Headlines: NOAA – trustees receive $27.5 million for natural resource damages; DOJ - $6 million to be paid for natural resource damages; CBP – coastwise transportation of merchandise and equipment; Arctic Ocean – Russian researchers threatened by shifting ice; USACE – Great Lakes & Mississippi River Interbasin Study; BOEMRE – oil and gas activities on Alaska OCS; EPA – meeting re Vessel General Permit program; Georgia & NE Florida – mandatory ship reporting & speed reduction; Indian Ocean – pirate action group disrupted; New Zealand – Fiordland arrival and departure; Panama Canal – Miraflores Locks lane outages; and Panama Canal – October operations summary.
November 16, 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.
NOAA – trustees receive $27.5 million for natural resource damages
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that federal and state trustees received $27.5 million from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) in compensation for natural resource damages resulting from the 2004 oil spill from the tanker Athos I. The monies will be used to fund nine restoration projects in areas near the Delaware River and Bay. (11/15/10).
DOJ – $6 million to be paid for natural resource damages
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the responsible parties with respect to the April 2003 oil spill into Buzzards Bay have agreed to pay more than $6 million to federal and state trustees to pay for natural resource damages. The parties previously paid almost $1.6 million in natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) costs, as well as a fine of $10 million. (11/15/10).
CBP – coastwise transportation of merchandise and equipment
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has withdrawn its proposed rulemaking regarding transportation of certain merchandise and equipment between coastwise points. CBP proposed to make a significant policy change in this respect in July 2009, but withdrew the proposed ruling letter in September 2009. The agency then drafted a proposed rulemaking and submitted that proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for consideration on March 17, 2010. (11/15/10). Note: It is unclear at this stage whether CBP has gone back to the status quo on this issue or whether it will approach from a different perspective.
Arctic Ocean – Russian researchers threatened by shifting ice
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it dispatched an aircraft to assess the safety of an imperiled mobile Russian research station in the Arctic Ocean 560 miles northeast of Point Barrow, Alaska. The 15 researchers, who are being threatened by shifting ice, reported that they are in no immediate distress and are awaiting arrival of a Russian icebreaker. (11/15/10).
USACE – Great Lakes & Mississippi River Interbasin Study
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a notice stating that it intends to prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) analyzing the effects of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) controls on the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) and other aquatic pathways between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. A public scoping meeting will be held in Chicago on December 15, 2010. Written comments should be submitted by February 28, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 69983 (November 16, 2010).
BOEMRE – oil and gas activities on Alaska OCS
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a notice stating that it has finalized Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSIs) relating to two oil and gas activities proposed on the Alaska outer continental shelf (OCS). 75 Fed. Reg. 70021 (November 16, 2010).
EPA – meeting re Vessel General Permit program
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is co-sponsoring an open meeting in Houston on November 19 to receive comments on the Vessel General Permit program. (11/15/10). Note: Shortly after the permit program was first established, I presented a paper on Regulation of discharges incidental to the normal operations of a vessel.
Georgia & NE Florida – mandatory ship reporting and speed reduction
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a Compliance Guide for the North Atlantic right whale ship strike reduction program. Among other things, it reminds mariners that the mandatory ship reporting requirement for vessels 65 feet or greater in overall length is in effect from November 15 through April 15 for waters of the North Atlantic from just north of Brunswick, Georgia to just south of Jacksonville, Florida. Ships in the Southeast Seasonal Management Area must keep their speeds to ten knots or less during this period. (11/15/10).
Indian Ocean – pirate action group disrupted
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted and disrupted a pirate action group in the Indian Ocean approximately 200 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. A whaler with four suspected pirates and a number of fuel drums was boarded. The whaler was sunk and the individuals were returned to shore. (11/15/10).
New Zealand – Fiordland arrival and departure
The New Zealand Customs Service issued a notice reminding ship owners and operators that Fiordland, including Milford Sound, is restricted to the arrival and departure of specified cruise vessels under a Deed of Trust signed between Environment Southland and the New Zealand Cruise Ship Industry. There is no provision for other overseas craft to arrive or depart from there. (11/15/10).
Panama Canal – Miraflores Locks lane outages
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that Miraflores Locks will require four separate lane outages of approximately 16 hours each for installation of miter gates on November 15-16; November 18-19; November 22-23; and November 25-26. Transit Reservation System Condition 1.a will be in effect on November 16, 19, 23, and 26. Advisory 18/2010 (11/12/10).
Panama Canal – October operations summary
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing Canal operations during October. In addition, it includes the schedule for locks maintenance work for the remainder of the fiscal year. Advisory 19/2010 (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