Headlines: House – hearing on Asian carp and the Great Lakes; House – bill introduced to prevent spread of Asian carp; CEQ – Asian carp control; FMC – meeting rescheduled; MERPAC meeting; NOAA – petition to list 83 species of coral as threatened; National Sea Grant Advisory Board meeting; CBP – C-TPAT information collection; Somalia – pirates release hijacked bulk carrier; Australia – cargo ship refused entry due to beetles on board; and UK – consultation on ship-to-ship transfers.
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House – hearing on Asian carp and the Great Lakes
The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on Asian carp and the Great Lakes. In his statement, Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) discussed the threat posed by the Asian carp to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Mr. Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), testified concerning EPA’s role in the process and the draft Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. MGEN John Peabody, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), testified concerning USACE’s efforts to date and its plans for upcoming efforts to stop the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes via the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. Mr. Marc Miller, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, testified concerning actions that the State of Illinois intends to take to reduce the possibility that Asian carp will invade the Great Lakes. Ms. Rebecca Humphries, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, testified concerning the potential impact on Great Lakes fisheries if the Asian carp enter the Lakes. Mr. Matt Frank, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, outlined a multi-prong strategy to deter the further spread of the Asian carp, including proposed measures for the Wisconsin portion of the Mississippi River. Professor David Lodge, University of Notre Dame, explained scientific issues related to the Asian carp problem. Dr. Michael Hansen, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, discussed the potential threat posed by the Asian carp and lessons learned from the sea lamprey invasion. Mr. Del Wilkins, American Waterways Operators (AWO), testified concerning the economic impact that would result if the navigational link between the Great Lakes and the Illinois River were to be severed. Mr. Joel Brammeier, Alliance for the Great Lakes, testified that a permanent ecological separation between the Illinois River and the Great Lakes is the only sure way to prevent the Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. (2/9/10).
House – bill introduced to prevent spread of Asian carp
Representative Hoekstra (R-MI) introduced the Asian Carp Action Plan Act of 2010 (H.R. 4604) to direct the Secretary of the Army to prevent the spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes and the tributaries of the Great Lakes, and for other purposes. (2/4/10).
CEQ – Asian carp control
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the draft Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. This plan lays out a multi-prong approach to controlling the Asian carp problem. (2/8/10).
FMC – meeting rescheduled
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that its planned February 10 meeting has been rescheduled for February 18. (2/9/10).
MERPAC – meeting
The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Metairie, Louisiana on March 11-12 to discuss various issues related to the training and fitness of merchant marine personnel. 75 Fed. Reg. 6680 (February 10, 2010).
NOAA – petition to list 83 species of coral as threatened
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it received a petition to list 83 species of coral as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Comments on the petition should be submitted by April 12. 75 Fed. Reg. 6616 (February 10, 2010).
National Sea Grant Advisory Board – meeting
The National Sea Grant Advisory Board, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will meet in Washington, DC on March 9-10. 75 Fed. Reg. 6637 (February 10, 2010).
CBP – C-TPAT information collection
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is seeking comments on its proposal to extend the existing authorization to collect information relating to the Customs and Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. CBP estimates that the current information collection effort affects 6,500 respondents and takes the average respondent five hours to complete. Comments on the information collection process should be submitted by April 12. 75 Fed. Reg. 6678 (February 10, 2010).
Somalia – pirates release hijacked bulk carrier
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the bulk carrier Al Khaliq, with a crew of 26, has been released by Somali pirates after payment of a ransom. The vessel was hijacked in the Somali Basin on 22 October 2009. (2/9/10).
Australia – cargo ship refused entry due to beetles on board
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) issued a media release stating that it refused a cargo ship permission to enter Australia after the master reported that burnt pine longicorn beetles had been found on board. This beetle, which is found in Europe, is not known to occur in Australia. It damages pine trees by tunneling in the wood. (2/8/10).
UK – consultation on ship-to-ship transfers
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that it has launched a public consultation on proposals for new legislation to regulate ship-to-ship (STS) transfers and bunkering operations of oil in the UK waters. The proposed legislation would regulate STS transfers consisting wholly or mainly of oil such that: (1) cargo transfers could only take place after an application to the Secretary of State by a harbor authority for an oil transfer license; (2) once the license was granted, cargo transfers within the scope of the license could be authorized by the harbor authority; and (3) bunkering operations could only take place in harbor areas, but no oil transfer license would be required. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by March 22. (2/9/10).
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 – February 2010