UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
November 29, 2019 In accordance with the Great Lakes Pilotage Act of 1960, the Coast Guard is proposing new base pilotage rates for the 2020 shipping season. This proposed rule would adjust the pilotage rates to account for changes in district operating expenses, an increase in the number of pilots, and anticipated inflation. The net result of decreased operating expenses for the associations compared to the previous year, inflation of pilot compensation, and the addition of one working pilot at the beginning of the 2020 shipping season is a 3 percent increase in pilotage rates. In addition, the Coast Guard is not proposing any surcharges for the 2020 shipping season, which would result in a 1 percent net decrease in pilotage costs compared to the 2019 season, when combined with the changes listed in the notice. The Coast Guard is also proposing to clarify the rules related to the working capital fund. Comments accepted. 84 FR 58099, (October 30, 2019), (USCG-2019-0736).
*November 15, 2019 The Coast Guard is finalizing the policy harmonizing personal flotation device (PFD) standards between the United States and Canada by accepting a new standard for approval of PFDs. As a result, PFD manufacturers can meet a single North American standard instead of separate standards for the United States and Canada. The standard is outlined in a policy letter with a supporting deregulatory savings analysis. This policy letter is intended to promote the Coast Guard’s maritime safety and stewardship missions. This policy does not affect existing PFD approvals and does not require any action on the part of boaters or mariners who have approved PFDs on board. 84 FR 62546, (November 15, 2019), (USCG-2018-0565).
December 4, 2019 In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request entitled “Intermodal Container Inspection Program” to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs requesting approval. Comments accepted. 84 FR 59397, (November 4, 2019), (USCG-2019-0703).
December 6, 2019 In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an ICR entitled “Merchant Mariner Credentialing—Job Task Analysis” to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs requesting approval of the ICR. Comments accepted. 84 FR 53451, (October 7, 2019), (USCG-2019-0753).
January 3, 2020 In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an ICR entitled “Vessel and Facility Response Plans (Domestic and Int’l) and Additional Response Requirements for Prince William Sound” to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs requesting an extension of approval, without change. Comments accepted. 84 FR 59395, (November 4, 2019), (USCG-2019-0876).
January 30, 2020 The United States Coast Guard is extending the comment period for the notice of study and request for comments for the Port Access Route Study: Alaskan Arctic Coast that was published on December 21, 2018. This action will provide the public with additional time and opportunity to provide the Coast Guard with information regarding the Port Access Route Study: Alaskan Arctic Coast. Comments accepted. 84 FR 46501, (September 4, 2019), (USCG-2018-1058).
*December 3, 2019 The United States Coast Guard will conduct a public meeting in Washington, DC on consistent implementation of regulation 14.1.3 of MARPOL Annex IV (Global 0.50% Sulfur Limit). The purpose of this meeting will be to review the MARPOL Annex VI provisions for implementing the Global 0.50% Sulfur Limit and the associated guidance developed through the International Maritime Organization, as well as discuss related issues and Coast Guard enforcement plans. The public meeting will be held in Room 3, located on the first floor near the main entrance of the United States Department of Transportation Building in Washington, DC. The United States Department of Transportation building is located at 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will end at 3:00 p.m. 84 FR 64094, (November 20, 2019), (USCG-2019-0878).
December 2, 2019 The Maritime Administration is developing a voluntary agreement necessary to renew the Voluntary Tanker Agreement Program, pursuant to the authority contained in Section 708 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended. The notice invites comments on the draft proposed Voluntary Tanker Agreement. The proposed text is intended to replace the Agreement as it was last published in Volume 73 of the Federal Register at page 51692 (September 4, 2008). Because the proposed agreement will contain changes, both former and new participants must submit a new application once the final text is published. VTA applications are available from MARAD. The complete, draft text of the VTA is published within the notice. Copies of the draft text are also available to the public upon request. Comments accepted. 84 FR 58824, (November 1, 2019), (Docket Number MARAD-2019-0183).
December 6, 2019 The Maritime Administration invites public comments on their intention to request the Office of Management and Budget’s approval to renew the information request entitled “Voluntary Tanker Agreement.” Comments accepted. 84 FR 53558, (October 7, 2019), (MARAD-2019-0157).
December 6, 2019 The Maritime Administration invites public comments on their intention to request the Office of Management and Budget’s approval to renew the information request entitled “Requirements for Eligibility of U.S.-Flag Vessels of 100 Feet or Greater in Registered Length to Obtain a Fishery Endorsement.” Comments accepted. 84 FR 53559, (October 7, 2019), (MARAD-2019-0157).
December 6, 2019 The Maritime Administration invites public comments on their intention to request the Office of Management and Budget’s approval of a new information request entitled “Port Infrastructure Development Program.” Comments accepted. 84 FR
December 16, 2019 The Maritime Administration invites public comments on their intention to request the Office of Management and Budget’s approval to renew the information request entitled “Maritime Administration (MARAD) Jones Act Vessel Availability Determinations.” Comments accepted. 84 FR 55212, (October 15, 2019), (MARAD-2019-0162).
December 23, 2019 The Maritime Administration (MARAD) invites public comments on their intention to request the Office of Management and Budget’s approval to renew the information collection entitled “Title XI Obligations Guarantees—46 CFR part 298.” The information to be collected will be used to evaluate an applicant’s project and capabilities, make the required determinations, and administer any agreements executed upon approval of loan guarantees. Comments accepted. 84 FR 56533, (October 22, 2019), (Docket No. MARAD-2019-0171).
OTHER AGENCY MATTERS
Corps of Engineers
December 23, 2019 Agency Notice (Final Rule) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (“the agencies”) are publishing a final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” (“2015 Rule”), which amended portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and to restore the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule. The agencies will implement the pre-2015 regulations informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice. The agencies are repealing the 2015 Rule for four primary reasons. First, the agencies conclude that the 2015 Rule did not implement the legal limits on the scope of the agencies’ authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) as intended by Congress and reflected in Supreme Court cases, including Justice Kennedy’s articulation of the significant nexus test in Rapanos. Second, the agencies conclude that in promulgating the 2015 Rule the agencies failed to adequately consider and accord due weight to the policy of the Congress in CWA section 101(b) to “recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution” and “to plan the development and use…of land and water resources.” 33 U.S.C. 1251(b). Third, the agencies repeal the 2015 Rule to avoid interpretations of the CWA that push the envelope of their constitutional and statutory authority absent a clear statement from Congress authorizing the encroachment of federal jurisdiction over tradition State land-use planning authority. Lastly, the agencies conclude that the 2015 Rule’s distance-based limitations suffered from certain procedural errors and a lack of adequate record support. The agencies find that these reasons, collectively and individually, warrant repealing the 2015 Rule. With the final rule, the regulations defining the scope of federal CWA jurisdiction will be those portions of the CFR as they existed before the amendments promulgated in the 2015 Rule. 84 FR 56626, (October 22, 2019), (EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203; FRL-10000-10-OW).
Federal Maritime Commission
*November 14, 2019 Agency Notice – The Commission is giving notice of the filing of an agreement under the Shipping Act of 1984. The Agreement Name is “Hoegh/Hyundai Glovis Global Space Charter Agreement” and the Parties are “Hoegh Autoliners AS and Hyundai Glovis Co., Ltd.” 84 FR 61907, (November 14, 2019).
*December 16, 2019 Agency Notice (Final Rule) – The Federal Maritime Commission amends its rules governing licensing, registration, financial responsibility requirements, and general duties for ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs). The changes are mainly administrative and procedural. 84 FR 62464, (November 15, 2019), (Docket No. 18-11).
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
December 2, 2019 Agency Notice (Meeting) – The notice announces a public meeting via teleconference of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Advisory Board. The meeting will be held from 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. 84 FR 57944, (October 29, 2019).
* — DENOTES NEW LISTING