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Monday, February 24, 2020

Congress News

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…

Michael Toohey (Photo: WCI)

WCI's Toohey Announces Retirement

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) President and CEO Michael J. Toohey has revealed plans to retire, the group announced to its Board of Directors and members at its meeting in Washington, DC on Wednesday.“Having turned 71 this month, I believe it is time to focus on my faith, family, my golf handicap and my other interests,” Toohey said. “I remain committed to WCI’s continued achievement now and in the future once a successor is named.”WCI’s Executive Committee will select an executive search firm to begin the process to seek a successor.

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…

© CrackerClips / Adobe Stock

Hawaii Congressman Introduces Anti Jones Act Legislation

Hawaii Congressman Ed Case has introduced three bills in Congress to reform Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (commonly referred to as the Jones Act), which he states “artificially inflates the cost of shipping goods to Hawaii”.Case’s three measures and their proposed amendments to the Jones Act are:the Noncontiguous Shipping Relief Act, which exempts all noncontiguous U.S. locations, including Hawaii, from the Jones Act;the Noncontiguous Shipping Reasonable Rate Act, which benchmarks…

Gabriele Rohde/Adobe Stock

Maritime Schools Must Prep for Offshore Wind Jobs

The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing exponentially, with multiple projects in the development stages off of the Atlantic coast. The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030.The new jobs anticipated to support the offshore wind industry include a wide range of types, including engineers, trade workers, surveyors, scientists, technicians, managers, and seafarers.

Photo: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Initiates Global Energy Coalition

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM Group recommended that French President Emmanuel Macron initiate an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector whose priority will be to develop a more competitive and less carbon-intensive energy source.Rodolphe Saadé stressed the need to improve the cooperation of all those working on near-term solutions to replace fossil fuels in the transportation and logistics sectors.The French President accepted to actively support this initiative…

Ffrom left: Jens Meier, Hamburg Port Authority, Mercè Conesa, Port of Barcelona, Gene Seroka Port of LA. Photo: © Smart Ports

Smart Ports: Piers of Future

For the first time, the ports of Antwerp, Barcelona, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Montreal and Rotterdam come together to showcase their most advanced digital transformation and sustainability projects at their dedicated ‘Smart Ports’ exhibitThe 'Smart Ports. Piers of the Future' event brought together six of the world's largest ports and has turned Barcelona into the world capital of port innovation.At the Smart City Expo World Congress, held from 19 to 21 November at the Fira de Barcelona events center on Gran Via…

River dredging operations in the State of Louisiana (CREDIT: Port of New Orleans)

US Funds $30 million for Coastal Flood Protection

The U.S. government's oceans and waterways agency will provide $30 million to improve coastal resilience, officials said, aiming to reduce the impacts of worsening storms, flooding and rising seas in nearly half of U.S. states.Grants through the program are designed to restore or expand coastal wetlands, dunes, reefs, mangroves and barrier islands that are key to coastal protection, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an announcement.Coastlines worldwide are being damaged or threatened by more extreme and destructive weather…

The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030. © Zacharias/AdobeStock

Prepare Now for 40,000 Offshore Wind Jobs

The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing exponentially, with multiple projects in the development stages off of the Atlantic coast. The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030.The new jobs anticipated to support the offshore wind industry include a wide range of types, including engineers, trade workers, surveyors, scientists, technicians, managers, and seafarers.

An emperor penguin poses for a photo in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star in McMurdo Sound near Antarctica on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star is on its way to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

USCG PSC Equals meaningful Polar Presence

The Coast Guard needs a ship that can do more than just break ice; it needs a multi-mission ship to provide for the nation’s security, asserting its sovereign rights, and protecting its long-term economic interests. That ship is the Polar Security Cutter.Since Russia cashed the check in 1867 for the purchase of Alaska the U.S. has been an Arctic nation. Today, it is one of eight countries that have territorial land or seas above the Arctic Circle or in the polar region (six of those countries have Arctic Ocean coastline or an exclusive economic zone above the Arctic Circle). The U.S.

Chris Connor. Photo: AAPA

AAPA Says Senate Cuts Key Port Grant Program

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is very concerned with the U.S. Senate’s approval of a fiscal 2020 appropriations bill that cuts funding by more than two-thirds to a U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) program that provides critical grants for port infrastructure projects nationwide.MARAD’s Port Infrastructure Development Program, initiated last year and funded at $292.73 million, would be slashed to $91.6 million if the Senate’s appropriation mark is upheld in the final bill.Not only would funding for the program be severely cut…

Photo: Dredging Contractors of America

Full Utilization of HMTF Passes in U.S. House

This evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a recorded vote the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), H.R. 2440. The vote was 296 in favor and 109 opposed. The voting required a two-thirds super majority of the House in order to pass under “suspension of the rules.”There were  seventeen (17) bills presented in the House of Representatives today with fifteen (15) bills passing by voice vote. The Full Utilization of the HMTF was one of two bills…

William P. Doyle, CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA)

DCA to U.S. House: Fully Utilize HMT Fund

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider H.R. 2440, Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund bill on Monday October 28, 2019. The bill may be presented in the House under “suspension of the rules.”“We strongly support the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for intended purpose,” said William P. Doyle, CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA). “This bipartisan bill makes it easier for Congress to appropriate any funds collected in the Trust Fund for authorized harbor maintenance needs…

Photo: ESPO

European Ports Get EcoPorts’ PERS

European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) congratulates Port of Barcelona (Spain), Port of Vigo (Spain) and Port of Baku (Azerbaijan) for getting EcoPorts’ environmental management standard (PERS).Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General, handed over the PERS certificates to the ports’ representatives during the Green Port Congress in Oslo.“I would like to congratulate Port of Barcelona and Port of Vigo for renewing EcoPorts’ environmental standard and Port of Baku for obtaining it for the first time.

Pic: Hyundai Heavy Industries

US Fines HHI $47Mln Over Dirty Engines

US authorities announced that South Korea's top shipbuilding conglomerate Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will pay a US$47 million fine for illegally importing and selling dirty diesel engines in violation of American environmental rules.US Justice Department and and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that between 2012 and 2015, the company imported nearly 2,300 diesel-powered heavy construction vehicles with engines that did not meet US emissions standards.“Hyundai put profits above the public’s health and the requirements of the law…

File image of a typical DP World terminal operation. CREDIT: DP World

DP World’s Topaz, P&O Merger Complete by Year-end

Port operator DP World's planned merger of its P&O Maritime and recently acquired Topaz Energy and Marine businesses is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Topaz CEO Rene Kofod-Olsen said on Monday.DP World bought Dubai-based oil services company Topaz in July with the intention of combining it with P&O Maritime as part of efforts to diversify beyond its core port operations to other marine-related sectors.The merged entity, to be known simply as P&O, will give Topaz…

File Image: SMM

SMM 2020 Publishes Maritime Industry Report

“Driving the maritime transition”: In times of the global climate debate and the digital transformation, SMM 2020 will once again be the focal point for decision-makers in the maritime industry.Topics that are currently high on the industry's agenda are highlighted in the new issue of the SMM Maritime Industry Report: Shipping, shipbuilding and supplier companies are especially interested in alternative propulsion technologies and attractive niche markets.The year 2020 marks a major turning point in international shipping: On January 1…

Ship manager CCPO first to adopt ABB Ability Tekomar XPERT for fleet  (Photo: ABB)

ABB’s Digital Solution Helps to Reduce Fuel Costs

ABB secured its first contract for ABB Ability Tekomar XPERT for fleet of 55 vessels with Hamburg based ship manager CPO Containerschiffreederei (CCPO).CCPO offers high quality service to its charter clients and professional ship management for 111 of own and third-party ships. They were an early adopter of the smart engine performance diagnostics software, Tekomar XPERT, during its initial release in 2015. The latest Tekomar XPERT for fleet web application launched in June this…

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

U.S. DOT Names Nine Marine Highway Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today announced the designation of nine Marine Highway Projects and a Marine Highway Route that will benefit Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington State and American Samoa. Marine highways are navigable waterways that can be used as alternate options to traditional shipping methods. “The designation of marine highways by Congress will help move cargo and people to help grow the economy and shift freight off of congested highways,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Adm. Gary Roughead  (Photo: Fincantieri Marinette Marine)

Roughead Joins Fincantieri Marinette Marine Board

Former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead was elected as the chairman of the board of directors of Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corporation July 10.Roughead was the 29th Chief of Naval Operations from 2007 - 2011, after holding six operational commands. He is one of only two officers in the history of the Navy to have commanded both the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.Roughead served in several key positions aside from his sea duties, most notably as the commandant of the U.S.

© THATREE /Adobe Stock

Freight Volumes Impacted by World Economy

Freight volumes in the United States and around the world are falling, signalling tougher times for manufacturers amid escalating trade tensions and heightened uncertainty.Freight volumes in the United States were up by just 0.8% in the three months from March to May compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.Volumes fell year-on-year in May, for the first time in more than two and half years, according to the agency's transportation services index.Freight is growing at the slowest rate since the mid-cycle slowdown of 2015/16…

IMO Secretary Kitack Lim addressing the delegates (Photo: CIMH)

World Congress on Maritime Heritage Focused on Sustainability

A three-day meeting of maritime industry, government leaders, scientists and scholars was held in Singapore to explore the intersections and impacts of maritime heritage. Organized by the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage (CIMH) the key message from this first World Congress on Maritime Heritage is a simple one:  the oceans are in trouble and if the oceans are in trouble, so too is the earth. We breathe oxygen produced by the sea and the sea mitigates the impact of inadequately controlled CO2 emissions. This is a water planet, with two-thirds of the earth covered by it.

Photo Credit: International Propeller Club of the U.S.

Propeller Club Promotes Relationship with Congress

In his role as the new Executive Vice President of the International Propeller Club of the United States (IPCUS), John Cullather, is setting a course for the 50 American-based clubs, specifically, that involve streamlining and improving communication between ports and maritime policy issues and members of Congress.“Congress has played a vital role in U.S. ports since the founding of our nation,” says Cullather. “From the dredging of our harbors to the construction of lighthouses and the installation of aids-to-navigation…

Photo courtesy of The 
Shipbuilders Council of America

DeFazio Honored with 2019 SCA Leadership Award

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) honored U.S. House of Representatives Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Peter DeFazio (R-OR) as a 2019 recipient of SCA’s Maritime Leadership Award.As recipient of the Maritime Leadership Award, Chairman DeFazio is recognized as an exemplary leader in Congress who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and support of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry. Overall the American maritime industry, including shipbuilding and repair…

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates…

Propeller Club Names Cullather as EVP

The Board of Directors of the International Propeller Club of the United States has selected Mr. John M. Cullather as its new Executive Vice President.In the role of Executive Vice President, he will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the International Propeller Club, will oversee all activities and functions of the International Propeller Club of the United States, and will serve as the primary liaison to the Club’s 70 port chapters worldwide. Along with the Board of Directors…