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Safe and effective threshold determination reports

We require regulated facilities and vessels that deliver oil, and Class 1 facilities receiving oil at a given rate, to submit a safe and effective threshold determination report. These reports establish the sea and weather conditions that might make it ineffective or unsafe to deploy boom at the location where oil transfer operations will be conducted.

For oil transfers at rates greater than 500 gallons per minute (Rate A), delivering vessels and facilities, as well as Class 1 facilities receiving oil, are required to develop a safe and effective threshold determination report. This report guides oil-transfer operations in determining when it is safe and effective to pre-boom according to environmental conditions such as wave height and weather.

The report is two-fold: it is a detailed analysis based on historical environmental data collected for the site of the transfer operation(s); and it contains the manufacturer’s design parameters and operational recommendations for boom performance. The report must also evaluate the safety of personnel involved in boom deployment and the potential for oil recovery, with respect to factors such as:

  • Sea and wave conditions
  • Water-current velocity
  • Wind speed
  • Other conditions such as vessel traffic, fishing activities, or other site-specific factors that could influence the oil transfer operation

We require a safe and effective threshold determination report to be submitted for each location that a delivering vessel or facility plans to conduct Rate A transfers, at least 120 days prior to the first transfer operation. All reports will be subject to a 30-day public comment period. We will issue an approval, conditional approval, or disapproval letter within 90 days of receiving the report. Our approvals are valid for five years.

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