Headlines: National Commission – video of October 13 meeting; FMC – meeting on October 27; USCG – proposal re marine vapor control systems; NOSAC – meeting; NOAA – draft penalty policy; Court – spoliation sanction and premises liability; IMO – assessment framework for ocean fertilization; EU NAVFOR – yachts urged to avoid Horn of Africa; Somalia – pirate action group disrupted; and Malta – oil spill response exercise.
October 21, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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?
National Commission – video of October 13 meeting
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling has posted the video of its October 13 meeting. At the meeting, the Commissioners deliberated publicly regarding preliminary findings on: (1) the History and Future or Offshore Drilling; and (2) Regulatory Oversight. (10/20/10).
FMC – meeting on October 27
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that the Commission will meet in Washington, DC on October 27. In the open session, it will receive a briefing on the 2010 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – 33rd Transportation Working Group Meeting and it will review the impact of the European Union repeal of the liner conference block exemption. (10/20/10).
USCG – proposal re marine vapor control systems
The US Coast Guard proposes to make significant changes to its regulations relating to marine vapor control systems (VCSs). The changes would make the VCS requirements more compatible with new federal and state environmental requirements, reflect industry advancements in VCS technology, and codify the standards for the design and operation of a VCS at tank barge cleaning facilities. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 21, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 65151 (October 21, 2010).
NOSAC – meeting
The National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Houston on November 9. Topics on the agenda include medical evacuation of injured divers; marine portable quarters; and the ongoing Deepwater Horizon investigation. 75 Fed. Reg. 65025 (October 21, 2010).
NOAA – draft penalty policy
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking comments on its draft policy on assessment of civil administrative penalties and permit sanctions. Comments should be submitted by December 20. 75 Fed. Reg. 64987 (October 21, 2010).
Court – spoliation sanction and premises liability
The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that a party in a maritime case is not subject to a spoliation sanction for loss of evidence over which the party had no physical control. In the instant case, plaintiff crewman was injured on a dock in Duluth harbor while handling mooring lines for his ship. The trial court imposed a spoliation sanction against defendant vessel owner because the condition of the dock on which the injury occurred was not preserved. The spoliation sanction allowed the jury to draw negative inferences against defendant vessel owner in its deliberations. The appellate court reversed, stating that the spoliation sanction was inappropriate because there was no evidence that the vessel owner had possession of or control over the dock, which was owned and operated by the third party defendant. Additionally, the court ruled that federal maritime law regarding premises liability is to be applied, rather than state premises-liability law. Willis v. Indiana Harbor Steamship Co., No. A09-2223 (Minn. App., October 19, 2010).
IMO – assessment framework for ocean fertilization
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 and to the 1996 Protocol thereto have reached agreement on an Assessment Framework for Scientific Research Involving Ocean Fertilization. Ocean fertilization, other than legitimate scientific research, is not allowed under the agreement. (10/20/10).
EU NAVFOR – yachts urged to avoid Horn of Africa
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that it met with a delegation from the International Sailing Federation and advised them that the only safe solution to the threat of piracy is for yachts to avoid transiting waters of the Horn of Africa. While a yacht is not a vessel of choice for the Somali pirates, they will attack it if there is no other available target. (10/20/10).
Somalia – pirate action group disrupted
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted a pirate action group off the coast of Somalia. The twelve individuals disposed of weapons and other paraphernalia before they could be boarded. Their whaler was destroyed and they were sent back to Somalia in their two skiffs. (10/20/10).
Malta – oil spill response exercise
Transport Malta issued a news release stating that it, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), and other stakeholders successfully completed an oil spill response training exercise off the coast of Delimara. (10/19/10).
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