Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup. May 24, 2007 Advisory Committee meeting. Rich Packard provides the history that resulted in passage of the Act. In 2003, a barge carrying 4 million gallons of #6 oil struck a ledge in Buzzards Bay as it was being towed. The resulting spill closed 178 acres of shellfishing area and killed 480 birds. A commission established by Governor Romney developed comprehensive legislation to control/restrict barges and tugboats, which was enacted as the Oil Spill Act of 2004. The statute: Â· Created a trust fund (now containing ~$3M) to improve and enhance spill response and established an Advisory Committee Â· Directed MassDEP to designate areas of special interest Â· Enhanced penalties Â· Mandated review of the Buzzards Bay Transit System
A federal court recently struck down several provisions it considered to be pre-empted by federal jurisdiction. The Commonwealth is appealing the decision.