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MARAD’s James River Reserve Fleet Enters Virginia Environmental Excellence Program. 

The Maritime Administration’s James River Reserve Fleet (JRRF) entered the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP) as an Exemplary Environmental Enterprise or E3.  To qualify as an E3 participant, organizations must fully implement an environmental management system and a pollution prevention program. VEEP encourages organizations to go beyond their legal requirements to achieve superior environmental performance. The JRRF has done so with the development of its environmental policy, which created a new environmental reporting and monitoring program, developed new standards of operations, and designed and installed a storm water management system at the fleet site.

MARAD-Sponsored Study Seeks to Improve U.S.-Flag Operator Competitiveness. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration recently awarded a research contract to PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC, of New York, to identify factors that significantly impact the ability of U.S.-flagged ship operators transporting goods to remain competitive.  Current maritime industry estimates appear to indicate that costs associated with operating these vessels under U.S. registry standards are approximately three times higher than those incurred by the international fleets.  The study will include an overview of existing conditions; comparison of the current state of U.S.- and foreign-registered fleets; the identification and evaluation of the factors and costs influencing registry preference from the perspective of U.S. owners of U.S.- and foreign-registered oceangoing vessels engaged in global maritime transportation; and the identification and recommendation of improvements to U.S. policies and regulations that may serve to increase ship-operator participation in the U.S.-flag fleet.

BTS Releases Report on Factors Involved in Fatal Vehicle Crashes.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released a technical report, Factors Involved in Fatal Vehicle Crashes, examining the numerous factors that contribute to the severity of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Analysis of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database shows single-vehicle crash fatalities are the most prevalent. The main factors are: for single-vehicle fatal crashes, whether traffic controls are working, and the first harmful event in a crash (e.g., rollover, traffic barrier, or ditch); for two-vehicle fatal crashes, traffic controls and the characteristics of the roadway (e.g., roadway alignment or surface type); and for multi-vehicle (three or more) crashes, road characteristics, vehicle speed, and road type (e.g., interstate or country road). The report can be found at http://www.bts.gov/publications/bts_technical_report/.

Friday, October 8, 2010