Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. REYNOLDS. There are over 50 conventions waiting for ratification and while it is not everybody's fault, the Congress is not entirely free from blame.

I am still waiting to get those conventions on human rights and genocide ratified by this great democracy of ours.

The CHAIRMAN. You are talking about one example of a highly political matter. It doesn't involve safety. It doesn't involve this important matter.

Mr. REYNOLDS. Another reason, Mr. Chairman, and it is a proper reason, is that the practice of the Senate has been that

you

want The CHAIRMAN. Are you familiam with some of the conventions that we get here? Some of them are about little trade matters with Brazil, or one of them would be on whether or not a radio station in Canada can come down into Buffalo. These are all minor compared to this thing, in my opinion.

Mr. REYNOLDS. I am sure the committee is well aware of the many actions taken by the USCG following the Conference which led to the publication on October 14, 1975, of certain rules and regulations pertaining to tank vessels carrying oil in the domestic trade. You are also aware that the USCG has generally embraced the international convention approach and no longer advocates mandatory double bottoms.

What about mandatory double bottoms? And let me underline the word mandatory. A number of tankers have been constructed over the years and others are on the way, which have double bottoms. There is nothing new about the concept-double bottoms have been an integral part of the design of many types of vessels since the first years of this century.

In certain types of vessels, especially passenger and general cargo ships, they are a very desirable cargo loading, stability and safety feature. Indeed, in liquid bulk carriers, on particular trade routes, double bottoms could be helpful in minimizing the threat and amount of an outflow resulting from a stranding or a grounding.

But it is equally true that on certain trade routes, mandatory double bottoms would present no such advantages, and indeed could pose real hazards under given sets of circumstances.

I have listened to countless discussions of the mandatory double bottoms issue and when all the arms have stopped waving, and all the high-blown rhetoric and polemics have died down, I have yet to hear one cogent argument from a qualified marine architect or operator which would support them. Mr. Gray is such a qualified marine architect and will attempt to explain why this is so and why AIMS has and will continue to oppose mandatory double bottoms on all tank vessels.

Mr. CHAIRMAN. He is going to testify on the concept?
Mr. REYNOLDS. The pros and cons.

Of course, this is not the only title II issue, as has been made manifest by previous witnesses. AIMS and its members are continuing to work closely with the USCG on questions of segregated ballast capacity and design, on improving the maneuverability of vessels, on the installation of inert gas systems which subsequently reduce the threat of explosions in large tankers, on the conversion to the Loran-C me

dium-range navigational system, and on both the development and use of radar collision avoidance systems.

We are also involved in a number of related international and domestic activities that are not specifically ports and waterways issues.

Despite an impressive and well-documented record of accomplishment, there has been criticism leveled at the USCG for not moving promptly or effectively enough. I hope that as a result of these hearings, this contention, which I feel is entirely without merit, will be put to rest once and for all. I believe the record will speak for itself and make clear that the USCG is indeed implementing the intent of the Congress in a very difficult and complicated area with intelligence and integrity.

There has also been criticism of an even less substantial nature regarding the closeness of the relationship between the maritime industry and the USCG. This type of general ad hominem nonreasoning pops up everytime someone from the so-called public interest sector loses another argument on the merits. And that happens fairly frequently, I understand.

The USCG and its predecessor organizations are as old as the Republic itself. Its record of accomplishment throughout its proud history, and in all of its broad range of activities, is, in my view, without parallel in the Federal service.

Our industry has had battles royal with the USCG over the years. Neither we nor they have always been right. There is no allegation of infallibility to be drawn from this statement. But in my experience, they do their job well and with a great deal of dedication. I am hopeful that this committee, with its long record of support for the USCG will agree with our appraisal.

Let me turn now to the matter of Federal preemption. I remember being taught in school in Brooklyn a few years back, that the Federal Government—and more specifically, the Congress—in 1787 had assumed jurisdiction over interstate and foreign commerce. Article

of the Constitution seems pretty clear on that point. Yet activities wer the past few years in the maritime area have really made me wonder.

First, the State of Florida in 1970 enacted its own vessel liability and pollution fund statute, a measure which has been copied to one degree or another by several other tidewater States. Now, apart from increasing State government employment levels and generating unnecessary legal expenses, these State liability statutes have yet to accomplish anything except to increase transportation costs.

Of course, as funds build up, something has to be done with them, since there are virtually no claims to be paid. Since its inauguration up until last week, the Florida fund had collected $6,745,752.64 and paid 15 claims of a total amount of $3,966.20, leaving a tidy balance of $6,741,786.44. And the Federal law provides for that. Every vessel must have on file at the Federal Maritime Commission a certificate of financial responsibility to meet the clean up of any petroleum spilled on the shores.

Someone came up with the somewhat unrelated idea to use some of it to finance 545 new positions in the state's prison system. And, up

in the State of Maine, where its so-called clean-up fund is about to reach its statutory ceiling of $4 million, well-intended legislators are suggesting that it be permitted to accumulate indefinitely so that the funds can be used for such projects as a study to determine the feasibility of better wood utilization in the state's pulp and paper industry, others to determine the feasibility of utilizing windmills for producing electricity and solar energy to replace the very petroleum products being taxed.

I wonder who they think is paying for all this? Have they not vet learned that there is no such thing as a free lunch and that their fellow state citizens are footing the bill?

I hope to appear before this committee in the near future to testify in support of S. 2162, the Comprehensive Oil Pollution Liability and Compensation Act, in which the Administration is proposing a $200 million Federal fund which is contemplated to preempt these proliferating state funds and mosaic of liability schemes. I only mention this now as an illustration of the problems that arise from attempted state regulation of interstate and foreign commerce.

In a different area, the state of Washington has recently enacted a statute which bars certain vessels entirely from its waters, and which imposes substantial construction, operating, and manning burdens on others. Other states are considering their own approaches.

The CHAIRMAN. You don't suggest that the states shouldn't have control over their own waterways?

Mr. REYNOLDS. I am suggesting just that. With respect to the navigable waters in the foreign commerce of these United States, the Federal jurisdictions should apply. And I believe the Washington law is unconstitutional. I don't believe the State of Washington has a right to come up with construction standards for tankers.

The CHAIRMAN. Don't pick on the State of Washington because a lot of states have the same law.

Mr. REYNOLDS. No they don't. I beg your pardon. Washington wouldn't attempt to do it because it would get thrown out of court.

The CHAIRMAN. You are talking about double bottoms?

Mr. REYNOLDS. That is what your law is. In other words, you limit any ship over 125,000 deadweight tons.

The CHAIRMAN. You people in the oil companies have more highpowered lawyers than the state has, and you will see that it is taken to court.

Mr. REYNOLDS. Frankly, I will tell you, had an action been brought in the Federal courts 10 years ago I would have felt pretty optimistic.

The time has come, Mr. Chairman, for the Congress to face up to the federal preemption issue, and to put a stop once and for all to the proliferation of state statutes that are an unnecessary intrusion into our interstate and foreign commerce.

There is no corollary written in small print in the Constitution that says “except when it would not otherwise be politically expedient.” We long ago adopted a federal system of government which among other things brings about a greater sharing of benefits and a greater assuming of responsibilities.

It is simply not right under our federal system for the citizens of a state to decide that ships meeting Federal and international standards and transporting cargoes in foreign or interstate commerce

on this.

needed by the national economy, cannot call at their ports, but rather will just have to go to a port somewhere else. And it is equally wrong for a state to decide that a ship which meets appropriate international and Federal design, construction, operating and manning standards must comply with other differing requirements to enter its waters. And that, in a nutshell, is what the whole problem really boils down to.

We recommend that at the conclusion of this series of hearings, the Committee develop and report out an amendment making clear that the Ports and Waterways Safety Act prohibits any similar or conflicting activity by the states.

The CHAIRMAN. We set these hearings to determine some of the problems that have been mentioned by the witnesses here, i.e. whether or not the Act is being carried out. And I am particularly concerned because I am the author of the Act. I am glad I got a brownie point from you. But we also know that we may have to consider, and these hearings could lay a foundation to consider certain amendments to the Act. I think that it will be the consensus of the committee that some of these things should be brought up, including the preemption question.

The suggestion was made here yesterday from the Governor of Alaska, that we amend the Act in some way. Then there is the question of time running out on this thing and we must establish something to make everything just as safe as possible, to lean backwards

Now, I want to just recess for 5 minutes and then I will be right back.

Mr. REYNOLDS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I will be right back.
[Recess.]
The CHAIRMAN. The Committee will come to order.
Mr. Gray, pull that mike close to you.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM O. GRAY, EXXON CORP.,

NEW YORK, N.Y. Mr. GRAY. My name is William Gray. I am pleased to be here in response to Senator Magnuson's letter to me of February 19th asking for my views on the adequacy of regulatory action under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972, Public Law 92–340.

For your information, I was graduated from Yale University in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, and from the University of Michigan in 1955 with a bachelor's degree in naval architecture and marine engineering.

I then served nearly 31/2 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve with the majority of that time being spent at sea as an ASW and Gunnery Officer on a destroyer escort. In this capacity I stood regular deck watches and during the majority of this service I was qualified for command at sea of U.S. naval vessels.

From 1959 to 1964, I was employed in the central technical department of the Bethlehem Steel Co. shipbuilding division, and in this capacity was engaged in preliminary and structural design of vessels of all types, but with particular emphasis on oil tankers.

From 1964 to the present, I have been employed by Exxon Corp. having held a series of positions, all in the field of marine transportation. For a period of 6 years, I managed the corporation's overall marine research program, and in this capacity was responsible for directing research and technical studies of tanker maneuvering and pollution abatement measures. More recently, I have been directly concerned with safety and environmental measures for tankers and regulations addressing this field.

I have participated in various industry organizations, and technical societies and was appointed recently by the president of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers to its advanced planning committee in addition to the credentials I have shown here.

I would like to review for you how I think technical factors can help to protect shipboard personnel and the marine environment.

I will at times stress the very real limitations of purely technological solutions where these exist, and make reference to operational or people-oriented solutions which in many cases have the greatest potential.

In the interest of time, I will mention only briefly measures for controlling operational as opposed to accidental discharges.

I fully support the actions taken by the USCG to implement the ship-associated provisions of the 1973 IMCO Convention.

My company was among the earliest and strongest industry advocates of a new and more broadly based set of international controls on the discharge of oils of all types anywhere in the world.

I have appended to my statement a copy of the document "The Abatement of Sea Pollution by Tankers" which sets out the position adopted by Exxon well in advance of the 1973 convention. I have had a key role in preparation of this position and the other Exxon documents attached to my statement.

I participated as an industry delegate throughout the 1973 conference, and my own views are given in the paper “The 1973 IMCO Convention: A Tanker Operator's Viewpoint” presented in March 1975, also appended.

I feel there is a critical need for governments, and particularly the U.S. Government because of its pivotal role in promoting and drafting, to ratify the 1973 IMCO Convention.

I believe that bringing this convention into force will do more to eliminate tanker source pollution of the oceans and of U.S. waters than any other single step.

The CHAIRMAN. We keep hearing that, but it hasn't even been sent up here yet.

Mr. Gray. I hope it is sent up here very soon and is acted on quickly.

I would like to mention two other factors before turning to accidental pollution.

First: It is well to keep in mind that operational discharges both from tankers and other types of ships are still a much larger source of oil input to the sea than accidents.

Second: Significant technological and operational progress on the control of operational pollution continues to be made primarily in my view through industry efforts.

1 "Oil-in-Water Monitoring Aboard Tankers,” by F. J. Berto (Oil Companies International Marine Forum), 1975.

« PreviousContinue »