THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM
BILATERAL / UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS
Volume(s) 1-3; pages 3517-3528
Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Concerning Cooperation in Combatting Pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas in Emergency Situations, with Joint Contingency Plan Against Pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, Moscow and London, 1989
Agreement done at Moscow 11 May 1989; plan done at London 17 October 1989
Agreement entered into force 17 August 1989
Primary source citation: TIAS 11446
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS CONCERNING COOPERATION IN COMBATTING POLLUTION IN THE BERING AND CHUKCHI SEAS IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Parties’,
Conscious that exploration, exploitation, and production of natural resources, as well as belated marine transport, pose a threat of significant pollution by oil or other hazardous substances in the Bering and Chukchi Seas,
Recognizing that, in the event of a pollution incident or the threat thereof, prompt and effective action should be taken, to organize and coordinate prevention and pollution combatting activities,
Taking into account the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, signed May 23, 1972, and desiring to develop further the principles of mutually beneficial cooperation, and
Desiring to avert, through the adoption of measures to prevent and combat pollution resulting from oil and other hazardous substance spills, damage to the marine environment of the Bering and Chukchi Seas, including coastal areas,
Have agreed as follows:
The Parties undertake to render assistance to each other in combatting pollution incidents which may affect the areas of responsibility of the Parties, regardless of where such incidents may occur. Such assistance shall be rendered consistent with the provisions of this Agreement. To such end the competent authorities of the Parties shall develop the Joint Contingency Plan Against Pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Plan’, which shall enter into force upon their written agreement.
For the purposes of this Agreement:
‘Pollution Incident’ means a discharge or an imminent threat of discharge of oil or other hazardous substance from any source of such a magnitude or significance as to require an immediate response to prevent such a discharge or to contain, clean-up or dispose of the substance to eliminate the threat to or to minimize its harmful effects on living resources and marine life, public health or welfare.
‘Oil’ means oil of any form, including crude oil, fuel oil, sludge and oil wastes, and refined products.
‘Hazardous substances’ means elements and compounds which when discharged into the marine environment could present an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare, harm living resources and marine life, damage amenities or interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.
‘Competent Authority’ means with respect to the United States of America, the United States Coast Guard and with respect to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Marine Pollution Control and Salvage Administration attached to the USSR Ministry of Merchant Marine.
‘Area of responsibility of a Party’ means the water within the Bering and Chukchi Seas which are the respective Party's internal waters or territorial sea, and the sea area beyond the territorial sea in which that Party exercises its sovereign rights and jurisdiction in accordance with international law. Areas of responsibility of the Parties where they are adjacent will be separated by the maritime boundary between the two countries.
‘Response resources’ means the personnel, vessels, equipment and other means for combatting pollution.
The Parties, consistent with their means, commit themselves to the development of national systems that permit detection and prompt notification of the existence or the imminent possibility of the occurrence of pollution incidents, as well as providing adequate means within their power to eliminate the threat posed by such incidents and to minimize the adverse effects to the marine environment and the public health and welfare.
The Parties shall routinely exchange up-to-date information and consult to guarantee adequate cooperation between their competent authorities, with regard to activities pertaining to this Agreement and the Plan.
The implementation of the Plan shall be the primary responsibility of the competent authorities of the respective Parties, and of other authorities of the Parties to the extent of such other authorities' competence under applicable law. The Plan may be amended from time to time, consistent with this Agreement and the procedures set forth in the Plan, by the competent authorities.
The competent authority of the Party in whose area of responsibility a pollution incident occurs, or whose area of responsibility is affected by such an incident, shall direct response operations within that area.
The Plan may be invoked whenever a pollution incident occurs that affects or threatens to affect the areas of responsibility of both Parties or, although only directly affecting the area of responsibility of one Party, is of such a magnitude as to justify a request for the other Party's assistance.
The joint response provided for under the Plan can only be undertaken when the competent authorities of the Parties agree. The competent authorities of the Parties will determine the appropriate response action required for each pollution incident.
Requests for assistance will be communicated between the competent authorities of both Parties. Requests for assistance by telephone shall be confirmed by telex, telegraph or facsimile.
A Party shall endeavor to promptly provide requested assistance as soon as possible to the extent that the Party determines the resources are available. The availability of response resources for a specific pollution incident is understood to be dependent upon funding and the requirements of other missions.
The requesting Party shall provide all possible support to the response resources of the assisting Party.
The assisting Party may fully or partly terminate its assistance if that Party determines that it is necessary to do so. Notice of the termination shall be communicated to the competent authority of the requesting Party. The requesting Party shall release the response resources made available as soon as possible after the termination.
The requesting Party shall promptly inform the assisting Party when the need for assistance no longer exists, and release as soon as possible the response resources made available by the assisting Party.
The Parties will periodically conduct joint pollution response exercises and meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Plan. The competent authorities of the Parties shall alternate in the supervision of the exercises.
The requesting Party shall, to the greatest extent possible, facilitate the arrival and departure of response resources made available by the assisting Party for response activities pertaining to this Agreement. The Parties shall cooperate in implementing the provisions of this Article.
The requesting Party shall reimburse the assisting Party for expenses associated with response resources. The amount to be reimbursed will be determined by the rates of the assisting Party.
In all other cases and circumstances unless otherwise agreed, each Party will bear the expense of its own activities pertaining to this Agreement.
The expenses involved in conducting joint exercises shall be borne by each Party respectively.
Nothing in this Agreement shall affect in any way the rights and obligations of either Party resulting from other bilateral and multilateral international agreements.
The Parties will implement this Agreement in accordance with rules and principles of general international law and their respective laws and regulations.
This Agreement shall enter into force upon the date the Parties notify each other in writing that necessary internal procedures have been completed, and shall remain in force unless terminated by either Party upon six months advance written notice to the other Party of its intention to terminate this Agreement.
Termination of this Agreement shall not affect response operations which have been taken hereunder and are not yet completed at the time of termination unless otherwise agreed by the Parties.
This Agreement may be amended by written agreement between the Parties.
DONE at Moscow, in duplicate, this eleventh day of May, 1989, in the English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: James A. Baker III
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS: Edward A. Shevardnadze
Joint Contingency Plan Against Pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas
This Plan, including the operational appendix, is established under the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Concerning Cooperation in Combatting Pollution in the Bering and Chukchi Seas in Emergency Situations, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Agreement’, and provides for coordinated and combined responses to pollution incidents in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
This Plan shall be implemented subject to the provisions of the Agreement. Nothing in this Plan shall affect in any way the rights and obligations of either Party resulting from other bilateral and multilateral international agreements.
This Plan primarily addresses international matters and as such is meant to augment pertinent national, state, republic, regional, and sub regional (local) plans of the Parties.
The objectives of the Plan are:
To develop appropriate preparedness measures and systems for discovering and reporting the existence of a pollution incident within the areas of responsibility of each Party.
To provide the means to institute prompt measures to restrict the further spread of oil and other hazardous substances.
To provide the mechanism by which adequate resources may be employed to respond to a pollution incident.
The implementation of the Plan is the joint responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard (Department of Transportation) and the USSR Marine Pollution Control and Salvage Administration, attached to the USSR Ministry of Merchant Marine. The two aforementioned agencies are the competent authorities and shall be assisted by other national agencies as appropriate and when required.
National Response Team (NRT) - The US national planning, policy and coordinating body consisting of fourteen federal agencies with interests and expertise in various aspects of emergency response.
Joint Response Team (JRT) - A joint US-USSR planning, policy and coordinating body that provides guidance to the OSC prior to an incident and assistance as requested by the OSC during a pollution incident.
On-Scene Commander/Coordinator (OSC) - The predesignated official that coordinates containment, removal and disposal efforts and resources during a pollution incident.
Deputy On-Scene Commander/Coordinator (DOSC) - The designated official of the Party which is not providing the OSC who acts as the OSC's direct liaison with agencies of the Party which the DOSC represents.
Joint Response Center (JRC) - The designated site of each Party where facilities are available to provide requirements to the provisions of the Plan.
Situation Report (SITREP) - A report of the most current information relating to a pollution incident, including actions taken and progress made during the response.
Pollutant - Oil or other hazardous substance.
PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES
The joint policy pursuant to the Plan is based on three fundamental aspects: planning, coordination of joint response and communications.
The competent authorities of the U.S. and USSR will cooperate as fully as possible to respond expeditiously to a pollution incident that affects or threatens to affect both Parties. Actions taken pursuant to the Plan shall be consistent with the legal authorities, operational requirements and other obligations of each of the Parties.
Any pollution incident that presents a potential threat to a Party will be reported promptly to the appropriate agency of that Party in accordance with the provisions of this Plan.
In a response situation which falls within the scope of this Plan, the NRT member agencies in the U.S. and responsible agencies in the USSR will make available any resources they may have which could be used for joint response operations, subject to the availability of those resources.
Dispersants and other Chemicals
The existing national decision making process of each Party will be followed to determine whether dispersants or other chemicals will be used to respond to a pollution incident. The use of dispersants or other chemicals in situations which can affect the interests of both Parties shall only be undertaken upon agreement between the Parties.
Mechanism for Invoking the Plan
The Plan may be invoked by agreement of the U.S. and USSR JRT Co-Chairmen in the event of a pollution incident which originated within the area of responsibility of one Party and which is accompanied by a threat of a pollutant spreading into the area of responsibility of the other Party, or where such spreading has already occurred.
The Plan may also be invoked by agreement of the US and USSR JRT Co-Chairmen in the event of a pollution incident where no pollutants have spread or threaten to spread into both areas of responsibility but where the magnitude of the incident, or other factors, makes a joint response desirable.
The Plan may also be invoked by agreement of the US and USSR JRT Co-Chairmen in the event of a pollution incident originating outside the areas of responsibility of both Parties, resulting in a threat of the spread of a pollutant into the area of responsibility of one or both Parties.
PLANNING AND RESPONSE ORGANIZATION
Joint Response Team
The Joint Response Team consists of representatives of responsible agencies of the U.S. and USSR. The JRT functions as an advisory team and will be activated by agreement in the event of a pollution incident occurring within the areas encompassed by this Plan.
The United States Coast Guard member to the JRT will be designated by the Commander Seventeenth Coast Guard District as U.S. Co-Chairman and will chair the JRT when a pollution incident occurs in the U.S. area of responsibility. The USSR member to the JRT will be designated by the President of the Far Eastern Shipping Company as USSR Co-Chairman and will chair the JRT when a pollution incident occurs in the USSR area of responsibility. When the Plan is invoked under section 2.6.3, the JRT Co-Chairman will determine by agreement which of them will chair the JRT. 3.1.3
U.S. members of the JRT shall consist of predesignated representatives of National Response Team agencies, state environmental response agencies and other agencies as stipulated by appropriate national and regional oil spill contingency plans. USSR members of the JRT shall consist of representatives of appropriate agencies in the USSR. 3.1.4
The JRT Co-Chairmen will compile a directory to be updated on 1 March and 1 September of each year, which will include data on names, positions, 24 hour telephone numbers, office addresses and when applicable, telex, TWX and facsimile numbers of all JRT members, OSCs and DOSCs. The directory shall be made part of the operational appendix and shall be distributed in timely fashion to all concerned.
The general functions of the JRT include planning and preparedness before a response action is taken and coordination and advice during joint response operations, as outlined below:
Provide advice and assistance to the OSC during pollution incidents (the JRT does not exercise operational control over the OSC).
Promote a coordinated response by all agencies to pollution incidents. This includes promotion of measures to implement agreements of the Parties relating to legal, financial, customs, and immigration matters.
Review post-incident reports from the OSC on the handling of pollution incidents for the purpose of analyzing response actions and recommending needed improvements in the contingency plans.
Forward to appropriate federal, state and regional authorities relevant reports and recommendations including OSC post-incident reports, JRT debriefing reports and recommendations concerning amendments to the Plan.
Some measure of response functions will be performed each time the Plan is invoked. The degree of response will be determined by the demands of each particular situation. The specific advisory and support functions of the JRT will include:
Monitoring incoming reports, evaluating the possible impact of reported pollution incidents and being at all times fully aware of the actions and plans of the OSC;
Coordinating the actions of the various agencies in supplying the necessary resources and assistance to the OSC;
Recruiting other agencies, industrial or scientific groups to participate as appropriate in support actions by acting through the JRT or OSC;
Determining a shift of OSC from one Party to the other as indicated by the circumstances of the spill;
Coordinating all reporting on the status of the pollution incident to the respective national authorities;
Ensuring that the OSC has adequate public information support;
Providing letter reports on JRT activities to the appropriate national authorities.
The JRT is responsible for scheduling periodic meetings and conducting and evaluating joint response exercises relating to the Plan. It is recognized that the continued viability of this Plan is primarily dependent on the development of working relationships through such periodic meetings and exercises. The expected frequency of these meetings and exercises is as follows:
JRT meetings - one meeting at least once every 18 months, alternating in each country.
JRT exercise - one exercise every two years, alternating in each country.
On-Scene Commander/Coordinator (OSC)
The coordination and direction of the joint pollution control efforts at the scene of a pollution incident shall be achieved through an official appointed as the OSC. The OSC is designated in the operational appendix to the Plan by the Commander Seventeenth Coast Guard District for the U.S. area of responsibility and by the President of the Far Eastern Shipping Company for the USSR area of responsibility. His or her responsibility will continue until a shift in OSCs between the Parties is agreed upon by the JRT or until a shift in OSCs within the jurisdiction of one Party is directed by his or her appropriate national authority. In the event of a pollution incident, the first official from an agency with responsibility under this Plan arriving at the site will assume coordination of activities under the Plan until the designated OSC becomes available to take charge of the operation.
The OSC will determine the pertinent facts concerning particular pollution incident, including the nature, amount, the location of pollutant spilled, probable direction and time of travel of the pollutant resources available and needed, and the areas which may be affected. He or she will establish the priorities for protection.
The OSC will initiate and direct, as required, Phase II, Phase III and Phase IV operations as hereinafter described.
The OSC will obtain proper authorization, in accordance with applicable laws, to call upon and direct the deployment of available resources to initiate and continue containment, countermeasures, cleanup and disposal functions.
In carrying out this Plan the OSC will maintain an up-to-date and accurate information flow including submission of situation reports (SITREPS) to the JRT as significant developments occur to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the joint effort in protecting the natural resources and environment from pollution damage. The necessary direct liaison between personnel at all levels in the agencies of both countries is essential to both planning and operations.
At the conclusion of each joint response to a pollution incident the OSC will submit to the JRT a complete report on the response operations, actions taken, problems encountered and recommendations on new procedures and policy.
Deputy On-Scene Commander/Coordinator (DOSC)
The DOSC will be designated by the Party which is not providing the OSC. He or she will act as the OSC's direct liaison with the agencies of the Party which the DOSC represents. He or she will assist the OSC and will control his or her own Party's response resources to comply with the planned tactics of the OSC. 4.
The actions which are taken to respond to a pollution incident separate into four relatively distinct phases. However, elements of a phase or an entire phase may take place concurrently with one or more other phases.
Discovery and Alarm
Evaluation and Plan Invocation
Containment, Countermeasures, Cleanup and Disposal
Documentation and Cost Recovery
Phase I - Discovery and Alarm
The discovery of a pollution incident may be made through the normal planned surveillance activities, through the observations of agencies of the various levels of government, by those who caused the incident, or by the alertness and concern of the general public.
The severity of the incident which in itself is conditioned by the nature and the quantity of the pollutant and the locality, will determine the level of response required and whether or not there is a need to invoke the Plan.
The first agency, having a responsibility under the Plan, to be made aware of a pollution incident shall notify the appropriate designated OSC immediately. If the pollution incident threatens to affect the area of responsibility of the other Party, an immediate warning is to be given in accordance with the procedures established in Section 5. 4.3
Phase II - Evaluation and Plan Invocation
If it is the evaluation of the OSC receiving the first warning that the pollution incident will possibly affect the other Party, he or she will:
Notify the designated OSC of the other Party;
Make a recommendation to his or her own nation's JRT Co-Chairman on whether to invoke the Plan;
Formulate plans to deal with the incident; and
Initiate Phase III and IV actions as appropriate.
The Co-Chairmen may invoke the plan as provided in Section 2.6. The specific methods for warning the other Party and invoking the Plan are contained in Section 5. 4.4
Phase III - Containment, Countermeasures, Cleanup and Disposal
Containment is any measure, whether physical or chemical, which is taken to control or to restrict the spread of a pollutant.
Countermeasures embrace those activities, other than containment, which are implemented to reduce the impact and the effect of a pollutant on the public health, welfare, or environment.
Cleanup operations are directed towards reducing the impact of a pollution incident to the extent possible. It will include the removal of the pollutant from the water and shoreline using available technology.
Disposal of pollutants which are recovered as a result of cleanup actions will be in accordance with national procedures so as to preclude the possibility of further or continuing environmental damage.
Phase IV - Documentation and Cost Recovery
This phase is directed at the collection and maintenance of documentation to prove the source and circumstances of the incident, the responsible party or parties, the impact and potential impacts to the public health and welfare and the environment and recovery costs for response activities.
REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Joint Response Centers
Joint Response Centers are designated sites where facilities are available to provide the necessary requirements to the provisions of the Plan. The locations of the designated Joint Response Centers are contained in the operational Appendix. During an incident, the Joint Response Center (JRC) will be established in the designated facilities of the Party providing the OSC and will ordinarily be shifted to the facilities of the other Party if the OSC is shifted to that Party. Alternate sites closer to the scene of the incident may be specified, in lieu of the predesignated sites, at the discretion of the appropriate chairman of the JRT. 5.1
Rapid Alerting System
Any potential pollution threat to a Party will be reported to that Party without delay. The reporting points are:
Seventeenth Coast Guard District
Far Eastern Shipping Company
Operations Center, Juneau, Alaska
Radio Center, Vladivostok
While it may take some assessment to decide whether or not to invoke the Plan, a warning that the Plan may be invoked should be given. This warning will not activate the Plan. It will, however, permit immediate preparation for the possibility of its invocation. The warning message shall be in the following format:
1. GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION
2. ANY OTHER DETAILS
Such a message will normally be originated by the appropriate JRT Co-Chairman and will always be acknowledged by the action addressee.
The Plan shall be activated only by formal invocation. This will normally be done by message from the appropriate JRT Co-Chairman. Telephonic invocation will be followed by an invocation message. This message should contain at least the following information:
US/USSR CONTINGENCY PLAN INVOKED AT (time GMT)
(name) JRT Co-Chairman
(name) JRC ESTABLISHED AT
(location and telephone no.)
If a warning message was not issued, the information that would have been contained in that message should be added to the invocation message. In the acknowledgment message to the above, the receiving party will report the name of the JRT Co-Chairman, the name of the DOSC and the DOSCs ETA at the locality of the headquarters established by the original message of invocation.
Situation Report Requirements (US/USSR SITREP)
Up-to-date information on a spill which has justified joint response activity is essential to the effective management and outcome of an incident. This information should be submitted by the designated OSC to the JRT in the format shown below. US/USSR SITREPS should be made as frequently as necessary to ensure that those who need to know have a full and timely appreciation of the incident and of actions taken and progress made during the response.
Standard Message Format
(identify the case)
2. ACTION TAKEN:
3. FUTURE PLANS/FURTHER ASSISTANCE REQUIRED:
4. CASE STATUS:
ACTION TAKEN: The action section should include a summary of all actions taken so far by the responsible party, local forces, government agencies and others.
FUTURE PLANS: The plans section should include all future action planned.
FURTHER ASSISTANCE REQUIRED: Any additional assistance required from the JRT by the OSC pertaining to the response will be included in this section.
CASE STATUS: The status section should indicate ‘case closed’, ‘case pends’, or ‘participation terminated’, as appropriate.
A recommendation to revoke the joint response to a particular incident shall be made by agreement of the OSC and DOSC. The JRT Chairman from the Party which originally invoked the joint response shall revoke it by message after consultation with the Chairman from the other Party. This message will clearly establish the date and time, in GMT, of the cessation of the joint response. The requirement to consult in no way diminishes the invoking Chairman's prerogative to decide upon revocation.
Standard Message Format for Revocation.
The JRT may request the OSC and DOSC involved to submit reports and to prepare operational debriefings for the JRT, on the incident, the action taken and any observations or recommendations which need to be made.
The competent authorities for this Plan and any amendments thereto are: for the USA, Commandant, United States Coast Guard; and for the USSR, the Head of the Marine Pollution Control and Salvage Administration, attached to the USSR Ministry of Merchant Marine.
The JRT Co-Chairmen will maintain the operational appendix to this Plan covering such regional topics as communications, reporting systems, designated and/or potential JRT members, useful points of contact and abbreviations.
The Plan may be amended upon agreement between competent authorities by exchange of letters. The operational appendix may be amended upon agreement between the JRT Co-Chairmen. The JRT Co-Chairmen will notify their appropriate national authorities of all such amendments by letter.
The Plan shall become effective on the date of signature. It shall remain in force as long as the Agreement is in force.
DONE at London, in duplicate, this 17th day of October, 1989, in the English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.
For the United States Coast Guard REAR ADMIRAL J. D. SIPES
For the Marine Pollution Control and Salvage Administration attached to the Ministry of Merchant Marine OLEG N. KHALIMONOV