DOJ – BP sentenced to pay $4 billion;
MARAD – advisory re East China Sea;
Lower Mississippi River – spill response update;
Columbia & Willamette Rivers – safety zones;
SHC – meeting;
NOAA effects of oil & gas activities in Arctic Ocean;
Court – workplace manuals not applicable to sleeping quarters;
Washington – $405,000 oil spill fine assessed; and
Panama Canal – just-in-time service.
January 30, 2013
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. Bringing the idiot back to idiosyncratic.
DOJ – BP sentenced to pay $4 billion
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the federal court has accepted the guilty plea of BP Exploration and Production, Inc. to 14 criminal counts of felony manslaughter, environmental crimes, and obstruction of Congress in connection with the 2010 explosion, fire, and oil spill on the MODU Deepwater Horizon. The defendant has been sentenced to pay $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties and to serve five years of monitored probation. (1/29/13).
MARAD – advisory re East China Sea
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a advisory relating to the East China Sea. There is currently a frequent presence in certain waters of the East China Sea of Chinese and Japanese maritime law enforcement or military ships and aircraft. The Advisory recommends that commercial maritime interests steer clear of any activity by such vessels in the area. Advisory 2013-02 (1/28/13). Note: Although the Advisory is intentionally vague, the dispute involves five small uninhabited islands called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China. Both nations claim the islands and there seems to be little incentive to compromise.
Lower Mississippi River – spill response update
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the Lower Mississippi River remains closed to navigation between mile marker 425 and mile marker 441 due to ongoing response and salvage operations following the allision of two tank barges with a railroad bridge pier near Vicksburg. (1/29/13).
Columbia & Willamette Rivers – safety zones
The US Coast Guard promulgated a temporary interim rule establishing safety zones around grain-shipment vessels involved in commerce with the Columbia Grain facility on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, the United Grain Corporation facility on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, the Temco Irving facility on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, or the Temco Kalama facility on the Columbia River in Kalama, Washington. The rule will remain in effect through 26 April. Comments on the rule should be submitted by 1 March. 78 Fed. Reg. 6209 (January 30, 2013).
SHC – meeting
The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC), sponsored by the Department of State, will meet in Washington, DC on 19 March to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Facilitation Committee. Topics on the agenda include electronic means of clearance and facilitating shore leave and access to ships. 78 Fed. Reg. 6399 (January 30, 2013).
NOAA – effects of oil and gas activities in Arctic Ocean
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it intends to prepare a supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS) on the effects of oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean. The SDEIS will include an analysis of the environmental impacts of issuing Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Incidental Take Authorizations (ITAs) for takings of marine mammals incidental to seismic surveys, exploratory drilling, and similar activities. 78 Fed. Reg. 6303 (January 30, 2013).
Court – workplace manuals not applicable to sleeping quarters
In an unpublished opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of claims of unseaworthiness and negligence brought a crewmember against his employer. Plaintiff alleged he was injured when a portable ladder used to access his bunk-bed fell during use. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the district court failed to give proper weight to two safety manuals that addressed use of portable ladders. The appellate court concurred with the district court that the manuals were not applicable to sleeping quarters, but only to work spaces. Oliver v. Weeks Marine, No. 12-30577 (5th Cir., January 29, 2013).
Washington – $405,000 oil spill fine assessed
The Washington Department of Ecology issued a news release stating that it assessed a fine of $405,000 against the individual and the company that owned the derelict barge Davy Crockett that was the source of a significant oil spill as a consequence of an unauthorized salvage operation on the Columbia River in 2011. (1/28/13).
Panama Canal – just-in-time service
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory announcing a trial period for just-in-time service, which would allow booked vessels to arrive at an hour much closer to their scheduled transit time instead of arriving earlier and having to remain for several hours at anchor. The trial period will begin on 1 February and is limited to booked vessels equipped with a type A AIS device. Advisory 03-2013 (1/28/13).
Join our mailing list
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 – January 2013