Headlines: Counter-piracy meeting in Gulf of Aden; Summary of MEPC session; Quadrennial Homeland Security Review; Implementing 9/11 Commission recommendations; Taking of marine mammals incidental to boom exercise drill; US economic sanctions against Iran; Enlargement of Cape Canaveral restricted areas; IMO – fixed dry chemical powder fire-extinguishing systems; State aid for Gdansk shipyard approved; Offshore data buoys should be safeguarded; FMC compromise agreements; MARAD – small shipyard grants to be reconsidered; Port Jefferson – pilot test of explosives detection technology; and Eastland capsizing (July 24, 1915).
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USN – counter-piracy meeting in Gulf of Aden
The US Navy issued a news release stating that leaders from the major counter-piracy task forces operating in the Gulf of Aden met aboard the Spanish warship Numancia to discuss coalition operations off the coast of Somalia. (7/22/09).
IMO – summary of MEPC session
The IMO issued a news release summarizing the results of the recent session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), except for the developments relating to reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which were reported earlier. MARPOL Annex I was amended to address ship-to-ship transfers between tankers at sea. Annex I was also amended with regard to ob board management of oil residue (sludge). Preliminary approval was accorded to the proposed US-Canada emissions control area (ECA) and the matter was referred to the next MEPC session for final consideration. Guidelines were adopted for development of a volatile organic compound (VOC) management plan. Guidelines were also adopted for development of the inventory of hazardous materials on ships and for the safe handling and storage of chemicals used to treat ballast water. (7/21/09).
USCG/DHS – Quadrennial Homeland Security Review
The US Coast Guard posted on its Homeport website an announcement of the upcoming Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. The review will include three web-based national dialogues. Although the first of these dialogues does not commence until August 3, interested parties can access the collaboration webpage now to sign up. (7/22/09).
DHS – implementing 9/11 Commission recommendations
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report summarizing its progress in implementing 9/11 Commission recommendations. Measures involving the maritime sector are mentioned prominently. (7/22/09).
NOAA – taking of marine mammals incidental to boom exercise drill
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it received an application from Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to boom deployment exercises being done as part of an oil spill response drill. Comments on the application should be submitted by August 24. 74 Fed. Reg. 36463 (July 23, 2009). Note: The anticipated taking is that seals in the vicinity are likely to disperse from haul-outs sites into adjacent waters. This is the first application that I have seen for taking of marine mammals incidental to an oil spill boom exercise drill. It is to be hoped that this is an aberration and will not be expected in all such drills in the future. If such applications become the norm, will they be expected with regard to actual spill responses? What role is to be played by common sense?
OFAC – economic sanctions against Iran
The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has amended the Iranian Transaction Regulations to revise the definition of the term “Iranian accounts” and make conforming changes to other sections of the regulations. Under the revised definition, the term includes the accounts of persons who are ordinarily resident in Iran, except when such persons are not located in Iran. The amendments come into effect immediately. Persons who do business in both Iran and the United States should exercise care to avoid inadvertently violating these regulations. 74 Fed. Reg. 36397 (July 23, 2009).
Cape Canaveral – enlargement of restricted areas
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has amended the restricted area regulations to enlarge the restricted area in the Banana River and to establish a new restricted area in the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The changes come into effect on August 24. 74 Fed. Reg. 36400 (July 23, 2009).
IMO – fixed dry chemical powder fire-extinguishing systems
The IMO issued a circular forwarding guidelines for the approval of fixed dry chemical powder fire-extinguishing systems for the protection of ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk. MSC.1/Circ.1315 (6/10/09).
EC – state aid for Gdansk shipyard approved
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it has authorized various support measures worth €251 million, spread over several years, in favor of the Gdansk Shipyard in Poland. (7/22/09).
NOAA – offshore data buoys should be safeguarded
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release asking the assistance of the marine community (commercial shipping, fishing, and boating) in safeguarding offshore data buoys. These buoys provide important weather and tsunami information, which is lost if these buoys are damaged. Please give them a wide berth. (7/22/09).
FMC – compromise agreements
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that it has entered into compromise agreements with a vessel-operating common carrier and with various licensed and unlicensed ocean transportation intermediaries, recovering civil penalties in the amount of $748,000. (7/22/09).
MARAD – small shipyard grants to be reconsidered
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that the recently-announced grants to small shipyards to being reconsidered because the process used to evaluate the applications was incomplete. New grants are expected to be announced by August 17. (7/22/09).
Port Jefferson – pilot test of explosives detection technology
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a press release stating that, in conjunction with the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, it has begun a three-week pilot test of explosives screening of vehicles at the Port Jefferson Ferry Terminal on Long Island. (7/22/09).
Eastland capsizing – July 24, 1915
On July 24, 1915, the passenger ship Eastland capsized and sank at the pier in Chicago. The ship had been chartered to take Western Electric employees to a company picnic in Michigan City, Indiana. There were 2,752 passengers on board when the ship, which had a reputation as being top-heavy, suddenly rolled onto its side and partially sank. A total of 845 passengers and crew died, making this the largest loss of life from a single shipwreck in the history of the Great Lakes.
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