Headlines: MARAD – National Maritime Day Commemoration; DHS – port security grants; DOJ – Somali pirate pleads guilty; San Clemente Island – safety zone; Puget Sound – temporary safety zone; Sector Seattle – security zone around USN submarines; MARAD – administrative waivers; Massachusetts – petition for “no discharge” zone; MARAD – Public Infrastructure Financing Forum; House – hearing on oil spill prevention and response measures; GAO – report on SLSDC Asset Renewal Program; EC – funding for motorways of the sea projects; Australia – ship incident in Torres Strait; and Philippines – hijacked tug and barge recovered.
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MARAD – National Maritime Day Commemoration
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that the National Maritime Day Commemoration will be held aboard the N.S. Savannah in the Port of Baltimore on May 22. The observance honors the American merchant marine. (5/18/10).
DHS – port security grants
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a news release stating that nearly $790 million is being made available in critical infrastructure and preparedness grants for FY 2010. Of this amount, $288 million will be for the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), to protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness and risk management capabilities, conduct training and exercises, and support implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). This is in addition to the $150 million in port security grants provided by the Recovery Act. (5/13/10).
DOJ – Somali pirate pleads guilty
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, the Somali pirate who led the hijacking of the US-flag container ship Maersk Alabama in the Indian Ocean on April 9, 2009, pleaded guilty in federal court to two felony counts of hijacking a maritime vessel, two felony counts of kidnapping, and two felony counts of hostage taking. He had also participated in two earlier hijackings. He is scheduled for sentencing on October 19. (5/18/10).
San Clemente Island – safety zone
The US Coast Guard is establishing a three nautical mile safety zone in certain waters around San Clemente Island to protect the public from potentially hazardous military training and testing exercises. The rule comes into effect on June 21. 75 Fed. Reg. 28194 (May 20, 2010).
Puget Sound – temporary safety zone
The US Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on May 25 on certain waters of Puget Sound near Port Madison to reduce risks to vessels and persons participating in the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division Marine Rescue Response full-scale exercise. 75 Fed. Reg. 28200 (May 20, 2010).
Sector Seattle – security zone around USN submarines
The US Coast Guard is establishing a moving security zone around any US Navy submarine that is operating in the Sector Seattle Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone and is being escorted by the US Coast Guard. The rule comes into effect immediately. 75 Fed. Reg. 28202 (May 20, 2010).
MARAD – administrative waivers
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is amending the definition of “eligible vessel” to be considered for a waiver of the coastwise trade laws to operate as small passenger vessels or uninspected passenger vessels authorized to carry no more than twelve passengers for hire. The new definition of eligible vessel deletes the requirement that the vessel be five net tons or more. The amendment comes into effect on June 21. 75 Fed. Reg. 28205 (May 20, 2010).
Massachusetts – petition for “no discharge” zone
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it received a petition from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requesting a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for waters of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, Amesbury, West Newbury, Merrimac, Groveland, North Andover, Haverhill, Methuen, and Lawrence (collectively termed the Upper North Shore). Comments on this petition must be submitted by June 21. 75 Fed. Reg. 28245 (May 20, 2010). Note: Commercial vessels operating in or intending to operate in these waters should take heed.
MARAD – Public Infrastructure Financing Forum
The Public Infrastructure Financing Forum, co-sponsored by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), will be held on May 25 in Los Angeles. (5/19/10).
House – hearing on oil spill prevention and response measures
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on Oil Spill Prevention and Response Measures, and Natural Resource Impacts. Mr. Lamar McKay, BP America, testified concerning efforts to stop the flow of oil and to clean up the oil that has been discharged. Mr. Steven Newman, Transocean, testified concerning efforts to determine the cause of the casualty. Ms. Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency, testified concerning EPA’s work in support of the oil spill response. Dr. Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, testified concerning NOAA’s work in support of the oil spill response. Ms. S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, Minerals Management Service, testified concerning MMS’s regulation of offshore oil and gas development. Rear Admiral Brian Salerno, US Coast Guard, testified concerning the federal government’s response to the oil spill. Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society, testified concerning the impact of the oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. Mr. Larry Schweiger, National Wildlife Federation, testified concerning the long-term and short-term impacts of the spill. Mr. Pete Gerica, Gerica Seafood, testified concerning the impacts of the spill on the seafood industry. Dr. Carys Mitchelmore, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, testified concerning the limited data available regarding the long-term effects of oil spills. Dr. Nancy Kinner, Coastal Response Research Center, testified concerning the limited research that has been done to date regarding the effectiveness and impact of dispersants. (5/19/10).
GAO – report on SLSDC Asset Renewal Program
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the Asset Renewal Program (ARP) of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). The ARP is a dedicated effort to repair and modernize the US Seaway infrastructure. The report is generally supportive of the ARP, not notes that the cost estimating process has room for improvement. GAO-10-541R (5/13/10).
EC – funding for motorways of the sea projects
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it is making an additional €85 million of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) available to finance motorway of the sea projects to provide viable alternatives for congested roads by shifting freight to sea routes. (5/19/10).
Australia – ship incident in Torres Strait
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a news release stating that a timber carrier en route from Papua New Guinea to China grounded briefly on an uncharted reef in Papua New Guinea waters. As a result of the grounding, the vessel is taking on water and may be leaking fuel oil. When the vessel entered Australian waters, the AMSA issued an intervention order directing it to anchor so that the damage can be evaluated. The evaluation has not revealed any oil entering the water from the vessel. (5/20/10).
Philippines – hijacked tug and barge recovered
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Update stating that the tug Atlantic 3 and barge Atlantic 5 which were hijacked on April 27 while off the coast of Malaysia have been recovered. They were located in a harbor on the southern coast of Mindanao, The Philippines. The six persons on board have been arrested. (5/19/10).
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