March 10, 2009
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EPA – inventory of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it is seeking comments on its draft Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007. This 460-page document provides an overview of the numerous sources of US GHG emissions. While GHG emissions from the transportation sector are prominently mentioned (coming in second only to production of electricity) the maritime group within the transportation sector is largely ignored. Ships and boats (commercial and recreational) are found to be responsible for approximately 56.3 Tg CO2 Eq. (teragrams of CO2 equivalent) during 2007 out of a total 2,000.1 Tg CO2 Eq. for the entire transportation sector (2.8%). The EPA counts GHG emissions for international bunker fuels separately, but combines both aircraft and vessel bunkers. The GHG emissions from international bunker fuel are approximately 119.9 Tg CO2 Eq. for 2007. Comments on this draft inventory should be submitted within 30 days. 74 Fed. Reg. 10249 (March 10, 2009).
White House – scientific integrity
The White House issued an Memorandum signed by President Obama providing that science and the scientific process must inform and guide federal government decisions on a wide range of issues, including protection of the environment and national security. (3/9/09).
NTSB – eliminating fatigue
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a news release stating that it is reiterating its commitment to eliminating human fatigue in the transportation industry. Work hour limits should be based on fatigue research, circadian rhythms, and sleep rest requirements so as to reduce unnecessary risk. (3/6/09).
APHIS – Asian gypsy moth
Owners, operators, and masters are reminded of the Asian gypsy moth (AGM) control program, administered by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). A similar program is in effect for Canada, administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Ships having called at northeast Asian ports during the AGM egg-laying period are subject to detailed inspection prior to or upon arrival in a US or Canadian port. Lists of vessels that called in AGM-susceptible ports of Japan and Russia during this period in 2008 have been released by APHIS. (3/5/09).
TSA – one million workers enrolled for TWIC
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a press release stating that one million maritime workers have now enrolled in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. When the program is fully effective on April 15, only individuals with a valid TWIC will be allowed unescorted access to secure areas of US port facilities and vessels of the United States. (3/9/09).
DOD – US survey ship harassed by Chinese vessels
The US Department of Defense issued a news release stating that the unarmed US survey ship USNS IMPECCABLE was harassed by five Chinese vessels while operating in international waters approximately 70 miles south of Hainan Island. The Chinese vessels (which included a Chinese Navy intelligence collection ship, a Bureau of Maritime Fisheries patrol vessel, a State Oceanographic Administration patrol vessel, and two small Chinese-flag trawlers) closed to within 25 feet. They dropped wood in the water in the IMPECCABLE’s path and two of the vessels stopped directly ahead of the IMPECCABLE, forcing the US ship to stop. The ship is operated by the US Military Sealift Command (MSC) and carries a civilian crew. The US has lodged a diplomatic protest with the Government of China. (3/9/09).
USCG – smallboat accident
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that six members of the crew of the icebreaker POLAR SEA are safe after a smallboat from the cutter fell into the water during a training exercise in Puget Sound. The crewmembers sustained no significant injuries. Note: This accident illustrates once again the dangers inherent in launching small craft, such as lifeboats, from large vessels. Constant vigilance is required during these evolutions. (3/9/09).
Panama Canal – operations summary for February
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing canal operations for the month of February. In addition, it contains the list of scheduled locks maintenance work for the remainder of the fiscal year. Advisory No. 04-2009 (3/4/09).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – March 2009