Oil Spill Act Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee assists MassDEP in implementing the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention & Response Act program.

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.  The group includes stakeholders interested in marine transport and shipping as well as others.  The group meets on an annual cycle, and if necessary holds additional meetings on an as needed basis.

Next Meeting

The Massachusetts Oil Spill Act Advisory Committee Meeting is being hosted by MassDEP on Tuesday January 23, 2018 at the Plymouth Yacht Club from 9:00 to 12:30. Please save the date.


The OSAAC meeting is an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss current and proposed projects and initiatives and provide input on program objectives.


Please RSVP by January 10th at the link below:




An agenda will be provided prior.


For planning purposes, future messages will come through Alyssa Hall (alyssa@nukaresearch.com) at Nuka Research


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Meeting Agenda


9:00      Continental Breakfast


9:30      Welcome – Introductions -- Review Agenda                                                     15 min 

Paul Locke, Assistant Commissioner for Waste Site Clean-up

Julie Hutcheson, MOSPRA Program Coordinator

Port and Waterways Safety Assessment


9:45      Tug Escort Program                                                                                         20 min

 Escort Tug Transits/Assists Data – Steve Mahoney        

Tug Escort Audit Inspections - Steve Mahoney


10:05    MOSPRA Funded Projects – Status Report                                                       25 min 

New Bedford Harbor Clean Bilge Pilot - Dan Crafton, MassDEP

Wave Sensor Buoy - Steve Mahoney, MassDEP


10:30    Break                                                                                                               10 min


10:40    Program Implementation Activities                                                                  60 min             

Oil Spill Equipment Maintenance/Trailer Tracking System - Peter DeCola, Nuka

First Responder GRP Training & Field Exercises – Pete DeCola   

Large Scale GRP Exercises – Ram Island- Julie Hutcheson/Pete DeCola

Tern Protection Plan – Steve Lehmann

USCG Surplus Oil Spill Equipment Acquisition - Julie Hutcheson


11:40    MOSPRA Trust Fund Status & Future Expenditures                                         15 min

            Trust Fund Status - Steve Mahoney       

            Trust Fund Reserve Account –    Steve Mahoney                                    

            Town of Sandwich Grant Request- Julie Hutcheson


  11:55    New Business and Wrap-up     

              Data Warehouse/Collection Project – Paul Locke                                               10 min 


12:05    ADJOURN

Purpose & Mission


The Oil Spill Act was signed into law by Governor Romney on August 4, 2004.   A key element of the Act is a Trust Fund, financed primarily by a 2-cent/barrel fee on petroleum products delivered to marine terminals in the state.  This Fund is to be used and disbursed by the Commissioner of MassDEP to ensure that the Massachusetts coastline is protected from oil spills, via spill prevention and response efforts and programs that may include: (a) improvements to vessel navigational systems and infrastructure; (b) development of spill response plans for local, regional, and/or state responders; (c) procurement and maintenance of spill response equipment for local, regional, and/or state responders; (d) development and implementation of spill response drills and exercises; and (e) implementation of spill prevention/response research efforts.

To assist the agency in making the most efficient and effective use of the Trust Fund, as well as other related policy and program matters, an Advisory Committee has been established. The Act does not mandate the establishment of a committee, but experiences in other states have confirmed the utility and benefits of such a group. 


The mission of the Advisory Committee will be to advise the Commissioner (and/or his/her designee) on the following matters:

1)  Approaches, actions, programs, systems and procedures to implement the OSA, in a manner that will optimize the integration and effectiveness of local, regional, state, inter-state, federal, and private-sector spill-response assets.

2)  Prioritization of areas for disbursements from the Trust Fund.

3)  Other matters that arise in the course of implementing the Act relating to technical and/or policy issues. 

The Advisory Committee will not address litigation issues, internal agency operational procedures, or specific spill/site matters.


Size - The Advisory Committee is composed of 11 members, appointed by the Commissioner for a term of two years.  Committee members and organizations have been selected to represent a wide rage of governmental and private maritime interests with the goal to maximize attendance and participation.

Meetings - An initial series of set-up meetings are proposed, followed by quarterly meetings for at least the first two years, to be held in various locations along the Massachusetts coastline.  There will be no quorum requirements.  In addition to invited committee members, the meetings will be open to all members of the public.

Voting - Formal voting will not occur.  Resolutions or recommendations from the committee will not be binding upon the agency.