Sea Technology

SEP 2017

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www.sea-technology.com September 2017 / st 39 BOEM Approves Eni US Beaufort Exploration Plan The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conditionally approved a Beaufort Sea exploration plan (EP) it received from Eni US Operating Co. Inc. Eni intends to drill four exploration wells into the federal submerged lands of the Beaufort Sea from its Spy Island Drillsite, a pre- existing facility located in Alaska state waters. Drilling will be conducted during the winter months only. The drilling is scheduled to begin December 2017. OSU Gets NSF Grant To Fund US Research Fleet Oregon State University (OSU) has just received a grant of $121.88 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to spearhead the construction of a new class of re- search vessels for the U.S. Academic Research Fleet. It is the largest grant in the university's history. This grant will fund the construction of the first of three planned vessels approved by Congress for research in coastal regions of the continental U.S. and Alaska. The first vessel is slated to be operated by OSU for re- search missions focusing on the U.S. West Coast. The NSF will begin the competitive selection of operating institutions for the second and third vessels later this year, likely to uni- versities or consortia for operations on the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA Coast Survey Director Elected Chair of New IHO Council RAdm. Shepard M. Smith, director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey and the U.S. national representative to the In- ternational Hydrographic Organization (IHO), was elected as the chair of the newly established IHO Council, which comprises 30 leading hydrographic nations from the mem- bership of the IHO and oversees performance management and the business side of the IHO. One of the first tasks of the council is a comprehensive review of the organization's strategic plan—its first thorough review since 2009. If warranted, the council will prepare a new strategic plan for the IHO. The council will bring more regular, executive-level fo- cus to the needs of the changing global hydrographic envi- ronment. The global hydrographic community is addressing a rapid emergence of new technologies and techniques to collect and use hydrographic data and the application of the data to uses beyond "just charting." Satellites, autonomous vehicles, recreational and other maritime stakeholders all promise to play increasing roles in making navigation safer. First BOEM Offshore Wind Approval For Bay State Wind in Massachusetts The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued its first approval of an offshore wind site assess- ment plan to Bay State Wind, a utility-scale offshore wind project in Massachusetts located 15 nautical miles south of Martha's Vineyard in the Atlantic Ocean. Bay State Wind is a joint venture between DONG Energy and Eversource. Mas- sachusetts formally adopted a comprehensive energy bill that includes a mandate that state utilities purchase 1,600 MW of offshore wind power. In June, Massachusetts utili- ties took their first step toward fulfilling the mandate with a request for proposals to build the state's first project. Bay State Wind will submit a proposal for the Massachu- setts contracts, which will be awarded in 2018. Coast Guard, FEMA Authorizations Included In House Homeland Security Bill The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Depart- ment of Homeland Security Authorization Act (H.R. 2825), a bill that includes Transportation and Infrastructure Com- mittee legislation for the Coast Guard and the Federal Emer- gency Management Agency (FEMA). The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee previ- ously approved H.R. 2518, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, and H.R. 2548, the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017 in May. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 reauthorizes, strengthens and supports the U.S. Coast Guard in its critical missions to save lives, safeguard U.S. shores, protect living marine resources and help ensure a 21st century maritime transportation system for the U.S. The FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2017 addresses the rising costs of disasters in the U.S., reduces the toll of fu- ture losses and reauthorizes FEMA for the first time in the agency's history. Atlantic Coast Pipeline Gets Green Light The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) paved the way for the 600-mi., 42-in. fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline to proceed when it issued the final environmental impact statement (EIS). A joint project of utility giants Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would move fracked gas from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina. The Sierra Club recently requested that FERC issue a new environmental review document analyzing information that came in after, or late in, the public comment process. Obstacles remain for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, as it still must secure water quality permits in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, where the project is widely opposed. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management must consider impacts to species, habitats and landscapes on public lands crossed by the pipeline. G&G Activities in the Gulf Determined To Have Minimal Environmental Impact The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Geological and Geophysical (G&G) final pro- grammatic environmental impact statement (PEIS), which shows that, subject to adequate mitigation measures, a de- cision from BOEM to continue authorizing G&G activities in the GOM would not result in major impacts to the envi- ronment. The area evaluated includes GOM OCS waters off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. BOEM also analyzed potential effects in these states' waters because OCS G&G activities can impact resources in state waters since sound can travel from the OCS to state waters. ST capital report

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