Frequently asked questions
NETWORK / GENERAL APC
An APC plan is an alternative compliance method allowed by the federal regulations. The APC allows vessel operators and/or organizations to propose alternative pollution prevention measures where U.S. oil spill regulatory compliance measures are not feasible.
An Anchorage, Alaska based nonprofit organization that provides vessel operators with OPA ‘90 oil spill response regulatory compliance for enrolled tank and non-tank vessels in Western Alaska and Prince William Sound through two U.S. Coast Guard approved APC programs.
A participating vessel is required to comply with the risk reduction procedures in the APC, as well as contribute and support the availability of oil spill response equipment throughout the Western Alaska and Prince William Sound Captain of the Port Zones. This allows participating vessels to secure compliance with oil spill planning requirements of OPA ’90. For vessel routing and notification requirements, as well as the quantity and location of spill response resources throughout Western Alaska, please Click Here.
The Network provides the only USCG approved APC programs that offer coverage throughout all of Western Alaska and Prince William Sound, including:
- Access to the largest inventory of response resources in Western Alaska. Including 17 well-equipped response hubs located in strategic ports throughout the Network APC coverage area, including access to other spill response resources in and outside of Alaska
- A 24/7 live watch monitoring compliance with operating procedures including vessel routing, routing deviations, early notification of problem situations and proper transmittal of AIS status
- The Network’s APC enrollment and response agreement conforms to the International Group of P&I Club standards
- Real-time communications and coordination with vessels and/or operators in the event of an incident throughout the remote areas of Western Alaska.
- Represent the interests of APC participants in various maritime and oil spill response policy and planning forums in Alaska
The Network was the recipient of the “2015 North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) Marine Environmental Protection Award.” The award recognizes the Network’s successful environmental performance and improvement plans, innovative programs that exceed minimum regulatory compliance, and its long-term, substantial impact.
The Network is an innovative winner in the 2016 Lloyd’s List Maritime Services Award for its work with the Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) for monitoring and providing enhanced oil spill response capability for seagoing vessels in Western Alaskan waters. At the Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Awards annual banquet in New York, NY, the Network received the prestigious “Lloyd’s List Safer, Cleaner Seas Award for 2016.”
The Network enrollment process is efficient and available 24/7 from our website’s homepage. Just click on the “Enroll Now” button in the upper right corner on our website and follow enrollment instructions.
The Network also accepts printed, hard copy forms mailed to the headquarters office or scanned forms can emailed. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
As a nonprofit maritime organization, the Network’s fees are based on the projected number of vessels enrolled and the cost of providing APC capabilities required by the Coast Guard. The Network Board reduced rates and reestablished the Network as the APC with the lowest cost of enrollment, providing the greatest prevention and response capabilities throughout the largest coverage area.
You may enroll your entire fleet of tank or nontank vessels where you will receive continuous coverage throughout Western Alaska and Prince William Sound Captain of the Port Zones. You will only be invoiced when one of the fleet vessels transits the Network coverage area on non-innocent passage, with the invoice covering 12 months of unlimited transits for that vessel. Fleet enrollment option provides you with the ease of mind that your vessels are always covered for compliance, especially with port call changes and weather routing.
The Network’s Fleet Enrollment option provides your fleet with a Network Certificate of Participation at no cost and it remains continuously valid, as it is evergreen. You will only be invoiced when one of your vessels transits the Network coverage area on its first non-innocent passage voyage. Your fleet enrollment certificate remains continuously valid for our services and ensures continuous compliance.
Upon receipt of the signed fleet enrollment agreement, the Network will issue a Network Certificate of Participation confirming coverage for your entire fleet effective immediately. A certificate will also be provided to your vessel response plan administrator or Qualified Individual. The owner/operator is then invoiced via email when a vessel enters the Network Coverage Area, all others benefit from coverage at no charge. The per vessel charge is based on the published fee and the invoice covers the vessel for 12 months from the date it originally enters the zone with unlimited transits.
These funds are used to administer the Network, contribute to the mandated expansion of response resources in Western Alaska and Prince William Sound, and to maintain a 24-hour vessel monitoring watch. The fee structure may vary year to year depending on the number of participants and options for meeting future Coast Guard requirements.
Since each plan holders’ operations are different, the implication of not joining the Network varies. Unless on an innocent passage voyage, failure to participate in the APC could lead to the assessment of penalties from the Coast Guard for non-compliance with 33 CFR 155 Subpart D or Subpart J if your vessel operates or transits federal waters off Alaska. VRP administrators or QI’s are best suited to advise operators on whether failure to participate in the Network could impact compliance with federal oil pollution regulations applicable to each operator.
The Network’s original Operating Procedures were considered during the adoption of the IMO approved Aleutian Island Archipelago Areas to be Avoided [ATBA] and were predominantly unchanged. The four authorized passes crossing the Aleutian Island chain remain the same: Unimak Pass, Amukta Pass, Amchitka Pass and the pass between Buldir Island and Agattu Island. For more information on the specifics of the IMO approved Aleutian Island Archipelago Areas to be Avoided, please Click Here.
During an incident the planholder, Qualified Individuals, SMFFs, and OSROs can be provided a user name and password that will provide them access to the vessel monitoring system over the internet, accessed by computers, smart phones and tablets. This access may include information on response resources that may provide assistance to the disabled vessel.
Yes – enrollment in the Network non-tank vessel APC provides access to Alaska Chadux’s spill response resources throughout Western Alaska. When response resources are needed, your authorized company representative can contract directly with Alaska Chadux for spill response resources. Chadux’s Network Participant response contract and conforms with the contracting guidelines of the International Group of P&I Clubs.
- 17 local response hubs
- 22+ miles of boom
- 63 Skimming Units
- 15 owned vessels, 30 vessels of opportunity, and 21 barges of opportunity
- Trained response personnel and immediate labor available
- Wildlife response team and equipment
For more information on Alaska Chadux, Please Click Here.
The Network has contracted the 146′ oil spill response vessel (OSRV) Sea Strike to support response incidents in Alaska. The Sea Strike is the only purpose-built OSRV in Alaska with the capability to support spill response or salvage operations along the Alaska Peninsula, Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. It berths 15 response personnel, has a range of 5,000+ miles and offers considerable deck space for response or salvage gear. Network participants also have access to a 264’ oil spill response barge (OSRB) Kittiwake. The Kittiwake has a carrying capacity of over 23,000 barrels, two deck cranes, 4 lightering fenders, lightering transfer pump, and a cargo transfer pump. To move the Kittiwake, the Network has access to 19 tugs of opportunity in various ports across the state.
The Network provides regulatory compliance and APC administration services that allow participants the ability to comply with federal oil spill requirements while they operate in the Western Alaska and Prince William Sound Captain of the Port Zones. Alaska Chadux is U.S. Coast Guard Classified Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) with response teams and caches of response resources and equipment throughout Western Alaska and Prince William Sound. Alaska Chadux’s list of resources. By enrolling in the Network APC, the participant has full access to Chadux response resources if or when required.
The master remains in command and control of their vessel at all times. If necessary, the master may activate its Vessel Response Plan. The Network Monitoring Center watch is available to assist the vessel in making notifications to other parties or assisting in identification of response resources, as requested.
The Network is not a response organization; it is the administrator of the APC. Should a casualty or oil spill involving a Network Participant appear imminent, once requested by the vessel master or vessel operator, the Network can assist with notification to the participant’s Qualified Individual, Spill Management Team, OSRO, SMFF, U. S. Coast Guard and other interested parties while continuing Network activities for the remainder of the Network’s participants.
The Network provides the initial link between the vessel, operators Qualified Individual and the suite of response resources available through participation in the APC. The process and authority for activating the operator’s vessel response plan remains as stated in their particular vessel response plan.
Yes – the Network regularly works with QI firms to ensure timely and efficient enrollment for your vessels. QI’s often help distribute your Network documents to the U.S. Coast Guard to confirm your compliance. The Network also works will all SMFF providers so you retain that relationship as stated in your OPA ‘90 vessel response plan.
The oil spill response equipment and mobilization requirements prescribed in the Coast Guard regulations cannot feasibly be achieved throughout Western Alaska’s expansive maritime region. The Coast Guard regulations recognized strict compliance with the regulations is inappropriate in Western Alaska and allowed for submission and compliance with “Alternative Planning Criteria.” The Network provides the APC program on behalf of participating vessels to help reduce their compliance costs.
This APC applies to NTVs as defined by 33CFR§155.5015(a) that operate in Alaska waters encompassed by the COTP Prince William Sound and COTP Western Alaska areas as defined in 33 CFR§3.85‐20 and 33 CFR§3.85‐15 respectively. These waters encompass U.S. waters out to the 200-mile seaward limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in of the North Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea.
Oil tankers carrying oil as cargo operating in the Western Alaska Captain of the Port Zone west of Cook Inlet within 200 miles of shore with the vessel’s last or next port call a U.S. port. As per Coast Guard regulations in 33 CFR 155, “Oil tanker means a self-propelled vessel carrying oil in bulk as cargo, including integrated tug-barges designed for push-mode operation.”
This APC applies to TVs as defined by 33CFR§155.1065(f) that operate in Alaska waters encompassed by the COTP Western Alaska area as defined in 33 CFR§3.85‐15. These waters encompass U.S. waters out to the 200-mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the North Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea not including the waters of Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet and their approaches where existing oil spill removal capabilities meet the Coast Guard regulatory requirements.
The Coast Guard will approve your VRP for Western Alaska provided Chadux’s OSRO coverage is also confirmed. Participation in the Network can be demonstrated by the presentation of a Network issued “Certificate of Participation” to the Coast Guard. This document along with confirmation of OSRO coverage will result in the determination that your operations are in compliance with OPA’90 tank vessel regulations in Western AK.