The voluntary Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) classification system was developed by the U.S. Coast Guard for two purposes:
- To aid vessel and facility response plan holders in evaluating OSROs
- To facilitate the preparation and review of response plans
By using this classification system, plan holders do not have to present detailed lists of response resources. Instead, they may cite an organization by its classification.
The Coast Guard system classifies OSROs by Captain of the Port (COTP) Zones or Alternate Classification Cities (ACC). These ratings are based on the resources located within that area, and rating criteria found in the U.S. Coast Guard's OSRO guidelines. Classifications are based on the OSRO's rated removal capacity and response planning times within that geographic area.
MSRC maintains its OSRO Classification consistent with our obligations under the MSRC Service Agreement throughout the MSRC Operational Area. This includes all coastal Captain of the Port Zones (excluding the Great Lakes and Alaska). Currently, MSRC meets the following planning requirements as demonstrated through the Coast Guard's Classification Program:
- Maximum Most Probable Discharge (MM) in all coastal COTP zones
- Worst Case Discharge (WCD 1, 2 & 3) in all coastal COTP zones
- Facilities and Vessels (as appropriate); and,
- Dispersants in all pre-approved COTP zones (Tiers 1, 2, and 3, except in Hawaii where MSRC may only be cited for Tiers 2 and 3)
While MSRC continues to maintain its OSRO Classification for USCG Sector San Juan, MSRC resources currently located in Puerto Rico, do not have the capability to meet Tier 1 planning standards for vessels and facilities in St. Croix as it continues to be considered a High Volume Port Area under the USCG regulations.
Note: The Coast Guard does not classify OSROs for Average Most Probable Discharge (AMPD). However, AMPD remains an important aspect of most response plans. With just 24 hours advance notice, MSRC can assist plan holders in arranging for AMPD coverage. This can be achieved through use of either MSRC or STAR contractor resources.