Headlines: MARAD – Assistance to Small Shipyards Grant Program; Massachusetts – “No Discharge Zone” proposed; NPS – Biscayne National Park coral reef restoration plan; Court – enforcement of “no oral modification” clause; Australia – meeting of AMSA Advisory Committee; New Zealand – rigid inflatable boats; Panama Canal – contract awarded for backhoe dredge; and Somalia – pirates release bulk carrier.
April 29, 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).
MARAD – Assistance to Small Shipyards Grant Program
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that there is currently $9,800,000 available for grants for capital and related improvements of qualified small shipyard facilities that will be effective in fostering efficiency, competitive operations, and quality ship construction, repair, and reconfiguration. Applications for grants under this program must be received by 5:00 p.m. on June 14. MARAD intends to award grants no later than August 15. 76 Fed. Reg. 24082 (April 29, 2011).
Massachusetts – “No Discharge Zone” proposed
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it has received a petition requesting a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for waters of Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown, collectively termed the Outer Cape Cod. Comments on this petition must be submitted by May 31. 76 Fed. Reg. 24022 (April 29, 2011).
NPS – Biscayne National Park coral reef restoration plan
The National Park Service (NPS) issued a notice stating that it has prepared a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Coral Reef Restoration Plan (Plan/FEIS) for Biscayne National Park. 76 Fed. Reg. 24050 (April 29, 2011).
Court – enforcement of “no oral modification” clause
In an apparent case of first impression, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a “no oral modification” clause in a loan agreement that included the granting of several preferred ship mortgages is enforceable under general maritime law. In the instant case, plaintiff lender entered into a loan agreement with defendant ship owner. The loan agreement included a clause stating that it may not be contradicted or varied by subsequent oral agreements or discussions of the parties. Defendant defaulted on the loan payments and plaintiff brought suit against the defendant and its vessels. Defendant contended that plaintiff had verbally agreed that it would, among other things, notify defendant before taking any action on the loan. The court held that, where the parties are sophisticated companies, the agreement is the product of substantial negotiations, and there is no fear that the defendant missed the fine print, it would enforce the “no oral modification” clause in a marine contract. Regions Equipment Finance v. AT 2400, No. 10-41063 (5th Cir., April 27, 2011).
Australia – meeting of AMSA Advisory Committee
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that the AMSA Advisory Committee met in Melbourne on 19 April. Topics discussed included the government’s maritime reform agenda, the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea, and the National Maritime Emergency Response Arrangements. (4/28/11).
New Zealand – rigid inflatable boats
Maritime New Zealand issued a Safety Bulletin regarding rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). It notes that RIBs are fast, light, robust, and durable. Those very qualities may instill in their users overconfidence. They must be operated only within their limits. They must be regularly inspected and maintained. When damaged, they must be properly repaired. (4/28/11).
Panama Canal – contract awarded for backhoe dredge
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release stating that it awarded a $43 million contract for design and construction of a new backhoe dredge. The dredge will be used in the Expansion Project and for future maintenance projects. It will have the capacity to dredge to a depth of 18 meters under water with a bucket of at least 11 cubic meters. (4/27/11).
Somalia – pirates release bulk carrier
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the bulk carrier Renuar has been released from pirate control in Somalia. The vessel was hijacked on December 11, 2010 in the Indian Ocean approximately 550 nautical miles off the coast of India. (4/28/11).
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