- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 46. Water, Air, Energy, and Environmental Conservation
- Chapter 4. Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Control
- Section 20. Removal of Oil Discharges.
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AS 46.04.020. Removal of Oil Discharges.
- (a) A person causing or permitting the discharge of oil shall immediately contain and clean up the discharge. The
department may waive this requirement
- (1) if it determines, in consultation with the United States Coast Guard or the United States Environmental Protection
Agency, as appropriate, that containment or cleanup is technically not feasible; or
- (2) if the cleanup or containment activities would result in greater environmental damage than the discharge itself.
- (b) The containment and cleanup of discharged oil shall be carried out in a manner approved by the department. Wastes
generated as a result of containment or cleanup activities shall be disposed of in a manner approved by the department.
The requirement of this subsection for approval of containment and cleanup activities does not apply to the United
States Coast Guard or United States Environmental Protection Agency acting under the authority of Sec. 311(c) or (d) of
the Clean Water Act.
- (c) If the department determines that containment or cleanup activities are not adequate, it may direct the person engaged
in the activities to cease and may undertake the activities itself through contract or its own resources, or both. The
department may not direct the cessation of containment or cleanup activities undertaken by the United States Coast
Guard or United States Environmental Protection Agency under Sec. 311 of the Clean Water Act. However, the department
may undertake, direct, or authorize supplemental cleanup or containment efforts.
- (d) The department shall provide for the immediate containment or cleanup of an oil discharge of unexplained origin unless
- (1) the department determines, in consultation with the United States Coast Guard or the United States Environmental
Protection Agency that containment or cleanup of the oil discharge is technically not feasible; or
- (2) the containment or cleanup activities would result in greater environmental damage than the discharge itself.
- (e) The department shall enter into negotiations for memoranda of understanding or cooperative agreements with the United
States Coast Guard, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and other persons in order to
- (1) facilitate coordinated and effective oil discharge prevention and response in the state, including agreements relating
to development and enforcement of vessel traffic control and monitoring systems for tank vessels and oil barges
operating in or near the waters of the state;
- (2) provide for cooperative review of oil discharge prevention and contingency plans submitted to the department under AS
- (3) provide for cooperative inspections of oil terminal facilities by the department and the United States Coast Guard or
United States Environmental Protection Agency; and
- (4) provide for cooperative oil discharge notification procedures.
- (f) In fulfilling its responsibilities under (e) of this section, the department shall consult with the governing bodies
of municipalities and villages.
- (g) In addition to existing obligations under state and federal law, and the provisions of the state and federal Trans
Alaska Pipeline System right-of-way agreements, the common operating agent for the holder and lessees of the
right-of-way agreement for the trans Alaska pipeline shall (1) immediately contain and clean up a discharge or
threatened discharge of oil transported by or due to the operation of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System or due to
related activities, including activities related to a vessel en route to, berthed at, or transiting from the Trans
Alaska Pipeline System marine terminal or traveling on waters within Prince William Sound; and (2) provide services
required in a response action under contract terms as provided under AS 46.04.030
(q). The obligations imposed under this subsection do not affect the response action duties of another person or the
liability of another person for a discharge or threatened discharge. Upon the request of the person required to respond
to a discharge or threatened discharge under this subsection, the obligation imposed by this subsection may be
transferred to another person required by law to respond to the discharge or threatened discharge if the transfer is
approved by the federal and state on-scene coordinators. In this subsection, "Prince William Sound" has the meaning
given in AS 46.04.030(q).
- (h) A charge, contract term, or financial responsibility requirement imposed by the holders and lessees of the
right-of-way agreement for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, the holders and lessees' common operating agent, or the
agent or representative of either the holders and lessees, or their common operating agent, on or for a vessel
traveling from a marine terminal and related to containing and cleaning up a discharge or threatened discharge of oil
or the obligations imposed under (g) of this section
- (1) must be fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory; and
- (2) with respect to a financial responsibility requirement in excess of $10,000,000, must
- (A) not exceed the potential cost of containment and cleanup as provided in the applicable contingency plan under AS 46.04.030
that the agent may reasonably be expected to incur from a discharge or threatened discharge of oil from that vessel
before the transfer of cleanup and containment management and control to the responsible party; in establishing the
financial responsibility requirement, the common operating agent shall assume that transfer of management and control
will occur at the earliest practicable time following the discharge or threat of discharge; and
- (B) vary among each vessel in proportion to the volume of oil carried by each vessel per voyage from a marine terminal;
for purposes of this subparagraph, the volume of oil carried by the vessel must be reduced by the percentage of spill
reduction credits granted that vessel under regulations adopted by the department.
- (i) The superior court and, with respect to intrastate voyages, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska under AS 42.05.361
- 42.05.431, have concurrent jurisdiction to review
and enjoin a charge, contract term, or financial responsibility requirement described under (h) of this section at the
request of a vessel owner, operator, or charterer. Except as provided in this subsection, nothing in this section
affects the jurisdiction of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.
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