DHS grants a Jones Act waiver that allows a ship carrying much-needed diesel to dock in Puerto Rico


The Department of Homeland Security granted an exemption under the Jones Act, allowing a ship that was trying to deliver diesel on the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico to dock.

“In response to the urgent and immediate needs of the Puerto Rican people in the wake of Hurricane Fiona, I have approved a temporary and targeted waiver under the Jones Act to ensure that the people of Puerto Rico have enough diesel to run the generators needed to keep electricity up and running. critical facilities as they recover from Hurricane Fiona,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Wednesday.

The ship was due to dock in Puerto Rico on Thursday with the US Coast Guard he told CBS News.

The Jones’s Law is a more than 100-year-old law that requires goods traveling between US ports to be shipped on vessels that are primarily US-built and American-owned and operated.

The vessel named GH Parks, carrying 300,000 barrels of diesel and flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, was stopped off the coast of Puerto Rico, the US Coast Guard said. It reportedly left Texas City on Sunday en route to Guayanilla marine tracking databut has been stranded off the coast of Puerto Rico since arriving on Monday.

More than a week after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico and knocked out power lineshundreds of thousands on the island were still experiencing power outages.

The governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierlusi, asked the US government directly to grant the ship permission to enter the port and unload. Pierlus he said On Monday, he called on Mayorkas to intervene and expedite the request so the ship “can unload fuel for the benefit of our people.”

Mayorkas said Wednesday that the decision to grant the waiver was “made after consultation with the Departments of Transportation, Energy and Defense to assess the merits of the waiver request and based on input from the governor of Puerto Rico and others on the ground supporting the recovery.” effort.”

He also noted in his statement that “In 2020, Congress revoked the federal government’s authority to issue long-term comprehensive waivers, except in circumstances where the waiver is required to ‘address an immediate adverse impact on military operations.’ By law, exemptions that do not meet this standard must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.”

Exactly who owns and operates GH Parks is unclear. While records list as owner and operator GY Shipco XII LLC and Synergy Maritime Private Limited, the Puerto Rican government told CBS News it believes British Petroleum is connected to the diesel supply. CBS News reached out to BP but did not hear back.

Peerless Oil & Chemicals, the agency that requested the diesel shipment from GH Parks, supplies diesel and gasoline to thousands of service stations throughout Puerto Rico, as well as to hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, the US Navy and the Puerto Rican government. The CEO of the company, Luis Vázquez, said El Nuevo Dia that he asked for GH Parks to go to Guayanilla after Fiona and the government was aware of her impending arrival.

Fiona caused catastrophic damage when it made landfall earlier this month in Puerto Rico, which is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria five years ago. This storm had lingering effects on Puerto Rico’s power grid, and residents had become accustomed to outrageously high electricity bills and successive blackouts since.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here