Houston & Texas City – proposed expansion of LHG terminals;
USCG – guidance re MODU lifesaving equipment;
USCG – lifesaving equipment proposal;
USCG – US citizenship requirements;
CTAC – meeting;
FERC – renewable energy;
SHC – meeting re SLF;
SHC – meeting re FP;
NOAA – Southern Resident killer whale;
USCG – AFS Convention;
BSEE – letter sent to operator of offshore platform;
TSA – renewal of expiring TWICs;
GAO – supply chain security;
Court – LHWCA coverage reconsidered;
IMO – MSC session;
Indian Ocean – suspected pirates detained;
NATO – piracy statistics; and
Ireland – passenger rights.
November 27, 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.
Houston & Texas City – proposed expansion of LHG terminals
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it received a Letter of Intent and Waterway Suitability Assessment regarding the proposed expansion of the Oil Tanking North America Liquefied Hazardous Gas (LHG) facilities in Houston and Texas City and increased LHG marine traffic in the associated waterway. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by 24 December. 77 Fed. Reg. 70174 (November 23, 2012).
USCG – guidance re MODU lifesaving equipment
The US Coast Guard issued a notice of recommended interim voluntary guidance regarding lifesaving and fire-fighting equipment, training and drills onboard offshore facilities and mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) operating on the US outer continental shelf (OCS). The guidance is based on the Report of Investigation into the Deepwater Horizon fire and explosion and relates to: (a0 fixed deluge systems for drill floor protection; (b) carrying capacity of lifeboats; (c) training in the deployment of davit-launched liferafts; (d) carriage of dedicated rescue boats; and (e) quarterly man overboard drills. Comments on the guidance should be submitted by 21 February 2013. 77 Fed. Reg. 70172 (November 23, 2012).
USCG – lifesaving equipment proposal
The US Coast Guard proposes to amend its rules relating to production testing of lifesaving equipment and harmonization with international standards. The Coast Guard proposes to amend the interim rule addressing lifesaving equipment to harmonize Coast Guard regulations concerning release mechanisms for lifeboats and rescue boats with recently adopted international standards affecting design, performance, and testing for such lifesaving equipment, and to clarify the requirements concerning grooved drums in launching appliance winches. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by 25 January 2013. 77 Fed. Reg. 70390 (November 26, 2012).
USCG – US citizenship requirements
The US Coast Guard issued a notice relating to mechanisms of compliance with United States citizenship requirements for ownership of vessels eligible to engage in restricted trades by publicly traded companies. The Coast Guard recognizes that in the modern, complex, multi-faceted, and dynamic securities market no single measure or combination of measures may always provide direct proof of the citizenship of every shareholder. The Coast Guard also recognizes that the choice of compliance measures is best left up to the individual company as each one is best positioned to evaluate initially and on an on-going basis the totality of its circumstances. Companies that employ, and diligently administer and adhere to, measures in an active system of monitoring stock ownership may use these as a sufficient basis to file an Application for Initial Issue, Exchange, or Replacement of Certificate of Documentation (form CG-1258) to document a vessel with a coastwise endorsement. In that regard, while the Coast Guard expects diligence and good faith efforts, it will be realistic about acceptable measures in the current trading environment. The Coast Guard acknowledges that it does not seek to unnecessarily restrict access to the legitimate capital markets, which it recognizes to be essential to the maintenance of a strong and vibrant coastwise shipping industry, nor to mandate a one-size-fits-all structure or mechanism to ensure compliance with U.S. citizenship requirements. The Coast Guard, however, must fulfill its obligation to ensure compliance with those requirements, and will look for due diligence and timely good faith action by every company that seeks to participate in restricted trading privileges, using means that are available to the company and at its disposal, in order to satisfy U.S. citizenship requirements. 77 Fed. Reg. 70452 (November 26, 2012).
CTAC – meeting
The Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Washington, DC on 11-13 December. Topics on the agenda include: hazardous substance response plans and use as fuel of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG). 77 Fed. Reg. 70453 (November 26, 2012). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my friend James Prazak of Tricon Energy.
FERC – renewable energy
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice stating that it received an application from Resolute Marine Energy, Inc. for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of wave energy project near Yakutat, Alaska. Comments on this application should be submitted within 60 days. 77 Fed. Reg. 70433 (November 26, 2012).
SHC – meeting re SLF
The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC), sponsored by the Department of State (DOS), will meet in Washington, DC on 23 January 2013 to prepare for an upcoming session of the IMO Subcommittee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessel Safety (SLF). Topics on the agenda include development of a mandatory Polar Code. 77 Fed. Reg. 70525 (November 26, 2012).
SHC – meeting re FP
The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC), sponsored by the Department of State (DOS), will meet in Washington, DC on 18 December to prepare for an upcoming session of the IMO Subcommittee on Fire Protection. Topics on the agenda include development of measures to prevent explosions on oil and chemical tankers transporting low flash point cargoes. 77 Fed. Reg. 70526 (November 26, 2012).
NOAA – Southern Resident killer whale
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it received a petition to delist the Southern Resident killer whale Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (which resides primarily in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca) under the Endangered Species Act. Comments on the petition should be submitted by 28 January 2013. 77 Fed. Reg. 70733 (November 27, 2012).
USCG – AFS Convention
The US Coast Guard updated its Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) page to indicate that the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 came into force for the United States on 21 November 2012, following deposit of its instrument of ratification with the IMO on 21 August. (11/21/12).
BSEE – letter sent to operator of offshore platform
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a press release stating that it sent a Letter to Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations requiring that the company take immediate steps to improve its safety performance on the US outer continental shelf (OCS). Black Elk is the operator of the offshore platform that suffered a recent fire and explosion leading to the deaths of two workers and the injury of several others. (11/21/12).
TSA – renewal of expiring TWICs
US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston issued a Port Security Information Bulletin relaying a recommendation from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) relating to the renewal of expiring Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs). Due to the high number of TWIC Extended Expiration Date (EED) requests, significant delays are being experienced by TWIC holders attempting to contact the various TSA call centers. TSA is working to add more phone lines and representatives, which may take up to a month to implement. In the meantime, it is requested that TWIC holders refrain from ordering an EED TWIC until the holder’s existing credential falls within four months of the expiration date. PSIB 02-12 (11/21/12). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Don Bruce of JTAC Consulting.
GAO – supply chain security
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its report on supply chain security, focusing on the Automated Targeting System (ATS) operated by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It found that CBP does not use its performance measures to evaluate changes to its targeting rules and has not conducted regular assessments of its performance measures. GAO-13-9 (11/26/12).
Court – LHWCA coverage reconsidered
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an Order directing the rehearing en banc of the case of New Orleans Depot Services v. New Orleans Marine Contractors. In the original decision and over a strong dissent, the majority of a three-judge panel of the court found no abuse of discretion in the award, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), of disability benefits to an individual who incurred injury while working as a container repair mechanic for a company that repaired containers primarily from maritime sources but also from non-maritime sources. The container repair facility was located near, but not adjacent to, the waterfront. The court held that there was sufficient evidence in the record to uphold the findings that the injury was incurred on a maritime situs and that the individual was a maritime employee when the injury was incurred. Now the matter will be reconsidered. (11/20/12).
IMO – MSC session
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) will meet in London on 26-30 November to consider a variety of matters, including passenger ship safety, amendments to the SOLAS Convention, and anti-piracy measures. (11/21/12).
Indian Ocean – suspected pirates detained
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that warships from Combined Maritime Force CTF 151 and EU NAVFOR intercepted a suspected pirate skiff in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. Nine suspected pirates were detained and the skiff was destroyed. (11/22/12).
NATO – piracy statistics
The NATO Shipping Centre posted its Piracy Statistics for the High Risk Area during the years 2009 through 2012. The data show suspicious activity, approaches, attacks, hijackings, and disruptions on a monthly basis and highlight the significant decline in piracy during 2012. (12/20/12).
Ireland – passenger rights
The Irish Department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport issued a notice reminding stakeholders that the European Union (EU) regulation on the rights of passengers when traveling by sea and inland waterway comes into effect on 18 December. Marine Notice 63-2012 (11/20/12).
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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