USCG Seeks Comment on Rules For Uninspected Passenger Vessels
The USCG seeks comment from the public on proposed regulations to implement the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993 (PVSA). The PVSA, among other provisions, established a new class of uninspected passenger vessels that are at least 100 gross tons and carry no more than 12 passengers for hire. In an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), the USCG asked for comments on what type of operational and equipment requirements should be proposed for these uninspected vessels. The notice seeks information on the type of safety equipment this new class of uninspected passenger vessel carries, the construction standards it currently meets, and licensing and experience requirements for vessel owners, operators and charter brokers, among other issues.
MarAd Seeks Comments on CP Ships Sale
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is seeking comments on the impact on the Maritime Security Program (MSP) of the proposed acquisition of CP Ships Limited by TUI AG. CP Ships Limited is a Canadian company and the parent of CP Ships USA, LLC, which is a participant in the MSP. TUI AG is a German corporation and the parent of Hapag-Lloyd, a German vessel operator, neither of which have any present connection with MSP. Comments must be received by September 23. 70 Fed. Reg. 54102 (HK Law).
USACE Seeks Comment on Gulfport Harbor Navigation Project
The US Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) relating to the Federal Gulfport Harbor Navigation Project in Harrison County, Mississippi. Comments should be submitted by April 2. Source: HK Law
MARAD Seeks Input on Foreign Reconstructions
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is seeking comments on what standards it should apply when making determinations of foreign reconstruction of US-built vessels that participate in the Capital Construction Fund program and foreign rebuilding of US-built vessels that participate in the cargo preference program. Comments should be submitted by January 14, 2008. [Source: HK Law]
The Maritime Administration (MarAd) is seeking comments regarding development of programs to maximize utilization and availability of US vessels and qualified US-citizen officers and unlicensed crew serving the international liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker fleet. Comments may also include issues related to the overall safe and secure operation of deepwater port facilities. Comments should be submitted by February 16. Source: HK Law
DHS Issues Proposal on Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on draft regulations that would establish chemical facility anti-terrorism standards and on several practical and policy issues integral to the development of a chemical facility security program. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by February 7, 2007. Various facilities, including those currently regulated by the US Coast Guard under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA), would be exempt from the application of the proposed requirements. Source: HK Law
PHMSA – Burial of Submerged Pipelines
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is seeking comment on its Study on Burial of Submerged Pipelines. The study addresses hazards to navigation from offshore submerged pipelines, found mostly in the Gulf of Mexico. Since 1990, there have been 58 reported instances of a vessel or its equipment striking a submerged pipeline offshore and 64 reported instances where a submerged pipeline was either uncovered or presented a hazard to navigation. Comments on the study should be submitted by May 21. Source: HK Law
Coast Guard Issues Notice on PEA for Salvage and Marine Firefighting
– draft programmatic environmental assessment The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Notice seeking comments on the draft programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) on its proposal to clarify and set new response time requirements for salvage and marine firefighting requirements in vessel response plans (VRP) for oil spills. Comments should be submitted by February 17. 71 Fed. Reg. 125 Source: HK Law
National AIS Project – Environmental Statement
The US Coast Guard is seeking comments on its draft programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) addressing proposed implementation of the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) project. The proposed NAIS involves installing receivers, transmitters, transceivers, repeaters, and other equipment on towers and other structures at up to 450 sites at locations along 95,000 miles of coastline and inland waterways, as well as the use of selected remote platforms. A public meeting will be held in Washington, DC on August 9. Written comments should be submitted by August 14. Source: HK Law
Oregon: LNG Project
The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking comments on a proposal it received for construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility on the Columbia River in the vicinity of Bradwood, Oregon. The agency will prepare a Letter of Recommendation concerning the suitability of the river for LNG marine traffic. A public meeting on this proposal will be held in Astoria on September 29. Written comments must be submitted by October 6. 70 Fed. Reg. 53677 (HK Law)
EPA and USACE Propose Definition of Waters of the United States
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments on the regulatory definition of 'waters of the United States'. This term is used with regard to federal jurisdiction over pollution incidents and dumping, among other things. Comments should be submitted by March 3, 2003. 68 Fed. Reg. 1991
USCG to Test Integrated Anti-Swimmer System
The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking comment on the draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) of the Integrated Anti-Swimmer System (IAS). The agency proposes to deploy and operate the IAS for temporary periods at various U.S. ports in order to detect, track, classify, and interdict potential underwater threats so as to protect personnel, ships, and property from sabotage or subversive acts. Comments should be submitted by November 17. 70 Fed. Reg. 57612 (October 3, 2005).
FMC Issues Further Notice of Inquiry
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a further notice of inquiry relating to the recently proposed Implementing Rules for the Regulations of the Peoples Republic of China on International Maritime Transportation. The FMC is seeking comments from the shipping community and the public regarding the proposed Chinese rules and whether they comport with section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 and the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988. Comments should be submitted to the FMC within 30 days after the Further Notice of Inquiry is published in the Federal Register. Source: HK Law
USCG: Hull ID for Recreational Boats
The US Coast Guard is seeking comments on the costs and benefits of expanding the current 12-character Hull Identification Number (HIN) in order to provide additional identifying information for recreational vessels. Comments should be submitted by June 16. 73 Fed. Reg. 14193 (HK Law).
EPA: Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comments on its Draft Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report. Comments should be submitted by February 4, 2008. The report, which will be posted at Cruise Ship Water Discharges, assesses five cruise ship waste streams: sewage; graywater; bilge water; solid waste; and hazardous waste. 72 Fed. Reg. 72353 (HK Law)
NOAA: Noise Affecting Marine Mammals
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seeks comments on proposed changes to its draft Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing. Comments must be received by 30 March. 81 Fed. Reg. 14095 [located at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-03-16/pdf/2016-05886.pdf] (3/16/16). (Source: Bryant's Maritime Blog - http://brymar-consulting.com)
MARAD Electronic Transmission Options
The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an interim rule offering electronic options for submission of information that is collected by the agency. The agency is also seeking comments on its new program, which should be submitted by December 5, 2003. 68 Fed. Reg. 62535 (November 5, 2003). Source: HK Law
NOAA has Plans for Calif. Sanctuaries
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that it is seeking comments on draft management plans for three marine sanctuaries located off the coast of California.
FCC Issues Notice on Maritime Communications
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a notice stating that it is proposing a variety of regulatory amendments relating to maritime communications. It proposes to cease authorizing INMARSAT-E emergency position indicating radiobeacons (EPIRBs), due to the planned cessation of such service by Inmarsat. It seeks comment on whether to require Global Positioning System (GPS) capability in VHF-DSC handset units. It requests comment on whether to require carriage of at least one VHF handheld marine radio transceiver on all small passenger vessels that do not have a reserve power supply. It seeks comment on whether there is a need to make additional spectrum available for ship station facsimile communications, or to permit transmission of data on VHF maritime voice channels.
DOT Proposes Revised Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedures
In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed to reorganize and revise its procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing programs. The DOT requires transportation employers, including those in the maritime industry, to perform drug and alcohol tests on employees performing safety-sensitive functions. As part of this requirement, the DOT requires employers to comply with detailed testing procedures established more than 10 years ago. The DOT proposes to amend its drug testing procedures to address changes in technology and the drug-testing industry, and incorporate guidance and interpretations issued since the testing procedures rule was published.
Coast Guard Seeks Comments on Guidelines
In the August 6, 2002, Federal Register, the Coast Guard seeks comments on proposed assessment criteria to be used by Designated Examiners when evaluating candidates for licenses as officers of towing vessels, specifically when evaluating mariners' execution of certain prescribed tasks. These standards appear on the Department of Transportation's website. To access them, (1) go to http://dms.dot.gov/; (2) click on "Simple Search" on the bottom of the page; (3) type "12973" in the search box next to "Docket Number," (4) hit "Enter" on your keyboard. You will then see a page from which you can access the four (4) sets of Performance Assessment Criteria for Towing Officer Assessment Records ("TOAR") tasks. Once on the proper D.O.T.
Environmental Statement on Response Plans
The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking comments on its Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for increasing the oil removal capability requirements (caps) for vessel and facility oil spill response plans. The DPEIS is a huge, multi-volume set. The Executive Summary alone is 39 pages long. The DPEIS considers five major alternatives to raising the caps (which were first established back in the dark ages of 1993, when the OPA 90 Staff was laying courses across uncharted waters) and proposes a combination of mechanical recovery, on-water dispersant capability and in-situ burn credits. Comments should be submitted by August 1. 70 Fed. Reg. 31487 (June 1, 2005).
Deepwater Port License Application
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a Notice stating that they are seeking comments on the draft environmental impact statement on the application for the Compass Point LLC liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port (DWP). Plans call for this facility to be constructed in the Gulf of Mexico south of Dauphin Island, Alabama. Public meetings will be held in Portland, Texas (February 28); Bayou La Batre, Alabama (March 2); Dauphin Island, Alabama (March 3); and Pascagoula, Mississippi (March 4). Written comments should be submitted by March 27. 70 Fed. Reg. 7288 (HK Law)