Headlines: Port of NY/NJ – truck replacement program; USCG – investigation of Port Arthur marine casualty; CBP – mutual recognition of cargo security measures; NOAA and FWS – loggerhead sea turtle to be proposed as endangered; DOT – report on capital improvement requirements of USMMA; House – hearing on vessel capacity; IMO – Saudi Arabia signs Djibouti Code of Conduct; EMSA – oil spill response exercise in Black Sea; Australia – reports on Pacific Adventurer pollution response; and UK – Light Dues rates revised.
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Port of NY/NJ – truck replacement program
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that the Port Authority, with funding totaling $28 million provided by the states of New York and New Jersey and by the federal government, is launching a truck replacement program to retire old trucks that service the port with newer, low emission trucks. (3/10/10).
USCG – investigation of Port Arthur marine casualty
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the first day of the formal hearing into the January 23 marine casualty at Port Arthur has concluded. The USCG Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) training director testified concerning the audio recording of the ship-to-ship radio communications. The mast, chief engineer, and pilot of the Eagle Otome testified as to circumstances up to the point of the accident. (3/9/10).
CBP – mutual recognition of cargo security measures
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a bulletin explaining its Mutual Recognition program. Mutual recognition with a foreign Customs Administration acknowledges that the two administrations have fundamentally equivalent cargo security systems (i.e., the foreign system is basically the same as the US Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism – C-TPAT). As of January 2010, Mutual Recognition Arrangements have been signed with New Zealand, Canada, Jordan, and Japan. Discussions regarding possible Mutual Recognition Arrangements are currently ongoing with Korea, Singapore, and the European Union. (March 2010). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
NOAA and FWS – loggerhead sea turtle to be proposed as endangered
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will soon propose that the North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic populations of the loggerhead sea turtle be designated as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). (3/10/10).
DOT – report on capital improvement requirements of USMMA
The Department of Transportation released the report of the US Merchant Marine Academy Capital Improvement Advisory Panel. The report concludes that current capital, maintenance, and modernization needs far outpace available funding. The report recommends, among other things, that a clear and comprehensive strategic plan be developed to guide capital investment and that recapitalization funding be significantly increased. (3/10/10).
House – hearing on vessel capacity
On March 17, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct a hearing on the Capacity of Vessels to Meet US Import and Export Requirements. (3/10/10).
IMO – Saudi Arabia signs the Djibouti Code of Conduct
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed the Code of Conduct on the Suppression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (Djibouti Code of Conduct). To date the Djibouti Code has also been signed by: Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Yemen. (3/10/10).
EMSA – oil spill response exercise in Black Sea
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued a press release stating that it participated in an oil spill response exercise in the Black Sea off the Port of Varna organized by the Bulgarian Maritime Administration. (3/10/10).
Australia – reports on Pacific Adventurer pollution response
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) released the reports of the Incident Analysis Team (IAT) the examined the response to the pollution from the marine casualty involving the container ship Pacific Adventurer off the coast of Queensland on 11 March 2009. The Operational and Technical Issues Report concludes that overall the response to the incident was effective and generally in accordance with the policies and procedures set out in the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and Other Noxious and Hazardous Substances. The Strategic Issues Report recommends that legislation be adopted to provide a legal mandate for the national oil spill response plan and immunity to response personnel, as well as better integration of national and state response plans. (February 2010).
UK – Light Dues rates revised
The UK Department for Transport released the statement by Paul Clark MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, announcing a revision to the planned level of light dues rates from 1 April 2010. Mr. Clark notes that cost reductions instituted by the three General Lighthouse Authorities have allowed the planned increase in light dues rates to be reduced by 2p, so that the light dues rate will stand at 41p per net registered ton as of 1 April 2010. (3/10/10). Note: Light dues had been set at 35p per net registered ton for some years. Effective 1 July 2009, the dues rate was increased to 39p, with a further increase to 43p planned for 1 April 2010. Following strenuous objection from the shipping industry, the upcoming increase has been halved.
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