Headlines: piracy update; influenza update; proposed national fire code revisions; IAPP Certificates; MERPAC vacancies; RNAs for Pacific Northwest bars; DHS and MARAD budgets; challenges facing GPS; cancellation of LORAN; Lake Charles PORTS; ship recycling convention; issuance of first MMC
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. 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.
USN – pirates unsuccessfully attack MSC ship
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the Military Sealift Command (MSC) dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1) was approached by suspected pirates off the east coast of Somalia and took evasive action to prevent a successful attack. The ship utilized speed and evasive maneuvers to avoid the pirates, who fired small arms weapons from approximately two miles away. The embarked security team used the ship’s long range acoustical device (LRAD) to broadcast verbal warnings. (5/7/09).
WHO & CDC – Influenza A (H1N1) updates – 2,371 cases
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an update stating that, as of 1600 GMT, 7 May, 24 countries have reported 2,371 confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update stating that 41 states have reported a total of 896 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu infection. (5/7/09).
NIST – proposed national fire code revisions
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking comments on proposals by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to revise various specialized fire protection codes. Among the codes for which revision is being considered are the following maritime-related codes: NFPA 58 – Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code; NFPA 303 – Fire Protection Standard for Marinas and Boatyards; NFPA 307 – Standard for the Construction and Fire Protection of Marine Terminals, Piers, and Wharves; and NFPA 312 – Standard for Fire Protection of Vessels During Construction, Conversion, Repair, and Lay-Up. Comments must be received by September 4. 74 Fed. Reg. 21624 (May 8, 2009).
USCG – International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) Certificates
The US Coast Guard issued a direct final rule adding the International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) Certificate to the list of certificates a recognized classification society may be authorized to issue on behalf of the United States. The rule will come into effect on August 6, unless the Coast Guard receives adverse comments on this rulemaking by June 22. 74 Fed. Reg. 21554 (May 8, 2009).
USCG – MERPAC vacancies
The US Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC). The committee advises the Coast Guard on matters related to training, qualification, licensing, certification, and fitness of seafarers serving in the US merchant marine. Applications should be received by July 15. 74 Fed. Reg. 21701 (May 8, 2009).
USCG – RNAs for Pacific Northwest bars – reopening of comment period
The US Coast Guard is reopening, until June 30, the period in which it will receive comments on its proposal to establish regulated navigation areas (RNAs) at bars along the coasts of Oregon and Washington. The RNAs will establish clear procedures for restricting and/or closing the bars and mandating additional safety requirements for recreational and small commercial vessels operating in the RNAs when certain conditions exist. 74 Fed. Reg. 21564 (May 8, 2009).
Boston – marine mammal takes during LNG facility construction
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking comments on an application it received to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to the construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP) facility in federal waters of Massachusetts Bay near Boston. Comments should b submitted by June 8. 74 Fed. Reg. 21648 (May 8, 2009).
DOC – foreign trade zone status
The Foreign-Trade Zones Board of the Department of Commerce issued a notice stating that it approved an application to establish a special-purpose foreign trade subzone at the shipbuilding facility of Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin. 74 Fed. Reg. 21623 (May 8, 2009).
FERC – Jordan Cove LNG terminal EIS
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an official notice stating that it has prepared the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for construction and operation of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and associated pipeline to be located at Jordan Cove in Coos Bay, Oregon. 74 Fed. Reg. 21677 (May 8, 2009).
DHS – budget in brief
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its 162-page Budget in Brief for FY 2010. The President is requesting $55,115,227,000 for DHS. Budgets for the three maritime-related agencies are: Customs & Border Protection - $11,436,917,000; US Coast Guard - $9,955,663,000; and Transportation Security Administration - $7,793,576,000. (5/7/09).
MARAD – budget estimates for FY 2010
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) released its Budget Estimates FY 2010. The 186-page document explains how the agency intends to spend the $345,530,000 requested in the President’s budget. The major change from the FY 2009 budget would be elimination of the Assistance to Small Shipyards program. Funding for the Title XI program would increase slightly and funding for the Maritime Security Program would remain stable. (5/7/09).
GAO – challenges facing GPS
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report finding that the Global Positioning System (GPS) faces significant challenges in sustaining and upgrading widely used capabilities. While the Department of Defense and others involved in ensuring GPS can serve communities beyond the military have taken prudent steps to manage requirements and coordinate among the many organizations involved with GPS, the report identifies challenges to ensuring civilian requirements are met and ensuring GPS compatibility with other new, potentially competing global space-based positioning, navigation, and timing systems. Among other things, the report recommends that the Secretary of Defense appoint a single authority to oversee development of GPS space, ground control, and user equipment assets, to ensure they are synchronized and well executed, and to minimize potential disruptions. GAO-09-325 (5/7/09).
White House – cancellation of LORAN program
The White House issued a press release stating that various programs are being cancelled to reduce the federal budget. Prominent among the cancellations is the LORAN-C program, with a listed savings of $35 million. The release states that this long-range, radio-navigation system has been made obsolete by GPS. Note: Ironically, the GAO, almost simultaneously, issued a report (also cited in this newsletter) pointing out the many challenges facing the GPS program. (5/7/09).
Lake Charles – PORTS activated
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) for the Port of Lake Charles is now on-line and available at Lake Charles PORTS. There are now 20 different US port areas for which real-time data on tides, currents, temperatures, and winds are available on the internet. (5/7/09).
IMO – ship recycling convention set for adoption
The IMO issued a news release stating that a new international convention on ship recycling is to be considered for adoption at a diplomatic conference to be held in Hong Kong on May 11-15. The new convention is intended to ensure that ships are recycled in a manner that does not pose unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment. (5/7/09).
Resolution introduced condemning MOX transportation
Delegate Faleomavaega (D-AS) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 402) condemning the transport of nuclear mixed-oxide (MOX) material by ship from France to Japan through international waters which endangers the marine environment and increases possible risks for destruction and likely attacks of such shipments by international pirates and terrorists. (5/5/09).
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 7 May) 1,174,749 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 977,579 cards have been activated. (5/7/09).
LA/LB – enforcement of small vessel navigation rules
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it will commence patrols in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to enforce small vessel navigation rules. There have been several near misses in these waters recently which were the direct of dangerous maneuvers by small craft impeding the movement of large commercial vessels. (5/6/09).
USCG – first MMC issued
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the agency has issued its first consolidated Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). The MMC consolidates the various documents, licenses, and endorsements of a mariner into one credential and streamlines the application process by removing the requirement for the mariner to appear at one of the 17 Regional Examination Centers (RECs) if the mariner already has a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). (5/7/09).
USCG – memorial service for British and Canadian sailors lost in WWII
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it with conduct the annual graveside ceremonies in Buxton, North Carolina to commemorate the loss of British and Canadian sailors lost during World War II when the HMS Bedfordshire and the British merchant vessel Sandelfino were sunk by German U-boats. The bodies were recovered from waters surrounding Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands and buried in the local cemetery. (5/7/09).
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