April 2, 2009
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MARAD – Small Shipyard Grant Program
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a reminder stating that applications for grants under the Small Shipyard Grant Program must be received by MARAD not later than 5 p.m., May 10. MARAD intends to awards grants no later than July 9. 74 Fed. Reg. 15049 (April 2, 2009).
Perth Amboy – anchorage proposal
The US Coast Guard supplemented its earlier proposal to amend the existing special anchorage area at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The supplemental notice provides updated coordinates for the proposed amendment and revises the proposed use limitations. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by May 4. 74 Fed. Reg. 14938 (April 2, 2009).
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force – meeting
The Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force, sponsored by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), will meet in Bozeman, Montana on May 19-21. 74 Fed. Reg. 14995 (April 2, 2009).
President announces nominee to lead Corps of Engineers
The White House issued a news release stating that President Obama intends to nominate Ms. Jo-Ellen Darcy to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). In that position, Ms. Darcy will lead the US Army Corps of Engineers. (3/31/09).
FMC – meeting
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that it will meet in Washington, DC on April 8. Among the topics on the agenda in the open session is passenger vessel financial responsibility. Among the topics on the agenda in the closed session are the West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement and the potential impact of the global economic downturn on stakeholders. (4/1/09).
DHS – cargo and container security
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the testimony of Acting Commissioner Jayson Ahern, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before the Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the House Appropriations Committee on the topic of cargo and container security. In addition to discussing the agency’s layer approach to security, he explained various difficulties with implementation of the 100% container scanning requirement. Acting Director Charles Gallaway, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) testified concerned efforts to detect smuggled nuclear material. (4/1/09).
Tampa Bay – allision results in oil spill
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that a tug was pushing a barge in Tampa Bay when it allided with a moored tug. The incident resulted in the spill of approximately 1,000 gallons of waste oil. The oil is contained and being cleaned up. The incident is under investigation. (4/1/09).
Cost-benefit analysis of FWPCA requirements
The US Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permissibly relied on cost-benefit analysis in setting the national performance standards and variances therefrom under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). Plaintiff environmental advocacy group brought suit after the EPA approved a variance from cooling water technology standards for an older power plant, citing the high cost of an upgrade to the best available technology and the low benefit. An appellate court held that the cost-benefit analysis was not permissible under the FWPCA. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the EPA’s interpretation of the pertinent FWPCA provision was reasonable. Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., No. 07-588 (April 1, 2009).
Washington – funding for Neah Bay response tug
The Office of the Governor of Washington issued a news release stating that Governor Gregoire signed into law legislation to shift funding for the emergency response tug at Neah Bay from the state to the maritime industry. The legislation, House Bill 1409, will require the maritime industry to assume the cost of the tug. State funding of the tug is scheduled to end on June 30, 2009. The cost to the state for the 2008-09 contract was $3.7 million. The legislation encourages the maritime industry to come to an agreement on the specific funding arrangement, but is somewhat vague regarding what happens if such an agreement cannot be reached. Note: Given the current financial condition of the maritime industry, these negotiations may be difficult. (3/24/09).
IMO – International Ice Patrol Services - 2009
The IMO issued a circular forwarding information received from the Government of the United States concerning International Ice Patrol services for 2009. SN.1/Circ.277 (2/19/09). An addendum to this circular has also been issued. SN.1/Circ.277/Add.1 (3/3/09).
IMO – explosion of engine mock-up during test
The IMO issued a circular advising of a recent incident involving the explosion of an engine mock-up while under test of a water-based fire-extinguishing system. Special precautions should be taken during future fire testing of this nature so as to avoid repetition of this casualty. FP.1/Circ.38 (3/7/09).
IMO – Excelerate Northeast Gateway DWP
The IMO issued an addendum to an earlier circular stating that, per a communication received from the Government of the United States, the routeing measure previously approved for the Excelerate Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge Deepwater Port (DWP) will enter into force on 1 June 2009. SN.1/Circ.272/Add.1 (2/12/09).
EP – passenger rights
The European Parliament (EP) issued a press release stating that Members of Parliament adopted at first reading a report on the rights of passengers traveling by sea and inland waterway. The report addresses, among other things, the right of such passengers to compensation for delay or cancellation, exceptions for force majeure, and the rights of people with disabilities or reduced mobility. (4/1/09).
EC – European satellite navigation system update
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it has become the owner of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and has subcontracted for its operation. EGNOS is the precursor of Galileo, the European global navigation satellite system. (4/1/09).
EMSA – monthly newsletter
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) released the March edition of its monthly newsletter. This edition addresses, among other things, a recent meeting among LRIT Data Centers on mutual financial arrangements. (4/1/09).
Australia – update re PACIFIC ADVENTURER casualty
The Queensland Government issued a news release stating that cleanup of the oil spill from the PACIFIC ADVENTURER is starting to wind down. Of the 31 containers lost from the vessel, 25 have now been located. The search continues for the remainder. An animation of the casualty has also been prepared. (3/31/09).
UK – MAIB Safety Digest
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued its Safety Digest of the first quarter of 2009. Concerns are expressed regarding bridge team management, task familiarity (complacency), and lack of training. (4/1/09).
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 – April 2009