Headlines: Ship operator fined $2 million for concealing pollution; MARAD – David Matsuda to serve as Deputy Administrator; Deborah Hersman sworn in as NTSB Chair; Washington – proposed regulations to protect killer whales; Bill introduced re Arctic shipping; Bill introduced re Arctic hydrographic services; Bill introduced re ship repair in the CNMI; New Zealand – The Good Oil; Australia – response to piracy threat off the Horn of Africa; IMO – IBC Code errata; IMO – clarification re lifeboat drills; IMO – fitting and use of fall preventer devices; DHS – Secretary’s QHSR message; Lake Charles maritime law enforcement operation; and Great Lakes ballast water treatment permit requirements.
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.
DOJ – ship operator fined $2 million for concealing pollution
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the operator of a chemical tanker was sentenced in federal court to pay a fine of $2.08 million after pleading guilty to conspiracy, falsification of records, obstruction of justice, and two violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book on the vessel. The company was also sentenced to serve three years of probation, during which time it must implement a comprehensive environmental compliance program. There were two chief engineers involved in this extended cover-up, and they both pleaded guilty in earlier proceedings. One chief engineer was sentenced to serve one month in prison. The other chief engineer was sentenced to serve one week in prison and to pay a fine of $2,000. (7/27/09). Query: How many more convictions of crewmembers and owner/operators will it take for the maritime industry to acknowledge that the US Coast Guard and the Department of Justice will fully investigate and vigorously prosecute cases involving the suspected falsification of the oil record book? Owners and operators must institute voluntary compliance programs to reduce the likelihood of such falsifications and crewmembers (particularly engineering officers) must adopt new practices. Internal company directives stating opposition to midnight dumping are ineffective and not legally sufficient to protect the company from prosecution.
MARAD – David Matsuda to serve as Deputy Administrator
David Matsuda will now serve as Deputy/Acting Administrator at the Maritime Administration. David moves to MARAD from his current position as Deputy/Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy. David rejoined DOT in March 2009, after seven years on Capitol Hill. While working in the Senate, Matsuda was engaged in the formulation and debate of most major federal transportation legislation from 2002-2009. Most recently he served as senior counsel and primary transportation advisor to U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ). In 2002, Matsuda became a Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute fellow on the staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. From 1998 to 2002, Matsuda worked as an attorney with the Federal Railroad Administration. Matsuda earned his B.S. in engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA, and his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in San Diego, CA. He is from Apple Valley, CA, and lives with his wife Catherine Parsons Matsuda in Washington, DC. (7/28/09).
NTSB – Deborah Hersman sworn in as NTSB Chair
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a news release stating that Deborah A.P. Hersman has been sworn in a Chair of the Board. She replaces Mark Rosenker, who submitted his resignation last week. (7/28/09).
Washington – proposed regulations to protect killer whales
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing regulations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to prohibit vessels from approaching killer whales within 200 yards and from parking in the path of whales for vessels in inland waters of Washington State. The proposed regulations would also prohibit vessels from entering a conservation area during a defined season. Public meetings will be held in Seattle (September 30) and Friday Harbor (October 5). Comments on this proposal should be submitted by October 27. 74 Fed. Reg. 37674 (July 29, 2009). NOAA also issued a news release explaining the proposed regulations.
Bill introduced re Arctic shipping
Senator Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Implementation Act of 2009 (S. 1514) to ensure safe, secure, and reliable marine shipping in the Arctic including the availability of aids to navigation, vessel escorts, spill response capability, and maritime search and rescue in the Arctic, and for other purposes. (7/24/09).
Bill introduced re Arctic hydrographic services
Senator Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a bill (S. 1515) to amend the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 to authorize funds to acquire hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services specific to the Arctic for safe navigation, delineating the United States extended continental shelf, and the monitoring and description of coastal changes. (7/24/09).
Bill introduced re ship repair in the CNMI
Delegate Sablan (D-CNMI) introduced a bill (H.R. 3352) to amend title 10, United States Code, to expand certain restrictions relating to the overhaul and repair of vessels in foreign shipyards to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (7/27/09).
New Zealand – The Good Oil
Maritime New Zealand released the July 2009 edition of its occasional newsletter The Good Oil, which focuses on the agency’s oil spill response program. This edition looks at training and exercises, as well as the Special Area Oil Spill Contingency Plan for the Subantarctic Islands. (7/28/09).
Australia – response to piracy threat off the Horn of Africa
The Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, MP, issued a media release outlining Australia’s responses to the threat of piracy off the Horn of Africa. Among other things, Australia is providing financial support, skills, and expertise, to the Joint European Union/United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Counter Piracy Program to assist Kenyan authorities in receiving and processing apprehended piracy suspects. (6/15/09).
IMO – IBC Code errata
The IMO issued a circular providing missing information on apparatus groups in column i” of Chapter 17 of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code). MSC.1/Circ.1325 (6/10/09).
IMO – clarification re lifeboat drills
The IMO issued a circular providing clarification of SOLAS regulation III/19 relating to lifeboat drills. While the regulation requires an abandon ship drill at least once every three months and requires the lifeboat to be launched and the lifeboat to be maneuvered in the water by its assigned crew, the regulation does not require that the crew be onboard the lifeboat when it is launched. MSC.1/Circ.1326 (6/11/09).
IMO – fitting and use of fall preventer devices
The IMO issued a circular forwarding guidelines for the fitting and use of fall preventer devices (FPDs) for lifeboats and rescue boats. Use of FPDs should be considered as an interim risk mitigation measure, only to be used in connection with existing on-load release hooks, at the discretion of the master, pending the wide implementation of improved hook designs with enhanced safety features. MSC.1/Circ.1327 (6/11/09).
DHS – Secretary’s QHSR message
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the video message of Secretary Janet Napolitano regarding the upcoming Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR). (7/28/09).
Lake Charles – maritime law enforcement operation
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and other law enforcement agencies conducted a maritime law enforcement operation along the southern portion of the Calcasieu Ship Channel and its approaches. The goal of the mission was to increase law enforcement presence and to enhance regional partnerships. (7/28/09).
Great Lakes – ballast water treatment permit requirements
The US Coast Guard posted a summary of key elements of Great Lakes State Ballast Water Treatment Permit Requirements & U.S. Clean Water Act Sec. 401 Certification Conditions. The document was prepared in June 2009 by the Great Lakes Commission. (7/28/09).
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