Headlines: NIC – damaged well to be cemented; NIC – Oil Spill Budget Report; NOSAC – meeting; USCG – Sector Puget Sound; USCG – ATON tower constructed north of Arctic Circle; House – concern about delay in 100% scanning; Senate – bill reported out re oil spill re oil spill prevention research; Senate – bill introduced re safe and proper use of dispersants; House – bill introduced re dredged or fill material disposal site; House – bill introduced re Great Lakes basin public trust; House – bill introduced to audit oil spill damages fund; House – bill introduced to assess health of oil spill workers; House – bill introduced re tax benefits of oil spill violators; House – bill introduced re Iran sanctions violators; UN – prosecution and imprisonment of Somali pirates; and Malaysia – robbers board tanker, escape empty-handed.
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NIC – damaged well to be cemented
The National Incident Commander (NIC), Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (ret) issued a news release stating the following: "Based on the successful completion of the static kill procedure and a positive evaluation of the test results, I have authorized BP to cement its damaged well. I made it clear that implementation of this procedure shall in no way delay the completion of the relief well." (8/4/10). Note: As the late Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in different circumstances: “This is not the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning.”
NIC – Oil Spill Budget Report
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that a team of 25 government and independent scientists issued an Oil Spill Budget Report which concludes that the majority of the oil from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead, or dispersed. Approximately 26% is either on or just below the surface as residue or tarballs, has washed ashore or been collected from the shore, or is buried in sand and sediments. Early indications are that the oil is degrading quickly. (8/4/10).
NOSAC – meeting
The National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will conduct a teleconference on September 28 to discuss items related to safety of operations and other matters affecting the oil and gas offshore industry. 75 Fed. Reg. 47311 (August 5, 2010).
USCG – Sector Puget Sound
The US Coast Guard issued a final rule, effective immediately, amending various regulations to reflect the renaming of Sector Seattle to Sector Puget Sound. 75 Fed. Reg. 47211 (August 5, 2010).
USCG – ATON tower constructed north of Arctic Circle
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has built a 15-foot aids to navigation (ATON) tower four miles south of Point Hope, Alaska and about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. (8/4/10).
House – concern about delay in 100% scanning
The House Committee on Homeland Security issued a press release expressing concern over lack of progress in implementing the 100% maritime cargo scanning requirement mandated by law three years ago. The Committee sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano reiterating this concern. (8/3/10). Note: 100% scanning was not included within the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. It is a highly expensive program, reliant upon unproven technology, and strongly opposed by our trading partners. Moreover, Congress has never appropriated the monies required to implement the program. It is time to move on.
Senate – bill reported out re oil spill prevention research
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works amended and reported out the Federal Research and Technologies for Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 2010 (S. 3515) to authorize and advance the programs of the Department of the Interior relating to the detection of, response to, and mitigation and cleanup of oil spills on Federal land managed by the Department and for other purposes. The measure now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. (8/2/10).
Senate – bill introduced re safe and proper use of dispersants
Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the Safe Dispersants Act (S. 3661) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to ensure the safe and proper use of dispersants in the event of an oil spill or release of hazardous substances, and for other purposes. (7/28/10).
House – bill introduced re dredged or fill material disposal site
Representative Young (R-AK) introduced a bill (H.R. 5992) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to eliminate the authority of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to deny or restrict the use of a defined area as a dredged or fill material disposal site, and for other purposes. (7/30/10).
House – bill introduced re Great Lakes basin public trust
Representative Kucinich (D-OH) introduced a bill (H.R. 6006) to affirm that waters of the Great Lakes Basin are impressed with a public trust and managed consistent with public trust principles and other standards to protect the navigational, conservation, and public interests in such waters, to provide for enforcement, and for other purposes. (7/30/10).
House – bill introduced to audit oil spill damages fund
Representative Brady (R-TX) introduced the Audit the BP Fund Act of 2010 (H.R. 6016) to provide for a GAO investigation and audit of the operations of the fund created by BP to compensate persons affected by the Gulf oil spill. (7/30/10).
House – bill introduced to assess health of oil spill workers
Representative Capps (D-CA) introduced the Gulf Coast Health Monitoring and Research Program Act of 2010 (H.R. 6017) to amend the Public Health Service Act to ensure that the Federal Government has independent, peer-reviewed scientific data and information to assess short-term and long-term direct and indirect impacts on the health of oil spill clean-up workers and vulnerable residents resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and for other purposes. (7/30/10).
House – bill introduced re tax benefits of oil spill violators
Representative Engel (D-NY) introduced the Denial of Certain Tax Benefits to Offending Oil Polluters Act of 2010 (H.R. 6031) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to deny certain tax benefits to persons responsible for an oil spill if such person commits certain additional violations. (7/30/10).
House – bill introduced re Iran sanctions violators
Representative Klein (D-FL) introduced the Gulf Security and Iran Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 6043) to restrict participation in offshore oil and gas leasing by a person who engages in any activity for which sanctions may be imposed under section 5 of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, to require the lessee under an offshore oil and gas lease to discloses any participation by the lessee in certain energy-related joint ventures, investments, or partnerships located outside Iran, and for other purposes. (7/30/10).
UN – prosecution and imprisonment of Somali pirates
The United Nations Security Council posted the Report of the Secretary-General regarding the prosecution and imprisonment of persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia. It identifies seven options for the Security Council to consider, including continued assistance to build the capacity of regional States to prosecute and imprison pirates. The Security Council is scheduled to debate this matter at its meeting on August 25. (7/26/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Ash Roach.
Malaysia – robbers board tanker, escape empty-handed
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that three robbers, believed to be armed with guns, boarded a tanker that was anchored off a Malaysian island in the Strait of Singapore. The crew raised the alarm and the robbers fled. (8/4/10).
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 – August 2010