Headlines: USCG – VRP update reminder; National Commission – Chief Counsel’s Report; FERC – Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction; Houston-Galveston – Maritime Security & Safety Conference; Columbia River – update on salvage operation; Boston – US & Canadian Coast Guards meet in annual summit; Senate – hearing on DHS budget submission; Senate – bill introduced to leverage transportation investments; House – bill introduced re coral reef conservation; CRS – changes in the Arctic; CRS – marine highways; CRS – Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund expenditures; CRS – report on ASP program; Court – DOI and BOEMRE ordered to process offshore drilling permit applications; Australia – report on fatality at sea; Ireland – updating shipborne navigation & communication equipment; New Zealand – proposed amendments re stowage & securing of cargo; Singapore – tug boarded, crew robbed; and UK – sea passenger statistics.
February 18, 2011
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. Remembering the future.
USCG – VRP and FRP update reminder
The US Coast Guard issued a reminder to owners and operators of tank vessels operating in US waters that vessel response plans (VRPs) must be updated and resubmitted to USCG Headquarters by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, on February 22, 2011. The CAPS “Dispersants” regulation amendments (which also impact some marine transportation-related facilities) also come into effect on February 22. The response plan updates must address compliance with the Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) regulations and the CAPS “Dispersants” regulation amendments. Only 387 of an estimated 800 VRP updates have been received so far. The updates may be physically delivered to Headquarters or may be submitted electronically. The Coast Guard has issued internal guidance relating to enforcement of the revised tank vessel and facility response plan requirements. (2/17/11).
National Commission – Chief Counsel’s Report
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling issued a press release stating that the Chief Counsel’s Report, entitled Macondo – The Gulf Oil Disaster, has been posted on the internet. It is available in both an interactive and a PDF version. The Chief Counsel’s Report provides more detail regarding the events leading up to the blowout and explosion than was provided in the Commission’s Final Report. (2/17/11).
FERC – Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice stating that it received an application to site, construct, and operate liquefaction and export facilities at the existing Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The project, if built, would provide the capability to liquefy domestic natural gas supplies for export of approximately 16 million metric tonnes of LNG per annum. Comments on the application should be submitted by March 4. 76 Fed. Reg. 9573 (February 18, 2011).
Houston-Galveston – Maritime Security & Safety Conference
The US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston issued a bulletin announcing its third annual Security & Safety Conference. The conference will be held in Seabrook, Texas on March 29. Among the topics to be addressed are enforcement actions for fraudulent TWIC use; 2011 Port Security Grants; the TWIC Reader rule; and maritime security policy updates. Attendees will be required to complete and sign a non-disclosure agreement. (2/3/11).
Columbia River – update on salvage operation
The US Coast Guard issued a news release providing an update on the salvage and removal of a converted 431-foot flat deck barge, the Davy Crockett from the Columbia River near Camas, Washington. The vessels leaked approximately 70 gallons of oil into the river and threatened to release more. The Commandant of the Coast Guard authorized Sector Columbia River to remove/destroy the vessel as necessary to abate the threat. Debris, consisting primarily of metal scrap in the amount of 194,710 pounds, has been removed, along with 5,701 gallons of oily water. The vessel is now anchored and stabilized near Camas. (2/17/11).
Boston – US & Canadian Coast Guards meet in annual summit
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant, US Coast Guard, and Vice Admiral Marc Gregoire, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard, met in Boston in their annual summit. The summit provides the two agencies an opportunity to solidify and expand upon bilateral agreements and engagements and develop joint positions on issues discussed at international forums. (2/17/11).
Senate – hearing on DHS budget submission
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs conducted an oversight hearing on the Homeland Security Department’s Budget Submission for Fiscal Year 2012. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security testified. (2/17/11). Notable by its absence from the prepared testimony is any mention of advanced spectroscopic portals (ASPs).
Senate – bill introduced to leverage transportation investments
Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill (S. 371) to improve the efficiency, operation, and security of the national transportation system to move freight by leveraging investments and promoting partnerships that advance interstate and foreign commerce, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (2/16/11).
House – bill introduced re coral reef conservation
CRS – changes in the Arctic
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on changes in the Arctic and issues that might be of interest to Congress. These changes will likely allow more exploration for oil, gas, and minerals. Increased maritime traffic (including cruise ships) will increase the risk of pollution. Management of fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean will present political problems. The Coast Guard’s two polar icebreakers require replacement. Search and rescue capability in the Arctic is extremely limited. Military forces have begun to pay more attention to the region. R41153 (1/21/11).
CRS – marine highways
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on marine highways. Among other things, it finds that freight corridors characterized by an imbalance in the directional flow of container equipment; shippers with low value, heavy cargoes, and waterside production facilities; and connections with coastal hub ports over medium distances may be suitable for container-on-barge (COB) or coastal shipping services. On balance, though, the report seems to find minimal prospect for growth in traffic on domestic marine highways. R41590 (1/14/11).
CRS – Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund expenditures
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on expenditures from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF). The report noted that a significant portion of the expenditures are directed to harbors which handle little or no cargo. In addition, many of the ports that generate large amounts of HMT revenue require little dredging. R41042 (1/10/11).
CRS – report on ASP program
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on the Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP) program. The program has encountered numerous delays and technological difficulties. Full scale procurement may not commence until the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies that ASPs will result in a “significant increase in operational effectiveness”. RL34750 (12/30/10).
Court – DOI and BOEMRE ordered to process offshore drilling permit applications
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted the motion of a drilling rig owner/operator for a preliminary injunction requiring the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to issue drilling permits on five specific applications in which the company has a financial interest. Finding that the government’s failure to act on the permit applications for an extended period of time is unreasonable, the court ordered DOI and BOEMRE to act within 30 days. Ensco Offshore Co. v. Salazar, No. 10-1941 (ED La., February 17, 2011).
Australia – report on fatality at sea
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation into a fatality on board a multipurpose ship at sea on 8 July 2010. The crewmember died following an explosion that occurred while he was attempting to cut the top off a steel drum. When he touched the grinder’s spinning disk onto the top of the drum, the heat that was generated ignited the vapors in the drum, causing the explosion. Investigation revealed that an appropriate risk analysis had not been undertaken and that a hot work permit had not been completed for the task. MO-2010-005 (2/17/11).
Ireland – updating shipborne navigation & communication equipment
The Irish Department of Transport (DoT) issued a notice forwarding recent guidance from the IMO relating to the updating of shipborne navigation and communication equipment. Marine Notice 11/2011 (2/16/11).
New Zealand – proposed amendments re stowage and securing of cargoes
Maritime New Zealand issued a notice starting that it is seeking comments on potential amendments to its rules concerning carriage of cargoes – stowage and securing. The proposed changes are intended to ensure that the rules apply to carriage of semi-trailers. Comments should be submitted by 1 April. (2/17/11).
Singapore – tug boarded, crew robbed
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an incident alert stating that a tug was underway just south of Singapore when it was boarded early in the morning of February 17 by six robbers from a motorized craft. They broke into the wheel house, stealing binoculars and various personal items of the crew. The crew was not injured. (2/17/11).
UK – sea passenger statistics
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) posted Sea Passenger Statistics showing that, during 2010, 21.9 million international ferry passengers travelled to and from the UK, representing a slight increase over 2009. In addition, there were 3.1 million domestic passengers on the three main routes (between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands). (2/17/11).
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 – February 2011