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Credit: CWind cial wind energy in the Atlantic outer continental shelf.

At Long Last, Subchapter M Arrives

July 20, 2018 was a critical date for towboat operators; Curiously, offshore wind, a long awaited source of renew- the deadline for some U.S.-? ag towing vessels to comply able energy, has as many detractors as its fossil fuel cousins.

Maritime groups are closely watching these developments; with Subchapter M, the U.S. Coast Guard’s towing ves- sel safety regulations. Central to subM is the Coast Guard in particular, the American Waterways Operators. At a issued Certi? cate of Inspection (COI), which ultimately time when offshore wind ? nally seems ready to ? ourish on permits the vessel to legally operate. There are two paths this side of the pond, decades after proven feasible offshore to certi? cation. One is to arrange for USCG inspectors to Europe, it is clear that the regulatory process will be no inspect and approve a vessel’s towing safety management less onerous than that which has historically dogged the oil system. The second is to work with an approved third industry. It might prove to be harder.

party organization which independently documents that a vessel meets subM’s requirements and recommend that

Workboats See ‘Biggest Bang for VW Settlement Bucks’ the USCG issue a COI. The American Waterways Opera- The $2.9 billion settlement fund Volkswagen agreed tors estimates that Sub M adds about 5,600 vessels are im- to capitalize for distribution across 50 states, tribal lands, pacted by SubM. By July 19, 2022, all must be inspected. and Puerto Rico, as a result of “dieselgate,” this year pres-

How are we doing? According to the U.S. Coast Guard, ents an unparalleled opportunity to maritime companies just 186 vessels, or a paltry 3% of the subM ? eet now have that want to move their diesel engines up a couple of EPA

COI’s (as of November 6). notches, and stick someone else with the bill. Under the rules of the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund, tug, tow and ferry owners with qualifying NOx emissions reduc-

The Advent of Offshore Wind

Amidst an atmosphere of resurgence in the domestic tion projects can get the job done at a signi? cantly re- offshore oil energy, stakeholders are reminded that there duced cost, the extent to which will depend in part on is more than one kind of offshore energy. Now underway the engine upgrade option they choose. That’s why many on Lake Erie, it has already happened off New England. workboat operators are already stepping up to get green –

And, last April, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau both kinds of green. The pros far outweigh the cons. All of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a ‘Call that said; the sooner people apply the better, once these for Information and Nominations,’ a formal process for funds are gone – they are gone. And, that’s as big a story as we’ve seen this year.

BOEM to gather information about interest in commer-

December 2018

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Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.