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US orders ships to sea, coast braces for hurricane

Irene is a category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale The US Navy, on Thursday, ordered all its ships away from its huge port at Hampton Roads, Virginia, as the eastern US seaboard braced for the destructive-strength Hurricane Irene."Ships will make final preparations overnight in anticipation of getting underway early August 25 (Friday)," a Navy statement said.Vice Admiral Daniel Holloway, commander of the US 2nd Fleet, said that the decision to send the ships from Hampton Roads is based on Hurricane Irene's current track that indicates the storm will produce at least 50 knots of wind and a large storm surge.Irene is a category three hurricane on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale, and is forecast to strengthen to a category four storm with winds of 135 miles (217 kilometers) per hour by the time it reaches the US coast over the weekend.Along the coastline North Carolina, directly in Irene's path as its forecast to skirt north, officials ordered mandatory evacuations for tourists."The forecasted destructive winds and tidal surge is too great to keep the ships in port. There is a much greater potential of not only the ships being damaged, but also the pier infrastructure," said Holloway, adding that the ...

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Ship owners: Foreign ships carry U.S. oil

30 million barrels transported within U.S. borders moved on foreign ships U.S. ship owners complain the Obama administration has routinely let oil from federal stockpiles be shipped on foreign-owned vessels, sidestepping federal law.As it rushed to transport millions of barrels to stabilize world oil prices earlier this summer, the administration has waived the 90-year-old Jones Act 46 times, The New York Times reported.The law requires that entirely domestic cargo be carried aboard U.S.-flagged ships except in extraordinary circumstances.The Times says American barges carried oil from the reserve just once this summer, while 30 million barrels transported within U.S. borders moved on ships, with foreign crews, from the Marshall Islands, Panama and other countries.That translated to lower costs and saved time for oil buyers, but took potential work from more than 30 U.S. cargo vessels and as many as 400 crew, U.S. ship owners said."The idea was to create American jobs and help the economy," said Christopher Coakley, vice president for legislative affairs at the American Waterways Operators. "But all the profit from the sale of the oil has gone to traders and oil companies and all the profit from movement of the oil has gone to foreign shippers and crewmen, ...

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Hamburg Süd receives two environmental awards in the USA

An honour for its sustainable and environmentally conscious conduct Hamburg Süd has again been honoured for its sustainable and environmentally conscious conduct. First, in late July 2011, it received the Air Quality Award from the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Group (backed by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach). Just a few days later, it was the Gulf Guardian Award of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).The EPA conferred the Gulf Guardian Award on Hamburg Süd in the Binational category within the context of the Gulf of Mexico Programme because the shipping company had participated voluntarily in measures aimed at reducing emissions in the Gulf of Mexico. In these trials, Hamburg Süd called at the ports of Veracruz, Altamira and Houston with its container ship "Cap San Lorenzo" using Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO), which has a sulphur content of 0.1 per cent.With the Air Quality Award, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach recognised innovative measures helping to reduce emissions and lower air pollution. In the case of Hamburg Süd, the shipping company was one of the leading participants in the Green Flag Programme of the Port of Long Beach, which, in 2010, ...

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Turbines to harness tidal energy in USA

The project's underwater turbines will generate electricity from ebbing and flowing tidal waters Below the surface of America's coastal waters could be the energy needed to power your clothes drier and other appliances. Some say the tides have the potential to power about five percent of U.S. households by producing nearly 9 GW of renewable energy.A pilot project to test this potential is in the works in Washington State's Puget Sound. The Snohomish County Public Utility District was awarded a $10 million grant from the Energy Department to install two tidal energy turbines on the floor of Admiralty Inlet, a trough of fast-moving water about 35 miles northwest of Seattle. Much like how wind turbines convert wind energy, the project's underwater turbines will generate electricity from ebbing and flowing tidal waters. At peak tidal currents, the two turbines could generate more than 1 MW of electricity - enough to power about 700 American homes.Beyond pumping out electricity, this emerging technology's success also depends on protecting marine life. The Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working with Snohomish PUD to explore if the sound of spinning turbines might affect marine life. Scientists at PNNL's Marine Sciences Laboratory are exposing fish ...

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Latest reports of legislative developments in the USA

Supplied by the Champer of Shipping of America This is the latest in a series of reports supplied by the Chamber of Shipping of America with the intention of keeping everyone appraised of legislative developments in the US affecting international shipping.Vessel General Permit New York State graywater extension A number of CSA members have notified us that they have recently received a letter from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that extends the implementation date for compliance with the provisions of the New York State 401 certification to 1 August 2013. This extension is consistent with a similar extension granted with regards to the implementation of ballast water treatment technology requirements granted earlier. Vessel owners which submitted requests for extension should be receiving similar letters in the near future. Those that did submit requests for extension and which do not receive any response should contact NYS DEC Bureau of Water Permits directly at 518.402.8111. While we have been led to believe that all entities that requested the extension received a similar extension, CSA would be interested in receiving any input from vessel owners who did not receive an extension, including any supporting information on why the extension ...

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New US visa to benefit foreign ship executives

Authorities have closed a loophole US immigration authorities have closed a loophole that so far had prevented foreign maritime workers from acquiring a biometric identification card required for access to restricted port facilities and terminals.The preliminary reaction from industry is that the concession will not benefit foreign seafarers, but instead will be found useful by asmall subset of expatriate foreign nationals employed in US offices or on-dock facilities, as well as foreign oil rig workers employed on the US Outer Continental ShelfSource: Safety4Sea

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