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Entries in Coast Guard (5)

Monday
Jul032017

Senate Committee Authorizes Procurement of Six New Polar-Class Icebreakers 

Polar Star (courtesy of USCG)The Senate Armed Services Committee recently completed markup of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and voted unanimously (27-0) to advance the bill to the Senate floor. The NDAA includes a provision authored by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and co-sponsored by Senator Angus King (I-Maine) authorizing the procurement of up to six polar-class icebreakers, including polar-class heavy icebreakers and polar-class medium icebreakers.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar162016

USCG Sector Boston Prevention Training on Ecochlor Ballast Water Treatment Systems

DCDR Doliner, Katie Weaver of Ecochlor and LT Rebecca Miller, USCGOn Friday, March 4, 2016 Katie Weaver, Ecochlor Technical Sales Manager, presented an “all hands” training session on the Ecochlor BWTS (ballast Water Treatment System) USCG Type Approval process for USCG Sector Boston active duty, civilian and auxiliary personnel from the Prevention Division. A second session that day included a 20-minute presentation covering a case study about the recent retrofit installation of the Ecochlor BWTS on a U.S. flagged merchant vessel. 

See, http://ecochlor.com/uscg-boston-sector-training-on-ecochlor-bwts/

Friday
Oct162015

U.S. Court of Appeals Invalidates Ballast Water Treatment Regulations & Vessel General Permit

On October 5, in the case of Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S. EPA, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit invalidated the process USEPA used in promulgating its 2013 Vessel General Permit that sets that agency’s standards for discharges from merchant vessels under the federal Clean Water Act, also setting aside the VGP. Pursuant to the Court’s decision, EPA must completely re-do the regulatory process from the beginning, this time formulating a new VGP taking into account factors including: (1) EPA's previous decision to set the TBELs (Technology-based Effluent limitations) at the IMO (International Maritime Organization) Standard; (2) EPA's failure to consider onshore treatment for ballast water discharges; (3) EPA's decision to exempt pre–2009 Lakers from the TBELS in the 2013 VGP permit; (4) EPA's narrative standard for WQBELs (Water Quality-based Effluent Limitations) and (5) The monitoring and reporting requirements established by EPA for WQBELs.

It is critical to note that the Court also ruled that the 2013 VGP remains in effect until EPA issues a new VGP. As for the Coast Guard’s ballast water regulations, those were primarily promulgated under authority from Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 and the 1996 National Invasive Species Act (NISA), statutes separate in many respects from the Clean Water Act, and more closely focused on preventing the transport into the U.S. of harmful organisms such as zebra mussels, green crab and certain micro-organisms. That authority and the Coast Guard’s ballast water regulations were not ruled upon in this case.

EPA must choose between re-doing the VGP regulatory process or seeking Supreme Court review of the Second Circuit’s decision. Either way, long-standing issues will likely continue to be unresolved, or at the least unclear. These include the ambiguities between USEPA and USCG responsibilities regarding vessel discharges, the balancing process between TBELs and WQBELs, the problematic aspects of potentially requiring shore-based treatment of ballast water and – most of all – how U.S. environmental regulation can be effectively yet pragmatically be applied to the essentially global shipping industry.

Friday
May172013

Coast Guard Outlook 2013

The United States’ exponentially-expanding arctic presence is mostly articulated through our Coast Guard.  This link will take you to the digital version of Coast Guard Outlook 2013: http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/publications/coast-guard-outlook-2013-edition/

For what is usually a holistic look at the service, note the major emphasis on and space dedicated to the Coast Guard’s arctic ops.  Also, for those of us who provide services and/or technology to DHS/USCG, the review of the Coast Guard’s cutters, boats and aircraft starting at p. 108 may be useful.

 

Friday
Jan062012

U.S. Coast Guard Eases TWIC Requirements

Now a little less paperwork for those of you on the commercial side (from Marinelink.com):

http://www.marinelink.com/news/requirements-eases-twic341850.aspx

The Coast Guard announced the publication of a policy letter that exempts a number of mariners from the requirement to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential when renewing or obtaining a Coast Guard-issued merchant mariner credential. The policy letter provides immediate relief for mariners who otherwise would need to obtain a TWIC to get or renew their Merchant Mariner Credential. The policy letter also provides the Coast Guard with an expedient means to comply with a portion of the requirements set forth in Section 809 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010.

“These changes eliminate the TWIC requirement for mariners who operate vessels not required to have a vessel security plan or who are not actively sailing on their merchant mariner credential” said Captain Eric Christensen, Chief of the Office of Vessel Activities in Washington, DC. “This policy letter solution uses Coast Guard resources and capabilities to lessen the impact on an estimated 60,000 mariners while we work on a regulatory solution to address the full scope of Section 809.”
Prior to the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 becoming law, all mariners holding a Coast Guard-issued merchant mariner credential were also required to obtain and hold a valid TWIC. Section 809 of the Act, however, permits the Coast Guard to exempt any mariner not requiring unescorted access to a secure area of a vessel from the requirement to hold a valid TWIC as a precondition of receiving a merchant mariner credential.