Thursday, December 11, 2008

HOLLYHOCK in Port to Replace Buoys; Wisconsin Dispute with Federal Goverment Could Mean Good News for Erie Shipbuilding

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter HOLLYHOCK arrived in Erie this morning at 0630 and docked at Coast Guard Station Erie to load the winter markers that have been stored on the pier since last spring. After loading them, the HOLLYHOCK proceeded into Presque Isle Bay at 0800 and spent the morning replacing the summer buoys in Erie harbor with the unlit winter markers before moving through the piers to the outer channel this afternoon.

The buoys will be left on the North Pier at Coast Guard Station Erie and will be returned to the water in early May next year.

A dispute over a ballast-water permit between the state of Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources and the federal Environmental Protection Agency could be good news for Erie Shipbuilding. New rules from the EPA requiring a permit for ballast water discharge have not been certified by the state of Wisconsin. This mans that starting December 19 any vessel entering a Wisconsin port and discharging ballast water will be in violation of the federal Clean Water act.

If that happens, two major ship repair companies, Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay and Fraser Shipyard in Superior, will not be allowed to receive any vessels for repairs. This could be good news for Erie Shipbuilding, as vessels seeking repairs would be forced to look to other shipyards for repair work.

HOLLYHOCK replacing Buoy 9 in Erie Harbor this morning.

Lifting the buoy.

Dropping it over the side.

With the buoy set, HOLLYHOCK moves to buoy 11.

Approaching the buoy.

HOLLYHOCK lifts Buoy 11 out of the water.

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