Headlines: Somalia – hijacked vessel arrives at pirate stronghold; Freeport, Texas – security zone; Sparrows Point LNG Terminal – revised draft final general conformity determination; Reedsport, Oregon – proposed wave energy project; OFAC – Cuban Assets Control Regulations; NOAA – proposal to revise marine mammal permit regulations; USCG – single voyage load line authorizations; USCG – requesting a USCG Traveling Examination Team; EPA – assessments of Hudson River dredging; FMC – ocean carrier and intermediaries pay $625,000 in settlements; NTSB – fatigue endangers workers and passengers; Senate – bill introduced to expand offshore wind credits; House – bill introduced to protect and restore the Great Lakes; Panama Canal – February operations summary; UK – WWII mine found in Portland Harbour; and Caution – earthquake moved Chile.
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. An above-average newsletter.
Somalia – hijacked vessel arrives at pirate stronghold
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that the chemical tanker UBT Ocean, which was hijacked on March 5, has arrived off the pirate stronghold of Haradere, Somalia. (3/9/10).
Freeport, Texas – security zone
The US Coast Guard is establishing a permanent security zone in waters of the LNG Basin at the port of Freeport, Texas. The security zone comes into effect on April 9. 75 Fed. Reg. 11000 (March 10, 2010).
Sparrows Point LNG Terminal – revised draft final general conformity determination
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice stating that it prepared a revised draft Final General Conformity Determination (GCD) to assess potential air quality impacts associated with construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and natural gas pipeline proposed by AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC. Comments on the draft GCD should be submitted by March 31. 75 Fed. Reg. 11169 (March 10, 2010).
Reedsport, Oregon – proposed wave energy project
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice stating that it received an application for construction and operation of a wave energy project in waters of the Pacific Ocean approximately 2.5 miles off the coast near Reedsport, Oregon. The project would include ten wave-powered generating units attached to seabed anchors, tendon lines, subsurface floats, and catenary mooring lines. Coping meetings will be held in Reedsport (April 7) and Salem (April 8). 75 Fed. Reg. 11169 (March 10, 2010).
OFAC – Cuban Assets Control Regulations
The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (FERC) has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to implement a recent statutory enactment interpreting the term “payment of cash in advance” with respect to payment or financing terms for authorized exports from the United States to Cuba. The amendment comes into effect immediately. 75 Fed. Reg. 10996 (March 10, 2010).
NOAA – proposal to revise marine mammal permit regulations
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it intends to prepare an environmental assessment to analyze potential environmental impacts of a proposed rule to revise federal regulations relating to marine mammal special exception permit requirements. Comments should be submitted by May 10. 75 Fed. Reg. 11130 (March 10, 2010).
USCG – single voyage load line authorizations
The US Coast Guard issued a policy letter providing clarification on the issuance of single voyage load line authorizations, particularly regarding what is meant by the term “exceptional circumstances”. Regulations provide that a vessel that does not usually engage in domestic voyage by sea may, in exceptional circumstances, be issued a single voyage load line authorization by the Coast Guard stating the conditions under which the voyage may be made and any additional safety measures required for the voyage. This policy letter provides internal guidance on the meaning of exceptional circumstances. (3/4/10).
USCG – requesting a USCG Traveling Examination Team
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice explaining how to request a Traveling Examination Team (TET) to provide qualified merchant mariners located in regions of considerable distance from a Regional Examination Center (REC) with the ability to take required examinations without having to travel. There must be a group of at least 20 applicants in one location, which must be at least 150 miles from the nearest REC. In addition, the TET request must include a letter of undertaking (LOU) providing for the reimbursement of Coast Guard expenses associated with travel to the remote site. (3/8/10).
EPA – assessments of Hudson River dredging
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that the first phase of dredging PCB-contaminated sediment in the upper Hudson River has been completed. Separate technical assessments of the effectiveness of the dredging have been prepared by the EPA and the General Electric Corporation. These assessments have been submitted to a panel of independent scientific experts for review. (3/8/10).
FMC – ocean carrier and intermediaries pay $625,000 in settlements
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that agreements were reached with an ocean carrier and three intermediaries for payment of a total of $625,000 in settlement of alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984. (3/9/10).
NTSB – fatigue endangers workers and passengers
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a news release encouraging the sleep research and healthcare community to continue their efforts to educate transportation policy makers of the dangers of fatigue in all modes of transportation. (3/5/10).
Senate – bill introduced to expand offshore wind credits
Senator Carper (D-DE) introduced a bill (S. 3062) to extend credits related to the production of electricity from offshore wind, and for other purposes. (3/3/10).
House – bill introduced to protect and restore the Great Lakes
Representative Ehlers (R-MI) introduced the Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 4775) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Among the priorities cited in the bill is the prevention of invasive species. (3/4/10).
Panama Canal – February operations summary
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing Canal operations for the month of February. It includes the schedule of locks maintenance work for the remainder of the fiscal year. Advisory 04-2010 (3/4/10).
UK – WWII mine found in Portland Harbour
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that a one-ton German parachute mine dating from World War II has been found on the seabed in the middle of Portland Harbour. The mine was found by a survey vessel during a routine shoreline survey. It was lifted from the water, but carefully replaced when it was realized what the item was. A military explosive ordnance disposal team is preparing to dispose of the mine in deeper water. (3/9/10).
Caution – earthquake moved Chile
There are unofficial reports that the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile last month has moved parts of the nation. The city of Conception may have moved as much as ten feet to the west, while Santiago may have moved eleven inches to the west-southwest. Even areas outside Chile, including the Falkland Islands and Brazil, may have been affected. As yet, there are no reports of elevation changes, but mariners navigating waters in and around Chile should exercise caution until definitive new surveys are done. The 1964 earthquake in Alaska caused significant elevation changes, particularly at Kodiak Island, and resulted in a number of groundings until charts could be updated.
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 – March 2010