Headlines: DOI – new regulations re offshore drilling; New Orleans – owner sentenced for deliberate pollution; Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – temporary closures; USCG – SSAS safety alert; FEMA – PS-Prep Small Business Preparedness Plan; Congress – Coast Guard Authorization Act passes, in parts; Senate – bill introduced to facilitate judicial redress for oil spills; GAO – report on container security technologies; GAO – updating of Action Plan for countering piracy recommended; GAO – organizational realignment of USACE recommended; Port Everglades – state grant for diesel emission reductions ; Kenya – suspected pirates face prosecution; Singapore – Maritime Institute to be launched; and UK National Archives – journals of Royal Navy Medical Officers.
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Isn’t it quiet around the house when the goldfish dies?
DOI – new regulations re offshore drilling
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that it is issuing a Drilling Safety Rule and a Workplace Safety Rule under the emergency rulemaking process. The Drilling Safety Rule prescribes proper cementing and casing practices and the appropriate use of drilling fluids. It also strengthens oversight of blowout preventers and similar equipment. The Workplace Safety Rule requires offshore operators to have clear programs to identify potential hazards and risk reduction strategies. (9/30/10).
New Orleans – owner sentenced for deliberate pollution
The Department of Justice issued a news release stating that a ship owner pleaded guilty in federal court in New Orleans to intentional discharge of oil and to falsifying the ship’s oil record book (ORB). The ship’s stern tube was leaking approximately 100 liters of oil every hour since April 2010, when the ship was in dry dock in Mexico. The crew was aware of the leak and failed to report it to the Coast Guard when the ship was in US waters. In addition, the ship’s oily water separator (OWS) had been inoperative for months. A bypass pipe was used to discharge waste oil directly overboard. Entries in the ORB were falsified to hide the illegal discharges. The company was sentenced to pay $700,000 in penalties. (9/29/10).
Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – temporary closures
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it will impose temporary waterway restrictions for vessel traffic on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on October 4-11 and possibly on October 13-15. These restrictions are necessary to facilitate US Army Corps of Engineers work on an electrical barrier intended to prevent passage of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. Vessels will not be permitted to transit the Canal from Mile 296.1 to Mile 296.7 during periods of work. (9/30/10).
USCG – SSAS safety alert
The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert recommending that owners, operators, masters, and others involved in the maintenance and operation of a Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) insure that the system is properly serviced and maintained. In a recent incident, the ship’s SSAS did not function properly, although it had been serviced only two days before. Investigation revealed that the service technician did not have the proper equipment for testing the system carried on the ship. He therefore only carried out an internal operational test, which failed to detect the system faults. (9/30/10).
FEMA – PS-Prep Small Business Preparedness Plan
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking comments on its Voluntary Private Sector Accreditation and Certification Preparedness (PS-Prep) plan for small businesses. 75 Fed. Reg. 60773 (October 1, 2010).
Congress – Coast Guard Authorization Act passes, in parts
Just when it appeared that the Coast Guard Authorization Act would be adopted by Congress for the first time since 2006, there was a disconnect. On September 28, the House passed its version of the Act (H.R. 3619), subtitled House Amendments to Senate Amendment. But, on September 29, the Senate adopted a measure entitled Senate Amendments to House Amendment to Senate Amendment. The new Senate amendments adopted various technical changes (which should have been worked out prior to voting). The Senate changes were then adopted by the House. Once a smooth version of bill is finished, it will be sent to President Obama for signature. (9/29/10).
Senate – bill introduced to facilitate judicial redress for oil spills
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a bill (S. 3862) to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to facilitate the ability of persons affected by oil spills to seek judicial redress. Official text of the bill is not yet available, but Senator Whitehouse issued a news release stating that the purpose of the bill is to clarify that victims of oil spills may seek damages from all parties involved in an oil spill and that, if the victims are only suing under state claims, the defendants cannot automatically remove those cases to federal court. (9/28/10).
GAO – report on container security technologies
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued an excellent report on container security technologies. The report examines the four major container security projects currently under development and recommends continued evaluation to ensure that they will work in all operational scenarios. The Advanced Container Security Device (ACSD) is intended to detect and report intrusion on all six sides of the container. The Container Security Device (CSD) is intended to detect and report the opening and removal of container doors. The Hybrid Composite Container is intended to develop a steel frame and fiver reinforced polymer composite container with embedded security sensors to detect intrusion. The Marine Asset Tag Tracking System (MATTS) is intended to track containers and increase the range that CSD and ACSD information can be transmitted. GAO-10-887 (9/29/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
GAO – updating of Action Plan for countering piracy recommended
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its report on actions needed to assess and update National Security Council (NSC) Action Plan for countering piracy off the Horn of Africa. It recommends that the Action Plan be reassessed and update and that US forces enhance collaboration with its partners in this mission, while also improving interagency coordination. GAO-10-856 (9/30/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
GAO – organizational realignment of USACE recommended
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined the organizational structure of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Its report recommends that the organization be realigned to better handle its current missions, but declines to make specific suggestions. GAO-10-819 (9/30/10).
Port Everglades – state grant for diesel emission reductions
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) issued a press release stating that it awarded a $750,000 grant to Port Everglades for diesel emissions reduction. The grant will fund the purchase and installation of diesel emission reduction equipment for on-road and off-road equipment and the replacement of old generators, forklifts, and service vehicles. (9/29/10).
Kenya – suspected pirates face prosecution
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that four individuals suspected of pirating a dhow for use as a mothership have been transferred to the custody of Kenyan authorities for criminal prosecution. (9/30/10).
Singapore – Maritime Institute to be launched
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release stating that it and other stakeholders will commit up to $200 million over the next ten years to establish the Singapore Maritime Institute. The Institute will coordinate and align the strategic activities of various maritime institutions to increase the pool of maritime-trained students and professionals in Singapore. (9/30/10).
UK National Archives – journals of Royal Navy Medical Officers
The UK National Archives posted a site titled Surgeons at Sea. It consists of journals and diaries compiled by Royal Navy surgeons and assistant surgeons who served on HM ships, hospitals, naval brigades, shore parties, and on emigrant and convict ships in the period 1793 to 1880. As a result of this extensive work the records can be easily searched by the name of the medical officer, the patient, the ship or even by disease or ailment. The cataloguing also revealed some unexpected “bonus” material contained in the journals. For example, the presence of watercolor illustrations, sketches, hand-drawn maps, charts showing details of the climate, details about the lay-out of the vessels and ideas about ventilation, and details of the countries visited and people encountered. The journals include a variety of colorful tales of 18th and 19th century ship life, from drunken rum-related incidents, venereal disease, scurvy, shark bites and tarantulas, to lightning strikes, gun fights, mutiny, arrests and court martial - not to mention ship wrecks and even murder. (9/30/10).
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 – October 2010