Headlines: White House – plans to increase domestic oil production; White House- National Defense Transportation Day & National Transportation Week; White House – World Trade Week; EPA – meeting of SAB Panel re oil spill research strategy; BOEMRE – noncompetitive OCS renewable energy lease; BOEMRE – seeking Accident Investigation Board Chief; USCG – address change for payment of vessel inspection user fees; Ocracoke – ceremony honoring fallen WWII sailors; House – bill introduced re Northwest Straits; House – bill introduced to rebuild infrastructure; House – bill introduced to promote secure ferry transportation; House – bill introduced to require oil spill response planning; Senate – bill introduced re Northwest Straits; Senate – bill introduced to create National Endowment for the Oceans; Senate – bill introduced to promote secure ferry transportation; Senate – bill introduced to disallow income tax deduction for oil spill payments; Court – only one cause of action for breach of an indivisible contract; Indian Ocean – interception of suspected mothership; EU NAVFOR – mothership intercepted, forced back to anchorage; Panama Canal – proposals received for design of new bridge; and UK – draft Equality Act 2010 (Work on Ships and Hovercraft) Regulations 2011.
May 16, 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.
White House – plans to increase domestic oil production
The White House issued an announcement of new plans to increase responsible domestic oil production. Among other things, the Department of the Interior will speed up its evaluation of oil and gas resources in the mid and south Atlantic. It will also lease new areas in the Gulf of Mexico and create new incentives for industry to develop unused leases. Companies will also be given time to meet higher safety standards when it comes to exploration and drilling. Additionally, the permitting process will be streamlined. (5/14/11).
White House –National Defense Transportation Day & National Transportation Week
President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation designating May 20 as National Defense Transportation Day and May 15-21 as National Transportation Week in recognition of the role of efficient transportation in the economy and defense of the United States. (5/13/11).
White House – World Trade Week
President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation designating May 15-21 as World Trade Week in recognition of the role of international trade to the global economy and US prosperity. (5/13/11).
EPA – meeting of SAB Panel re oil spill research strategy
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that its Science Advisory Board (SAB) Panel to EPA’s Draft Oil Spill Research Strategy will conduct a teleconference meeting on June 9. The purpose of the meeting is to review the Draft Strategy, which discusses proposed research and collaborative approaches for four activities related to oil spills: dispersants, alternative remediation technologies, coastal and inland restoration, and human health effects. 76 Fed. Reg. 28224 (May 16, 2011).
BOEMRE – noncompetitive OCS renewable energy lease
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) promulgated a final rule amending its regulations that pertain to noncompetitive acquisition of an out continental shelf (OCS) renewable energy lease. The amendment makes consistent the processes for acquiring such a lease whether it be initiated by an unsolicited request or by BOEMRE. The amendment comes into effect on June 15. 76 Fed. Reg. 28178 (May 16, 2011).
BOEMRE – seeking Accident Investigation Board Chief
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a press release stating that it is seeking to fill a senior position in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). The incumbent will serve as the Chief of the BSEE Accident Investigation Board. (5/13/11).
USCG – address change for payment of vessel inspection user fees
The US Coast Guard Finance Center has changed the mailing addresses for submitting payment of vessel inspection user fees for Certificates of Inspection (COIs), Certificates of Compliance (COCs), overseas vessel inspection fees, and overseas vessel inspection travel reimbursements. The changes are effective immediately. (5/10/11).
Ocracoke – ceremony honoring fallen WWII sailors
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that representatives from the Coast Guard, the British Royal Navy, and the Canadian Navy came together Thursday and Friday to honor the fallen sailors of World War II on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. The graveside ceremonies commemorated the loss of British and Canadian sailors from the HMT Bedfordshire and the British merchant vessel San Delfino off the coast of North Carolina to U-boat attack in 1942. Some of the crewmen's bodies were recovered by the Coast Guard and local residents, and with full honors, were buried in land, which later was ceded to the British Commonwealth. The Bedfordshire and the San Delfino were working with the Coast Guard and the US Navy to transport needed war material to England and help protect American shipping lanes from the attacks by the German U-boats. The friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and local high school students participated in the event. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, and friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum conducted the event. (5/14/11).
House – bill introduced re Northwest Straits
Representative Larsen (D-WA) introduced a bill (H.R. 1858) to reauthorize the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative Act to promote the protection of the resources of the Northwest Straits, and for other purposes. (5/12/11).
House – bill introduced to rebuild infrastructure
Representative Murphy (R-PA) introduced a bill (H.R. 1861) to greatly enhance America's path toward energy independence and economic and national security, to conserve energy use, to promote innovation, to achieve lower emissions, cleaner air, cleaner water, and cleaner land, to rebuild our Nation's aging roads, bridges, locks, and dams, and for other purposes. (5/12/11).
House – bill introduced to promote secure ferry transportation
House – bill introduced to require oil spill response planning
Representative Tsongas (D-MA) introduced a bill (H.R. 1890) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require, as a condition and term of any exploration plan or development and production plan submitted under that Act, that the applicant for the plan must submit an oil spill containment and clean-up plan capable of handling a worst-case scenario oil spill, and for other purposes. (5/12/11).
Senate – bill introduced re Northwest Straits
Senator Murray (D-WA) introduced a bill (S. 962) to reauthorize the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative Act to promote the protection of the resources of the Northwest Straits, and for other purposes. (5/12/11).
Senate – bill introduced to create National Endowment for the Oceans
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced a bill (S. 973) to create the National Endowment for the Oceans to promote the protection and conservation of the United States ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems, and for other purposes. (5/12/11).
Senate – bill introduced to promote secure ferry transportation
Senate – bill introduced to disallow income tax deduction for oil spill payments
Senator Nelson (D-FL) introduced a bill (S. 983) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to disallow a deduction for amounts paid or incurred by a responsible party relating to a discharge of oil. (5/12/11).
Court – only one cause of action for breach of an indivisible contract
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that, under Virginia law, a consultant is not entitled to a declaratory judgment regarding future breaches of a consulting agreement. In the instant case, plaintiff consultant entered into an agreement with defendant cargo scanning company to help market its services to seaports in Guatemala and other Central American countries. The agreement provided that defendant was to pay plaintiff a commission of 20% on the fees collected for incoming and outgoing containers under any contract signed by defendant during the period of the consulting contract. Subsequently, defendant entered into a contract to handle cargo inspections at a seaport in Guatemala. Defendant, though, only paid plaintiff 10% of the fees collected, placing the other 10% in escrow to entice plaintiff to renegotiate the consulting agreement. Plaintiff filed a diversity action in federal court seeking damages for the prior breach of contract and a declaratory judgment regarding future damages. The district court awarded damages for the prior breach of contract as claimed, but dismissed the declaratory judgment action, finding that the contract was indivisible. The appellate court affirmed, ruling that where a contract is indivisible, plaintiff is only entitled to one cause of action that may include both past and future damages. One judge filed a vigorous dissent. Allen F. Johnson & Assoc. v. Port Security International, No. 09-1499 (4th Cir., May 13, 2011).
Indian Ocean – interception of suspected mothership
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted a dhow suspected of operating as a mothership for pirate attacks on merchant vessels in the Indian Ocean. Because the dhow’s original crew is still on board as hostages, boarding of the dhow was not possible. The suspected pirates, though, were required to surrender their attack skiffs. Afterwards, the dhow sailed off in the direction of Somalia. (5/14/11).
EU NAVFOR – mothership intercepted, forced back to anchorage
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships intercepted a dhow suspected to be heading out to the Indian Ocean to serve as a mothership for pirate attacks. Although the dhow could not be boarded due to the presence of hostages, it was forced to return to its anchorage on the coast of Somalia. (5/15/11).
Panama Canal – proposals received for design of new bridge
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release stating that it received six proposals for the first-ever bridge on the Atlantic side of the waterway. The new bridge will be the third to cross the Canal and will be located near the Gatun Locks. The Authority is currently evaluating the lowest cost proposal to determine if it meets all project needs. (5/12/11).
UK – draft Equality Act 2010 (Work on Ships and Hovercraft) Regulations 2011
The UK Department of Transport posted the statement of Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport regarding the draft affirmative Regulations which, if approved, will apply Part 5 (Work) of the Equality Act 2010 to work on ships and hovercraft and to seafarers. The Regulations would, if approved, allow for differential pay to seafarers from EEA or designated states so long as, if challenged, the employer can satisfy the employment tribunal as to the justification. (5/13/11).
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