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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Department Of Homeland Security News

(Photo: Crowley)

US Says No Requests Yet to Waive Jones Act to Help Oil Companies

The U.S. government said on Monday it has not yet received requests to waive a 100-year-old law on shipping goods between domestic ports, despite some interested parties who say temporarily lifting the regulation would help energy companies hurt by the oil price plunge.Kelly Cahalan, a spokesperson at the U.S Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security, said no requests to waive the Merchant Marine Act, better known as the Jones Act, have been received.U.S.

(Photo: Dredging Contractors of America)

Dredging: Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released guidance to help state and local jurisdictions and the private sector identify and manage their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19.The Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) helped the federal government develop this first-of-a-kind guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.“This is why Government Coordinating Councils and Sector Coordinating Councils are so important.

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Business and Personnel Considerations in the Age of Autonomous Ships:

There is much talk among maritime professionals about how automation and autonomous vessels will make the industry safer. In truth, innovation will be driven by the bottom line and will take time before it is commonplace in the industry. Early examples are likely to be limited to smaller vessels and coastal waters. Autonomous ships are predicted to reduce human error, a major driver of accidents, but crews will still have an important role on board vessels for the foreseeable future.Recent TrialsIn December 2018…

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Maritime Risk Symposium, Nov. 12-15 at SUNY Maritime

The State University of New York Maritime College, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, National Academy of Sciences, academic institutions, industry partners, and federal, state and local agencies, will host the 10th Annual Maritime Risk Symposium (MRS 2019) Nov. 13-15, 2019, at New York Maritime College located in the Bronx, New York.MRS 2019 will bring together academics, government and commercial entities to discuss the threats, challenges and risks associated with the Marine Transportation System with a focus on current and future marine transportation challenges and threats.

Coast Guard Issues RFI for Offshore Patrol Cutter

On October 18 the U.S. Coast Guard issues a Request for Information (RFI) for information and planning purposes only.On October 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved and granted extraordinary relief to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., on its OPC contract, for up to four hulls as a result of the impact of Hurricane Michael (DHS & USCG press releases are available at the following links: https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Acquisitions…

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Cyber Hack: Fortifying Maritime, Port Security

The United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 06-19 (USCG MSA 06-19) outlines a February 2019 incident aboard a deep draft commercial vessel that called on the Port of New York / New Jersey after experiencing a significant cyber incident that impacted their shipboard network. The Safety Alert stated in part:“An interagency team of cyber experts, led by the Coast Guard, responded and conducted an analysis of the vessel’s network and essential control systems. The team concluded that although the malware significantly degraded the functionality of the onboard computer system…

Image: Port of Long Beach

Long Beach Port Gets Federal Grant

The  U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given the Port of Long Beach $4.8 million to improve cyber-security.According to a press release from the second-busiest container port in the United States, FEMA Port Security Grant financing was announced earlier this month and will pay to upgrade the Port’s cameras and sensors, and continue its investment in fiber and wireless networks.“Securing the Port requires state-of-the-art technology to monitor activities on land…

Photo: Port Manatee

Port Manatee wins $1.4 million for Port Security

Port Manatee has been awarded $1,425,000 in federal funding to advance three projects to bolster security at the fast-growing Central-Southwest Florida Gulf Coast port.“Port Manatee greatly appreciates federal support of our efforts to ensure safe, secure and efficient flows of dynamically increasing cargo volumes,” Vanessa Baugh, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority, said today, following notification of the fiscal 2019 Port Security Grant Program award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.David St.

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Cyber Risk Management: What Maritime Professionals Need to Know Now

The IMO January 2021 deadline for shipping interests to incorporate cyber risk management into their existing Safety Management Systems is fast approaching. It is critical that stakeholders understand their vulnerabilities. The IMO has issued MSC-FAL.1/Circ.3 guidelines on maritime cyber risk management that does a good job of outlining the many vulnerable systems within marine operations, including:1.Bridge systems;2. Cargo handling and management systems;3.Propulsion and machinery management and power control systems;4.

Senator Cassidy: No Jones Act Waiver

A Republican U.S. senator on Wednesday said President Donald Trump will not waive rules requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Republican senators said the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for 10 years. Bloomberg News reported last week that Trump was leaning in favor of some kind of waiver.Senator Bill Cassidy…

Pic: LBCT

OOIL Sells Long Beach Terminal for $1.8bln

Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas International Ltd. (OOIL) said that it will sell Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) to a consortium led by Australia’s Macquarie Group for $1.78 billion.OOIL, which is majority-owned by Cosco Shipping Holdings, was the terminal operator under a lease agreement with the port. It has entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement to sell 100% of LBCT  to the consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP). LBCT LLC operates the container terminal in the Port of Long Beach…

The El Coqui, a U.S. flag ConRo carrier, recently built specifically for the Jones Act Caribbean trades and powered by environmentally friendly LNG. CREDIT: Crowley Maritime

Trump to Meet with GOP Senators on Jones Act

President Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican senators on Wednesday over a proposal to waive rules that only U.S.-flagged ships can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Bloomberg News reported last week the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for some energy shipments and that Trump…

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Report: FBI Falls Short On Port Threat Assessment

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is not taking appropriate steps to review and assess potential maritime terrorism risks facing U.S. sea ports, the Justice Department's internal watchdog has found.The audit, released on Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found that while top FBI officials believe the country faces a low maritime terrorism threat, that view is actually based on "incomplete and potentially inaccurate information."Moreover, the audit found that the FBI had not conducted its own formal assessment of the matter.In a letter to Horowitz dated Aug.

Port Security: If you’ve seen one port, you’ve seen one port

ARES Security Corporation’s sophisticated AVERT C-2 platform integrates hundreds of disparate sensors and information sources to keep first responders aware of their immediate environment in real-time. In today’s dangerous and digital business environment, that also comes ‘just in time.’Retired U.S. Coast Guard Commandant ADM James Loy is widely credited with coining the now familiar phrase, “If you’ve seen one port, you’ve seen one port.” In the choppy wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks…

Pic: Fleet Management Limited

ABS, Fleet Management Join Force on Cybersecurity

Global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries ABS Advanced Solutions and Hong Kong-headquartered Fleet Management Limited signed an agreement to implement the ABS industry-leading cyber security solution for Fleet Management’s 220-vessel liquid cargo fleet.“Fleet Management Limited is one of the world’s leading ship management firms, and their decision to select the ABS FCI Cyber Risk model underlines its position as an industry leader…

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Port Everglades Receives $2.25 Million in Security Grants

Broward County’s Port Everglades will receive more than $2.25 million in U.S. port security grants to advance firefighting capabilities and enhance the seaport’s security infrastructure.The FY 2018 Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) awards were announced on Friday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program was funded at $100 million, and more than 36 ports received direct grants.

Adm. Karl Schultz speaks during a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., June 1, 2018. During the ceremony Schultz relieved Adm. Paul Zukunft to become the 26th commandant of the Coast Guard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Patrick Kelley)

New US Coast Guard Commandant Takes Helm

Adm. Paul F. Zukunft was relieved as commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard by Adm. Karl Schultz during a military change-of-command ceremony held Friday at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters.Zukunft also retired from the Coast Guard after 41 years of service to the nation as part of the same ceremony and received the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal from President Donald J. Trump."Truly, Mr. President, you honor the men and women of the United States Coast Guard serving around the world today as 2018 was the largest appropriation ever for the Coast Guard," said Zukunft.

Photo: Canaveral Port Authority

Port Canaveral Awarded $1M Grant for Security Projects

U.S. The Canaveral Port Authority has been awarded $1 million in federal funding to bolster Port security programs and critical infrastructure. Port Canaveral is one of thirty-three U.S. ports to have been awarded direct grants by FEMA for FY‘17 which will be used for direct support of maritime security risk mitigation. “Port Canaveral is a vital gateway for commerce, tourism and trade. Last year, nearly five million cruise passengers were served and six million tons of cargo moved across our docks,” said Captain John Murray, Port CEO.

 Captain John Murray, Port CEO. Photo:Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral Awarded $1M in Grants

The Canaveral Port Authority has been awarded $1 million in federal funding to bolster Port security programs and critical infrastructure. Port Canaveral is one of thirty-three U.S. ports to have been awarded direct grants by FEMA for FY‘17 which will be used for direct support of maritime security risk mitigation. “Port Canaveral is a vital gateway for commerce, tourism and trade. Last year, nearly five million cruise passengers were served and six million tons of cargo moved across our docks,” said Captain John Murray, Port CEO.

Image credit: Port of Los Angeles - Liquid Terminals

Today’s Maritime Security: Is the Industry Prepared?

In late June of 2017, AP Moeller-Maersk shut down its container operations at the Port of Los Angeles. It wasn’t due to labor relations problems, equipment malfunction or other reasons that have been known to thwart port operations. It was a cyber-attack. In today’s climate of information technology, there’s no telling where hackers lurk or a cyber security compromises may occur. For the maritime industry and its extended supply chains, the threat is real and looming. “At the local Maersk facility in L.A.…

(Photo: TOTE Maritime)

TOTE Says San Juan Productivity Improving

TOTE Maritime said it continues to see an increase in overall productivity at the Port of San Juan as more and more containers leave the terminal for communities around Puerto Rico. On Monday the terminal reached 87 percent productivity with more than 330 loads of relief and commercial goods leaving the terminal. TOTE Maritime has been working closely with partners including the Department of Homeland Security, American Red Cross, FEMA, the Puerto Rican government, the Government’s Elderly Support Team and customers as they deliver goods to the island.

(Photo: Foss Maritime Company)

Foss Joins FEMA's Hurricane Relief Operations

Foss Maritime Company said it has contracted with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Three accommodation vessels are being utilized and will serve as floating hotels, providing safe housing and warm meals for responders. With these vessels, Foss will be able to help feed and temporarily house 729 people.

Flooded area in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (Photo by Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos / Puerto Rico National Guard)

US Denies Request for Puerto Rico Shipping Waiver

The Trump administration on Tuesday denied a request to waive shipping restrictions to help get fuel and supplies to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, saying it would do nothing to address the island's main impediment to shipping, damaged ports. The Jones Act limits shipping between coasts to U.S. flagged vessels. However, in the wake of brutal storms, the government has occasionally issued temporary waivers to allow the use of cheaper, tax free, or more readily available foreign flagged ships.

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US Waives Jones Act to Secure Fuel for Hurricane Responders

The U.S. government on Friday said it was temporarily waiving a law that limits the availability of cargoes on the U.S. coasts, a step that will ensure enough fuel reaches emergency responders during Hurricane Irma and in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. The Department of Homeland Security waived the requirement for one week. This will allow oil and gas operators to use often cheaper, tax-free, or more readily available foreign-flagged vessels.

(Photo: Ports of Indiana)

Op/Ed: Act Now on Port Infrastructure

Funding for freight transportation infrastructure is urgently needed to keep U.S. economy moving. Infrastructure is the backbone of developed nations. Our ability to move raw materials and finished products between domestic and world markets is critical to economic success. Right now, the U.S. freight transportation industry is at a crossroads and infrastructure funding is urgently needed to grow our economy. In recent years, transportation infrastructure investment has lagged…

Port Manatee Awarded $1 Mln Federal Security Grant

Port Manatee has been awarded a $946,950 federal security grant, enabling the Central Florida Gulf Coast port to double the number of outbound lanes at its main gate to securely accommodate increasing cargo volume. “With Port Manatee’s dynamic growth in containerized cargo activity, having more lanes in place is essential to continuing to meet stringent federal requirements for screening of outbound containers,” Carlos Buqueras, the port’s executive director, said today. Port…