Headlines: Maryland – ship manager to pay $4 million penalty; DOT – grants awarded for America’s Marine Highway Initiative; NIC – oil spill claims fact sheet; Calais, Maine – USCG recommends approval of LNG facility; Detroit – mariner’s license suspended for violations; Port Everglades – burrowing owl removed from cruise ship; Court – Salvage Convention of 1989 interpreted; Alabama – offshore LNG terminal approved – errata; and Autumnal equinox – 0309 UTC, September 23, 2010.
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Maryland– ship manager to pay $4 million penalty
The Department of Justice issued a news release stating that Irika Shipping S.A. was ordered to pay a $4 million penalty for multiple violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and for obstruction of justice. The company had been previously convicted of similar violations in an earlier case and had been directed by the court to implement an environmental compliance program. The company admitted as part of its guilty plea in the instant case that it had not implemented the previously required program. Four crewmembers who reported the most recent unauthorized discharges of oil to the US Coast Guard will split a $500,000 award. (9/21/10).
DOT – grants awarded for America’s Marine Highway Initiative
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a news release stating that a total of $7 million is being awarded to three transportation authorities to support the transportation of marine cargo between US ports. The monies will support projects: (1) to move containerized cargo between Brownsville, Texas and Manatee, Florida; (2) to move containerized cargo between Richmond and Hampton Roads, Virginia; and (3) to move containerized cargo between Itawamba, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama. An additional $800,000 will be used to study potential marine highway concepts around the country. (9/20/10).
NIC – oil spill claims fact sheet
The National Incident Command (NIC) posted a Fact Sheet regarding the claims process for individuals and businesses adversely impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (9/21/10).
Calais, Maine – USCG recommends approval of LNG facility
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has recommended to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that waterways associated with the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility at Calais, Maine are suitable for LNG vessel transits provided certain safety and security actions are taken as part of the permit. (9/21/10).
Detroit – mariner’s license suspended for violations
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the license of a merchant mariner was suspended for six months, to be followed by a 36-month probationary period, for knowingly carrying more than six passengers for hire on at least two occasions on board a vessel that had not been inspected or certificated for that service. Prior to discovery of these violations, the Coast Guard had attempted to assist the mariner in gaining compliance with the small passenger vessel requirements through a courtesy inspection and detailed correspondence outlining the requirements. (9/21/10).
Port Everglades – burrowing owl removed from cruise ship
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued a news release stating that one of its officers removed a Florida burrowing owl from a cruise ship in Port Everglades. A crew member discovered the bird, listed by the state as a species of special concern and protected by the federal government under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), on the ship’s mini-golf course on the upper deck. The ship’s golf course resembles the open fields these birds use for nesting. The bird was released in an open field in western Broward County. (9/20/10).
Court – Salvage Convention of 1989 interpreted
The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a Memorandum and Order making a modest salvage award to a tug and its crew who rendered assistance to the Staten Island ferry Andrew J. Barberi immediately after the ferry allided with a maintenance pier near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal on October 15, 2003. The court interpreted the Salvage Convention of 1989 to favor an award of salvage, but limited the award to $75,000 due to the modest effort involved and the minimal assistance provided. In re: Dorothy J v. City of New York, No. 09-cv-3512 (ERK), (EDNY, September 11, 2010). Note: This case was brought to my attention by my good friend Michael Marks Cohen of Nicoletti Hornig & Sweeney.
Alabama – offshore LNG terminal approved – errata
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 63 miles south of Dauphin Island. (9/17/10). Note: One of my long-suffering readers gently pointed out that I had misstated the distance offshore in my earlier reporting of this development. Mea culpa!
Autumnal equinox – 0309 UTC, September 23, 2010
The autumnal equinox is when the sun is located directly over the equator, headed south. The exact time of this event is difficult to calculate, in no small part because the equator is not marked, except in a few locations. Calculation is doubly difficult because modern fashion is to utilize Coordinated Universal Time (regularly, but incorrectly, abbreviated as UTC). When I was getting started, referred to as the Dark Ages, we utilized Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), but that was prior to global warming.
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