The USCG is seeking feedback on its revision of 46 CFR part 151, the regulations for barges carrying bulk liquid hazardous materials. A starting point is a package of recommendations made by the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee
(CTAC) in 1993. CTAC recommended modifying the regulations to address construction changes, venting and gauging arrangements, cargo classification (especially toxic cargo classifcation) and grandfathering provisions.
The USCG is also seeking feedback on the need for revised cargo identification signs on barges carrying hazardous liquid cargoes, as recommended by the Louisiana Governor's Maritime Task Force. The task force proposed a placarding system similar to the one used by trucking and rail transportation to assist emergency responders in identifying barge cargoes.
Specific questions on which the USCG is seeking feedback include:
- What revisions, if any, to the current regulations are necessary to protect life, property and/or the marine environment?
- Which CTAC recommendations should the proposed revisions include, and what are the costs of incorporating those and other CTAC recommendations in 46 CFR part 151?
- Should the USCG exempt existing barges from possible regulatory revisions?
- Should placarding of barges carrying hazardous liquid cargoes be required?
- Are there any geographic or seasonal concerns the present regulations do not address?
- Should the procedures for assigning requirements for new chemical cargoes be changed?
- Do the existing regulations regarding materials of construction represent current industry practices, and if not, how should they be revised?
The USCG will accept comments on these issues until March 7, 2000.