Headlines: DOJ – prison sentence for Cosco Busan pilot; Great Lakes – increase in pilotage rates; Great Lakes – pilotage ratemaking methodology; TSA – revision of enforcement procedures; MARAD – Port Dolphin LNG DWP – corrections; Baton Rouge Waterways Action Plan Annex; NOSAC membership; USCG licensing customer survey; USCG – keel laying for third National Security Cutter; CBO – options for combining USN & USCG small combatant programs; Lake Texoma – voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety inspections; and New Zealand – review of maritime qualifications and operational limits.
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DOJ – prison sentence for Cosco Busan pilot
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the pilot who was serving on the container ship Cosco Busan when it allided with the abutment of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on November 7, 2007 has been sentenced to serve 10 months in federal prison. He had previously pleaded guilty to negligently causing the discharge of a harmful quantity of oil and to violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The allision resulting in the discharge of approximately 53,000 gallons of fuel oil into San Francisco Bay. It resulted in the deaths of approximately 2,400 birds. Clean-up costs have been estimated to exceed $70 million. (7/17/09).
Great Lakes – increase in pilotage rates
The US Coast Guard issued a final rule increasing the rates for pilotage service on the Great Lakes by an average of 10.77% over the rates that took effect on February 4, 2009. This change reflects an August 1, 2009 increase in benchmark contractual wages and benefits, as well as an increase in the ratio of pilots to “bridge hours”. The Coast Guard intends the increase to generate sufficient revenue to cover allowable expenses, target pilot compensation, and returns on investment. The increase comes into effect on August 1. 74 Fed. Reg. 35812 (July 21, 2009).
Great Lakes – pilotage ratemaking methodology
The US Coast Guard seeks comments on the adequacy of existing regulations that provide the methodology for reviewing and adjusting rates for pilots on US waters of the Great Lakes. These comments are sought in order to obtain a better understanding of how well Great Lakes shippers, Great Lakes pilots, and the general public think these formulas represent the realities of commercial shipping on the Great Lakes and fairly balance competing considerations. Comments should be received by October 19. 74 Fed. Reg. 35838 (July 21, 2009).
TSA – revision of enforcement procedures
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an interim final rule revising its Investigative and Enforcement Procedures to conform to the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The rule establishes procedures by which TSA may assess civil penalties for violations of any statutory requirement administered by TSA, including Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) requirements. The revisions come into effect on August 20. Comments on this rulemaking should be submitted by September 21. 74 Fed. Reg. 36029 (July 21, 2009).
MARAD – Port Dolphin LNG DWP - corrections
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice correcting its prior notice regarding the Port Dolphin liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP) license application. In the earlier notice, the project’s docket number was wrong. The correct docket number is: USCG-2007-28532. The closing date for the public comment period was also wrong. The correct date by which all public comments must be received is August 27, 2009. 74 Fed. Reg. 35905 (July 21, 2009).
USCG – Baton Rouge Waterways Action Plan Annex
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it will host a meeting in Baton Rouge on July 30 to receive public comments on the Baton Rouge Waterways Action Plan Annex. Written comments should be received by August 31. The Annex explains the roles of various stakeholders involved in marine traffic on the waterways, particularly in varying river conditions. 74 Fed. Reg. 35882 (July 21, 2009).
USCG – NOSAC membership
The US Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC), which advises the service on matters affecting the offshore industry. Applications must be received by November 30. 74 Fed. Reg. 35882 (July 21, 2009).
USCG – licensing customer survey
The US Coast Guard is conducting a licensing customer survey via its Homeport website. You are invited to participate and comment on your recent experience with the Coast Guard process for processing merchant mariner document applications. (7/17/09).
USCG – keel lying for third National Security Cutter
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the keel was laid for the third National Security Cutter – the USCGC Stratton. The cutter is named for Captain Dorothy Stratton, who directed the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, or SPARs, during World War II. First Lady Michelle Obama is serving as the ship’s sponsor. (7/20/09).
CBO – options for combining USN & USCG small combatant programs
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a paper on Options for Combining the Navy’s and Coast Guard’s Small Combatant Programs. The paper compares the missions of the two programs and considers the possibility of using one basic ship design to accomplish the differing missions. The paper makes no recommendations. (7/17/09).
Lake Texoma – voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety inspections
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it will be conducting voluntary commercial passenger vessel safety inspections on Lake Texoma (on the Texas-Oklahoma border) on July 23-28. Owners of commercial passenger vessels operating on the lake should contact the Coast Guard in advance to schedule inspections. (7/20/09).
New Zealand – review of maritime qualifications and operational limits
Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that its two-year review of maritime qualifications and the operational limits linked to them has been launched. The review will include visits to nine regions of the country and interviews with more than 150 representatives of the maritime community. (7/20/09).
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 – July 2009