Headlines: White House – President to nominate Matsuda to head MARAD; DHS – grant application guidance kits; DHS OIG – review of USCG mission performance; CEQ – principles re water resources development projects; MARAD – Port Pelican LNG DWP license relinquished; FMC – passenger vessel financial responsibility; FMC – repeal of marine terminal agreement exemption; Seattle – security and safety zone for cruise ship protection; Palm Beach – gaming vessel stopped; EU – Council conclusions on the Horn of Africa; Chittagong – robbers attempt to board tug; Panama Canal – operations summary for November; and New Zealand – geckos in the knickers.
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White House – President to nominate Matsuda to head MARAD
The White House issued a press release stating that President Obama intends to nominate David T. Matsuda for Administrator of the US Maritime Administration (MARAD). Mr. Matsuda has served as the Deputy Administrator and Acting Administrator since July. (12/7/09).
DHS – grant application guidance kits target=”_blank”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a news release stating that grant application guidance kits are being made available for the 2010 grant programs. Grants for the 13 programs will total more than $2.7 billion. The Port Security Grant Program is funded at $288 million (a decrease of $100 million from 2009). (12/8/09).
DHS OIG – review of USCG mission performance
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued its annual review of the Coast Guard’s mission performance for fiscal year 2008. The report shows that for the seventh consecutive year, the Coast Guard dedicated more resource hours to homeland security missions than to non-homeland security missions. But, the data also shows that the gap in resource hours is narrowing. OIG-10-17 (12/8/09).
CEQ – principles re water resources development projects
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is seeking comments on its draft Principles and Standards. The draft document will form part of the Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies. When completed, the publication will be utilized by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other agencies for efforts related to water resources development programs and activities. Comments on the draft document should be submitted by March 5, 2010. 74 Fed. Reg. 65102 (December 9, 2009).
MARAD – Port Pelican LNG DWP license relinquished
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that the applicant for the Port Pelican liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP) relinquished its license effective October 28. 74 Fed. Reg. 65205 (December 9, 2009).
FMC – passenger vessel financial responsibility
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice of inquiry seeking information regarding the benefits and burdens of the current FMC requirements by which passenger vessel operators (PVOs) establish proof of financial responsibility in the event of nonperformance of a contracted cruise from a US port. The FMC is particularly interested in three issues: (1) cost of compliance with the requirement; (2) adequacy of nonperformance coverage; and (3) practices of sureties, credit card companies, and others. Comments should be submitted by February 10, 2010. 74 Fed. Reg. 65125 (December 9, 2009).
FMC – repeal of marine terminal agreement exemption
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a final rule repealing the marine terminal agreements exemption, which had exempted such agreements from the Shipping Act’s 45-day statutory waiting period. The amendment comes into effect on December 10. 74 Fed. Reg. 63383 (December 9, 2009).
Seattle – security and safety zone for cruise ship protection
The US Coast Guard is adopting as a final rule its prior interim rule establishing a security and safety zone on waters of Elliott Bay in Seattle for protection of cruise ships. The final rule comes into effect on January 8, 2010. 74 Fed. Reg. 65019 (December 9, 2009).
Palm Beach – gaming vessel stopped
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has revoked the Certificate of Compliance for a gaming vessel operating out of Palm Beach, Florida. The vessel had suffered an engine casualty in September and was given three months to repair the engines. In the meantime, it was required to have a tug escort when entering or leaving port. The Certificate of Compliance was revoked when the engine was not repaired within the three-month period. (12/8/09).
EU – Council conclusions on the Horn of Africa
The Council of the European Union (EU) issued a press release stating that the nations of the Horn of Africa in meeting their various challenges, including the fight against piracy. (12/8/09).
Chittagong – robbers attempt to board tug
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that robbers attempted to board a tug anchored off Chittagong, Bangladesh. The Officer-on-watch sounded the alarm and notified the local authorities. As a patrol boat approached, the robbers fled. (12/8/09).
Panama Canal – operations summary for November
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing operations for the month of November. It also includes the schedule for locks maintenance work for the remainder of the fiscal year. Advisory 24-2009 (12/4/09).
New Zealand – geckos in the knickers
As part of my continuing effort to keep long-suffering readers abreast of the latest developments in law enforcement and conservation, please note that the New Zealand Customs Service issued a news release stating that it recently caught a German tourist attempting to depart the country with 44 endangered New Zealand geckos and skinks hidden in his underwear. (12/8/09).
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 – December 2009