Headlines: DOI – deepwater drilling moratorium renewed; National Commission – first public meeting; NTSB – update on tour boat-barge collision investigation; EPA – proposed consent decree re NESHAPs; Hudson & East Rivers – RNA during bridge span replacement; NOAA – Sei Whale recovery plan; St. Lawrence Seaway – SLSMC annual report; Indonesia – huge submarine volcano charted; Ireland – MARPOL Annex VI; Norway – AIS monitoring satellite launched; Panama Canal – June operations summary; Panama Canal – modifications to pricing structure; and UK – dues levied by local harbor board upheld.
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DOI – deepwater drilling moratorium renewed
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that Secretary Ken Salazar has renewed the deepwater drilling moratorium. In the decision memorandum, the Secretary said that a temporary pause on deepwater drilling will provide time to implement recent safety reforms and for: (1) the submission of evidence by operators demonstrating that they have the ability to respond effectively to a potential spill; (2) the assessment of wild well intervention and blowout containment resources; and (3) the collection and analysis of key evidence regarding potential causes of the April 20 explosion and fire. The suspension will last until November 30 or until such earlier time that the Secretary determines that deepwater drilling operations can proceed safely. A set of Questions and Answers (Q&A) has also been released. (7/12/10).
National Commission – first public meeting
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling conducted its first public meeting on July 12 in New Orleans. The Commission received a status report on the oil spill response from the National Incident Command (NIC) and from BP North America. It then heard from a number of witnesses regarding the economic impacts of the oil spill and moratorium. (7/12/10).
NTSB – update on tour boat-barge collision investigation
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an update on its investigation of the July 7 collision between a tour boat and a barge in the Delaware River at Philadelphia in which two persons lost their lives. The tour boat experienced a mechanical problem and anchored in the navigation channel of the river. The crew of the tour boat were interviewed and stated that they attempted to call the vessel that was towing the barge alongside, but received no response. The master, engineer, and a deckhand on the towing vessel were interviewed. The mate of the towing vessel has exercised his rights under the Fifth Amendment and refused to be interviewed. The investigation continues. (7/12/10).
EPA – proposed consent decree re NESHAPs
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed in federal court a Proposed Consent Decree with regard to a lawsuit filed against it by an environmental advocacy group with regard to delays in establishing National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for various categories, including marine tank vessel loading operations and shipbuilding and ship repair (surface coatings) operations. Under the proposal, the EPA would issue proposed rules relating to these two categories no later than September 14, 2010 and October 29, 2010 respectively. The agency would issued final rules relating to these two categories no later than March 31, 2011 and October 31, 2011 respectively. Plans call for the proposal to be published in the Federal Register and for the public to be given a reasonable period within which to submit comments. (7/6/10).
Hudson and East Rivers – RNA during bridge span replacement
The US Coast Guard established, through October 31, a temporary regulated navigation area (RNA) on certain waters of the Hudson River and the East River during the replacement of a span of the Willis Avenue Bridge. Vessels operating in these waters should exercise caution and follow the instructions of those involved in the replacement. Comments on the rulemaking should be submitted by August 12. 75 Fed. Reg. 39839 (July 13, 2010). A news release has been issued explaining the bridge span replacement.
NOAA – Sei Whale recovery plan
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it intends to prepare a recovery plan for the Sei Whale. Comments should be submitted by September 13. 75 Fed. Reg. 39916 (July 13, 2010).
St. Lawrence Seaway – SLSMC annual report
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation of Canada (SLSMC) released its 2009/2010 Annual Report. Tonnage passing through the Seaway in 2009 was down 24.7% from 2008 to 30.7 million tonnes. Vessel transits were down 14.7% to 3,639. (7/12/10).
Indonesia – huge submarine volcano charted
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that a joint Indonesia-US team has charted the Kawio Barat submarine volcano. The 10,000 foot high volcano is located west of the Kawio Islands in water that is 18,000 feet deep. (7/12/10).
Ireland – MARPOL Annex VI
The Irish Department of Transport issued a notice reminding the maritime community that the Irish legislation implementing the Revised Annex VI (Air Pollution) to the MARPOL Convention and the associated NOx Technical Code 2008 entered into force on 1 July 2010. Marine Notice 20-2010 (7/12/10).
Norway – AIS monitoring satellite launched
The Norwegian Space Centre issued a news release stating that its AISSat-1 satellite has been successfully launched into polar orbit by an Indian rocket. The nano-satellite (a cube measuring 20 x 20 x 20 cm and weighing six kilograms) will monitor Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals from ships of 300 gross tons and greater operating in Norwegian waters. (7/12/10).
Panama Canal – June operations summary
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing its operations for the month of June. It also includes the schedule of locks maintenance work for the next year. (7/9/10).
Panama Canal – modifications to pricing structure
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory revealing details of the modifications to its pricing structure. The changes will come into effect on January 1, 2011, with the exception of refrigerated cargo vessels, which will have an implementation date of April 1, 2011. (7/9/10).
UK – dues levied by local harbor board upheld
The UK Department for Transport released its Decision Letter regarding objections filed by various companies to an increase in dues levied by the Langstone Harbour Board. The Department upheld the increase as being consistent with government policy to make ports more self-sustaining, comparable to the dues levied by competing ports, and neither unfair nor inequitable. (6/30/10).
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