US releases 2020 Energy and Water Development Funding Bill

The US House Appropriations Committee released the draft fiscal year 2020 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies funding bill. The legislation funds the US Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior programs, the Department of Energy, and other related agencies. The legislation contains $46.4 billion in funding to spur energy innovation.

Bill introduced in the US to curb oil and gas methane emissions

US Rep. Diana DeGette introduced legislation to reduce the large amounts of methane pollution and waste that are being released into the atmosphere each year by oil and gas producers across the country. The bill would mandate oil and gas producers to capture 85% of all gas produced on public lands within three years of enactment, and 99% of all gas produced on such lands within five years of enactment.

US publishes framework for OFAC compliance

On May 2, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments in order to provide organizations subject to US jurisdiction, as well as foreign entities that carry out business in or with the US or US persons, or that use US-origin goods or services, with a framework on the necessary components of the sanctions compliance programs.

US mulls Jones Act waiver for LNG

US President Donald Trump is considering waiving the Jones Act requirement that only US-flagged vessels can move LNG from American ports to Puerto Rico. While top administration officials seem to be divided on the issue, the US President is leaning in favor of some sort of waiver. 

USCG: Process of officer and rating endorsements after March 24

The US National Maritime Center provided information regarding how it will process applications for National Officer/Rating Endorsements that expire March 24, 2019. Under grandfathering provisions, mariners who started service or training for a national endorsement may qualify for the endorsement. However, mariners must meet certain criteria.

USCG accepts 2009 Mobile Offshore Drilling Units Code

The US Office of Design and Engineering Standards issued Change 1 to CG-ENG Policy Letter 02-12, ‘Acceptance of the 2009 MODU Code.’ The 2009 Mobile Offshore Drilling Units Code was amended several times since its adoption. The most recent amendments include updated design and equipment requirements that derive from the findings of the Deepwater Horizon casualty investigation.

New towing vessel receives first COI under Subchapter M

‘Virginia’ became the United States’ first new towing vessel to receive a Certificate of Inspection (COI) since the implementation of 46 CFR Subchapter M. The vessel, owned by Plimsoll Marine, was built by Blakeley BoatWorks in August and will operate within the Cooper Consolidated fleeting footprint, on the Lower Mississippi River.

US simplifies reporting requirements for LNG exports

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it would now only require U.S. LNG exporters to report the country or countries of LNG deliveries, not country of end-use, to satisfy the DOE’s destination reporting requirement.

New Act on BWM signed into law with implications on EPA VGP

On December 4, 2018, US President Trump signed the USCG Authorization Act, S. 140, a new bill which includes measures for USCG operations while incorporates the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act. Namely, with this act, USCG is required to draft a policy letter for testing BWMS within 180 days, followed by a 90 day comment period. Totally, the USCG has 360 days after the date of enactment of the Act to come up with a final policy. What is more, this bill has wide implications on US EPA VGP, due in March 2019.

US President signs ballast water bill

President Trump signed on December 4 the law S. 140, the “Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018”. This law authorizes appropriations for the USCG and for the Federal Maritime Commission through Fiscal Year 2019, reauthorizes the Department of Commerce’s hydrographic services program administered by NOAA through Fiscal Year 2023, and establishes uniform standards for the management of vessel discharge.

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