Headlines: NC Ferry Division settlement; Kalaupapa dock repairs; TWIC update; Operation Jaxbox; vessel tracking systems; Pacific Adventurer released; Norwegian continental shelf; Panama Canal updates; UK fatigue-induced casualty
April 17, 2009
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.
DOJ – proposed settlement agreement with NC Ferry Division
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a notice stating that a proposed settlement agreement has been developed with the North Carolina DOT Ferry Division relating to alleged violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) by the Ferry Division by discharging fill material without a permit into Currituck Sound. Comments on the proposed settlement should be submitted within 30 days. 74 Fed. Reg. 17883 (April 17, 2009).
Hawaii – Kalaupapa National Historical Park
The National Park Service issued a notice stating that intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for repairs of dock structures as may be necessary to ensure continued barge service for Kalaupapa National Historical Park and community residents on the island of Molokai. Comments on this effort should be submitted by June 8. 74 Fed. Reg. 17879 (April 17, 2009).
TSA – TWIC update
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an update to its status report on the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The TWIC Dashboard shows that (as of 16 April) 1,121,461 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 906,956 cards have been activated. Note: This is a symbolic end of phase one of the TWIC process. The vast majority of current maritime workers have been enrolled and all but a relative few have received and activated their cards. Now we move to the long-term phase for TSA, dealing with new maritime workers and replacements of expired, lost, or damaged cards. This will require a staff smaller in number, but equal in geographic reach. Phase one was exhausting and not without its glitches. Phase two promises to be more bureaucratic, but equally important. (4/16/09).
Jacksonville – Operation Jaxbox
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that federal, state, and local agencies in the Jacksonville, Florida area participated in “Operation Jaxbox” to ensure public safety and security throughout the Port of Jacksonville. The operation focused on identifying trends of non-compliance regarding shipping containers and to reduce the risk faced by roadway travelers by identifying trucks, trailers, and chassis that do not meet highway safety standards. (4/16/09).
GAO – review of vessel tracking systems
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on vessel tracking systems. The GAO looked at the Automatic Identification System (AIS), including commercially available readings; the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system; radar; and cameras. It determined that each has technical and practical advantages and disadvantages and that there is significant overlap in some of the systems. The report recommends that the Coast Guard determine which duplicate vessel tracking information from LRIT and commercially provided long-range AIS is needed to accomplish Coast Guard missions. GAO-09-337 (4/16/09).
Australia – PACIFIC ADVENTURER released from detention
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that it released the container ship PACIFIC ADVENTURER from detention having been satisfied that the ship is now seaworthy. The ship was detained following the 11 March marine casualty off the coast of Queensland when 31 containers fell overboard in a storm, holing the ship’s fuel tanks. Repairs have since been effected. (4/16/09).
Norway – extended continental shelf
The Government of Norway issued a press release stating that the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf issued recommendations on the outer limits of the Norwegian continental shelf in the High North. The recommendations provide a basis on which Norway may exercise natural resource management rights over its extended continental shelf under water of Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea, and the Norwegian Sea. This continental shelf extension, more than 200 nautical miles from land, covers some 235,000 square kilometers. The recommendations have no effect on unresolved issues concerning delimitation between Norway and neighboring states. Note: Norway’s claim is the first of several over areas of the Arctic Basin (and its presumably rich resources) to be addressed by the Commission. Let the games begin! (4/16/09).
Panama Canal – second quarter metrics
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release announcing its metrics for the second quarter of fiscal year 2009. Canal Waters Time (CWT) decreased significantly, while total transits decreased 1.4% and net tonnage decreased 3.3%. (4/15/09).
Panama Canal – Gatun Locks infrastructure improvements
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release announcing infrastructure improvements at the Gatun Locks. The track and turntable system there have been updated, enhancing operational efficiency. (4/15/09).
UK – fatigue results in loss of vessel
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued an industry flyer cautioning owners, operators, and masters to be aware of the dangers of fatigue. In the instant case, the master, who was alone on the bridge at night after working extended hours, fell asleep. The vessel subsequently grounded and was declared a total loss. Fortunately, the entire crew was rescued. (4/16/09).
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