Related Info: Coast Guard Changes Navigation Rules
The US Coast Guard always had the authority to implement many of the provisions of the Massachusetts Oil Spill Act into their coastal navigation regulations, but did not do so until August 31, 2007. Go to our Mass Oil Spill Act for more information on the new Coast Guard regulations, and how they relate to the Massachusetts Oil Spill Act.
Buzzards Bay Oil Commission Info
In 2003, the state legislature’s Natural Resources and Agricultural Committee, chaired by Representative William G. Greene Jr., set up a Commission to investigate potential state action to prevent future oil spills in Buzzards Bay. The Acting Chair of this Buzzards Bay Oil Commission is State Representative John Quinn of Dartmouth. The Commission is composed of 11 State Reps, 5 Senators, and 4 non-legislative personnel, 2 of which will be appointed by the Governor.
- Mr. Matt Brock, Office of the Attorney General
- Mr. Tim Duncan, Office of the Governor
- Representative William Greene
- Representative Mark Howland
- Representative Robert Koczera
- Mr. Paul Molloy, Office of the Attorney General
- Senator Mark Montigny
- Senator Therese Murray
- Representative Thomas O’Brien
- Senator Robert O’Leary
- Representative Matthew Patrick
- Representative John Quinn
- Senator Pamela Resor
- Ms. Ellen Roy Herzfelder, Secretary, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
- Representative William Straus
- Senator Bruce Tarr
- Representative Eric Turkington
- Representative Steve Walsh
- Representative Susan Williams Gifford
- Ms. Dale Young, MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
The purpose of the special Commission is to study the ecological and environmental impacts of the oil spill in Buzzards Bay, and to investigate changes to laws and regulations to increase the safety of commercial barges traveling in state waters.
The Commission held three public hearings as follows:
- Tuesday March 2nd – Whaling Museum, New Bedford (7-9 PM)
- Thursday March 4th – Mass. Maritime Academy, Bourne
- Monday March 8th – North Shore site by Sen. Tarr
The Commission’s first meeting was February 5, 2004. Read the minutes of the meeting (pdf file). The Commission issued its recommendations for legislation at the end of April.
The Oil Commission filed legislation.
October 2003 MA Senate Journal note referencing the Buzzards Bay Oil Spill Commission
SECTION 595. The legislature shall establish a 19 member special commission to study the ecological and environmental impact of the oil spill in Buzzards Bay by Bouchard barge #120 and to investigate legislative changes to existing laws and regulations to increase safety of commercial barges traveling in state waters. The commission shall also evaluate the potential changes in both civil and criminal laws that may apply to the operation of commercial barges in state waters. Said commission shall consist of 15 legislators, 2 of which shall include the House and Senate chairs of the Natural Resources and Agriculture committees, 5 members appointed by the President of the Senate, and 10 members appointed by the Speaker of the House, including at least one member in each chamber from the minority party; and 4 non-legislator members, 2 appointed by the Governor and 2 appointed by the Attorney General. Said special commission shall submit its report and recommendation, if any, to the legislature by November 1, 2003.
Oil Commission and pre-passage Legislation Articles
Massachusetts 2004 Oil Spill Act Legislation
The work of the oil spill commission led to the passage of Chapter 251 of the Acts of 2004. AN ACT RELATIVE TO OIL SPILL PREVENTION AND RESPONSE IN BUZZARDS BAY AND OTHER HARBORS AND BAYS OF THE COMMONWEALTH.
More information about the Massachusetts Oil Spill Act and the ongoing legal battles can be found on our Massachusetts Oil Spill Act page.