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June 6 - NOAA Proposes to Eliminate Sunset Clause from Ship Strike Reduction Rule - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued this Proposed Rule their proposal to eliminate the sunset clause from the Final Rule to Reduce the Threat of Ship Collisions with North Atlantic Right Whales.
NOAA proposes to eliminate the expiration date (or "sunset clause") contained in regulations requiring vessel speed restrictions to reduce the likelihood of lethal vessel collisions with North Atlantic right whales. The regulations restrict vessel speeds to no more than 10 knots for vessels 65 ft (19.8 m) or greater in overall length in certain locations and at certain times of the year along the east coast of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. The speed regulations will expire December 9, 2013, unless the sunset clause is removed. NOAA seeks public comment on the Proposed Rule to eliminate the sunset clause and on metrics for assessing the long term costs and benefits of the rule to the endangered North Atlantic right whale population.
Written or electronic comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. local time on August 5, 2013. Instructions for submitting comments are contained in the proposed rule.
June 1 - The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season has started. The Captain of the Port has set Port Condition IV which is our normal state of readiness from June 1st through November 30th each year.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to hold public meeting on June 27 - The USACE has issued a Notice of Availability of the draft Integrated General Reevaluation Report II and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (GRR II/SEIS) for the Jacksonville Harbor Navigation (Deepening) Study. Click here to view the GRR II/SEIS. As stated in the notice, the USACE has scheduled a public meeting to provide stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the GRR II/SEIS with USACE staff. The meting will take place on June 27, 2013 at the Jaxport Cruise Terminal from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
May 25, 2013 - NOAA Predicts Active 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season - Please click here to see the latest hurricane forecast for the Atlantic basin.
May 13, 2013 - Manatees Sighted in St. Johns River - Manatees are now active in the commercial port areas of the St. Johns River. Please click here for a map of the most recent sightings.
April 30, 2013 - Closing of the Right Whale Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Areas - The right whale migration and calving season along the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States (ie. Long Island and south) comes to an end at midnight today, April 30, 2013. The Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Areas will remain closed until November 1, 2013 and the Southeast Seasonal Management Area and the WHALESSOUTH Mandatory Ship Reporting area will remain closed until November 15, 2013. Vessels can make full speed while transiting in these areas while the season is closed. In addition, vessels entering the WHALESSOUTH Mandatory Ship Reporting area are not required to send a message until the season reopens on November 15, 2013.
While the 2012-2013 right whale migration and calving season has ended, vessels are requested to remain vigilant and immediately report any sightings to the Coast Guard via channel 16.
We had a great season. Twenty calves were born and there were no reported large vessel strikes. Thank you for your continued protection of these remarkable animals.
Should you have any questions about this past season or if you have any regulatory issues you would like to discuss, please contact me at your convenience.
April 15, 2013 - The U.S. Coast Guard has issued this News Release announcing the acceptance of nine ballast water treatment systems as Alternate Management Systems in compliance with the service’s March 2012 final rule for Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. waters.
April 11, 2013 - The US Coast Guard has developed new versions of two important forms: CG-2692 - Report of Marine Casualty and CG-2692B - Report of Required Chemical Drug and Alcohol Testing following a Serious Marine Accident. These forms will be available in the Library page of this website under <Coast Guard Documents><Vessel Inspection/Investigation Issues>.
April 8, 2013 - The U.S. Coast Guard has issued Safety Alert 13-03advising stakeholders to exercise caution regarding use of surge protective devices on board ships.
March 22, 2013 - TWIC Reader Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to require owners and operators of certain vessels and facilities to use electronic readers designed to work with the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) as an access control measure. The NPRM also proposes additional requirements associated with electronic TWIC readers, including recordkeeping requirements for those owners and operators required to use an electronic TWIC reader, and security plan amendments to incorporate TWIC requirements.
Comments on the proposed rule must reach the docket by May 21, 2013.
Depending on the Risk Group your facility or vessel falls into, this rulemaking could have a significant impact on your operations. It would behoove you to read and understand the potential impacts. As always, if there is sufficient interest, JMTX will coordinate an ad hov meeting to collect your input and submit consolidated comments to the docket.
February 11, 2013 - The Florida State College at Jacksonville OSHA Training Institute Education Center (OTIEC) will offer OSHA Standards and Outreach Training Program trainer and update courses beginning in March 2013. Please see this document for upcoming classes.
If you are interested in attending this training, please contact:
Bryan Stewart, Contract Training Program Manager at (904) 361-6209 email@example.com or
Frank Mackesy, Director, Emergency and Security Training at (904) 633-8416 firstname.lastname@example.org
Maritime Operational Safety Committee
Right Whale Interactive Map
NOAA has created an Interactive map of right whale sightings collected by the Early Warning and Sighting Advisory Systems between 2002 and present. Once on the website, you can refine your search to specific areas and timeframes. CAUTION: This data is for historical use only. Sightings are purposely not posted immediately.
All maritime interests are reminded the right whale migration and calving season has begun along the Atlantic seaboard. The Mid-Atlantic Seasonal Management Areas and the associated speed restrictions of 10 kts became effective for Mid-Atlantic coast ports from Long Island Sound to Savannah on November 1, 2012 and will remain in place through April 30, 2013.
The Southeast U.S. Seasonal Management Area which includes the ports of Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville, became effective on November 15, 2012 and will remain in place through April 15, 2013.
Specific dimensions for the Seasonal Management Area and the applicable rules are available on NOAA Fisheries Service Compliance Guide along with additional important information from NOAA at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/shipstrike/
Mandatory Ship Reporting in WHALESSOUTH
In addition to the speed restrictions, vessels of 300 GT or greater operating into the ports of Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville must also comply with the Mandatory Ship Reporting System rules.
Use of Recommended Two-Way Traffic Routes
Mariners are also strongly encouraged to utilize the recommended two-way routes to reduce the likelihood of vessel strikes in those areas where routes have been established in Cape Cod Bay and in the Southeast Seasonal Management Area off Brunswick, Fernandina and Jacksonville. Please note that modifications have been made to the northern lane off Brunswick. The new lane is depicted by the thick magenta line.
Right whale sightings from survey aircraft can be distributed to maritime interests by port region. To protect whales from curious boaters, these sighting alerts are not available to the public. However, if you have direct vessel management/navigational responsibilities we can include your office, dispatch center or vessel on the sighting distribution. To subscribe to the sighting distribution please provide Jim McLaughlin with the following information:
Shipboard Right Whale Protection Program Notebooks Available
In addition to the web based information above, NOAA Fisheries Service has prepared "Shipboard Right Whale Protection Program" loose-leaf notebook that includes general guidelines for vessels operating where right whales may be present and includes the latest version of the "Prudent Mariner's Guide to Right Whale Protection" CD. Copies of these notebooks are available at the Maritime Associations in Savannah and Charleston, the Marine Exchange in Jacksonville, and at the Coast Guard Sector Wilmington, NC. If you need additional information about the availability of the program notebooks, feel free to contact Jim McLaughlin at email@example.com.
Special Note to Vessel Agents
Some vessels may still not be fully aware of the Season Management Area speed requirements. With current active enforcement with significant penalties for vessels failing to comply with the speed restrictions, it is important that you make every effort to ensure your vessel principals are informed of the speed rules and MSR requirements well before their arrivals at east coast ports.
Quick Reference Guide:
Attached is a one-page quick reference guide that I recommend agents forward to ships who may be unfamiliar with right whale regulations. This one-page document has been reviewed by NOAA and has been authorized for release.
2012 Hurricane Season
November 30th marked the end of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The Captain of the Port has set Port Hurricane Condition V.
Even though the past few years have been relatively quiet, port interests should verify their plans are up-to-date and ready for execution before the start of the 2013 season. Several important documents and links are available on the JMTX website as part of our Hurricane Info webpage. This includes the 2012 Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Heavy Weather Plan. The full plan contains 214 pages of information and is recommended reading for our port interests. At a minimum, port interests should be very familiar with Chapter 3 of the plan that addresses Port Preparedness and Post Storm Actions. This 16-page extract includes the specific actions that port interests must complete during each change of Port Hurricane Condition. Port interests should also be familiar with Annex F - Vessel Sortie Guidelines, Annex H - The remain in Port request forms and Annex N Post Storm Condition Reporting forms.
FSCJ Port Security Training
JMTX and Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) have paired up to provide Port Security Grant funded training for local port stakeholders. Click here to view a list of available courses. For course dates or to reserve a seat, please contact Ted Nelson at FSCJ, 904 633-5948 orTed.Nelson@fscj.edu.
The Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange is Jacksonville's maritime trade organization created to work for the success of its membership and coordinate the safe, secure and environmentally responsible management of the marine transportation system within the port of Jacksonville. JMTX's goal is to work in partnership with the port stakeholders to make Jacksonville the port of choice.