Headlines: NY – Waterfront Commission plagued by abuse and corruption; Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – electric fish dispersal barrier; EPA – environmental fugitive returns from Malta; New Zealand – dangerous use of mobile phones while underway; UK – Modernizing Trust Ports; Shipping Coordinating Committee – meeting re STW; NOAA status review for the humpback whale; IMO – BWM Convention regulation B-3.1 application dates; IMO – safe handling of BWM chemicals; IMO – engineering questionnaire on BWM systems; USCG – interagency Arctic awareness trip; USCG – Operation Arctic Crossroads; Port Arthur – two towing vessels collide; IOPCF – meetings; and EMSA – August newsletter.
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New York – Waterfront Commission plagued by abuse and corruption
The New York State Inspector General issued a news release stating that the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor is plagued by abuse and corruption. The bi-state Waterfront Commission was created in 1953 to deter criminal activity reflected in the classic film “On the Waterfront” and to ensure fair hiring at the Port of New York and New Jersey. In its 67-page report, the Inspector General details the licensing of a convicted felon, misuse of federal Homeland Security funds, and the failure to issue a single permanent license to harbor companies for more than a decade. A boat purchased by the Commission with monies from a federal port security grant was used sparingly and did little to enhance port security. A second grant devoted to technological improvements was poorly implemented and the equipment purchased was not utilized as reported to the federal government. Moreover, the Commission did not separately account for grant expenditures and did not meet requirements to contribute its own funds to the grant projects. (8/11/09).
Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – electric fish dispersal barrier
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a media advisory stating that it plans to increase the operating parameters for the electric fish dispersal barrier in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal near Romeoville, Illinois. The barrier is designed to deter passage of invasive species, especially Asian carp, between the Great Lakes and the Illinois River watersheds. Navigation safety tests will commence as early as practicable. (8/11/09).
EPA – environmental fugitive returns from Malta
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that an environmental fugitive has appeared in federal court in San Diego after surrendering to authorities in Malta on charges of violating the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). In 2006, the individual was doing renovation work on a fishing vessel in San Diego. He and another person were charged with dumping the renovation waste into waters of San Diego Bay at night. Both persons then fled to Malta. The other person is in custody in Malta and undergoing extradition proceedings. (8/11/09).
New Zealand – dangerous use of mobile phones while underway
Maritime New Zealand issued a safety bulletin cautioning mariners that use of mobile telephones while underway may distract persons from vital navigational and operational tasks. In some circumstances, such use may constitute a failure to maintain a proper lookout. (8/10/09).
UK – Modernizing Trust Ports
The UK Department for Transport issued the second edition of Modernizing Trust Ports. The goal of the publication is to provide appropriate safeguards and practices to ensure an efficient, accountable, and competitive trust port sector. The Department recognizes the wide range of ports within the sector and that some parts of the guidance would not necessarily be appropriate for, in particular, the smaller ports. The Department nevertheless expects all trust ports in England and Wales to take steps either to comply with the guidance or to state openly where and why they have decided not to. (8/11/09).
Shipping Coordinating Committee – meeting re STW
The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC), sponsored by the US Department of State, will meet in Washington, DC on August 27. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the Second Intersessional of the IMO Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) to be held in London on September 7-11. 74 Fed. Reg. 40631 (August 12, 2009).
NOAA – status review for the humpback whale
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it has commenced a status review of the humpback whale under the Endangered Species Act. Comments and information on humpback whale populations worldwide should be submitted by October 13. 74 Fed. Reg. 40568 (August 12, 2009). Note: The humpback whale is currently classified as endangered. 49 CFR § 224.101(b).
IMO – BWM Convention regulation B-3.1 application dates
The IMO issued a circular providing clarification regarding the application dates contained in regulation B-3.1 of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. BWM.2/Circ.19 (7/21/09).
IMO – safe handling of BWM chemicals
The IMO issued a circular providing guidance to ensure safe handling and storage of chemicals and preparations used to treat ballast water and the development of safety procedures for risks to the ship and crew resulting from the treatment process. BWM.2/Circ.20 (7/21/09).
IMO – engineering questionnaire on BWM systems
The IMO issued a circular forwarding an engineering questionnaire on ballast water management (BWM) systems. The document is intended to assist interested parties in the evaluation and comparison of different BWM systems. BWM.2/Circ.21 (7/21/09).
USCG – interagency Arctic awareness trip
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that members of the new Ocean Policy Task Force will be traveling throughout the US Arctic region on August 17-21 to observe ongoing activities and meet with local and indigenous community leaders and industry representatives. Participants in the Arctic awareness trip will include: Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant, US Coast Guard; Mr. David Hayes, Deputy Secretary, Department of the Interior; Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator; Ms. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ); and Ms. Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. (8/11/09).
USCG – Operation Arctic Crossroads
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it, the US Air Force, the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, and the US Public Health Service have deployed personnel to Nome beginning a 20-day initiative to provide medical, dental, optometry, boating safety awareness, and other community services to more than eight boroughs throughout northern Alaska and to determine operational effectiveness and overall capabilities of assets. (8/11/09).
Port Arthur – two towing vessels collide
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that two towing vessels collided at mile marker 312 on the Intracoastal Waterway near Port Arthur, Texas. One of the vessels has partially sunk. The crew has been evacuated and is safe. Minor pollution has been reported. The incident is under investigation. A second news release states that the sunken tug has been refloated and the waterway has been reopened. (8/11/09).
IOPCF – meetings
The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) issued a notice stating that on October 12-16, it will host meetings of the 1992 Fund Assembly, the 1992 Fund Executive Committee, the Supplementary Fund Assembly, and the 1971 Fund Administrative Council. (8/10/09).
EMSA – August newsletter
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued its newsletter for August 2009. This edition discusses, among other things, the recent meetings of the Consultative Technical Group for Cooperation in Marine Accident Investigation (CTG CMAI) and the EMSA/DG Environment workshop on Coordinated Sea/Shoreline Response, both hosted by EMSA. (8/11/09).
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 – August 2009