Headlines: DOJ – Somali pirates sentenced to life plus 80 years; USCG – voluntary use of TWIC readers; NBSAC – meeting; ORRAP – meeting; DHS – retrospective review of regulations; USCG – realignment of sectors in Ninth District; Mississippi River Commission – meeting; NAS – National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces; FEMA – Preparedness Grant Program update; DHS – Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan; DOD – assets deployed to provide relief aid to Japan; FMC – compromise agreements recover $297,500 in civil penalties; FMC – voluntary inclusion of CADRS dispute resolution; DOI – Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee; St. Lawrence Seaway – notices regarding navigation season; Unified Command – tenth bill for oil spill response and recovery; DOI – oil flow rate methodologies; Court – failure to inspect at unloading dooms damage claim; Court – lease holder is not owner for purposes of CERCLA; EC – Cyprus to be warned re marine protection legislation; Australia – GNSS vulnerability workshop; Ireland – eLoran as a backup to GPS; India – piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean; and Somalia – pirates release another ship and crew.
March 15, 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. Planck’s Constant isn’t.
DOJ – Somali pirates sentenced to life plus 80 years
The Department of Justice issued a news release stating that five Somalis convicted in November of engaging in piracy and related offenses in an attack upon the frigate USS Nicholas on April 1, 2010 were sentenced to life in prison followed by a consecutive 80 years in prison. (3/14/11).
USCG – voluntary use of TWIC readers
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it has determined that a biometric match using a TWIC reader from the TSA list of readers that have passed the Initial Capability Evaluation test to confirm that the biometric template stored on the TWIC matches the fingerprint of the individual presenting the TWIC meets or exceeds the effectiveness of a visual identity verification check. An owner or operator of a vessel or facility subject to the TWIC provisions of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) may utilize an approved TWIC reader to check for: identity verification, card validity, and card authentication. Comments on Policy Advisory Council (PAC) Decision 01-11, “Voluntary Use of TWIC Readers”, should be submitted by May 16. 76 Fed. Reg. 14038 (March 15, 2011).
NBSAC – meeting
The National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Arlington, Virginia on April 1-2. 76 Fed. Reg. 14037 (March 15, 2011).
ORRAP – meeting
The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP), sponsored by the Department of the Navy, will meet in Washington, DC on April 6. 76 Fed. Reg. 13999 (March 15, 2011).
DHS – retrospective review of regulations
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is soliciting views from the public on how best to develop its preliminary plan to facilitate the review of existing DHS significant regulations through the use of retrospective analyses. Regulations under consideration include those promulgated by the US Coast Guard, the US Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration. Comments should be submitted by April 13. 76 Fed. Reg. 13526 (March 14, 2011).
USCG – realignment of sectors in Ninth District
The US Coast Guard promulgated a final rule realigning the boundaries Sectors Lake Michigan, Detroit, and Sault Ste. Marie. Station Charlevoix is being transferred from Sector Lake Michigan to Sector Sault Ste. Marie. Station Alpena is being transferred from Sector Detroit to Sector Sault Ste. Marie. These changes will come into effect on April 1. 76 Fed. Reg. 13508 (March 14, 2011). Note: This is an internal organizational change that should have little or no impact on the maritime community.
Mississippi River Commission – meeting
The Mississippi River Commission will meet in Memphis on April 12. Among the matters to be considered are national and regional issues affecting the US Army Corps of Engineers and Commission program and projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. 76 Fed. Reg. 13670 (March 14, 2011).
NAS – National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces
The National Academies of Science (NAS) posted a new study entitled National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces. Among other things, the study finds that even modest climate change will place more demands on the first responder missions of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Capability to operate in the Arctic Ocean and associated waters will become increasingly important. (3/11/11).
FEMA – Preparedness Grant Programs update
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued Information Bulleting No. 357, providing an update regarding the FY 2011 Preparedness Grant Programs (including the Port Security Grant Program – PSGP). An appropriations bill for the remainder of the fiscal year has yet to be enacted. Use of short-term continuing resolutions has made grant awards difficult. When the full appropriations bill is enacted, grants can be made, but awards must be made no later than the end of the fiscal year, September 30. Consequently, FEMA anticipates a shorter application period. Grantees are encouraged to begin basic preparation of FY 2011 application materials, to include the drafting of Investment Justifications (IJ). (3/10/11).
DHS – Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially released the Small Vessel Security Strategy Implementation Plan. The Plan structures the DHS approach to small vessel security operational initiatives. The four main goals are: (1) develop a strong partnership with the small vessel community; (2) strengthen security and safety based on a coherent plan with a layered, innovative approach; (3) exploit technology to enhance the ability to detect, determine the intent of, and, where necessary, interdict small vessels; and (4) improve coordination, cooperation, and communication between the public and private sectors, including international partners. (3/11/11).
DOD – assets deployed to provide relief aid to Japan
The Department of Defense (DOD) issued a media release stating that numerous assets, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, have been deployed to provide relief aid to Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami. (3/13/11).
FMC – compromise agreements recover $297,500 in civil penalties
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release announcing four compromise agreements with ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs) recovering a total of $297,500 in civil penalties for alleged violations of the Shipping Act of 1984. (3/14/11).
FMC – voluntary inclusion of CADRS dispute resolution
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that, speaking at the Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference, FMC Chairman Richard Lidinsky urged both carriers and shippers to include in their service contracts a clause providing that the FMC Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRS) would assist in resolving their disputes. (3/11/11).
DOI – Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that Secretary Ken Salazar has announced the members of the new Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee. The Committee will provide critical guidance on improving offshore drilling safety, well containment, and spill response relating to the outer continental shelf (OCS). (3/11/11).
St. Lawrence Seaway – notices regarding navigation season
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued: Seaway Notice 2/2011 – Tie-Up Service at Lock Approach Walls; Seaway Notice 3/2011 – Communications; Seaway Notice 4/2011 – Mooring and Casting Off in Locks; Seaway Notice 5/2011 – Pre Entry Notice Required from Foreign Flagged Vessels; and Seaway Notice 6/2011 – General Notice. (3/11/11).
Unified Command – tenth bill for oil spill response and recovery
The Unified Command issued a news release stating that the Administration has sent its tenth bill, in the amount of $62 million, to the responsible parties for response and recovery operations relating to the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The responsible parties have fully reimbursed the Administration for the previous nine bills. (3/11/11).
DOI – oil flow rate methodologies
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that scientific teams have completed a peer-reviewed report that assesses the methodologies to determine oil discharge rates in the deepwater environment. (3/11/11).
Court – failure to inspect at unloading dooms damage claim
The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the district court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of defendant insurers on a property damage claim filed by plaintiff cargo owner. Plaintiff purchased fourteen large underground storage tanks. The tanks were manufactured in Dallas and were shipped by barge from Houston to San Juan. Plaintiff purchased insurance from defendants to cover any damage that might occur from the start of loading operations in Houston to berthing of the barge in San Juan. The insurance did not cover damage incurred during the unloading or during transportation to the ultimate destination. The tanks were inspected at the start of loading and found to be satisfactory. The tanks were not inspected when the barge berthed in San Juan. Damage was later discovered and plaintiff asserted that the damage must have occurred during transit on the barge. In affirming summary judgment for the insurers, the court held that plaintiff had adduced no significantly probative evidence to make out a genuine issue of material fact to substantiate its claim. Tropigas de Puerto Rico v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, No. 10-1122 (1st Cir., March 11, 2011).
Court – lease holder is not owner for purposes of CERCLA
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the holder of a revocable lease to use real property is not an owner of the property for purposes of imposing liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for the clean-up of hazardous substances disposed on that property by others. In the instant case, the City of Los Angeles owned real property in the Port of Los Angeles. It granted a revocable lease to a company to operate a boat yard. The lease was later acquired by defendant bottling company. Soon thereafter, the City discovered hazardous substances on the site. The City had the hazardous substances removed and then sought recovery of costs from defendant. The district court held that defendant was not the owner of the property for purposes of CERCLA. Plaintiff city appealed. The appellate court affirmed, ruling that whether a particular party is the owner of real property for purposes of CERCLA is determined by state law. Los Angeles v. San Pedro Boat Works, No. 08-56163 (9th Cir., March 14, 2011).
EC – Cyprus to be warned re marine protection legislation
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it has decided to send a reasoned opinion to the Government of Cyprus warning it over failure to adopt marine protection legislation in accordance with the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. (3/14/11).
Australia – GNSS vulnerability workshop
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that, on March 9, it participated in a workshop at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) vulnerability. The workshop identified a need for some form of national coordination to deal with an increasing dependency on GNSS for Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) across many areas of economic activity. (3/11/11).
Ireland – eLoran as a backup to GPS
The Commissioners of Irish Lights issued a press release stating that it has conducted two GPS jamming trials, demonstrating an over-reliance on GPS. The Commissioners continue to their development of Enhanced Loran (eLoran) as a backup to GPS. (3/14/11). Note: The world should not be putting all of its positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) eggs in one basket.
India – piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean
The Indian Ministry of Defence issued a press release stating that, during January and February, Indian Navy and Coast Guard forces intercepted two pirate vessels off Lakshadweep. Both were Thai fishing vessels that had previously been hijacked by pirates. The 44 fishermen on board were freed and the 43 pirates have been handed over to Mumbai police. (3/14/11).
Somalia – pirates release another ship and crew
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the MV York, together with 25 crewmembers from the MV Rak Afrikana, arrived safely in Mombasa after being released from Somali pirate control on 9 March. The York and her crew of 17 were hijacked by pirates on 24 October 2010. (3/14/11).
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 – March 2011