News Archives from 1-25-07 to 2-14-07

Ballast water changes possible . . . - 02/14/2007

The US Coast Guard is seeking comment on current ballast water management reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Public meetings will be held in Chicago (March 13) and New Orleans (March 15). Written comments should be submitted by March 16. Complete details are in the federal register notice below.

Ballast Water Management Reporting Requirements

Federal Register Notice

Cutter STORIS decommissioned . . . - 02/09/2007
The Coast Guard 's "Queen of the Fleet," Cutter Storis was decommissioned during a ceremony on the Coast Guard base February 8, 2007 in Kodiak. The ship was known as the Queen of the Fleet for being the oldest active duty cutter in service.

During World War II, CGC Storis patrolled the North Atlantic to prevent the establishment of Nazi weather stations in Greenland. In 1948, CGC Storis changed homeport to Juneau, Alaska from where it supplied medical treatment to native villages and surveyed uncharted waters in the arctic.

In July of 1957 Storis, along with cutters Bramble and Spar which are now decommissioned, completed its historic transit of the Northwest Passage and circumnavigation of the North American continent. Soon thereafter CGC Storis was transferred to her present homeport of Kodiak, Alaska.

Proudly bearing its gold "38" hull number - a distinction given only to the oldest cutter in the fleet - the crew of the Storis completed their last patrol in Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea in early December 2006.

There are numerous web sites with information on the cutter STORIS including the following:

Cutter Storis Web Site

The Marine Exchange of Alaska presents a photographic tribute to the cutter STORIS. Follow the link below.

STORIS Photographic Tribute

New Address for Marine Safety Center . . . - 02/08/2007

In a federal register notice dated February 8, 2007, the U.S. Coast Guard announced a change in the address for the United Staes Coast Guard Marine Safety Center. The new walk in address is:

Commanding Officer (MSC)
USCG Marine Safety Center
1900 Half Street, S.W. Suite 1000, Room 525
Washington DC 20024,
Mail should be sent to:

Commanding Officer (MSC)
United States Coast Guard
JR10-525
2100 2nd Street SW
Washington, DC 20593

U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center Address Change

Federal Register Notice

TWIC Final Rule Published . . . - 01/25/2007

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published the Final Rule for phase one of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program January 25, 2007. The rule, which lays out the process for issuance and initial use of TWIC cards, comes into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Comments on the card replacement fee should be submitted within 30 days of January 25, 2007. The requirement for facilities and OCS facilities to limit unescorted access to secure areas to persons holding valid TWIC cards will come into effect based upon notifications to be published in the Federal Register and will require compliance on a USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone basis. Persons seeking unescorted access to secure areas aboard affected vessels, as well as all USCG-credentialed merchant mariners, must possess a valid TWIC card not later than 20 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. The enrollment process will commence no sooner than March 2007 in a small number of ports, with gradual expansion nationwide. Subsequent notices will provide detailed information on enrollment sites, schedules, etc. While the TWIC will be a smart card, with encrypted biometric data, the requirement for installation and use of a card reader will be delayed for a future rulemaking (phase two). In the meantime, the TWIC card will function as a photographic identification. Since the TWIC card will not be issued until after the applicant has passed a background check, security will be enhanced, but not as much as it will be when card readers are installed and functioning. Provision has been made for new-hires to have limited access to vessels and marine facilities once their TWIC applications have been submitted. Owners and operators of certain marine facilities are provided an opportunity to redesignate portions of their facilities so that TWIC cards are not required of persons working in areas that don’t need to be secure. The fee for application for and issuance of the TWIC card will be established in a subsequent notice. Crewmembers on foreign-flag ships will not need TWIC cards, but can expect further restrictions concerning going ashore without an escort. The TWIC Summary (18 pages) below summarizes the program. The Draft TWIC NVIC below (44 pages) tells how the Coast Guard plans to implement the program. The Federal Register below (114 pages) contains complete details of the program.

TRANSPORT WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL FINAL RULE

TWIC SUMMARY

DRAFT TWIC NVIC

FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE

Merchant Marine Credential Proposed . . . - 01/25/2007

The Coast Guard published a revised Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register January 25, 2007, concerning the Consolidation of Merchant Mariner Qualification Credentials. This proposal will cause all current merchant mariner qualification documents such as licenses, merchant mariner documents, certificates of registry and STCW Endorsements to be done away with and replaced with a single Merchant Marine Credential (MMC). The issuance of this MMC is to be coordinated with the issuance of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) as explained in the proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register below.

PROPOSED RULE FOR CONSOLIDATION OF MERCHANT MARINER QUALIFICATION CREDENTIALS

Federal Register