February 27, 2009
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FERC – Sabine Pass LNG Export Project
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice announcing the availability of the environmental assessment on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project proposed by Sabine Pass LNG, LP. Comments should be submitted by March 23. 74 Fed. Reg. 8929 (February 27, 2009).
Freeport – proposed widening of ship channel
The US Army Corps of Engineers announced the availability of the 117-page Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Port of Freeport’s proposal to widen the Freeport Harbor Ship Channel. 74 Fed. Reg. 8915 (February 27, 2009).
Gulfport – proposed harbor improvements
The US Army Corps of Engineers issued a notice stating that it has released the Final Supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to evaluate construction of improvements to the Gulfport Harbor federal navigation project. Comments should be submitted by March 29. 74 Fed. Reg. 8915 (February 27, 2009).
New York – whale freed from entangling fishing gear
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the humpback whale that had been entangled in fishing gear off Sandy Hook has been freed. Despite some potentially serious injuries, the whale is swimming under its own power. The safety zone has been terminated. (2/26/09).
Seattle – meeting re NOAD/AIS proposal
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it will hold a second public meeting to receive comments on its proposal to amend regulations governing the Notice of Arrival and Departure (NOAD) and the carriage of Automatic Identification System (AIS) equipment. The second meeting will be held in Seattle on March 25. This meeting is in addition to the previously scheduled meeting in Washington, DC on March 5. (2/26/09).
CBP – ship absconder apprehended
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that its officers apprehended a foreign national who had absconded from a ship in Tampa in 2002. He is being held pending deportation. Note: The apprehension wasn’t overly difficult since the individual was handed over by officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency at Niagara Falls. He had sought asylum in Canada, but his petition was denied. (2/26/09).
FMC – comments sought on docket matter
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that it is seeking comments on a petition for a declaratory order and rulemaking relating to the practice of re-routing the domestic inland transportation leg of a through intermodal shipment by non-vessel-operating common carriers and other shippers. Comments should be submitted by March 6. The agency subsequently issued an erratum correcting the version that was published in the Federal Register. (2/26/09).
NOAA – study of air emissions from ships
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it and the University of Colorado at Boulder recently completed a study concluding that commercial ships emit almost half as much particulate matter air pollutants as is released by automobiles. The study includes a surprising finding – while burning low-sulfur fuels reduces total particle emissions, the time the remaining particles spend in the air appears to increase. (2/26/09).
Bill introduced re maritime mobile biometric identification
Representative Bilirakis (R-FL) introduced a bill (H.R. 1148) to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a program in the maritime environment for the mobile biometric identification of suspected individuals, including terrorists, to enhance border security. (2/24/09).
Florida – bill introduced to eliminate duplicate security credentials
A bill (S. 7054) has been introduced in the Florida Senate that would, if enacted into law, eliminate the requirement for persons entering marine facilities in Florida to have both federal and state security credentials. The measure would allow the marine facility to grant unescorted access to persons with a valid federal Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) without also having a valid Florida Uniform Port Access Credential (FUPAC). (2/17/09).
IMO – Maritime Assistance Services information
The IMO issued a circular forwarding contact details of the Maritime Assistance Services (MASs) of various party states. MSC.5/Circ.6 (1/6/09).
IMO – stowaway incidents
The IMO issued a circular summarizing reports it received during the period August to September 2008 regarding stowaway incidents. During this period the IMO received reports of 61 incidents involving 183 stowaways. FAL.2/Circ.111 (9/30/08). A second circular, covering the period October to December 2008, summarizes reports of 125 incidents involving 634 stowaways. FAL.2/Circ.112 (1/20/09).
IMO – MARPOL Annex VI notes of protest
The IMO issued a circular summarizing notes of protest issued by the Governments of Cyprus, India, and the United Kingdom relating to bunker deliveries that did not conform to requirements of MARPOL Annex VI. MEPC.1/Circ.654 (12/19/08).
EC – maritime spatial planning
The European Commission (EC) released the text of the speech delivered by Joe Borg, Member of the European Commission Responsible for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, at the Conference on Maritime Spatial Planning in Brussels. (2/26/09).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
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Gainesville, FL 32608-8135