News Archives from 6-25-08 to 7-24-08

AIS Info Available from Barrow . . . - 07/24/2008
The Marine Exchange of Alaska in partnership with the Barrow Science Consortium has installed its newest AIS site site at the top of the North American Continent in Barrow, Alaska. When the ice is out this site will allow for monitoring traffic in the Arctic Ocean offshore of Barrow. When the site was activated it discovered a U.S. flag research vessel the NORSEMAN II heading northeast off Barrow so the first day in operation traffic was noted offshore. The Barrow Arctic Science Consortium is the Arctic Ocean Coordinator for the Alaska Ocean Observing System and coordinates scientific research efforts in the high arctic. Additional information on these two endeavors is available at the links below. In the screen shot, the research vessel NORSEMAN II cruises offshore of Barrow as shown by the Marine Exchange Vessel Tracking system PACTRACS.


Barrow Arctic Science Consortium

Alaska Ocean Observing System

Sector Juneau Commander visits Marine Exchange . . - 07/22/2008
On July 22, 2008, the Marine Exchange of Alaska hosted U.S. Coast Guard Captain Scott Robert, the newly assigned Captain of the Port and Sector Juneau Commander. Captain Robert was briefed by Marine Exchange Executive Director Captain Ed Page on the Marine Exchange's vessel tracking capabilities and other Marine Exchange activities of interest to the Coast Guard. Captain Robert relieved the previous Sector Commander Captain Mark Guillory on June 23rd. Captain Robert's responsibilities include command of Coast Guard Search and Rescue, Marine Safety and Maritime Security activities in the area between Yakutat and Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska. His last assignment was at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C. In the photograph Captain Page explains the Marine Exchange Network Operations Control Center workings to Captain Robert.


Benkert Award to Alaska Chadux Corp . . . - 07/22/2008
The Alaska Chadux Corporation was a Gold Medal recipient of the 2008 Biennial, Rear Adm. William M. Benkert, Marine Environmental Award for Excellence. General Manager, Bob Heavilin, and President of the Board of Directors, Jeff Savage, were presented with the award by Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad W. Allen at the API 2008 Tanker Conference at Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, California on June 23, 2008.

The award recognizes maritime industry businesses and corporations involved in marine facility or vessel operations that have demonstrated sustained excellence and outstanding achievement in protecting the marine environment. The award program also encourages innovations in operations, maintenance, cargo handling, refueling, training and the sharing of best practices throughout the industry. In the photograph left to right: Admiral Thad Allen Commandant of the Coast Guard, Alaska Chadux General Manager, Bob Heavilin; Alaska Chadux Chairman of the Board, Jeff Savage

Alaska Marine Pilotage Regulations Proposed . . . - 06/27/2008
On April 3, 2008, The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development issued a Public Notice stating that it proposes to amend the regulations relating to compulsory pilotage. The Proposed Amendment, if adopted, would further expand the waters more than three nautical miles off the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea in which compulsory state pilotage would be required. That proposal has been amended with a new version of the regulations as of June 23, 2008. Written comments are requested no later than September 16, 2008. A Public Hearing is Scheduled for October 2008 in Anchorage. Complete details on the proposal are in the attached public notice and proposed rule document.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Stae of Alaska Compulsory Pilotage Areas
Public Notice and Proposed Regulation

Non Tank Vessel Response Plans Deadline . . . - 06/25/2008
June 18, 2008, the Coast Guard announced that it would start to enforce the requirement for non tank vessels to have vessel response plans submitted to the Coast Guard for approval. The beginning date for enforcement has been identified as August 22, 2008! This requirement has been on the books for a long time, but the Coast Guard has not enforced the requirement. The requirement applies to all vessels larger than 400 gross tons that operate in U.S. waters. The documents to be submitted must show that vessels have a plan to clean up worst case discharges of oil, have contractual agreements in place with response action (cleanup) contractors, identify "qualified individuals" who have authority to initiate removal actions and describe certain training and drills in which vessel crews will have to participate. Actual regulations requiring all of this have not been promulgated as of yet. When a plan is accepted by the Coast Guard they will issue an "interim approval letter" to the vessel. Although these requirements apply to all vessels larger than 400 gross tons, the Coast Guard plans to be particularly strict with vessels larger than 1600 gross tons as they carry larger amounts of oil for fuel. A Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) has been prepared which gives guidance on exactly what the Coast Guard will be looking for in the plan. The enforcement notice and the NVIC are available through the links below.

Non Tank Vessel Response Plan Enforcement Policy Revealed

Enforcement Policy Start Up Notice

NVIC Non Tank Vessel Response Plan Guidance