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COAST GUARD ISSUES DOUBLE HULL RULE

 COAST GUARD ISSUES DOUBLE HULL RULE
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Coast Guard today


issued an interim final rule that regulates the double hull construction of oil tankers built after June 1990 and provides a 25- year phase-out schedule for existing single-hull tankers operating in U.S. waters. The rule applies to domestic as well as foreign vessels that transport oil in U.S. waters.
 Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card Jr. said the rule represents a major initiative by the government to reduce oil pollution. Card noted that double hull vessels are expected to reduce U.S. oil spills by more than 2 million gallons annually. He emphasized that regulations such as the double hull rule are a step in the right direction and help assure future generations that every effort was made to protect the marine environment from catastrophic oil spills.
 The rule, required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, sets minimum requirements for the space between the two hulls and defines the phase-out schedule. The provision requiring a second steel hull between the oil cargo and the water will significantly reduce the amount of oil spilled during a collision or grounding.
 The act sets out a phase-out schedule for existing single hulled tank vessels that will begin in 1995 and requires that these vessels be retrofitted with double hulls if they are to continue to operate in U.S. waters.
 The older, larger vessels will be required to comply with the phase-out schedule first, while the smallest vessels will have until 2020 to be retrofitted or retired.
 Details of the rule will be published in the Aug. 12 edition of the Federal Register. For additional information, call the contact below or write to U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Commandant G-MVI-2, 2100 Second St. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20593-0001.
 -0- 8/11/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Shapiro of the U.S. Coast Guard, 202-267-1181/ CO: U.S. Coast Guard ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL SU:


KD -- DC006 -- 8934 08/11/92 11:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 11, 1992
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