Headlines: Atchafalaya River – temporary closure; Chicago – safety zone; USCG – validation of MMD information; USCG – validation of license and COR information; USCG – 1,3 Butadiene exposure hazard; House – bill introduced re offshore wind energy development; ILO – Singapore ratifies MLC 2006; and Panama – Safe Boarding Week.
June 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. The Ship of Theseus sails forever.
Atchafalaya River – temporary closure
The US Coast Guard has established a temporary safety zone closing to navigation the Atchafalaya River from Mile Marker 117 (Morgan City Railroad Bridge) to Mile Marker 0 (Simmesport, Louisiana). This action is necessary to protect against destruction, loss, or injury due to hazards associated with rising flood water. The safety zone will be in effect through July 31. 76 Fed. Reg. 35104 (June 16, 2011).
Chicago – safety zone
The US Coast Guard is establishing a permanent safety zone on navigable waters from Brandon Road Lock and Dam to Lake Michigan. It is intended to restrict vessels from entering certain segments of the Des Plaines River, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, branches of the Chicago River, and the Calumet-Saganashkee Channel when necessary in order to take steps intended to control the spread of aquatic nuisance species (particularly Asian carp). The rule comes into effect on July 18. 76 Fed. Reg. 35106 (June 16, 2011).
USCG – validation of MMD information
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it intends to finalize regulations previously published as an interim rule on January 6, 2004 establishing enhanced application procedures for the Merchant Mariner Licensing and Documentation program. Comments on this proposed action should be submitted by August 15. 76 Fed. Reg. 35173 (June 16, 2011).
USCG – validation of license and COR information
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it intends to finalize regulations previously published as an interim rule on January 13, 2006 amending the maritime personnel licensing rules to include new security requirements when mariners apply for original, renewal, and raise-in-grade licenses and certificates of registry. Comments on this proposed action should be submitted by August 15. 76 Fed. Reg. 35169 (June 16, 2011).
USCG – 1,3 Butadiene exposure hazard
USCG Sector Houston-Galveston issued a Safety Alert reminding personnel of the potential atmospheric hazards that may be present while working on or around liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers. Recently, USCG personnel were preparing to conduct a port state control Certificate of Compliance “Gas” (COC-Gas) examination of an LPG carrier. Standard guidance provides that entry into cargo compressor rooms may not be made until the space has been certified as “Safe for Workers” by a marine chemist. The marine chemist found 35 ppm of 1,3 Butadiene, well in excess of the NIOSH short term exposure limit (STEL) of 5 ppm. The question arose as to why the vessel’s fixed gas detection system had not identified the high level of the gas. Further research determined that the lower explosive limit (LEL) for 1,3 Butadiene is 20,000 ppm. The fixed gas detection alarm had been set to activate at 10% of the LEL (2,000 ppm). Failure to follow the standard guidance would have exposed the Coast Guard inspectors to an excessive amount of a known carcinogen. (6/13/11). Note: Owners, operators, and masters should check the gas detection alarm settings on their vessels so as to avoid similar problems.
House – bill introduced re offshore wind energy development
ILO – Singapore ratifies MLC 2006
The International Labour Organization (ILO) issued a news release stating that Singapore has become the first Asian Nation to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006). The Convention will enter into force after it has been ratified by at least 30 nations and when ratifications cover at least 33% of the world gross tonnage. The gross tonnage level has been attained, but only 14 nations have submitted instruments of ratification to date. (6/15/11).
Panama Canal – Safe Boarding Week
The Panama Canal Authority issued an Advisory stating that it will hold its annual Safe Boarding Week from July 11 through July 15. Activities will include inspections of boarding facilities by various stakeholders. Vessels are encouraged to prepare for these inspections through use of the Safe Boarding Checklist. (6/13/11).
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 – June 2011