Headlines: White House – Mario Cordero nominated to FMC; White House – Rebecca Dye nominated for another term on the FMC; FMC – statement re pending nominations; White House – statement on termination of GOM oil well; NIC – consolidation of incident command posts; Charleston – oil spill response exercise; House – hearing on planning and response lessons from GOM oil spill; GAO – challenges facing GPS; IMO – UN-SG support on piracy hostage crisis; EU NAVFOR – pirate action group disrupted; EU Court – no attorney-client privilege for in-house counsel; Hong Kong – fireworks display for National Day; New Zealand – World Maritime Day; Singapore – deployment and repair of submarine cable systems; and UK – allision due to failure to account for tidal stream.
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White House – Mario Cordero nominated to FMC
The White House issued a news release stating that Mario Cordero has been nominated to serve as a Commissioner on the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Mr. Cordero is currently serving on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. (9/17/10).
White House – Rebecca Dye nominated for another term on the FMC
The White House issued a news release stating that Rebecca Dye has been nominated for another term as a Commissioner on the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Ms. Dye first joined the FMC in 2002. (9/17/10).
FMC – statement re pending nominations
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) released the statement of Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. concerning President Obama’s announcement that he intends to nominate Commissioner Rebecca Dye for another term and to nominate Mr. Mario Cordero for Federal Maritime Commissioner. (9/20/10).
White House – statement on termination of GOM oil well
The White House released the statement of President Obama on the final termination of the blown out well in the Gulf of Mexico. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released the statements of Secretary Salazar and Energy Secretary Chu on the permanent plugging of the Macondo well. (9/19/10).
NIC – consolidation of incident command posts
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that Incident Command Posts in Houma, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama will be consolidated into a Gulf Coast Incident Management Team located in New Orleans. The reorganization is intended to improve efficiency while not impacting frontline responders. (9/20/10).
Charleston – oil spill response exercise
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and other stakeholders will conduct an oil spill response exercise in the Stono River near Charleston on September 21. (9/20/10).
House – hearing on planning and response lessons from GOM oil spill
The House Committee on Homeland Security will conduct a hearing on September 22 regarding DHS Planning and Response: Preliminary Lessons from Deepwater Horizon. (9/20/10).
GAO – challenges facing GPS
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on the Global Positioning System (GPS). The report expresses concern regarding delays in launching of new satellites and in development of GPS ground control systems. The GPS interagency requirements process remains relatively untested. GAO-10-636 (9/20/10). The Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a news release commenting on the GAO report. (9/17/10).
IMO – UN-SG support on piracy hostage crisis
The IMO issued a news release stating that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent the IMO a letter expressing concern about the intolerable human costs of piracy off the coast of Somalia and its serious consequences regionally and globally. He stated that he will bring this matter to the attention of the Security Council and seek its support to develop an approach that might obtain the release of hostages held by the pirates. (9/17/10).
EU NAVFOR – pirate action group disrupted
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships and the deployed helicopter intercepted and disrupted a pirate action group in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. All paraphernalia that could have been used to support a pirate attack was seized. A whaler (mother ship) and a skiff were destroyed. The individuals were released because there was no evidence that they had engaged in an act of piracy. (9/20/10).
EU Court – no attorney-client privilege for in-house counsel
The European Union (EU) Court of Justice ruled that the legal professional privilege (LPP), which protects from discovery confidential communications between an attorney and the client does not apply to communications between an in-house counsel and his or her employer when access to the written communications is sought by European Commission (EC) investigators during a competition investigation. In the instant case, EC investigators conducted a dawn raid on plaintiff’s premises in England. Among the documents seized were two emails between one of plaintiff’s senior managers and an in-house lawyer, a member of the Dutch bar. Plaintiff asserted a claim of privilege over the emails. The EU Court of Justice rejected the claim, ruling that in-house counsel was not sufficiently independent for the LPP to apply. Akzo Nobel Chemicals v. European Commission, Case C-550/07 P (Grand Chamber, 14 September 2010). Note: This case was brought to my attention by my good friend Keith Heard of Burke & Parsons. In my opinion, this decision is exactly backwards. It is equivalent to saying that a doctor employed by a hospital is not sufficiently independent to be responsible for the medical procedures he or she performs. It also raises serious questions regarding the long-standing rationale for prosecuting ship masters for failure to ignore management directives that may derogate marine safety, such as steaming at full speed in reduced visibility. The law can either expect professionals to exercise independent judgment at all times and in all circumstances, or not – it can’t have things both ways.
Hong Kong – fireworks display for National Day
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a Notice advising of a fireworks display at 2100 on October 1 in the Central Harbor in celebration of National Day. The Closed Area, where the fireworks barges are to be located, will be closed to all other vessels between 1400 and 2300 that day. A larger Restricted Area will be closed to navigation between 2000 and 2200. (9/20/10).
New Zealand – World Maritime Day
Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that New Zealand is celebrating World Maritime Day. The theme this year is “2010: Year of the Seafarer”. Seafarers transport 90% of the world’s trade and 99% of New Zealand’s freight. This day is used to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment. (9/20/10).
Singapore – deployment and repair of submarine cable systems
The Singapore Info-communications Development Authority (IDA), which is the lead agency for the facilitation of physical deployment of submarine cable systems landing in Singapore, has developed (in cooperation with other concerned government agencies) Guidance for deployment and repair of submarine cable systems. (8/27/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Doug Burnett of Squires Sanders & Dempsey.
UK – allision due to failure to account for tidal stream
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released the summary of its preliminary examination into the allision of a bulk carrier with an anchored bulk carrier off Port Talbot on 13 August 2010. The vessel was departing the offshore anchorage in preparation for a port entry. While making a substantial turn, the tidal stream set the bulker down onto the anchored ship. Examination revealed that the strength of the tidal stream (three knots) had not been identified in the passage plan. (9/20/10).
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 – September 2010