Headlines: DOJ – company pays $1 million for discharging oily bilge water; Calcasieu Chip Channel – closed to navigation by large ships; Upper Mississippi River – closed to navigation following allision; St. Lawrence Seaway – vessel grounds, is refloated; OFAC – sanctions against various IRISL vessels; BOEMRE – Oregon offshore renewable energy task force; OMB – benefits and costs of federal regulations; CBP – interest on untimely paid vessel repair duties; OESAC – meeting; MSC – new names for subordinate commands and organizations; House – bill introduced for payments to natural resource trustees; Senate – bill introduced re use of dispersants; Senate – bill introduced for payments to natural resource trustees; Senate – bill introduced to amend LHWCA; Senate – bill introduced to require conveyance of Cutter STORIS; House – bill introduced re tonnage tax; Court – contract involving search for sunken vessel is within admiralty jurisdiction; Mombasa – piracy information-sharing center commissioned; New Zealand – Lookout; and New Zealand – Clean Seas, Safe Seas.
April 1, 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. “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.” Steve Landesburg).
DOJ – company pays $1 million for discharging oily bilge water
The Department of Justice issued a news release stating that the owner of a cargo vessel pleaded guilty to charges of making false statements, knowingly failing to fully and accurately maintain an oil record book (ORB), and knowingly discharging oily bilge water into Pago Pago Harbor without using proper pollution prevention equipment. The company was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $750,000 and to pay $250,000 towards community service projects in American Samoa. The company was also placed on probation for three years, during which time it must implement an environmental compliance program. (3/31/11).
Calcasieu Ship Channel – closed to navigation by large ships
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has closed the Calcasieu Ship Channel to navigation by ships with drafts of 40 feet or more following the rupture of a condensate oil and natural gas pipeline during dredging operations near Cameron, Louisiana. A safety zone has been established on waters around the site of the incident. (3/31/11).
Upper Mississippi River – closed to navigation following allision
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Upper Mississippi River between mile marker 43, near Thebes, to mile marker 0, near Cairo, has been closed to navigation after a tow boat allided with the Thebes Railroad Bridge. The vessel’s tow of 25 loaded rock barges broke loose. Twenty-four barges have been accounted for. The river will remain closed until the missing barge can be accounted for. There were no reports in injury or pollution. (3/31/11).
St. Lawrence Seaway – vessel grounds, is refloated
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued a news release stating that a vessel veered off course and grounded while transiting the South Shore Canal between the St. Lambert Lock and the Jacques Cartier Bridge. There were no reports of injury or pollution. The vessel was inspected, tugs were brought to the scene, and the vessel was soon refloated. It is proceeding to the Port of Montreal for inspection. A total of eight vessels were delayed due to the grounding. (3/31/11).
OFAC – sanctions against various IRISL vessels
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a notice stating that three vessels associated with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) have been added to its list of sanctioned vessels. In addition, a number of vessels have been deleted from the list. (3/31/11).
BOEMRE – Oregon offshore renewable energy task force
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a news release stating that it has established an offshore renewable energy task force with the State of Oregon and affected federal, local, and tribal leaders. The task force will coordinate review of renewable energy projects on the outer continental shelf off the coast of Oregon. (3/31/11).
OMB – benefits and costs of federal regulations
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a notice stating that it has prepared a draft report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations. Comments should be submitted by May 16. 76 Fed. Reg. 18260 (April 1, 2011).
CBP – interest on untimely paid vessel repair duties
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposes to amend its regulations to provide that where an owner or master of a vessel documented under the laws of the United States fails to pay the duties determined to be due that are associated with the purchase of equipment for or repair to the vessel while it is outside the United States, interest will accrue on the amounts owed to CBP and that person will be liable for the interest. Comments on this proposal should be submitted by May 31. 76 Fed. Reg. 18132 (April 1, 2011).
OESAC – meeting
The Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESAC), sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), will meet in Washington, DC on April 18. 76 Fed. Reg. 18232 (April 1, 2011).
MSC – new names for subordinate commands and organizations
The Military Sealift Command (MSC) issued a press release stating that, effective immediately, it has renamed eleven of its component commands and organizations to more accurately reflect the ties between MSC and its worldwide locations. (3/29/11).
House – bill introduced for payments to natural resource trustees
Representative Landry (R-LA) introduced the Natural Resources Restoration Act of 2011 (H.R. 1228) to provide for payments to certain natural resource trustees to assist in restoring natural resources damaged as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and for other purposes. (3/29/11).
Senate – bill introduced re use of dispersants
Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced the Safe Dispersants Act (S. 661) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to ensure the safe and proper use of dispersants in the event of an oil spill or release of hazardous substances, and for other purposes. (3/29/11).
Senate – bill introduced for payments to natural resource trustees
Senator Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Natural Resources Restoration Act of 2011 (S. 662) to provide for payments to certain natural resource trustees to assist in restoring natural resources damaged as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and for other purposes. (3/29/11).
Senate – bill introduced to amend LHWCA
Senator Isakson (R-GA) introduced the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Amendments of 2011 (S. 669) to amend the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act to improve the compensation system, and for other purposes. (3/29/11).
Senate – bill introduced to require conveyance of Cutter STORIS
Senator Begich (D-AK) introduced a bill (S. 673) to require the conveyance of the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter STORIS. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (3/29/11).
House – bill introduced re tonnage tax
Representative Herger (R-CA) introduced a bill (H.R. 1267) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the application of the tonnage tax on certain vessels. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (3/30/11).
Court – contract involving search for sunken vessel is within admiralty jurisdiction
The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a dispute over a contract to assist in the search for a sunken vessel is within the admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts. In the instant case, appellant alleged that he entered into an oral agreement with plaintiff treasure salvors to assist in locating a long-sunk and potentially highly valuable Spanish cargo vessel, the Merchant Royal, in exchange for certain proceeds from its recovery. He further alleges that, five years later, plaintiff informed him that it had no plans to search for the vessel. The parties executed a written contract under which plaintiff paid appellant a cash sum as payment in full for his research file. Soon thereafter, appellant learned that plaintiff had found a sunken vessel believed to be the Merchant Royal and was proceeding to perfect its claim thereto. He intervened in plaintiff’s in rem action against the sunken wreck. When it became apparent that the wreck was not that of the Merchant Royal, the in rem action was dismissed. The federal district court then dismissed appellant’s action, ruling that it was not cognizable in federal court. Appellant appealed. The appellate court ruled that a claim based on a dispute over a contract to assist in the search for a sunken vessel has a particularly maritime character and is cognizable in admiralty. Odyssey Marine Exploration v. Unidentified, Shipwrecked Vessels, No. 10-14396 (11th Cir., March 31, 2011).
Mombasa – piracy information-sharing center commissioned
The IMO issued a news release stating that a piracy information-sharing center has been commissioned in Mombasa. Two others are envisaged for Dar es Salam and Sana’a. The centers are being established under the Djibouti Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (Djibouti Code of Conduct). (3/31/11).
New Zealand – Lookout
Maritime New Zealand issued the latest edition of its safety magazine – Lookout! This edition addresses, among other things, the confrontation in Antarctic waters between whalers and environmental advocates; the dangers of working in a confined space; and engine stalling when switching fuel. (3/30/11).
New Zealand – Clean Seas, Safe Seas
Maritime New Zealand issued the latest edition of its environmental protection and safety magazine – Clean Seas, Safe Seas. This edition addresses, among other things, regulation of ocean fertilization and fishing vessel stability. (3/31/11).
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 – April 2011