|The Marine Exchange of Alaska is a non-profit, |
maritime organization established to serve
the Alaska Maritime Community by providing
information, communications and services to ensure
safe, secure, efficient and environmentally
responsible maritime operations.
Well folks, we're in the home stretch. Here are few last minute TWIC-related tidbits which have come up recently:
Remote Enrollment Centers
We continue to work with Lockheed Martin on the possibility of creating permanent (although likely part-time) enrollment centers in various remote communities throughout Alaska. This model would likely require the local city (Police Dept, Harbormaster, etc) to volunteer to run part-time enrollments for the entire community, and we're hoping that Lockheed Martin will provide the equipment & training necessary to do this. This makes good sense in communities such as Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and possibly others, due to the number of transportation workers in these areas and the cost of traveling to a fixed center. I'll keep everyone posted.
TWIC Personal ID Numbers (PINs)
Most of you have probably heard by now that there's an issue with any cards which were activated prior to Oct 21, 2008 regarding the capability of resetting PINs. In order to reset a forgotten PIN for these cards, it will require the transportation worker to request a new card and have it reactivated at a fixed or mobile enrollment center.
If you fall into this category, and have forgotten your PIN, don't panic just yet. Keep in mind these cards are only to be used as "flash passes" until the regulations requiring card readers hit the street. It's likely these card readers will rely primarily on comparing the cardholder's fingerprint to the print stored on the card for validation. I suspect the PIN will be used as a backup method in the event the reader cannot match fingerprints - but this will be addressed in the future regulations.
In the meantime, if you activated your card before Oct 21st and don't remember your PIN, and you live/work in the vicinity of a fixed center - or if you are planning to travel through a city with a fixed center - you can call the TWIC Helpdesk (866-DHS-TWIC) and request a new card (free of charge). When the card arrives at the center you will need to go through the same activation process as with the original card and choose a new PIN.
Anyone who has forgotten their PIN and activated their card AFTER Oct 21st simply needs to visit any fixed center to change the PIN on their existing card.
Compliance Deadline Extension "Rumor Control"
There has been a rumor circulating recently regarding the extension of the February 12th TWIC compliance date in Alaska. This isn't true, but a recent Policy Advisory Council memo does
allow for "limited equivalent measures" until March 12, 2009. This decision is due to the network outage experienced in October and other technical issues. In nutshell, this policy allows a worker to have unescorted access to a secure area if they can prove they have enrolled in TWIC, and their card is ready to be picked-up and activated - but they haven't done so.
Read the memo
for additional information and details.
Transferring Cards Between Fixed Centers
Until recently, a transportation worker was required to activate their TWIC at the same center they enrolled in. This has been very inconvenient/costly for many enrollees due to off-season travel, vessel routes, etc.
It is now possible for someone who has enrolled at one center to activate their card at a different center. Any enrollee requiring this option should call the TWIC Helpdesk (866-DHS-TWIC), tell them where you enrolled and where you would like to activate. Click here
for a list of nationwide enrollment centers.
Who DOESN'T need a TWIC?
Ok, last tidbit: Just last week while conducting training for my friends at the Port of Adak a question was asked about which federal personnel DO NOT need a TWIC to enjoy unescorted access to a secure area. The official answer was recently released in the form of a "TWIC Informational Bulletin."
I encourage all FSOs to click the link above and become familiar with this list.
|Nome & Kodiak TWIC |
As I've reported in previous newsletters, the Marine Exchange has been working with Lockheed Martin over the past year to become designated "Trusted Agents" for performing TWIC enrollments & activations. Our hope has been that we can perform these services in conjunction with our normal travels to remote communities while performing security audits, training, etc.
I'm happy to report that Lockheed Martin has allowed us to borrow the equipment necessary to perform last-minute enrollments and activations in Nome and Kodiak in the next 2 months. Here's the current schedule:
Nome: March 2-3 (enrollments & activations)
April 28-29 (activations only)
Kodiak: March 6-7 (enrollments & activations)
In order to properly plan this trip, and to maximize the limited amount of time we'll have in each community, I'm asking for each company/organization to provide the following information as soon as possible:
1) A list of employees/members who have enrolled in Anchorage (or during a previous mobile visit) and still need their cards activated. I'll also need dates of birth for each employee to help locate their cards.
2) A list of employees who have not enrolled, and still need to.
If you are an individual not working for a company in these locations, please send me an email
Once I receive these lists I will contact everyone and attempt to generate a rough "appointment schedule" to make this as efficient as possible.
|Beware of obsolete EPIRBs |
All Mariners should be aware that effective YESTERDAY (1 February 2009) the COSPAS-SARSAT System has ceased satellite processing of 121.5 / 243 MHz beacons. Vessels that carry EPIRBS should have already switched to the 406 MHz models. More information is provided in the announcement from the COSPAS-SARSAT system here
|National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits |
Effective December 19, 2008, the U.S. EPA has issued a Vessel General Permit for incidental discharges from vessels.
The 2008 Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulates discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels operating in a capacity as a means of transportation. The VGP includes general effluent limits applicable to all discharges; general effluent limits applicable to 26 specific discharge streams; narrative water-quality based effluent limits; inspection, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements; and additional requirements applicable to certain vessel types.
Recreational vessels as defined in section 502(25) of the Clean Water Act are not subject to this permit. In addition, with the exception of ballast water discharges, non-recreational vessels less than 79 feet (24.08 meters) in length, and all commercial fishing vessels, regardless of length, are not subject to this permit. Click here
for background information from the EPA. This includes a copy of the Vessel General Permit and and several fact sheets.
|USCG Hosts Industry Day in Kodiak |
On January 29th the Coast Guard hosted an "Industry Day" in Kodiak. This conference was intended to be an open forum giving the local maritime industry the opportunity to meet with Western Alaska's Captain of the Port (Capt. Mark Hamilton), as well as other personnel from Sector Anchorage and Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak.
The conference was primarily focused on the challenges of finding common-sense solutions to Kodiak's compliance with the CG's maritime security regulations, including TWIC.
The Marine Exchange participated in this event, found it to be very productive, and applauds Sector Anchorage for taking measures to reinforce the CG's partnership with the maritime industry.
Marine Exchange of Alaska