Headlines: Joint Investigation – Day 1 of Session 5; Houston – Ship Channel remains closed to navigation; Santa Barbara Channel – public meetings re PARS; BOEMRE – Chukchi Sea Planning Area; Mid-Atlantic OCS – installation of meteorological data collection facilities; Congress – Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010; House – bill introduced to improve oil spill preparedness; House – bill introduced to reauthorize MDRPRA; Senate – bill introduced re South Carolina land exchange; Senate – bill introduced re oil pollution damage tax relief; IMO – further progress at MEPC session; EMSA – October newsletter; Gulf of Aden – pirate attack disrupted; and Riyadh MOU – CIC re safety of navigation.
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 1 of Session 5
The US Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) conducted the first day of the fifth session of their joint investigation into circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, and sinking of the MODU Deepwater Horizon, with multiple loss of life. Captain James Hanzalik, USCG provided information on contingency plans and actual response to the casualty. Mr. Doug Martin (employed by Smit) provided information on the marine firefighting plan and effort. Unfortunately, the session was not streamed life. (10/4/10).
Houston – Ship Channel remains closed to navigation
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Houston Ship Channel remains closed to navigation while efforts are made to stabilize and remain the highline electrical power structure that was damaged on Sunday when struck by a barge. It is estimated that the waterway will reopen on Tuesday evening. (10/4/10).
Santa Barbara Channel – public meetings re PARS
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it will hold public meetings at the Oxnard Harbor District offices (October 13) and the Port of los Angeles Administration Building (October 14) to explain the Port Access Route Study (PARS): “In the Approaches to Los Angeles-Long Beach and in the Santa Barbara Channel”. (10/4/10).
BOEMRE – Chukchi Sea Planning Area
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a notice stating that it intends to develop and publish a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for outer continental shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Alaska. 75 Fed. Reg. 61511 (October 5, 2010).
Mid-Atlantic OCS – installation of meteorological data collection facilities
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to pile driving associated with installation of two meteorological data collection facilities, one each off the coast of Delaware and New Jersey. 75 Fed. Reg. 61426 (October 5, 2010).
Congress – Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010
The Congress has put into enrolled bill form the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 3619). This is the final version, incorporating the last-minute Senate amendment. It will now be sent to the White House for signature into law by President Obama. (9/30/10).
House – bill introduced to improve oil spill preparedness
Representative Richardson (D-CA) introduced a bill (H.R. 6292) to improve the ability of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard, and coastal States to sustain healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems by maintaining and sustaining their capabilities relating to oil spill preparedness, prevention, response, restoration, and research, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (9/29/10).
House – bill introduced to reauthorize MDRPRA
Senate – bill introduced re South Carolina land exchange
Senator Graham (R-SC) introduced a bill (S. 17) to provide for an exchange of land between the Department of Homeland Security and the South Carolina State Ports Authority. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (9/29/10).
Senate – bill introduced re oil pollution damage tax relief
Senator Wicker (R-MS) introduced a bill (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. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (9/29/10).
IMO – further progress at MEPC session
The IMO issued a news release stating that further progress was made at the session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in London last week in developing measures to improve the energy efficiency of ships, in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The MEPC held an extensive debate on how to progress the development of suitable market-based measures (MBM) for international shipping, but reached no consensus. It agreed on Terms of Reference for an intersessional meeting of the Working Group on GHG Emissions from Ships, to be held in March 2011. (10/4/10).
EMSA – October newsletter
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) posted its newsletter for October 2010. The issue addresses, among other things, the developing “Blue Belt” concept to eliminate barriers to intra-EU maritime transport. (10/1/10).
Gulf of Aden – pirate attack disrupted
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships disrupted a pirate attack on a merchant vessel operating in the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel issued a distress call saying that it was being chased by a pirate skiff. Upon arrival of the warship’s helicopter, the skiff gave up the chase. Occupants of the skiff were seen throwing equipment overboard. When a boarding party arrived, the six suspected pirates had nothing unusual on board except for excess fuel. The excess fuel was seized and the suspects were released. (10/4/10).
Riyadh MOU – CIC re safety of navigation
The Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Port State Control PSC) issued a press release stating that, starting 1 October 2010, its members will conduct a concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) focusing on compliance with SOLAS Chapter V – Safety of Navigation. (9/4/10).
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