Please give more information regarding GIUE (Government Initiated Unannounced Exercises)

29 Apr '17, 04:48

April 29, 2017, 4:48 a.m.
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GIUE were established under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) and can be found in the regulations for tank vessels in 33 CFR 155.1060, which states that each tank Vessel Response Plan (VRP) is subject to a GIUE in any Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone. Although GIUE have been in the regulations for many years and are included in the Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP), USCG Headquarters (HQ) has recently renewed its commitment to have COTPs initiate unannounced exercises in 2016 and beyond.

During a recent visit to USCG HQ, we expressed our concerns regarding the inconsistent implementation and outreach efforts we have observed in several COTP Zones where we actively participate in Area Committee Meetings. Despite the USCG providing instructions and guidance to each COTP, it was conceded that they have a lot more work to do to get the program implemented consistently throughout most COTP Zones. As a result, it is unlikely that the number of GIUE conducted with vessels will immediately increase significantly. However, each COTP has been asked to conduct up to four (4) GIUE annually. As a part of the current focus of the GIUE program, the USCG will be evaluating notifications and equipment deployment for an Average Most Probable Discharge (AMPD) scenario.


With a focus on an AMPD scenario, the GIUE program currently only affects tank vessels and bulk oil transfer facilities. It is our understanding that nontank vessels will not be asked to participate in the GIUE program as it only applies to vessels carrying bulk oil as cargo. However, according to the 2016 PREP Guidelines the USCG reserves the authority to conduct GIUE including SMFF resource providers which may affect both tank and nontank vessel plan holders in the future.


It is anticipated that every COTP may conduct as many as two (2) GIUE each year involving tank vessels. The other two (2) will be reserved for Bulk Oil Transfer Facilities, which also are subject to the GIUE program. As there are currently forty-two (42) COTP Zones, this means as many as eighty-four (84) GIUE may involve tank vessels each year. The following impacts are expected for plan holders asked to participate in a GIUE:

Scenarios will include a discharge of 50 barrels of oil from the vessel during cargo transfer operations. Facilities and vessels are expected to deploy spill response equipment. Exercise will not exceed 4 hours. Operational impact will be minimized during these exercises. USCG is coordinating with EPA and State Officials to avoid duplication. All costs are the responsibility of the plan holder.

GIUE Selection Criteria

The USCG will be using a risk based process to select candidates for GIUE including:

Concerns about the ability of the plan holders equipment or OSRO to meet the planning requirements. Economic, public safety, or political concerns in the area where the vessel or facility operates. Past performance in actual spills or exercises. Products carried or transferred. Proximity to environmentally sensitive areas outlined in the Area Contingency Plan (ACP). Safety and environmental compliance history of the plan holder.

USCG Evaluation

The USCG will be evaluating the notification in addition to the primary objective to deploy equipment. Boom will need to be deployed within one (1) hour and a recovery device within two (2) hours. The exercise needs to be conducted safely and a timeline documented noting important events and notifications made must be produced.

Successful completion of the GIUE will result in credit for: QI notification exercise, Equipment deployment exercise, and an unannounced exercise. A vessel that successfully completes an exercise will not be required to participate in another GIUE for at least 36 months from the date of the exercise in that COTP Zone. Plan holders with multiple vessels in their plan will also not be subject to another GIUE in the COTP Zone where the exercise was completed for 36 months from the date of a successful exercise. However, all vessels in the fleet plan may be subject to a GIUE in any other of the different COTP Zones at any time. Unsatisfactory performance will result if the plan holder cannot properly implement its response plan. Factors that could result in unsatisfactory performance include the following:

Failure to notify and active response resources in a timely manner. Response resources are not available and deployed within the specified time frames. Response resources are not in proper operating condition. Response personnel are not adequately trained in implementing the response plan. Significant safety violations are observed during equipment deployment.

The USCG will document any deficiencies and establish a deadline to correct them. If a Plan Holder does not satisfactorily complete a GIUE, they will likely be subject to another one until proper response capabilities can be demonstrated. The COTP may also prohibit cargo operations until the AMPD provider of the Plan Holder can demonstrate proper response capabilities.

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29 Apr '17, 04:51

April 29, 2017, 4:51 a.m.
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