Headlines: National Commission – liability caps and financial responsibility; Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands – proposed ECA; EPA – enforcement actions for ocean dumping violations; St. Lawrence Seaway – information re closing of navigation season; USAF – GPS software upgrade; Boston – use of warning ammunition to be evaluated; DHS – Catastrophes & Complex Systems; CBP – reminder on currency regulations; EPA – incidental discharges from vessels; Hudson River – RNA proposed; FERC – Reedsport Wave Park; Senate – bill introduced re fishing vessel replacement; Somali Basin – bulk carrier hijacked by pirates; Somalia – pirates release product tanker; Malaysia – robbers board tugboat; USN – Thai Navy commended on counter-piracy deployment; Hong Kong – proper maintenance of dock arm; India – measures for prevention of oil spills; New Zealand – Maritime NZ Annual Report; Panama Canal – operations resume after temporary suspension; Panama Canal – November operations summary; UK – light dues and Government support update; UK – ship-to-ship transfers; and UK – MAIB safety bulletin.
December 10, 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. When all else fails, SHOUT.
National Commission – liability caps and financial responsibility
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling posted the staff draft summary relating to Liability Caps and Financial Responsibility. The summary recommends, among other things, that the oil spill liability caps and financial responsibility requirements for offshore drilling be gradually raised and that the per-incident limits on payout from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) be increased. (12/1/10).
Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands – proposed ECA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that the United States has proposed to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) establishment of an Emissions Control Area (ECA) in waters adjacent to Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. The proposal has been tentatively approved by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and will be considered for final approval in July 2011. (12/7/10).
EPA – enforcement actions for ocean dumping violations
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that two New England firms are subject to EPA enforcement actions for improper disposal of dredged sediments in ocean waters during recent dredging projects in Massachusetts Bay harbors. (12/6/10).
St. Lawrence Seaway – information re closing of navigation season
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System posted a notice providing various information related to the upcoming closing of the 2010 Seaway Navigation Season. (12/9/10).
USAF – GPS software upgrade
The US Air Force issued a notice stating that it plans to release the next software upgrade for the GPS ground system in early December 2010. Tests show that the GPS navigation message produced by the new software is identical to the GPS navigation message produced by the current ground software. Civilian users experiencing any anomalies should contact the USCG Navigation Center. (11/30/10).
Boston – use of warning ammunition to be evaluated
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it will be evaluating use of less-than-lethal (warning) ammunition when conducting vessel escorts in Boston Harbor. The 12-gauge shotgun warning ammunition can be fired into the path of a vessel that has failed to respond to radio calls or other signals. Once fired, the plastic and aluminum projectile will ignite after approximately 100 meters to create a bright flash of light and a loud sound. (12/9/10).
DHS – Catastrophes & Complex Systems
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice stating that its Fifth Annual Science Conference and University Network Summit will be held in Washington, DC on March 30-April 1, 2011. The theme of this year’s conference is “Catastrophes & Complex Systems: Transportation.” (12/9/10).
CBP – reminder on currency regulations
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release reminding international travelers of the obligation to file a declaration when traveling to or from the United States with currency or other monetary instruments exceeding $10,000 or its foreign equivalent. (12/7/10). Note: While the news release is focused on airline travelers, it equally applies to mariners entering or departing the United States.
EPA – incidental discharges from vessels
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that the States of Pennsylvania and Iowa have been deleted, per their requests, from the State section 401 certification conditions for vessel general permits (VGPs) for discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). 75 Fed. Reg. 76984 (December 10, 2010).
Hudson River – RNA proposed
The US Coast Guard proposes to establish a regulated navigation area (RNA) on the Hudson River south of the Troy Locks. This action would impose restrictions on vessels operating in these waters when ice is a threat to navigation. Comments on this proposal should be submitted by January 10, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 76943 (December 10, 2010).
FERC – Reedsport Wave Park
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice stating that it has completed the environmental assessment (EA) for the proposed Reedsport (Oregon) OPT Wave Park, to be located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 2.5 nautical miles offshore. Comments on the EA should be submitted within 30 days. 75 Fed. Reg. 76974 (December 10, 2010).
Senate – bill introduced re fishing vessel replacement
Senator Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a bill (S. 4014) to provide for the replacement or rebuilding of a vessel for the non American Fisheries Act trawl catcher processors that comprise the Amendment 80 fleet. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (12/7/10).
Somali Basin – bulk carrier hijacked by pirates
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the bulk carrier Jahan Moni has been hijacked by pirates in the Somali Basin approximately 1,300 nautical miles east of Eyl, Somalia and only 300 nautical miles west of India. The ship has 26 crewmembers. (12/6/10).
Somalia – pirates release product tanker
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the product tanker Al Nisr al Saudi has been released by Somali pirates. It was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on 3 March, with 14 crewmembers. (12/9/10).
Malaysia – robbers board tugboat
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an incident alert stating that in the early morning of 8 December a tugboat operating approximately 4.3 nautical miles southeast of Tanjung Piai, Malaysia was boarded by ten robbers armed with pistols and parangs. They took away the crew’s cash and personal belongings. The crew was not injured. (12/8/10).
USN – Thai Navy commended on counter-piracy deployment
The US Navy issued a news release commending the Thai Navy upon completion of its first counter-piracy deployment with the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). (12/6/10).
Hong Kong – proper maintenance of dock arm
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice reminding dockyards and terminals of the importance of proper maintenance of dock arms (the lifting appliance for conveying workers to the vicinity of the hull of a vessel under repair to carry out grit-blasting, painting, etc.). Recently a worker incurred fatal injuries when the dock arm on which he was working collapsed. Investigation revealed that the stress-bearing parts of the dock arm had not been properly inspected and maintained. (12/7/10).
India – measures for prevention of oil spills
The Indian Ministry of Shipping issued a press release stating that the Indian Coast Guard has directed all Indian ports to prepare Local Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plans in accordance with the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan. Regular inspection of ships is being carried out. Tankers above 25 years of age will not be allowed to enter ports. Penalties will be imposed even for minor oil spills. (12/7/10).
New Zealand – Maritime NZ Annual Report
Maritime New Zealand posted its Annual Report 2009/10. The report provides an overview of the agency’s activities and accomplishments for the past year. (12/8/10).
Panama Canal – operations resume after temporary suspension
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release stating that transit and normal operations have resumed following a temporary suspension of traffic due to historic rainfall. (12/9/10).
Panama Canal – November operations summary
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing Canal operations during November. It also includes the schedule of locks maintenance work for the remainder of the fiscal year. Advisory 20-2010 (12/6/10).
UK – light dues and Government support update
The UK Department for Transport issued a press release containing the statement of Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, concerning government support for the maritime industry and light dues update. Among other things, it states that there will be no increases in light dues for at least the next three years. The Government will continue to provide a partial financial contribution toward the cost of training seafarers. The Government will cease, as of 8 March 2011, providing commercial shipping companies with a subsidy to meet part of the cost of fares for seafarers joining or leaving their ships abroad. The Government will also cease to provide financial support for the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Program (CHIRP), which provides mariners with an outlet to voice safety concerns. (12/8/10).
UK – ship-to-ship transfers
The UK Department for Transport issued a press release containing the statement of Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, concerning the outcome of the review of the Merchant Shipping (Ship-to-Ship Transfers) Regulations 2010. The Government intends to restrict ship-to-ship transfers outside harbor authority areas to a single designated area within the UK territorial sea. It will establish a system of permits to be administered by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and it will give effect to the new chapter 8 of Annex I to the MARPOL Convention. (12/6/10).
UK – MAIB safety bulletin
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a safety bulletin regarding catastrophic failure of a capacitor. On 23 September 2010, the cruise liner RMS Queen Mary 2 suffered a casualty when one of the capacitors in a harmonic filter suffered a catastrophic failure and explosion. While the exact cause of the failure is under investigation, the MAIB recommends that operators of vessels with electric propulsion which have large capacitors in harmonic filters should urgently inspect the capacitors and check for signs of deterioration or overheating. Safety Bulletin 4/2010 (12/6/10).
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 – December 2010