Headlines: NATO – pirates release tug and barge; DOJ – third crewmember pleads guilty; DOT – transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing; Bill introduced re qualified withdrawals from capital construction fund; Fall River – USCG letter of recommendation re proposed LNG facility; David Matsuda sworn in as Deputy Maritime Administrator; and Arctic Security Policy & Law Conference.
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NATO – pirates release tug and barge
The NATO Shipping Centre issued an update stating that, on August 2, Somalian pirates released the Malaysian tug Masindra and the barge AMD 1. The tug and barge, with a crew of 11, were hijacked in December. The crew are reported to be safe and in good health. (8/3/09).
DOJ – third crewmember pleads guilty
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a third crewmember of a cargo ship pleaded guilty in federal court to violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and making false statements to the US Coast Guard. The crewmember, who served as the chief engineer, admitted ordering others in the crew to discharge bilge waste directly overboard after the oily water separator ceased functioning. He intentionally failed to note those discharges in the ship’s oil record book and then presented the oil record book to the Coast Guard boarding officer upon arrival in the United States. The master and chief mate previously pleaded guilty to pollution charges. (7/30/09).
DOT – transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule reinstating the requirement for direct observation collections for return-to-duty and follow-up workplace drug and alcohol tests. This provision had been stayed by a federal court order, but the stay has now been lifted. The reinstated requirement comes into effect on August 31. Note: This requirement applies to the US merchant marine because the US Coast Guard follows the DOT drug and alcohol testing program. 74 Fed. Reg. 37949 (July 30, 2009).
Bill introduced re qualified withdrawals from capital construction fund
Representative Davis (D-AL) introduced the Vessel Repair Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R. 3370) to permit qualified withdrawals from a capital construction fund account for the maintenance or repair of United States-flag vessels provided that the maintenance or repair is performed within the United States. (7/29/09).
Fall River – USCG letter of recommendation for proposed LNG facility
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it issued a letter of recommendation regarding a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) offshore berth in Mount Hope Bay near Fall River, Massachusetts. The letter of determination, which has been sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), validated the navigation safety and maritime security aspects of the proposal. FERC will consider the letter of determination in making its decision regarding whether to grant a license for construction and operation of the proposed LNG import facility. (7/30/09).
MARAD – David Matsuda sworn in as Deputy Maritime Administrator
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that David T. Matsuda has been sworn in as Deputy Maritime Administrator. He was named Deputy Maritime Administrator by the President on July 28. (7/31/09).
USN – Arctic Security Policy & Law Conference
The US Naval War College, in cooperation with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is presenting a conference entitled Arctic Security Policy and Law in an Age of Climate Change. The conference will be in Newport on September 22-23. Interested individuals may register on-line. (7/31/09).
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