March 13, 2009
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USCG – Maritime Safety & Security Customer Satisfaction Survey
The US Coast Guard is conducting a customer satisfaction survey of its maritime safety and security mission. Individuals are asked to provide their perception of recent interactions with the agency. The survey may be submitted anonymously, if the individual prefers. The survey addresses professionalism, regulatory stewardship, customer support, and the condition of ports and waterways, among other things. (3/11/09).
NOAA – federal consistency appeal by Broadwater Energy
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that the decision record has been closed for an administrative appeal filed with the Department of Commerce by Broadwater Energy LLC and Broadwater Pipeline LLC regarding the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility to be constructed and operated in Long Island Sound. The decision record closed on February 13. 74 Fed. Reg. 10894 (March 13, 2009).
Wilmington, Delaware – fuel oil spill
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, and the local spill removal organization are responding to the spill of approximately 2,000 gallons of fuel oil from a car carrier docked in the Port of Wilmington. The incident is under investigation, but a second press release notes that indications are that the hull of the ship was pierced by a mooring bollard on the dock. There is also a photo release related to the response effort. (3/12/09).
Los Angeles & Lake Charles – TWIC reminders
The US Coast Guard issued a press release reminding the maritime community that the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) requirements come into effect for regulated facilities within the Los Angeles/Long Beach Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone on April 14. Estimates indicate that of the 67,000 maritime workers in the area, only 52,000 (78%) have enrolled in the TWIC program and only 58% have activated their TWIC cards. Workers are urged to promptly enroll and activate their cards. A similar press release was issued reminding maritime workers in the Lake Charles and Port Arthur area that the TWIC requirement also comes into effect there on April 14. Coast Guard officials in Lake Charles will conduct a workshop on March 17 to address TWIC concerns. (3/12/09).
CBP – importer required to re-export container with invasive Red Baron grass
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that it ordered an importer to immediately re-export a shipping container after invasive cogon grass seed was discovered littered among non-compliant wood packing in the container of travertine tile that had arrived from Turkey. Cogon grass is an invasive weed from Asia that spreads quickly and disrupts ecosystems, reduces wildlife habitat, and decreases tree seedling growth and establishment. The immediate re-export was ordered by issuance of an Emergency Action Notification. Cogon grass is informally referred to a Red Baron grass, because it was first discovered in the United States during World War I, when Baron Manfred von Richthofen was creating havoc for the Allies in the skies over France. (3/11/09).
NOAA – Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet study
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that its study shows that contaminant levels of water in the vicinity of the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet are similar to those of other parts of San Francisco Bay. Based on an analysis of contaminants (metals, PCBs, etc.) found in sediments and shellfish near the Reserve Fleet anchorage, NOAA is not recommending specific cleanup actions at this time. (3/12/09).
SLSDC – infrastructure renewal
The Department of Transportation issued a news release stating that the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) will initiate its planned 10-year program to modernize the US portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, following President Obama’s signing of the omnibus appropriations bill. (3/12/09).
Charleston – spill response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it and the Coast Guard Auxiliary will conduct a spill response exercise on the Ashley River in Sector Charleston on March 13. (3/11/09).
Bill introduced to improve maritime law enforcement
Representative LoBiondo (R-NJ) introduced a bill (H.R. 1440) to amend title 46, United States Code, to improve maritime law enforcement. Text of the bill is not yet available, but Mr. LoBiondo issued a news release explaining that it is intended to increase the penalties for smuggling aliens into the United States. (3/11/09).
EC – new chances and new responsibilities in the Arctic Region
The European Commission (EC) released the speech deliver by Mr. Joe Borg, Member of the Commission Responsible for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs regarding opportunities and responsibilities in the Arctic Region. He noted that the EC Arctic strategy focuses on: (1) protecting and preserving the Arctic together with its people; (2) promoting the sustainable use of resources; and (3) enhancing multilateral governance in the region. Among other things, he stressed the importance of the rapid development of search and rescue capability in the Arctic. (3/11/09).
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