The Coast Guard is currently seeking input from the public to evaluate the need for establishing vessel routing measures in the Bering Strait.
The port access route study will assess whether the creation of a vessel routing system is advisable to increase the predictability of vessel movements which may decrease the potential for collisions, oil spills and other events that could threaten the marine environment.
Since 2007’s record minimum for summer ice cover in the Arctic, international attention has been focused on the region and its potential accessibility for shipping and natural gas exploration.
The Coast Guard is encouraging comments in order to ensure that the concerns of all interested parties are considered.
The recommendations of the study may lead to future rulemaking action or appropriate international agreements.
Comments may be submitted online (http://www.regulations.gov), sent through mail or faxed to 202-493-2251 and should be identified by USCG-2010-0833.
Public comments may be sent to Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington D.C. 20590-0001.
The public comment period runs until May 9, 2011.