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June 13th, 2017 at 10:17 am

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 13 June 2017

Headlines:

USCG – DGPS site status;

BOEM – Beaufort Sea drilling proposal;

Senate – bill introduced re Atlantic seismic activity;

Senate – bill introduced re pipeline spills;

Senate – bill introduced re travel to Cuba;

House – bill introduced re marine debris;

Court – OPA 90 overrides Robins Dry Dock;

Court – Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;

ReCAAP – May report;

Panama Canal – May operations; and

UK – maritime passenger rights.

June 13, 2017

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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. Respect your parents – they passed school without Google!

USCG – DGPS site status

clip_image004 The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin announcing that the five differential global positioning system (DGPS) sites operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are being decommissioned. The forty DGPS sites remotely monitored by the Coast Guard remain in operation. (6/9/17) [http://mariners.coastguard.dodlive.mil/2017/06/12/692017-differential-global-positioning-system-dgps-site-decommissioning/].

BOEM – Beaufort Sea drilling proposal

clip_image006 The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a press release stating that it received a proposal from Eni US Operating Company to drill from a pre-existing gravel island in the Beaufort Sea. Comments regarding the environmental assessment must be submitted within ten days. Comments on the exploration plan must be submitted within 21 days. (6/12/17) [https://www.boem.gov/press06122017/].

Senate – bill introduced re Atlantic seismic activity

clip_image008 Senator Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act (S. 1263) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit oil-, gas-, and methane hydrate-related seismic activities in the North Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Straits of Florida planning areas of the outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes. (5/25/17) [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-115s1263is/pdf/BILLS-115s1263is.pdf].

Senate – bill introduced re pipeline spills

clip_image008[1] Senator Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Pipeline Safety Act of 2017 (S. 1269) to require the Office of Pipeline Safety to consult with the Environmental Protection Agency or the Coast Guard in the event the Federal on-scene coordinator has concerns about the ability of a pipeline operator to respond to a worst case discharge. Senator Stabenow issued a news release explaining the measure. (5/25/17) [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-115s1269is/pdf/BILLS-115s1269is.pdf].

Senate – bill introduced re travel to Cuba

clip_image008[2] Senator Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act of 2017 (S. 1287) to allow United States citizens and legal residents to travel between the United States and Cuba. Senator Flake issued a press release explaining the measure. (5/25/17) [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-115s1287is/pdf/BILLS-115s1287is.pdf].

House – bill introduced re marine debris

clip_image010 Representative Young (R-AK) introduced the Save Our Seas Act of 2017 (H.R. 2748) to reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris, and for other purposes. (5/25/17) [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-115hr2748ih/pdf/BILLS-115hr2748ih.pdf].

Court – OPA 90 overrides Robins Dry Dock

clip_image012 In a case of first impression, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the contribution provision of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) prevails over the Robins Dry Dock rule so as to allow the responsible party in an oil spill to obtain contribution for pure economic damages from another tort feasor. Two towboats and their flotillas of barges collided and oil was spilled into the Mississippi River. The owner of one towboat was named by the Coast Guard as the responsible party. That owner paid for the response effort and then sought contribution from the owner of the other towboat. The second owner contended that, since only economic damages were involved, the Robins Dry Dock rule barred a suit for contribution. The court ruled that the statute is clear in allowing contribution between tort feasors. Settoon Towing v. Marquette Transportation, No. 16-30459 (5th Cir., June 9, 2017) [http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/16/16-30459-CV0.pdf].

Court – Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

clip_image013 The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded an award of summary judgment in favor of defendant ship owner in a seaman personal injury suit based on a procedural error by the district court, which had relied on an outdated version of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Lee v. Offshore Logistical and Transport, No. 16-31049 (5th Cir., June 9, 2017) [http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/16/16-31049-CV0.pdf].

ReCAAP – May report

clip_image015 The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre posted its report for May 2017. A total of six actual incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported during the month. (6/12/17) [http://www.recaap.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=521&PortalId=0&TabId=78].

Panama Canal – May operations

clip_image017 The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) issued an advisory summarizing Canal operations during May. It also includes the schedule of locks maintenance outages for the remainder of the fiscal year. Advisory 18-2017 (6/7/17) [https://www.pancanal.com/common/maritime/advisories/2017/a-18-2017.pdf].

UK – maritime passenger rights

clip_image019 The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) posted guidance concerning maritime passenger rights. (6/12/17) [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/maritime-passenger-rights].

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Dennis L. Bryant

Bryant’s Maritime Consulting

4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135

USA

1-352-692-5493
dennis.l.bryant@gmail.com

http://brymar-consulting.com

© Dennis L. Bryant – June 2017

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    logo11 Canary in the coal mine

    In the June 2017 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, you can find my article entitled "Canary in the coal mine". The article discusses how the historically record low level of Arctic sea ice serves as a sentinel, a warning that sea levels will rise as the Greenland ice cap melts and the water flows into the sea. The record high air temperatures in the Arctic that are causing the loss of sea ice are also leading to a loss of the thickness of the ice cap. Change is coming. Watch your tide gauge.