Headlines: Inland River System – restrictions due to rising water; CMTS 0 new and improved website; USCG – PARS – from Maine to Florida; USCG – PARS – in the Bering Strait; HOGANSAC – meeting; DOJ – Marine Well Containment Venture; Senate – hearing on TWIC program; Senate – hearing of USCG budget; House – bill introduced re marine turtle conservation; House – bill introduced to establish Gulf Coast Restoration Fund; Senate – bill introduced to facilitate oil and gas development; Senate – bill introduced to amend OCSLA; UNHCR – rescue at sea in the Mediterranean; EU – sanctions imposed against Syria; Somalia – suspected mothership intercepted; and UK – deepwater oil spill response exercise.
May 11, 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. “It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – William Shakespeare.
Inland River System – restrictions due to rising water
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that, in response to the rising waters on the Inland River System, it has stood up a Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit (MTSRU). It has also established multiple safety zones and implemented vessel navigation restrictions in several locations. There are no waterway closures at this time due to high water. (5/10/11).
CMTS – new and improved website
The US Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) has implemented a new and improved website. The site is intended to improve the coordination and facilitate the timely sharing of information regarding the US Marine Transportation System. (5/10/11).
USCG – PARS – from Maine to Florida
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it is conducting a Port Access Route Study (PARS) to evaluate the continued applicability of, and the need for modifications to, current vessel routing measures for vessel traffic proceeding to or from ports or places along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The data gathered may result in establishment of one or more new vessel routing measures, modification of existing routing measures, or disestablishment of existing routing measures. Comments and related material should be submitted by August 9. 76 Fed. Reg. 27288 (May 11, 2011).
USCG – PARS – in the Bering Strait
The US Coast Guard is extending, until September 6, the period within which to submit comments on its Port Access Route Study (PARS) in the Bering Strait. 76 Fed. Reg. 27287 (May 11, 2011).
HOGANSAC – meeting
The Houston/Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (HOGANSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Texas City on June 21. 76 Fed. Reg. 27337 (May 11, 2011).
DOJ – Marine Well Containment Venture
The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a notice stating that BP Offshore Response Company LLC has been added as a party to the Marine Well Containment Venture. In addition, the Venture has formed the Marine Well Containment Company and the parties have entered into a System Development Agreement. 76 Fed. Reg. 27351 (May 11, 2011).
Senate – hearing on TWIC program
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted an oversight hearing to review the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) made opening statements expressing concern about the extended delays in implementation of the program, as well as the weaknesses identified by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Representative John Mica (R-FL) expressed similar concerns. Mr. John Pistole, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), explained what his agency is doing to implement the program and address weaknesses identified by the GAO. Rear Admiral Kevin Cook, USCG, testified concerning the Coast Guard’s role in the TWIC program. Mr. Steve Lord presented the GAO report on security weaknesses identified in the TWIC program. (5/10/11).
Senate – hearing on USCG budget
The Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the Senate Committee on Appropriations conducted a hearing on the Coast Guard FY2012 Budget. Admiral Robert Papp, USCG, Commandant, testified concerning recent operations and the current budget environment.
House – bill introduced re marine turtle conservation
Delegate Pierluisi (D-PR) introduced the Marine Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2011 (H.R. 1761) to reauthorize the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004, and for other purposes. (5/5/11).
House – bill introduced to establish Gulf Coast Restoration Fund
Representative Bonner (R-AL) introduced the Gulf Coast Restoration Act (H.R. 1762) to establish a Gulf Coast Restoration Fund, and for other purposes. (5/5/11).
Senate – bill introduced to facilitate oil and gas development
Senator Bingaman (D-NM) introduced a bill (S. 916) to facilitate appropriate oil and gas development on Federal land and waters, to limit dependence of the United States on foreign sources of oil and gas, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (5/9/11).
Senate – bill introduced to amend OCSLA
Senator Bingaman (D-NM) introduced a bill (S. 917) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to reform the management of energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (5/9/11).
UNHCR – rescue at sea in the Mediterranean
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued a press release stating that it is calling on the European Union (EU) to urgently put into place more reliable and effective mechanisms for rescue at sea. More than 220 Somali, Eritrean, and Ivorian refugees drowned early on May 4 when their boat capsized some 39 nautical miles south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. The UNHCR also appealed to shipmasters to continue to render assistance to those in distress at sea. (5/8/11).
EU – sanctions imposed against Syria
The European Union (EU) issued a press release stating that it has decided to impose restrictive measures, including an asset freeze, against Syria. (5/9/11). Note: Entities that do business with both the EU and Syria should exercise caution so as to avoid inadvertent violation of the restrictive measures.
Somalia – suspected mothership intercepted
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted a dhow suspected of being utilized by Somali pirates as a mothership. Potential threats against the hostages on the dhow prevented a boarding, but the pirates were forced to abandon their attack skiff. The dhow returned to shore in Somalia. (5/10/11).
UK – deepwater oil spill response exercise
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that, on May 18 and 19, the UK will test its response to a deepwater oil spill incident by running Exercise Sula in Aberdeen and Shetland. Sula will simulate how the UK would react to a major oil spill incident offshore, with a focus on well control, at-sea counter-pollution measures, and shoreline protection. (5/10/11).
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 – May 2011