Headlines: Unified Command – “top kill” procedure approved; USCG-MMS – Joint Investigation witness list; Sabine-Neches Waterway – security zones proposed; APHIS – interstate movement of garbage from Hawaii; New York – “no discharges” zones for State Canal System; House – hearing on OCS oil and gas strategy; Senate – bill introduced to create economic injury claims system; House – bill introduced to increase liability for economic damages; Australia – National Aids to Navigation Symposium; and New Zealand – Guide to Marine Pollution Rules.
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Unified Command – “top kill” procedure approved
The Unified Command issued a news release stating that the Federal On-Scene Coordinator, Rear Admiral Mary Landry, has granted approval for BP to begin proceeding with their attempt to cap the MC252 oil well using the technique known as “top kill”. (5/26/10).
USCG-MMS – Joint Investigation witness list
The US Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service (MMS) posted the witness list for the next session of the Joint Investigation of the MODU Deepwater Horizon casualty. The session will be held in Kenner, Louisiana on May 27. (5/25/10).
Sabine-Neches Waterway – security zones proposed
The US Coast Guard proposes to establish moving security zones for certain vessels for which the Captain of the Port (COTP) Port Arthur deems enhanced security measures are necessary. In addition, a 100-foot security zone is proposed around liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers while moored at either the Golden Pass LNG facility in Sabine or the Sabine Pass LNG facility in Cheniere. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by June 28. 75 Fed. Reg. 29695 (May 27, 2010).
APHIS – interstate movement of garbage from Hawaii
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a notice stating that it has prepared an environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact relative to a request to allow interstate movement of garbage from Hawaii to a landfill in the State of Washington. 75 Fed. Reg. 29706 (May 27, 2010).
New York – “no discharge” zones for State Canal System
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for waters of the New York State Canal System. 75 Fed. Reg. 29757 (May 27, 2010).
House – hearing on OCS oil and gas strategy
The House Committee on Natural Resources conducted a hearing on OCS Oil and Gas Strategy and Implications. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar testified efforts to stop the flow of oil and plans to reorganize the Minerals Management Service (MMS). Ms. Mary Kendall, DOI Office of the Inspector General, testified concerning programmatic weakness and egregious misconduct regarding MMS oversight of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Rear Admiral James Watson, USCG testified regarding efforts to respond to the ongoing oil spill. Dr. Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), testified concerning efforts to minimize the spill’s impact on natural resources. Ms. Elizabeth Birnbaum, Minerals Management Service (MMS), testified with regard to the involvement of MMS in efforts to stop the flow of oil and to determine the root cause of the casualty. (5/26/10).
Senate – bill introduced to create economic injury claims system
Senator Vitter (R-LA) introduced a bill (S. 3410) to create a fair and efficient system to resolve claims of victims for economic injury caused by the Deepwater Horizon incident, and to direct the Secretary of the Interior to renegotiate the terms of the lease known as ``Mississippi Canyon 252'' with respect to claims relating to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill that exceed existing applicable economic liability limitations. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted, but Senator Vitter issued a news release discussing the bill. (5/25/10).
House – bill introduced to increase liability for economic damages
Representative Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Oil Spill Response and Assistance Act (H.R. 5356) 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. (5/20/10).
Australia – National Aids to Navigation Symposium
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that it and the South Australia Department of Transport, Energy, and Infrastructure co-hosted the 2010 National Aids to Navigation Symposium in Adelaide on 24-26 May. (5/26/10).
New Zealand – Guide to Marine Pollution Rules
Maritime New Zealand posted its Guide to Marine Pollution Rules. The guide is an introduction to provisions of New Zealand maritime law to protect the marine environment from pollution by ships and offshore installations and from dumping of waste at sea. (5/26/10).
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