Headlines: Massachusetts – ferry company to pay fine and issue public apology; DOJ – guilty plea re bribery of Panamanian officials; Great Lakes – Ballast Water Working Group report; Competition – CGLANTAREA Director of Operations blog; DHS – Fourth Annual University Network Summit; Australia – accommodation ladders and gangways; and Australia – counter-piracy advisory.
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Massachusetts – ferry company to pay fine and issue public apology
The Department of Justice issued a press release stating that a ferry company based in Marblehead, Massachusetts pled guilty in federal court to charges that it dumped raw sewage into North Shore waters for many years. Under terms of the plea agreement, the company will pay a fine of $300,000 and publish apologies in regional newspapers. The company will be on probation for three years, during which it must report its activities to the US Coast Guard and properly dispose of its sewage. (2/8/10).
DOJ – guilty plea re bribery of Panamanian officials
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a Virginia businessman pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to pay bribes to former Panamanian government officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Under the conspiracy, monies were paid to the Panamanian officials for the award of contracts to maintain lighthouses and buoys along Panamanian waterways. As part of his plea agreement, the defendant will forfeit $331,000, which represents the proceeds of the crime. At sentencing, scheduled for May, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss. (2/10/10).
Great Lakes – Ballast Water Working Group report
The US Coast Guard posted the 2009 Summary of the Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group. During 2009, 100% of vessels bound for the Great Lakes Seaway received a ballast tank examination. A total of 5450 ballast tanks, on 295 vessels, were sampled. The compliance rate was 97.9%. Vessels that failed to properly manage their ballast tanks were required to either retain the ballast water and residuals on board, treat the ballast water in an environmentally sound and approved manner, or return to sea to conduct a ballast water exchange. (2/10/10).
Competition – CGLANTAREA Director of Operations Blog
Rear Admiral Jim Watson, Director of Operations, USCG Atlantic Area Command has established his own blog – CGLANTAREA Director of Operations. It focuses on USCG news releases, and pictures of incidents, operations, and events that reinforce the operational relationship between the Coast Guard and professional mariners. I, for one, intend to steal from it as often as possible. (2/10/10).
DHS – Fourth Annual University Network Summit
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is sponsoring the Fourth Annual University Network Summit, to be held March 10-12 in Washington, DC. The theme of this year’s summit is “Science & Technology for Intelligent Resilience”. (2/10/10).
Australia – accommodation ladders and gangways
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice reminding stakeholders of the requirement to inspect and maintain accommodation ladders and gangways. The SOLAS Convention provisions in this regard have been amended recently, as have associated IMO guidelines. Notice 4/2010 (2/10/10).
Australia – counter-piracy advisory
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice advising that the Australian Government recently published counter-piracy advisory guidelines and an associated brochure. These documents provide a wide range of advice to address the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea. Notice 5/2010 (2/10/10).
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