Headlines: Gulf of Mexico – interview on Jones Act issues re oil spill response; Gulf of Mexico – use of LMRP containment cap temporarily suspended; Court – preliminary injunction re deepwater drilling moratorium; NIC – scientific report on subsea monitoring; CRS – DWH oil spill issues for Congress; DOT – funding availability for TIGER planning grants; ORRAP – meeting; FMC – comment on Supreme Court’s intermodal transport decision; TRB & USCG – joint conference of HSCs and AMSCs; Senate – bill introduced to require offshore lessees to post pollution bond; Senate – bill introduced re cleanup of spills from federal land; House – bill introduced to reform offshore drilling; House – resolution introduced supporting National Marine Awareness Day; and Canada – Arctic waters reporting system.
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Gulf of Mexico – interview on Jones Act issues re oil spill response
I was interviewed recently by a reporter for Florida Public Radio regarding the impact of the Jones Act (and other cabotage laws) on the response to the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill. A report of that interview, with a link to the actual broadcast thereof, is attached. The interview took over 20 minutes and the radio broadcast condensed that down to about two minutes, so numerous details relating to cabotage have been glossed over or omitted. (6/23/10).
Gulf of Mexico – use of LMRP containment cap temporarily suspended
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that use of lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap was temporarily suspended after a discharge of liquids was observed from the diverter valve on the drill ship Discoverer Enterprise, on station at the MC252 well site. Other operations, including capture of oil and gas through the blowout preventer’s choke line to the Q4000 vessel on the surface, have not been impacted by this action. (6/23/10).
Court – preliminary injunction re deepwater drilling moratorium
Following up on yesterday’s item regarding the moratorium on deepwater, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued an Order directing that Secretary Ken Salazar and the Department of the Interior are immediately prohibited from enforcing the moratorium on deepwater drilling until there has been a full trial on the merits. (6/22/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my friend Eric Roan of Pride International.
NIC – scientific report on subsea monitoring
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that the Joint Analysis Group (JAG) issued its peer-reviewed scientific report on subsea monitoring in the vicinity of the MC252 wellhead. The report concludes that decreased oil droplet size in deep waters is consistent with chemically-dispersed oil. The report also confirms the existence of a previously-discovered cloud of diffuse oil at depths of 3,300 to 4,600 feet near the wellhead. Total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) are in concentrations of about 1-2 parts per million (PPM). Beyond six miles from the wellhead, concentrations of this subsea cloud drop to levels that are not detectable. (6/23/10).
CRS – DWH oil spill issues for Congress
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued its report on selected issues for Congress arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The report examines, among other things, oil spill liability and compensation; the roles of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), US Coast Guard, and other entities in deepwater exploration and production; and the environmental and economic impacts of the spill. R41262 (5/27/10).
DOT – funding availability for TIGER planning grants
The Department of Transportation (DOT), together with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), issued a notice announcing availability of funding for its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant Program. Pre-applications are due by July 26 and applications must be submitted by August 23 at 5 p.m. EDT. 75 Fed. Reg. 36245 (June 24, 2010).
ORRAP – meeting
The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP), sponsored by the Department of the Navy, will meet in Seward, Alaska on July 27-28. 75 Fed. Reg. 36065 (June 24, 2010).
FMC – comment on Supreme Court’s intermodal transport decision
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that the recent decision of the US Supreme Court in the case of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. v. Regal-Beloit Corporation solidified the legal support for through bills of lading, a key tool in the intermodal transportation system. (6/22/10).
TRB & USCG – joint conference of HSCs and AMSCs
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies and the US Coast Guard co-hosted the Joint Conference of Harbor Safety Committees and Area Maritime Security Committees in Jersey City on 8-10 June. The theme of the conference was Transcending Boundaries of Effort. (6/23/10).
Senate – bill introduced to require offshore lessees to post pollution bond
Senator Begich (D-AK) introduced the Guaranteed Oil Spill Compensation Act of 2010 (S. 3514) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit a person from entering into any Federal oil or gas lease or contract unless the person pays into an Oil Spill Recovery Fund, or posts a bond, in an amount equal to the total of the outstanding liability of the person and any removal costs incurred by, or on behalf of, the person with respect to any oil discharge for which the person has outstanding liability, and for other purposes. (6/21/10).
Senate – bill introduced re cleanup of spills from federal land
Senator Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Department of the Interior Research and Technologies for Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 2010 (S. 3515) to authorize and enhance the programs of the Department of the Interior relating to the detection of, response to, and mitigation and cleanup of oil spills on Federal land managed by the Department, and for other purposes. (6/21/10).
House – bill introduced to reform offshore drilling
Representative Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the Oil Spill Prevention Act of 2010 (H.R. 5572) to reform the Minerals Management Service and offshore drilling for oil and gas, to repeal the limitation of liability of a responsible party for discharge of oil from an offshore facility, and for other purposes. (6/22/10).
House – resolution introduced supporting National Marine Awareness Day
Delegate Christensen (D-VI) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 1458) expressing support for the goals and ideals of National Marine Awareness Day. (6/22/10).
Canada – Arctic waters reporting system
Transport Canada issued a media release stating that, beginning July 1, certain foreign and domestic vessels will be required to report to the Canadian Coast Guard if travelling through Canada’s Arctic waters. The actual regulations have been published in the June 23 edition of the Canada Gazette, starting on page 1161. (6/23/10).
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 – June 2010