USMMA Board of Visitors to Convene
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao has announced the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s (USMMA) new 16 member Board of Visitors will convene for the first time at Kings Point on Monday, February 3 at 9:00 a.m. (click here for additional information). The Board will serve through October 2021.“The Department is dedicated to providing midshipmen with the finest possible education, preparing them to excel as mariners and military officers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L.
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…
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…
Tanker Owner, Operator & Officers Guilty in ECA Crimes
The owner and operator will pay a total criminal fine of $3,000,000.00.U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced that IONIAN SHIPPING & TRADING CORP., LILY SHIPPING LTD., STAMATIOS ALEKIDIS, ATHANASIOS PITTAS and REY ESPULGAR have been convicted and sentenced for various pollution, recordkeeping, and obstruction of justice crimes on the Motor Tanker (“M/T”) Ocean Princess in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. The defendants’ conduct included using fuel that exceeded the maximum allowable sulfur concentration in the U.S. Caribbean Emission Control Area (“U.S.
Maritime Recordkeeping is Serious Business
In addition to fuel, modern ships also run on paper or their electronic equivalent. Vessels are required to keep written or electronic records of many things – and the list is growing.There is the traditional Ship’s Log, which records the vessel’s position, course, speed, weather, and unusual events to name a few. The Oil Record Book (ORB) has been around for a long time and tracks all movement of oil throughout the vessel, including its loading, consumption, and discharge (generally via the oily water separator and overboard discharge piping).
Crowley Christens LNG-Powered M/V Taíno
Event heralds new era of world-class supply chain service. Crowley Maritime Corp. christened the U.S.-flag combination container/roll on-roll off (ConRo) ship MV Taíno today in San Juan, where the company’s investments have ushered in a new era of world-class supply chain services in the U.S. mainland-Puerto Rico trade. Clara Crowley, daughter of Chairman and CEO Tom Crowley and board member Christine Crowley, served as the ship’s sponsor and broke the ceremonial bottle of champagne on the bow of MV Taíno at the company’s Isla Grande Terminal before several hundred employees…
Carpenter Named Executive Director of Captain Phillips–Lane Kirkland Trust
Rear Adm. Wendi B. Carpenter has been named the Executive Director of the Captain Phillips and Lane Kirkland Maritime Trust.She has served as a Board Member of the Trust since shortly after its inception and has been closely involved with its administrative set up, strategic planning and governance.Carpenter is a pioneer of women in Naval Aviation and was the first woman aviator to be promoted to the flag rank in the U.S. Navy. During her distinguished 34-year career, she served in leadership roles that included deputy commander of the U.S.
Crowley Takes Delivery of Second LNG-Powered ConRo Ship
Crowley Maritime Corp. has taken delivery of Taíno – the second of two of the world’s first combination container/roll on-roll off (ConRo) ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) – from shipbuilder VT Halter Marine Inc., of Pascagoula, Miss.Taíno will soon join sister ship El Coquí, which was delivered in July, in providing fast, reliable and environmentally friendly shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This major milestone marks the final chapter in construction of Crowley’s $550 million investment in the two newly built…
US Fines Shipping Company $1 Mln for Pollution Crimes
A Japanese shipping company will have to pay $1 million after being convicted and sentenced for obstruction of justice and falsification of an Oil Record Book to cover-up intentional pollution from bulk carrier M/V Atlantic Oasis.The company Nitta Kisen Kaisha Ltd., owner and operater of the Atlantic Oasis, admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal discharge of oily wastes from the vessel’s fuel and lubrication oil purifier systems, as well as discharges of oily bilge waste from the bilge holding tank and from the vessel’s bilges when delivering steel products to Wilmington…
US Women Dockworkers Accuse Shippers, Union of Discrimination
Four women dockworkers have filed federal discrimination claims against the shippers' association that runs 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast, saying they unfairly lost pay and seniority after becoming pregnant. Male dockworkers who temporarily left to serve in the armed forces got benefits denied to women on pregnancy leave, one of the workers, Tracy Plummer, said in an interview. Another woman with a complicated medical history said she tried to work during pregnancy for fear of losing seniority and suffered a miscarriage, according to her complaint.
US Authorizes Non-FTA LNG Export from Golden Pass
The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it has signed an order authorizing Golden Pass Products LLC to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. Golden Pass is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to any non-FTA country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy from the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas. With the dramatic increase in domestic natural gas production, the U.S.
DoJ looks back at 2016
The Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division has announced the publication of its accomplishments in 2016, documenting one of the most successful years in its history of over a century, including the highest recoveries in environmental enforcement, record-setting recoveries in natural resource damages, and the highest criminal penalties handed down in individual vessel pollution and Lacey Act trafficking cases. “I am extremely proud and grateful to have led the men and women of this division through a landmark year in its long history of protecting…
USCG Offloads $11.6 mln of Cocaine in Miami
The Coast Guard offloaded approximately 350 kilograms of seized cocaine Monday from the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach. During an Operation patrol on October 27, a Joint Interagency Task Force South marine patrol aircraft detected a go-fast vessel suspected of smuggling contraband in the Caribbean Sea. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight and an embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment diverted to intercept the vessel. The RFA Wave Knight crew launched a helicopter and a smallboat with a Coast Guard LEDET aboard and boarded the go-fast…
Ship Officers Charged in Oil Discharge Cover Up
A federal grand jury in Greenville, North Carolina, has returned a nine-count indictment charging two engineering officers employed by Oceanfleet Shipping Limited with crimes relating to the illegal discharge of oily wastes directly into the sea, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Oceanfleet Shipping Limited is a Greek shipping company that operates the cargo carrier M/V Ocean Hope.
Draft Law on Arctic Development
The draft law on the development of the Arctic region will be discussed at a joint meeting of the Presidium of the Advisory Council on the Arctic and Antarctic in the Federation Council and the State Commission on the Development of the Arctic November 20. The meeting was held under the leadership of the chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko and Head of the State Commission for the Arctic, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. The event will discuss a draft concept of the federal law on the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.
Greek Shipper Pleads Guilty to Dumping off Texas
A ship management company has pleaded guilty and was sentenced October 27, 2015 for deliberately concealing pollution discharges from the ship directly into the sea and for falsifying its oil record book, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Rear Admiral David R. Callahan, Eighth District Coast Guard Commander. Chandris (Hellas) Inc. is headquartered in Greece and operated the M/V Sestrea - an 81,502 ton cargo ship that made calls in multiple ports in Texas. Chandris…
Where Arbitration Began: Maritime Arbitration in New York
In March 1656, Andrew Kilvert brought suit against Jan Geraerdy in the Court of Burgemeesters of the colony of New Netherland, demanding the release of his vessel, which had been arrested to obtain payment for the sale price of Kilvert’s ship. The practice of arbitration of maritime matters in New York, therefore, has its beginnings in Dutch law. Dutch rule in New Netherland (New Amsterdam) lasted less than 50 years. With the English takeover in 1664, most of the Dutch settlers elected to stay in what its new rulers named New York.
Port of Long Beach Awarded FEMA Security Grants
The Port of Long Beach’s Security Division has been awarded $3.4 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants to fund ongoing projects that protect the port. The grants will enhance port security systems such as physical security equipment and monitoring and detection systems, including the Virtual Port System, and improve the resiliency of port security systems, the port said. “Protecting workers and the community, as well as ensuring business continuity, are top priorities at the Port of Long Beach…
Great Lakes Agencies Partner for Operation Dry Water
U.S. Coast Guard and maritime law enforcement agencies on the Great Lakes and surrounding areas will partner up Friday through Sunday for the seventh annual Operation Dry Water campaign, a nationwide, multiagency effort focusing on boater education and raising awareness that it is unsafe, as well as illegal, to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. “Along with alcohol use, three of the other top five contributing factors in recreational boating deaths are operator inattention, improper lookout and inexperience of the operator,” said Mike Baron, the U.S.
Retailers Applaud Introduction of Port Legislation
Senate bill aims to mitigate impact of labor disputes at America’s ports. In a letter sent today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) welcomed the introduction of the Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipments (PORTS) Act in the U.S Senate. The bill, sponsored by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to provide state governors a mechanism under federal law to mitigate the destructive impact of port labor disputes on the economy at both the state and federal level.
Ret. Merchant Mariner Reminisces about Training at KCC
Paul Lieb was among the first Merchant Marines to set foot on the grounds of the Sheepshead Bay Merchant Marine Training Station, when shortly after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard purchased 125 acres of property on the eastern tip of Brooklyn for a huge training center. Seventy-six of those acres were set aside for the Sheepshead Bay Maritime Service Station, now the campus of Kingsborough Community College. Lieb, who currently resides in Albany, visited the campus with his daughter, Elise Laurenti in 1980, when she joined KCC as an English professor.
Ballast Water Management: California Update
The California State Lands Commission (CSL) has promulgated a letter to clarify its interpretation of existing ballast water requirements under the California's Marine Invasive Species Act (MISA) informs the UK P&I Club. In its letter, California recognizes that in certain limited circumstances under federal law a vessel may not be required to deviate or incur delay in order to conduct a ballast water exchange. However, CSL explains that MISA does not provide for any exemption based on deviation or voyage delay.
Westerman Joins Parsons Brinckerhoff
Al Westerman has been named a Port/Maritime Security Specialist in the Tampa office of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure strategic consulting, engineering and program/construction management organization. In his new position, Westerman will provide maritime security consulting services at ports in the U.S. and around the world. He will prepare facility security assessments and facility security plans, conduct port vulnerability assessments, security training, technology…
Sens. Menendez, Booker Urge Feds to Expedite Road Salt to NJ
NJDOT wants Jones Act Waiver. U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have jointly sent a letter to both U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx requesting that they continue to assist New Jersey with receiving a critical supply of rock salt. They acknowledged both agencies’ role in securing maritime delivery of a 10,000-ton supplemental supply for the Garden State. “The State of New Jersey has been among the hardest hit states this winter season…
The Coast Guard’s Proposed Maritime Preemption Assessment Framework
What it may foretell about the coming towing vessel rule. In the May 2013 issue of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, Dennis Bryant published a provocative article titled Rebuilding the Presumption of Preemption. The Coast Guard has asserted in the past and believes today that consistent standards of universal application and enforcement, coupled with Federal initiatives to meet unique regional concerns, best meet local and national safety and environmental goals with the least disruption to maritime commerce. 78 Fed. Reg. 79,243.
Former BP Engineer Convicted for Obstruction of Justice
Kurt Mix, a former engineer for BP plc, was convicted today of intentionally destroying evidence requested by federal criminal authorities investigating the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon disaster. Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI’s New Orleans Division made the announcement after the verdict was announced by U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. Mix, 52…