Industry News and Updates:
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Story 1) U.S. Dept. of Transportation Maritime Administration Alert 2021-002A Upcoming Mariner Travel Requirements Changes - January 19, 2021 

Story 2) Largest Container Cranes Ever arrive to the port of oakland - December 23, 2020

Story 3) U.S. EPA Publishes VIDA PROPOSED RULE for Vessel Discharges Including Ballast Water - Oct 26, 2020

Story 4) California Doubles Penalties for Oil Spills - October 02, 2020

Story 5) California Tightens Testing Standards For Vessel Low Sulfur Fuel - September 21, 2020

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1) U.S. Dept. of Transportation Maritime Administration Alert 2021-002A Upcoming Mariner Travel Requirements Changes
  • by  Evan Jones

Retransmittal of State Department COVID-19 Traveler Information dated January 12, 2021:

For all air passengers entering the United States:

“Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers arriving in the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.”

Additional information is available at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html.

For any questions about this CDC order, please utilize the CDC contact info at: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form.

For emergency State Department assistance, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1 (888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

This Alert will automatically expire on January 26, 2021. For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit http://maritime.dot.gov/MSCI.

2) Largest Container Cranes Ever Arrive to the Port of Oakland
  • by  Evan Jones

With General Steamship's San Francisco office acting as agents, the largest container cranes ever have arrived to the Port of Oakland, California. Thank you to Gensteam SF for handling this impressive move!

The Maritime Executive Reports:

[Quote]

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) is investing in the three giant cranes for its marine terminal at Oakland (Oakland International Container Terminal - OICT). The huge container cranes are coming on a ship that is designed to accommodate these enormous workhorses of the maritime industry.

“These cranes will keep the Port of Oakland competitive so that we can continue to attract the largest vessels calling North America,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan.

“Ultimately, bigger cranes at our waterfront translate into maritime and related jobs for the region.”

SSA ordered the cranes from Shanghai-based ZPMC. They are expected to arrive at the end of this month.

“Taller cranes are needed for efficiently handling cargo that arrives on ultra-large container ships,” said SSA Containers President Edward DeNike. “This new infrastructure is a commitment to the Port that we will continue our maritime business at Oakland well into the future.”

According to SSA, its new cranes would have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock. They would be able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck. When the crane booms are in the raised position, they will soar more than 400 feet above the wharf. SSA operates 10 cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal. The Port said it would remove three older cranes from the terminal when the new ones arrive.

“There’s no better demonstration of our maritime partner’s faith in the Port of Oakland, than investing in these huge ship-to-shore cranes,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. SSA's investment in the three new cranes is valued at $30 million.

Port of Oakland’s three revenue divisions, maritime, aviation and commercial real estate, support more than 84,000 jobs in the region (pre-COVID-19 stats).

[End Quote]

3) U.S. EPA Publishes VIDA PROPOSED RULE for Vessel Discharges Including Ballast Water - October 26, 2020
  • by  Vince Addington

On September 24, 2020, the Governor of California signed into law an amendment to California Code 8670.64 which doubles the penalty per day for certain acts relating to the spilling of oil in California waters.

QUOTE
Existing law makes it a felony to, among other things, knowingly engage in or cause the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly fail to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs. Existing law additionally makes it a felony to, among other things, fail to notify the Office of Emergency Services regarding an oil spill or to knowingly fail to follow the material provisions of an applicable oil spill contingency plan. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $2,500 or more than $250,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a first conviction, and by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a 2nd conviction.

This bill would double the minimum and maximum amounts of the fines described above. The bill would authorize the court to also impose upon a person convicted of, among other things, knowingly engaging in or causing the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly failing to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified, a fine of up to $1,000 per gallon spilled in excess of 1,000 gallons of oil.
UNQUOTE

4) California Doubles Penalties for Oil Spills
  • by  Vince Addington

On September 24, 2020, the Governor of California signed into law an amendment to California Code 8670.64 which doubles the penalty per day for certain acts relating to the spilling of oil in California waters.

QUOTE
Existing law makes it a felony to, among other things, knowingly engage in or cause the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly fail to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs. Existing law additionally makes it a felony to, among other things, fail to notify the Office of Emergency Services regarding an oil spill or to knowingly fail to follow the material provisions of an applicable oil spill contingency plan. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $2,500 or more than $250,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a first conviction, and by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a 2nd conviction.

This bill would double the minimum and maximum amounts of the fines described above. The bill would authorize the court to also impose upon a person convicted of, among other things, knowingly engaging in or causing the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly failing to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified, a fine of up to $1,000 per gallon spilled in excess of 1,000 gallons of oil.
UNQUOTE

5) California Tightens Testing Standards for Vessel Low Sulfur Fuel
  • by  Vince Addington

As a reminder, the State of California requires all vessels, including those with stack exhaust scrubbers, to burn 0.1% Sulfur DISTILLATE fuel in all main engines, auxiliary engines and boilers upon entering California State waters. Also as a reminder, California is claiming state waters out to 24 miles from the California baseline.

With the advent of the 0.5% sulfur IMO fuel requirement, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently decided to strengthen their fuel testing protocol in an effort to identify ships burning residual fuel oil rather than distillate fuel even if that fuel is at 0.1% sulfur or less. The Pacific Merchants Shipping Association (PMSA) recently circulated the following in an effort to inform industry of this upcoming change.

“CARB Enforcement staff reached out to PMSA to discuss changes in how they intend to enforce the existing OGV Fuel Rule. Under the rule, vessels operating within 24 nautical miles of California must use a marine distillate fuel with a sulfur content that does not exceed 0.1% by weight (consistent with ISO 8217 DMA or DMB specifications). During enforcement inspections, CARB staff collects a fuel sample and analyzes for sulfur content. With the advent of the IMO standard of 0.5% sulfur limit globally in January, CARB has found it difficult to distinguish distillate fuel from residual fuel on the basis of sulfur content. As a result, they intend to expand their analysis to include a test for micro-carbon residue in order to distinguish between distillate and residual fuels. ISO 8217 does have a parameter for micro-carbon residue (maximum value of 0.30% by mass). As the parameters of ISO 8217 are incorporated by reference into the OGV Fuel Rule, the additional analysis is consistent with the requirements of the existing rule. Nonetheless, CARB intends to provide a six-month grace period for incorporating the new parameter analysis into their enforcement routine. CARB has also asked PMSA to help inform the industry on these changes.”

Please note, the above is NOT a change to the regulations. It is only a change in the fuel testing protocol. However, operators of ships burning 0.1%S residual fuel oil should take note and plan to switch to distillate fuel before entering California waters.

[END] Thank you for reading The Gensteam Currents!

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