Houston Terminal Fire May Last Two More days
A massive fire at a fuels storage company along the Houston Ship Channel may burn for two more days, an official said on Monday as the blaze spread a plume of black smoke across the city, shutting schools in two nearby communities.The fire began Sunday morning in a giant storage tank containing naphtha, a volatile substance used to create octane-boosting components of gasoline.No injuries were reported from the fire but nearby residents were encouraged to remain indoors. The entire city of Deer Park, Texas, a Houston suburb, was told to shelter in doors all day Sunday.
HazSub Spill Response Plans
On August 18, 1990, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) was enacted into law. Section 4202 of that Act amended the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA or Clean Water Act) to require tank vessels and marine transportation-related facilities to prepare and submit to the US Coast Guard plans for responding, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worse case discharge, and to a substantial threat of such a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance carried in bulk as cargo.
DTF: Longer Workboat Engine Life Impacts Environment
New Research Doubles Service Life Estimate of Marine Workboat Engines, Reveals Big Opportunities for Diesel Emissions Reductions. New Research also Underscores Cost-Effective Opportunity to Upgrade to New Diesel Engines and Reduce Emissions for Vulnerable Communities. Commercial workboat engines, which are essential for maritime commerce, are staying in service more than two times longer than predicted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to new research from the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
OP/ED: Advancing the Passenger Vessel Industry:
A Strategic Look Forward.It is my honor to serve as PVA’s President. My company, Padelford Packet Boat Co., Saint Paul, MN, has proudly, and actively, been a member of this organization since its inception almost 50 years ago when it was previously known as the National Association of Passenger Vessel Operators (NAPVO).While PVA is rich in history, it by no means is stuck in old ways. PVA is always evolving to mirror the ever-advancing world of passenger vessel operations. As the voice of the passenger vessel industry…
VIDA & BWMS Reform
On December 4, President Trump signed into law the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 140). Title IX of the legislation is the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act of 2018 (VIDA). VIDA will largely cut through a morass of conflicting and confusing requirements that have developed over a number of years relating to discharges into US waters. This purpose of this new legislation is to: (1) provide for the establishment of uniform and environmentally sound standards and requirements for the management of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel…
2018 Green Apple Spill Exercise
Committed to providing tugboat and towing vessel operators with a platform to meet regularity requirements and collaborate with local resources, the annual event also reminds us that Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.On September 28 2018, American Marine Associates, LLC (AMA) coordinated and hosted the 3rd annual Green Apple Spill Response Exercise in Bayonne, NJ. The Green Apple Spill Response exercise was established specifically for the tugboat and towing vessel industry operating in New York Harbor.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) - Immediate Implications of the New Law
This week, on December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA): Title IX of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018.VIDA establishes a new framework for the regulation of vessel incidental discharges, adding a new Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 312(p): Uniform National Standards for Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Vessels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are…
AAPA: U.S. Ballast Water Legislative Victory Appears Imminent
Legislation that sets standards for incidental water discharges from vessels passed the House on Nov. 29.The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, S. 140, which includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), passed the Senate two weeks earlier and now moves to the President to be signed.The provision places the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the lead role of establishing standards for ballast water discharge, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will monitor and enforce compliance.
EPA Funds Diesel Pollution Abatement Efforts in Mid-Atlantic Region
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced funding for three clean diesel projects totaling $4.7 million to reduce air pollution from aging diesel engines in the Mid-Atlantic region.The funding will go to the Maryland Environmental Service (MES), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association, (MARAMA) and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (WashCOG).“Taking steps to reduce emissions from older diesel engines rates among some of the most cost-effective measures we can take to improve the air we all breathe…
Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?
Regulatory reform is one of President Trump’s priority agenda items. Upon taking office, the President issued a number of Executive Orders focusing attention and demanding action on the myriad of regulations impacting American businesses.Last May, the reform spotlight fell on maritime regulations when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published a Request for Information (RFI) on how the government should “prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector.” OMB…
Thordon Advises on VGP Delay
Thordon Bearings has advised its customers with newbuilds under construction to make sure they have the necessary documentation in place permitting operations in U.S. waters prior to 18th December 2018.The advice follows the October 10 announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the 2013 Vessel General Permit, due to expire in December 2018, will now be administratively continued till at least March 2019, when an updated version, VGP 3.0, will be introduced.“The delay in introducing VGP 3.0 means that operators of existing vessels looking to operate in U.S.
NGO Shipbreaking Platform Slams Gadani Yards
A tanker caught fire at the Gadani shipbreaking beach that holds a deplorable record of life threatening accidents on 11 October.Fortunately, no casualties were recorded. Only a few days later, on 14 October, yet another oil tanker named KRITI (IMO 9270737) caught fire, this time injuring seven workers, three of which are in a critical condition.The Platform has reported a series of accidents following the catastrophic explosion that killed at least 29 workers and injured 58 on the 1st of November 2016. Since then, there have been at least five more fires caused by unsafe cutting operations.
Washington State's New Ferry Starts Operations
The newest auto/passenger vessel to serve the United States' largest ferry system has made its debut on the U.S. West Coast.Washington State Ferries (WSF) began carrying passengers aboard the newest state ferry, Suquamish, sailing from Clinton, Wash. on October 4.The 1,500 passenger and 144 vehicle capacity Suquamish, constructed by U.S. shipbuilder Vigor and christened earlier this year, is the fourth and last of the funded Olympic Class ferries, built to replace the midcentury-era Evergreen State Class vessels.
EPA: VGP Will Not be Reissued This Year
The EPA has provided updated advice on the reissuance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit (VGP).The 2013 VGP will not be reissued prior to its December 18, 2018 expiration date, but will be administratively continued and remain in effect until a new permit is issued. Owners/operators of vessels operating under the administratively continued permit are expected to comply with the terms and conditions of that permit.
AWIA/WRDA Overwhelmingly Passes in Senate
Bill now heads to White House for President Trump’s signature.Today, the Senate voted 99-1 in favor of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018/Water Resources Development Act, otherwise known as WRDA 2018. The Bill passed in the U.S. House by unanimous voice vote (435-0) in August.“The passage of WRDA 2018 is a win for the Nation’s towboat operators, freight shippers, ports and labor and conservation groups that rely on an efficient inland waterways system,” said Mike Toohey, President and CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI).
New Deere Marine Engine Ships
John Deere Power Systems is shipping the new PowerTech 4045SFM85 marine engine to boat owners and builders. The manufacturer touts the PowerTech 4045SFM85's power-to-weight, torque and compact size, saying it is suited for planing and semi-displacement hulls.The PowerTech 4045SFM85 engine has two ratings:-- M4 rating with 205 kW (275 hp) at 2600 rpm and-- M5 rating with 235 kW (315 hp) at 2800 rpm. These ratings are ideal for light-duty commercial vessels, high-speed governmental applications and high-speed pleasure crafts.
US Delays New VGP Requirements Until March 2019
While waiting for the new Vessel General Permit (VGP) to be finalized, operators must file a Notice of Intent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prior to December 18, 2018 in order for vessels to continue to operate under their current VGP also after this date.According to a recent Regulatory Update published by the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the EPA has further delayed the release its new Vessel General Permit (VGP 3.0).The proposed…
Keehi Marine to Reduce Stormwater Discharge Pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with Hawaiian repair yard Keehi Marine, Inc. to reduce pollution in its stormwater discharges to Keehi Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean.Acting on a tip it received from the public, EPA performed an inspection in April 2017 at the Honolulu boatyard and found accumulation of fine sediment and debris without controls that prevent stormwater and associated debris from entering stormwater discharges and flowing into Keehi Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. It was discovered that recent flooding at a covered work area indicating pollutants had washed offsite. From September 2016 to December 2017…
Answering the Call for Environmental Answers
The Coast Guard has developed two separate mitigation system prototypes specifically designed for inland and offshore environments and tested them in the Kalamazoo River and Lake Huron.Whenever there is a need for oil, there will always be a risk of oil spills. This is no less true for bituminous sands, commonly known as oil sands or tar sands. Oil sands are mostly found in Alberta, Canada, and comprised of bitumen, sand, clay and water. They are typically viscous, with a texture similar to peanut butter.
Environmentalists File Second Complaint to Block Nord Stream 2
Environmental campaign group ClientEarth has filed a complaint with a court in Sweden to block the construction through Swedish waters of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline intended to transport Russian gas to Germany, it said on Wednesday.Sweden approved the pipeline in June, but ClientEarth's complaint argues that the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation failed to consider the impact the project would have on wildlife in the Baltic Sea.The work involves detonating World…
Thordon Bearings: EAL Protection in a Class of its Own
The ideal solution for the tightening regulatory noose also brings a different (and welcome) shade of ‘green’ for workboat operators.As the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ramps up enforcement of regulations that mandate that all vessels over 24 meters (78 feet) operating in US waters must switch over to EALs in all oil-to-sea interfaces before their next drydocking, it is an arguably good time to be in the lubricants business. At the same time, Thordon Bearings, a manufacturer of seawater lubricated bearings for the marine industry has its own thoughts on that very topic.
The EPA's Clean Water Act and Understanding VGP
The Vessel General Permit (VGP) falls under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), better known as the Clean Water Act. It is administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an agency not well known or understood by the maritime industry.For years, the EPA had adopted a policy of broadly exempting discharges into the water that were incidental to normal operation of vessels. That changed after environmental advocacy groups prevailed in a judicial challenge. The first iteration of the VGP entered into effect in 2008 and remained in effect until replaced by the current iteration in 2013.
Wärtsilä 34DF Engine Awarded EPA Tier III Certification
Wärtsilä marks another milestone for its Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engine.The 34DF engine has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier III certification for diesel mode operation when installed together with the Wärtsilä NOx Reducer (NOR) system, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that converts nitrogen oxides (NOx) with the aid of a catalyst into diatomic nitrogen (N2) and water.Wärtsilä said it is the first engine manufacturer to be awarded…