Headlines: MARAD – advisory re transiting high risk waters; Houston – Ship Channel closed until at least Wednesday; Joint Investigation – Day 2 of Session 5; CBP – deployment of high energy x-ray inspection systems; FWS – polar bear deterrence guidelines; USCG – NVIC re salvage and marine firefighting; Rockland – contaminated vessel response drill; San Francisco – shoreside power for cruise ships; and Australia – response to Shen Neng 1 grounding.
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?
MARAD – advisory re transiting high risk waters
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an advisory providing information on the risk to vessels transiting the high risk waters of the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and waters off the coast of Somalia. US-flag vessels operating in high risk waters are required to comply with USCG Maritime Security (MARSEC) Directive 104-6. Related guidance is also available. Pirates are operating over 1,000 nautical miles off the Somali coast. Pirate activity is expected to remain high until early December, when the favorable weather ends. Vessels in these waters should exercise extreme caution. Advisory 2010-09 (10/5/10).
Houston – Ship Channel closed until at least Wednesday
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Houston Ship Channel will remain closed until at least Wednesday. It has been closed since Sunday, when a barge allied with and partially collapsed a highline electrical tower. Four of the fourteen power lines have been disconnected and reeled in. Once all the lines have been recovered, the remaining legs of the structure will be cut and the structure will be removed. There are currently 37 inbound vessels and 25 outbound vessels awaiting transit. (10/5/10). Note: Unofficial reports indicate that the Channel has reopened to limited one-way transits. This is a fluid situation.
Joint Investigation – Day 2 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 completed Day 2 of Session 5 of its hearing. Mr. Robert McKechnie of Transocean provided information on emergency response and firefighting. Mr. Yancy Keplinger and Ms. Andrea Fleytas of Transocean provided information on the status of Deepwater Horizon equipment and the situation on the bridge during the casualty. (10/5/10). Note: Like yesterday, the hearing was not streamed live on the internet.
CBP – deployment of high energy x-ray inspection systems
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice stating that it is seeking comments on the final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for its High Energy X-Ray Inspection System (HEXRIS). Plans call for the HEXRIS to be deployed and operated at sea and land ports of entry. Comments on the PEA and FONSI should be submitted by November 5. 75 Fed. Reg. 61770 (October 6, 2010). Note: The FONSI may be found at the beginning of the PEA.
FWS – polar bear deterrence guidelines
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a final rule providing guidelines for safely and nonlethally deterring polar bears from damaging private and public property and endangering the public. Persons employing the guidelines do not need to obtain prior permission from the FWS. The final rule comes into effect on November 5. 75 Fed. Reg. 61631 (October 6, 2010).
USCG – NVIC re salvage and marine firefighting
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it posted for public availability its Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC 2-10), Guidance for Implementation and Enforcement of the Salvage and Marine Firefighting Regulations for Vessel Response Plans. 75 Fed. Reg. 61771 (October 6, 2010).
Rockland – contaminated vessel response drill
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, on October 6, it, the US Army, and other federal, state, and local agencies will conduct a drill in Rockland Harbor simulating a response to a contaminated vessel. (10/5/10).
San Francisco – shoreside power for cruise ships
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that, on October 6, the Port of San Francisco will inaugurate shoreside electrical power for cruise ships. (10/5/10).
Australia – response to Shen Neng 1 grounding
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) posted the independent report of the response to the April 3, 2o1o grounding of the bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 in the Great Barrier Reef and the associated pollution response. The report was prepared by a commercial consultant. While the outcome of the incident was largely successful, difficulties were experienced in the integration of the Queensland disaster management arrangements and the National oil spill response arrangements. (9/7/10). Note: This report may restart the government’s earlier effort to integrate marine safety responsibility at the federal level.
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