Headlines: National Maritime Day; AMVER awards ceremony; South China Sea – pirate boarding; California – CARB fuel sulfur requirements; California – ballast water discharge performance standards; Alaska – ship plume dilution study; White House – memorandum on preemption; Paris MOU – national appeal procedures; and Influenza updates.
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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White House – National Maritime Day
The White House issued a Proclamation signed by President Obama designating May 22, 2009 as National Maritime Day in recognition of the many services performed by the US merchant marine. All ships sailing under the American flag are requested to dress ship. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) also issued a news release honoring merchant mariners and the maritime industry. (5/20/09).
Washington, DC – AMVER awards ceremony
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that the US AMVER awards for 2009 will be awarded at a ceremony in Washington, DC on May 21. The ceremony is sponsored by Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay, the North American Maritime Ministry Association, the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association, Blank Rome LLP, INMARSAT, Lockheed Martin, and the Safety at Sea International magazine. The ceremony is chaired by my good friend Will Watson. The Automated Merchant Vessel Reporting (AMVER) system is operated by the US Coast Guard in New York. It is a computer-based, voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance for persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the vicinity of a distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond. The list of Award Recipients includes, among many others, both the Maersk Alabama and the Liberty Sun. These vessels did not garner AMVER awards for surviving piratical attacks, but for participation in the AMVER system. (4/30/09).
South China Sea – pirate boarding
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that on 23 April 2009 the bulk carrier Sider Lion, while transiting the South China Sea en route Nanjing, China was boarded by six pirates armed with knives. The pirates took the Second Officer hostage and then obtained money and various personal belongings from the Master. After the pirates released the Master and Second Officer, they departed ship. The crew was mustered, the SSAS was activated, and the incident was reported. Between April 2008 and April 2009, eight such piratical incidents have been reported in the vicinity of Mangkai Light in the South China Sea. Vessels in that vicinity are urged to exercise vigilance. (5/23/09). Note: This Alert serves as a reminder that not all piratical attacks occur in the vicinity of Somalia.
California – CARB fuel sulfur requirements
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued two marine notices addressing fuel sulfur and other operational requirements for ocean-going vessels within 24 nautical miles of the California baseline. Marine Notice 2009-1 is a one-page summary of the requirements, scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2009. Marine Notice 2009-2 is a six-page discussion of the requirement. Among other things, the second notice states that the CARB requirements may be sunset in 2015 if the Emissions Control Area (ECA) sought by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approved by the IMO. No mention is made in either notice of any pending litigation. (5/7/09).
California – ballast water discharge performance standards
The issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to performance standards for discharge of ballast water in California. The Proposed Text of the amended regulation has been posted, as well as the Initial Statement of Reasons for the proposal. Among other things, the regulation as proposed would require most ships to have a sampling facility or port on the ballast water discharge line to allow for the taking of ballast water samples immediately prior to discharge overboard. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by June 22. (5/7/09).
Alaska – ship plume dilution study
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) posted the Assessment of the Stationary Cruise Ship Plume Dilution Study. The study was conducted in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to characterize the near-field dilution (0-15 meters) that occurs to wastewater discharged from a stationary cruise ship. In a best case scenario, the water quality standards would be met for the tested effluents – ammonia, copper, nickel, and zinc. In a worst case scenario, the water quality standards would be exceeded for ammonia and copper. (5/5/09).
White House – memorandum on preemption
The White House issued a memorandum signed by President Obama on preemption of state law. The memorandum recognizes the important role played by state governments in the US federal system and provides, in pertinent part, that heads of department and agencies should not include preemption provisions in regulations except where justified under legal principles governing preemption, including the principles outlines in Executive Order 13132 of August 4, 1999 (Federalism). Regulations issued within the previous 10 years that include preemption provisions are to be reviewed for consistency with these provisions. (5/20/09).
FMC – most improved small federal agency
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that it has received the 2009 Most Improved Small Agency Award by the Partnership for Public Service and the Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation. (5/20/09).
Providence – maritime security and pollution response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it sponsored a maritime security and pollution response exercise in Providence, Rhode Island. The exercise involved more than 30 federal, state, and local agencies and about a dozen private companies. The exercise involved planning for a response to a terrorist incident and subsequent hazardous materials release in the port of Providence. (5/21/09).
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 21 May) 1,203,187 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 1,009,592 cards have been activated. (5/21/09).
Paris MOU – national appeal procedures
The Paris MOU issued its National Appeal Procedures related to detentions imposed as a result of port state control (PSC) inspections. These procedures may be utilized by the owner or operator of a vessel subject to a PSC detention order. The details of these appeal procedures are different in each Paris MOU member state. (5/14/09).
WHO & CDC – Influenza A (H1N1) updates – 11,034 cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an update stating that, as of 0600 GMT, 21 May, 41 countries have reported 11,034 confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection, including 85 deaths. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update stating that 48 states have reported a total of 5,764 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu infection, including nine deaths. (5/21/09).
UK – reports on back injuries incurred on small boats
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of a back injury incurred by a passenger on board a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) in Bristol Channel on 26 August 2008. The injury was incurred when the passenger was lifted into the air and landed heavily in her seat due to the motion of the fast RIB in the channel. The MAIB recommended that the small passenger vessel industry develop a code of practice to improve safety on these vessels. Report No. 11/2009 (5/21/09). The MAIB also released the summary of its Preliminary Examination of another incident where passengers on a small commercial motor boat incurred back injuries when the boat encountered an unexpectedly steep wave. (5/21/09).
Memorial Day is observed in the United States on the last Monday in May (in 2009, on May 25) to honor US men and women who died on active duty in the five military services.
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – May 2009