Home | Contact ST  
Follow ST

Capital Report

2018:  MARCH

August 2017 Issue

HV-X Platform Helps
Hurricane Emergency Managers

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew became the first category five storm in the Atlantic Ocean in nearly a decade; 47 Americans died. Damages in excess of $10 billion made it the most expensive storm since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Hurricane Matthew was one of the first operational uses of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) HURREVAC-eXtended (HV-X) platform, which integrates forecast and planning data to provide emergency managers decision support tools for use in advance of and during tropical weather.

Development began in 2013. S&T has since identified the need for a comprehensive hurricane decision platform that encompassed all phases of planning and evacuations. Collaborating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency via the National Hurricane Program (NHP) Technology Modernization initiative, DHS S&T worked to streamline the HURREVAC storm tracking and decision platform. The result of this collaboration is HV-X.

The ultimate goal of modernizing the NHP is to provide emergency managers a platform such as HV-X that enables timely and accurate evacuation decision-making information.

DHS S&T also partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory to develop cascading interfaces that can be layered onto one another, allowing emergency managers to better see and use a variety of sources, such as forecasts, storm tracking and satellite and radar images, when making decisions. Data analytics are used to provide impact assessments based on the emergency managers’ local evacuation zones.

A beta version of HV-X was released in July 2016, with 10 updates since. A fully operational system is scheduled to go live to the operational community in May 2018. HV-X is designed for constant upgrading from third-party developers.

Trump Looks to Mark Buzby To Head Maritime Administration
U.S. President Donald Trump intends to nominate Mark H. Buzby of Virginia to be administrator of the Maritime Administration at the Department of Transportation. RAdm. Buzby is a retired Navy rear admiral whose career spanned 34 years. He has received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the Bronze Star.

Buzby is a 1975 graduate of Admiral Farragut Academy and a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He holds master’s degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and Salve Regina University. He is president and CEO of the National Defense Transportation Association and sits on the boards of several maritime industry-related corporations.

Chris Oliver to Lead US National Marine Fisheries Service
Chris Oliver will oversee the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), NOIA reported. Previously, Oliver led the Anchorage-based North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Originally from Texas, Oliver worked on Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery management issues before moving to Alaska.

The move comes at a critical time for NMFS, which is accepting comments for the so-called Incidental Harassment Authorization for Atlantic seismic surveys that would open up seismic surveys in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.

Trump Administration Moves
To Repeal Waters of the U.S. Rule

By starting the process of repealing the Waters of the U.S. Rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule, the Donald Trump Administration put the sources of drinking water for more than 117 million Americans at greater risk, along with the streams and wetlands that filter pollution and provide habitat for wildlife, according to the Potomac Riverkeeper Network. One in three Americans source at least some of their drinking water from streams and wetlands.

The Waters of the U.S. Rule helps to define which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under protection by the Clean Water Act. Repealing the rule means these areas could, for example, become open to pipeline crossings.

The rule restored federal protections to half the nation’s streams and thousands of wetlands across the country, according to Environment Virginia.

BOEM Completes Evaluation
Of Bids in Lease Sale 247

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) completed its required evaluation to ensure the public receives fair market value for tracts leased in Central Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 247, held in March.

After extensive geological, geophysical, engineering and economic analysis, BOEM awarded 153 tracts receiving bids and rejected 10 high bids. BOEM has determined that the value of those bids was insufficient to provide the public with fair market value for the tracts and will re-offer these tracts as part of the next lease sale, Sale 249 in August.

BOEM is setting the royalty rate at 12.5 percent for shallow-water leases (less than 200 m) in Gulf of Mexico Sale 249. This is lower than the proposed 18.75 percent royalty rate for shallow-water leases that was published in the proposed notice of sale and matches the federal onshore oil and gas lease royalty rate of 12.5 percent, NOIA reported.

BOEM says the royalty rate reduction reflects changing market conditions and should spur a more competitive lease sale. BOEM is analyzing a price-based royalty system.

DOE Funds $12 Million
In New MHK Projects

The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) announced up to $12 million in new projects to support the development of innovative technologies capable of generating reliable and cost-effective electricity from U.S. water resources. The four projects will advance marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy technologies.

Two projects will test and validate wave energy converter prototypes in open water to demonstrate wave energy’s potential to compete with other forms of energy in the longer term.

Two other projects will address important early-stage MHK technology development challenges.

2018:  MARCH

-back to top-