Marine Link
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Environmental Protection Agency News

Polluter Receives Jail Sentence

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release stating that a Seattle area marine construction company owner was sentenced to six months imprisonment and one year of supervised release after he was convicted for failing to appear at his earlier trial for violating the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. A tug owned by his company sank in Puget Sound in 1995, spilling oil. Evidence indicated that the owner knowingly failed to maintain the vessel.

Penalties for Illegal Dumping

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Press Release

EPA not Required to Exceed MARPOL Standards

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not required by the Clean Air Act (CAA) to immediately set emission standards for marine diesel engines higher than the standards provided for in MARPOL Annex VI. In the instant case, an environmental advocacy group sued the EPA after that agency promulgated a regulation that adopted the MARPOL standard for large marine diesel engines. Plaintiffs argued that the CAA is a technology-forcing statute, requiring the EPA to adopt standards higher than those already in existence. The court, noting that the EPA had adopted a two-step approach calling for potentially higher standards in 2007, ruled that the agency’s decision was not arbitrary. Bluewater Network v.

EPA Recognizes Shipyard Environmental Innovations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Press Release

EPA Proposes to Increase Civil Penalties

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would, if adopted, increase the maximum civil penalty for most violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and other environmental statutes from $27,500 to $32,500. The increase is intended to account for inflation. Comments on the NPRM should be submitted by August 4, 2003. Source: HK Law

EPA Awards Great Lakes Shipyard Drydocking Contract

Lake Explorer II

Great Lakes Shipyard has been awarded a contract for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) R/V Lake Explorer II. The research vessel was hauled out using the 770-ton capacity Marine Travelift at Great Lakes Shipyard. The repair contract that started on August 14, 2014 includes drydocking, routine repairs and maintenance, upgrades and design, fabrication and installation of a new bulbous bow. The 90-foot research vessel has been stationed in its homeport of Duluth, Minnesota since 2009, and is the newest addition to the U.S.

MARAD Letter to EPA on Ballast Water Litigation

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) sent a Letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing its concern over the pending litigation relating to ballast water discharges and the current exemption for such discharges from the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). MARAD is concerned about the long-term workability of applying the NPDES permitting regime to ballast water discharge. It is also concerned about the potentially crippling short-term impact that repeal of the normal operation exclusion could have pending any appeal of the court decision. (HK Law)

Preparing Vessels as Artificial Reefs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) jointly issued guidance for Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels Intended to Create Artificial Reefs. The 77-page guidance document addresses the cleaning of obsolete ships and identifies materials or categories of materials that may be onboard ships. Source: HK Law

American Samoa Port Authority Fined for Oil Spill Prevention Deficiencies

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a News Release stating that the American Samoa Port Authority was fined $2,600 for deficiencies regarding the oil spill prevention measures at its commercial harbor and airport. The port authority is now developing a comprehensive oil spill prevention and control plan. Source: HK Law

Company to Pay $735,000 for Ocean Dumping Violations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that a dredging company will pay $735,000 for ocean dumping violations off the coast of northern California. The company will pay a $450,000 EPA fine and pay NOAA $285,000 to fund projects to restore the marine environment. Evidence indicated that the company’s disposal vessels leaked or dumped dredged material over 200 times from 1999 through 2003 while en route to a designated deep ocean disposal site 55 miles off San Francisco. Source: HK Law

New York – No Discharge Zones

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it has determined that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for Hempstead Harbor, Nassau County, New York. The harbor is thus designated a Vessel Waste No Discharge Zone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it has determined that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for Oyster Bay/Cold Springs Harbor Complex, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York. The harbor complex is thus designated a Vessel Waste No Discharge Zone. (Source: Holland & Knight)

Seattle Cleanup of Lower Duwamish Waterway

The US Environmental Protection Agency EPA has entered into an agreement with the City of Seattle and King County. These two parties will clean up portion of the Lower Duwamish Waterway south of Harbor Island that is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Source: HK Law

EPA – Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule adjusting for inflation its civil monetary penalties for violations of regulations that EPA enforces. Among other things, it raises the maximum civil penalty for violation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations from $32,500 to $37,500.  The changes come into effect on January 12, 2009.  73 Fed. Reg. 75340  (December 11, 2008). (Source: Holland & Knight)

Port of Houston Authority Gets EPA Award

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the Port of Houston Authority an environmental award for commitment to environmentally beneficial practices that go beyond regulatory requirements. The port has committed to reduce total water use by 5%, non-hazardous waste by 15%, emissions of volatile organic compounds by 15%, and energy use by 10%. source: HK Law

EPA Issues Rule on Shipbuilding Air Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule regarding emission standards for hazardous air pollutants relating to shipbuilding and ship repair (surface coating) operations. The rule amends the definition of ship in order to close an unintended gap and to clarify the regulations. The change comes into effect on February 27, 2007, unless adverse comment is received by January 29 or a public hearing is requested by January 8 Source: HK Law

EPA – Shipbuilding & Ship Repair, Air Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received adverse comments to its direct final rule for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (Surface Coating) Operations. Therefore, the direct final rule (published on December 29, 2006) should be considered a notice of proposed rulemaking and comments thereon should be submitted by April 27, 2007. 72 Fed. Reg. 8630 Source: HK Law

Agencies Reach Accord on Managing Long Island Sound Dredged Materials

Six government agencies tasked with regulating dredging activities in Long Island Sound have reached accord on a process to support the goal of reducing or eliminating open water disposal of dredged materials into the Sound while maintaining the economic viability of New York and Connecticut's working ports. agencies to formally administer a Regional Dredging Team to comply with the June 3, 2005, rulemaking by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(USEPA) that designated open-water dredged material disposal sites in Central Long Island Sound (CLIS) and Western Long Island Sound (WLIS). The establishment of the Regional Dredging Team…

Gulf, Atlantic Strike Teams Assist EPA at Contaminated Facility

One member from the Gulf Strike Team and one member from the Atlantic Strike Team deployed today to assist the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at a contaminated facility in Weogufka, Ala. The strike team members will assist as Federal On-Scene Coordinator Representatives, conduct site safety, monitor contractors, provide photo documentation and cost documentation for lead contaminated soil removal work at Performance Advantage Facility, Inc.

Maritime Administration Environment Director Honored

Michael Carter, Director of the Office of Environment at the Maritime Administration, recently received a Team Bronze Medal from the Environmental Protection Agency for his work with the Vessels-to-Reefs Guidance Development Team. Other team members, who were also awarded the medal, included participants from the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Navy, and the Office of Management and Budget. The Artificial Reefing Best Management Practices were developed to provide the first consistent set of guidelines for use by EPA regions, states, the Maritime Administration and the Navy to prepare ships for artificial reefing in an environmentally sound manner. The guidelines now provide a baseline for the states to estimate the costs associated with preparing the ships.

Pacific, Atlantic Strike Teams Assist EPA at Former Mercury Mine Site

Members of the Pacific and Atlantic Strike Team deployed Sunday to assist the Environmental Protection Agency at a former mercury mine in Cottage Grove, Ore. The team members will provide federal on-scene presence, air monitoring, site safety, communications and cost documentation support.

North America ECA: Alaska Senator Protests

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich urges US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take 'hybrid' approach to cruise ships in Alaskan waters. The senator is leading an effort with Hawaii’s senators urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt a phased-in approach for cruise ships forced to meet stricter standards for air emissions under the North American Emission Control Area, or ECA. Under the ECA, cruise ships will be required to burn more expensive, cleaner-burning fuel in specific geographic areas in the U.S., including all of Alaska’s Inside Passage through the Gulf of Alaska and up to the major cruise ports of Whittier and Seward.

EPA without authority to exempt ballast water discharges

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lacks authority to exempt ballast water discharges from requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). With limited exemptions, the FWPCA prohibits discharges of any pollutant from a point source (such as a ship) into navigable waters of the United States, except in accordance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Since 1973, the EPA has exempted ballast water discharges from the NPDES requirements. In 1999, various environmental advocacy groups petitioned the EPA to revoke the exemption. The EPA declined and this litigation ensued. It is too early to determine how this matter will be resolved, but ship owners and operators should pay close attention.

New EAL Grease for ATB Couplings

Specialty lubricants manufacturer Klϋber Lubrication recently introduced a new environmentally acceptable lubricant (EAL) grease for articulated tug and barge (ATB) couplings, Klüberbio AM 12-501.Klüberbio AM 12-501 is an adhesive EAL grease designed specifically for the large plain bearings, rams and connectors used in ATB coupling systems. It is based on fully synthetic ester oils for high performance and biodegradability, aluminum complex thickener for adhesion and resistance to water and select additives to reduce wear.Klüberbio AM 12-501 meets ATB coupling system OEM specifications for pumpability, resistance to water washout and spray off, corrosion protection and load carrying capabilities.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover May 2018 - Marine Propulsion Edition

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