Headlines: USCG – cascading of OSRO resources in support of oil spill; Deepwater Horizon/Mississippi Canyon spill – websites; USCG – unified command activated for West Coast of Florida; DHS – high level discussion re oil spill response; OFAC – Somalia sanctions regulations; Duluth – temporary safety zone; FWS – critical habitat for polar bear; North Carolina – chief engineer pleads guilty; Senate – proposal to increase limit of liability for offshore facility spill; Gulf of Aden – suspected pirate skiff stopped; and Singapore – bunker licensing regime.
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USCG – cascading of OSRO resources in support of oil spill
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that a large quantity of oil spill response resources have been diverted for involvement in the response to the Deepwater Horizon/Mississippi Canyon 252 oil spill. Most of those resources are from various Captain of the Port (COTP) zones on the Gulf of Mexico. As discussed in the notice, the major oil spill removal organizations (OSROs) notified the Coast Guard when they diverted resources to respond to the recent spill. They have submitted cascade plans to the Coast Guard explaining how they will backfill for those diverted resources in the event of a worse case discharge (WCD) or maximum most probable discharge (MMPD) within the affected zones. Spill response plan holders (vessel and facility), though, are responsible for ensuring that the OSRO(s) designated in their plans are capable of responding to covered discharges. (4/30/10).
Deepwater Horizon/Mississippi Canyon spill – websites
For those who want continually updated and detailed information concerning the Deepwater Horizon/Mississippi Canyon 252 oil spill, the federal government has established at least three websites: (1) Unified Command; (2) NOAA Incident News; and (3) EPA Monitoring. If any of my long-suffering readers are aware of any other government sites devoted exclusively to this casualty, please share the URLs with me. (5/4/10).
USCG – Unified Command activated for West Coast of Florida
The Unified Command issued a news release stating that, due to the possibility of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill affecting the west coast of Florida, representatives of BP, the US Coast Guard, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), are meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida to plan a multi-agency response. (5/4/10).
DHS – high level discussion re oil spill response
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a news release summarizing the discussions between top Administration officials and the leadership of BP concerning the ongoing, coordinated oil spill response efforts, as well as the spill mitigation plans for potentially affected Gulf Coast states. (5/3/10).
OFAC – Somalia sanctions regulations
The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued interim regulations with respect to economic sanctions against certain persons in or associated with Somalia threatening the stability of that nation. The regulations come into effect immediately. OFAC intends to supplement these, at some future date, with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance and additional general licenses and statements of licensing policy. 75 Fed. Reg. 24394 (May 5, 2010).
Duluth – temporary safety zone
The US Coast Guard has established, through November 30, a temporary safety zone on waters adjacent to Tallas Island in the St. Louis River, Duluth, Minnesota to reduce risks to the public associated with dredging in that area. 75 Fed. Reg. 24402 (May 5, 2010).
FWS – critical habitat for polar bear
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is extending through July 6 the period within which to submit comments on its proposed designation of critical habitat for polar bear. In addition, public meetings will be held in Anchorage (June 15) and Barrow (June 17) to receive public comments. 75 Fed. Reg. 24545 (May 5, 2010).
North Carolina – chief engineer pleads guilty
The US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued a news release stating that the chief engineer of a cargo ship that called in Morehead City pleaded guilty in federal court to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by failing to keep an accurate oil record book (ORB) and by directing his personnel to pump oily waste water directly overboard without using the installed oily water separator (OWS). The defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to six years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000, as well as up to three years of supervised release. (5/3/10).
Senate – proposal to increase limit of liability for offshore facility spills
Senator Menendez (D-NJ) issued a news release stating that he, Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Senator Nelson (D-FL) are introducing legislation to increase the limit of liability for third party damages caused by oil spills from offshore facilities from $75 million to $10 billion. Text of the legislation is not yet available. (5/3/10).
Gulf of Aden – suspected pirate skiff stopped
The EU Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a Japanese warship was escorting a convoy through the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden when it detected a suspicious skiff with seven persons on board just outside the IRTC. The Japanese warship informed an EU NAVFOR warship of the situation. The EU NARFOR warship closed on the skiff, which attempted to flee. The occupants were observed to throw material overboard. The skiff stopped when warning shots were fired. After an investigation, the skiff was released. (5/4/10).
Singapore – bunker licensing regime
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular advising that it has commenced an initiative to enhance the bunker licensing regime. The license renewal process for bunker suppliers and for bunker craft operators will be coordinated. In addition, the licensing period will be extended to three years. Port Marine Circular 6/2010 (5/4/10).
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