Headlines: National Commission – Macondo well cement slurry may have been unstable; DOJ – security zone established around Deepwater Horizon wreckage site; BOEMRE – GOM benthic communities study; USCG – new officer endorsements for towing vessels on Western Rivers; Port Arthur – allision and oil spill closes Sabine River; CBP – Asian gypsy moth egg mass found on containers arriving from Russia; EPA – VGP listening session; NOAA – five-year review re smalltooth sawfish; Baltimore – surge operation re intermodal compliance; Hampton Roads – surge operation re intermodal compliance; Indian Ocean – pirate attack off Mangalore, India; EC – proposal to modify EMSA mandate; EC – maritime safety and security system joint venture approved; Australia – AMSA Annual Report; Australia – Senate passes offshore petroleum bills; and UK – port employment and accident rates.
October 29, 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 – Macondo well cement slurry may have been unstable
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling posted a letter from the Commission’s lead investigator, Fred H. Bartlit, to the Commissioners reporting the results of testing of the cement used to secure the production casing and isolate the hydrocarbon zone at the bottom of the Macondo well. The letter indicates that the cement slurry used in the Macondo well may have been unstable. The laboratory test report provides details of the testing process and particular results. (10/28/10).
DOJ – security zone established around Deepwater Horizon wreckage site
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has ordered the establishment of a security zone extending 750 feet in all directions from the MODU Deepwater Horizon wreckage site and its debris field. The order will be enforced by the United States using the full range of security assets available and will remain in place until October 8, 2011, unless renewed for good cause. (10/27/10).
BOEMRE – GOM benthic communities study
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a news release stating that it is leading a 10-day cruise of the Gulf of Mexico to examine deep sea coral and chemosynthetic community sites to determine the possible effects of the large volumes of oil released in the deepwater following the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill. (10/28/10).
USCG – new officer endorsements for towing vessels on Western Rivers
The US Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice stating that it has established two new officer endorsements for mates (pilots) or masters of towing vessels upon Western Rivers for operations in which the transiting of locks is not applicable. The new officer endorsements are: (1) Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels upon Western Rivers – Restricted from Transiting Locks; and (2) Master of Towing Vessels upon Western Rivers – Restricted from Transiting Locks. (10/28/10).
Port Arthur – allision and oil spill closes Sabine River
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Sabine River is closed to navigation near Mesquite Point following an allision between a passing merchant vessel and three moored fishing vessels. One of the fishing vessels discharged diesel fuel into the waterway as a result of the incident. Response resources are on scene. The incident is under investigation. (10/28/10). Note: Unofficial reports indicate that the river has since been reopened to navigation.
CBP – Asian gypsy moth egg mass found on containers arriving from Russia
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that an Asian gypsy moth egg mass for found on shipping containers arriving in the Port of New Orleans from Russia. The shipment, consisting of 39 containers, is set for re-exportation. (10/28/10).
EPA – VGP listening session
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it will hold a listening session in Washington, DC on December 15 to obtain suggestions from the public for improving the next Vessel General Permit (VGP). The VGP is a Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that authorizes, on a national basis, discharges incidental to the normal operation of non-exempt vessels. Among the issues that particularly interest the EPA is whether any effluent limitations or reporting requirements should be revised. 75 Fed. Reg. 66757 (October 29, 2010).
NOAA – five-year review re smalltooth sawfish
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it has completed its five-year review of the US distinct population segment (DPS) of smalltooth sawfish. It recommends that the fish remain listed as an endangered species. 75 Fed. Reg. 66724 (October 29, 2010).
Baltimore – surge operation re intermodal compliance
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a joint operation was conducted by various federal, state, and local agencies at the Seagirt and Dundalk Marine Terminals in the Baltimore area to promote awareness of and verify compliance with federal and state intermodal container, truck, air, rail, and hazardous material safety regulations. (10/27/10).
Hampton Roads – surge operation re intermodal compliance
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that federal, state, and local authorities conducted a joint operation at Hampton Roads port facilities to promote awareness of and to verify compliance with federal and state intermodal container, truck, air, rail, and hazardous material safety regulations. (10/28/10).
Indian Ocean – pirate attack off Mangalore, India
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert stating that a crude oil tanker was attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean approximately 340 nautical miles west of Mangalore, India. The pirates, suspected to be from Somalia, were in two small craft. They fired on the tanker, which escaped after increasing speed and taking evasive action. This incident is the furthest east pirate attack since troubles began off Somalia. (10/28/10).
EC – proposal to modify EMSA mandate
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it is proposing to modify the mandate of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to enable the agency to deal with new challenges. The proposal would, among other things, increase EMSA’s involvement in EU research; emphasize the rule of the EMSA in vessel traffic monitoring; and extend EMSA’s assistance in development and implementation of EU policies, such as Motorways of the Sea. (10/28/10).
EC – maritime safety and security system joint venture approved
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it has cleared the creation of a joint venture between EADS Defence & Security SAS and Atlas Elektronik GmbH in the sector of maritime safety and security systems (MSS). The proposed joint venture would allow for coordinated development, sales, and operation of vessel traffic service (VTS) systems and coastal surveillance systems (CSS). (10/28/10).
Australia – AMSA Annual Report
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) posted its Annual Report 2009-10. Among the activities discussed therein are the responses to the uncontrolled release of oil from the Montara Wellhead Platform and the grounding on the Great Barrier Reef of the bulker Shen Neng 1. (10/28/10).
Australia – Senate passes offshore petroleum bills
The Australian Minister for Resources and Energy, the Honorable Martin Ferguson, issued a media release stating that the Australian Senate has passed two bills to strengthen regulation of Australia’s offshore petroleum industry. The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2010 addresses, among other things, strict liability offenses and occupational health and safety duties. The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas (Safety Levies) Amendment Bill 2010 enables safety levies relating to pipelines in designated coastal waters to be collected in certain states and the Northern Territory. (10/28/10).
UK – port employment and accident rates
The UK Department for Transport issued its report entitled Port Employment and Accident Rates 2009/10. The report estimates that 37,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees work on the port estate in directly related jobs and around 21,100 FTEs off the port estate. The accident rate for direct businesses on port is estimated to be 1.1% (1,100 accidents per 100,000 employees). (10/28/10).
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