Headlines: NIC – static kill procedure underway; DOS – US/EU collaboration on GNSS; USCG – rise in deaths related to recreational boating; Alaska – Operation Arctic Crossroads; DOJ – engineering officer pleads guilty; FCC – amateur radio service communications during disaster drills; NOAA – draft 2010 marine mammal stock assessment reports; NOAA – ecosystems management in NMSs; Senate – bill reported out to restore and protect Gulf of Mexico; House – bill introduced re oil and gas leases; Senate – bill introduced re oil company accountability; House – bill introduced re tax deduction for oil spill damages; Gulf of Aden – attack unsuccessful, pirates apprehended; UK – publication of MAIB Safety digest postponed; and Coast Guard Day.
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. Please avoid interrupting me with facts.
NIC – static kill procedure underway
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that static kill procedure to displace crude oil in the wellhead with heavy mud is underway and has a good probability of success. The wellhead work will not be final, though, until the relief wells have been completed and cement is pumped in to seal the well at a deep seabed level. (8/3/10).
DOS – US/EU collaboration on GNSS
The US Department of State issued a media release stating that the United States and the European Union (EU) and its Member States have completed the initial phase of consultations affirming user interoperability and enhanced performance of combined GPS and Galileo receivers performance in the use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).The combination of GPS and Galileo services provided noteworthy performance improvements. The United States and the European Union are starting a new phase of coordination focused on improving safety-of-life services, through the evolution of the Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) and ultimately using GPS and Galileo open signals with advanced receiver techniques for integrity monitoring. (7/30/10).
USCG – rise in deaths related to recreational boating
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Recreational Boating Statistics 2009 report reveals a 3.81% increase in boating accident deaths and a 0.81% increase in related injuries, even though the number of boating accidents decreased 1.23% over the previous year. (8/3/10).
Alaska – Operation Arctic Crossroads
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that more than 70 Coast Guard, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and Public Health Service personnel have been deployed to Kotzebue beginning a 10-day initiative to bring medical care to individuals in eight boroughs throughout Northern Alaska and to determine operational capabilities of Coast Guard assets. (8/2/10).
DOJ – engineering officer pleads guilty
The US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida issued a press release stating that the second assistant engineer of a merchant vessel pleaded guilty in federal court to violation of federal law by failing to properly maintain the ship’s oil record book. (7/23/10).
FCC – amateur radio service communications during disaster drills
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is amending its rules to permit amateur radio operators to transmit messages, under certain limited circumstances, during either government-sponsored or non-government-sponsored emergency and disaster preparedness drills, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drill. The amendments come into effect on September 3. 75 Fed. Reg. 46854 (August 4, 2010).
NOAA – draft 2010 marine mammal stock assessment reports
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking comments on the draft 2010 marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) for the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions. Comments should be submitted by November 2. 75 Fed. Reg. 46912 (August 4, 2010).
NOAA – ecosystem management in NMSs
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that the agency is examining ecosystem management in the National Marine Sanctuaries. (8/3/10).
Senate – bill reported out to restore and protect Gulf of Mexico
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reported out a modified version of the Gulf of Mexico Restoration and Protection Act (S. 1311) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to strengthen cooperative efforts to monitor, restore, and protect the resource productivity, water quality, and marine ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico. The measure now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. (8/2/10).
House – bill introduced re oil and gas leases
Representative Hall (D-NY) introduced the Safe Drill Act of 2010 (H.R. 5868) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to establish conditions for the issuance of oil and gas leases under that Act to prevent discharges of oil in operations under such leases, and for other purposes. (7/27/10).
Senate – bill introduced re oil company accountability
Senator Reid (D-NV) introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010 (S. 3663) to promote clean energy and oil accountability and for other purposes. This 410-page bill, if enacted into law, would remove the limits of liability for offshore facilities, increase the limits of liability for vessels, enhance response planning requirements, and amend the 1851 Limitation of Liability Act, among other things. In addition, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund levy would be increased to 45 cents per barrel of oil. (7/28/10).
House – bill introduced re tax deduction for oil spill damages
Representative Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the Closing Oil Spill Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 (H.R. 5995) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to deny the trade or business expense deduction for damages paid pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. (7/30/10).
Gulf of Aden – attack unsuccessful, pirates apprehended
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that seven pirates in a skiff attacked a chemical tanker proceeding through the transit corridor in the Gulf of Aden. Small arms fire from the pirates caused minor damage to the tanker, which prevented boarding attempts by engaging in evasive maneuvers and deploying water hoses. An EU NAVFOR warship responded to the distress call, dispatching a helicopter. The helicopter and the warship used warning shots to stop the skiff. A search party found weapons on the skiff. The pirates have been apprehended. (8/3/10).
UK – publication of MAIB Safety Digest postponed
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a notice stating that it has postponed publication of its Safety Digest due to privacy concerns. One newspaper decided to try to identify ships and companies referred to, but not named, in the last Safety Digest. In these circumstances, the MAIB has to assume that anyone written about in a Safety Digest could in future be named in the press. The MAIB therefore feels an obligation to consult with any person or organization that could be adversely affected by the report. The increased resource implications and inevitable diminution of key safety messages in this process may make future publication of the Safety Digest unsustainable. (8/2/10).
Coast Guard Day
Today, August 4, is the 220th anniversary of the enactment of legislation establishing the Revenue Cutter Service (RCS), the forerunner of today’s US Coast Guard. While nominally intended to enforce the collection of revenue from imported cargoes, the service was engaged in multiple missions from the beginning. Over time, other agencies and functions were merged into it. In 1915, with the merger of the RCS and the Life-Saving Service, the name of the agency was changed to the United States Coast Guard. An illustrious history, and proud present, and an exciting future!
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