Headlines: NIC – skimmer fleet totals 570; NIC – wellhead containment plans; EPA - MSD performance standards; DOJ – guilty plea from two-time loser; DHS – small vessel security update; DHS – Bottom-Up Review Report; NTSB – report on passenger ferry engine room fire; Ecuador – narco submarine; and Ireland – hydrographic survey.
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. Exposure to this newsletter has been shown to cause cancer in mice.
NIC – skimmer fleet totals 570
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that there are now 570 skimmers involved in the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Of these, 46 are operating in the vicinity of the well site. (7/11/10).
NIC – wellhead containment plans
The National Incident Command (NIC) released the letter from the BP Gulf Coast Restoration regarding wellhead containment plans, as well as the statement from Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (ret), approving those plans. (7/9/10).
EPA – MSD performance standards
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it received a petition and a request for rulemaking under section 312 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). The petition and request seek revision of the regulation establishing performance standards for vessel sewage treatment devices, commonly referred to as marine sanitation devices (MSDs). The petition also requests that the EPA establish monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements to ensure compliance with the performance standards. Comments on the proposals should be submitted by November 9. The EPA is particularly interested regarding: (1) the universe of vessels operating on navigable waters that use sewage treatment devices; (2) technical information on the performance, effectiveness, and costs of MSDs, including performance testing data; (3) suggestions on what, if any changes to the performance standards might be appropriate; and (4) information on monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting approaches for vessel sewage discharges. 75 Fed. Reg. 39683 (July 12, 2010).
DOJ – guilty plea from two-time loser
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a ship management company pleaded guilty in federal court to felony obstruction of justice and to violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. Irika Shipping S.A. has agreed to pay a $3 million criminal fine, make a $1 million community service payment, be placed on probation for five years, and to be subject to an Enhanced Environmental Compliance Program. The Enhanced Program includes auditing by an independent firma and supervision by a court-appointed auditor. The company admitted discharging approximately 23 cubic meters of oil contaminated sludge and bilge waste directly into the ocean from the M/V Iorana, falsifying the ship’s oil record book, and directing the crew members to lie to the Coast Guard, among other things. In 2007, the company was convicted of a similar offense involving the M/V Irika. As part of the sentence in that earlier case, the company agreed to implement an environmental compliance program for its entire fleet for a minimum of four years. (7/9/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Cartner of Cartner & Fiske.
DHS – small vessel security update
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Small Vessel Security Update. Among other things, it reports on operational concepts and technologies to detect and thwart the transport of nuclear materials by small vessels and use of America’s Waterway Watch and related programs to expand citizen awareness and involvement. (6/25/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
DHS – Bottom-Up Review Report
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its Bottom-Up Review Report, which has the goal of improving the alignment between the Department’s programmatic activities and organizational structure with the broader mission sets and goals identified in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. (7/9/10).
NTSB – report on passenger ferry engine room fire
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its report on an engine room fire on a passenger ferry in Great South Bay, Long Island on September 20, 2009. The probable cause of the fire was determined to be the ignition of fuel that had leaked from a fatigue-fractured fitting on the center engine’s secondary fuel filter, sprayed onto the lagging around the port engine exhaust duct, and seeped through a gap in the lagging onto the hot duct, where it caught fire. Marine Accident Brief 10/02 (7/2/10).
Ecuador – narco submarine
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a news release stating that Ecuadorian police forces and military authorities seized a fully-operational submarine built in the jungle for the purpose of transporting multi-ton quantities of cocaine. The 30-meter long vessel is equipped with twin screws, a diesel-electric engine, a conning tower, a periscope, and air conditioning. The US Navy has expressed interest in, among other things, its unique camouflage paint scheme. (7/3/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
Ireland – hydrographic survey
The Irish Department of Transport issued a Notice advising that a hydrographic survey will be conducted in waters of the southeast coast of Ireland during the period 11-27 July. Other vessels should give the survey vessel and its towed magnetometer a wide berth. (7/8/10).
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 – July 2010