Headlines: Gulf of Mexico – update re MODU incident; DOI – Cape Wind energy project approved; EPA – control of emissions from large marine diesel engines; USCG – EIS re operations in Districts 11 and 13; FDA – implementation of Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005; FMC – proposal re NVOCC negotiated rate arrangements; Senate – bill introduced re election to terminate certain CCFs; IMO – meeting with EC Commissioner; Antigua & Barbuda – Proliferation Security Initiative Ship Boarding Agreement; and Hong Kong – dredging in Kowloon Bay.
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Gulf of Mexico – update re MODU incident
The Unified Command issued a news release providing an update on the oil spill response and oil well intervention efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. An accompanying photo release shows the controlled burn of oil on the water and other aspects of the spill response. An imagery release shows an overflight map and NOAA forecast maps. Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement summarizing President Obama’s telephone call to the Governors of the Gulf Coast states assuring them that the Administration will use every single available resource at its disposal in the response efforts. (4/29/10).
DOI – Cape Wind energy project approved
The Department of the Interior issued a news release stating that Secretary Salazar has approved the Cape Wind energy project to be constructed in waters off the State of Massachusetts, subject to additional binding measures to minimize the potential adverse impacts of construction and operation of the facility. (4/28/10).
EPA – control of emissions from large marine diesel engines
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing emission standards for new marine diesel engines with a per-cylinder displacement at or above 30 liters (called Category 3 marine diesel engines) installed on US vessels. These emission standards are equivalent to those adopted in amendments to Annex VI of MARPOL. The standards will apply in two stages – near-term standards for newly built engines will apply beginning in 2011; long-term standards requiring an 80% reduction in NOx emissions will begin in 2016. The rule also finalizes a change in the diesel fuel program that will allow for production and sale of 1,000 ppm sulfur fuel for use in Category 3 marine vessels. In addition, the new fuel requirements will generally forbid the production and sale of other fuels above 1,000 ppm sulfur for use in most US waters, unless alternative devices, procedures, or compliance methods are used to achieve equivalent emissions reductions. The final rule comes into effect on June 29. 75 Fed. Reg. 22895 (April 30, 2010). Note: This document is 171 pages.
USCG – EIS re operations in Districts 11 and 13
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it has completed its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to implement enhanced environmental protection measures, as necessary, for marine protected species (MPSs) and marine protected areas (MPAs) that occur in the Coast Guard’s District 11 (California) and District 13 (Oregon and Washington) areas of responsibilities (AORs). The FEIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of specific Coast Guard vessel and aircraft operations on MPSs and MPAs when engaged in: law enforcement; national security; search and rescue; aids to navigation; oil pollution response; and vessel casualty response. Comments on the FEIS should be submitted by June 1. 75 Fed. Reg. 22829 (April 30, 2010).
FDA – implementation of Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking data and information on the food transportation industry and its practices. The Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 requires the FDA to promulgate regulations setting forth sanitary transportation practices to be followed by shippers, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, receivers, and others engaged in food transport. Comments should be submitted by August 30. 75 Fed. Reg. 22713 (April 30, 2010).
FMC – proposal re NVOCC negotiated rate arrangements
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an advance copy of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would, if adopted, establish regulations providing an exemption for non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) agreeing to negotiated rate arrangements from certain provisions and requirements of the Shipping Act of 1984. The NPRM is explained in an accompanying news release. A public meeting on this proposal will be held in Washington, DC on May 24. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by June 4. (4/29/10).
Senate – bill introduced re election to terminate of certain CCFs
Senator Wyden (D-OR) introduced a bill (S. 3276) to provide an election to terminate certain capital construction funds without penalties. Although the official text of the bill is not yet available, Senator Wyden issued a press release explaining that, if enacted into law, the bill would allow commercial fishermen who had contributed to their Capital Construction Funds (CCFs) to make a one-time withdrawal without having to re-invest it in the fishing industry. (4/28/10).
IMO – meeting with EC Commissioner
The IMO issued a news release stating that Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos met European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki to discuss issues of mutual concern. The Secretary-General pointed out the importance of uniform international standards for shipping. The European Commissioner discussed the need for coordinated surveillance. (4/29/10).
Antigua & Barbuda – Proliferation Security Initiative Ship Boarding Agreement
The US Embassy in Barbados issued a news release stating that US Chargé d’Affaires D. Brent Hardt visited Antigua and Barbuda to sign a Proliferation Security Initiative Ship Boarding Agreement with the Government of that nation and to dedicate a new Coast Guard facility at English Harbor. (4/26/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
Hong Kong – dredging in Kowloon Bay
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice stating that, commencing 20 May and for a period of approximately four months, dredging operations will be carried out in Kowloon Bay. Vessels in the vicinity of the dredging should proceed with caution. Notice 60/2010 (4/29/10).
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 – April 2010