Headlines: NIC – Gulf Coast Recovery Plan; NOAA – GOM resource restoration planning process begins; Umpqua River – lighthouse not required for safe navigation; USN – Guam and CNMI military relocation; House – Coast Guard Reauthorization Reconciliation; House – NTSB Authorization Act adopted; House – BP Fund Audit bill adopted; House – hearing on US vessels in the US-foreign trade; Congress – election recess; Australia – preparations for MLC 2006 implementation; Tanzania – EU warship frees pirated Iranian dhow; Somali Basin – asphalt carrier hijacked by pirates; and Somalia – suspicious vessel intercepted, sunk.
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NIC – Gulf Coast Recovery Plan
The National Incident Command (NIC) posted the Gulf Coast Recovery Plan. The plan was authored by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who was assigned the long-term recovery effort by President Obama. The plan focuses on five topic areas: (1) a proposal to Congress to dedicate Clean Water Act civil penalties to the Gulf Coast; (2) long-term ecosystem restoration; (3) health and human services recovery; (4) economic recovery; and (5) nonprofit sector recovery. The White House issued a news release stating President Obama’s support of the plan. (9/28/10).
NOAA – GOM resource restoration planning process begins
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it, the Department of the Interior, and the other co-trustees of natural resources affected by the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill have started the injury assessment and restoration planning phase of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process. This second phase of the NRDA process began with a Notice of Intent to Conduct Restoration Planning, which formally advises the responsible parties of the process. (9/29/10).
Umpqua River – lighthouse not required for safe navigation
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that its Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) report on the Umpqua River in Oregon has determined that the Umpqua River Lighthouse is not required for safe navigation. This determination opens the door for the Coast Guard to begin the process to discontinue the Lighthouse as a federal aid to navigation. (9/28/10).
USN – Guam and CNMI military relocation
The Department of the Navy issued a notice announcing the decision to proceed with the Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) military relocation. This involves, among other things, moving a portion of the US Marine Corps forces currently located in Okinawa to Guam and establishing a facility on Guam for use by aircraft carrier strike groups. 75 Fed. Reg. 60438 (September 30, 2010).
House – Coast Guard Reauthorization Reconciliation
The House adopted, by voice vote, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 3619) as agreed to in Conference Committee with the Senate. Official text of the revised bill is not yet available. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, though, issued a news release summarizing major provisions of the bill. The Senate has yet to act on the legislation. (9/28/10). Note: Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) took time during his presentation of the bill to express his appreciation for the many years of excellent service provided by Subcommittee Chief Counsel John Cullather, who is retiring at the end of this Congress. I regard John as a good friend and will miss his steady hand on the maritime legislation tiller.
House – NTSB Authorization Act adopted
The House adopted by voice vote the National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 4714). Among other things, the bill, if enacted into law, authorizes the NTSB to delegate to the US Coast Guard authority to conduct certain marine casualty investigations. (9/28/10).
House – BP Fund Audit bill adopted
The House adopted by voice vote the Audit the BP Fund Act of 2010 (H.R. 6016). Text of the bill as adopted is not yet available, but it directs the Comptroller General to conduct an independent audit of the fund created by BP to compensate persons affected by the Gulf oil spill. (9/28/10).
House – hearing on US vessels in the US-foreign trade
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on US Flag Vessels in the US-Foreign Trade. Topics examined included cargo preference laws, the Maritime Security Act of 1996, and the costs of operating under the US flag. Subcommittee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) expressed his concern over the continuing trend of decreasing numbers of US flag vessels engaged in the international trade. Mr. David Matsuda, Maritime Administrator, testified regarding efforts to strengthen the US ocean-going fleet. (9/29/10).
Congress – election recess
Australia – preparations for MLC 2006 implementation
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a news release discussing preparations underway for the anticipated 2011 implementation of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006. Subjects discussed included application of MLC 2006 to cruise ships, larger yachts, mobile offshore drilling units, and ships 200 GT and above, not engaged on international voyages. (9/29/10).
Tanzania – EU warship frees pirated Iranian dhow
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted an Iranian dhow off the coast of Tanzania. The dhow was towing a whaler and two skiffs. Investigation revealed that the dhow and its seven crew members had been hijacked by ten suspected pirates. The dhow and its crew have now been freed. (9/29/10).
Somali Basin – asphalt carrier hijacked by pirates
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that an asphalt carrier has been hijacked by pirates in the Somali Basin southeast of Dar es Salaam. The vessel was en route Durban and carries a crew of 15, all Indian. (9/29/10).
Somalia – suspicious vessel intercepted, sunk
The US Navy issued a news release stating that a warship of Combined Task Force 151 intercepted a suspicious vessel off the coast of southern Somalia. Found on board were 21 drums of fuel and a long ladder with hooks. The three persons on board were transferred, the fuel and ladder were confiscated, and the vessel was sunk. (9/29/10).
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