DOJ – documents re GOM oil spill;
MARAD – Jones Act waiver reminder;
COAC – meeting;
NOAA – right whale avoidance;
NOAA – research re chemical dispersant effects;
St. Lawrence Seaway – end of 2012 navigation season;
Alaska – tug and barge aground;
NATO – ordnance disposal off French coast;
Ireland – watchkeeping at anchor;
UK – alcohol-induced collision; and
Suez Canal opened to shipping – November 17, 1869.
November 16, 2012
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. Facts are the playthings of the devil.
DOJ – documents re GOM oil spill
The Department of Justice (DOJ) posted various documents related to the April 2010 explosion and fire on the MODU Deepwater Horizon, the deaths of eleven persons onboard the MODU, and the subsequent massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The BP Information shows the charges filed against BP, consisting of twelve felonies and two misdemeanors. The BP Guilty Plea shows the terms of the agreement between the DOJ and BP, under which BP has agreed to plead guilty to the charges in the BP Information. The Kaluza-Vidrine Indictment shows the charges brought against the two highest-ranking BP employees on the MODU at the time of the casualty. The Rainey Indictment shows the charges brought against a former senior BP executive for alleged obstruction of a congressional inquiry and making false statements to law enforcement officials. (11/15/12). Note: As reported in yesterday’s special edition of this newsletter, BP has agreed to plead guilty to eleven felony charges, and one misdemeanor charge each under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The company will also plead guilty to one count of obstruction of Congress. BP will pay $4 billion (the largest ever in a criminal settlement) and an additional $525 million to resolve claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The criminal penalty will be paid over a period of five years. The company will also serve a term of probation for five years. The criminal settlement must be approved by the court.
MARAD – Jones Act waiver reminder
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice reminding stakeholders of the reporting requirements for the Special Purpose Jones Act Waiver issued in connection with the Hurricane Sandy recovery. It notes, among other things, that if the cargo cannot be offloaded by 20 November due to New York port congestion, official third party proof (USCG, CBP, or other agency) documentation of the vessel’s arrival to the port is required. MARAD also posted the list of the twelve foreign-flag tankers for which it has received reports of utilization of the waiver. (11/15/12).
COAC – meeting
The Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection (COAC), sponsored by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will meet in Washington, DC on 4 December. Topics on the agenda include the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) transition and global supply chain security. 77 Fed. Reg. 68802 (November 16, 2012).
NOAA – right whale avoidance
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a North Atlantic right whale information guide to assist mariners in avoiding these severely endangered marine mammals. The southeast US Seasonal Management Area (SMA) regulations came into effect on 15 November. Vessels of 65-feet or greater in length are restricted to speeds of 10 knots or less while transiting the active SMA. Vessels of 300 gross tons or greater entering the active SMA are required to participate in mandatory ship reporting. (11/15/12).
NOAA – research re chemical dispersant effects
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of New Hampshire issued a joint news release stating that research funding provided as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will fund projects to investigate the effects of chemical dispersants used in responding to oil spills. (11/14/12).
St. Lawrence Seaway – end of 2012 navigation season
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued a notice stating that the Montreal-Lake Ontario portion of the Seaway will close to navigation at 23:59 hours on December 29, 2012. All vessels must be clear of this section by that time. Notice 12-2012 (11/15/12).
Alaska – tug and barge aground
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a tug and barge grounded along the Aleutian Peninsula near Cold Bay, Alaska. The five crew members were rescued without injury. There have been no reports of pollution. The incident is under investigation. (11/14/12).
NATO – ordnance disposal off French coast
NATO issued a news release stating that its Mine Counter Measures Group 1 has been conducting historical ordnance disposal operations in the Bay of the Somme off the coast of France. Already the Group has countermined ten WWII mines and two aircraft bombs. (11/15/12).
Ireland – watchkeeping at anchor
The Irish Department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport issued a notice reminding mariners of the obligations imposed when a continuous navigational watch is to be maintained at anchor. These requirements can be found at STCW Code, Part A, Chapter VIII. Marine Notice 62-2012 (11/15/12).
UK – alcohol-induced collision
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the collision between a ferry and a general cargo vessel in Belfast Lough on 7 March 2012. Tests conducted immediately after the incident revealed that the master of the general cargo vessel had an alcohol level of 123µof alcohol per 100ml of breath, in breach of the permitted maximum of 35µg per 100ml of breath. Other factors contributed to the casualty, but there were no reports of injury or pollution. Report 26/2012 (11/15/12).
Suez Canal opened to shipping – November 17, 1869
The Suez Canal opened to shipping on November 17, 1869. Excavation of the Canal had taken ten years, using forced labor and rudimentary mechanical equipment. Construction had been opposed by British interests, who feared competition in trade with India. Once the Canal opened and proved successful, British interests acquired a majority ownership. The Canal was closed to shipping during the Suez Crises of 1956-57 and during the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1967 and 1973. In 2008, over 21,000 ships transited the Canal, earning the Government of Egypt over $5 billion in tolls.
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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 – November 2012