Headlines: White House – President signs Iran Sanctions Act; NATO – Best Management Practices to deter piracy; EU – offshore skimmer headed to Gulf of Mexico; NIC – oil spill waste management plan; Gulf of Mexico – safety zone around protective boom; FMC – report and actions on vessel space and container shortages; USCG – merchant marine certificates suitable for framing; USCG – dead right whale recovered off Cape May; NMSAC – meeting; Massachusetts – “no discharge” zone; NTSB – Annual Report to Congress; NTSB – Rosekind and Weener sworn in as Members; DOT – use of Alcohol Testing Forms; Senate – bill introduced to prohibit royalty incentives for deepwater drilling; Senate – bill introduced to require moratorium study; House – bill introduced to provide oil spill relief employment; House – bill introduced to protect OCS marine environment; Senate – bill introduced re closing of Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal; Australia – air emissions from vessels; Ireland – sulphur content of marine fuels; Malta – increase in towage tariffs; and Declaration of Independence Day – July 4.
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.
White House – President signs Iran Sanctions Act
The White House issued a news release stating that President Obama has signed into law the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (H.R. 2194). The legislation is intended to place enhanced economic sanctions against Iran, some of which will impact the maritime industry. For the maritime industry, the most significant provision in this lengthy bill is the one prohibiting exportation of refined petroleum products to Iran. It specifically applies to providing ships or shipping services to deliver such products to Iran, as well as providing insurance/reinsurance or financing/brokering for such sale, lease or provision. The sanctions come into effect immediately. US persons everywhere and foreign persons who are involved in trade both to the United States and Iran must pay heed to avoid inadvertent violations. (7/1/10).
NATO – Best Management Practices to deter piracy
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), working with numerous other stakeholders, has promulgated the third edition of Best Management Practices (BMP3) to deter pirate attacks against commercial vessels off the coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean area. It addresses such issues as risk assessment, typical pirate attacks, company and voyage planning, and self-protection measures. (7/1/10). Note: Every company operating ships in these waters should implement these recommendations and a copy of BMP3 should be on board every ship that might transit these waters.
EU – offshore skimmer headed to Gulf of Mexico
The European Union (EU) issued a press release stating that the United States has accepted an offshore oil skimmer for use in responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The EU, through the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) offered the high capacity, high speed skimmer (currently located in Vigo, Spain) and contacts are ongoing in order to arrange details for the delivery. The United States has also accepted 1,200 meters of offshore boom offered by Norway. The United States made two previous requests to the EU for assistance (May 27 and June 10) and equipment was provided in both instances. (7/1/10).
NIC – oil spill waste management plan
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that the US Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a directive to BP on how the company should manage recovered oil, contaminated materials, and liquid and solid wastes recovered in cleanup operations from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. (7/1/10).
Gulf of Mexico – safety zone around protective boom
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that the various Coast Guard Captains of the Port (COTPs) in the Gulf of Mexico have established 20-meter safety zones around the protective booms. (6/30/10).
FMC – report and actions on vessel space and container shortages
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release highlighting the recent testimony of Chairman Richard Lidinsky and Commissioner Rebecca Dye before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure regarding vessel capacity and equipment availability in the United States export and import liner trades. Commissioner Dye summarized the results of her fact-finding investigation and Chairman Lidinsky presented a proposal for increased oversight of the industry by the FMC in an effort to reduce delays. (7/1/10).
USCG – merchant mariner certificates suitable for framing
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating that it will soon launch an Internet-based service whereby US mariners will visit a Coast Guard web site, enter their mariner reference number or other verifiable identification data, and request download of a ceremonial “Merchant Mariner Certificate” that would include the officer and rating endorsements that are contained in the mariner’s official Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). This free certificate would be for display purposes only. (6/30/10).
USCG – dead right whale recovered off Cape May
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are recovering the carcass of a dead right whale found approximately 60 miles off Cape May. A Coast Guard cutter is towing the carcass to Delaware, where NOAA specialists will conduct a necropsy in an attempt to determine the cause of death. The North Atlantic right whale is an endangered species. Mandatory ship reporting areas and speed limits have been established to reduce the risk of ship strikes. (7/1/10).
NMSAC – meeting
The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Washington, DC on July 20. Topics on the agenda include the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the Global Supply Chain Security Strategy, and the Small Vessel Security Strategy. 75 Fed. Reg. 38536 (July 2, 2010).
Massachusetts – “no discharge” zone
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the coastal waters of Pleasant Bay/Chatham Harbor, Massachusetts. 75 Fed. Reg. 38516 (July 2, 2010).
NTSB – Annual Report to Congress
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) posted its 2009 Annual Report to Congress. The report provides a comprehensive accounting of ongoing and completed investigations, as well as other agency activities. (7/1/10).
NTSB – Rosekind and Weener sworn in as Members
DOT – use of Alcohol Testing Forms
The Department of Transportation (DOT) amended a previous rule so as to authorize continued use of the earlier edition of Alcohol Testing Forms through December 31, 2010. Use of the new form is permitted now and will become mandatory on January 1, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 38383 (July 2, 2010).
Senate – bill introduced to prohibit royalty incentives for deepwater drilling
Senator Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Deepwater Drilling Royalty Prohibition Act (S. 3541) to prohibit royalty incentives for deepwater drilling, and for other purposes. (6/29/10).
Senate – bill introduced to require moratorium study
Senator Landrieu (D-LA) introduced the Gulf of Mexico Economic Recovery and Job Impact Analysis Act of 2010 (S. 3545) to require a study of the effect of a 6-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on small businesses. (6/29/10).
House – bill introduced to provide oil spill relief employment
Representative McDermott (D-WA) introduced a bill (H.R. 5654) to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to provide oil spill relief employment, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (6/30/10).
House – bill introduced to protect OCS marine environment
Representative Quigley (D-IL) introduced a bill (H.R. 5657) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to ensure that protection of the marine and coastal environment is of primary importance in making areas of the outer Continental Shelf available for leasing, exploration, and development rather than expeditious development of oil and gas resources, to prohibit oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development in important ecological areas of the outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (6/30/10).
Senate – bill introduced re closing of Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal
Senator Stabenow (D-MI) introduced a bill (S. 3553) to require the Secretary of the Army to study the feasibility of the hydrological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (6/30/10).
Australia – air emissions from vessels
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a notice reminding the maritime community that revised Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention entered into force on 1 July 2010. The notice also summarizes current and projected air emission standards for vessels. Marine Notice 14/2010 (6/30/10).
Ireland – sulphur content of marine fuels
The Irish Department of Transport issued a notice reminding the maritime community of new restrictions relating to the sulphur content of marine fuels. EU legislation on this issue has been brought into Irish law. Ships at berth or at anchor in Irish waters may not use fuels that exceed 0.1% sulphur by mass. Bunker fuel suppliers in Ireland are required to register with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Vessels entering Irish ports are required to maintain adequate records of fuel changeover operations. Marine Notice 17-2010 (6/30/10).
Malta – increase in towage tariffs
Transport Malta issued a news release stating that towage tariffs will be increased 11.15%. The increase will be accomplished in two phases, with 50% of the increase being introduced on 1 July 2010 and the remainder coming into effect on 1 January 2011. (7/1/10).
Declaration of Independence Day – July 4
This Sunday, July 4, 2010, marks the 234th anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia (July 4, 1776). It is not the 234th anniversary of the independence of the United States, because what we on this side of the pond call the Revolutionary War had just begun. Even October 19, 1781, when British Major General Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American General George Washington and French Lieutenant General de Rochambeau at the Battle of Yorktown, was not the end of the fighting. The independence of the United States was officially established by the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, when the Kingdom of Great Britain recognized the United States of America as a separate nation. In a larger sense, though, the independence of the United States is contested every day – and not just in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. While it is appropriate that we set aside one day each year to celebrate our independence, it is also necessary to dedicate ourselves daily to live up to the principles on which this great nation was founded. We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, [and] that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
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