- SHIPPING 101
Our Spring Semester SHIPPING 101 class was just held last week, with 18 students in attendance. For the first time we used classroom space at Seamen’s Church Institute in Port Newark, and we thank them for their generosity. The terminal tour was hosted by Global Container Terminal who showed off their state-of-the-art facility. We have held a Spring and Fall Semester every year since 2007, as well as several group-specific classes. Over the years we have trained hundreds of Port personnel! Keep an eye out for our Fall offering!
- SHARED HARBOR TOUR
On the morning of Saturday, April 16, our Harbor Education Sub-Committee sponsored a SHARED HARBOR TOUR which managed to get a mix of over 130 professional and recreational mariners onto a NY Waterways Ferry for a guided tour of our Harbor around the southern part of Manhattan. At each of 7 designated spots, we heard from both professional and recreational mariners as they discussed key points regarding safe navigation in those locations. LOTS of good conversations which will make the Harbor a safer place for everyone! NYC EDC even provided bagels and coffee! Thanks to all our sponsors, speakers, and participants. I’m sure we’ll do it again!
Our International Maritime Hall of Fame Gala will be held on May 11 this year. Once again, we have a terrific slate of International Honorees, and although tables, ads, and sponsorships are selling quickly, there is still time to make sure that you are there for what is always a gala gathering of so many of the senior leadership of our Industry. Invitations have been sent to all MAPONY/NJ members, but if you need a new copy…get in touch with us. Don’t wait too long!…we usually sell out!
MAPONY/NJ has opposed the Champlain Hudson Power Express petition to obtain a USACE permit (NAN-2009-01089-EYA) to lay power cables within a very extensive length of the Hudson River navigation channel for several years. Despite our vehement opposition, this politically favored, and big-budget (over $3 Billion) project has continued to move forward. We have previously reported regarding the many meetings, and correspondence that we have been involved in over the years. This permit now appears to be in the final stages before approval from the USACE. As a near-final step in the permitting process, the CHPE team has filed an extensive Navigation Risk Assessment report. The NRA has been prepared by an internationally known consultant (Intertec), and is quite extensive. On Mar 24, MAPONY/NJ attended a meeting with the CHPE team to review the Draft NRA. At that meeting, we represented MAPONY/NJ and our T&B Cttee and joined AWO, Hudson River Pilots, and Sandy Hook Pilots in commenting on the Draft NRA. Our position was:
- The cable should NOT be allowed to be allowed to be laid within the Navigation Channel for such an intrusive length, but rather, should only be allowed to cross the Channel in a perpendicular design, as is usual and customary.
- The study, although well designed, did NOT use accurate data pertinent to the actual Hudson River sites, but rather applied mathematical computations based on non-Hudson data and reports
- Despite probability statistical computations, the fact that the cable would be in such an extensive length of the Channel definitely posed an increased risk as opposed to limited perpendicular crossing(s)
As a near-final step in approving the NRA, CHPE passed their NRA to the USCG for their review. On Apr 13, USCG held a meeting with interested stakeholders to provide an opportunity to hear any concerns. At that meeting we represented MAPONY/NJ and our T&B Cttee, and joined AWO, Hudson River Pilots, and Sandy Hook Pilots to enumerate our concerns. USCG had Reps from District 1, as well as Sector NY Waterways Management. We reiterated our concerns as outlined above and USCG “noted” same for their consideration.
We are awaiting the outcome of the USCG conclusion regarding the acceptability of the CHPE NRA.
- AMERICAS CUP RACE
On May 7 and 8, the America’s Cup international sailing race will return to New York Harbor for the first time in nearly a century.
Six teams, each representing a different country (including defending champion ORACLE TEAM USA), will race in the Hudson River, reaching speeds up to 40 miles per hour. The teams participating in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will vie for points counting toward the final competition for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.
Racing will take place from 2 -3:30 p.m. on both Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8. The New York winner will be announced Sunday. The race will take place off Battery Park City and the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, where organizers expect up to 20,000 spectators. The plaza will also be home to a central event village. The event is free, and no tickets are required.
Our Harbor Safety, Navigation and Operations Cttee (HOPs) worked closely with both the USCG and the event sponsor to minimize any adverse impact on commercial navigation during the Race.
- NJ PUBLIC ACCESS
In the State of NJ, the public has a right to access and use the tidal waterfront in accordance with the Public Trust Doctrine. The rules governing this access were formulated by NJDEP, and we had lobbied and helped create the wording of those rules so as to exempt any Facility operating under an approved Federal Facility Security Plan from being forced to provide public access to those facilities. Due to a successful lawsuit brought by a NJ environmental group, those NJDEP rules were invalidated, and it was found that only legislation could deal with this NJ Public Trust Doctrine matter. NJ Senator Robert Smith, acting as Chair of the Senate Environment Committee established a format for interested stakeholders to make recommendations regarding public access legislation and issues. We have been a part of that stakeholder group, and have had several meetings to formulate recommendations to Senator Smith. The recommendations were a composite of all stakeholder positions, and listed “agreed”, as well as “pro” and “con” positions. The recommendations were presented at a hearing held on April 21.
Our primary objectives were:
- Exempt any facility operating under a valid Federal Facility Security Plan from having to provide public access
- Exempt any facility operating under a FSP from having to provide off-site access in lieu of on-site access.
- Grandfather all above from having to provide off-site access in connection with new permits on existing footprint
We were successful in having it be recommended that FSP facilities be exempted from having to provide public access, but the concept of not requiring off-site mitigation, or exemption for future permits were “contested” by environmental groups.
Senator Smith is currently reviewing the stakeholder committee recommendations, and will prepare draft legislation for review by the early Fall.
We are joined in this approach by other components of “critical infrastructure” such as power plants, other transport modes, and various utilities. We will continue to follow up with Senator Smith’s staff to ensure that our positions are well understood.
- NEWTOWN CREEK CAG
Newtown Creek has been declared a contaminated area subject to Federal Remediation. The lead Federal agency is the EPA which has created a Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) to advise them and provide pertinent requirements and guidelines for local concern. We are a member of the CAG Steering Committee, with the goal of ensuring that commercial maritime concerns such as dredged depth, bulkhead requirements, and shoreside/terminal capacities are considered and protected. At this stage, we have already made preliminary statements regarding commercial maritime operational needs, and are primarily just “monitoring” meetings as the EPA is currently focusing on scientific studies evaluating water and sediment properties, and various health-related issues. The most recent meeting of the CAG was on 19 April. We will continue to monitor and protect maritime interests.
- MARITIME-RELATED EDUCATION
MAPONY/NJ continues to support and encourage maritime-related education. In addition to our own SHIPPING 101 program, we have worked with The Harbor School, McKee Technical HS, the Urban Assembly School of Global Commerce, SUNY Maritime College, and the US Merchant Marine Academy. Current issues are:
- Upcoming May 12 meeting of the Advisory Board for the UASGC
- In coordination with the Working Harbor Cttee, we will provide an on-water Harbor Tour for students of UASGC on May 19.
- Graduation Awards for SUNY Maritime and USMMA
- Noted that NYC City Council Woman Debi Rose’s Apr 12 newsletter highlighted an article titled “Connecting Staten Islanders With Waterfront Careers”. Councilwoman Rose is currently serving as the Chair of the NYC Council Waterfront Committee. I will meet with her to get a better grasp of her intentions and determine how MAPONY/NJ can best interact.
- TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The NYC Department of City planning has established a “Technical Advisory Committee” with the intent to create a forum which will present and evaluate various programs/designs that would have the potential to favorably address urban resiliency by enhancing:
- Reduced Flood Hazards
- Emergency Preparedness
- Promoting Physical and Operational Strategies
- Exploring Financial and Insurance Challenges.
MAPONY/NJ attends these meetings, the most recent of which was held April 7 to ensure that the requirements of commercial maritime properties are known, and to avoid the imposition of burdensome, expensive, and/or impractical regulations.
On May 3, MAPONY/NJ will attend a NYC City Council Committee on Waterfront, hearing regarding the role of the Waterfront Management Advisory Board. MAPONY/NJ is a member of the MAB. The MAB was activated during the Bloomberg administration, but the DiBlasio administration has thus far not shown any active interest in Waterfront matters. Hopefully, this hearing will initiate administration attention. The Waterfront Committee is chaired by Councilwoman Debi Rose of Staten Island, with whom we have a good working relationship.
On May 2, MAPONY/NJ will attend a NYS DEC hearing which will discuss proposed revisions to upland management of navigational dredged material (NDM) through NYSDEC’s Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) process. It is our intent to work towards reducing the burdensome cost of dredging by effecting more reasonable solid waste beneficial use regulations in NYS.
- SHIP STATS-MARCH 2016
Our report of ship stats for March 2016 is appended hereto. Although year-on-year comparisons show a decrease of 3 for the month of March, the Jan-Mar results are up by 14. Hopefully our good trend continues!
- 50 FOOT CHANNEL
At the time of Super Storm Sandy, a new fresh water siphon (pipeline) was in the process of being constructed. When Sandy struck, the unfinished siphon was flooded with salt water, and the boring machine inside the tunnel was destroyed. A new boring machine had to be constructed, and the work on the siphon had to continue. The tunnel was being constructed from both the Brooklyn and Staten Island sides, with the intent for the pipes to meet midway and be joined. As we are completing the 50 foot Channel project, the “old” siphon is reducing the available draft. Upon completion and testing of the “new” siphon, the old siphon will be removed, and we will realize the “full” 50 foot channel draft. Unfortunately, the 2 halves did not perfectly “fit”, and additional work was required. The current status is as follows:
- The removal of the siphon has been delayed (again) due to multiple reasons (including a slight “mis-match” when they were attempting to connect the siphon sections.
- It is now estimated that the siphon will be removed, the area will be surveyed, and will be cleared for navigational purposes by “late Summer”. no exact date yet available.
- While the siphon remains in place the Max draft is set at 44’6” at anytime, plus height of tide
- When the siphon is removed the Max draft “could” be 48’ anytime plus height of tide.
- IMPORTANT: It must be remembered that no matter what the “potential” Max draft may be established at, the REAL Max draft will be limited to what is available at the terminal berth.
- NOTE: There is a maximum draft of 50‘ at most container berths…no tanker berths. Thus, the REAL Max draft will be 49’ to allow vessels to maintain a minimum 1’ Under Keel Clearance (UKC) and stay afloat while alongside the berth
- Additionally, studies are being done to determine whether Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs) may require an UKC of MORE than 2’ due to hydraulics in the channel. As guidance, some ports already handling the ULCVs are requiring as much as 4’ UKC to accommodate “squat” effects.
This is a recurring topic at the HOPs meetings…I’ll keep all interested parties advised of the evolving status