April 2019 Newsletter

The Marine Chemist Association held an Executive Board meeting in Houston on March 17, 2019. A summary of the meeting is provided below.

Your Executive Committee

General Information

The NFPA 312 (Standard for the Fire Protection of Vessels during Construction, Conversion, Repair and Lay Up) committee met recently. They are in the final stages of completing the document and commenting will close on May 8, 2019.

The NFPA 307 Committee on Marine Terminals and Wharves. It is currently open for comment. The document will add an annex on salvage.

The MCQB met recently in Atlanta. Josh Marshall who is the new independent Marine Chemist on the board attended his initial meeting. The board makeup has changed as follows:

At the recent meeting of the MCQB, Bryan Berna was certified as our newest Chemist. He will be working out of the Bremerton, WA. Area.

Congratulations to Bryan CMC 739[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]During the recent Excom meeting a question was asked about determining the medical fitness of chemists. Currently, a medical review is required every 5 years. There is no requirement for trainees to have a physical exam to begin training. The board requested that the sectional members on the Excom look into the physical fitness protocol of each section for occupational-based physicals to potentially provide a recommendation to the MCQB.

Certificate Changes

Changes to both the paper certificates and the EMCC program have been implemented and appear to be working well. Any questions on the EMCC program should be addressed to Rick Sterling. (sterling.mca@gmail.com)

There is also a change to the reporting requirements. You no longer need to submit quarterly surcharge forms. You still need to submit monthly forms along with a copy of one certificate. The monthly form is located on the NFPA website. The details in the form have been changed to require only the number of certificates issued to be reported rather than the individual certificate numbers. Forms can be found at the following NFPA site https://groups.nfpa.org/MC/SitePages/Home.aspx


Current Ethics Chairman Robbie Walker gave a presentation on ethics at the spring sectional seminar along with an overview of our policy and procedure.

Budget Overview

The MCA requested its annual funding grant from the Marine Gas Hazard Control Program and has received the first half of its grant. A presentation on the budget is given at each seminar.


The MCA website (www.marinechemistassociation.com) has been updated. It has a modern feel and has gotten many positive reviews. There is a members-only section which requires a log-in. Hopefully, everyone has been able to log-in and view it. In the members only section, you can view seminar attendance for the past several years, this is one of the most popular areas for chemists. If you have an issue with your log-in you can contact the administrator at support@marinechemistassociation.com.

Life Membership

Tom Littlepage CMC 629, and Tagay Kang CMC 562 have retired. Following endorsements from their sections the Executive Board voted to recommend both for life membership. Tom has been on the executive board, served as national chairman and has done numerous presentations for the MCA and to various industry groups.

Tagay has also served on the Executive Committee and served as national chairman. He has been active on the insurance fund and in industry groups.

Both Tom and Tagay define the extraordinary service requirement. Voting on their life membership application will take place at the annual during the business meeting.


A new scholarship application has been posted to the website (under the forms section). If you have an eligible family member please consider applying. The deadline for applications is May 1st.

Scholarship Committee Members


The first sectional seminar of 2019 was held in Houston on March 16th. It appeared to be a great success. There were 34 chemists in attendance. Presentations on ethics, occurrences, above ground storage tanks, along with a business report and a certificate critique exercise, got good reviews. The second sectional seminar will be held in the fall in Los Angeles. The above ground storage tank presentation was especially timely because as it was being presented an AGST fire was in progress several miles away. The fire lasted several days.

The Schedule for Seminars

Click on View Details to download the registration forms for the fall sectional.

This year’s theme for the seminar will be LNG. The Association has one of these events about every five years to enable chemists to obtain the LNG endorsement. This course will allow trainees to meet the requirement for the endorsement upon certification. It can also be used by existing chemists’ to meet the initial requirement for the LNG endorsement. Finally, it will fulfill the requirement for recertification (for chemists with an existing endorsement), so you will not have to take a recertification LNG exam. We have trainers from GTT coming in to present the topics and hope to have some vessel owners participate.

On the social side there are some changes to note;

  • On Sunday evening the chairman’s reception and registration will be combined. Light food and drink will be provided. We have a great hospitality suite with both indoor and outdoor areas and it will be open throughout the seminar.
  • On Monday morning we will have our welcome breakfast. A local speaker will come in with some native animals and there will be time for photos. Bring your children. Following breakfast, the spouses will leave on a tour of the Everglades which includes an airboat ride followed by lunch. Due to the high number of no shows to the spouse tour in the past there is now a $25 charge to attend this event, please fill out the required information on the registration form. The MCA cannot guarantee space for late entries.
  • Monday evening will be a free night to enjoy the local sights.
  • On Tuesday night our MGHCP event will be held at Andretti Indoor Carting. We have private room for our cocktail hour and dinner. Racing is included in the event. There is a height limit for racing and those children who do not meet the height limit can enjoy the game room and arcade. The venue is less than 10 minutes away and busses will leave from the hotel.
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday a continental breakfast will be provided to the spouses in the hospitality suite.
  • On Wednesday we will have our traditional farewell luncheon.

2020 Annual Seminar

Our 2020 annual seminar will be held in San Francisco. We have booked two hotels directly across from each other. Most of the seminars will be held at the Parc 55 Hotel and our hospitality suite will be in the Hilton Union Square. We have a private two story suite with outdoor space at the Hilton and some events will be held at this property. You will have the option of booking rooms at either property. They are both Hilton properties. More information will follow as we get closer.


The MCA staffed a booth at the workboat show in New Orleans. Thanks to Chris Scott, Brian Axelrad, Geoff Genny and Larry Russell for their support in this. It was reported to be a success. Josh Marshall will meet with the Charleston, SC, fire department and discuss presenting at the National Fire Dept. Seminar.

The board recently voted to staff a booth at the Inland Marine Expo in St. Louis. This will be manned by Ryan Ball and Larry Russell.

The board is also considering staffing a booth at the Spill Control Association of America for next year.

The Association is continuing to look into other outreach opportunities to keep us in front of the industry.

Code of Conduct for Meetings

During any official MCA sessions there should be no discussion of personal matters, private disputes or business pricing. Discussion should be limited to technical matters and the business of running the MCA.

Legal Action

The MCA was informed that the pending lawsuit against the association has been dropped. Our insurance policy contains a $6000 deductible which the MCA is responsible for. This is for attorney fees.

Marine Chemist Clothing and Lands’ End

The MCA has established a website with Lands’ End where you can go to their site and purchase any item they offer and have a choice of MCA logos embroidered on it. The clothing is of high quality and they offer a wide selection from shirts to messenger bags, jackets, mugs, pants etc. To get to the site enter: http://ocs.landsend.com/cd/frontdoor?store_name=MARINE_CHEMIST_ASSOCIATION&store_type=3 Once you pick an item you can select from several different logos and the decide where to put the logo. Many of the items are given as gifts during seminars.

Facebook Page

For those of you who are on Facebook, a Facebook page has been set up called Friends of Marine Chemist Association. It is a closed group and only chemists, spouses and friends can view and post on the page. If you’d like to visit the page, send a friend request to the group. Some photos of the seminar have been posted and we encourage all to post information, photos, comments or anything else related to our profession, seminars, and events. Please check it out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/476766792735816/.

National Chairman Election

An election on the next Chairman (Chairman elect) was held at the beginning of the year. We had about 80% participation and Philip Giles CMC670 was elected as our next Chair. Congratulations to Phil.

Respectfully submitted,
Don Raffo
Secretary/Treasurer MCA

Any opinions, policies or statements expressed in this newsletter are the personal opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of the MCA.