Headlines: USCG – awards for Deepwater Horizon first responders; USCG – Operation Taconite concludes for season; Los Angeles – collision between sailboat and container vessel; FMC – Senate confirms two Commissioners; DOI – Ministerial Forum on Deepwater Drilling Safety; DOI – OESC to meet for first time; BOEMRE – seeking to fill new positions; ONR – high-energy maritime laser; NAVSAC – meeting; Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Industry Sub-Panel – meeting; Charleston – disestablishment of special anchorage area; House – bill introduced to require best available technology on OCS; Senate – bill introduced re harbor deepening projects; House – bill introduced re HMT exemption; House – bill introduced to amend OPA 90; House – bill introduced re safety at manned offshore installations; House – bill introduced to modernize oil spill response; Senate – bill introduced to reauthorize port security programs; Senate – bill introduced to coordinate OCS leases and permits; Senate – bill introduced to restore Gulf coast ecosystems; Senate – bill introduced re Gulf restoration planning; House – concern expressed re TWIC delays; GAO – mailing TWICs to residences; Court – overtime pay for spill response vessel crew members; Connecticut – solicitation for apprentice marine pilots; IMO – current situation re Japan; EC – European Atlas of the Seas; EMSA – April newsletter; Ireland – guidelines for AFS survey and certification; and Indian Ocean – catch and release.
April 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. “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.” (Steve Landesburg).
USCG – awards for Deepwater Horizon first responders
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that awards were presented to the crew of the OSV Damon B. Bankston and to the Coast Guard helicopter crews who participated in the first response to the explosion and fire on the MODU Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010. Their courage, selflessness, poise, and preparedness were instrumental in the prevention of further loss of life from the tragic event. (4/15/11).
USCG – Operation Taconite concludes for season
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that Operation Taconite has concluded for the season. The Operation involves icebreaking on waters of Lake Superior, the St. Mary’s River, the Straits of Mackinac, and northern Lake Huron and commenced on December 6, 2010. (4/15/11).
Los Angeles – collision between sailboat and container vessel
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is investigating a collision between a 26-foot sailboat and a 901-foot container ship in the Port of Los Angeles. There were no injuries, but the sailboat suffered minor damage. The Coast Guard reminds boaters that the entrances and navigation channels inside the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are considered “narrow channels” as described in Rule 9 of the Navigation Rules of the Road. Smaller vessels are not to impede the passage of vessels that can safely navigate only within the narrow channel or fairway. (4/15/11).
FMC – Senate confirms two Commissioners
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that the Senate has confirmed Rebecca F. Dye and Mario Cordero as FMC Commissioners. This is Ms. Dye’s third term as a Commissioner, having been first sworn in on November 14, 2002. This is Mr. Cordero’s first term as a Commissioner. He has been serving on the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. (4/15/11). Note: This is the first time since 2006 that the FMC has had its full complement of five Commissioners.
DOI – Ministerial Forum on Deepwater Drilling Safety
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that a Ministerial Forum on Deepwater Drilling Safety was held in Washington, DC. Ministers and senior government officials from more than a dozen nations met with experts to share lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and promote collaborative solutions for deepwater oil spill containment. (4/14/11).
DOI – OESC to meet for first time
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that the first public meeting of the new Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC) will be in Washington, DC on April 18. (4/15/11).
BOEMRE – seeking to fill new positions
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a press release stating that it is seeking to fill two key positions for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), one of the new bureaus that will start operating on October 1. The positions are Environmental Enforcement officer and Regulations Development Branch Supervisor. (4/15/11).
ONR – high-energy maritime laser
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) issued a press release stating that a solid-state high-energy laser (HEL) was successfully fired from a surface ship, disabling a small target vessel. (4/8/11).
NAVSAC – meeting
The Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (NAVSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Arlington, Virginia on May 4-5. Topics on the agenda include coastal marine spatial planning; proposed changes to the Inland Navigation Rules; e-navigation strategy; deployment of ECDIS; virtual aids to navigation; Sky Sails; proximity of offshore energy installations to established ships routing measures; and autonomous unmanned vessels. 76 Fed. Reg. 21772 (April 18, 2011).
Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Industry Sub-Panel – meeting
The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Industry Sub-Panel, sponsored by the Department of the Navy, will meet in Washington, DC on May 24-25. 76 Fed. Reg. 21712 (April 18, 2011).
Charleston – disestablishment of special anchorage area
The US Coast Guard issued a final rule disestablishing Ashley River Anchorage 2 in Charleston. The rule comes into effect on July 18. 76 Fed. Reg. 21633 (April 18, 2011).
House – bill introduced to require best available technology on OCS
Representative Inslee (D-WA) introduced the Offshore Drilling Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 1520) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require that oil and gas drilling and production operations on the outer Continental Shelf must have in place the best available technology for blowout preventers and emergency shutoff equipment, and for other purposes. (4/13/11).
Senate – bill introduced re harbor deepening projects
Senator Graham (R-SC) introduced a bill (S. 793) to allow the Corps of Engineers to use certain amounts to carry out harbor deepening projects. (4/12/11).
House – bill introduced re HMT exemption
Representative Tiberi (R-OH) introduced a bill (H.R. 1533) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exempt certain shipping from the harbor maintenance tax. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (4/14/11).
House – bill introduced to amend OPA 90
House – bill introduced re safety at manned offshore installations
Representative Landry (R-LA) introduced a bill (H.R. 1572) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to improve safety at manned offshore installations, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (4/15/11).
House – bill introduced to modernize oil spill response
Representative Young (R-FL) introduced a bill (H.R. 1664) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to modernize and enhance the Federal Government's response to oil spills, to improve oversight and regulation of offshore drilling, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (4/15/11).
Senate – bill introduced to reauthorize port security programs
Senate – bill introduced to coordinate OCS leases and permits
Senator Begich (D-AK) introduced a bill (S. 843) to establish outer Continental Shelf lease and permit processing coordination offices, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (4/14/11).
Senate – bill introduced to restore Gulf coast ecosystems
Senator Landrieu (D-LA) introduced a bill (S. 861) to restore the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine habitats, and coastal wetland of Gulf Coast States, to create jobs and revive the economic health of communities adversely affected by the explosion on, and sinking of, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (4/14/11).
Senate – bill introduced re Gulf restoration planning
House – concern expressed regarding TWIC delays
The House Committee on Transportation and infrastructure issued a news release stating that representatives of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) declined to appear at the April 14 oversight hearing on Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs). The Committee remains concerned that full deployment of biometric technology (particularly biometric readers) is behind schedule. Chairman John Mica intends to work with other House committees to ensure that the agency addresses questions about the delays in the TWIC program. (4/14/11).
GAO – mailing TWICs to residences
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) posted its report to Congress on the feasibility of mailing Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs) to the residences of approved applicants. The report concludes that, due to a number of factors, particularly the need to perform a biometric match before delivering the TWIC to the individual, mailing the TWIC to the applicant would not be practical. GAO-11-542r (4/13/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services, Inc.
Court – overtime pay for spill response vessel crew members
The Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District, applying state law, ruled that crew members of an offshore oil spill recovery vessel are entitled to overtime pay for working the seventh consecutive day in the workweek and for their time in an on-call status. The vessels must be prepared to respond to oil spills 24 hours a day. Plaintiff crew members worked 14 days on duty and then 14 days off duty. Each two-week period started at noon on Tuesday and ended on Tuesday two weeks later. Defendant employer calculated overtime pay from 12:00 a.m. on Monday to 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday. Based on that calculation, plaintiffs worked six days the first workweek, seven days the second workweek, and two days the third workweek. Defendant only paid a single seventh day premium for the end of the second workweek. During each workweek, plaintiffs worked 12 hours each day. The remaining 12 hours were designated by the employer as off-duty, of which eight hours was sleep time. A crew member could depart the vessel during off-duty time, but, when off the vessel, was required to carry a cell phone or a pager and be able to return to the vessel within 30-45 minutes of an emergency call. Crew members were prohibited from consuming alcohol at any time during their two-week duty period. Defendant employer only paid compensation for the 12 hours each day that the crew members were officially on duty. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant employer. Plaintiff crew members appealed. The appellate court reversed the lower court, holding that California state law is more protective of employees than is federal law. Under state law, an employer is not allowed to designate the workweek in such a way as to circumvent the statutory requirement to pay overtime rates for the seventh consecutive day worked in a workweek. The appellate court also determined that plaintiff employees are entitled to compensation for off-duty time (other than sleep time) spent in an on-call status. Seymore v. Metson Marine, No. A127489 (Cal. 1st App. Dist., April 14, 2011). Note: This case was brought to my attention by my good friend Al Cattalini.
Connecticut – solicitation for apprentice marine pilots
The Connecticut Department of Transportation issued a press release stating that it is seeking qualified applicants for the Connecticut Apprentice Marine Pilot Training and Certification Program. Applications must be submitted by June 1. (4/14/11).
IMO – current situation re Japan
The IMO issued a news release stating that United Nations organizations are closely monitoring the effects of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan and remain confident that current radiation levels do not present health or transportation safety hazards to passengers and crew. Further information regarding the response effort and the radiation dose in Tokyo Bay and at sea in the region can be found on websites linked in news release. The IMO also issued a Circular Letter addressing navigation in the sea area in the vicinity. (4/15/11).
EC – European Atlas of the Seas
The European Commission posted a new version of its European Atlas of the Seas. This version includes 24 new maps, along with hundreds of updates and improvements. (4/15/11).
EMSA – April newsletter
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued its newsletter for April 2011. Topics included in this edition include the Blue Belt pilot project; upgraders to CleanSeaNet; and the transfer of the EU Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) Data Centre to the EMSA facility in Portugal. (4/15/11).
Ireland – guidelines for AFS survey and certification
The Irish Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport issued a notice advising of a recent amendment to the IMO guidelines for inspection sampling of ships’ anti-fouling systems. Marine Notice 21-2011 (4/13/11).
Indian Ocean – catch and release
The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) issued a news release stating that one of tis warships interdicted a Yemeni-flagged dhow west of the island of Socotra. A boarding party identified 15 of the men on board as suspected pirates and three as members of the dhow’s crew. The crew members indicated that the pirates seized their vessel approximately 20 days ago. The rest of the dhow’s crew was transferred to another pirate vessel several days earlier. Weapons and other pirate paraphernalia were found on board. The suspected pirates were placed in a skiff carried by the dhow and left to continue back to the Somali coast. The dhow and its crew were escorted to Yemeni waters. (4/11/11).
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