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State Proposes Changes For Ships Loading, Unloading Oil- komo- nov. 22, 2005


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State Proposes Changes For Ships Loading, Unloading Oil- Komo- Nov. 22, 2005

http://www.komotv.com/stories/40409.htm

OLYMPIA - State environmental regulators want to beef up regulations governing ships loading or unloading oil and impose additional requirements for training and spill-response equipment for the growing number of trucks that refuel ships.

The Department of Ecology announced the draft rules as part of an effort to avoid marine oil spills, like in December 2003, when a Foss Maritime barge spilled about 4,700 gallons of heavy fuel oil while being filled at a ChevronTexaco Corp. terminal at Point Wells, near Edmonds.

Last year, a mystery oil spill was later determined by the Coast Guard to be an errant release from an oil tanker that stained the beaches of Vashon and Maury islands, and surrounding shorelines. More recently, a tug sank at Port Gamble, discharging oil that briefly closed tribal shellfishing beds.

"We believe these new standards can make a significant difference in the amount of oil that is both catastrophically and cumulatively dripped, leaked and spilled into our waters," Dale Jensen, manager of Ecology's spills program, said in a written statement.

Under the proposed rules, unveiled Monday, floating oil-containment curtains designed to corral spilled oil would be required in many circumstances. Currently, the devices, known as booms, don't have to be set up ahead of an oil transfer.

"It's unfortunate that it takes an oil spill to get a regulation, but at least they're moving in the right direction," said Fred Felleman of the Ocean Advocates environmental group.

Among the rules proposed:



  • Advance notice to the state prior to oil transfers over state waters.

  • Improved training for oil deliverers, and more response equipment on hand at transfer locations.

  • Expand oil-spill prevention and response planning to include tank trucks.

The rules were sent to members of an Ecology advisory committee representing shipping interests, environmentalists, oil companies and others, and will be debated for several months before a final proposal is released for public comment.

The rules are required by law to be in place by the end of June 2006.

State ecology regulators want more stringent oil-spill standards- Tacoma News Tribune- Nov. 23, 2005

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/story/5351566p-4844284c.html

State environmental regulators want to beef up regulations governing ships loading or unloading oil and impose additional requirements for training and spill-response equipment for the growing number of trucks that refuel ships.

The Department of Ecology announced the draft rules as part of an effort to avoid marine oil spills, like in December 2003, when a Foss Maritime barge spilled about 4,700 gallons of heavy fuel oil while being filled at a ChevronTexaco Corp. terminal at Point Wells, near Edmonds.

Last year, a mystery oil spill was later determined by the Coast Guard to be an errant release from an oil tanker that stained the beaches of Vashon and Maury islands and surrounding shorelines. More recently, a tug sank at Port Gamble, discharging oil that briefly closed tribal shellfishing beds.

“We believe these new standards can make a significant difference in the amount of oil that is both catastrophically and cumulatively dripped, leaked and spilled into our waters,” Dale Jensen, manager of Ecology’s spills program, said in a written statement.

Zero oil spills goal of proposed oil-transfer regulations- Department of Ecology Press Release- Nov. 21, 2005

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2005news/2005-283.html

OLYMPIA - Changes to state environmental regulations proposed today by the state Department of Ecology (Ecology) should reduce the risk of oil spills into Washington's waters during oil transfers.

Aiming for a goal of zero oil spills, Ecology developed the draft "rules" with a special advisory committee made up of the oil industry and other citizen advocates.

Changes in state oil-transfer regulations were requested by the 2004 Legislature following the Dec. 30, 2003, spill of 4,700 gallons of heavy oil into Puget Sound while a tank barge was receiving oil cargo from a Richmond Beach oil-storage facility near Seattle.

"We believe these new standards can make a significant difference in the amount of oil that is both catastrophically and cumulatively dripped, leaked and spilled into our waters," said Dale Jensen, manager of Ecology's spills program.

Jensen said his agency is in the early stages of working with the many industries affected by the changes. "We want to get advice about what changes make sense," he said. "We are still touching bases with many sectors in the oil-transfer world, such as small marinas and other fueling facilities, so we still have a lot of work ahead to be inclusive."

Jensen said Ecology is not seeking public comments on the changes yet, but that it would in the coming months.

Annually, billions of gallons of oil are transferred in thousands of separate transactions at hundreds of locations across the state. Most of these transfers take place over or near water. Each poses a risk to the environment that can be reduced or eliminated through prevention and response measures.

The proposed changes include:


  • Advance notice to the state prior to oil transfers over state waters.

  • New guidance about "pre-booming," which is the pre-positioning of oil-containment devices in the water to contain and collect oil before it can spread and hit the shoreline.

  • Improved training for oil deliverers, and more response equipment kept on hand at transfer locations.

  • Expand oil-spill prevention and response planning to include mobile operations (tank trucks).

  • Set simple standards for response and training at marinas and small facilities that deliver fuel to commercial vessels.

The new rules do not affect recreational or pleasure boats. Ecology's "Spills Aren't Slick" campaign targets this group. Ecology has sent posters to marinas across the state with advice to report all spills immediately by calling 800-OILS-911.

Ecology's goal is to finalize the oil-transfer rule by June 2006.



Crab season delayed in California, Oregon and Washington- North County Times- Nov. 22, 2005

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/11/23/news/state/18_43_0511_22_05.txt

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dungeness crab fishing seasons in Oregon, Washington and Northern California were delayed by at least two weeks after tests indicated the crustaceans will not be ready to harvest, state wildlife officials said Tuesday.

The three fisheries were set to open Dec. 1, but officials in California, Oregon and Washington agreed not to open commercial fishing before Dec. 15 to allow time for the crabs to mature. State biologists planned to conduct more tests in early December to determine if further delays would be needed.

"We just don't want to bring crabs to market that are not ready," said Mitch Vance, shellfish project leader for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "It's best just to wait."

The Central California fishery, which runs from Monterey County to Mendocino County, officially opened on Nov. 15, but the commercial harvest has been stalled because fishermen and processors haven't reached a deal on prices. The region's crabs are mature enough to harvest.

The larger Northern California fishery, which runs from Mendocino County to the Oregon border -- along with fisheries in Oregon and Washington -- will remain closed at least until mid-December.

Tests conducted in Northern California found that most crabs would meet state standards calling for meat to make up 25 percent of body mass by Dec. 1, but populations near Crescent City and the Oregon border would not be ready in time, said DFG marine biologist Peter Kalvass.

The delay "should be a benefit to everybody, both consumers and fishermen," Kalvass said. "The fishermen get a better price, and the consumers get a better product."

The postponement in Northern California's season could help resolve the price dispute that has deprived San Francisco Bay area residents of the crabs they have come to expect for Thanksgiving.

When the northern crabbing season is delayed, fishermen who haul crabs from the central fishery are required by California law to wait another 30 days before they can set traps in the northern fishery.

Crabbers from Eureka and Crescent City who came south to work the central fishery may decide to return home so they can fish the larger northern fishery as soon as it opens, Kalvass said. With fewer boats available to supply the market, the fishermen could gain leverage in negotiations with the processors.

Last season, 23.7 million pounds of crab were landed in California -- the second largest catch on record -- with 6.1 million pounds from Central California and 17.6 million pounds from Northern California, Kalvass said.

More than a week after the central fishery opened, fishermen have refused to head out to sea for less than $1.75 per pound -- the price they received last year when fuel and bait costs were lower. But the region's largest processors have not made an offer above $1.65 per pound.

The fishermen don't plan to meet again to discuss catch prices until after Thanksgiving, said Larry Collins, vice president of the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association. Nearly all the crab boats in the region's three main ports -- Bodega Bay, Half Moon Bay and San Francisco -- remained tied to the docks Tuesday, he said.



Outdoors Notebook: Bad weather helps duck hunters here- Seattle Times-

Nov. 20, 2005

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=outn20&date=20051120&query=coast+guard

The wet and blustery weather has made for some excellent duck hunting in Western Washington this month.

However, in Eastern Washington, waterfowl hunting has been on the slow side despite the stormy weather.

"It's slim pickings for waterfowl hunters," said Juli Anderson, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

Chances of bagging a duck for Thanksgiving dinner might be best in the Columbia Basin or bigger waters like Potholes Reservoir, Moses Lake and the Columbia River.

Three large flights of ducks were seen settling in cornfields between the Potholes and Quincy last week.

Bird hunters can also take advantage of pheasant hunting through the end of this month.

State Fish and Wildlife is releasing about 390 pheasant per week at the Skagit Wildlife Area sites and 420 per week at the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area sites.

"Pheasant hunters who hunt these areas as hard as they would hunt native pheasants in Eastern Washington are almost always successful," said John Garrett, manager of the Skagit Wildlife Area.

Goose hunting in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay has also been "very, very good," said Jack Smith, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.



Boating fatalities declining

The total deaths from recreational boating accidents declined to 676 in 2004, the lowest on record since 1960, according to U.S. Coast Guard statistics.

However, 484 boaters drowned in 2004, and 90 percent of them were not wearing a life jacket.

This indicates a drop compared to 750 deaths in 2002, and 703 in 2003. The record low comes at a time when recreational boating is on the rise with nearly 13 million boaters registered in the United States and more than 77 million people hitting the water annually.

The 2004 statistics found that 70 percent of those involved in accidents had never taken a boating safety course and that alcohol was involved in about 32 percent of the boating accidents.

New U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Named- Defense News- Nov. 22, 2005
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=1368309&C=america

The U.S. Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter has been named for the service’s first commandant, the Coast Guard announced Nov. 22.

The Bertholf honors Commodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf, who was commandant of the Revenue Cutter Service (RCS) when it merged in 1915 with the U.S. Life Saving Service to form the Coast Guard. Bertholf also suggested the name for the new service.

Bertholf, born in New York City in April 1866, received special recognition from Congress after he led a relief party in 1897 to rescue more than 200 American seamen stranded in northern Alaska. He was the first RCS officer to attend the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and was appointed captain commandant of the service in 1911. He held the rank of commodore during World War I as the first RCS or Coast Guard officer to hold flag rank. He retired in 1919, died in 1921 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The new ship that will bear his name is the first of the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program, intended to replace most of the ships, aircraft and computer systems currently in service. The cutter is under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss., and will be launched next year. It is planned to enter service in 2007 as the first of eight ships of the Legend class.

Cranes shipped from China to Tacoma, ready to work- Seattle Times- Nov. 23, 2005
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002640947_crane23.html

It's not just shoes, Xboxes and other consumer goods that come from China.

Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. (ZPMC), the world's leading manufacturer of the huge steel cranes that unload shipping containers, is delivering two more of its biggest to the Port of Tacoma this week.

The 25-story-high cranes arrive fully assembled from Shanghai, welded onto a specially designed transport ship.

They will be detached and, when the tide is at the right level early next week, will be moved on rails to the wharf at the Port's new Pierce County Terminal.

(A film crew from the History Channel is interested in documenting the event for an episode of the program "Mega Movers.")

These Super post-Panamax cranes — named for the giant ships they serve, which are too big to use the Panama Canal — will join seven others at the Port.

They can reach out two-thirds of a football field to load and unload the semitrailer-sized shipping containers that are a basic unit of international trade.

The cranes cost between $7 million and $8 million each, according to a spokeswoman for Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine, which owns them at Pierce County Terminal.

During the last decade, ZPMC has grown to dominate the global market for this equipment, said Bryon Boerner, electronics-technology manager at the Port of Tacoma.

"They are No. 1 in the world as far as orders" since about 2002, he said, adding that ZPMC takes advantage of its lower costs for labor and steel.

"It's the China story again, good quality and cheaper pricing than others are able to offer," Zoe Double of London-based trade publication Containerisation International said in an e-mail.

"Competing with [ZPMC] is extremely hard for crane manufacturers in other regions," Double said.

ZPMC recently won a $33.2 million contract with the South Carolina State Ports Authority for four Super post-Panamax cranes. According to a Ports Authority spokesman, its bid was more than $831,000 lower per crane than the closest competitor's price.



It's the Nominees, Not the Process- Washington Post- Nov. 22, 2005

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/22/AR2005112201691.html

As a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I take exception to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's comments on the Senate confirmation process of political appointees. According to a Nov. 14 article ["After the Storm, Chertoff Vows to Reshape DHS"], Mr. Chertoff blamed the "slow pace" of the Senate for vacancies in a number of senior Department of Homeland Security positions.

I agree that the department cannot function optimally without key personnel; however, the real problem is the quality of nominees. Since Hurricane Katrina and the resignation of Undersecretary Michael D. Brown, it has become clear that many senior leadership positions in the federal government are being given to underqualified candidates.

I recently opposed the nomination of Julie L. Myers to be assistant secretary of DHS's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) branch because I felt she lacked the minimal management experience required for the position under law. ICE is the second-largest federal law enforcement agency, with more than 15,000 employees and a budget of $4 billion; it has been identified by the DHS inspector general as having numerous management problems. The agency needs a manager with extensive executive-level leadership experience and the ability to shepherd a budget through reorganizations and budget cycles.



The senior managers who protect our nation should be of the highest caliber. For that reason, last week I introduced the Department of Homeland Security Qualified Leaders Act (S. 2040), which will establish mandatory criteria for other senior leadership positions in the department.


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