Headlines: DOI – offshore wind initiatives; Mississippi River – allision and oil spill; USCG & TRB – joint conference; Gravesend Bay – proposed safety zone; Court – standard for causation in Jones Act case; Indian Ocean – tanker hijacked..
February 8, 2011
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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DOI – offshore wind initiatives
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release announcing major offshore wind initiatives. New funding opportunities for up to $50.5 million will be made available for projects that support offshore wind energy. Four Wind Energy Areas offshore the mid-Atlantic states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia) have been identified for use of coordinated environmental studies, large-scale planning, and expedited approval processes so as to speed offshore wind energy development. (2/7/11).
Mississippi River – allision and oil spill
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it responded to an allision on the Mississippi River in the vicinity of Port Allen, Louisiana. A towboat allided with a moored barge, resulting in the discharge of approximately 2,100 gallons of vacuum gas oil into the river. There were no reports on injury. The incident is under investigation. (2/7/11).
USCG & TRB – joint conference
The US Coast Guard, the Transportation Research Board, and the Houston/SW Texas region HSCs and AMSCs are cosponsoring the Joint Conference of Harbor Safety Committees (HSC) and Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSC) in Houston on June 7-9, 2011. The theme of this year’s conference is “Safeguarding the Nation’s Maritime Gateways”. (2/7/11).
Gravesend Bay – proposed safety zone
The US Coast Guard proposes to establish a permanent safety zone within waters of Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn to protect the maritime public and safeguard navigation from dangers presented by recently discovered underwater explosive hazards in those waters. The safety zone would be in effect until the munitions are rendered safe and removed from the area. Comments on this proposal should be submitted by March 10. 76 Fed. Reg. 6728 (February 8, 2011).
Court – standard for causation in Jones Act case
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a seaman is entitled to recovery under the Jones Act if his employer’s negligence played any part, even the slightest, in producing the injury or death for which damages are sought. In the instant case, plaintiff crewmember worked on defendant’s barges from 1972 to 1986. He testified that from 1972 until the late 1970’s, he was regularly provided with benzene to clean his tools, his hands, and his equipment. In 2006, plaintiff was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Evidence showed that exposure to benzene at the levels that the plaintiff was apparently exposed can cause AML. The district could found that the defendant had negligently exposed the plaintiff to benzene, that the exposure caused plaintiff’s AML, and that plaintiff was entitled to recover damages from defendant. Defendant appealed, contending that the district court applied the wrong standard for causation. Among other things, defendant pointed out that the US Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the case of McBride v. CSX Transportation in order to review this very issue. The appellate court affirmed, noting that a grant of certiorari does not alter binding precedent. Clark v. Kellogg Brown & Root, No. 09-41190 (5th Cir., February 4, 2011).
Indian Ocean – tanker hijacked
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the oil tanker Savina Caylyn has been hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean approximately 670 nautical miles east of Socotra Island. The vessel was registered with the MSC(HOA) and was reporting to the UKMTO. The condition of the vessel and its crew are unknown. (2/8/11).
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