Headlines: NIC – bottom kill of Macondo well completed; FMC – Cruise West cancellations and refund options; DOE – creating a US offshore wind industry; Inland Waterways Users Board – meeting; NOAA – non-acceptance of horizontal survey projects; Senate – hearing on economic impact of drilling moratorium; Senate – bill introduced to restore Gulf coast; Alabama – offshore LNG terminal approved; UN – more needs to be done in Somalia; ReCAAP – report for August 2010; New Zealand – import transaction fees; Panama Canal – maintenance outages; UK – Galileo and EGNOS; and USCG – port access study re Off San Francisco – errata.
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NIC – bottom kill of Macondo well completed
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that the cementing of the Macondo 252 well from the bottom, through the recently completed relief well, has been successful. The so-called “bottom kill” was declared final after completion of pressure tests. The NIC remains committed to continue aggressive efforts to clean up the oil that was discharged from the well and has not yet dissipated or been recovered. (9/19/10).
FMC – Cruise West cancellations and refund options
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release explaining refund options for persons who may have purchased passage on a Cruise West vessel, the operations of which have been suspended or cancelled. (9/17/10).
DOE – creating a US offshore wind industry
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE) is planning a series of public events to exchange information on the development of offshore wind energy in the United States. Comments are particularly solicited on the pre-decisional draft of Creating an Offshore Wind Industry in the United States. A webinar on this topic was held on September 16. Seminars will be held in Cleveland (September 21) and Washington, DC (September 28). Written comments should be submitted by October 29. 75 Fed. Reg. 57271 (September 20, 2010).
Inland Waterways Users Board – meeting
The Inland Waterways Users Board, sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will meet in Bettendorf, Iowa on October 20. The Board will consider its project investment priorities for next year and will hear the status of implementation of the Inland Marine Transportation System (IMTS) Investment Strategy Team recommendations, the status of funding for inland navigation projects and studies, and the status of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. 75 Fed. Reg. 57264 (September 20, 2010).
NOAA – non-acceptance of horizontal survey projects
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that, beginning January 1, 2011, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will cease accepting data, all orders and classes, from triangulation and traverse geodetic surveys for inclusion into the NGS Integrated Data Base (NGSIDB). Henceforth, all horizontal surveys relevant to the mission of NGS performed by individuals external to NGS are now to be performed utilizing the Global Positioning System (GPS). 75 Fed. Reg. 57263 (September 20, 2010). Note: It wasn’t bad enough to terminate the LORAN program, now the government has to extinguish the profession that included among its members our first President, George Washington.
Senate – hearing on economic impact of drilling moratorium
The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship conducted a hearing on The Deepwater Drilling Moratorium: A Review of the Obama Administration’s Economic Impact Analysis on U.S. Small Businesses. Ms. Rebecca Blank, Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, testified concerning the impact of the moratorium on the Gulf Coast economy. Mr. John Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, testified concerning the provision of federal economic assistance to the Gulf Coast states. (9/16/10).
Senate – bill introduced to restore Gulf coast
Senator Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Gulf Coast Restoration Act (S. 3792) to provide for restoration of the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and for other purposes. (9/15/10).
Alabama – offshore LNG terminal approved
The Office of the Governor of Alabama issued a press release stating that Governor Bob Riley has approved the closed-loop liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP) terminal for construction and operation in waters of the Gulf of Mexico approximately 13 miles south of Dauphin Island. (9/17/10).
UN – more needs to be done in Somalia
The United Nations issued a news release stating that more needs to be done to bring peace and stability to Somalia. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was quoted as saying, among other things: “Piracy, which in the past has hindered vital UN food deliveries, continues to endanger maritime safety and navigation off the coast of Somalia, constraining economic prospects, compromising business confidence and worsening security in the area. The international naval presence in the region has made considerable progress in containing the threat of piracy, but much more needs to be done, notably to address the root causes of the problem by restoring stability and the rule of law inside Somalia.” (9/14/10).
ReCAAP – report for August 2010
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre posted its Report for August 2010. The report states that, during the month, ReCAAP received reports of 19 actual incidents and four attempted incidents of piracy or armed robbery against ships in Asian waters. The 19 actual incidents represent the highest monthly number compared to the same period in 2007-2009. (9/17/10).
New Zealand – import transaction fees
The New Zealand Customs Service issued a notice stating that, effective 1 October, the import transaction fee (ITF) will be increased to $25.30. In addition, it will start collecting the biosecurity system entry levy (BSEL) in the amount of $12.77 as of the same date. (9/17/10).
Panama Canal – maintenance outages
The Panama Canal Authority issued an Advisory stating that the west sidewall culvert of Gatun Locks is out of service through September 29 for rehabilitation of rising stem valves and other maintenance work. In addition, the west lane at Miraflores Locks will be closed from 2200, September 22 through 1500, September 24 for maintenance. As a result, Condition 1.a of the Transit Reservation System is in effect through September 22 and from September 25 through 29; and Condition 2 will be in effect on September 23 and 24. (9/16/10).
UK – Galileo and EGNOS
The UK Department for Transport issued a news release summarizing the Department’s work on the European Global Navigation Satellite System programs Galileo and EGNOS. Galileo is the European Union’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and will be fully interoperable with the US GPS system. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is the first pan-European satellite navigation system. It augments GPS, making it more suitable for safety-critical applications, such as navigating ships through narrow channels. (9/16/10).
USCG – port access study re Off San Francisco - errata
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it will conduct a meeting in Oakland on October 20 to receive public comments for its Port Access Route Study: Off San Francisco. The goal of the study is to assess whether the current vessel routing system is effective in its predictability of vessel movements, which may improve marine safety. 75 Fed. Reg. 56919 (September 17, 2010). Note: One of my long-suffering readers gently pointed out that I had indicated an erroneous meeting date in the earlier version of this item. Mea culpa.
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 – September 2010