Headlines: Joint Investigation – Day 5 of Session 5; NOAA – letter to National Commission; USCG – exemption and equivalent arrangements for load lines; MARAD – availability of coastwise-qualified vessels for transportation of platform jackets; DOE – application to export foreign LNG; DOE – application to export domestic LNG; Senate – bill introduced re South Carolina land exchange; Senate – bill introduced re oil pollution damage tax relief; California – workshop re fuel sulfur and other requirements; IMO – ECA for Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands tentatively approved; Somali Basin – pirates hijack freighter; African Union – maritime security; Canada – Asian carp action plan; Hong Kong – Maritime Awareness Week; Panama Canal – September operations summary; UK – man overboard ends well; and Columbus Day – October 11, 2010.
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?
Joint Investigation – Day 5 of Session 5
The US Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Joint Investigation into circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, and sinking of the MODU Deepwater Horizon issued a news release stating that it completed Day 5 of Session 5 of its public hearings. Mr. Carl Smith, an expert witness, provided information regarding MODU operations. Mr. John Gisclair of Sperry Sun provided information on reamer shoes, wiper plugs, and float collars. (10/8/10). Note: Again, the hearing was not available on the internet.
NOAA – letter to National Commission
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) posted a letter from Administrator Janet Lubchenco to the Co-Chairs of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling regarding the recently released draft staff working papers. The letter contends that, contrary to the assertion in one of the working papers, NOAA’s modeling of long-term movement of oil from the spill using worst-case scenario analyses was completely independent of that agency’s efforts to estimate the flow rate from the Macondo well. Any delay of the public release of a summary report that may have occurred had no impact on the government’s actual response to the oil spill. (10/7/10).
USCG – exemption and equivalent arrangements for load lines
The US Coast Guard published a notice stating that it recently notified the IMO of issuance of an exemption under the International Convention on Load Lines providing exemptions for reduced “working freeboard” exemptions for hopper dredges. The Coast Guard also noted completion of the DR-68 reduced freeboard standards for hopper dredges. The IMO was also notified of approved equivalent arrangements regarding hatch covers for hopper dredges and barges that meet “flooded hopper” stability criteria. 75 Fed. Reg. 62560 (October 12, 2010).
MARAD – availability of coastwise-qualified vessels for transportation of platform jackets
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a final rule establishing regulations governing administrative determinations of availability of coastwise-qualified vessels to be used in the transportation and, if needed, launch or installation of offshore drilling or production platform jackets in specified projects only. Federal law permits use of non-coastwise-qualified launch barges only if it is determined that coastwise-qualified vessels are not available. The final rule comes into effect on November 12. 75 Fed. Reg. 62472 (October 12, 2010).
DOE – application to export foreign LNG
The Department of Energy issued a notice stating that it received an application for authorization for a period of two years to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) that had previously been imported into the United States. Comments on the application should be submitted by November 12. 75 Fed. Reg. 62510 (October 12, 2010).
DOE – application to export domestic LNG
The Department of Energy issued a notice stating that it received an application for authorization to export domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG). The application is for export of up to 16 million metric tons per annum for a 20-year period on a long-term, multi-contract basis. Comments on the application should be submitted by December 13. 75 Fed. Reg. 62512 (October 12, 2010).
Senate – bill introduced re South Carolina land exchange
Senator Graham (R-SC) introduced the Former Charleston Naval Base Land Exchange Act of 2009 (S. 17) to provide for an exchange of land between the Department of Homeland Security and the South Carolina State Ports Authority. (9/29/10).
Senate – bill introduced re oil pollution damage tax relief
Senator Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Gulf Coast Oil Recovery Zone Tax Relief and Economic Recovery Act (S. 3934) to provide tax relief for persons affected by the discharge of oil in connection with the explosion on, and sinking of, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon. (9/29/10).
Senate – bill introduced to facilitate judicial redress for oil spills
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the Oil Spill Victims Redress Act (S. 3862) to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to facilitate the ability of persons affected by oil spills to seek judicial redress. (9/28/10).
California – workshop re fuel sulfur and other requirements
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will conduct a public workshop in Long Beach on October 12 to discuss potential amendments to the fuel sulfur and other operational requirements for ocean-going vessels within California waters and 24 nautical miles of the California baseline. (9/28/10).
IMO – ECA for Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands tentatively approved
The IMO issued a news release stating that the 61st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) approved the US proposal to designate certain waters adjacent to the coasts of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands as an Emission Control Area (ECA). The proposed is now scheduled for formal adoption at the next session of the MEPC. Currently, there are two ECAs: the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. The North American ECA, comprising certain waters of the mainland US, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, and St. Pierre & Miquelon, is expected to enter into force in August 2011. (10/11/10).
Somali Basin – pirates hijack freighter
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that pirates have hijacked a freighter in the Somali Basin. The vessel has a crew of 20. (10/11/10).
African Union – maritime security
The African Union (AU) posted the speech delivered by Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security, on Maritime Security and Safety. He begins with the point that Africa is a big island and that adequate maritime security and safety are vital to its well-being. Citing the prevalence of unlawful activity both off Somalia and off West Africa, he calls for an integrated maritime security policy. (10/4/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend David Shirlaw of SeaWaves Magazine.
Canada – Asian carp action plan
Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued a media release announcing that proactive work has begun on a new Action Plan to combat the threat posed by invasive Asian carp to the Great Lakes and its tributaries. Canada will work cooperatively with the United States to address this important issue. (10/7/10).
Hong Kong – Maritime Awareness Week
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a media release stating that Marine Awareness Week will be held in Hong Kong on October 25-31. The theme of this year’s event is “Go Maritime. See the World.” It is intended to show the significance of the maritime industry and the contributions of seafarers to society. The event is also intended to promote careers in the maritime industry. (10/7/10).
Panama Canal – September operations summary
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing Canal operations during September. It also notes that a Customer Satisfaction Survey will be conducted during the period 15-20 October. Advisory 17-2010 (10/7/10).
UK – man overboard ends well
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that a crewmember fell overboard from a container ship approaching Felixstowe. He was preparing a boarding ladder in readiness for a pilot when the platform collapsed and he fell into the sea. He was wearing neither a lifejacket nor a safety harness. A helicopter was launched and various boats deployed. He was rescued by a pilot boat and later returned to the ship. This particular incident ended well, but could just as easily been tragic. Safety equipment is there for a reason. (10/9/10).
Columbus Day – October 11, 2010
Yesterday, October 11, 2010, was celebrated in the United States as Columbus Day. It was a federal holiday, meaning most government agencies and most banks were closed. Columbus actually landed in the New World on October 12, 1492 (according to the calendar then in use), but never reached what is now the United States – except that he did eventually get to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Regardless, the Italian-American community notes the holiday with the waving of flags and the drinking of wine.
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