Headlines: NIC – oil spill relief efforts suspended due to TS Bonnie; USCG – bulletin re proper maintenance; MARAD – Women on the Water Conference; NMDACO – GMISS 2010; PHMSA – revisions of the Emergency Response Guidebook; Senate – hearing on port security; House – amendments to OPA 90 adopted; House – oil drilling technology bill adopted; Senate – bill introduced to enhance oil spill response; Senate – bill introduced re vessel owner liability for damages; Senate – bill introduced re oil spill response plans; House – bill introduced re marine shipping in the Arctic; House – bill introduced to limit drilling moratorium; Senate – bill introduced to establish spill response MCOE; House – bill introduced re national intermodal transportation plan; Rhode Island – bridge clearance for LNG carriers; IMO – guidelines for promulgation of counter-piracy information; EMSA – Annual Report 2009; Singapore Strait – robbers board bulk carrier; Ireland – new contract for SAR helicopter service; New Zealand – export and import sanctions; UK – further consultation re privatization of Port of Dover; and Andrea Doria/Stockholm collision – July 25, 1956.
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NIC – oil spill relief efforts suspended due to TS Bonnie
The National Incident Commander (NIC) issued a news release stating that oil spill relief efforts in the Gulf of Mexico are being suspended temporarily as Tropical Storm Bonnie approaches. Work will resume when the weather abates. (7/22/10).
USCG – bulletin re proper maintenance
The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin reminding owners, operators, and masters of the importance of ensuring proper maintenance of systems, equipment, and components. A commercial vessel recently suffered a partial propulsion failure. Investigation revealed that the company’s Safety Management System and the vessel’s Maintenance Management System had both failed to include a line item for routine changing of lube oil filters, even though such maintenance was required by the associated equipment manual. Lessons Learned 04-10 (7/21/10).
MARAD – Women on the Water Conference
The fourth annual Women on the Water (WOW) Conference, co-hosted by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Texas Maritime Academy, will be held in Galveston on November 4-6. (7/21/10).
NMDACO – GMISS 2010
The GMISS 2010 conference, sponsored by the National Maritime Domain Awareness Coordination Office (NMDACO), will be held in Baltimore, Maryland on September 14-16. The theme of this year’s conference is “Charting the Course for Maritime Domain Awareness”. (7/22/10).
PHMSA – revisions of the Emergency Response Guidebook
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is soliciting comments on the development of the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2012) for responding to discharges of hazardous materials in transportation situations. It is particularly interested in comments from those who have experience using the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). Comments should be submitted by September 21. 75 Fed. Reg. 43232 (July 23, 2010).
Senate – hearing on port security
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation conducted a hearing on SAFE Port Act Reauthorization – Securing Our Nation’s Critical Infrastructure. Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) made opening statements. Mr. Alan Bersin, US Customs and Border Protection, testified concerning the agency’s protocol for screening cargo being imported into the United States and examining suspicious cargo. Admiral Robert Papp, US Coast Guard, testified concerning maritime security and response operations. Mr. Stephen Caldwell, Government Accountability Office (GAO), testified concerning challenges presented by small vessels, assessing the security at foreign ports, and scanning US-bound cargo containers. (7/21/10).
House – amendments to OPA 90 adopted
The House adopted the Oil Pollution Research and Development Program Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 2693) to amend title VII of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and for other purposes. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. (7/21/10).
House – oil drilling technology bill adopted
The House adopted the Safer Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Technology Research and Development Act (H.R. 5716) to provide for enhancement of existing efforts in support of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities to advance technologies for the safe and environmentally responsible exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas resources. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. (7/21/10).
Senate – bill introduced to enhance oil spill response
Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Securing Health for Ocean Resources and Environment Act (SHORE Act) (S. 3597) to improve the ability of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard, and coastal States to sustain healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems by maintaining and sustaining their capabilities relating to oil spill preparedness, prevention, response, restoration, and research, and for other purposes. (7/15/10).
Senate – bill introduced re vessel owner liability for damages
Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Fairness in Admiralty and Maritime Law Act (S. 3600) to amend the Jones Act and related statutes with respect to the liability of vessel owners and operators for damages. (7/15/10).
Senate – bill introduced re oil spill response plans
Senator Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Oil Spill Technology and Research Act of 2010 (S. 3603) to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to establish the Federal Oil Spill Research Committee and to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to include in a response plan certain planned and demonstrated investments in research relating to discharges of oil and to modify the dates by which a response plan is required to be updated. (7/15/10).
House – bill introduced re marine shipping in the Arctic
Representative Young (R-AK) introduced Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Implementation Act of 2010 (H.R. 5770) to ensure safe, secure, and reliable marine shipping in the Arctic including the availability of aids to navigation, vessel escorts, spill response capability, and maritime search and rescue in the Arctic, and for other purposes. (7/19/10).
House – bill introduced to limit drilling moratorium
Representative Olson (R-TX) introduced a bill (H.R. 5772) to limit the moratorium on certain permitting and drilling activities issued by the Secretary of the Interior, and for other purposes. (7/19/10).
Senate – bill introduced to establish spill response MCOE
Senator Hutchison (R-TX) introduced the Oil Spill Response Act (S. 3614) to authorize the establishment of a Maritime Center of Expertise (MCOE) for Maritime Oil Spill and Hazardous Substance Release Response, and for other purposes. (7/19/10).
House – bill introduced re national intermodal transportation plan
Representative Sestak (D-PA) introduced the Transportation Efficiency Act (H.R. 5799) to require the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to conduct a study and develop a national intermodal transportation plan, and for other purposes. (7/20/10).
Rhode Island – bridge clearance for LNG carriers
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations enacted a bill (2010 – H 7014 Substitute B) that requires all ships whose primary cargo is liquefied natural gas (LNG) to have at least thirty feet of clearance under all Rhode Island bridges. The restriction does not apply to boats under sail. (6/25/10). Note: In my opinion, this legislation, which became effective without the Governor’s signature, violates both the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution and the law of common sense. Appropriately, it was added to that portion of the Rhode Island Code entitled “Regulation of Boats”. This legislation was brought to my attention by Tom Sullivan of Moran Shipping, but the above comments are my own.
IMO – guidelines for promulgation of counter-piracy information
The IMO issued its guidelines on operational procedures for the promulgation of maritime safety information concerning acts of piracy and piracy counter-measure operations. Res. MSC.305(87) (5/17/10).
EMSA – Annual Report 2009
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued its Annual Report 2009. Among other things, it discusses implementation of the EU LRIT Data Centre. (7/19/10).
Singapore Strait – robbers board bulk carrier
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that five men armed with revolver and knife boarded a bulk carrier while it was anchored at the east end of the Singapore Strait. The duty officer sounded the alarm and the robbers fled without stealing anything. (7/22/10).
Ireland – new contract for SAR helicopter service
The Irish Department of Transport issued a press release stating that it signed a contract awarding the provision of search and rescue (SAR) helicopter services for a ten-year period commencing July 2012. The new service will replace the Sikorsky S61N aircraft with the new generation Sikorsky S92A aircraft. These aircraft will operate out of Waterford, Shannon, Sligo, and Dublin. (7/22/10).
New Zealand – export and import sanctions
The New Zealand Customs Service posted a Fact Sheet listing the current United Nations export and import sanctions. (7/22/10).
UK – further consultation re privatization of Port of Dover
The UK Department for Transport issued a news release stating that the consultation regarding a proposal to privatize the Port of Dover has been extended through August 27. (7/22/10).
Andrea Doria/Stockholm collision – July 25, 1956
The Swedish passenger ship Stockholm and the Italian passenger ship Andrea Doria collided on the edge of a heavy fog bank off Nantucket on July 25, 1956. The Andrea Doria sank several hours after the collision, but not before 1660 passengers and crew were rescued. There were 46 deaths. While the exact cause of the casualty has never been determined, it appears to have been a “radar-assisted” collision, with the officers of the watch on both vessels misinterpreting the radar images and taking the wrong actions. The wreck of the Andrea Doria has become a popular, though notorious, destination for deep-sea divers. The Stockholm was rebuilt following the collision. It has gone through a number of owners and names and now sails as the cruise ship Athena. On December 3, 2008, it was attacked by pirates while transiting the Gulf of Aden, but was able to evade the attempted boarding.
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