March 20, 2009
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FERC – EA for Freeport LNG export project
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice stating that it has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed Freeport liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project. Comments on the EA should be submitted by April 13. 74 Fed. Reg. 11931 (March 20, 2009).
FMC – meeting
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an official notice stating that it will hold a meeting at its offices in Washington, DC on March 25. Among the items on the agenda is passenger vessel financial responsibility. 74 Fed. Reg. 11948 (March 20, 2009).
Alaska – improvements at MSU Valdez
The US Coast Guard issued a presentation regarding improvements made at Marine Safety Unit Valdez in the 20 years since the grounding of the EXXON VALDEZ. (3/19/09).
Registering in New York State can avoid Rule B
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a that registering to do business in the State of New York and appointing an agent for service of process within the Southern District of New York constitutes being “found” within the district for purposes of Rule B of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions. Thus, another party with a potential claim against the company that has taken these steps may not utilize Rule B to attach monies of the company as those monies pass electronically through New York City banks. This is a major decision (brought to you courtesy of James Power and Lissa Schaupp of Holland & Knight), which will greatly reduce the number of Rule B actions filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. One should expect a long line of applicants seeking to file at the Office of the New York Department of State. STX Panocean (UK) Co., Ltd. v. Glory Wealth Shipping Pte Ltd., No. 08-6131-cv (2nd Cir., March 19, 2009).
Singapore – enhancing coastal security
The Government of Singapore released the speech delivered by Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs at the Global Security Asia conference. Mr. Wong acknowledged that Singapore’s borders are not airtight. In light of the Mumbai attacks, Singapore is acquiring ten new coastal patrol craft and establishing an Integrated Tactical Training Center for the Police Coast Guard (PCG). The annual national emergency exercise, called Exercise North Star, will this year be based on a terrorist scenario similar to that of the Mumbai attacks. Mr. Wong acknowledged that the Singapore Government alone cannot fully address the terrorist threat. Cooperation of the private sector and the public is required. In addition, nations worldwide must work together to address this issue. (3/17/09).
UNCLOS – op-ed
The Boston Globe recently published an op-ed piece authored by Captain Melissa Bert, USCG and Mr. Mark Schlakman succinctly explaining why it is the best interests of the United States to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Captain Bert is a National Security Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. Mr. Schlakman is a Senior Program Director at the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. Note: It is been the policy of the United States, since the convention was negotiated and signed by the various nations (including the United States), that UNCLOS reflects international law regarding traditional uses of the seas and that the United States will act in accordance therewith. The time is long overdue to ratify the convention that we have accepted on a de facto basis since 1982. (3/16/09).
At 1144 UTC, Friday, March 20, 2009, we in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate the vernal equinox. This event occurs when the sun crosses the equator, headed north. The question for the day is: How does the sun know when it has crossed the equator? It’s not like there is an actual line marking the equator. There are a few monuments scattered about, but they are placed randomly and they are not particularly large.
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Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – March 2009