Headlines: BOEMRE – FPSO permit approved for Gulf of Mexico; Honolulu – seawater air conditioning proposal; PNT – jamming GPS; DHS – Science Conference; Senate – bill introduced re harbor maintenance funding; House – bill introduced re TWIC expiration date; Senate – bill introduced to remove punitive damages cap; Senate – bill introduced to facilitate judicial redress; Arabian Gulf – hijacked vessels being used as motherships; Somalia – pirates release hijacked tanker; UK – report on fishing vessel/ro-ro ferry collision; and TORREY CANYON grounding – March 18, 1967.
March 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. Planck’s Constant isn’t.
BOEMRE – FPSO permit approved for Gulf of Mexico
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a press release stating that it provided final approval for use of a Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) facility in the Gulf of Mexico. BOEMRE approved the project’s Production Safety System permit and the Supplemental Deepwater Operating Plan (DWOP). (3/17/11).
Honolulu – seawater air conditioning proposal
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to inform a decision on an application to construct a seawater air conditioning system to provide renewable-energy air conditioning for downtown Honolulu buildings. Deep, cold seawater would be used to chill fresh water that would circulate through the system. Intake and return pipelines would be constructed in adjacent coastal waters to transport the seawater. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by May 2. 76 Fed. Reg. 14953 (March 18, 2011).
PNT – jamming GPS
The National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT) issued a white paper entitled “Jamming the Global Positioning System”. The paper explains how susceptible GPS is to intentional or inadvertent jamming. (11/4/10). Note: This is one more in a long line of reports highlighting the vulnerability of GPS and the fallacy of not having a backup system. It was brought to my attention by my friend Dave McGee at Systems Planning & Analysis.
DHS – Science Conference
The DHS Science Conference will be held on March 30-April 1 in Washington, DC. The theme of this year’s conference is “Catastrophes and Complex Systems: Transportation”. (3/17/11).
Senate – bill introduced re harbor maintenance funding
Senator DeMint (R-SC) introduced the Corps of Engineers Reform Act of 2011 (S. 573) to establish a harbor maintenance block grant program to provide maximum flexibility to each State to carry out harbor maintenance and deepening projects in the State, to require transparency for water resources development projects carried out by the Corps of Engineers, and for other purposes. Senator DeMint issued a press release explaining his goal. (3/14/11).
House – bill introduced re TWIC expiration date
Representative Thompson (D-MS) introduced the TWIC Program Act (H.R. 1105) to ensure that Transportation Worker Identification Credentials held by certain maritime workers do not expire before the deadline for full implementation of electronic readers for such credentials or December 31, 2014, whichever is earlier. (3/15/11).
Senate – bill introduced to remove punitive damages cap
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a bill (S. 592) to amend title 46, United States Code, to remove the cap on punitive damages established by the Supreme Court in Exxon Shipping Company v. Baker. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (3/16/11).
Senate – bill introduced to facilitate judicial redress
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a bill (S. 594) to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to facilitate the ability of persons affected by oil spills to seek judicial redress. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (3/16/11).
Arabian Gulf – hijacked vessels being used as motherships
The NATO counter-piracy program Operation Ocean Shield reports that the previously-hijacked tanker Irene SL and bulk carrier Sinar Kudus are being used by Somali pirates as motherships from which to launch attacks in the Arabian Gulf. (3/17/11).
Somalia – pirates release a hijacked tanker
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that Somali pirates have released the chemical tanker Hannibal II. The tanker was hijacked on 11 November 2010 approximately 860 nautical miles east of the Horn of Africa. The 30 remaining crewmembers are believed to be in good condition. One crewmember was medically evacuated 17 December 2010 suffering from a possible appendicitis. (3/17/11).
UK – report on fishing vessel/ro-ro ferry collision
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the collision between a fishing vessel and a ro-ro passenger ferry off St. Abb’s Head on 5 August 2010 resulting in one fatality. The collision was the result of the failure of the fishing vessel to maintain an adequate lookout and complacency on the part of the watchkeeper on the ferry. Report 4/2011 (3/17/11).
TORREY CANYON grounding – March 18, 1967
On the world stage, the grounding of the supertanker TORREY CANYON on Pollard’s Rock in the Seven Stones reef between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles is more significant than the 1989 EXXON VALDEZ oil spill. The TORREY CANYON was one of the first tankers large enough (120,000 tons capacity) to be designated a supertanker. It was also the first loaded supertanker to spill its entire cargo. After salvage efforts failed and the oil flow increased, the British Government decided to bomb the ship in an attempt to burn the oil. This was a radical decision because the wreck was outside the three-mile territorial sea limit prevalent at that time. The Royal Air Force had difficulty hitting the ship, so the Royal Navy sent its planes in. They succeeded in striking the ship, but the bombs did not ignite the oil, which washed up on beaches throughout the British Isles and France. The actions of the British Government were subsequently ratified with the adoption of the International Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969. Liability of ship owners for such events was codified in the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969. By raising the awareness of both the industry and the public concerning the threat of maritime pollution, the disaster was also a major factor in development of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973.
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