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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


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)


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.


U.S. National Transportation Statistics 2002 Released

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics released the National Transportation Statistics 2002 In the maritime sector, the report notes that the number of U.S.-flag ocean-going vessels of 1,000 gross tons and over decreased from 2,926 in 1960 to 443 in 2001. The U.S. ocean-going tonnage decreased from 32,567,000 dwt to 14,978,000 dwt during this same period. Average vessel size rose from 11,130 dwt to 33,810 dwt. 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


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


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


Enhanced Efficiency, Capacity at Corpus Christi Port

Image

  U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen today joined Federal, State and local officials at the Port of Corpus Christi for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking a major step forward in the development of an expanded rail yard


China Investigating Former Ningbo Port Chairman

China is investigating the former chairman of Ningbo Port Group, manager of one of the world's busiest ports, the country's top graft-busting body said, naming the latest target of an anti-corruption drive ordered by President Xi Jinping.  


Officials Call for Freight Infrastructure Investment

Rep. Lowenthal to Head ‘Call to Action’ on Critical Need for Long-term Freight Infrastructure Funding; Congress Members and Goods Movement Stakeholders to Address National Need   Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) will be joined by Rep


G-7 Speaks Out On Chinese Maritime

Meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers in Luebeck, Germany. Picture Courtesy: TACC, Government of Russia

 Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major nations have warned against “any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion or force” — a message apparently aimed at China.  


USCG Leaders Testify on Budget Requests

USCG Commandant, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard testify before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation   U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell testified Wednesday on the Coast


Green Groups Sue Port of Seattle

Image courtesy: Port Of Seattle

 A coalition of environmental groups has sued the Port of Seattle over a leasing agreement to host Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet, claiming the deal was negotiated in secret and may pollute the port.   They argued that the port needed to allow more public involvement and


Africa Should Tap its Maritime Resources: IMO

Koji Sekimizu - Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

 The huge potential of the oceans and the maritime industry to assist in the development of the African continent has already been noted, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary General Koji Shemizu, has said.   African should emulate Japan in exploiting their vast maritime


Richmond Ferry Service to Become a Reality

Nina Rannells of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority. Courtesy SFBT

  At its meeting of March 5, the Board of Directors of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) approved a Cooperative Agreement with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the City of Richmond to provide operating subsidy for proposed Richmond ferry service


Huffman Joins Blank Rome in Houston

Jay T. Huffman (Photo: Blank Rome)

Blank Rome LLP announced that Jay T. Huffman has joined the Firm as an associate in the Maritime, International Trade, and Public Contracts group. He is based in the Firm’s Houston office.    Huffman joins Blank Rome from Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, L.L.P


Indonesian Navy gives 10 ships to Maritime Security Board

Picture: Indonesian Navy

 The Indonesian Navy has planned to hand over 10 Navy Patrol ships (KAL) to the Maritime Security Board (Bakamla) by the end of this year, reports Jakarta Post.   According to Navy chief of staff, Adm. Ade Supandi, said the 10 ships would require alterations before they could be used


Court: BP Employees Can't Be Charged Under Seaman's Manslaughter Law

   The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

  A federal court ruled on Wednesday that BP well site leaders on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cannot be charged with seaman's manslaughter in the deaths of eleven workers that died during the 2010 rig explosion because they were not seamen.  


Indonesia Restricts Foreign Vessels to Spur Local Shipbuilding

Susi Pudjiastuti: Ministry of Marine and Fisheries

 Indonesia will begin restricting foreign vessels transporting domestic aquaculture products in Indonesian waters to encourage growth for domestic shipbuilders from next year.   The stricter fishing laws would spell the end of foreign fishing vessels plying Indonesian waters


Brazil to Lease 29 Ports to Private Companies

  A plan to attract private investment to Brazil's strained port infrastructure is even more important in the face of federal budget cuts that will curb public investment, Brazilian Ports Minister Edinho Araújo said in an interview.  


Senate Confirms Doyle to Another Term

William P. Doyle

The United States Senate confirmed William P. Doyle to another term in office as a Federal Maritime Commissioner on the evening of March 23, 2015.  The vote was a unanimous 89 in favor, 0 opposed, and 11 senators not voting.   Upon confirmation, Commissioner Doyle said


Garamendi Introduces Bipartisan GPS Backup Bill

Congressman John Garamendi

Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, introduced the bipartisan National Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Resilience and Security Act of 2015, H.R. 1678






 
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