Sea Technology

MAR 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com March 2018 | ST 27 Supreme Court Makes Decision On WOTUS Challenge Jurisdiction In January, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision concerning rule-making over the definition of "waters of the United States" ("WOTUS") under the Clean Water Act (CWA), or the WOTUS Rule. According to Van Ness Feldman, the WOTUS Rule, which redefined jurisdic- tional "waters of the United States" under the CWA, has far-reaching implications for project development across energy, water, agricultural, construction and transporta- tion sectors. Although the Supreme Court's decision merely re- solves a jurisdictional dispute between the federal courts of appeals and the federal district courts over which court has jurisdiction to hear challenges to the WOTUS Rule, the decision will result in the lifting of the existing stay of the WOTUS Rule, opening the door to disparate ap- proaches to jurisdictional determinations under the CWA across the country. The decision has significant implications for the fate of the WOTUS Rule and how federal agencies review permit applications that may affect jurisdictional waters under the WOTUS Rule. In particular, the numerous le- gal challenges to the WOTUS rule that were previously raised in district courts are likely to resume, but pending resolution of those challenges, implementation of the WOTUS Rule—which expands federal control over sev- eral types of water bodies—would be legally permissible. Five Recipients Get Ocean Awareness Awards The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation an- nounced more than $140,000 in Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Awards to protect endangered spe- cies, engage children in science and increase awareness about U.S. national marine sanctuaries. The foundation selected five recipients for this year's awards. Two projects—Space to Sea: A Photographic Journey into Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctu- ary and Robust Citizen Science Data for West Coast Na- tional Marine Sanctuaries—support the foundation's goal to inspire stewardship of natural and cultural resources through U.S. marine and Great Lakes sanctuaries. Three projects, funded with support from NOAA's Na- tional Marine Fisheries Service—School and Community Leatherback Sea Turtle Project, Killer Whale Tales: Kids Making a Difference Now, and Global Action Explorers: Empowering Students for Action on Ocean Acidifica- tion—bring awareness to endangered and protected ma- rine species, in partnership with NOAA's Species in the Spotlight initiative. BOEM Issues Guide for Offshore Wind Design Approach The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) now has draft guidelines for the use of a "de- sign envelope" approach in construction and operations plans for offshore wind energy facilities in the U.S. In order to take advantage of the rapid pace of technologi- cal development in the offshore wind industry, offshore wind developers have asked BOEM to adopt this prac- tice, which is standard in some European countries, for permitting offshore wind energy projects. This would af- ford developers a degree of flexibility and allow them to make certain project design decisions—such as which turbines to use—at a more commercially advantageous time later in the project development process. Last August, the Trump Administration announced Executive Order 13807 to streamline the review and permitting of infrastructure projects. The design enve- lope approach would allow BOEM to analyze the envi- ronmental impacts of the proposed project in a manner that could reduce or eliminate the need for subsequent environmental and technical reviews. The use of a design envelope is not mandatory. Design envelopes are an op- tional tool for prospective developers. Trump Acknowledges Need To Invest in US Ports In his first State of the Union address, U.S. President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass an infrastruc- ture bill that generates $1.5 trillion in infrastructure in- vestments and streamlines permitting for major capital projects from 10 to two years, or possibly less. In his focus on America's "crumbling infrastructure," the president placed a heavy emphasis on safe, reliable, modern transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways. He also talked about two other issues important to ports: international trade deals and investing in work- force development and training. Seaport cargo activity accounts for 26 percent of U.S. GDP and more than 23 million American jobs, and gen- erates more than $320 billion annually in federal, state and local tax revenues. The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has identified $66 billion in federal port-related infrastructure investments over the next 10 years. These federal investments are necessary to supple- ment the approximately $155 billion in capital improve- ments that U.S. port authorities and their private sector partners are planning between 2016 and 2020. Trump Announces Pick For USGS Director U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated Dr. James Reilly of Colorado to be director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Reilly currently serves U.S. and allied militaries as an expert on space opera- tions, and he is a technical advisor supporting the Na- tional Security Space Institute of the U.S. Air Force. Pre- viously, Reilly held management positions in academia, as well as at TAEUS Corp. and PhotoStencil Corp. in Col- orado Springs. He had a 13-year career at NASA. Prior to NASA, he was chief geologist at Enserch Exploration Inc., working projects around the world, including in Antarcti- ca and on the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico. ST capital report

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