Headlines: MARAD – Jones Act waiver application process for SPR cargoes; EPA – California At-Berth regulation; EPA – California Commercial Harbor Craft regulation; USCG – CVSSA compliance verification; South Pass – shoaling; USCG – hurricane and heavy weather contingency plans; TRB – effectiveness of offshore oil and gas SEMSs; IMO – Mr. Koji Sekimizu elected Secretary-General; ReCAAP – report for May; Hong Kong – temporary wind monitoring station; and India – new anti-piracy bill to be introduced.
June 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. The Ship of Theseus sails forever.
MARAD – Jones Act waiver application process for SPR cargoes
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that it, the Department of Energy (Strategic Petroleum Reserve), and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have established an expedited process for review of individual Jones Act waiver requests for carriage of crude oil released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Purchasers of marine cargoes must submit a Jones Act waiver application to all three agencies identifying themselves as a purchaser of SPR petroleum and specifying the cargo size, load port, destination, and load window schedule. CBP and MARAD will screen the application for potentially available US-flag vessels and either identify an available US-flag vessel or grant the waiver so that the applicant can seek alternative vessels. This procedure is designed to yield a decision within 48 hours of receipt of a request. (6/28/11). Note: The original DOE notice (June 23) of release of crude oil from the SPR stated that a blanket waiver of the Jones Act had been issued. An amended notice (June 24) removed the statement regarding a blanket waiver, but mentioned possible consideration of individual applications for a waiver.
EPA – California At-Berth regulation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it will hold a public meeting in Washington, DC on July 21 concerning the California regulation requiring certain ocean-going vessels calling in certain California ports to utilize shore power when at a berth. The public hearing will only be held if any party notifies EPA by July 15 expressing its interest in presenting oral testimony. Any party may submit written comments on the California regulation by August 22. 76 Fed. Reg. 38155 (June 29, 2011).
EPA – California Commercial Harbor Craft regulation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it will hold a public meeting in Washington, DC on July 21 concerning the California regulation relating to air emissions from commercial harbor craft operating in state waters. The public hearing will only be held if any party notifies EPA by July 15 expressing its interest in presenting oral testimony. Any party may submit written comments on the California regulation by August 22. 76 Fed. Reg. 38153 (June 29, 2011).
USCG – CVSSA compliance verification
The Coast Guard issued a policy letter providing guidance to its inspectors for compliance verification of Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act (CVSSA) of 2010 requirements by cruise vessels during the course of scheduled safety and security inspections. CG-543 Policy Letter 11-09 (6/28/11).
South Pass – shoaling
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are making temporary changes to aids to navigation within the South Pass of the Mississippi River and its approaches due to significant shoaling. Mariners are urged to avoid the South Pass until this issue can be resolved. (6/28/11).
USCG – hurricane and heavy weather contingency plans
The list of Coast Guard Hurricane and Heavy Weather Contingency Plans has been updated, through the kind efforts of my friend Paul Westcott of MOBRO Marine, to include the new Port Heavy Weather Plan from Sector Jacksonville. (6/28/11).
TRB – effectiveness of offshore oil and gas SEMSs
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies released an interim report of the committee examining methods for assessing the effectiveness of an operator’s Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) program on any given offshore drilling or production facility. The letter report presents nine methods for evaluating the effectiveness of an operator’s (i.e., lessee’s) SEMS program, presents the benefits and disadvantages of each method, identifies entities that could perform the audits, specifies the range of potential roles and qualifications of the auditors and of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) inspectors who will conduct or oversee the SEMS audits, and presents various methods that could be employed to conduct the audits. (6/24/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Dan Sheehan.
IMO – Mr. Koji Sekimizu elected Secretary-General
The IMO issued a news release stating that the IMO Council has elected Mr. Koji Sekimizu of Japan as the Secretary-General with effect from 1 January 2012 for an initial term of four years. The decision of the Council will be submitted for approval to the IMO Assembly, which meets for its 27th session from 21 to 30 November 2011. Mr. Sekimizu, 58, is currently Director of IMO’s Maritime Safety Division. (6/28/11).
ReCAAP – report for May
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued its Report for May 2011. During the month, a total of 15 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. Compared to the same period in 2008, the number of incidents has more than doubled, but the increase was mostly petty theft incidents which occurred at ports or anchorages. (6/28/11).
Hong Kong – temporary wind monitoring station
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice stating that, with effect from June 28 and for a period of six months, construction of a wind monitoring station will be carried out in waters southwest of Lamma Island. The temporary wind monitoring station will remain in position for approximately one year. (6/27/11).
India – new anti-piracy bill to be introduced
The Government of India issued a press release stating that it will bring a new anti-piracy bill in the monsoon session of Parliament. The bill will empower the Navy to apprehend pirates in open seas and try them in Indian courts. It will also allow Indian courts to prosecute pirates. The bill seeks to define piracy, the people who can be termed as pirates, the courts of law which would be trying these pirates, and the quantum of punishment that could be assessed. (6/28/11).
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 – June 2011