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Transportation Law

President Bush signs Marine Highway Legislation

On Dec. 19, 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which contains provisions establishing a formal marine highway program within the federal government. Under the new law, marine highway or "short sea" transportation refers to the carriage by vessel of cargo in containers, loaded on the vessel by cranes or by means of wheeled technology. Specifically, the new law requires the establishment of a program and the designation of transportation projects to mitigate landside congestion. The program will encourage the development and expansion of vessels, shippers, port and landside infrastructure, and marine transportation strategies by state and local governments. Water transportation routes will be designated as extensions of the surface transportation system to focus public and private efforts to use the waterways to relieve landside congestion along coastal corridors. A project may be so designated if it offers a waterborne alternative to available landside transportation services using vessels and provides transportation services for passengers, freight or both. For designated transportation projects, the federal government will promote the use of waterborne transportation services as well as coordinate the development of landside facilities and infrastructure with ports, state departments of transportation, localities, other public agencies, and the private sector


Maritime Transportation Act Signed into Law

The White House issued a Press Release stating, among other things, that President Bush signed into law the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 (H.R. 2443). In addition to serving as the annual authorization act for the Coast Guard and the Federal Maritime Commission, this law inserts an exemption for certain passive owners (primarily institutional lenders) into OPA 90, mandates oil spill response plans for non-tank vessels in excess of 400 gross tons


DHS: Limited Waiver of Coastwise Restrictions

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the temporary waiver of compliance with coastwise trade restrictions to assist in the recovery from the effects of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. The coastwise trade laws have been waived, until 12:01 a.m., October 24, 2005, for transportation of petroleum and refined petroleum products from one U.S. port to another U.S. port. The earlier waiver of coastwise trade laws for transportation of petroleum released from the Strategic Petroleum


Administrative Process For Jones Act Waivers

The U.S. coastwise laws (primarily the Jones Act and the Passenger Vessel Services Act) require to carry cargo or passengers between U.S. ports, a vessel must be U.S.-flagged, U.S.-crewed, U.S.-built, and U.S.-owned. Traditionally, the only way for a non-qualified vessel to obtain the right to engage in domestic service has been for Congress to enact special legislation granting the privilege to the vessel by name. Public Law 105-383, enacted in November 1998


Bill Promotes US LNG Vessel Transport

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 5270, the Growing American Shipping Act, which aims to modernize U.S. LNG shipping export laws and strengthen the maritime industry. The Subcommittee’s Chairman, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50), joined the legislation as an original cosponsor.


Upcoming hearing on USCG and FMC budgets

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct a hearing on March 4, 2004. The subcommittee will examine the Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission budget requests for FY 2005 and the Coast Guard Authorization Act for FY 2005. Source: HK Law


TRB – Harbor Safety Committee Conference

The Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee will host the 2008 Harbor Safety Committee Conference in Seattle on May 12-14. The conference offers an opportunity for HSCs and other stakeholders from around the country to exchange information on current challenges, best practices, case studies, and lessons learned and to engage both public and private executive leaders on issues relating to marine transportation. The conference is organized by the U.S


Hearing on New Orleans Oil Spill

On September 16, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct an oversight hearing on the Oil Spill in New Orleans in July 2008 and Safety on the Inland River System. Source: HK Law


CTAC – Members Sought

The Coast Guard is seeking applications for appointment to membership on the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC). The committee advises the agency on matters relating to the safe and secure transportation and handling of hazardous materials in bulk on US-flag vessels in US ports and waterways. Applications should be submitted by August 31. Source: HK Law


Field Hearing On Delaware Oil Spill

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released a Schedule stating that the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will conduct a field hearing in Philadelphia on January 18. The hearing will examine circumstances surrounding the recent oil spill in the Delaware River. (HK Law)


VT Halter to Build Bouchard ATB Tugs

VT Halter Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced new contracts to build two 130-foot Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) tugs for Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. (Bouchard). Measuring 130 feet by 38 feet by 22 feet, these 6


Bouchard Orders Two Newbuild ATB Tugs

Morton S. Bouchard III, President and CEO of Bouchard Transportation (Photo courtesy of Bouchard Transportation)

Morton S. Bouchard III, President and CEO of Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc., today announced the next step in Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc.’s ongoing fleet expansion with the construction of two 6,000-hp ATB tugs. The newbuilds, the M/V Bouchard Boys and the M/V Evening Light


Growing American Shipping Bill Introduced by Garamendi

John Garamendi: Photo from official video

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, informs ot the introduction of  H.R. 5270, the 'Growing American Shipping Act', to strengthen the U.S. maritime industry


Mexico's Lower House Pass Energy Reform Bills

  Committees in Mexico's lower house on Saturday approved laws fleshing out a landmark energy reform that seeks to drive private investment into the long-shuttered sector. The so-called secondary laws, which detail the implementation of the constitutional energy reform passed last year


Nation’s Vessel Operators Join EPA as SmartWay Affiliate

Tom Allegretti, AWO President & CEO

The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, announced today that it joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and stakeholders in the


USCG Galveston Unit Change of Command

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lisa Ferdinando

A change-of-command ceremony will be held Thursday morning, July 24, to see a Coast Guard lieutenant commander and graduate of Houston's Alief Hastings High School, Lt. Cmdr. Steve Morris, take command of Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Galveston


Mexico's Senate OKs Bills Expanding Power of Energy Regulators

Mexico's Senate gave general approval on Monday to legislation laying out expanded powers for energy regulators, part of the fine print needed to implement a constitutional reform that overhauls the oil, gas and electricity sectors. Senators must still debate reservations to the regulatory


Shell suspends work on Canadian gas for transport facility

Royal Dutch Shell has suspended development of a liquefaction unit at Canada's Jumping Pound facility, which was to be used to develop the emerging gas for transport market. Gas liquefaction is increasingly being produced for use in transportation of large road vehicles, in trains


ACL Recognizes Safe Liquid Cargo Handlers

Photo: ACL

American Commercial Lines presented Marine Environmental Stewardship Awards on Wednesday, July 16 in Houston, Texas, recognizing 35 customers for safe handling of chemicals, petroleum products and other liquid cargos. The customers recognized by ACL safely handled over two billion gallons of


Maritime Legal Firms Announce Merger

Houston- and New Orleans-based law firm Bland & Partners P.L.L.C. announced that Crain Wilson, P.L.L.C.’s Houston office merged with its firm as of July 1, 2014. The merger results in growth for the firm, including the addition of six attorneys and four legal support staff


Protest at Ports of Los Angeles & Long Beach

  Day one of the California trucker's and Teamsters protest at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach got off to a slow start yesterday as port operations continued without any disruption. With no picket line to honor, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)


Obama Trade Law Survives Chinese WTO Appeal

U.S. President Barack Obama (White House photo)

China failed to overturn a U.S. law targeting unfair trade subsidies on Monday, when the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body said it did not have enough information to uphold China's appeal against an earlier WTO ruling. China had claimed that the U.S


New Russian Tax Credits Encourage Arctic Oil Exploration

Arctic drilling platform: File photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off a new law on mineral extraction tax incentives for hydrocarbons produced in Yamal and the Nenets Autonomous District, reports official news agency Arctic-info. The document [signed] also refers to the resources that are extracted in Eastern Siberia


China M&A Rulings Create Hot Competition for Antitrust Lawyers

China's increasing regulatory influence over international mergers and acquisitions has helped to create the hottest new commodity in its legal industry: anti-trust lawyers. Six years ago, China did not even have a legal system for regulating the impact of M&A on competition


Congress Gets It Done with WRRDA

Michael J. Toohey, President and CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.

On May 22, the Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014, containing major recommendations of the Capital Development Plan (CDP), was passed by a vote 91-7 in the Senate.  As MarineNews was going to press, President Obama finally signed the bill into law






 
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