Tom Ewing’s Regulatory Update

COVID-19: The Center for Disease Control’s comment period closed Friday, 09/21, regarding ideas to safely restart the ocean/river cruising industry.  Of the 12,834 (mostly anonymous) comments received one of the most important, or at least high profile, has to be the recommendations presented in a report prepared by an expert panel convened by cruise industry leaders, including participation by CLIA, the industry’s trade association.  The panel consists of medical and policy experts in public health, infectious disease, biosecurity, epidemiology, hospitality, and maritime operations.  The report presents an arms-length review and set of recommendations, likely to draw close CDC scrutiny.  On the other hand, ditto for the concerns and perspectives from International Cruise Victims, Inc…. States and Ports have been active on this.  Consider data from Alaska: at its peak, tourism accounts for 52,000 jobs.  Wage income is $1.5 billion.  Cruise line operations and associated shoreside activities represent 60% of all summer visitors to Alaska.  

California Offshore Wind: NIMOWIHTLAI.  That stands for “not in my ocean where I have to look at it.”  Okay, I just made that up (you read it here first!).  But it reflects the sentiment in recent letters to the California Energy Commission’s offshore wind docket.  One particular letter, from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, gives pause.  The Department writes that at Limekiln State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur “unobstructed open ocean views will be significantly impacted.”  But who cares, right?  Pretty views ain’t worth a tinker’s damn when you have to power a gazillion electric vehicles in LA.  The Department’s 7-page letter raises numerous questions pertaining to mammals and shorebirds, maintenance, the seabed and “contingency planning,” e.g. how will advanced technology be used to prevent a tanker, or any vessel, from striking floating platforms?  Offshore wind… “they” make it sound so easy… 

Department of Energy: Last month DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the Office of Advanced Energy Systems (AES) published a request-for-information on “accelerated materials research, development, and demonstration” for development of components, systems, and products exhibiting significant improvements over current in-system energy performance under harsh service conditions and extended service lifetimes. Harsh environments include high temperature and corrosive environments, conditions of high mechanical wear/stress/load, thermal cycling, and exposure to hydrogen, irradiation, and other embrittlement mechanisms.  The comment period closed 09/21.  DOE notes significant agency investments in this field. The goal now: to obtain materials yielding a “step change improvement” in energy performance.  Sound interesting?  Want to know more?  Send a note or email.  For some reason DOE will not publish the information received.

Have a great week!
Tom Ewing “reply


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