Headlines: USCG, USN, and FEMA – responding to Haitian earthquake; NOAA – ocean and coastal mapping contracting policy; Palmyra Atoll – environmental impact statement; MARAD – three more obsolete ships to be recycled; Morehead City – update on response to explosives spill; CRS – analysis of DHS appropriations for FY2010; Ireland – search for containers lost overboard; and USCG Hurricane and Heavy Weather Contingency Plans – updated.
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. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog.
USCG, USN, and FEMA – responding to Haitian earthquake
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that four cutters and one C-130 transport airplane have been diverted to assist in response to the recent earthquake in Haiti. (1/12/10). A second news release states that additional Coast Guard asserts have been sent to Haiti. A third news release links to a video of a Coast Guard damage assessment flight over Haiti. A fourth news release provides further updates. (1/13/10). Meanwhile, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued a news release stating that the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is being sent to Haiti and that diversion of other assets is under consideration. (1/13/10). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a news release stating that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also preparing to assist. It also notes that the USCGC Forward was the first US asset to arrive on scene following the earthquake. Last, but not least, are a series of Haiti port pictures provided through the courtesy of my friend Ronald Signorino of The Blueoceana Company. (1/13/10).
NOAA – ocean and coastal mapping contracting policy
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued the NOAA Ocean and Coastal Mapping Contracting Policy. This replaces the 2006 NOAA Hydrographic Services Contracting Policy. 75 Fed. Reg. 2109 (January 14, 2010).
Palmyra Atoll – environmental impact statement
The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a notice stating that it intends to prepare an environmental impact statement to evaluate eradication of nonnative rats on Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. The atoll is located in the central Pacific Ocean approximately 1,000 miles south of Hawaii. Rats reached the atoll during military operations in World War II. Comments on the environmental issues should be submitted by March 1. 75 Fed. Reg. 2158 (January 14, 2010).
MARAD – three more obsolete ships to be recycled
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that contracts have been signed for the cleaning and recycling of three more obsolete ships. The ships (including the last two Victory ships owned by MARAD) are currently in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet. Their hulls will be cleaned of marine growth and loose exterior paint in San Francisco. They will then be towed to Brownsville, Texas for conversion into razor blades. (1/6/10).
Morehead City – update on response to explosives spill
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Unified Command continues with the response to the spill of explosives in the Port of Morehead City, North Carolina. The waterways are open, but there is a safety zone around the affected facility. (1/13/10).
CRS – analysis of DHS appropriations for FY2010
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued an analysis of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act for 2010 (Pub.L. 111-83). Overall, the legislation provides $51.9 billion to the DHS for the current fiscal year. The CRS report includes discussion of a variety of individual programs. With regard to scanning of 100% of containers prior to being transported to the United States, it quotes a committee report: “It has become increasingly clear that, at least for now, a 100 percent scanning goal is not feasible, and even if it were, would come at an unacceptably high cost monetarily and in the displacement of other efforts.” US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is required to submit a report to Congress no later than February 1, 2010 on its strategy to achieve meaningful cargo and supply chain security in the absence of the 100% scanning requirement. The report also discusses Coast Guard programs, including marine safety, Loran-C, and Arctic activity. R40642 (12/14/09).
Ireland – search for containers lost overboard
The Irish Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it is searching for seven shipping containers that were lost overboard from a small coastal feeder-vessel during a storm off the southern coast of Ireland. One of the containers is believed to contain hazardous material (sodium bromated). The incident is under investigation. (1/12/10).
USCG Hurricane and Heavy Weather Contingency Plans – updated
My website – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting – includes a page titled “Hurricane Contingency Plans”. It includes what I believe to be the current versions of hurricane and heavy weather contingency plans from numerous Coast Guard sectors. It has recently been updated to include the 2009-2010 Operating Procedures for Severe Weather in the Aleutian Islands and Pribilof Islands, promulgated by Captain of the Port, Western Alaska and the Maritime Heavy Weather Plan for Sector Long Island Sound. If you are aware of a plan that is not on my list, or an updated version of a currently included plan, please advise me so that my list can be corrected.
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 – January 2010