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241FW: NEWS RELEASE: Senator Barrios Supports Bill to HELP Prevent DISASTROUS Oil Spills

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    Apr 30, 2004
      Sorry for duplicate posts

      Officer Patrick Johnston
      Everett Police Marine Division

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Durrant, Colin [mailto:Colin.Durrant@...]
      Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 2:42 PM
      Subject: NEWS RELEASE: Senator Barrios Supports Bill to HELP Prevent
      DISASTROUS Oil Spills

      For immediate release pLEASE CONTACT
      April 30, 2004 Colin
      Durrant, 617-722-1650

      Senator Barrios Supports Bill to HELP Prevent DISASTROUS Oil Spills

      (boston) Senator Jarrett Barrios expressed his strong support for a
      bill released this week by the Joint Committee on Natural Resources and
      Agriculture aimed at preventing future oil spills by better regulating
      oil traffic in state waters, implementing safety provisions, and raising
      penalties for violations.

      "Many of the people in my district literally watch oil tankers float
      right by their windows," said Senator Barrios. "The environmental and
      health impact that a catastrophic oil spill could have on my communities
      can not be overstated. I am happy to support the thorough work of the
      commission and to lend my full support for quick action on this bill
      that will help prevent and protect against future oil spills."

      Because of its heavy industrial use, the Chelsea Creek and lower Mystic
      River face the very real possibility of large oil spills. In 2000, a
      tugboat gouged a hole in an oil tanker moored at an oil terminal in
      Chelsea Creek spilling 59,000 gallons -- the worst spill in Boston
      Harbor's history.

      The bill, of which Barrios is a co-sponsor, was a result of the work of
      the bipartisan commission appointed by the Legislature to study the
      impact of last year's oil spill in Buzzard's Bay.
      On April 27, 2003, a tanker operated by Bouchard Transportation Company
      spilled 55,000 gallons of oil into the ocean, polluted 93 miles of
      coastline, killed 461 birds, and temporarily shut down 180,000 acres of
      shellfish beds.

      The proposed legislation directs the Secretary of the Executive Office
      of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) to designate areas with unique
      navigational challenges or environmental and economic sensitivities as
      "areas of special interest." The bill additionally requires the
      Department of Environmental Protection commissioner to negotiate an
      agreement with the United States Coast Guard to implement a Vessel
      Traffic Service System. The system would serve as a navigational aid by
      collecting such vessel information as location, course, speed,
      destination, and estimated time of arrival.

      -- more --

      Other highlights of the bill include:
      -- Tug escorts for vessels carrying 6,000 or more barrels of oil over an
      "area of special interest"
      -- The establishment of a fund to reimburse the state for expenses to
      support the development, training, and equipping of safety committees,
      response teams, and other units that respond to oil spill threats.
      -- The establishment of a Uniform Oil Response and Prevention Fee set an
      amount not to exceed 2 cents a barrel.
      -- Additional watch and crew requirements, and stricter drug and alcohol

      Senator Barrios is also lead sponsor of the Clean and Healthy
      Communities Act that would focus environmental enforcement and clean-up
      money on communities that have traditionally borne the burden of the
      state's pollution. Many of those communities are located in Barrios's

      "For hard working families living in dense urban communities, a health
      and safe place to play and live is essential," concluded Senator

      <<Release -- Oil Spill Bill.doc>>
      Colin Durrant
      Director of Communications and Public Policy
      State Senator Jarrett T. Barrios
      P: 617-722-1650
      F: 617-722-1323

      Representing the communities of Allston-Brighton, Cambridge,
      Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Saugus & Somerville