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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Groups Sue UP, BNSF Over Calif. Railyard Emissions

Three environmental groups, led by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), have sued the two major Southern California freight railroads over diesel pollution generated by rail operations at 17 railyards throughout California.

The suit is asking the court to force the railroads to "remediate" and "abate" the health effects of the railyard pollution by requiring the implementation of billions of dollars of new equipment and infrastructure.

The suit, which relies on a novel legal argument, seeks to have the court set a legal precedent by declaring the railyards as generators of hazardous waste. Such a precedent could open the door for similar lawsuits against any commercial operation that utilizes diesel machinery.

The NRDC, along with co-plaintiffs the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice and the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, filed the suit in the California Central District court on Tuesday.

Citing the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the NRDC's untested legal argument claims that railroads Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe are illegally disposing of hazardous waste – in the form of settled airborne diesel pollution – in communities near the railyards.

In the suit, the NRDC claims that diesel particulate matter is a hazardous material that falls under the auspices of regulation by the RCRA.

The federal RCRA gives the United States Environmental Protection Agency the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.

Diesel particulate matter, commonly seen as soot from truck smokestacks, is in reality fine particles of carbon created in the combustion process within the locomotive and yard equipment diesel engines. While these particles, some ten times smaller in diameter than a human hair, are mostly inert carbon, they also contain minute traces of numerous other chemicals and heavy metals that bind to the carbon particles.

Specifically, the suit identifies the trace chemicals and metals in the diesel particulates as the “hazardous waste” being disposed of by the railroads.

While the trace chemical components of the settled particles of diesel pollution are covered under the RCRA, the language of the RCRA does not specifically cite settled diesel pollution as a covered hazardous material.

The NRDC is requesting relief from the court in three ways: a declaration that UP and BNSF are indeed disposing of hazardous waste in the manner described by the NRDC; require the railroads to investigate the "amount, fate and transport" of diesel particulate matter from the railyards; and, require the railroads to "remediate" and "abate" the railyard diesel particulate matter emissions.

In their filing, the NRDC lists numerous remediation actions that it is asking the court to impose.

These include forcing the railroads to purchase newer cleaner-burning locomotives, invest in "electrification of major rail lines," purchase cleaner-burning yard equipment, install plug-in electrification at the railyards for all reefer units and reconfigure railyards to achieve maximum distance from operations and nearby communities.

The suit also seeks to limit locomotive idling to 15 minutes, create locomotive no-idle zones near residential areas, and monitor their operations to assure air quality.

A statement from BNSF called the suit unreasonable and pointed out that the railroad has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in reducing emissions.

The railroads have pointed out in the past that their locomotives and yard equipment all meet or surpass current air quality regulations.

In 2008, the NRDC threatened to take similar legal action against the Southern California Port of Long Beach. In a threat issued to the port, the NRDC claimed the Long Beach port was violating federal law by disposing of toxic waste in the form of diesel truck exhaust. Calling the port an “imminent and substantial endangerment to public health,” the group also charged the port with ongoing failures to remedy the emissions.

The NRDC gave the port 90 days to take immediate action or it threatened to ask a federal court to appoint a “port czar” to force the port address the diesel pollution immediately. The NRDC also threatened to ask a federal court to halt all port development, cap port throughput to existing levels, and order the port to cap emissions to current levels.

Following the 90-day period, the NRDC backed off the threat, saying that it had "worked out their issues with Long Beach."

VIGOR Names Quigley as Top Exec of US Fab Division

Everett Shipyard president Kevin Quigley has been named president of VIGOR Industrial’s US Fab division.

Quigley will oversee all of VIGOR’s new ship construction including ferries, advanced Coast Guard cutters, barges, fishing and cargo vessels. As US Fab president, he also will direct the company’s growing land-based and alternative energy fabrication projects.

As the fabrication division of VIGOR Industrial, US Fab builds marine and non-maritime projects in its indoor and outdoor facilities in Seattle and Portland, Ore., with additional resources in other VIGOR yards across the Pacific Northwest.

The privately owned VIGOR owns and operates major shipbuilding, repair and metal fabrication facilities in Seattle, Tacoma, Bremerton, Everett and Port Angeles, Washington, as well as the 60-acre Swan Island shipyard center in Portland, Oregon.
"The people who’ve built this company have been building ships for nearly a hundred years," Quigley said. "I’m looking forward to building on those past achievements with them and to building a great future together."

Prior to assuming his new leadership role at US Fab, Quigley was president and chief of day-to-day operations at Everett Shipyard, a VIGOR unit since February 2011. He previously served as co-president of Gear.com and head of global business development for Teledesic, a satellite joint venture of Bill Gates and Craig McCaw.

Long Beach Sees Declines in September Cargo Numbers

Cargo numbers at the Port of Long Beach took a tumble in September, with import, export and total volumes all down compared to the same month last year.

Taken in conjunction with similar September reports at other West Coast ports, the Long Beach volumes strengthen the idea that the holiday shipping season may have peaked as early as July this year. September marks the weakest month of the year since March for Long Beach, the second busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere.

A recent PMM Online analysis of the past 15 years of traffic at the Long Beach port showed that August was the traditional peak month, with a slight dip in September and a jump back up to just below the peak in October before ramping down through February of the next year. The port's busiest month so far has been July.

The port handled a total of 527,175 TEUs in September, an 8.3 percent decline over the year-ago period.

On the import side, the port handled a total of 263,214 loaded inbound TEUs, a 8.9 percent drop when compared to September 2010.

The export side of the ledger also posted a 4.7 percent drop, with a total of 118,214 loaded outbound TEUs moved during the month.

For the calendar year, the port remains 0.8 percent above the first nine months of 2010, with a total of 4,603,601 TEUs moved since Jan. 1 of this year.

As previously reported, the neighboring Port of Los Angeles managed to do slightly better in September with a 0.8 percent decline in total volume over the year-ago period, a 0.2 percent drop in imports but a massive 26.6 percent increase in exports.

Tacoma Port Leads West Coast in Box Growth for September

The Port of Tacoma did what no other West Coast port could manage to accomplish in September – it increased its total cargo volumes over the same month last year.

The Puget Sound port turned in a 2.7 percent gain in total container volumes in September, staying in positive growth territory while ports in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle were all down for the month.

Like the other major West Coast ports during September, Tacoma reported a drop in imports paired with sizable growth in exports.

Tacoma port officials reported handling a total of 143,563 TEUs in September, a 2.7 percent gain over the year-ago period.

On the import side, the port handled a total of 49,578 loaded inbound TEUs in September, a 0.3 percent drop from September 2010.

Export through the port grew a sizable 20.3 percent in September, with a total of 37,993 loaded outbound TEUs moved.

The port is down 2 percent for the calendar year-to-date, with a total of 349,372 TEUs handled since Jan. 1.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lifting the Veil on eNavigation – Obstacles that are slowing its implementation reveal what eNav will do

By Fred Pot
fred.pot@enavigation.org

October 2011

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), defining the goals of eNavigation in rather lofty and general terms, determined that eNavigation should:
• Facilitate communications including data exchange among ships and shore-based entities
• Integrate and present information on board and ashore to manage the workload of the users while also motivating and engaging the user and supporting decision making

A multinational group of experts (“the Correspondence Group” or CG) was formed under the auspices of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and Safety of Navigation Subcommittee (NAV). The CG was tasked to assess what obstacles stand in the way of achieving the eNavigation goals. You can’t really identify such obstacles unless you have a fairly good idea of the information exchanges that eNavigation will encompass. So the CG first identified these information exchanges and then looked for ways to streamline their processes and procedures.

Business process streamlining has been practiced by just about every company and government agency because it typically pays huge dividends. In many cases companies had to change the way they do things just to survive. Dreaming up a better way to do things is easy. Turning these “ideal world” dreams into tools that work reliably in the messy real world, and getting people to use the new tools the way they were intended to be used, is not.

In the CG’s report to the NAV committee it presented a 47 page spreadsheet of the obstacles it identified that prevent streamlining of processes and procedures along with suggestions on how to bridge these “gaps” as they call them.

The detailed description of these gaps reveal a great deal about the specific processes and procedures the CG wants to streamline.

eNavigation Information Services Menu
Fundamental to identifying the Gaps was identifying the information requirements of both mariners and shore-side users. The CG categorized information needs by the geographic areas of ship operations and the environment that existed within those areas. Five “Service Areas” were identified and the extensive menu of information needed within each termed a “Maritime Service Portfolio” (MPS):
• Harbor operations
• Operations in coastal and confined or restricted waters
• Trans ocean voyages
• Offshore operations
• Operations in Arctic, Antarctic and remote areas

How Will eNavigation Change ECDIS?
As e-navigation is implemented, ECDIS is expected to evolve in many ways, with its final shape still a matter for supposition and conjecture. Many of the new eNavigation information services for mariners will be made available through new features, intended to present the information in a meaningful, task-oriented way designed to assist the mariner in making operational decisions. Some examples of the proposed new features are:

Automatic Chart Updates – To use the voyage plan to automatically update the relevant ENC’s and electronic versions of publications (pilots, pilotage charts, tide tables, light list, etc.) in real-time. The gaps that the CG identified include the lack of timely delivery of ENCs and updates via the internet, the unnecessary complexity introduced by encryption of electronic charts and the lack of standards for transmission and display of non-ENC publications. While commercial solutions to overcome the ENC update problems are available, they are not available to all mariners. Also, electronic versions of publications are scarce.

Maneuvering Support – To support the mariner in making maneuvering (and mooring) decisions by presenting real-time own-ship status information, environmental information (winds, currents) and a highly accurate own ship position and heading relative to the dock. This might even include a prediction of what the ship’s position and heading will be in a couple of minutes. To receive this information it may well be necessary for the ship to exchange information with dock-side equipment, however, and this is another gap: standards for such information exchange are lacking.

PPU Information Exchange – The CG identified as a gap that digital communication with the pilot could be improved. The AIS “Pilot Plug” was the first attempt to exchange digital information with pilots. It allowed a pilot to receive and display AIS information and own-ship information on the carry-aboard laptop (PPU) but not all ships provided pilot plugs and those that did often positioned the plug in the wrong place on the bridge or had a plug that didn’t work at all. It appears that the CG proposes to fix these problems and to broaden the information exchange to more tightly couple the ship’s navigation system and the PPU. That could, for instance, include sharing VTS instructions, real-time environmental observations, waypoints, routes and maneuvering information.


Automatic Safety Information – The CG identified a gap that relates to Maritime Safety Information (MSI). Actually, it is more of a gaping hole than just a gap. Upon receiving real-time MSIs and other navigational warnings or broadcasts that are relevant for the vessel’s navigation, there is no interfacing technique that allows this information to be visible in real-time to the mariner. To fix this, the CG proposes:
• That shore authorities transmit critical safety information almost in real time and implement appropriate systems to enable them do so
• To present appropriate MSIs on a navigational display using standard symbols and text
• To automatically identify relevant MSIs during route planning and voyage planning
• That MSI’s have a parameter for urgency and that the ECDIS system provides the alarms


Real-Time Observations – The CG identified as a gap that currents, water levels and weather information are not automatically received. The CG appears to feel that, if such real-time observations were automatically received and presented (on-demand), the mariner could and would use them to make operational decisions. For example, transmission of real-time, tide-corrected bathymetry would allow the mariner to use ECDIS to automatically draw safety contours on the screen by taking into account the ship’s draft and the minimum under keel clearance.


Weather Routing – The CG focused on gaps in delivery and presentation of real-time observations but, surprisingly, did not focus on weather routing. Many ECDIS systems are not able to simulate alternative trans-ocean voyage tracks to estimate their time of arrival and fuel consumption while taking into account own-ship loading characteristics, short-term gridded binary (GRIB) weather forecasts, seasonally adjusted climatological information and pilotage charts. If it were made available, weather routing would assist the mariner with selecting a safe track while minimizing fuel consumption.


Traffic Organization Service – The CG identified as a gap that there are no standard data formats for on board capture and presentation that covers the entire scope of information provided by a VTS. The latter includes things like the VTS traffic flow plan and the time slot allocations to individual ships.

VTS authorities in some cases may not only prescribe traffic separation schemes and arrival and departure sequences, but actually prescribe the track to be followed, the time to start on the track and the arrival time at waypoints (“Gates”) along the prescribed track. This is likely the case not only for busy harbor approaches but also in waterways such as the Bosporus, the Malacca Straits, the English Channel and Gibraltar. ECDIS could be set up to automatically receive and display the prescribed track along with the speed to maintain to arrive at the check-in gates at the prescribed time. Doing so will greatly reduce voice VHF transmissions and thereby ambiguity caused by language comprehension obstacles.

The CG identified as a gap that current VTS hardware and software may not have the capacity for real time display of vessels’ track to provide a (NAS or) TOS service. eNavigation will change not only ECDIS but also shore-based VTS Systems. It will require, for instance, upgrades to enable these systems to automatically receive and accept Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmissions. Upgrades will also be required to allow transmission of traffic flow plans, their associated tracks and time slot allocations to individual ships.


Navigation Assistance Service – This service is normally rendered at the request of a vessel or by the VTS when deemed necessary. NAS is especially important in difficult navigational or meteorological circumstances or in case of defects or deficiencies such as lack of ENC coverage. When requested, the VTS operator assists the bridge team with determining the vessel’s position and provides advice to support on board navigational decision-making.

The CG notes that the VTS operator should have confidence that the information is correctly exchanged with the ship and that the system enables the operator to effectively communicate with the bridge team. To be effective, NAS requires close coupling of the on board navigation system with the VTS system. AIS provides some of the required telemetry, but standards are lacking for the exchange of other information, such as digital transmission and acknowledgement of information, warnings, advice and instructions that the VTS Operator provides.


Remote Inspection – Several of the gaps the CG identified refer to remote monitoring of the quality of on-board navigation systems by shore-based authorities. The CG seems to propose to enable shore-based authorities to remotely determine things like:
• The make and model of the ECDIS and radar systems that are being used, and whether they are running the latest version of the system software. This tells them, for instance, whether the on board ECDIS can automatically receive and display MSIs.
• The make and model of the GPS and eLoran receivers that are being used and whether they are running the latest version of their system software along with their position accuracy.
• The version of the ENC being used for the coastal area and for the harbor approach and whether the on-board ECDIS system can automatically receive and install a new version.

This type of fully automated remote inspection is likely to be more effective than the current practice of only relying on one-time type certification of navigation equipment that freezes its further development.

Remote Update of AIS Voyage Details – The CG identified as a gap the “lack of a single-window and/or automated and single entry for any required reporting information into the system for it to be shared by authorized authorities without further intervention by the ship during navigation”. From the proposed solution it becomes clear that the CG is referring primarily to AIS voyage details. The CG appears to favor enabling shore-based authorities to remotely update a ship’s AIS voyage details if they are out of date, which still occurs quite frequently. The CG also proposes that ship operators use satellite-based systems to monitor its ships’ AIS transmissions (AIS-S) and alert the bridge team if the voyage details are out of date.


Standardized and Automated Reporting
How will eNavigation change the mariner’s administrative processes and procedures?

The CG identified a host of gaps that involve processes and procedures that are not associated with the safe navigation of the ship, but take up a lot of the mariner’s time. For example, the CG identified insufficient means for ship reporting, and proposes to “remove the need for human interface and communication of manually operated systems by replacing them with automated systems (based on shipboard AIS) that will seamlessly populate VTS and Marine Domain Awareness (MDA) systems, anywhere in the world”. An ambitious goal, this requires for instance that the European SafeSeaNet, the Baltic nations’ HELCOM, the US Electronic Notice Of Arrival/Departure (eNOA/D) and all similar national and port systems in the world will automatically receive and accept a single set of electronic reports about the vessel, the voyage, the cargo, the crew and the passengers.

The above list of proposed services was not provided by the CG. The author merely inferred them from the CG’s gap analysis. The list of proposed services is, also, not intended to be comprehensive. The CG identified many more gaps that are associated with Search And Rescue (SAR) and with Ice Navigation along with a host of others but the services described above represent the major ones that mariners would be able to use in the normal course of operations. Everyone that will be affected by eNavigation should read the report of the CG to the NAV committee. It may be found at http://e-nav.no/media.php?file=96

It is not too late to influence the design of eNavigation services that will be offered. The eNavigation Conference in Seattle (November 29-30, 2011) provides an excellent opportunity to provide feedback to not only the Chairman of the CG (Mr. John Erik Hagen, Norwegian Coastal Administration) but also to the USCG and US Federal Department of Transportation officials that in turn are in a position to influence implementation of the CG proposals at the IMO, IALA and ITU level.

Fred W. Pot is Principal of Marine Management Consulting and can be reached at fred.pot@enavigation.org. He acts as Co-Chair for the 2011 eNavigation Conference along with Capt. Robert G. Moore, who contributed to this article.

LA Port Volumes Down Slightly In September

Total cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles were off slightly in September compared to the same month last year, despite a more than 25 percent jump in export boxes.
The port handled a total of 705,624 TEUs in September, a 0.8 percent decline over September 2010.

A slight 0.2 percent decline in import volumes was reported in September, with the port handling a total of 372,655 loaded inbound TEUs during the month.

The one major bright spot for the port in September was export volumes. Port staff report handling 176,954 loaded outbound TEUs for the month, a 26.6 percent jump over the same month last year.

However, the entire 37,154 TEU gain from exports to the port's total box volumes for the month were offset by a significant 42,549 TEU decline in empty boxes handled.
For the calendar year, the port has moved a total of 5,884,347 TEUs since Jan. 1, a 0.25 percent increase over the first nine months of last year.

The release of September numbers for the neighboring Port of Long Beach have been delayed and are expected to be released later this week.

Oakland Port Volumes Drop Off In September

Total container volumes at the Port of Oakland, California's third busiest container port, dropped off moderately in September from the previous month, giving some indication that August may have been the high water month for the port this year. The overall trend indicating that the peak of the 2011 season came early this year is being mirrored by other ports along the West Coast. While historical trends indicate that October often experiences a sizable gain over September, most indications are that the shipping season along the West Coast has already shifted into the typical post-holiday ramping-down period that extends through February of the following year.

The port handled a total of 200,236 TEUs in September, a 6.6 percent decline over September 2010 and a 7.5 percent drop off from total volumes experienced in August. This makes September the third busiest month of the year at the port, behind August and June.

On the import side, the port handled a total of 70,257 loaded inbound TEUs in September, a 5.1 percent decline over the year-ago period.

On the export side of the ledger, the port handled a total of 80,249 loaded outbound TEUs, a 0.7 percent increase over September last year.

For the calendar year-to-date, the port remains in positive territory, still up 1.3 percent over the first nine months of 2010 with a total of 1,754,973 TEUs moved.

Seattle Port Sees Double Digit Volume Drop In September

Following suit with the other major ports along the United States West Coast, the Port of Seattle experienced a sizable decline in total container volumes in September. As with other ports such as Los Angeles and Oakland, Seattle saw a drop off in imports for the month while simultaneously reporting a marked increase in exports.

The port handled a total of 159,536 TEUs in September, an 11.1 percent decline over the same month last year. The total volumes for the month were also a significant 12.7 percent drop off from August, marking September as the worst month at the port in six months and the second worst month of the year.

As with other West Coast ports, the September numbers indicate that short of a major boost in volumes in October, the peak of the holiday shipping season at the port was in August.

On the import side, the port handled a total of 60,809 loaded inbound TEUs, a 22.6 percent decline over the year-ago period.

Exports volumes in September, on the other hand, were up 17.7 percent over the same month last year, with a total of 52,217 loaded outbound TEUs moved.

However, the drop in imports, and a significant 35.1 percent decline in empties for the month, more than offset the export gains to drag down the total box numbers for the month.

For the calendar year, the port is off 5.9 percent from last year, with a total of 1,522,907 TEUs moved since Jan. 1.

Study ID's Needed Tacoma Tideflats-Area Transportation Projects

Washington state and Tacoma-area local transportation departments have released a new study identifying nearly $680 million in needed future transportation projects to assure the growth of freight-related traffic to and from the Tacoma Tideflats area.

The year-long $515,000 study – funded by the port, the state, local city agencies and members of industry – analyzed existing transportation conditions and identified roads to be examined for potential improvement to keep freight moving. The goal of the study, according to the port, was to develop a plan to enhance the economic benefits of the Tacoma Tideflats-area, improve roadway traffic circulation and reduce congestion by 2030.

The result, released Friday, is the Tideflats Area Transportation Study (TATS), identified by the port as "a new tool to prioritize and seek funding for road and rail improvements in the Tacoma Tideflats area."

The TATS, which analyzed the Port of Tacoma, downtown Tacoma, the City of Fife, as well as portions of unincorporated Pierce County and the Puyallup Indian Reservation, came to two primary conclusions, according to the port.

First, the tideflats traffic system will not improve transportation operations without the completion of State Route 167. Second, the tideflats traffic system will collapse by 2030, even with the completion of State Route 167, without an additional $290 to $335 million in transportation infrastructure projects identified in the study.

The infrastructure projects identified by the study include $140 million to $150 million in tideflats-area access projects, $5 million to $10 million in port access projects, $110 million to $130 million in industrial access projects, and $35 million to $45 million in local access projects.

The identified projects, which do not include State Route 167, are smaller projects that could ease localized pinch points in the near-term and enhance the overall system after SR 167 is finally complete. Altogether, the study’s recommended projects, added to the unfunded portion of supporting projects expected to be built by 2030, total between $579 million and $679 million, again, not including the completion of SR 167.

The full report can be viewed at www.portoftacoma.com/tats.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Initiative Election Results Expected Oct. 17

Election officials in Southwest Alaska’s Lake and Peninsula Borough plan to release results Oct. 17 on an Oct. 4 election initiative that could bar permitting for large mines that would have a significant adverse impact on salmon streams.

The Save Our Salmon initiative’s aim is to halt development of the Pebble copper, gold and molybdenum mine at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed, home of the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery.

Mine proponents maintain that available technology would allow the mine to operate without disrupting the fisheries, which are critical to the region’s commercial, sport and subsistence fishing economies.

Mine opponents, including biologists who have studied salmon habitat in the region for decades, contend that the project threatens spawning streams critical to the diverse salmon populations whose combined strength return millions of salmon to Bristol Bay annually.

When the Pebble Limited Partnership challenged the legal right of the borough to put the initiative on the ballot, Trustees for Alaska filed a friend of the court brief stating in part that Pebble “would have this court disenfranchise hundreds of votes of Alaska Natives protected by the Voting Right Act by denying them the ability to cast a vote on an initiative that has been lawfully certified by the borough clerk.”

Once the election results are announced, Alaska Superior Court Judge John Suddock is expected to again review motions for summary judgment on whether the initiative should have been placed on the ballot in the first place.

Lake and Peninsula Borough Manager Lamar Cotten said that if Suddock comes down in favor of the Pebble Limited Partnership that the borough will sue and take the case to the Alaska Supreme Court.

If the people enact a law through the initiative process, the borough assembly has a duty to defend the action of the people, said Cotten.

Oral Arguments Orders In Exxon Valdez Reopener Case

The U.S. District Court in Anchorage has ordered oral arguments in the Exxon Valdez in mid-November in litigation aimed at making Exxon Corp. pay up an additional $92 million for additional cleanup of the oil spill disaster in Prince William Sound. Back in 1991, Exxon agreed to pay $900 million n damages over the next decade for cleanup costs, in a deal that allowed the government to reopen the case, in the event there remained issues not adequately addressed in the cleanup.

Five years ago, in 2006, given evidence that habitat and species were still impacted by the spill more than 22 years ago, both the Justice Department and the State of Alaska filed a claim asking that Exxon make an additional $92 million in payments.

To date Exxon has declined to pay any additional monies, and the Justice Department has not pushed for payment, but Rick Steiner, a marine biologist who spent 14 years working in Prince William Sound, is pushing for Exxon to pay up.

Steiner was in Cordova following the spill in 1989 when Exxon executive Don Cornett told residents of that town “You have had some good luck, and you don’t realize it. You have Exxon, and we do business straight. We will consider whatever it takes to keep you whole.”

Steiner said in documents filed with the court on Oct. 11, urged the court to enforce the 2006 government demand for payment under the reopener provision. He argued that governments must retain sovereignty over environmental offenses and be entitled to collect “even if improperly presented by government agents, any and all damages necessary to remediate environmental damages caused by offending activities as stipulated in an approved consent agreement.”