Headlines: Joint Investigation – third day of fourth session concluded; National Commission – second meeting; California – “no discharge” zone proposed along entire coast of state; Houston-Galveston – USCG Industry Outreach Day; USMMA – new Superintendent named; USCG – merchant mariner certificate suitable for framing; USCG – suspension of operations at sailing school; Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – enforcement of safety zone; MARAD – VISA open season; OCS Scientific Committee – meeting; NSF – Ocean Observatories Initiative; and CBP – technical corrections to regulations.
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Joint Investigation – third day of fourth session concluded
The USCG-DOI Joint Investigation issued a news release stating that it has concluded the third day in its fourth session of hearings into circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, and sinking of the MODU Deepwater Horizon. The hearings resume on Wednesday, August 25. (8/25/10).
National Commission – second meeting
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling conducted its second meeting. This meeting was held in Washington, DC. Issues addressed at the meeting included: (1) history and expansion of offshore drilling; (2) existing regulatory structure and consulting agency roles; (3) meeting the regulatory challenges; and (4) industry culture and managing risk. (8/25/10).
California – “no discharge” zone proposed along entire coast of state
The Environmental Protection Agency issued a news release stating that it is proposing to designate the entire coast of California, up to three nautical miles offshore, as a “no discharge” zone for ships larger than 300 gross tons. If such designation is eventually made, these ocean-going vessels will be prohibited from discharging sewage (treated or not) within California state waters. The formal proposal will be published soon in the Federal Register. Comments on the proposal should be submitted within 60 days. (8/25/10). Note: The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) authorizes such designations if the EPA determines that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available. Interestingly, the FWPCA speaks only of prohibiting sewage discharge from “all vessels” within the “no discharge” zone. I am aware of no prior instance in which the EPA has utilized its authority under this statute to apply the prohibition selectively to particular vessels.
Houston-Galveston – USCG Industry Outreach Day
The US Coast Guard Industry Outreach Day for Sector Houston-Galveston will be held on October 5 in Galena Park, Texas. (8/25/10).
USMMA – new Superintendent announced
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that Rear Admiral Philip H. Greene, Jr., USN has been selected as the next Superintendent of the US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, NY. Admiral Greene has a Merchant Marine Master’s license and is a 1978 graduate of the USMMA. (8/25/10).
USCG – merchant mariner certificate suitable for framing
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued an announcement stating that US merchant mariners who hold a valid Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) may download a Merchant Mariner Certificate Suitable for Framing at http://homeport.uscg.mil/mmcert . The downloaded certificate is not a substitute for the MMC. There is no fee for downloading the display certificate. (8/25/10).
USCG – suspension of operations at sailing school
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it ordered suspension of operations to the owner/operator of a sailing school due to the failure of the school to comply with required drug and alcohol program. (8/25/10).
Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – enforcement of safety zone
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it will enforce the safety zone on waters of the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal from Mile Marker 296.1 to Mile Marker 296.7 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on September 7 through September 11. During this time, the US Army Corps of Engineers will be installing parasitic structures to help control the spread of aquatic nuisance species through the Canal. 75 Fed. Reg. 52462 (August 26, 2010).
MARAD – VISA open season
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that open season for enrolment in the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program has commenced. US-flag vessel operators of militarily useful vessels must submit their applications within 30 days. 75 Fed. Reg. 52594 (August 26, 2010).
OCS Scientific Committee – meeting
The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Scientific Committee, sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), will meet in Ashburn, Virginia on September 14-16. 75 Fed. Reg. 52546 (August 26, 2010).
NSF – Ocean Observatories Initiative
The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a notice stating that it is seeking public comment on its draft Site-Specific Environmental Assessment (SSEA) for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). Public meetings will be held in Westport, Washington (September 1); Newport, Oregon (September 2); and New Bedford, Massachusetts (September 8). Written comments should be submitted by September 15. 75 Fed. Reg. 52555 (August 26, 2010).
CBP – technical corrections to regulations
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued technical corrections to its regulations. These non-substantive changes are effective immediately. 75 Fed. Reg. 52446 (August 26, 2010).
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 – August 2010