Vessel Response Plans




Vessel Response Plan (VRP)  apply within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone to tankers of any size and non-tank vessels greater than 400 gross tons that carry  oil of any kind, whose cargo is bound to or from a U.S. port. Ref: 33 CFR 155 Sections 1015 & 5015  



Response Resources


VRPs need to plan for the impact of a spill based on the oils carried onboard covered vessels. 

Each vessel has unique oil volumes in terms of fuel and cargo.  VRPs document pre-planning

for 15 response resource categories that are needed for oil spill response. Types and

amounts of equipment are calculated using planning standards, known as National Planning

Criteria (NPC), that are contained throughout the regulations.



Alternatives to NPC, known as Alternative Planning Criteria (APC), may be proposed to

provide equivalent response resource capability. APC may include different timing,

amounts, types and strategies for response resources. 



Interim Guidance


Stakeholders in environmental protection,


Following the publication of the Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) National Guidelines for Vessel Response Plans, the Coast Guard's 17th District has developed initial interim guidance as vessel owners/operators and APC administrators develop and renew alternatives.  The below document identifies areas for consideration as alternatives are submitted for operation in Alaska. 


In the future, District Seventeen will develop a regional APC policy with the input of stakeholders to address Alaska specific issues and ensure that APCs provide an equivalent level of planning, response, and mitigation strategies to the National Planning Criteria.  Any input provided on this guidance will be considered in the development of the regional APC policy.  Click below to view the District 17 APC guidance and National APC guidelines:


District 17 APC Guidance                             National APC Guidelines



Comments, questions, and suggestions to improve the document are welcome and can be submitted to:


Growth of Response Resources


Alternatives have enabled the substantial growth of response resources in many logistical hubs throughout Alaska.

(Graphic provided for illustration purposes only.)