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A Reassessment of the Marine Salvage Posture of the United States
sponsored by professional salvage companies and the respective agencies. Such training could be offered on a total reimbursement basis or financed by the Salvage Facilities Act.
The salvage and marine transportation industries should establish salvage training at a maritime institution on a cooperative basis (as was done with maritime firefighting schools). In addition, they should cooperatively develop a career track program within and across their respective industries to attract individuals to the salvage industry.
The committee concludes that marine firefighting experience in port areas is lacking. There are significant differences in marine firefighting capabilities among ports. Of particular concern is the interface between local fire departments and the marine transportation system. The committee further concludes that the location of prepositioned marine firefighting systems relative to vessel traffic patterns is a concern in some geographic areas. Of special concern are ports and areas with high passenger vessel concentrations. The committee therefore recommends:
The area planning process within the National Contingency Plan should include a review of local and area firefighting and salvage readiness and capabilities.
RESPONSE TO HAZARDOUS CARGO
The committee concludes that capability for responding to casualties involving hazardous cargo is limited. The committee therefore recommends:
The Coast Guard or another government agency should undertake a study on response to marine casualties involving hazardous cargo and the role of the salvor in the response.
The committee concludes that ambiguities in federal and state oil pollution laws have created uncertainty concerning liability for acts of jettison. The committee therefore recommends:
The National Contingency Plan should be modified to incorporate criteria that would authorize intentional jettison when necessary. Modifications should also clarify the federal on-scene coordinator's ability to authorize incidental discharges resulting from ongoing cleanup operations, such as decanting from skimmers and pumping of engine rooms, through the daily work plans approved by the Unified Command System where appropriate.2
The jettison issue was addressed by the committee in a separate report (NRC, 1994), which appears, with more specific recommendations, in Appendix B.