Summary of LD450, An Act To Prevent Oil Spills in the Casco Bay:
"This bill amends the regulatory powers of the Board of Environmental Protection to require that rules relating to oil discharge prevention and pollution control for terminals, facilities, refineries, vessels, and related equipment adopted under the board’s authority must provide that all commercial petroleum vessels engaged in transfers of oil or oil by-products during ship-to-ship bunkering on the open water be protected by an oil boom device during those transfers and notify the United States Coast Guard prior to those transfers. The bill also directs the Board of Environmental Protection to amend its existing rules relating to oil discharge prevention ad pollution control to reflect these statutory changes."
The best prevention of an oil spill in the Casco Bay is to ensure stringent regulations and laws are in place to prevent oil spills. LD450 would have provided an avenue for Maine to enact such a law, helping safeguard the Casco Bay from the eminent threat posed by open water bunkering.
Bunkering is risky business. According to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, in the 41 years between 1974 and 2015 ship-to-ship “bunkering” fuel transfers resulted in 607 spills, ranging in size from 2,225 gallons to more than 220,000 gallons. This preventable devastation to the marine environment is totally unacceptable.
The Surfrider Foundation submitted testimony during hearing to support passage of this important bill, but unfortunately, the committee voted unanimously that it ought not to pass.
The Surfrider Foundation works to protect our ocean and address the dangers to it, today and in the future. Our Ocean Protection Initiative includes grassroots campaigns to establish and support Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), oppose new offshore oil drilling and seismic testing, participate in regional ocean planning, and ensure renewable ocean energy does not damage our ocean.Learn More