Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bryant’s Maritime Blog–20 April 2011

Headlines: DOI – Cape Wind COP approved; DOI – OESC inaugural meeting; New Jersey – commercial leasing for OCS wind power; Marine Mammal Commission – meeting; ORRAP – meeting; Puerto Rico – pollution response; GAO – Deepwater Horizon financial risks and claims; Court – waterfront facility not liable for condition of federal anchorage; Australia – voyage of HMB Endeavour; Ireland – hydrographic surveys; Singapore – robbers steal items from passing barge; UK – crew evacuated from stuck jack-up rig; and Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire – April 20, 2010.

April 20, 2011

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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).

DOI – Cape Wind COP approved

clip_image004 The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the Cape Wind Energy Project has been approved. The Cape Wind energy project calls for 130 3.6 megawatt wind turbine generators, each with a maximum blade height of 440 feet, to be arranged in a grid pattern in federal waters of Nantucket Sound, offshore Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island. (4/19/11).

DOI – OESC inaugural meeting

clip_image004[1] The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a news release stating that the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC) conducted its inaugural meeting on April 18 in Washington, DC. (4/18/11).

New Jersey – commercial leasing for OCS wind power

clip_image006 The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a call for information and nominations for commercial leasing for wind power on the outer continental shelf (OCS) offshore New Jersey. Nominations must be received by June 6. 76 Fed. Reg. 22130 (April 20, 2011). BOEMRE also issued a press release regarding this initiative.

Marine Mammal Commission – meeting

clip_image008 The Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors will meet in New Orleans on May 10-12. The focus of the meeting will be the Gulf of Mexico and the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marine ecosystems. 76 Fed. Reg. 22155 (April 20, 2011).

ORRAP – meeting

clip_image010 The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP), sponsored by the Department of the Navy, will meet in Washington, DC on May 2. 76 Fed. Reg. 22083 (April 20, 2011).

Puerto Rico – pollution response

clip_image012 The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that coordinating cleanup efforts and pollution assessments at Luquillo Beach in Puerto Rico after oily tar balls came ashore. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause, origin, and responsible party. (4/19/11).

GAO – Deepwater Horizon financial risks and claims

clip_image014 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, providing an update on federal financial risks and claims processing. Because the cleanup and claims processes are still ongoing, the GAO plans to submit further updates. GAO-11-397R (4/18/11).

Court – waterfront facility not liable for condition of federal anchorage

clip_image016 The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that waterfront oil refinery which a tanker was approaching when it struck a previously unknown submerged object is not liable for the cleanup costs and damages associated with the ensuing damage to the tanker or damages incurred by third parties as a result of the oil spill. In the instant case, the tanker Athos I was delivering heavy crude oil to a refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey on the Delaware River. When the tanker was approximately 900 feet from the refinery dock, in waters of Federal Anchorage No. 9, it struck and was holed by a submerged object, later found to be an abandoned anchor. As a result of the incident, approximately 200,000 barrels of the crude oil was spilled into the river, causing much damage and leading to a very expensive cleanup. The shipowner filed a petition for exoneration from or limitation of liability. The refinery filed a claim for damages and the shipowner filed a counterclaim, asserting that the refinery was liable for the incident based on, among other things, negligence for failing to survey the approaches to the dock. The court found in favor of the refinery, ruling that, as wharfinger, the refinery was only obligated to survey the waters at the berth and at the entrance and exit providing immediate access to the berth. It was not obligated to survey the waters of the federal anchorage area, over which it had no control. In re Petition of Frescati Shipping, No. 08-CV-02898-JF (E.D. Pa., April 12, 2011).

Australia – voyage of the HMB Endeavour

clip_image018 The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a news release stating that it is partnering with the Australian National Maritime Museum in support of HMB Endeavour’s historic circumnavigation of Australia in 2011-12. The Endeavour is a full-scale reproduction of Captain James Cook’s vessel, but fitted with modern navigation and communication equipment. (4/19/11).

Ireland – hydrographic surveys

clip_image020 The Irish Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport issued a notice stating that hydrographic surveys will be conducted off the northwest and the east coasts of Ireland between April 20 and May 21. Vessels should give the survey ships a wide berth. Marine Notice 22-2011 (4/19/11).

Singapore – robbers steal items from passing barge

clip_image022 The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an incident alert stating that a barge was being towed in the eastbound TSS south of Changi when a passing patrol boat of the Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) sighted a sampan alongside the barge. Four or five men were then seen leaving the barge onto two sampans and moving south. A check of the barge revealed that various items, including some cargo from four onboard containers, had been stolen. (4/18/11).

UK – crew evacuated from stuck jack-up rig

clip_image024 The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press release stating that 19 crewmembers of a jack-up rig were evacuated after the rig stuck fast to the sea bed and was being swamped by a rising tide. Three rig crewmembers intend to return to the rig at low tide in an attempt to free her from the sea bed. (4/19/11).

Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire – April 20, 2010

clip_image026 One year ago today, on April 20, 2010, the MODU Deepwater Horizon, engaged in drilling for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico, suffered a catastrophic explosion and fire. Eleven workers died. Due primarily to the heroic efforts of the crew of the OSV Damon B. Bankston, the other 115 persons on the MODU were evacuated safely. A massive oil spill ensued; the cleanup is still ongoing. While it is too early to determine ultimate responsibility for this casualty, it is clear that the tragic incident was preventable.

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

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