Headlines: NTSB – factual reports re tug/barge collision with tour boat; EPA – settlement of VGP litigation; USCG – VGP policy; LMRWSAC – meeting; OMB – regulatory review; USCG & TRB – meeting of Harbor Safety and Area Maritime Security Committees; USCG – reminder re hydrostatic testing of transfer pipes; USCG – merchant mariner third party authorization; Senate – bill introduced re GL-MR hydrological separation; Senate – bill introduced re Thunder Bay NMS; Court – plaintiff entitled to jury trial; IMO – WWNWS expands into Arctic waters; Hong Kong – reduction in Port Facilities and Light Dues; and UK – investigation into container ship/fishing vessel collision.
March 9, 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.
NTSB – factual reports re tug/barge collision with tour boat
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its Factual Reports relating to the July 7, 2010 collision in the Delaware River at Philadelphia between a tug/barge and a tour boat. The tour boat, which had developed engine problems and was anchored in the river, carried 34 passengers and two crewmembers. Two of the passengers were fatally injured in the collision. (3/7/11).
EPA – settlement of VGP litigation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entered into a settlement agreement with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other environmental advocacy groups that had challenged the ballast water management (BWM) aspects of the Vessel General Permit (VGP) program. Under the settlement, the EPA has agreed to publish a draft of a new VGP by November 2011 and to issue a new permit by November 2012 that would come into effect when the current VGP expires in December 2013. Among other things, the new VGP will include numeric concentration-based effluent limits for discharges of ballast water expressed as organisms per unit of ballast water volume. Such limits will be either technology-based or water quality-based, or both. (3/8/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Warren Marwedel of Marwedel, Minichello & Reeb, PC.
USCG – VGP policy
The US Coast Guard issued a notice announcing release of its Policy Letter 11-01, Policy for Guidelines for Coast Guard Evaluations of Compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Vessel General Permit (VGP) for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels. 76 Fed. Reg. 12982 (March 9, 2011). Note: The Policy Letter was actually posted on February 11. This Federal Register notice is somewhat late.
LMRWSAC – meeting
The Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee (LMRWSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in New Orleans on March 24. 76 Fed. Reg. 12981 (March 9, 2011).
OMB – regulatory review
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has received for regulatory review the US Coast Guard proposed rule for implementation of the 1995 amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) of Seafarers, 1978. (3/7/11). Note: OMB review generally takes about two months.
USCG & TRB – meeting of Harbor Safety and Area Maritime Security Committees
On June 7-9, the US Coast Guard and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies will sponsor the joint conference of the Harbor Safety Committees (HSCs) and the Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSCs) in Houston. The program will focus on the safety and security of the nation’s gateways and the domestic and international traffic that flows through them, while fostering stewardship of the marine environment. (3/8/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Joedy Cambridge of the Transportation Research Board.
USCG – reminder re hydrostatic testing of transfer pipes
The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Bulletin reminding stakeholders of the requirement that each transfer pipe system used in a transfer of oil or hazardous material (including bunkers) to, from, or within a vessel with a capacity of 250 barrels or more on the navigable waters or contiguous zone of the United States be tested annually under static liquid pressure at least 1.5 times the maximum allowable working pressure. (2/18/11). Note: The Coast Guard does accept alternative procedures, methods, and equipment standards in order for owners and operators to demonstrate the adequacy of their transfer pipe systems. Owners and operators considering alternative methods of demonstrating compliance should contact their Captain of the Port (COTP) in advance.
USCG – merchant mariner third party authorization
The USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) issued an announcement providing guidance regarding how a US merchant mariner may prepare and provide to the NMC a third party authorization allowing another person, such as a spouse or an employer, to handle details of the MMC credential application while the mariner is at sea or away from home for an extended period. (3/8/11).
Senate – bill introduced re GL-MR hydrological separation
Senator Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Stop Asian Carp Act of 2011 (S. 471) to require the Secretary of the Army to study the feasibility of the hydrological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins. (3/3/11).
Senate – bill introduced re Thunder Bay NMS
Senator Levin (D-MI) introduced the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve Boundary Modification Act (S. 485) to expand the boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and for other purposes. (3/3/11).
Court – plaintiff entitled to jury trial
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, where plaintiff brought suit in federal court asserting both admiralty and diversity jurisdiction, plaintiff is entitled to a jury trial on the entire matter. In the instant case, plaintiff was working as a cargo checker for a stevedoring company. She was checking the cargo on a ship moored in the Port of Houston when another ship passed close aboard at an allegedly excessive speed. The passing of the second vessel caused the first vessel to surge and one of the mooring lines to rupture. The ruptured line struck and injured plaintiff. She sued both ships in rem and both ship owners in personam. The district court ordered that all claims be tried together before a jury. Defendants appealed. The appellate court affirmed, holding that, where the claims arise out of one set of facts, only one trier of facts should be used for the trial. Luera v. M/V Alberta, No. 10-20002 (5th Cir., March 7, 2011).
IMO – WWNWS expands into Arctic waters
The IMO issued a news release stating that a ceremony was held during the 15th session of the Subcommittee on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue to celebrate the expansion of the World-Wide Navigational Warning System (WWNWS) into Arctic waters. The five Arctic NAVAREAs/METAREAs are currently in an “Initial Operational Capability” phase with transition to “Full Operational Capability” expected in the coming June. (3/8/11).
Hong Kong – reduction in Port Facilities and Light Dues
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice stating that, effective March 12, the Port Facilities and Light Dues for vessels not plying exclusively within the river trade limits will be reduced from HK$54 per 100 tons (or part thereof) on each occasion of entry to the Hong Kong waters to HK$43 per 100 tons (or pat thereof). Marine Notice 22-2011 (3/8/11).
UK – investigation into container ship/fishing vessel collision
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a media release stating that it has started an investigation into the reported collision between a UK container vessel and a Chinese fishing vessel on 6 March approximately 30 nautical miles off the Chinese coast. The fishing vessel sank and its 11 crewmembers are missing. (3/8/11).
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 – March 2011