Headlines: DOJ – Gulf oil spill lawsuit filed; USN – successful test of electromagnetic railgun; NOAA – amendments to Fisheries Finance Program; USCG – PEA re Interagency Operations Centers; USCG – recreational boating safety projects; NACOSH – meeting; USA – nominations for Inland Waterways Users Board; EU – EU NAVFOR Somalia extended through December 2012; Australia – irregular entry at Christmas Island; Australia – Christmas Island tragedy; and Boston Tea Party – December 16, 1773.
December 16, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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DOJ – Gulf oil spill lawsuit filed
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that it has filed a complaint against various parties involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill seeking payment of government removal costs, economic losses, and environmental damages under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). In a second news release, DOJ announced that its suit seeks civil penalties under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) and a declaration that eight of the defendants are liable without limitation under OPA 90 for all removal costs and damages. The defendants consist of: BP Exploration and Production Inc.; Anadarko Exploration & Production LP; Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC; Triton Asset Leasing GMBH; Transocean Holdings LLC; Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc.; Transocean Deepwater Inc.; and QBE Underwriting Ltd./Lloyd’s Syndicate 1036. The latter entity, as BP’s insurer, is liable only up to the amount of insurance coverage under OPA 90. The suit alleges violation of various federal safety and operating regulations. (12/15/10). Note: I understand the part of the suit seeking civil penalties, but not the part seeking costs and damages incurred by the federal government. Government press releases have stated that it has been fully paid for all bills submitted and BP has promised to continue such payments. The government is not entitled to double recovery.
USN – successful test of electromagnetic railgun
The US Navy issued a news release stating that it successfully conducted a world-record 33-megajoule shot of the Electromagnetic Railgun aboard Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Virginia. The test means that the Navy has the capability to fire projectiles at least 110 nautical miles at the high velocities tactically relevant for air and missile defense. The potential weapon may also eliminate the need for high-energy explosive warheads and traditional gun propellants, improving on board safety and reducing the supply chain. (12/10/10).
NOAA – amendments to Fisheries Finance Program
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued regulations revising the operating rules of the Fisheries Finance Program (FFP) and setting forth procedures, eligibility criteria, loan terms, and other requirements related to FFP lending to the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries. The revisions come into effect on January 18, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 78619 (December 16, 2010).
USCG – PEA re Interagency Operations Centers
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it intends to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for proposed nationwide implementation of the Interagency Operations Center (IOC) Project. The Project calls for conversion of the Coast Guard’s 35 Sector Command Centers (SCCs) into IOCs. Comments on this multi-year project should be submitted by January 18, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 78722 (December 16, 2010).
USCG – recreational boating safety projects
The US Coast Guard issued a notice accounting for recreational boating safety projects, programs, and activities funded under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. 75 Fed. Reg. 78725 (December 16, 2010).
NACOSH – meeting
The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and health (NACOSH), sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will meet in Washington, DC on January 19-20, 2011. Among other things, the Committee will receive updates on the Gulf Oil Spill response. 75 Fed. Reg. 78775 (December 16, 2010).
USA – nominations for Inland Waterways Users Board
The Department of the Army is seeking nominations for membership on the Inland Waterways Users Board. Nominations should be received by February 15, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 78688 (December 16, 2010).
EU – EU NAVFOR Somalia extended through December 2012
The European Union (EU) issued a press release stating that the counter-piracy mission of EU NAVFOR Somalia (also known as Operation Atalanta) has been extended through December 2012. Policing of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) has significantly reduced hijackings in those waters. In the Somali Basin, EU NAVFOR warships have disrupted 75 pirate action groups and 92 suspected pirates have been apprehended and placed into the legal system, with 43 pirates being convicted to date. (12/15/10).
Australia – irregular entry at Christmas Island
The Australian Customs and Border Protection issued a media release stating that officers detected and boarded a suspected irregular entry vessel northwest of Rocky Point, Christmas Island. There were eight passengers and three crew on the vessel. The group will be transferred to Christmas Island for security, identity, and health checks. (12/15/10).
Australia – Christmas Island tragedy
The Australian Customs and Border Protection issued a media release stating that a search and rescue operation is continuing at Christmas Island. It appears that a vessel broke down while attempting an irregular entry. The vessel crashed against the rocky coast and has been destroyed. Rescuers have accounted for 42 survivors and 28 deceased. Recovery operations continue. (12/16/10).
Boston Tea Party – December 16, 1773
On this date in 1773, American colonists in Boston, calling themselves the Sons of Liberty, boarded several ships moored in the harbor and threw numerous chests of tea into the water. Their cry was: “No taxation without representation!” Some years later, they got representation – followed immediately by taxation and more taxation. Their actions also resulted in development of the Refuse Act of 1899, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and Sarah Palin.
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