Headlines: USCG – banning of substandard vessels; DOJ – Chief Engineer pleads guilty; MARAD – Port of Guam modernization; FMC – meeting; Antitrust Division – National Shipbuilding Research Program; Defense Acquisition Regulations System – riding gang members; EPA – permit for medium-sized suction dredging in Alaska; FWS – taking limit for Alaska-Chukotka polar bears; SHC – meeting; Advisory Committee on Polar Programs – meeting; NOAA – Flower Garden Banks NMS regulations; Pamlico Sound – danger zone proposed; National Commission – meeting; Sabine Pass – security zones; Michoud Slip – security zone; and Panama Canal – physical model of locks inspected.
October 25, 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?
USCG – banning of substandard foreign vessels
The US Coast Guard issued a policy on the banning of substandard foreign vessels. Such banning has been ordered intermittently in the past, but a more formal protocol has now been established. A foreign vessel that has been detained three times within the previous twelve months will be subjected to an International Safety Management (ISM) Code expanded examination if it is determined that failure to effectively implement the vessel’s Safety Management System (SMS) is a contributing factor for the substandard conditions that led to the detentions. If the vessel fails its expanded examination following three detentions within the previous twelve months, a Letter of Denial will be sent to the vessel’s Owner and Company informing them that the vessel will be denied entry into any port or place in the United States unless specific actions are completed to the satisfaction of the US Coast Guard. The vessel’s flag administration and appropriate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) secretariat’s will be notified of this action. These requirements will not be impacted regardless of whether the vessel is sold, placed under new management, reflagged, or renamed. Upon satisfactory review of all the submitted information required by the Letter of Denial, the Coast Guard will issue a Letter of Acceptance. Upon the vessel’s return to a port or place in the United States, it will be subjected to a Priority I Port State Control (PSC) Examination prior to entry. Policy Letter 10-03 (9/1/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Dan Sheehan.
DOJ – chief engineer pleads guilty
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the former chief engineer of a US oceanographic research vessel pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to the US Coast Guard. He admitted presenting an oil record book (ORB) with known false entries to Coast Guard boarding officers. He had routinely directed crew members to discharge oily wastewater overboard and had not recorded those discharges in the ORB. (10/20/10).
MARAD – Port of Guam modernization
The Department of Transportation issued a news release stating that the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Department of Defense transferred funds in the amount of $50 million for modernization of the Port of Guam. (10/22/10).
FMC – meeting
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued the official 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. 75 Fed. Reg. 65485 (October 25, 2010).
Antitrust Division – National Shipbuilding Research Program
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division issued a notice stating that the National Shipbuilding Research Program filed notification under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act that Austral USA of Mobile, Alabama has been added as a party to this venture. 75 Fed. Reg. 65511 (October 25, 2010).
Defense Acquisition Regulations System – riding gang members
The Defense Acquisition Regulations System issued interim regulations addressing requirements that apply to riding gang members and DOD-exempted individuals who perform work on US-flag vessels under DOD contracts for transportation services. The interim provisions come into effect immediately. Comments on the interim regulations should be submitted by December 27. 75 Fed. Reg. 65437 (October 25, 2010).
EPA – permit for medium-sized suction dredging in Alaska
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it proposes to reissue the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for regulating the activities of suction dredge gold placer mining operations in the State of Alaska with no changes. Comments on this proposal should be submitted by December 9. 75 Fed. Reg. 65483 (October 25, 2010).
FWS – taking limit for Alaska-Chukotka polar bears
The Fish and Wildlife Service issued a notice stating that the US-Russia Polar Bear Commission adopted a limit to the take of the Alaska-Chukotka polar bear population. The Commission decided that the take should be limited to 58 bears per year to be shared between the two nations. 75 Fed. Reg. 65507 (October 25, 2010).
SHC – meeting
The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC), sponsored by the Department of State (DOS), will meet in Washington, DC on December 7. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Subcommittee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessel Safety (SLF). Topics on the agenda include stability criteria, survivability of passenger ships, and verification of damage stability requirements for tankers and bulk carriers. 75 Fed. Reg. 65551 (October 25, 2010).
Advisory Committee for Polar Programs – meeting
The Advisory Committee for Polar Programs, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), will meet in Arlington, Virginia on November 10. Topics on the agenda include planning for a polar research vessel. 75 Fed. Reg. 65385 (October 22, 2010).
NOAA – Flower Garden Banks NMS regulations
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposes to amend the regulations for management of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to improve vessel and user safety, protect sanctuary resources from user impacts, clarify vessel pollution discharge language, and make other technical changes and corrections. A public meeting will be held in Galveston on December 9. Written comments on the proposal should be submitted by January 20, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 65256 (October 22, 2010).
Pamlico Sound – danger zone proposed
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) proposes to establish a danger zone on waters of Pamlico Sound, North Carolina adjacent to the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Comments on this proposal should be submitted by November 22. 75 Fed. Reg. 65278 (October 22, 2010).
National Commission – meeting
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling will meet in Washington, DC on November 8 and 9. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the Commission about the progress of the Chief Counsel’s investigation into the Macondo well blowout. 75 Fed. Reg. 65309 (October 22, 2010).
Sabine Pass – security zones
The US Coast Guard has established moving security zones for certain vessels operating in Captain of the Port Zone Port Arthur. Security zones are also established for the mooring basins of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers while they are moored at Golden Pass LNG facility in Sabine and/or the Sabine Pass LNG facility in Cameron Parish. This rule is effective immediately. Comments on the rulemaking should be submitted by November 22. 75 Fed. Reg. 65232 (October 22, 2010).
Michoud Slip – security zone
The US Coast Guard has established, through December 31, a temporary security zone at the Michoud Slip in East New Orleans to protect the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer and adjacent area. 75 Fed. Reg. 65236 (October 22, 2010).
Panama Canal – physical model of locks inspected
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release stating that its Advisory Board and Board of Directors inspected the physical model of the new set of locks in Lyon, France. The physical model is built at a 1:30 scale to perform water flow tests through its complex arrangement of culverts and valves in order to ensure that the actual locks will meet minimum performance requirements set forth in the contract. The overall expansion work is 15% complete. (10/20/10).
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