Fliffht 1 (Occasional Taper 
Series. Law of the Sea Institute, University of Phode Island, November 197." i. 

("Stales claim complete authority to control access of vessels, both private and 
governmental, to internal waters, whether such waters are ports, bays, or 
areas beyond bays that may be useful as a route for international transport. 
In recent times some states wholly composed of islands make the claim that waters 
between the islands are internal. With respect to all waters claimed to be 
internal, the basic claim by coastal officials is to a discretionary authority to 
permit or to deny access as they may unilaterally decide.") 

See also Whiteman, Digest of International Law, 186-188, 216-217, 250-201 
(1965). If the United States can exclude foreign vessels from its ports for any 
reason whatsoever, a fortiori, it can exclude them for discharges which occur 
outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. 7 

The concept of port state enforcement of international discharge standards, 
if not already part of international law, certainly represents the emerging 
consensus. The United States has been one of its leading supporters inter- 
nationally, and it is now specifically reflected in the revised Single Negotiating 
Text at the Law of the Sea Conference. See Revised Single Negotiating Text, 
Part III, Article 28, A/Conf. 62/WP.8/.l/Part III (May 6, 197G). For the 
Ignited States to step out in front by actually putting such a port state scheme 
into effect would not only have a beneficial effect in terms of pollution control 
but would perhaps hasten the general acceptance of port state enforcement. 8 

Finally, the three reasons advanced by the Coast Guard in its draft environ- 
mental impact statement on the proposed rules as mitigating the absence of 
operational standards for foreign flag vessels are unpersuasive. First, the 
mere fact that a vessel must have necessary pumping, piping and discharge 
arrangements, and even a discharge monitoring and control system, so as to 
engage in load-on-top operations, does not ensure that discharges will be within 
applicable limits. Load-on-top operations are only partly effective, and there 
are numerous situations, e.g., short ballast voyages, rough sea conditioning, see 
CGEIS at 40, in which such operations cannot be carried on with any degree 
of success. In these situations, the temptation may well be to discbarge in 
violation of international standards, regardless of any equipment, piping, and 
discharge arangements on board. Second, that "many flag states are in fact 
requiring that their vessels comply with the 1969 Amendments" scarcely begin 
to solve the problem of operational pollution. One of the major difficulties in 
the past with the international system cf regulation of oil pollution has been 
that flag states have had exclusive enforcement jurisdiction. There is general 
recognition that flag state enforcement must be supplemented by other enforce- 
ment mechanisms if there is going to be any assurance that discharge criteria 
will not be violated with impunity. Third, the mere escalation in the value of 
oil is far from sufficient to deter willful violations of international standards. 
Although the cost of oil has escalated dramatically in the past two years, none- 
theless, there is no proof that operational discharges have been reduced. 

8 Section 201(1) provides, "That it Is necessary that there be established for all such 
vessels documented under the laws of the United States or entering the navigable waters 
of the United States comprehensive minimum standards of design, construction, alteration, 
repair, maintenance, and operation to prevent or mitigate the hazards to life, property, 
and the marine environment. 

7 The remedy of exclusion should be distinguished, of course, from the imposition of 
nionetary penalties and other remedies, where the legal basis for action under existing 
international law may be less well established. Denial of entry, however, mav be a fnirlv 
effective remedy. Whereas monetary fines measured even in thousands of dollars mirht 
not deter polluters, denial of entry, when a cargo worth millions of dollars is involved, 

3t surely would. 

8 To the extent that port state enforcement poses the risk of conflict flag states 
appropriate safeguards for flag state interests misrht also he devised, along the lines of 

lose being considered at the Law of the Sea negotiations, such as suspension of port state 
proceedings in the event that the flag states initiate proceedings for the same violation. See 
TiT Vl /\°r' S^e^e Negotiating Text, Part III. Articles 33-42, A/Conf. 62/WP.8/Rev. 1/Part 
i,,Ll • ■! J 19(6) Any specific U.S. safeguards established in the interim period before 
'.' J/, lnt ,° force , of . J^f Law of the Sea Treaty could, of course, be replaced by the interna- 
tional safeguards, if different, once the Treaty goes into effect. 

to established rules and regulations for the operation of all vessels whfl 
enter U.S. navigable waters. 6 Such authority does not depend upon where tl| 
violation occurs. Jurisdiction attaches when the vessel enters U.S. navigal 
waters. Moreover, Section 201 (13) of the Ports and Waterways Safety A 
gives the Coast Guard authority to exclude •'non-complying" vessels from U. 
navigable waters. Exercise of this authority is fully consistent with the Unit?' 
States' absolute right under international law to exclude vessels of fores 
registry from its internal waters. See generally Burke, Contemporary Law ■ 
the Sea: Transportation, Communication and Flight 1 (Occasional Pap<< 
Series, Law of the Sea Institute, University of Rhode Island, November 1975). 

("States claim complete authority to control access of vessels, both private ar 
governmental, to internal waters, whether such waters are ports, bays, < 
areas beyond bays that may be useful as a route for international transpor 
In recent times some states wholly composed of islands make the claim that watei 
between the islands are internal. With respect to all waters claimed to I 
internal, the basic claim by coastal officials is to a discretionary authority 1 
permit or to deny access as they may unilaterally decide.") 

See also Whiteman, Digest of International Law, 186-188,. 216-217. 250-2t 
(1965). If the United States can exclude foreign vessels from its ports for an 
reason whatsoever, a fortiori it can exclude them for discharges which occi ij 
outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.' 

The concept of port state enforcement of international discharge standard 
if not already part of international law, certainly represents the emergin 
consensus. The United States has been one of its leading supporters inte: 
nationally, and it is now specifically reflected in the revised Single Negotiaiin 
Text at the Law of the Sea Conference. See Revised Single Negotiating Tex I 
Part III, Article 28, A/Conf. 62/WP.8/.l/Part III (May 6, 1976). For thj 
United States to step out in front by actually putting such a port state schem 
into effect would not only have a beneficial effect in terms of pollution contr< 
but would perhaps hasten the general acceptance of port state enforcement. 8 

Finally, the three reasons advanced by the Coast Guard in its draft enviroi 
mental impact statement on the proposed rules as mitigating the absence o i 
operational standards for foreign flag vessels are unpersuasive. First, th 
mere fact that a vessel must have necessary pumping, piping and discharg 
arrangements, and even a discharge monitoring and control system, so as t 
engage in load-on-top operations, does not ensure that discharges will be withii 
applicable limits. Load-on-top operations are only partly effective, and ther 
are numerous situations, e.g., short ballast voyages, rough sea conditioning, se> 
CGEIS at 40, in which such operations cannot be carried on with any degre> 
of success. In these situations, the temptation may well be to discharge ii 
violation of international standards, regardless of any equipment, piping, an< 
discharge arangements on board. Second, that "many flag states are in fac 
requiring that their vessels comply with the 1969 Amendments" scarcely begii 
to solve the problem of operational pollution. One of the major difficulties ir 
the past with the international system of regulation of oil pollution has been 
that flag states have had exclusive enforcement jurisdiction. There is general 
recognition that flag state enforcement must be supplemented by other enfori | 
ment mechanisms if there is going to be any assurance that discharge criteria 
will not be violated with impunity. Third, the mere escalation in the value oi 
oil is far from sufficient to deter willful violations of international standards 
Although the cost of oil has escalated dramatically in the past two years, none- 
theless, there is no proof that operational discharges have been reduced. 

6 Section 201(1) provides, "That it is necessary that there be established for all sucli 
vessels documented under the laws of the United States or entering the navigable waters 
of the United States comprehensive minimum standards of design, construction, alteration, 
repair, maintenance, and operation to prevent or mitigate the hazards to life, property, 
and the marine environment. 

7 The remedy of exclusion should be distinguished, of course, from the imposition of 
monetary penalties and other remedies, where the legal basis for action under existing 
international law may be less well established. Denial of entry, however, may be a fnirlj 
effective remedy. Whereas monetary fines measured even in thousands of dollars mi£-h1 
not deter polluters, denial of entry, when a cargo worth millions of dollars is involved, 
almost surely would. 

8 To the extent that port state enforcement poses the risk of conflict flag states 
appropriate safeguards for flag state interests might also he devised, along the lines of 
those being considered at the Law of the Sea negotiations, such as suspension of port state 
proceedings in the event that the flag states initiate proceedings for the same violation. See 
Revised Single Negotiating Text, Part III. Articles 33-42, A/Conf. 62/WP.8/Rev. 1/Part 
III (May 6. 1976). Any specific U.S. safeguards established in the interim period before 
entry into force of the Law of the Sea Treaty could, of course, be replaced by the interna- 
tional safeguards, if different, once the Treaty goes into effect. 


Indeed, there is even a substantial percentage of the world flee! which still 

does not follow load-to-top procedures, ['ltinia I 

rely .hi cxicnial forces t i hifhu nee i I liers to reduce their operal io lal dischai 

it must take action itself i adequate protection of the 

marine environment. 


In sum, the environmental groups believe that, with respect to the two b 
policy questions raised in this rulemaking proceeding, the time lias come to 
establish additional standards where needed and nol addressed Internationally 
and to enforce generally accepted international discharge standards againsl all 
vessels entering its navigable waters. Such vigorous action will help ensure that 
the mandate of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act will begin to be fulfilled. 

Thank you. 


Center for Law and Social Policy, 

Washington, D.C.,JtmeS9, 1916. 

iivE Secretary, Marine Safety Council, 
isi Guard. Washington, D.C. 

Dear Sir- We are writing to express the views of the Natural Resources 
Defense Council ("NRDC"), the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society ("Wilder- 
ness") the National Wildlife Federation ("NWF"), the Environmental Defense 
, ("EDF"), the National Parks and Conservation Association ("NPCA I, 
Friends of the Earth ("FOE"), the National Audubon Society i "Audubon I, and 
the Environmental Policy Center ("EPC") (collectively the "environmental 
groups") 1 concerning the above-cap; ionod Advance Notice of Proposed Rule- 
making (CGD 76-075) which appeared at 41 Fed. Reg. 19672 (.May 13, 1976) 
(the "proposed rule"). . ■ - 

With the exception of EPC. which is an independent, privately financed group 
located in Washington, D.C. which provides policy anal: sis a ch assist- 

ance to state and local environmental organizations, all the environmental groups 
are non-profit membership organizations. Their combined membership exceeds 
9 500 000 at home and abroad. All the environmental groups share a d iep concern 
about the Coast Guard's leadership role in protecting and preserving marine and 
coastal environments, and have long urged the development of meaningful stand- 
ards to improve the design, construction, and operation of oil tan!-. 

While we have often been critical of the Coast Guard in the past, we believe 
thot with publication of the proposed rule, the Coast Guard has taken a heart 
ening step toward assuming marine environmental leadership on the national and 
international scene. We have, since the inception of rulemaking proceedings under 
the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. urged the application of meaningful design 
requirements to existing tonnage. We have long warned that, unless such action 
were taken, the tauker boom of the early 1970's would frustrate pollution control 
efforts The Coast Guard's proposal to extend the segregated ballast concept to 
existing U.S. tankers of 70,000 deadweight tons ("DWT") and over and foreign 
tankers of the same size that enter U.S. waters is. in our view* the most important 
design and construction initiative that can be taken to help eliminate operational 

• \ T RDC whose principal office Is at 15 West 44th Street, New York, New York 10 
and which h ad litSl offices in Washington, D.C. anil Palo Alto. California, hu a 
rili n of approximately 22,000 persons. The Sierra Club, whose principal pla 

'■ is at 530 Bush Street, San Francisco, California 94104, has a membership of 

aoproximatelv 160,000 persons! Wilderness which has its principal office atl901 Pennsyl- 

vaiia Avenue N W Washington. D.C. 20006 and a field office in Denver. Colorado, has a 

mmbefJhm of app^ximatelv Iio.OOO persons. NWF. whose principal place of business a 

116 16th Street n!w ^.Washington, D.C. 20(KJG, is ^va£^™^™^*$ 

ers of state affiliate member organizations, comprising over £<w0M pefmn. j . 
whose principal place of business is 162 Old Town Road, East Sotai kef. New York 11733 
and which has additional offices in New York City, Washing ton D.C..1 '™ ;'• ..1 >r, 
and Berkeley, California, has a membership of approximately ;.s o.»ii persons ai 1 a 
member Scientists' Advisory Committee. NPCA whose princip al offi eel si 7 OlWa Street, 
\w Washington. D.C. 20009. has a membership of approximately 45.000 persons. 1 UB, 
whose principal place of business is 529 Commercial Street. Sa° Francisco 
04111. has a membership of 20.000 persons. Audubon, which has Its i in ... 
»50 Third Avenue. New York. New York 10022, has a membership o rVr MOM 

persons. EPC's principal place of business is at 324 C Street, s.l Wa < 2> 0003 

•See. e.g.. the correspondence and testimony collected in Hearings on thf .Ports and 
Waterways Safetv Act of 1972 Before the Senate Commerce Committee, 9 th Cong., -d 
Bess 118-195 (Serial No. 94-63) (March 2 and 3, 1976 (hereinafter "Hearings ). 


pollution. 3 We strongly endorse the proposed rule and urge its implement at ion on 
a priority basis. 

The need to reduce operational discharge is apparent. It is generally accepted 
that segregated ballast retrofit is both environmentally desirable and technically 
feasible. Furthermore, given the current and projected tanker surplus, we have 
a unique opportunity to take advantage of economic pressures on maritime 
nations to achieve a result which both relieves such pressures and leads 
improved environmental protection. If we do not take advantage of this oppor- 
tunity, the benefits of segregated ballast anticipated in the 1973 IMCO Cor 
vention will not be realized within the foreseeable future. Finally, whatever niaj 
be the benefits of supplementary operational procedures, such as crude washing, 
they present surveillance and enforcement difficulties which render them unf 
substitutes for segregated ballast. 


The evidence of oil pollution has been well documented. 4 Tar masses are appear- 
ing in increased concentrations in populated areas, as well as on formerly un- 
polluted bleaches where there is seldom anyone to voice concern. 5 While the 
effects of the yearly entry of 5 to 10 million metric tons of petroleum hydro 
carbons into the world's oceans are less well known, much of what we do know is 
a binning." And, such adverse effects as the oiling and tarring of beaches, the 
endangering of seabird species, and the modification of benthic communities are 
undisputed. 7 

Roughly, one-third of ocean oil pollution is caused by "marine transportation".' 
Tankers are easily the single largest contributors of such pollution, causing the 
release of an estimated % billion gallons of oil into the ocean each year. 9 Ap- 
proximately two-thirds of that amount is discharged during the normal tanker 
operations of ballast water discharge and tank washing. 10 The Coast Guard has 
recognized that these operational discharges constitute "the most serious threat 
to the marine environment attributable to oil tankers." n 

6 We continue to believe that segregated ballast can and should be required on tankers 
at least as small as 20,000 DWT. The Coast Guard has itself concluded that segregated 
ballast systems are both pollution and cost effective for tankers of that size. United States 
Coast Guard. Report on Part 2 of Study I: Segregated Ballast Aboard Product Tankers 
and Smaller Crude Carriers (February 1973). While the International Convention for the 
Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 (the "1973 IMCO Convention") limits segregate 
ballast to vessels larger than 70,000 DWT, the Coast Guard itself has admitted that this 
was considerably less than the U.S. had hoped to achieve. United States Coast Guard. Final 
Environmental Impact Statement on Regulations for Tank Vessels Engaged in the Car- 
riage of Oil in Domestic Trade : Protection of the Marine Environment 6 (August 1975) 
(the "ETS"). The Coast Guard, in adopting the concept of "defensive space" and in pub- 
lishing the proposed rule, has at last broken with its ritualistic adherence to the 197S 
IMCO Convention. It is particularly important to act independently as regards segregabj 
ballast on smaller tankers. There is evidence that demand for tankers under 70,000 DWT — 
mostly in the range up to 39,000 DWT — is rebounding while the supertanker glut continues 
unabated. "Shipping Sector Seen Improved — Greek Owners Have 135 Bulkers on OnVr," 
The Journal of Commerce, June 16, 1976, at 10 ; see also the March 17. 1976. letter of the 
Maritime Administration to the Coast Guard Task Group on Segregated Ballast on Exist- 
Iiig Tankers (the "MarAd Report"). Attachment B. forecasting a "relatively strong" world 
market for tankers up to 70,000 DWT through 19S5. Thus, a new generation of the tankers 
most frequently used to carry refined distillates — the most toxic of petroleum products- 
will escape both existing and proposed U.S. regulations on segregated ballast systems 
unless the tonnage threshold is lowered considerably. 

4 See, e.g.. National Academy of Sciences, Petroleum in the Marine Environment (Janu- 
ary 1975) (hereinafter cited as "NAS Report"). 
'• Id. at 105. 
See Boesch. Hershner and Milgram, Oil Spills and the Marine Environment (1974). 

7 NAS Report at 98-107. 

8 NAS Report at 104. 

9 Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), Oil Transportation By Tankers: An Analysis 
of Marine Pollution and Safety Measures 27 (July 1975). 

in Id. See also the testimony of Admiral Owen S. Siler, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard 
in the Hearings, at 60, and Coast Guard estimates which hold tank cleaning and ballastine 
responsible for SO percent of tanker pollution and about 18 percent of the estimated 
worldwide input of petroleum hydrocarbons (PCH). EIS, at 6, 28. The National Academy 
of Sciences' figure of one million metric tons per annum (m.t.a.) in operational discharges 
has been criticized as being on the low side. Noel Mostert suggests annual discharges of 
tank washings may be as high as 3.85 m.t.a. Mostert, "The Age of the Oilberg " Audubon, 
May 1975. at 18, 25. 

"EIS at 6. 


B. SEGREGATED BALLAST IS THE l;.\Vli;o.\ MINI Ail-, DSC 3U.BJ 1. Mi. I BOO "i I Qfl I km; | 

ol'l.UATIONAL POXX1 , I" 1 

Incorporation of a segregated ballfst system goes a long way toward eliminat- 
ing tanker operational pollution. 13 Indeed, the Coasl Guard has correctly con- 
eluded that "segregated ballast tanks appear u> It the mo9l viable solution t" 
the problem of ballasting tankers while meeting environmental protection at 
it appears that this solution will remain valid for the Core eeable future." 5 
Segregated ballast eliminates the difficulties attendant upon the enforce!] 
and surveillance of operational techniques. To tin' extenl balrasl is distributed 
along the hull of an oil tanker as defensive space, it has substantial accidental 
pollution benefits. 

Widespread employment of segregated ballast systems is the key to achieving 
the goal to which the United States and other nations are con. milled of "the 
complete elimination of intentional pollution by oil and other harmful sub- 
Stances . . . by the end of the decade." u Indeed* this proven, strucl 
to pollution prevention is the cornerstone of the 1073 IMCO Convention which 
calls for segregated ballast in tankers over 70,000 DV/T eonlracted for after 
December .".1. 1975. 18 And, of course, it is the cornerstone of the Coast Guard's 
regulations for oil tankers in domestic trade (40 Fed. Reg. 48279) (October 1-1. 
liC". i. and proposed regulations for oil tankers in foreign trade. 41 Fed. Reg. 
16859 (April 15, 197G) ; see generally 33 C.F.R. Fart 157. 


At the time of the negotiation of the 1973 IMCO Convention, the tanker in- 
dustry was riding the crest of an economic boom. There was little reason to 
doubt thai increasing world oil demand would accentuate an already over- 
whelming trend toward larger tankers, particularly VLCCs (Very Large Crude 
Carriers ) , and hasten the phase-out of existing tonnage. 

The Arab oil embargo of 1973-74 changed that basic premise. Today, a large 
portion of the world and U.S. tanker fleets is in mothballs and the demand for 
new tankers of over 70,000 DWT is virtually nonexistent. Public and trade 
news media have been saturated during the past two years with stories of 
order cancellations and ruined shipowners. 18 

Recent estimates put the number of laid-up or idle tankers in excess of 580, 
with more than 230 in the 70.000-plus DWT range. 17 And a recent international 
Studv put the present tanker tonnage surplus at approximately 95 million DWT. 
or about 45 percent in excess of the capacity needed to meet all oil transport de- 
mands for 1075. 18 The Exxon Corporation estimates that existing tonnage of me- 
dium-sized and super-sized tankers already exceeds both current and forecasted 
requirements over the next ten years, and even if not a single new order is placed, 
substantial excess capacity will exist through IDs... 

i*EIS at 45. Coast Guard studies in preparation for the U.S. presentation to the 1973 
IMCO Conference concluded that a segregated ballast system would reduce operational 
pollution 95 percent Secrefrated Ballast Tankers Employing Double Bottoms, supporting 
aocument to DC ! VIII/12 fnd M.P. XlV(c), Presented to IMCO by the r nit, ,1 States of 
rica (November 1972) ; United States Coast Guard, Reports on Parts 1 and _ of Stuaj 
j. S.-r.'jatrd r.allast Tankers (June 1972 and February 107.°.L TAr ^n n, n 

"US Coast Guard, Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the 19 i.j IMLU con- 
vention .-O (N.T.I.S. Order No. 73-1391-D. Sept. 1973). 

« IMCO Assomblv Resolution A.237(VII) (October 12. 1971). 

i" 1073 IMCO Convention. Annex I. Regulation 13. »„w- 

i«See ejr "VLCCs Head for Mothballs on Maiden Voyages." Ocean Industry. No^ 
1975 at 6S- Wett "Tanker Trade Hit By Deep Slump. No End in Si-lit." The Oil and < .a* 
Journal. March 3. 1975. at 37 ; "Oil Glut Causing Crisis for Greek Shipowners. New YM* 
May 3. 107"). at 1. col. 1: "Shipowners Aesert Pick Up In Economy to Spark >.>w 
nss' The Journal of Commerce, June 23. 1075. at 11. \. „„„„„ 

'■ MarAd Report. Attaehment C. the February 2. 197G II. Clarkson and (,oum 
Ltd. listing of K Taafcer Tonnage Laid-up or Idle." u,««. *» «,. mmi 

is Joint Study of the Delegations of Greece and Norway for Presentation to tbelitb 
ou of the IMCO Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MErC) (March s. 
107'; i i the "Grcek-Norweerian Study"). . Co „ «._„,»., 

hieller, "The Worldwide Need for Tankers" (Paper presented at the Seatrade 
i Money and Ships, London, March, 1075). 


The devastating impact of grandfathering in both the 1973 IMCO Convention 
and present Coast Guard regulations is clear. 20 The reduction in oil pollution con- 
templated by the 1973 IMCO Convention will not take place in the foreseeable 
future unless segregated ballast is extended to existing tankers. Indeed, the 
segregated ballast provisions of the 1973 IMCO Convention will be virtually dead 
letters As the Coast Guard has properly recognized in the position taken at 
the Fifth Session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee at IMCO, it 
is "doubtful" that the objectives of the 1973 IMCO Convention can be realized 
unless existing tankers are modified to prevent operational discharges. 



The current and projected tanker glut presents an unparalleled opportunity 
to act to reduce environmental degradation of the oceans. Economic concerns 
mesh with environmental needs. Segregated ballast retrofit obviously benefits 
shipowners and shipbuilders saddled with idle capacity. The Greeks and Nor- 
wegians, not known for their environmental sensitivity, support the proposal 
internationally. Shipping organizations which can be hostile to additional en- 
vironmental safeguards, such as the International Association of Independent 
Tanker Owners, have embraced the concept. 21 While such proponents may be 
motivated by economic factors, such factors are, in effect, a boon to environ- 
mental goals. We must take advantage of them while we can. 

The tanker surplus also results in an additional factor bearing on the de- 
sirability of segregated ballast retrofit now. Because so many tankers are laid 
up. segregated ballast can be implemented without causing any supply dislo- 
cations. Obviously, if the tanker market were tight, conversion to segregated 
ballast would carry greater economic penalties and be difficult to orchestrate 
without affecting supply. 

Finally, segregated ballast retrofit may help achieve earlier ratification of 
the 1973* IMCO Convention. One of the major difficulties in mustering interna- 
tional support for the Convention has been the requirement for the provision of 
port reception facilities for ballast water and oily wastes. These facilities re- 
quire considerable investment, which may be particularly burdensome to some 
countries. Segregated ballast retrofit would reduce the need for reception fa- 
cilities and thus may render much of this expense unnecessary. Segregated 
ballast retrofit, in other words, may make the 1973 IMCO Convention far more 
palatable to many nations. 


There is no question that segregated ballast is technically feasible. The Amer- 
ican Bureau of Shipping (ABS), for example, has recently concluded that seg- 
regated ballast retrofitting is "definitely feasible". 22 Oil industry spokesmen 
have agreed, stating that it could also be considered for existing tankers below 
70,000 DWT. 23 Conversion, moreover, is not expected to cause any safety prob- 
lems — it can be accomplished while meeting all structural and operational 
standards of classification societies. 24 


It is equally plain that segregated ballast retrofit is economically feasible. 
The cost of conversion is estimated to range from $100,000 to $3 million, depend- 

20 The existing commercial world tanker fleet over 10.000 DWT in July 1975> amounted 
to some 3,553 shins totaling 272.5 million DWT : a further 804 ships were on order, of 
which only some 61 ships totaling 11 million DWT were for delivery after 1977. Allowing 
for obsolescence and cancellation of new buildings, the resultant fleet in 1978 of tankers 
over 10.000 DWT could reasonably be expected to be on the order of 4.000 vessels totaling 
375 million DWT. This figure may be increased by another 200-plus shins totaling some 
28 million DWT of existing and new building ore/oil carriers, and even further increased 
by inclusion of oil-bulk ore carriers and government-owned tonnage. Virtually all of these 
ships will not be classed as segregated ballast tankers. A hisrh proportion will have over 
ton years service remaining and some will be in service in the year 2000. See Greek- 
Norwegian Studv. 

21 Tntertnnko. 4975 Annual Report at 9. 10. 

--' TnvesHsrntion of Segregated Ballast in Accordance with International Conference on 
Marine Pollution, 1973, a paper prepared by the American Bureau of Shipping (December 

23 c-pp,^ Tne comments of Mr. Lrugyel. Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting of 
the U.S. Working Group on Segregated Ballast in Existing Ttankers — April 22, 1976, 
letter from Captain F. P. Schubert, USCG, to participants dated May 7, 1976, at 5. 

21 Greek-Norwegian Study at 15. 


ing on the size and construction of given tankers." Given the cost of new tankers 
'which may range as high as $80-00 million, the incremental cost of conversion 

is not great. Moreover, since conversion would take place during a very weak 
carriage market, the estimated 20,000 to 200,000 manhours required to complete 
the task-" would have a negligible effect on freight rates in terms of down 
time. Combined with the estimated normal cargo capacity loss of 12 percent, 1 " 7 
and offset by certain operational economies, conversion should result, in in- 
creased transportation costs of probably not more than 15 percent. 28 The po- 
tential price increase at U.S. gasoline pumps has been put at % cent per 
gallon. 20 

The cost increments to consumers are minor indeed when compared with the 
massive effects of OPEC pricing policy and the huge bite of the gasoline dollar 
taken by taxes. And they are a small price to pay against the proven efficacy 
of segregated ballast systems in preventing oil pollution and its immediate 
clean-up costs, as well as its long-term environmental effects. Indeed, the Con- 
gressional judgment made in the Ports and Waterways Safety Act is clear on 
this point : 

"More than one witness emphasized the relatively inexpensive cost of improv- 
ing tankers. In this respect, it is important to understand that in the complex 
process of bringing petroleum from distant underground wells to the intimate 
consumer, the cost of sea transportation of crude oil is one of the least expensive 
elements. Oil tanker vessels now in use are basically nothing more than sub- 
divided tanks with a bow at one end and an engine at the other. On the basis 
of transportable cargo, the tanker is one of the very cheapset forms of construc- 
tion and of transportation. Data presented to the committee from the 16th 
Annual Tanker Conference sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute 
indicated that seaborne transportation accounts for only a tiny part of the final 
price to the consumer. Even the peak rates prevailing in early 1971 amounted 
only to 1 cent per gallon for transporting crude oil from the Caribbean to the 
United States. This compares with, for example, taxes of 10.8 cents per gallon 
of gasoline levied by government. Since seaborne transportation costs account 
for so small a proportion of oil cost, even large percentage escalations of that 
cost would have very little impact on consumer prices." 30 

Finally, there are advantages associated with segregated ballast retrofit which 
may have substantial benefit from a macroeconomic standpoint. These include: 

Increased employment of seamen and shipyard workers; 

Increased work in the shipbuilding industry ; 

Benefits to steel industry from the increase in demand for steel for conversion 
and the acquisition of old tankers for scrap ; 

Assured repayment of ship mortgages; 

Reduced need to invest in shoreside discharge facilities. 

While oil companies with existing charters may well argue that the expense 
of fleet conversion, which requires them to hire more tankers, is burdensome, 
not only is that expense passed on to the consumer, but there is every indication 
that it may be offset by gains to the economy as a whole. 


Opponents of segregated ballast retrofit have suggested that it would increase 
the number of ships in service, thereby adversely affecting traffic density, fuel 
consumption, and the normal phase-out of accident-prone older tankers. How- 
ever, as pointed out in the Greek-Norwegian Study, it is reasonable to suppose 
that, conversion to segregated ballast will reduce draft, the main limiting factor 
for entry to most ports. Thus, physically larger ships, which are both newer 
and safer, but with similar capacity as before, may be nsed. ::l In addition, the 
simultaneous ballasting and de-ballasting concurrent with unloading and loading, 
respectively, will reduce in-port time and expense. Finally, the universal adoption 
f s'-crregated ballast would hasten the scrapping of oil tankers on which con- 

See ABS and Greek-Norwegian Studies, at 1 and 15-1S, respectively. 
-'■ Grook Norwegian Study at IS. 
w M. at 20. 
« J'K at 21. 

-'■' Speech of Arthur McKenzie, Director of the Tanker Advisory Center, to the Association 
of Water Transportation Accounting Officers, March 17, 1976. 

3. Rep. No. 92-274, 92d Cong., 1st Sess., 1972 U.S. Code, Cong, and Adm. News 27GG, 

31 Greek-Norwegian Study at 10. 


version would not be economical. 32 While some commercial problems may 
arise willi respect to existing time charter parties and contracts of affreightment, 
for the most part these are subject to modification as the result of government 
regulation of the sort contemplated by the Coast Guard. 


The environmental groups do not believe that there are any present alterna- 
tives to segregated ballast retrofit which could achieve the same results. Oil 
industry spokesmen have contended that certain new techniques, such as crude 
oil washing, would materially reduce the quantity of oil left on board and appre- 
ciably cut down on the duration of cleaning operations. 33 Crude washing may 
present an attractive supplement to segregated ballast. But crude washing, in 
routrasi to segregated ballast, is an experimental technique, which has never 
been the subject of an independent, thoroughgoing government study. The burden 
is plainly on those who support crude washing to demonstrate that this technique 
provides equivalent advantages to segregated ballast before it could be accepted 
as an alternative. 

Crude washing as a supplement to segregated ballast may offer environmental 
advantages. But it may also have substantial drawbacks. At this point, simply 
not enough is known about the effectiveness of the system to reach any definitive 
conclusions. However, some potential drawbacks can be briefly identified : 

(1) To be both efficient and safe, crude oil washing systems are dependent 
on fixed tank washing machines and inert gas systems, which are available 
only on a limited number of tankers. At present only approximately one-third 
of the fleet above 100,000 DWT is inerted. 34 Thus, any realistic crude washing 
requirement would have to include a provision for retrofit of inert gas systems — 
a provision perhaps as expensive as tanker conversion itself. 

(2) As its proponents readily concede, the process is still experimental and its' 
effectiveness varies with the design features of individual tankers. 35 Few existing 
tankers were expressly designed with crude washing in mind. 

(31 Crude washing leaves approximately 300 tons of oil in the pump line sys- 
tem. 36 This oil. plus remaining residues, must be disposed of through LOT proce- 
dures, which in some tankers would have to be 99 percent effective to meet the 
1/15,000 DWT standard of the 1969 amendments to the 1954 Convention for the 
Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil. 

(4) Crude washing techniques cannot be used in oil product tankers, which 
carry the most toxic petroleum derivatives. 

(5) Crude washing presents enforcement and surveillance problems that are 
not present in self-executing segregated ballast systems. 

(6) Crude washing has no relevance to the problem of accidental outflow, which 
can be greatly lessened by proper placement of segregated ballast tanks. It does 
not provide, in other words, the systems benefits of segregated ballast. 

(7) Even with inerting systems, crude washing presents in-port safety prob- 
lems that require rigorous safety procedures. 

(8) It is unknown whether the extra hydrocarbons generated by oil washing 
and subsequently discharged in gas freeing operations may violate state or local 
emisison standards. 

(9) Crude washing reduces a vessel's discharge rate, since part of the cargo is 
returned to the cargo tank through tank cleaning machines. This can lengthen 
time alongside docking berths from 6-12 hours. 

(10) Crude washing systems are expensive. Complete systems may cost approxi- 
mately $1.2 to $1.6 million for tankers above 700,000 DWT, with 'inerting alone 
costing as much as $1 million. In sum, crude washing poses too many unanswered 
questions. It is doubtful whether they can be resolved within the time necessary 
to take advantage of the favorable national and international climate for imme- 
diate action to reduce operational pollution by existing tankers. 

32 Greek-Norwegian Study at 11. 

:is spp, Exxon Corporation, Crude Tanker Pollution Abatement (April 1976). While 
'improved load on top" is also sometimes suggested as an alternative, it is clear there are 
far too many variables associated with effective operation of this procedure — crew com- 
petence, weather conditions, type of cargo, accuracy of monitor requirements, etc. — to ever 
rely on it for solving the operational pollution problem from existing tankers. 

::t Based on the recent estimates of shipping indnstrv participants in meetings of the 
U.S. Working Group on Segregated Ballast in Existing Tankers (Spring 1076). 

-'See. e.g., R. Maybouran. "Crude Oil Washing." Paper presented to the March 1976 
IMPO Symposium on Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 

88 Id. at 8. 


I. C<>.\'< I.I 

In conclusion, we reiterate our view that it is essential thai a structural solu- 
tioii Cor intentional pollution from existing tankers be mandated by the earliesi 
Possible date. It is unrealistic to await IMCO action in this ana. Phe difflculties 
of adopting a new international multilateral Instrumehi or an amendment to tne 
1973 nico Convention are manifest, and the time frame for such action is on- 
acceptably lone. Onlv if the tJnited states acts, as it properly can and should, 
under the Ports and "waterways Safely Act, can we hope to realize the environ- 
mental goals to which we are coinmit ted. 

If you have any questions with respecl to the comments expressed above, or it 
you need any further information, please do uo1 hesitate to contact the under- 

Very truly yours, ^^ y & ( ; K1 , N1;K|:( , 

Durham .1. Monbma" 

Statement of Richard A. FRANK, the Environmental DEFENSE Fund, the 
Friends of the Earth, the National Audubon Society, the Natural Re- 
sources Defense Council, and the Sierra ("lib. Before the Subcommittee 
ov Coast Guard and Navigation of the COMMITTEE OK Meb. HANT 
Marine and Fisheries Concerning H.B. 829* and II. R. 10368 on Oil Mull 
Damage Liability 

Mr. Chairman. Members of the Committee: 

l am Richard Frank, a lawyer with the Center for Law and Social Poncy. a 
Bublie-interest law firm in Washington, B.C. I appreciate the opportunity to ap- 
pear before you today, at the Chairman's request, on behalf oi five environ- 
mental organizations— The Environmental Defense Fund. Ihe Inends ot the 
Earth The National Audubon Society, The Natural Resources Defense ( ouncil, 
and The Sierra Club (hereinafter the "'environmental organizations- 1-tDfNMI 
their views on H.R. 9294 and H.R. 10363, bills concerning oil spil! damage liability. 
These national, non-profit organizations, with a combined inembersn.p ol more 
than one-half million persons, have long taken an active interest m flection of 
the marine environment. 1 They have been involved in the subject of oil pollution 
liability through their submission of comprehensive comments to. and otfceT^oon- 
tao-ts with the Department of State in relation to the negotiation of the l.t.l 
International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund tor 
Co ..pensation for Oil Pollution Damage. 

The subjects of this hearing, H.R. 9294. a bill proposed by the Executive 
Branch and HR 1(8363, would establish a domestic system entailing a fund to 
compensate those who suffer from oil pollution damage. II. R. 0294, id addition, 
contains provisions to implement two international conventions regarding hamli.y 
for oil pollution damage, the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability f»r 
Oil Pollution Damaee and the 1971 International Convention on the Establish- 
ment of an International Fund for Compensation £or Oil Pollution Damage. I bese 
bibs raise three iBSHes : (1 | should a domestic system of this nature to provide 
for oil damage iiaHiiu- be established; (2) if sa, what provisions sheuM it con- 
tain : and (3) should the United States ratify, and thereby become a party to. tne 
two international liability conventions referred to above. 

In brief, the environmental organizations believe that an oil pollution compen- 
sation scheme, entailing a compensation fund, should be legislated. but only it 
such legislation contains provisions which would assure that all damage from 
oil discharges will be totally compensated for and will be compensated for in an 

ndent intern at tho Center for Law and Social Policy; third year student. D.C.L.A. 

&C ?EDF f whose principal place of business Is 102 Old Town Road, East Setauket NT 1 

R tflD of approximately ",.000 persons, n 700-meifiber BClentls ts ndyi sorv 
oommlttee. and offices in New York. NY, Denver, CO, Berkeley CA and Watfelnffton, DC. 
Friends of the Earth, whose principal place of business Is 628 ^^1^ .^ T \' t - *"■ 
Francisco f'V 04111. has a membership of persons and an office In Washington, D< 
The Nation*! Audubon Society, which has its principal office at 0;»1 Third Avenue ^-v 
York NV 10022. has a membership of more than 325.000 persons and an office in J 
lngton, DC. NRDC. whose principal office Is at 15 West 44th Street, New York. NY J on .^ 
an«l which has additional offices in Washington. DC and Palo Alto CA, has a membership 
of apnroxlmatelV 21.000 persons. The Sierra Club, whose principal place of b» s } np ss is *£ 

.-' " Bush Street, San Francteeo, CA 04104, has a membership of approximately 166, 

persons, and an office in Washington, DC. 


efficient manner, and also only if the legislation acts as an incentive to prevent 
discharges of oil which lead to damage. Put another way, the environmental 
organizations believe that the existing international, national and state rules on 
liability need improvement and cohesiveness. However, any legislation purporting 
to improve this present system should be carefully scrutinized to assure that, in 
fact, it is an improvement and will achieve the objectives mentioned above. We 
would not support the passage of H.R. 9294 in its present form. And we are sug- 
gesting below improvements in both H.R. 9294 and H.R. 10363 which, if adopted, 
would result in legislation we could strongly support. 

The two international conventions are inadequate for a number of reasons, 
e.g., the liability limits in them were dictated by oil and shipping interests and 
do not assure that all oil pollution damage will be compensated for. We believe 
the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Navigation should favor U.S. participa- 
tion in those conventions and act favorably upon the proposed implementing leg- 
islation only if the United States also adopts adequate domestic legislation which 
remedies the deficiencies in the conventions. If such legislation is not to be 
adopted, then the U.S. should not adhere to the Conventions. 

The following are comments on specific issues raised by H.R. 9294 and H.R. 
10363. We would be happy to submit language for the changes we recommend if 
the Subcommittee so desires. 

1. Unlimited Liability for the Fund — Both bills provide that the fund has 
unlimited liability. Unlimited liability is an essential element of this legislation, 
and legislation should not be adopted with any limitation on amounts. Limits 
on liability in other situations have been justified on the grounds that the pollutor 
may be unable to sustain the liability and that the pollutor would be unable to 
obtain adequate insurance ; none of these reasons, even if correct in otber con- 
texts, would be applicable to a fund of the nature established by these bills. Un- 
limited liability is sound since it is the only means of assuring that all persons 
damaged are compensated, and the only sensible means of internalizing the true 
costs of oi! transport. 

2. The nature of damage covered — Section 103 of H.R. 9294 and Section 2(6) 
of H.R. 10363 state the types of damage which would be compensated. Both bills 
cover the same general categories, that is, removal costs, injury to real or per- 
sonal property, injury to natural resources, loss of profits, loss of use, and loss 
of tax revenue. However, Section 103 is ambiguous and susceptible to an inter- 
ception which would make compensable damage too narrow. For example. Sec- 
tion 103 states that a loss must be "directly resulting from oil contamination". 
The use of the words "directly resulting" could incorrectly be interpreted as an 
attempt to change the traditional tort casualty standard. Consequently, the 
words "directly resulting" should not be used. Furthermore, the word "con- 
tamination" in injected in this section for the first time, and it is not defined. 
"Contamination" could also be misinterpreted and construed as too limiting and 
should not be used. H.R. 10363, on the other hand, uses terminology which would 
be consistent with traditional tort casuality standards. Injury is compensable 
if it is a "result of a discharge of oil" and "discharge" is adequately defined as 
meaning any kind of an emission whether intentional or unintentional. 

3. The geographical area covered — Damage from oil pollution discharges 
should be covered and compensable regardless of the geographical area in which 
the damage occurs. In other words, discharges or damage on land or in any 
water areas should be compensated for, including areas that may come under 
U.S. jurisdiction as a result of the law of the sea negotiation, and high seas areas 
which do not come under U.S. jurisdiction. We interpret Section 2(6) of H.R. 
10363 to provide for compensation under such circumstances, but suggest added 
clarity on this point. 

We are further concerned about an ambiquity relating to cleanup costs. Under 
Section 2(4) of H.R. 10363 cleanup costs relate, inter alia, to the "natural re- 
sources of the marine environment." The "marine environment" is later defined 
in Section 2(12) as including the navigable waters of the United States, the ad- 
jacent shorelines, the waters of the contiguous zone, the waters within the safety 
zone of water around a deep water port, and waters superadjacent to the con- 
tinental shelf of the United States, and the living resources and recreational 
and scenic values of such waters. Such a definition does not take into account 
the fact that the United States is now negotiating a law of the sea treaty 
under which the United States would have jurisdiction beyond those areas in- 
cluded in the definition of the "marine environment." For example, the United 
States will have jurisdiction in an economic zone that will probably extend 200 
miles from shore and it may have additional jurisdiction over the entire con- 


tinental margin out to the deep ocean floor. Thus, the bill should be changed, 
perhaps through changes in the definition of the "marine environment", so that 

it is clear that cleanup costs relate not only to those areas now defined as part 
of the "marine environment" but also those areas that may come under U.S. 
jurisdiction in the future. 

4. Liability of the spiller— Under lioth H.R. 9294 and H.R. 10363, liability of 
Spillage is limited. We believe that a sound case can be made thai spiller liability 
should not be limited ; however, in light of the fact that the fund, with un- 
limited liability, will assure total compensation, we are willing to accept the 
concept of limited liability for the spiller. Nonetheless, changes in the present 
provisions of unlimited liability are required in connection with the following 
three issues. First, even if the limits of liability (for vessels $150 per ton or 
$20 million dollars, for onshore and offshore facilities $50 million dollars, and for 
deep water ports $50 million dollars in H.R. 9294, and 100 million dollars in H.R. 
10363) are realistic today, they will be far too low over a period of time because 
of inflation. This same problem has resulted from liability limits included in laws 
of past decades since those liability laws were fixed and did not change as the 
value of the dollar decreased. H.R. 9294 attempts to accommodate this problem 
by Section 105(d), which provides that the Secretary will report to Congress on 
the desirability of adjusting the monetary limitation of liability provisions. Such 
a provision is not satisfactory since a great deal of discretion is left to the Secre- 
tary as to whether and when he should report to Congress, and since it requires 
affirmative action on the part of Congress to increase liability limits. H.R. 10363, 
on the other hand, contains in Section 7(a) an automatic inflationary escalation 
clause under which limits of liability would be adjusted periodically. We believe 
such a provision is essential. 

Second, as noted above, the limit of liability for vessels is $150 per ton, or $20 
million. The second of these limits, the $20 million overall limit, benefits large 
vessels. $150 per ton reaches the $20 million maximum at approximately 133,000 
tons: in other words, a vessel over 133,000 tons does not increase its potential 
Liability even though it may increase its size and its potential for doing damage. 
Large vessels, simply because of their size, can inflict more damage. Many believe 
large tankers are inherently more dangerous because of maneuverability prob- 
h ms. It is irrational to include a $20 million upper limit and thus provide 
incentive for large, dangerous tankers. The $20 million upper limit should 
be removed. 

Third, U.K. 9294 provides for a $50 million limit on liability for deep water 
ports, whereas H.R. 10363 provides for a $100 mililon limit. We believe $100 mil- 
lion is a more realistic figure and should be accepted. 

.". Administration of the Fund — Most of the governmental responsibility for 
administering this law, and. in particular for administering the fund established 
under the law. would be vested in the Secretary of Transportation in H.R. 9294. 
Much of this rsponsibility is vested in a new agency entitled the National Oil 
Pollution Liability and Compensation Administration in H.R. 10363. If this 
responsibility ultimately should be given to the Secretary of Transportation, it 
should be made clear in the legislation that divisions of the Department of Trans- 
portation which have other and possibly conflicting responsibilities relating to 
oil pollution should have no responsibility for administration of the fund. For 
example, U.S Coast Guard has clean-up and enforcement responsibilities under 
v ••its U.S. laws. The Coast Guard should nat be involved in the administration 
of the fund because of the potential conflict of responsibilities. 

6. Procedures for Settlement — A basic assumption made in H.R. 9294, but not 
in IT.TJ. 10363 is that injured parties should be required first to press their claims 
against the spiller. We have not seen any written, articulated analysis why this 
assumption should be made. Sud. a procedure, of course, might relieve some bur- 
den on the administration of the fund. On the other hand, we do foresee a situa- 
tion wl ere large oil companies or insurance adjusters would be dealing with In- 
jured parties who arc unaware of their rights, in what would be an unfair and 
unbalanced negotiation. We, therefore, would prefer the scheme u-fA in H.R. 
10363 under which an injured party may go cither against the spiller or 
in the first instance. If the approach in H.R. 9294 were, nonetheless, to be accepted 
in this legislation, we believe it essential that the legislation include provisions to 
qssui • that the settlement negotiation would be fair For example, we heli >ve 
an injured party should be bound by any settlement negotiated between the in- 
jured party and the spiller onl3 if the injured party were ' by the spiller, 
or the spilier's representative, of the injured party's rights under this legislation. 


Furthermore, we believe that 8 court should be entitled to overturn an uncon- 
scionable settlement. 

7. Preemption Section 114 of H.R. 9204 provides for preemption of all state 
laws and also for preemption of any other funds the purpose of which is to pay 
damages covered by the bill. In the past, pollutors have argued strongly for such 
preemption provisions in order avoid state laws which provide higher liability 
limits or standards. We do see a virtue in preempting other funds : if other funds 
were not preempted, redundant amounts would remain in those funds and pre- 
sumably increase consumer costs with limited benefit. On the other hand, state 
liability laws in general should not at present ,be preempted. If after federal 
legislation is passed, practice shows that the legislation adequately covers all 
reasonable damage caused by oil pollution, Congress could consider preemption 
of state laws. Congress should not take that step at this time. 

8. Citizen Suits — Under both bills, a federal official has responsibility for seek- 
ing compensation from the fund for damage caused to property owned by the 
federal government and for undertaking other actions of public trust. We believe 
the bills should provide some assurance that the federal official to whom these 
responsibilities are ultimately delegated will, in fact, act. One means of doing 
this is to include a provision in the Act which would provide that any citizen 
of the United States may bring an action, in the form of a qui tarn action, on 
behalf of the United States when the federal official does not act but should act. 
Such qui tain provisions in other legislation served the useful purpose of pro- 
viding an incentive for the responsible federal official to fulfill that person's 
responsibility. Under such provision, a qui tarn suit instituted bv a private 
party could be taken over by the responsible federal official at anv time. 

9. Incentives to Report Spills— One of the most important provisions of this 
legislation, and other legislation like it, is the requirement that spiflers report 
spills promptly, for it is only through such prompt reporting that adequate clean- 
up measures can be taken and liability properly attributed to the spiller. Under 
H.R. 9294. the only penalty the spiller pays for not reporting is a fine of not more 
than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year or both. That penalty 
is similar to penalties in existing legislation, and has not been sufficiently onerous 
to encourage all spillers to report. We are all aware of the tanker which spilled 
oil off the coast of Florida a few months ago and simDly did not report the inci- 
dent. Presumably, a spiller will weigh the advantages of not reporting and the 
possibility of avoiding capture, on the other hand, with the $10,000 fine and one 
year imprisonment on the other. The balance is apparently too close : it should be 
weighed differently so as to assure reporting. First, the fine in Section 109(a) 
should be increased far above $10,000. Second, another, perhaps potentiallv more 
effected means of inducing reporting is to provide that the spiller would not be 
able to avail himself of those factors which relieve the spiller of liability, r.c. 
act of war or act of God, and would not be able to avail himself of the limits of 
liability, e.g., $100 per gross ton in the case of vessels, if the reporting provision 
is not complied with. In other words, failure to report a spill would be added 
along with gross negligence and willful misconduct in Section 105(a) as bases 
for breaking liability limits and exemptions. 

We would be happy to supply any further information concerning the above 

Thank you. 

Statement of Capt. Jerome C. Benyo. Assistant Marine Superintendent, 
United States Lines, Inc.. New York City, N.T. 

Mr. Chairman and distinguished panel, I am Captain Jerome G. Benyo. Assist- 
ant Marine Superintendent of United States Lines, with corporate headquarters 
at One Broadway. New York. New York. We operate thirty (30) United States 
flag steamships and nine (9) feeders on coastwise and international trade routes. 
Our tbirtv (30) vessels are fast, modern ships ranging in size from 503' lenerth 
over-all. displacing 21.053 long tons to : ; i>^ of 701 feet le ,■ lb d : -ilacinr 32,565 
loner tons, with speeds up to 23 knots. 

The draft. Environmental Impact Statement in connection with Lease Sale 
No. 42 has been examined thoroughly by highly experienced Master Mariners and 
Executives in the Operations Division of our Company. If the opportunity had 


been presented, we feel certain we could have made substantial contribution 
tlic ship operatiou and navigation safety segments of the E.I.S. We will attempt 
to highlighi our concern at this time, having In mind thai the E.I.S. certainly 

evidences the slate of uncoordinated interests which exisl between the D.O.I. 
Bureau of Land Management, the Corps of Engineers, and the United St 
Coast Guard when considering the navigational safety aspects of offshore oil 
oration and product ion. 

The shipping :iwt\ offshore oil production Industries ban mutually utilized 
the U.S. Coutinental shelf with considerable success in the Gulf of Mexico. This 
has been possible because of "Shipping Safety Fairv ays" established in the Gulf. 
"Shipping Safety Fairways" are "Safe Approach Routes" In winch the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers will grant no permits for the erection of structures, since they 
constitute serines and hazardous obstructions i<> navigation. 

You will note that pertinent legislative authority upon which this is ba sed will 
he found in 33 CFR 209.135 and 209.138. The process of formallj 
shipping safety fairways requires public notice/hearing procedures under the 
Administrative Procedures Act, publication and distribution of nautical charts 
identifying the fairways, and advance notification to the production and interna- 
tional shipping industries. 

All our vessels engaged in the U.S. E isl ('oast to North Europe container trade 
and our general cargo vessels chartered to the United States .Military Sealift 
Command transit the areas related to Cease Sale No. 42, the second major sale on 
the East Coast. Our concerns with safety of navigation re East Coast sale areas 
are great owing to factors which include severe weather conditions bearing on 
sea state and visibility, heavy ship traffic density, generally inadequate offshore 
aids to navigation, traditional sailing patterns, complex mixes of large commer- 
cial, fishing and recreational vessels, tight coastal passage schedules, and the In- 
creased marine operations that will be necessary to support offshore shipping 
activities. These factors come together most critically in the proposed Nantucket 
Georges Bank Lease Sale Xo. 4'2 area, where most of the New York to Mediter- 
ranean and all of the New York to Europe Traffic converges. With a view toward 
placing emphasis on specific areas which we regard as having important naviga- 
tion safety factors, we are including with this Statement reproductions of Charts 
13003 and 11000. Shown on these charts is a proposed system of Shipping Safety 
Fairways for the entire East Coast, as developed in conjunction with other ship- 
ping interests, based on ship safety /operational and environmental protection 

We call your particular attention to the proposed "Fairways'' in the area of 
Lease Sale Xo. 42, while emphasizing that these are proposals and have not been 
formally presented to the Corps of Engineers. Our proposed system of "Shipping 
Safety Fairways'' has endeavored to take into consideration minimum de] 
fairway dimensions, while absorbing and extending traffic separation schemes. 

It should be pointed out that these proposed Fairways, are considered flexible 
and may be adjusted as circumstances warrant considering above guidelines. Eh 
any case, if is our considered judgment that it is of vital importance that the 
system of "Shipping Safety Fairways" be established prior to any further lease 
sales on the United States East Coast. 
I Page 437 of the E.I.S. states as follows : 

"In addition, extending from Boston and Xew York traffic lanes are heavy 
traffic areas which have traditionally been used by ocean-going vessels, other 
areas which are not designated traffic lanes, but are heavily used by vessels, are 
said to criss-cross the offshore area. These areas cannot be identified at this time 
flue to unavailability of information." 

This presentation today is an effort to respond to this need for information on 
actual shipping Lanes and Heavy Traffic Areas. 

I To the best of our knowledge, no single Federal Agency has overall authority 
nuil responsibility to plan for and deal with possible ocean use conflicts. This 
situation deserves prompt resolution and coordination through one centralised 
government agency. 

We recognize our obligations to protect life, property, and the environmei 
sea. Our record of "Safe Ship Operations" stands second to none. We are 
acutely aware of the over-all national importance attached to the current off- 
shore exploration and oil production efforts. Tt is our sincere desire to coope 
in this national effort with all concerned in a safe and orderly manner, minimiz- 
ing hazards to the safety of life, property and the environment. 


Summary of Presentation by Captain John Neaby, President, Northeast 

Marine Pilots 

My name is Captain John Neary and I am President of Northeast Marine 

As our name implies, the Northeast Marine Filots. pilot all types of vessels on, 
the waters from St. John. N.I?, in the Bay of Fundy to Norfolk, Virginia. Most 
of our pilots are former American shipmasters. They all have had a great amount 
of experience on the waters which this hearing is concerned with. 

First of all T would like it to he understood that we all are in favor of oil and 
natural gas being recovered from the Georges Banks and the Baltimore Canyon. 
"Wo recognize that it is of prime national interest and realize the necessity of 
these valuable sources of energy. However, we would like to see the recovery 
developed with complete concern for the safety of lives and equipment of all 
interests located in these waters. 

I was very fortunate last April to spend ten days in Scotland, England and 
Holland and in visiting oil platforms in the North Sea. I toured the facilities in 
Rotterdam and on the East Coast of Scotland and in England. All are involved 
in the servicing of the gas and oil being recovered off-shore. I was very impres 
that everywhere it was a clean and efficient operation. From the rigs to the shore 
terminals, pipe-lines, ships and shipyards, the oil companies all emphasised 
safety and took every precaution to avoid pollution of any sort. I did not observe 
any signs of pollution anywhere in my travels. 

Now to get back to a very serious concern of the pilots after they had read the 
draft of the Environmental Statement. (Which I commend the Bureau of Laud 
.Management for a job well done certainly in the area of shipping and navigation.) 

We find that 45 tracts or 22% of the proposed lease acreage lies within or,< 
immediately adjacent to the country's principal traffic shipping lanes. 

New York is still our country's largest port and still one of the largest ports in 
the world. Nantucket Light Vessel is a focal point not only for routes to and from 
Europe but vessels from and to South America, our South Coast, the Mediter- 
ranean and the Persian Gulf and vessels bound north of Cape Cod all pass 
Nantucket Light Vessel. A previous speaker before our committee called Nan- 
tucket the "Times Square of the Atlantic." This is very true. I would not hesitate 
to state that an ocean going vessel of some type passes the Light Vessel every 
15 to 20 minutes. 

The point that I am trying to make is the present Sea Lanes, Separation 
Systems or "Schemes" as they are called should now be established as "Shipping 
Safety Fairways." They should be extended to the Continental Shelf and there 
would absolutely be no drilling allowed. Use of these fairways should now become 
compulsory for shipping. At present they are only voluntary. A precautionary 
area should be created at Nantucket Light Vessel and additional shipping safety 
fairways established for shipping bound north or south of Cape Cod. 

The U.S. Coast Guard has informed me that they have the authority to make 
shipping safety fairways compulsory and in fact have already done so on the 
West Coast in Puget Sound and in other areas. 

If the present lanes from Ambrose Tower to Nantucket Light Vessel were 
extended to the Continental Shelf it would not be a great inconvenience to 
slapping. This track now extends in an east-west direction for 193 miles. It 
would be extended another 90 miles to the Continental Shelf. 

Many of the ships today are traveling at speeds in excess of 30 knots. Most of 
them are modern and equipped with the latest radar and other navigation 
equipment. However, all this equipment is mechanical or electronic and subject 
to breakdown. Such equipment at best is only as good as the people using it. 
Furthermore, much of the sophisticated equipment on the latest foreign vessels is 
useless when these vessels arrive off our coast. The Coast Guard does not have 
any Decca or Racon stations which are depended upon in the English Channel. 
North Sea and most everywhere else in Europe. 

The possibility of recovering oil and natural gas is imminent and while we 
still have the chance we should by all means get prepared. If the Georges tract 
ever develops anything like the Gulf of Mexico oil fields Shipping Safety Fair- 
ways are an absolute necessity. 

We can benefit by the experience of what has already happened in the Gulf. 
I spent several years sailing back and forth from Houston, Port Arthur, Lake 
Charles and the Mississippi oil ports. The record is amazing in that there has 


been so few casualties with large vessels and the numerous oil rigs. I only ! ■ 
thai we will be a.-- fortunate. Lately I often hear of the weather in the GulX of 
Mexico compared to that on the East Coast, as being much worse. This is 
phi so. Granted it certainly can get uncomfortable on a tanker anywhere in 
the Gulf in a "Norther" or a tropical storm, but Nantuckel i- something else. .\'\ 
of the pilots of my association have sometimes spent a day or more hove to in 

.•I' Nantucket Light Vessel, it' the sea gets calm yon can depend on 
Many — perhaps half — the vessels passing Nantucket from the Bast are si 
bound for New Bedford. Narragansetl Bay, Long Island Sound ports and New 
York. They are nor familiar with fog, the unusual number of fishing vessels they 
encounter and now it could he oil rigs. 

In conclusion, Compulsory Shipping Safety Fairways are an absolute must. 
There are many very qualified U.S. Shipping people with the expertise to assist 
and would gladly give their time to advise and counsel the U.S. Coast Guard 
which is the responsible government agency. 

American companies have made tremendous investments competing in world 
shipping today. Farrell Lines have several container ships that will travel these 
waters that cost over $7S millions each. I have just read where an I.N*, i 
was insured for $150 million not including the cargo on its passage from the 
Mediterranean to our East Coast via Nantucket. 

Gentlemen, I thank you and I will have a typed copy of my statement mailed 
to your office before December 24th. 


Land Management's Draft Environmental Statement on Proposed Oil 
and Gas Lease Sale No. 42, Offshore the North Atlantic States 


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a nonprofit membership 
organization dedicated to protecting endangered natural resources. NRDC has 
a national membership of 30.000, over S,000 of whom live in the region affected 
by Proposed Lease Sale #42. NRDC has followed the development of the federal 
accelerated leasing program since its inception in 1974. We have submitted 
comments on the Programmatic Environmental Statement and the site specific 
statement for the Alaskan and Mid-Atlantic lease sales. In addition we are plain- 
tiffs in the litigation. New York. XRDC v. Kleppe, (E.D.N.Y.) which questions 
the adequacy of the final Environmental Statement for Lease Sale 40. 

In our review of the Draft Environmental Statement to OCS Lease Sale 42