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PRESS DIGEST

Ministry of Economic Development approved the form of agreement for work with the port special economic zoneMarchl 16, 2011

The Russian Federation Ministry of Economic Development approved typical form of the agreement on carrying out of activities in the port special economic zone (OEZ), as it has been stated in the corresponding administrations order.

In the agreement are stipulated rights and obligations of the administration relating to the economic zone resident and the residents rights and obligations. In the order are also stipulated the conditions of change and termination of the contract, responsibilities of the parties, order of the disputes resolution, etc.

At the present time there is one port special economic zone in Russia which is in Murmansk. It was established for realization of the project of Murmansk transport junction, its managing company is "Murmansk transport junction" LLC (MTU).

Channel: morvesti.ru

Baltic ports say ECA regulations are 'unacceptable'April 7, 2010

The Baltic Ports Organization (BPO) has slammed forthcoming fuel regulations as "unacceptable" saying they will put Baltic ports and shipping lines " in a disadvantageous position".

The Baltic Sea has been designated as an emission control area (ECA) by the International Maritime Organization, which means ships operating there face stringent fuel sulfur limits.

While the BPO said that it values action by the Baltic Sea region's governments and the IMO to protect the climate and the environment of the Baltic Sea, it said it foresees a number of threats as a result of the new regulations.

"Unfair competition rules will be applied in the European internal market positioning Baltic ports and shipping lines in a disadvantageous position," said BPO in a statement.

"The matter is significant, as hinterland of the Baltic ports is still taking its shape and after introducing the new IMO regulations Baltic ports appear in a low competing situation when compared to other regions in Europe," the Organization added.

BPO also raised concerns that development of the Baltic Sea region and industries would face a substantial barrier, which is in contradiction to the goals of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy adopted by the European Council during its meeting on 29-30 October, 2009.

"BPO is of the opinion that a level playing field must be kept within the European internal market and the same rules regarding ship emission should be applied for the whole of Europe," BPO said.

The Organization recommended that the reductions should be implemented at the same time all over Europe.

"The SOx limits and time framework introduced by IMO's regulations should be revised together with the consultation process between the regulating bodies and the industry organizations.

"Baltic ports wish to contribute to the competitiveness of Europe and to climate protection. Therefore, BPO seeks to establish a dialogue with the regulating bodies including European Commission in order to find alternative ways to avoid unbalanced competition within the European internal market and modal back-shift," the Organization concluded.

Under the IMO's MARPOL Annex VI regulation, the global sulfur cap will be reduced from the current 4.50% to 3.50% effective from January 1, 2012, then to 0.50% in 2020 or 2025, depending on a 2018 review.

The limit applied in ECAs will be reduced from the current 1.50% to 1.00%, beginning July 1, 2010 before being further reduced to 0.10% from January 1, 2015.

Currently the only IMO-designated ECAs in force are in the Baltic Sea, in the North Sea and English Channel.

Channel: portworld.com

Coast Guard, Chevron & State respond to oil spill in Delta Wildlife RefugeApril 6, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - The Coast Guard, the State of Louisiana, and the Chevron Pipe Line Company (CPL) are responding to an oil spill from a pipeline in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

At approximately 1:00 a.m., Tuesday, Berry Brothers General Contractors notified the Coast Guard that oil was discharging into a canal located approximately 10 miles southeast of Venice, La.CPL, which operates the pipeline, reports that approximately 18,000 gallons of crude oil has been released.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and Chevron Pipe Line Company (CPL), have formed a Unified Command and are working to minimize the environmental impact of the spill.

The Coast Guard deployed pollution investigators in an HC-144A Ocean Sentry Aircraft that are evaluating the spill. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Coast Guard have pollution investigators in response boats on scene assessing the oils impact and monitoring clean-up efforts.

Upon receiving the initial report of the spill, CPL immediately closed off the affected section of the pipeline and has initiated its emergency response procedures to minimize the environmental impact of the spill.Specially trained company personnel and contractors are responding as part of a comprehensive program to minimize environmental impact.The pipeline is owned by Cypress Pipe Line Company which is a joint venture between British Petroleum and CPL.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the spill.

Channel: piersystem.com

Anti-fouling convention enters into force in SingaporeApril 5, 2010

A rule that disallows the use of harmful anti-fouling paint on ships entering ports, shipyards or offshore terminals has entered into force in Singapore.

The Anti-Fouling Systems Convention (AFS Convention) came into effect in Singapore on March 31, 2010, affecting ships registered with the republic and ships calling at the port, according to legal documents obtained by Bunkerworld.

Singapore acceded to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation on December 31, 2009.

The accession underscores the country's commitment to "environmentally-friendly shipping and port activities", chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) Lam Yi Young has said earlier.

The Convention aims to do away with the use of environmentally damaging anti-fouling paints or systems on the hulls of new and existing ships and encourage the use of more environment friendly alternatives such as silicon paint.

An anti-fouling paint known as tributyl tin (TBT) has been banned by parties to the Convention.

The Convention also requires ships previously painted with harmful anti-fouling paints to be covered with a barrier coating to prevent doing damage to the marine environment.

It also ensures that environmentally detrimental sludge and residues - produced as a result of removal of old paints - are properly treated and disposed of.

The AFS Convention was adopted at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on October 5, 2001, and was entered into force on September 17, 2008.

Channel: portworld.com

Rotterdam innovation makes oil fires controllableApril 1, 2010

The Rotterdam International Forum for Industrial Fire-fighting (IFIF) has found a way to prevent burning oil from a fire in an oil tank from spurting out of the tank with great force. Such a boilover resembles a gushing geyser and can cause serious damage within a radius of up to 1000 metres from the burning tank, Rotterdam Port official website reports.

Since 1925, many scientists have tried to fathom the mechanism behind the boilover, without success. Only two years ago it became clear what mechanism caused such a phenomenon during an oil fire. On the basis of this knowledge, the IFIF set up a study. Following the laboratory phase, it was demonstrated last week in Spain, during several large-scale practical trials, that the method found could also work on the largest storage tanks.

Insofar as we know, the first boilover occurred in America in 1917, in Bakersfield (California), in a tank of crude oil, which was probably ignited by a bolt of lightning. Other storage tanks, as well as buildings, onlookers and firemen were hit by the burning oil that spurted from the tank.

Insofar as we know, there have been 30 similar fires since, the latest in 2005. Many of the business premises caught up in a boilover were never rebuilt after the incident.

The IFIF is concerned with themes relating to industrial safety and incident management. It is a collaboration between the Joint Fire Service,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond, Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Deltalinqs (the organization that represents the joint interests of companies in Rotterdams port and industrial area).

Channel: portnews.ru

Container market recovery is under threatMarch 29, 2010

The introduction of the new container tonnage is a threat for market recovery. According to reports, new vessels with the overall capacity of about 785 thousand TEU will be launched over the next 4 months.

The inflow of new tonnage on the market coupled with the return on the services of ships which laid up in 2009 will result the total growth of the container fleet by 9% compared with the rate of April 2009.

Spot market has already reacted to the supply increase by falling of freight rates.

With the opening of new services in the near future the new falling of rates is expected.

Channel: seanews.ru

The processing of ships in Russian ports may be facilitatedMarch 29, 2010

Rosgranitsa (Russian Border Services Agency) is exploring the possibility of removing the commission inspection of ships, reports the agency.

According to the press release, session of the Bureau of the Public Council of the Northwest Territorial Department of Rosgranitsa took place in Saint-Petersburg.

One of the main items on the agenda was the discussion of the development of marine checkpoints which would meet the requirements of the Convention of the International Maritime Organization IMO FAL-65 on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic and reduce the term of control of operations.

The Russian Minister of Transport Igor Levitin said that the new seaport control procedures are being developed and that it is proposed to abandon the commission inspections of the vessels, which could reduce the time for the transit ships to 4-6 hours.

Channel: transday.ru

It is not planned to raise containers with dangerous goods from the bottom of the BalticMarch 25, 2010

In the event of discovery of the containers with hazardous substances that fell into the Baltic Sea from the Finnish container ship Linda traveling from Rotterdam to St. Petersburg, it is not planned to raise them from the bottom of the sea, told the representative of the Swedish Coast Guard on the radio.

The incident occurred on the morning of Feb. 6 between the Swedish islands Aland and Gotland. According to media reports, at least one of the three containers which fell into the water contains several tons of environmentally hazardous substances.

The fallen containers with hazardous substances are at such a depth that their environmental impact will be local. This conclusion was made after consultations with experts, including the experts on chemicals.

Channel: rpn.gov.ru

The Head of the Department for Law Enforcement on the transport of the Ministry of the Interior was dismissed by RF Presidential DecreeMarch 23, 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on dismissal of Lieutenant-General of the Militia Vyacheslav Zakharenkova from the post of the Head of the Department for Law Enforcement on the transport of the Ministry of the Interior, said on Tuesday the Kremlin press service.

Earlier in February of 2010 the President of Russia signed the decree on reforming the Ministry of the Interior, which states that instead of the current 20 Directorates for Internal Affairs in Transport in Russia 8 Directorates in Transport of the Ministry of the Interior will be formed and divided into the Federal Districts.

In February, the head of the state has already dismissed several high-ranking generals of the Ministry of the Interior. Among them Deputy Ministers of the Interior Arkadiy Yedelev and Nikolai Ovchinnikov were also dismissed.

It is possible that this decision is concerned with the investigation of contraband case where the Head of the Bureau of Operational Investigations of the Ministry of the Interior Sergei Motin was involved.

Channel: transday.ru

Radioactive wastes repositories on the Kola PeninsulaFebruary 25, 2010

According to the message of "Bellona", the regional parliament of Murmansk region has approved injecting of radioactive wastes (RAW) under the ground, disposal of nuclear repositories brushing aside the public and environmentalists concerns and, effectively, giving Moscow authorities a carte blanche to create nuclear repositories in Murmansk, while the costs of handling the already accumulated stockpiles of radioactive waste will have to be borne by regional and municipal budgets. The draft bill was passed in its first reading during a plenary session of the State Duma on January 20, 2010. Non-governmental organizations decried the bill as a means for the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom to attend to its own narrow interests while going bluntly against the interests of the nation; it allows injecting liquid radioactive waste underground, which runs contrary to other Russian legislation, "Law on Protection of the Environment" and "Water Code"; it will place all the responsibility for the disposal of liquid radioactive waste on the shoulders of local municipalities and absolve Rosatom of any accountability for the handling of waste already accumulated; it will also allow authorities to disregard the publics opinion when making decisions to create radioactive waste repositories.

The bill probably affects Murmansk Region and its inhabitants. There is a big number of stockpiles of radioactive waste in Murmansk Region. Furthermore, plans are in motion for 2018 and 2019 to start decommissioning Reactor Units 1 and 2 of the Kola Nuclear Power Plant (Kola NPP), which will result in the generation of even more radioactive waste. Mishandling these hazardous materials could spell radioactive accidents with grave consequences serious contamination for the environment and, of course, the risk of harm to the health of the local population.

Environmental organizations of Russia have sent the list of amendments to the draft bill to the Russian State Duma, as well as to the regional Duma of Murmansk Region, insisting that the law "On RAW managing" was indeed necessary, but it should not pass in the existing version. On reception of the ecological amendments sent by "Bellona", the members of a dedicated committee in the Murmansk Duma presented the amendments to the Duma.

At the next meeting, on February 18th, Murmansk parliamentarians rejected the amendments and voted for the draft bill in its original version. Furthermore, lawmakers declined to allow local environmentalists to participate in the hearing.

Channel: bellona.ru

Due to leakage of toxic gases in the Philippines, thousands of people were evacuatedFebruary 24, 2010

The leakage of toxic gases that occurred on the 16th of February at the port on the north of the Philippines led to the deaths of three port workers and forced the authorities to evacuate two thousand people.

According to police spokesman, three repairman who worked on the barge, which was standing near the pier in the port of Batangas in 200 kilometers to the south from the capital Manila, suffocated, and three other people had to be hospitalized in the nearby hospital in the result of the emission of a dangerous gas. The gas is not identified yet.

Apparently, it was sodium hydrosulfide, they consider in the Red Cross of Batangas.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in the city, the nearby schools were closed, and about two thousand people were evacuated from the area adjacent to the port.

Police launched an investigation and has questioned the owner of the barge.

Channel: eco.rian.ru

Deliberate dumping of oil into the river in ItalyFebruary 23, 2010

Last Tuesday from five to seven thousand cubic meters of oil and petroleum products were dumped into the Italian river Lambro from the refinery Lombarda Petroli near Villasante town of Milan province.

"We are talking about real and unprecedented disaster for our region, which has grave consequences for the environment. This is a criminal act the perpetrators of which are concealed by the company representatives," - said president of the Milan Province, Dario Allevi.

The circumstances of oil and petroleum residual spill from three oil storage tanks of Lombarda Petroli still remain unclear, primarily due to the obvious countering of the company administration not only in identifying the perpetrators of the incident, but also in mitigating the effects of the incident.

According to the press, on Tuesday Lombarda Petroli staff for a long time was disallowing the representatives of the Police, Civil Defense Agency, forest service and financial guard to enter the territory of the enterprise. Furthermore, they apparently tried to understate the amount of the oil discharged into the river, saying that the amount was about 2.5 thousand cubic meters.

According to the police, the dangerous incident at Lombarda Petroli was expressly intentional. In any case, the one who had dumped such amount of oil into the river fully well knew the design of the machines and the mechanisms of the enterprise.

About for twenty four hours Civil Defense officers and firefighters are trying unsuccessfully to prevent the ingress of oil and petroleum residual into the river Po. However, the multi-kilometer oil slick has overcome nearly all the barriers and about the noon local time (14.00 Moscow time) leaked in the Po waters.

According to the eyewitnesses, the emergency has already killed many wild ducks and drakes, and it is possible that the consequences of this incident to the ecosystem of this region of Italy will become real catastrophe.

Channel: eco.rian.ru

Only 16% of the enterprises of the Amur region, possessing petroleum reserves, have developed and brought into action OSR plansFebruary 16, 2010

On the territory of the Amur region, only 16% of the organizations, possessing oil reserves, have developed and put into Oil Spill Response Plans (OSR Plan). The regional authorities express deep concern on the lack of emergency response team (ERT) certified to eliminate the local oil spills.

As it was noted at the session of the Commission on Emergency Situations and Fire Safety, in late 2009 with the launch of the first phase of the main oil pipeline "Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean", the risk of oil and oil products spills in the Amur region has significantly increased. Up to 15 tons of oil will be transported every year by the railroad, which runs on the territory of the Amur region, from Taishet of Irkutsk region to the endpoint of the pipeline in special sea oil port in Kozmino. During the period of pipeline operation, which lasted less than two months, the pipeline has already witnessed two accidents involving oil spills. One of them happened not far from the Amur settlement of Never Skovorodinsky area.

In accordance with the federal law, the organizations operating hazardous production facilities should develop plans to prevent and eliminate oil spills. In addition, their duties include the establishment of emergency response teams certified in the MES of Russia to conduct rescue and other urgent works when oil spills happen. That is why the representatives of the biggest companies and agencies of the Amur region, such as "Amurnefteproduk " OJSC.

"Vostoknefteprovod" Ltd., as well as the representatives of Bureiskaya and Zeyskaya hydroelectric stations, Directorate of Zabaikalskaya railway in Chita and Blagoveschensk airport were invited on the session of the regional government. The leaders of organizations have reported to the Commission on the measures taken to protect the territory and population from the effects of possible oil spills.

It was also reported that the Commission on Emergency Situations and Fire Safety recommended that "Vostoknefteprovod" Ltd. to complete the training, equipping and certification of their own ERT in the shortest time. Until they have not undergone the certification, the company should accept an internal paper on the procedure of localization and cleaning of oil spills at the facilities of the main pipeline.

In addition to plans developing and ERT establishment, the heads of the organizations were given a number of other instructions. For example, "Trade Port Blagoveshchensk" CJSC was instructed to inspect the technical condition of booms and sorbing materials, as well as to purchase new tools for the collection and disposal of oil from water surface before June 15.

A number of instructions were concerning the activities of Amur region executives. In particular, it was spelled out in Commission minutes to hold the session of the Commission on this subject at the municipal level in February-March. The Directorate of the MES of Russia for the Amur Region was recommended to lend methodological assistance to the heads of the organizations and the heads of territories. In case of improper performance of normative legal acts, MES may appeal to the prosecution authorities.

Channel: portnews.ru

Industry in Russia to become "green"February 15, 2010

Production lines for processing of hydrocarbon raw materials, industrial waste into useful products, heat and electricity will be constructed in Russia. The corresponding memorandum was signed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Federal Service for Supervision of Nature Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) on the 12th of February, 2010, in Vienna.

"Being coordinated by UNIDO, the project gained an international status, which will bring advanced technologies to Russia, as well as to work out logistical schemes of their promotion, which in its turn would promote introduction "green industry" ideas in our country", - informed the press service of Rosprirodnadzor.

It is expected that pilot projects will be worked out under technologies on the base of Russian industrial enterprises. The possibility of attraction of international investments into Russian economy through UNIDO is also considered.

The signing of the memorandum gives the possibility of "long-term cross-border cooperation in the field of nature conservation". In addition, the signed document will contribute International institute of independent experts and auditors in the field nature supervision and conservation activities in Russia, they consider in Rosprirodnadzor.

Channel: news.km.ru

Dmitriy Medvedev mandated to carry on decriminalization in petroleum logistics areaFebruary 12, 2010

President Dmitry Medvedev mandated to get the petroleum logistics system under control. "I support the idea of bringing order to the petroleum logistics system", - quotes PRIME-TASS the head of the state. Dmitry Medvedev has also called for a "decriminalization of the industry."

The head of the State agreed that the oil industry makes a substantial contribution to Russia's budget. "But this does not mean that the oil industry should be beyond the control of law enforcement agencies", - he said, explaining that he meant "both technological, and law enforcement control". "Put your proposals" - he demanded.

Channel: portnews.ru

Containers with hazardous goods sank in the Baltic SeaFebruary 8, 2010

From Finnish cargo ship Linda en route from Rotterdam to St. Petersburg three containers have fallen into the water of the Baltic Sea not far from Gotland Island. It is known that one of the sunken containers contained the substance, which has the 9th category of hazard.

The containers are being searched now. The specialists suggest that the sunken containers are at the depth of 70 meters. The search involved search planes, radars and other facilities.

At the present time cargo ship Linda is located not far from St. Petersburg.

RF Government to discuss the power of Ministry of Transportation with regard to liability insurance regulations from bunker oil pollutionFebruary 5, 2010

According to the materials prepared for the RF Government meeting, Ministry of Transportation of RF will introduce draft regulations at the government session on January, 29 concerning "Amendment to the regulation of the RF Ministry of Transportation" and "Implementation of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage of 2001".

The draft decree "Implementation of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage of 2001 " stipulates the delegation of power to RF Ministry of Transportation concerning working out and adoption of rules on certificate issue of insurance or other financial security of civil liability for damage caused by bunker oil pollution. The project is worked out to implement the commitments of RF under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage.

The draft decision "Amendment to the regulation of the RF Ministry of Transportation" suggests to give to RF Ministry of Transportation the power of confirmation of the estimate branch norms in maintenance of roads of federal significance and also of road facilities.

Granting of power to RF Ministry of Transportation to approve the estimate branch norms will enable the rapid introduction of new modern technical and technological projects in order to improve efficiency of budget funds and the quality of work on maintenance of roads and the road facilities.

Channel: portnews.ru

Fiji accedes to the Revised Kyoto ConventionFebruary 1, 2010

On 26 January 2010, the Ambassador of the Republic of the Fiji Islands deposited his countrys instrument of accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (revised Kyoto Convention) with the World Customs Organization.

The Convention is regarded as a blueprint for effective and modern Customs procedures.

WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya said, "Accessions to this important Customs instrument are beginning to accelerate as more and more Customs administrations recognize its critical role in managing cross-border trade today".

It is recognized as a major trade facilitation instrument. Some of its key elements include the application of simplified Customs procedures in a predictable and transparent environment, the maximum use of information technology, the utilization of risk management, a strong partnership with the trade and other stakeholders, and a readily accessible system of appeals.

Having entered into force on 3 February 2006, the Convention now has 66 Contracting Parties.

Channel: wcoomd.org

Russia to change its customs procedure at sea ports from March 1, 2010February 5, 2010

On March 1, 2010 the order (N1691) of the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) dated September 15, 2009 will have come into force. The document titled On the competence of customs authorities to carry out customs operations with goods transported by sea (river) transport" will make substantial adjustments in the work of trading firms importing foreign goods through the sea border checkpoints, Krasnoyarsk customs press service reported.

The new regulations will not allow the customs personnel to send foreign goods from the seaports to recipient before completion of customs clearance. Now a trader should apply his customs declaration to the customs authority where the port is located.

There are several exceptions listed in the document: goods intended for personal, family, household and other non-commercial needs; deliverance of certain goods that had been cleared elsewhere or by other authorized agencies, movement of goods by some foreign citizens, listed in paragraph 1 of Article 298 of the Customs Code of Russia, the movement of goods by international mail.

Also, exceptions are applied in regard of movement of goods to individuals, for whom special simplified procedures of customs clearance was established, movement of goods by residents of industrial-production and technology-innovative special economic zones, movement of military equipment supplied under military-technical cooperation, transportation of live animals; placing goods for temporary storage at the temporary storage warehouse, located in the region of responsible customs office (customs).

Channel: portnews.ru

US importers now under 10+2 rulesJanuary 27, 2010

All ocean container imports into the US are now required to comply with new 10+2 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations.

Starting yesterday, importers are required to submit 10 data elements, including the manufacturers name and address; seller name and address; container stuffing location and the country of origin at least 24 hours before a shipment leaves a foreign port for the US. Carriers are required to submit another two pieces of data. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to US$5,000 per violation, do-not-load orders, or possible seizure of the cargo.

Shipper group the National Industrial Transportation League (Nitl) and ABS Consulting have entered into an agreement to provide members with an assortment of services at a substantial discount to facilitate their compliance with the new 10+2 requirements.

Nitl president Bruce Carlton said: "We know a number of small and medium sized ocean importers have yet to test their own capabilities in meeting the new 10+2 requirements. This service will help ensure that their shipments reach their intended customers without undue liability exposure for not complying with the 10+2 rule."

To enable compliance with the new security filing requirements, the enforcement date had been delayed by 12 months to 26 January 2010.

Channel: ifw-net.com

Accidents on the waterways of Russia in 2009 decreased by 15.9%January 26, 2010

The number of accidents that occurred on water transport of Russia in 2009 reduced to 97 cases 15.9 percent less than in the previous year. There were 30 emergency situations that came on maritime transport registered recent year, a 36.2% drop, reported Rostransnadzor (the Federal Transport Security Service).

Rostransnadzor notes that despite a significant reduction in accidents, the objective risks still persist in maritime transport that might lead to serious consequences. The average service life of Russian-flagged ships is 25 years. Major part of the operating fleet has overlapped its ships service life term. 75% of vessels that got into accidents last year, had served more than 25 years.

Besides, in some cases, inspections proved, the Russian classification authorities lowered its requirements for vessels, especially to those outdated ships.

There is a significant number of shipping companies operating less than 3 vessels (over 60% of all shipping organizations) in Russia. These organizations are operating, as a rule, the ships far exceeding the time limits of service. These outdated ships still impose a threat as well to employees as to environment. These companies are reluctant adopting international standards of safety of navigation (Rule 21 MARPOL-73/78, Chapter V SOLAS-74 AIS introduction).

There also happen to be improper fulfillment of duties by the ports services ensuring the safety of navigation (VTS operators, piloting).

Channel: portnews.ru

Northern ecosystems are more sensitive to oil spillsJanuary 26, 2010

Northern ecosystems are more sensitive to oil pollution than south ecosystems, was stated in the new study by Norwegian scientists.

Report was released by NINA - Norwegian Institute for Scientific Research of Nature, the leading research institute of Applied Environmental Research. The report studies if there is any difference between ecosystems of Lofoten and the Barents Sea and ecosystems of southern sea areas of Norway in the degree of vulnerability to oil pollution.

As the authors of the report write, a number of characteristics are significantly different, especially biodiversity of ecosystems (the north yields the south), the distribution of species and "hot spots" characterized by high productiveness and the accumulation of marine fauna (especially important in the north).

The report states that the elimination of marine oil spills in icy and distant Arctic is a particularly difficult task. Moreover, the ecosystems of Lofoten and the Barents Sea in some aspects are more vulnerable to oil spills. This is caused mainly by low biological diversity, which is believed to be associated with low viability. Besides, many valuable and sensitive species live there. For example, in Lofotenah and in the Barents Sea there are large colonies of sea birds, and spawning areas of several valuable fish species.

The report summarizes that in this area there is a conflict between the interests of oil companies and the interests of other enterprises, for example, fishing enterprises, as well as with considerations of preservation.

Channel: bellona.ru

About 11,000 barrels of oil spilled near Port ArthurJanuary 25, 2010

DALLASNearly half the oil that spilled at a major Texas port during a collision between a tanker and a towing vessel has evaporated, dispersed or been recovered from the water.

About 4,200 barrels of oil have evaporated or dispersed. Some 1,100 barrelsor 10% of the total oil spilledwere recovered.

About 11,000 barrels of oil spilled when an 800-foot tanker headed for an Exxon Mobil Corp.refinery in Beaumont collided Saturday (January 23) with a vessel pushing two barges. Nobody was hurt. It was the largest spill in Texas in 16 years, but still well shy of one 20 years ago involving Norwegian tanker Mega Borg that leaked more than 100,000 barrels gallons of crude oil about 60 miles off Galveston.

Two sensitive wildlife areas nearby remain unaffected by the spill, which is mostly contained in a two-mile stretch of the Sabine Neches Waterway near Port Arthur, about 90 miles east of Houston. Authorities have received one report of an oil-covered heron, and residents have been urged to report other affected animals. The shipping channel is closed, and it remains unclear when it will reopen, Petty Officer Ranel said.

About 500 responders on the water and in the command post worked overnight to contain the spill. Nearly 46,000 feet of plastic walls known as booms and 15 oil-sucking skimmer boats were in the water, he said.

The Eagle Otome collided with a towing vessel pushing two barges on Saturday, leaving a 15-foot-by-8-foot hole in the tanker. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard are investigating.

The Eagle Otome is owned by AET Inc., a Malaysian company with offices in Houston. "We have no insight right now into what caused it,'' said AET spokesman Darrell Wilson. ``The Coast Guard has an investigation team in place and we are fully participating in that investigation process.''

The company is working with the Coast Guard on cleanup, although it's unclear who will pay for it.

"It was our product that spilled and right now, we are the ones responsible for cleaning it up," Mr. Wilson said.

Channel: europe.wsj.com

Oil spills incidents in the seas in the North-West Russia in 2009, a threefold dropJanuary 25, 2010

The number of oil spills in the seas in the North-West Russia reduced to 4 reported cases and declined threefold, as compared with incidents that occurred in 2008, RosPrirodNadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage) Department of North-West Federal District reports. It was noted, that the results were reached due to control and supervisory activities of the local RPN. It was also reported, that in accordance with the results of marine monitoring in Northwestern Federal District in 2009 (taking into account inspection of ships) 869 inspections were carried out, in 2008 there were 705 inspections. During its control and supervisory activities the agency revealed 291 violations, 203 of them were eliminated; 227 violations were revealed and 133 of them were eliminated in 2008.

In 2009 specialists of marine monitoring department of RosPrirodNadzor (Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage) Department of North-West Federal District issued 120 orders to rectify the violation, 75 of them were fulfilled. At least 304 individuals and legal persons responsible for violations have been brought to account, the regional Rosprirodnadzor said.

Channel: portnews.ru

In Yakutia during the repair of pipeline about 450 cubic meters of oil spilledJanuary 20, 2010

Chief Directorate of the MES of Russia for Sakha (Yakutia), during its on-call duty shift, has been informed that in the daytime on January 20 security service of Lenskiy Regional Oil Pipeline Management (RNU) of "Vostoknefteprovod" Ltd. during patrolling of the oil pipeline "Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean" (ESPO) oil leakage was found. Oil slick was detected on the surface of the ground on the 1,351st km of the linear section of the pipeline (30 km from Lensk). As it turned out, during the repair between stop valve stations, planned work on swaying of the pipeline was being carried out. When oil was being discharged into a specially made pit, the pipe involved into the pumping transfer ruptured. As a result about 450 cubic meters of oil spilled on the ground. Contamination of soil and snow covered the area of 20.000 square meters, the depth of the oil slick varies from 2 to 10 centimeters.

For carrying out post-accident clean-up, works on gathering of oil products were organized. In agreement with the Ministry of Nature Protection for Sakha (Yakutia) places for disposal of oil products were detected on the territory of Talakanskoe field. All the contaminated soil is being collected and transported by trucks for subsequent disposal by incineration.

At the present time, environmental prosecutors and Rosprirodnadzor are clarifying the causes and circumstances of the accident.

Channel: regnum.ru

More than 700 law violations were detected in fuel-and-power sector in Yugra in 2009January 20, 2010

In the course of 2009 during supervisory activity in Yugra (the Khanty-Mansijsk Autonomous District), it was detected that on exploitation of oil pipelines by enterprises of fuel-and-power sector oil spillages were accidents of frequent occurrence. Oftentimes those spillages led to environmental pollution.

Procuracy of the Autonomous District detected 732 law violations in fuel-and-power sector, 109 instructions to eliminate federal legislation violations were given. In accordance to the results of consideration of the abovementioned instructions, 86 officers were brought to disciplinary responsibility. 55 statements of claim were took to court, 220 proceedings on administrative violations were initiated, 35 notices of protest regarding contrary to law legal acts were brought, 5 warnings regarding impermissibility of law violation were made, 27 criminal cases were initiated, 2 of them were initiated on the basis of elements of crime prescribed by article 247 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation violation of rules for handling environmentally hazardous materials and wastes, 25 criminal cases were initiated under article 260 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation illegal clear-cutting of forest.

Channel: regnum.ru

Accident at the gas pipeline in Mordovia19 January 19, 2010

On the 16th of January, 2010 during inspection of gas pipeline route by OJSC "Mordovgaz" alert crew, gas leakage was found at the underground polyethylene inter-village high-pressure gas pipeline with diameter of 160 mm. Due to the accident the gas supply in four villages of Bolsheberezinskiy region of Mordovia was intercepted more than 12 hours.

According to preliminary information, the reason of the leakage was a crack on butt-welded joint of the gas pipeline.

The Committee established at the Volzhsko-Okskiy Directorate of the Rostekhnadzor is occupied with accident investigation. The Committee includes the head of Department for Technological Supervision of the Republic of  Mordovia, M. Gryaznov, assistant head of Department for Technological Supervision, D. Potapov, chief engineer of "Chamzinkamezhraigaz" Directorate of OJSC "Mordovgaz", S. Lipatov, the head of Production and Technical Department of OJSC "Mordovgaz", S. Zevaikin, and the head of Architecture, Construction and Housing Maintenance and Utilities Department of Bolsheberezinskiy region Administration, L. Chegodaeva.

Channel: gosnadzor.ru

Coast Guard to remove pollution from abandoned vessel in Savannah RiverJanuary 19, 2010

The Coast Guard will begin clean-up operations aboard the 41-foot abandoned fishing vessel Net Web in the Savannah River in Augusta, Ga., Wednesday.

Coast Guard pollution investigators from Marine Safety Unit Savannah, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Augusta Riverkeepers conducted an initial assessment and found that a pollution threat existed. A Coast Guard crew will supervise environmental contractors as they remove the remaining pollution aboard the Net Web.

In its current location, the Net Web is partially submerged, but is not blocking a navigable channel.

Channel: piersystem.com

Containers holding explosives punctured; US port shutsJanuary 15, 2010

The US east coast port of Morehead City in North Carolina was shut down and evacuated on Tuesday, after several shipping containers holding highly explosive cargoes were found punctured.

Officials have been quoted saying the containers were accidentally punctured. According to Morehead City police, at least nine containers were damaged in the accident which is said to have taken place around 9 am local time (1400 GMT) on Tuesday. Police have apparently been persuading residents in the vicinity to stay indoors, and some officials are even recommending that a large part of the entire city be evacuated. "We have found highly explosive material in nine containersat Morehead City Port," a police official at the city's port division told AFP. "The material was found in an accidental puncture. When they punctured it they realised that it was explosive material," she added.

As of Wednesday there has been no official report of injuries, environmental fallout, or how the containers were accidentally punctured. One local media outlet claims the containers were punctured as they were being offloaded. Another local media outlet quoted Morehead City police chief Wes Lail identifying the cargoes to be a chemical used in the production of grenades and detonators. It is understood that the chemical is the same material that was used in the botched Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest airliner en route from Amsterdam to Detroit.

All operations at the key dry bulk port including vessel cargo loading and discharging have been suspended indefinitely, and as of early Wednesday 4 am local time both port and police officials were still unable to say when normal operations will resume.

Channel: portworld.com


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