Headlines: FEMA – PSGP FA Investment Justification Submission Procedure; DOJ – chief engineer pleads guilty to obstructing investigation; FMC – meeting on May 11; San Pablo Bay – safety zone; NMSAC – teleconference meeting; PHMSA – meeting re transport of dangerous goods; House – bill introduced re mortgage interest deduction for boats; Senate – bill introduced re exchange of land in South Carolina; Senate – bill introduced re oil and hazardous substance liability; Court – alternatives must be considered in ferry/highway project; Australia – grounding due to undetermined steering malfunction; Gibraltar – unacceptable incident involving Spanish Guardia Civil; Gibraltar – Spanish Navy confrontation condemned; Hong Kong – typhoon season; and India – meeting of National Welfare Board of Seafarers.
May 5, 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.
FEMA – PSGP FA Investment Justification Submission Procedure
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate issued a bulletin addressing Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) Fiduciary Agent (FA) Investment Justification Submission Procedure for FY 2007 Supplemental through FY 2010 Grant Awards. Information Bulletin 360 (5/3/11). Note: This bulletin is possibly more significant for what it does not say than what it does. It mentions on-going technology challenges with the DHS Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), without providing any detail. It also does not include any deadlines for submittal of information. I recommend that all parties to this grant process assemble all relevant information (whether previously submitted or not) and be ready to submit/re-submit on a short deadline.
DOJ – chief engineer pleads guilty to obstructing investigation
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the chief engineer of a merchant ship that called in the Port of Baltimore pleaded guilty in federal court of obstructing a Coast Guard investigation into illegal dumping of waste oil into the sea. He admitted falsifying the oil record book, denying that the ship had a daily sounding record, and directing other engineering personnel on the ship to denying use of a bypass hose to conduct the illegal discharges. (5/4/11).
FMC – meeting on May 11
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that the Commission will meet on Wednesday, May 11. During the open session, the Commission will consider implementation of the NVOCC Tariff Publication Exemption; trade conditions; and practices related to the movement of household goods. During the closed session, the Commission will consider trends in filed service contracts and a request from China for adjustment of the NVOCC bond rider for the China trades. (5/4/11).
San Pablo Bay – safety zone
The US Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone on certain waters of San Pablo Bay for Coast Guard Use of Force Training exercises. The safety zone will be in forced when a training exercise has been announced. The rule comes into effect on June 6. 76 Fed. Reg. 25548 (May 5, 2011).
NMSAC – teleconference meeting
The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in teleconference on May 20. The primary topic on the agenda is shoreside access for seafarers. 76 Fed. Reg. 25702 (May 5, 2011).
PHMSA – meeting re transport of dangerous goods
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will conduct a public meeting in Washington, DC on June 8. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the 39th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNSCOE TDG). 76 Fed. Reg. 25774 (May 5, 2011).
House – bill introduced re mortgage interest deduction for boats
Representative Quigley (D-IL) introduced the Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act (H.R. 1702) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the mortgage interest deduction with respect to boats only if the boat is used as the principal residence of the taxpayer. (5/3/11).
Senate – bill introduced re exchange of land in South Carolina
Senator Graham (R-SC) introduced a bill (S. 869) to provide for an exchange of land between the Department of Homeland Security and the South Carolina State Ports Authority. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (5/3/11).
Senate – bill introduced re oil and hazardous substance liability
Senator Tester (D-MT) introduced a bill (S. 870) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to modify oil and hazardous substance liability, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (5/3/11).
Court – alternatives must be considered in ferry/highway project
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court ruling that the State of Alaska is required to consider improving existing ferry service between Juneau and the communities of Haines and Skagway before proceeding with expensive construction of a new ferry terminal and highway through a national forest. SEACC v. Alaska, No. 09-35551 (9th Cir., May 4, 2011). Note: The court is not mandating which alternative be adopted. Rather, it is only requiring that feasible alternatives be considered before a final decision is made.
Australia – grounding due to undetermined steering malfunction
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued the report of its investigation of the grounding of a container ship in Moreton Bay, Queensland on 1 November 2010. While the ship was departing Brisbane in the main shipping channel, the rudder unexpectedly moved to starboard without the application of any helm. The main engine was run astern and the port anchor was let go, but the grounding could not be avoided. Investigation revealed that the rudder probably moved due to an undetermined malfunction of the steering control system. It was also determined that the steering system had not been tested in accordance with SOLAS requirements prior to the ship’s getting underway. MO-2010-009 (5/4/11).
Gibraltar – unacceptable incident involving Spanish Guardia Civil
The Government of Gibraltar issued a press release stating that it has found unacceptable a recent incident involving the Spanish Guardia Civil in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. (4/26/11).
Gibraltar – Spanish Navy confrontation condemned
The Government of Gibraltar issued a press release stating that it condemns the actions of a Spanish Navy warship on May 3 in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW). It asserts that the Spanish warship approached an contacted all merchant shipping on the Eastside of the Rock within BGTW and ordered them to raise anchor and leave. The Gibraltar Port Authority directed all vessels to remain at their anchorage, which they did. The Spanish warship eventually departed, after being confronted by a Royal Navy RIB. (5/3/11).
Hong Kong – typhoon season
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice reminding owners, operators, and masters of the need to take precautionary measures during the approach of tropical cyclones. Notice 41-2011 (5/4/11).
India – meeting of National Welfare Board of Seafarers
The Indian Ministry of Shipping issued a press release stating that, at the 20th meeting of the National Welfare Board of Seafarers, it was announced that the Government of India expects to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 very soon. It was also reported that the Government at the highest level is seized of the piracy issue and is handling it in the best possible way. (5/4/11).
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