Chapter 251 of the Acts of 2004, An Act Relative to Oil Spill Prevention and Response in Buzzards Bay and Other Harbors and Bays of the Commonwealth ("the Act"), signed on August 4, 2004, amended the General Laws by adding chapter 21M. The Act established the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Trust Fund ("the fund"). The fund is financed from various sources including a fee on each barrel of petroleum product or crude oil received at a marine terminal within the Commonwealth by means of a vessel from a point of origin outside the Commonwealth. The Act directed the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") to set the fee at not less than $0.02 for each barrel of petroleum product or crude oil, unless the Commissioner of the DEP determined that a lesser amount would cause the fund to reach $10 million within six (6) months. After consultation with the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue ("DOR"), the Commissioner of the DEP determined that a lesser fee would not cause the fund to reach the $10 million limit within 6 months. Accordingly, the fee was established at $0.02 per barrel effective September 1, 2004. Each marine terminal operator remits the fee to the DOR on a monthly basis. See, generally, TIR 04-20, which is modified and superseded by this TIR to the extent it is inconsistent.
II. Statutory Change
Chapter 268 of the Acts of 2008, An Act Further Protecting Buzzards Bay, and Chapter 101 of the Acts of 2009, An Act Preventing Oil Spills in Buzzards Bay, amended G.L. chapter 21M. In particular, Section 7 of Chapter 268 of the Acts of 2008 amended G.L. chapter 21M, section 8(c)(1) to allow the Commissioner of the DEP to establish the uniform oil spill response and prevention fee in an amount not exceeding $0.05 for each barrel of petroleum product.
III. Fee Increase
On February 23, 2010, the Commissioner of the DEP notified the Commissioner of the DOR that DEP had determined that an increased fee per barrel is necessary to implement the expanded requirements of G.L. chapter 21M, as amended. The Commissioner of the DEP set the fee at $0.05 per barrel of petroleum product received at a marine terminal within the Commonwealth, effective April 1, 2010.
Each marine terminal operator registered under G.L. chapter 21M must collect the increased fee from the owner of the petroleum product or crude oil upon the receipt of the petroleum product or crude oil at the marine terminal. The marine terminal operator must remit the fee to the DOR by the 30 th of each month based upon the numbers of barrels of petroleum product or crude oil received during the preceding month. For receipts in the month of January, the returns are due by February 28 th or by February 29 th in a leap year.
/s/Navjeet K. Bal
Navjeet K. Bal
Commissioner of Revenue
March 18, 2010