News Archives from 5-20-08 to 6-23-08

Cape Decision AIS Radio Installation . . . - 06/23/2008
In early June 2008, the Marine Exchange of Alaska teamed up with the Cape Decision Lighthouse Society to make an AIS radio installation at the Cape Decision Lighthouse located at the southern tip of Kuiu Island at the entrance to Sumner Strait in Southeast Alaska. The 49 foot Alaska Sailing Charters KIRSTEN ANNE was chartered to carry Marine Exchange personnel and the necessary batteries, radios, solar panels and equipment to assemble the installation at the historic lighthouse which has been guiding mariners through these waters since 1932. The Cape Decision Lighthouse Society is in the process of restoring the lighthouse and was receptive to the Marine Exchange's request to make the AIS radio installation at their location. Captain Ed Page, the Marine Exchange's Executive Director, said,"We are excited for the chance to enhance the safety of navigation in this area with the installation of of one of our AIS receivers. Now this lighthouse which has been guiding mariners continuously for the past 76 years also hosts this AIS radio receiver which allows traffic in the area to be monitored for increased safety and efficiency of operations." Additional Information on the Cape Decision Lighthouse Society and a photographic record of the AIS installation are provided via the links below.


Photo Essay Cape Decision AIS Installation

Cape Decision Lighthouse Society Web Site

EPA Proposes NPDES General Permit for Vessels - 06/17/2008
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Federal Register Notice and Press Release June 17, 2008, proposing to issue a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of a Vessel. This is the proposed cure for the potential train wreck brought about by the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in which the Court found that an EPA regulation, which excludes certain discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels from NPDES permitting, exceeded the Agency’s statutory authority. The decision potentially implicates all vessels, both commercial and recreational, that have discharges incidental to their normal operation (e.g., deck runoff, graywater, etc). Although the Government is appealing, this court ruling has great potential for creating a bureaucratic and nightmare for anyone who operates any kind of watercraft from a 950 foot containership to a 14 ft outboard. Complete details on the proposal are contained in the federal register notice below.


News Release and Federal register Notice

NOAA Raster Chart updates . . . - 06/11/2008
NOAA announced that there will be an interruption in its free Raster Navigational Chart update service starting June 15th until further notice. Complete details are in the notice below.


Notice Concerning Raster Navigational Charts

Marine Exchange Newsletter The Hawser . . . - 06/04/2008
After a too long period of absence, the Marine Exchange has once again published its periodic newsletter The Hawser. The Marine Exchange had shifted from publishing paper copies of The Hawser to publishing an Alaska Maritime Newsletter electronically and distributing it by e mail in 2006. With increased staff onboard, the Marine Exchange is able to resume publishing The Hawser in its original paper and electronic form. The links below connect you to the latest edition of The Hawser and our newsletter page which contains an archive of all newsletters the Marine Exchange has published in the past. The new Hawser updates activities at the Marine Exchange over the past eight years including the growth of the vessel tracking system, regulatory compliance activities and our efforts to obtain mobile enrollment centers for Alaska for Transportation Worker Identification Credentials. Follow the links below for the new Hawser and older archived newsletters.


The Hawser June 2008

Archive Newsletter Page

Vessel Security Officer Credential Required . . . - 05/20/2008
Effective June 19, the US Coast Guard is amending its regulations to implement the vessel security officer training and certification amendments to the STCW Convention and Code. These amendments incorporate the training and qualification requirements for vessel security officers into the requirements for credentialing of US merchant mariners. These provisions will apply to all US vessels subject to the STCW Convention (for the most part, these are self-propelled vessels engaged in commercial service that operate beyond the Boundary Line). Comments on this rule should be submitted by July 21. Complete details on this regulation are in the federal register notice posted below.


Federal Register Notice