Headlines: Joint Investigation Team – BOP/LMRP testing status; BOEMRE – increased safety measures for OCS operations; EU – safety of offshore oil and gas operations; MARAD – Cargo Preference Act vessel re-designations; DOT – grants to build and improve ferry docks; MARAD – study to improve US-flag operator competitiveness; USCG – replacement of damaged TWIC cards; USCG – use of insulating flanges during transfer operations; USCG – Proceedings magazine; NOAA – denial of port entry to illegal fishing vessels; House – bill introduced to reauthorize MDRPRA; California – proposal to expand air emissions jurisdiction; Canada – Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission established; New Zealand – border cash reporting; Singapore – securing arrangements and cargo stowage; UK – complacency-induced allision; UK – River Thames restoration cited in award; and Court – no admiralty jurisdiction over claim of equitable interest – errata.
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 Team – BOP/LMRP testing status
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) posted its BOP/LMRP testing status report, outlining the ongoing forensic testing process regarding the blowout preventer (BOP) and lower marine riser package (LMRP) recovered from the seabed at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The final testing protocols are being developed. Testing of the BOP and the LMRP will commence once the protocol is approved by the JIT. An interim test report should be submitted to the JIT approximately 35 days after initial tests begin. (10/12/10).
BOEMRE – increased safety measures for OCS operations
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) promulgated an interim rule, effective immediately, implementing certain measures to improve safety of oil, gas, and sulphur operations on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The measures relate primarily to well control, including: subsea and surface blowout preventers, well casing and cementing, secondary intervention, unplanned disconnects, recordkeeping, well completion, and well plugging. Comments on the interim rule should be submitted by December 13. 75 Fed. Reg. 63345 (October 14, 2010).
EC – safety of offshore oil and gas operations
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that, early in 2011, it plans to present legislative proposals to improve the safety of offshore oil and gas operations in EU waters. (10/13/10).
MARAD – Cargo Preference Act vessel re-designations
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that received an application to re-designate three vessels for purposes of the Cargo Preference Act. Comments on the application should be submitted by October 25. 75 Fed. Reg. 63258 (October 14, 2010).
DOT – grants to build and improve ferry docks
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a news release stating that it is awarding $39 million in grants to 20 states to build and improve ferry docks and facilities. (10/13/10).
MARAD – study to improve US-flag operator competitiveness
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that it awarded a research contract to identify factors that significantly impact the ability of US-flag ship operators transporting goods to remain competitive. The study will include an overview of existing conditions, comparison of the current state of US and foreign fleets; identification and evaluation of factors and costs influencing registry preference; and identification and recommendation of improvements to US policies and regulations that may serve to increase ship-operator participation in the US fleet. (10/12/10).
USCG – replacement of damaged TWIC cards
The US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston issued a bulletin explaining that reports have been received of malfunctioning internal antenna on some Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards. These defective cards are functionally unrecognizable in non-contact TWIC validation units. If the internal antenna is damaged and the holder of the TWIC card needs this feature to gain unescorted access to an MTSA facility or vessel, the holder should contact the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and obtain a replacement card. The old card must be surrendered for deactivation when applying for a new card. The new card is typically available within ten days. Facilities may authorize a card holder up to 37 days of unescorted access while awaiting receipt of the replacement card. MSIB 15-10 (10/13/10).
USCG – use of insulating flanges during transfer operations
The USCG Sector Houston-Galveston issued a bulletin reminding stakeholders of the requirement that use of an approved vapor control system during transfer operations include the electrical insulation of the vapor connection from the vessel. The bulletin recommends use of an insulating flange in the cargo line. Ship-to-shore bonding cables should only be used if required by local statute. Stakeholders are also reminded that the resistance across the electrical insulating device should be no less than 1,000 ohms. The resistance is to be tested periodically and records maintained of the test results. MSIB 17-10 (10/4/10).
USCG – Proceedings magazine
The US Coast Guard has posted the latest edition of its Proceedings magazine. This issue focuses on maritime domain awareness, but includes articles regarding the relief effort in Haiti following the January earthquake. (Summer 2010).
NOAA – denial of port entry to illegal fishing vessels
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that a new federal rule will enhance the ability to deny entry into a US port or access to port services for vessels listed as engaging in illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing. The rule will come into effect on October 27. (10/13/10).
House – bill introduced to reauthorize MDRPRA
Delegate Bordallo (D-GU) introduced the Marine Debris Act Reauthorization Amendments of 2010 (H.R. 6315) to reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act. (9/29/10).
California – proposal to expand air emissions jurisdiction
At its recent workshop in Long Beach, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) made a presentation stating that numerous ships arriving in LA/LB from the north have been avoiding the Santa Barbara Channel so as to stay outside the 24-mile boundary of the CARB low sulfur fuel requirement. This has significantly increased the number of vessels transiting the Navy’s Point Mugu Sea Range. Therefore, the CARB is considering the possibility of expanding the jurisdictional reach of the low sulfur fuel requirement so as to eliminate the economic incentive to avoid the Santa Barbara Channel. (10/12/10). Note: Is the CARB going to annex the entire North Pacific Ocean?
Canada – Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission established
Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued a news release stating that Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Russian Federation, and the United States have established the Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission (ARHC). The ARHC will promote technical cooperation in science, technology, and chart making to establish and promote common standards and help define the needs for new hydrographic products and services, including surveys, in Arctic waters. (10/12/10).
New Zealand – border cash reporting
The New Zealand Customs Service issued a notice advising that the border cash reporting provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 come into effect on 16 October 2010. The Act required a Border Cash Report to be completed by every person moving cash or a bearer-negotiable instrument into or out of New Zealand and the total value involved is NZ$10,000 or more (or its foreign equivalent). (10/13/10).
Singapore – securing arrangements and cargo stowage
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular reminding owners, operators, and masters of the importance of proper stowage and securing of cargo. Shipping Circular 15/2010 (10/11/10).
UK – complacency-induced allision
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released its report of the allision by a ferry in Scotland with the linkspan as it prepared to dock. The ferry failed to slow appreciably as it neared the linkspan, alliding with the structure at a speed of over eights knots. Investigation revealed that control of the starboard propeller pitch was lost due to mechanical failure. Recent repairs had been performed incorrectly and subsequent testing was inadequate. Personnel ashore and afloat had become complacent due to the routine nature of the operations. Report 13/2010 (10/14/10).
UK – River Thames restoration cited in award
The UK Environment Agency issued a news release stating that the River Thames has been named the winner of the International Theiss River Prize, which celebrates outstanding achievement in river management and restoration. (10/13/10).
Court – no admiralty jurisdiction over claim of equitable interest – errata
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that not all claims against a vessel invoke admiralty jurisdiction. In the instant case, a dispute arose between parties involved in an oyster-dredging venture. After the venture failed, one party brought suit against another party for breach of contract and wrongful conversion and against the oyster dredge, seeking a court order for an equitable title in the vessel. The court ruled that a Rule D claim asserting only equitable interests, with no separate basis for admiralty jurisdiction, is not cognizable in admiralty. Gulf Coast Shell & Aggregate v. Newlin, No. 09-40942 (5th Cir., October 6, 2010). Note: One of my long-suffering readers gently pointed out that, in yesterday’s newsletter, the word “not” had been omitted from the first sentence. Mea culpa!
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