Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog – 24 March 2009

March 24, 2009

Bryant’s Maritime Blog

Note: Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Improvements in this blog site, while slow, are due to the assistance of Kim Nettles. She rapidly points me to the improvements. I, with the speed of a glacier, implement them. Please bear with me.

NOSAC – meeting

clip_image002 The National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Corpus Christi on April 23. Topics on the agenda include commercial diving safety, employment of foreign workers, and evacuation of injured workers from remote facilities. 74 Fed. Reg. 11383 (March 24, 2009).

USCG – Q & A regarding the state of the Coast Guard

clip_image002[1] The US Coast Guard posted a complete set of Questions and Answers regarding the state of the Coast Guard. More questions were asked during the Commandant’s recent State of the Coast Guard Address than could be answered at the presentation. Among other things, answers are provided to questions relating to the EPA’s new Vessel General Permit (VGP) program and to posting more information on the Internet. (3/23/09).

Biloxi – update

clip_image002[2] The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the channel in Back Bay at Biloxi closed following the bridge allision has been reopened. A plan to salvage the damaged barges has been approved. (3/23/09).

Bill introduced re safety of ports of entry

clip_image004 Representative Reyes (D-TX) introduced the Putting Our Resources Towards Security (PORTS) Act (H.R. 1655) to enhance the safety of ports of entry in the United States, and for other purposes. Note: I disapprove of the increasingly common practice of giving legislation awkward names in an attempt to achieve a cute acronym. (3/19/09).

Canada – amendment to pilotage requirements

clip_image006 Transport Canada issued a media release stating that it is expanding pilotage waters for tankers and LNG carriers calling at the Canaport facility in New Brunswick. It is also establishing pilotage requirements for ships that will call at the proposed Long Harbour nickel receiving facility in Placentia Bay. (3/20/09).

EXXON VALDEZ – March 24, 1989

clip_image008 On March 24, 1989, the single-hull tanker EXXON VALDEZ was departing the Port of Valdez, Alaska will a full load of North Slope crude oil (approximately 1.26 million barrels) destined for Long Beach when it grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill (approximately 258,000 barrels), while not the largest in US history, was clearly the most important. It engendered much litigation, some of which continues at this time. Public concern over the spill led directly to enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), which mandated double hulls for new tankers, response plans, and a number of other remedial measures. OPA 90 also significantly changed the liability and compensation scheme for oil spills in US waters. The amount of oil entering waters of the United States from ships drastically decreased following enactment of OPA 90. As a personal note, I was directly involved in the development and promulgation of regulations implementing OPA 90 for the US Coast Guard. A lot has changed in the succeeding 20 years, most significantly the commitment of the maritime industry to prevent oil pollution from ships.

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

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