Oil Spill Act Background
In the wake of the April 27, 2003 barge B-120 oil spill into Buzzards Bay the Massachusetts Legislature passed Chapter 251, Acts of 2004, "An Act Relative to Oil Spill Prevention and Response in Buzzards Bay and Other Harbors and Bays of the Commonwealth" (the "Oil Spill Act" or "Act"), which was signed into law on August 4, 2004. The purpose of the Act was to strengthen several statues that govern Massachusetts' ability to prevent and respond to oil spills in the coastal waters of the Commonwealth. The Act was amended by Chapter 268 of the Acts of 2008 and Chapter 101 of the Acts of 2009.
- Buzzards Bay Bouchard Barge: #6 Fuel Oil Spill Shore Impacts
Prevention & Response
Oil Spill Training & Equipment Resources
This site has been created as a training and response resource for state and local emergency responders to use before and during a coastal oil spill event. Includes map of Oil Spill Trailer locations
Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention and Response Efforts
MassDEP is continuing efforts begun in the aftermath of the 2003 Buzzards Bay oil spill to strengthen Massachusetts' ability to prevent and respond to oil spills.
Massachusetts Geographic Response Plan (GRP)
Buzzards Bay Risk Assessment file size 1MB
Revised January 2013
As part of ongoing efforts to prevent oil spills MassDEP and the U.S. Coast Guard have completed a study of the risks of an oil spill from tank barges operating in Buzzards Bay and the Cape Cod Canal. The study is intended to evaluate whether the use of escort tugboats and marine pilots will reduce the risk of a future oil spill in Buzzards Bay when all tank barge traffic becomes double hulled in January 2015. It was also intended to evaluate the cost associated with these protective measures as compared to the cost of cleanup and damages caused by an oil spill.
Peer Review of the Buzzards Bay Risk Assessment file size 1MB
- Evaluation of Marine Oil Spill Threat to Massachusetts Coastal Communities file size 5MB
- Inventory & Assessment of Marine Oil Spill Response Resources in Massachusetts & New England States file size 2MB
- Rationale for Identifying Massachusetts Communities for Inclusion in Coastal Oil Spill Risk Evaluation
Oil Spill Act Advisory Committee
Oil Spill Act Advisory Committee
The Oil Spill Act Advisory Committee assists MassDEP in making the most efficient and effective use of a Trust Fund established by the Oil Spill Act, as well as other related policy and program matters.
Program Policy, Guidance, Fact Sheets, Compliance Forms
- Oil Spill Act: Program Activities & Accomplishments 2011
- Oil Spill Act: Program Activities & Accomplishments 2012 file size 2MB
- OSA102A Spreadsheet
- OSA102 Tugboat Escort Reporting Form
- OSA100 Tugboat Escort Certification Form
Fact Sheet: Massachusetts Oil Spill Act Requirements for Tugboat Escorts
Requirements under the Oil Spill Act for tugboat escorts.
Fact Sheet: Massachusetts Oil Spill Act Requirements Reinstated for Buzzards Bay
Guidance on how to comply with M.G.L. Chapter 21M, the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act, in Buzzards Bay.
- Standard Operating Procedure Oil Spill Response Trailers Activation & Deployment (Mutual Aid)
Fact Sheet: Buzzards Bay Vessel Notification & State-Provided Tugboat Escort Services
Information on changes in state laws and regulations governing vessel notifications and the use of state pilots in Buzzards Bay.
- Fact Sheet: Buzzards Bay Vessel Notification & State-Funded Marine Pilot Program
Oil Spill Act Fact Sheet
Information and resources for the Oil Spill Act of 2004.
Guidance on the Uniform Oil Response and Prevention Fee
Guidance on the implementation of the 2004 Oil Spill Act.
- Dispersant Pre-Authorization Policy
Annual Reports: Tug Boat Escort “Exigent Circumstances” Waiver Requests
MassDEP provides an annual report to the Massachusetts legislature and the Environmental Monitor on tugboat escort waivers given due to exigent circumstances pursuant to the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (MOSPRA) and Oil Spill Prevention and Response Regulations (314 CMR 19.00). Several of MOSPRA provisions are designed to promote safe passage of oil tank barges through Buzzards Bay and the Cape Cod Canal.
- 2012 Oil Spill Act "Exigent Circumstances" Waiver and Tugboat Assistance Requests Report
- 2011 Oil Spill Act "Exigent Circumstances" Waiver and Tugboat Assistance Requests Report
- 2010 Oil Spill Act "Exigent Circumstances" Waiver and Tugboat Assistance Requests Report
- 2009 Oil Spill Act "Exigent Circumstances" Waiver and Tugboat Assistance Requests Report