Headlines: GAO – federal financial risks re Deepwater Horizon oil spill; EPA – dioxin emissions during Deepwater Horizon controlled burns; NTSB – investigation of cruise ship fire; Buffalo – officials intervene in labor protest; CBP – technical corrections to regulations; Antitrust Division – Marine Well Containment Venture; Indian Ocean – pirates hijack cargo vessel; Mediterranean Sea – Ukrainian warship joins NATO counter-terrorism surge; Australia – proposed floating LNG facility approved; Canada – LRIT regulations implemented; Canada – VDR regulations proposed; Malta – monitoring incident on Maltese vessel; and UK – domestic waterborne freight.
November 15, 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. He who is lost, hesitates.
GAO – federal financial risks re Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its preliminary assessment of federal financial risks and cost reimbursement and notification policies and procedures relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The GAO found that the current statutory limit of $1 billion expenditure per incident from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) is inadequate in this instance. The problem is that the cap applies to gross expenditures, with no accounting for receipts from responsible parties. The report recommends that the cap be raised to $1.5 billion and be made applicable to net expenditures. Further, the report recommends that the National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC) update its written procedures to fully account for current policies and practices. GAO-11-90R (11/12/10).
EPA – dioxin emissions during Deepwater Horizon controlled burns
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that it has posted two peer-reviewed reports concerning dioxins emitted from the controlled in-situ burns of oil recovered during the Deepwater Horizon spill response. The first report summarizes EPA’s sampling effort and indicates that the dioxins were created at low levels – similar to the emissions from residential woodstoves and forest fires. The second report presents the results of a screening risk assessment for the dioxins. Results indicate that increased cancer risk due to exposure to the controlled burn dioxins was small – less than one in 1,000,000. (11/12/10).
NTSB – investigation of cruise ship fire
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a news release stating that, as the flag state, the Government of Panama will lead the investigation into circumstances surrounding the engine room fire on the cruise ship Carnival Splendor. The US Coast Guard will participate in the joint investigation, with technical assistance provided by the NTSB. (11/11/10).
Buffalo – officials intervene in labor protest
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and officers from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office intervened when protested blocked passage of a tug on the Buffalo River pushing a barge carrying windmill parts. A local labor union was protesting against the vessels being operated by out-of-state workers. Such a protest is not only a violation of federal law; it creates a potential hazard to navigation. (11/12/10).
CBP – technical corrections to regulations
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a final rule making various technical corrections to its regulations. Among other things, various regulations relating to arrival, entry, and clearance of vessel are being amended so as to better conform to their respective controlling statutes. The changes come into effect immediately. 75 Fed. Reg. 69583 (November 15, 2010).
Antitrust Division – Marine Well Containment Venture
The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a notice stating that the Marine Well Containment Venture has filed notifications disclosing changes in its membership. 75 Fed. Reg. 69705 (November 15, 2010).
Indian Ocean – pirates hijack cargo vessel
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the cargo vessel Yuan Xiang, with a crew of 29, was hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean approximately 650 nautical miles east of Salalah, Oman. Somali pirates are currently holding 21 vessels with 498 crew members as hostages. (11/15/10).
Mediterranean Sea – Ukrainian warship joins NATO counter-terrorism surge
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) issued a news release stating that Ukraine has sent a warship to the Mediterranean Sea to assist NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor, which aims to detect and deter terrorist activity in the region. Among other things, the operation includes monitoring civilian shipping, collecting and analyzing information on suspicious vessels, and accompanying ships carrying important cargo if required. (11/12/10).
Australia – proposed floating LNG facility approved
The Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population, and Communities, Tony Burke, MP, issued a media release stating that he approved, with strict conditions, Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility to be located in the Browse Basin off the coast of Western Australia. Among other things, the company must develop an oil spill contingency plan and a greenhouse gas strategy. (11/12/10).
Canada – LRIT regulations implemented
Transport Canada issued a news release stating that it promulgated regulations requiring certain Canadian ships making international voyages to carry and operate Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) transmitters. The regulations, which came into effect immediately, also allow Canada to better monitor foreign vessels up to 1,000 nautical miles off its coasts. (11/10/10).
Canada – VDR regulations proposed
Transport Canada issued a news release stating that it has proposed regulations that would require certain Canadian vessels to have voyage data recorders (VDRs) on board. The proposed regulations were pre-published on November 6. Comments on the proposal must be submitted within 30 days. (11/8/10).
Malta – monitoring incident on Maltese vessel
Transport Malta issued a news release stating that it and other government agencies are monitoring developments with respect to the incident involving the MV Strofades IV, a Maltese registered ship managed in Greece. The vessel was allegedly boarded by unknown persons in the port of Darnah, Libya and forced to sail toward Greek waters.
UK – domestic waterborne freight
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) issued a news release stating that domestic waterborne freight in the UK in 2009 accounted for 6% (110 million tonnes) of all goods lifted and 22% (49 billion tonne-km) of all goods moved. Coastwise traffic decreased by 1% from 2008 to 2009. (11/12/10).
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 – November 2010