Headlines: USCG – updated ports matrix re transit of weapons; USCG – Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise; FMC – notice of public meeting schedule; Senate – hearing re offshore oil and gas development; Senate – hearing on response efforts to the Gulf Coast oil spill; Senate – bill introduced re vessel discharge permits; Senate – bill introduced to increase OPA 90 liability cap; Court – OCSLA workers’ compensation benefits; IMO – cooperation can provide anti-piracy blueprint; Paris MOU – New Inspection Regime (NIR) adopted; Australia – update re Shen Neng 1; Canada – new regulations re onboard emergencies; Canada – new regulations for small vessels; and UK – oversized, oversexed, and over here.
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. No added salt or MSG.
USCG – updated ports matrix re transit of weapons
The US Coast Guard posted an updated ports matrix showing responses received from various nations as to their restrictions on transit of weapons through their ports. (5/18/10).
USCG – Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, on May 22, it will commission the Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise in Paducah, Kentucky. (5/18/10).
FMC – notice of public meeting schedule
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice providing the schedule for the May 24 public meeting regarding NVOCC negotiated rate arrangements. (5/18/10).
Senate – hearing re offshore oil and gas development
On May 18, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources conducted a hearing regarding Offshore Oil and Gas Development. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified that BP has accepted responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and is working to stop the flow of oil and clean up the oil that has been spilled. BP has also confirmed that it will pay for all removal costs and damages regardless of whether the statutory liability cap in the Oil Pollution Act applies. (5/18/10).
Senate – hearing on response efforts to the Gulf Coast oil spill
On May 18, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation conducted a hearing on Response Efforts to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill. Opening statements were made by Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) made opening statements. Admiral Thad Allen, US Coast Guard, testified concerning the ongoing response effort. Ms. Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, testified regarding support provided by NOAA. Mr. Lamar McKay, BP America, testified regarding efforts to stop the flow of oil and to clean up the oil that has been discharged. Mr. Steven Newman, Transocean Ltd., testified regarding efforts to drill a relief well and to determine the cause of the casualty. Dr. Deborah French McCay, Applied Science Associates, testified concerning potential impacts of the oil spill on marine and coastal ecosystems. (5/18/10).
Senate – bill introduced re vessel discharge permits
Senator Boxer (D-CA) introduced a bill (S. 3372) to modify the date on which the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and applicable States may require permits for discharges from certain vessels. (5/13/10).
Senate – bill introduced to increase OPA 90 liability cap
Senator Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Oil Spill Response and Assistance Act (S. 3375) to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to increase the cap on liability for economic damages resulting from an oil spill, and for other purposes. (5/13/10).
Court – OCSLA workers’ compensation benefits
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an employee need not be injured on the outer continental shelf (OCS) to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). In the instant case, the decedent was killed while working at the employer’s onshore facility. He spend 98% of his time, though, working at one of the employer’s facilities located on the OCS. He was injured and killed while consolidating scrap metal that had been brought ashore from the OCS facilities. The claim of decedent’s representative for OCSLA benefits was denied because the incident did not occur on the OCS. The representative appealed. The court reversed the denial, holding that the claimant need only establish a substantial nexus between the injury and extractive operations on the OCS. Valladolid v. Pacific Operations Offshore LLP, No. 08-73862 (9th Cir., May 13, 2010).
IMO – cooperation can provide anti-piracy blueprint
The IMO issued a news release stating that Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos told the UN General Assembly that multilateral cooperation arrangements can provide the means to reduce the risk of piracy attacks on innocent ships. (5/17/10).
Paris MOU – New Inspection Regime (NIR) adopted
Transport Ireland issued a press release stating that the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control held its 43rd Committee Meeting in Dublin on 10-14 May. The meeting adopted the New Inspection Regime (NIR), which will enter into force on 1 January 2011. The NIR is a risk-based targeting mechanism, intended to reward quality shipping with a smaller inspection burden and concentrate on high-risk ships. (5/14/10).
Australia – update re Shen Neng 1
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) issued a media release stating that the first phase of lightering of coal from the damaged bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 has been completed. Coal in the amount of 7,500 tons was transferred to the first of several vessels and it has now departed. Transfer operations involving a second ship have commenced. A total of 19,000 tons of coal is to be transferred so that the Shen Neng 1 can safety be towed overseas for repair. (5/17/10).
Canada – new regulations re onboard emergencies
Transport Canada issued a news release announcing new regulations relating to passenger and crew safety with regard to onboard emergencies and abandonment of the vessel. The new regulations, which came into effect on May 12, make practice drills more realistic and efficient. (5/14/10).
Canada – new regulations for small vessels
Transport Canada issued a news release announcing new regulations for small vessels, including tour boats, work boats, and human-powered vessels. Among other things, the regulations increase the compatibility of small vessel construction requirements with those of the United States and Europe. (5/17/10).
UK – oversized, oversexed, and over here
The UK Environment Agency has stumbled on an eye-catching phrase to highlight in a news release the problems presented by non-indigenous species. (5/18/10).
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 – May 2010