S-4304.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6705



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senators Wood, Haugen, Benton, Goings, B. Sheldon, Jacobsen, Bauer, Strannigan, Deccio, Rasmussen, Oke, Morton, Horn, Schow, Stevens and Spanel


Read first time 01/28/98.  Referred to Committee on Transportation.

Restricting hazardous materials on state ferries.

    AN ACT Relating to restrictions on hazardous material on state ferries; and amending RCW 47.60.135.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 47.60.135 and 1997 c 323 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) The charter use of Washington State Ferry vessels when established route operations and normal user requirements are not disrupted is permissible.

    (2) Consistent with the policy as established in subsection (1) of this section, the general manager of the Washington State Ferries may approve agreements for the chartering of Washington State Ferry vessels to groups or individuals, including hazardous material transporters, in accordance with the following:

    (a) Vessels may be committed to charter only when established route operation and normal user requirements are not disrupted or inconvenienced.  If a vessel is engaged in the transport of hazardous materials, the transporter shall pay for all legs necessary to complete the charter, even if the vessel is simultaneously engaged in an operational voyage on behalf of Washington State Ferries.  Commercial tanker trucks, with or without tank trailers, containing motor fuels or their vapors are considered hazardous materials not to be transported on regularly scheduled passenger runs.

    (b) Charter rates for vessels must be established at actual vessel operating costs plus fifty percent of such actual costs rounded to the nearest fifty dollars.  Actual vessel operating costs include, but are not limited to, all labor, fuel, and vessel maintenance costs incurred due to the charter agreement, including deadheading and standby.

    (c) Recognizing the need for stabilized charter rates in order to encourage use of vessels, rates must be established and revised July 1st of each year and must remain fixed for a one-year period unless actual vessel operating costs increase five percent or more within that year, in which case the charter rates must be revised in accordance with (b) of this subsection.

    (d) All charter agreements must be in writing and substantially in the form of (e) of this subsection and available, with calculations, for inspection by the legislature and the public.

    (e) Parties chartering Washington State Ferry vessels shall comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations during the charter voyage, and failure to so comply is cause for immediate termination of the charter voyage.


                     "CHARTER CRUISE AGREEMENT


    On this . . . . day of . . . ., . . . ., Washington State Ferries (WSF) and . . . . ., hereinafter called Lessee, enter into this agreement for rental of a ferry vessel for the purpose of a charter voyage to be held on . . . . ., the parties agree as follows:


    1. WSF agrees to supply the vessel . . . . . (subject to change) for the use of the Lessee from the period from . . . . . to . . . . . on . . . . . (date).


    2. The maximum number of passengers; or in the case of hazardous materials transports, trucks and trailers; that will be accommodated on the assigned vessel is . . . . ..  This number MAY NOT be exceeded.


    3. The voyage will originate at . . . . ., and the route of travel during the voyage will be as follows:



    4. The charge for the above voyage is . . . . . dollars ($ . . .) plus a property damage deposit of $350 for a total price of $ . . . ., to be paid by cashier's check three working days before the date of the voyage at the offices of the WSF at Seattle Ferry Terminal, Pier 52, Seattle, Washington 98104.  The Lessee remains responsible for property damage in excess of $350.


    5. WSF is responsible only for the navigational operation of the chartered ferry and in no way is responsible for directing voyage activities, providing equipment, or any food service.


    6. Other than for hazardous materials transport, the voyage activities must be conducted exclusively on the passenger decks of the assigned ferry.  Voyage patrons will not be permitted to enter the pilot house or the engine room, nor shall the vehicle decks be used for any purpose other than loading or unloading of voyage patrons or hazardous materials.


    7. If the Lessee or any of the voyage patrons will possess or consume alcoholic beverages aboard the vessel, the Lessee must obtain the appropriate licenses or permits from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.  The Lessee must furnish copies of any necessary licenses or permits to WSF at the same time payment for the voyage is made.  Failure to comply with applicable laws, rules, and regulations of appropriate State and Federal agencies is cause for immediate termination of the voyage, and WSF shall retain all payments made as liquidated damages.


    8. WSF is not obligated to provide shoreside parking for the vehicles belonging to voyage patrons.


    9. The Lessee recognizes that the primary function of the WSF is for the cross-Sound transportation of the public and the maintaining of the existing schedule.  The Lessee recognizes therefore the right of WSF to cancel a voyage commitment without liability to the Lessee due to unforeseen circumstances or events that require the use of the chartered vessel on its scheduled route operations.  In the event of such a cancellation, WSF agrees to refund the entire amount of the charter fee to the Lessee.


    10. The Lessee agrees to hold WSF harmless from, and shall process and defend at its own expense, all claims, demands, or suits at law or equity, of whatever nature brought against WSF arising in whole or in part from the performance of provisions of this agreement.  This indemnity provision does not require the Lessee to defend or indemnify WSF against any action based solely on the alleged negligence of WSF.


    11. This writing is the full agreement between the parties.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES



By: . . . . . . . . . .  By: . . . . . . . . . . . .

                              General Manager"





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