[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 150 (Thursday, August 5, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47453-47454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-17827]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

[USCG-2001-10486]


Approval of Ballast Water Treatment Systems

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

[[Page 47454]]


ACTION: Notice with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard seeks consultation with all interested and 
affected parties in establishing a program to approve ballast water 
treatment systems. The intent of this program is to ensure that ballast 
water treatment systems approved for use on-board vessels will meet the 
ballast water discharge standard the Coast Guard will be implementing 
in the near future to prevent the introduction and spread of 
nonindigenous species via ballast water discharges, as authorized by 
the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act and the 
National Invasive Species Act.

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before December 3, 2004.

ADDRESSES: To make sure your comments and related material are not 
entered more than once in the docket, please submit them by only one of 
the following means:
    (1) By mail to the Docket Management Facility (USCG-2001-10486), 
U.S. Department of Transportation, room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (2) By delivery to room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif 
Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is (202) 366-9329.
    (3) By fax to the Docket Management Facility at (202) 493-2251.
    (4) Electronically through the Web site for the Docket Management 
System at http://dms.dot.gov.
    In choosing among these means, please give due regard to the recent 
difficulties and delays associated with the delivery of mail through 
the U.S. Postal Service to Federal facilities. Delivery methods 2-4 of 
those listed above are the preferred methods because security measures 
taken by the U.S. Postal Service and Coast Guard mail reception 
facilities may seriously damage or render unreadable comments sent via 
regular mail.
    The Docket Management Facility maintains the public docket for this 
rulemaking. Comments and material received from the public, as well as 
documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, 
will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or 
copying at room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this docket 
at the following Web site address: http://dms.dot.gov.
    Electronic forms of all comments received into any of our dockets 
can be searched by the name of the individual submitting the comment 
(or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor unit, etc) and is open to the public without 
restriction. You may review the Department of Transportation's complete 
Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 
2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning this 
notice, call Mr. Bivan Patnaik, Project Manager, Environmental 
Standards Division, U.S. Coast Guard, telephone (202) 267-0995 or via 
e-mail bpatnaik@comdt.uscg.mil. If you have any questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Andrea M. Jenkins, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, Department of Transportation, telephone 
(202) 366-0271.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

    The Coast Guard encourages interested persons to submit written 
data, views, or comments. Persons submitting comments should please 
include their name and address and identify the docket number (USCG-
2001-10486). You may submit your comments and material by mail, hand 
delivery, fax, or electronic means to the Docket Management Facility at 
the address under ADDRESSES; but please submit your comments and 
material by only one means. If you submit them by mail or hand 
delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 
inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them 
by mail and would like to know they were received, please enclose a 
stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

Background and Purpose

    The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 
1990, as reauthorized and amended by the National Invasive Species Act 
of 1996, authorizes the Coast Guard to approve alternative ballast 
water management methods in lieu of ballast water exchange to prevent 
the introduction and spread of nonindigenous species (NIS) in U.S. 
waters via ballast water discharge. The Coast Guard will use 
information gathered from this notice to develop a comprehensive 
approval program to ensure ballast water treatment systems meet the 
ballast water discharge standard regulations, which we intend to 
promulgate in the near future. Commenters should note that the approval 
program will have to accommodate many different technologies as ballast 
water treatment options, as well as different types of vessels, and the 
costs associated with establishing this program. Commenters should also 
consider that treated ballast water may be sampled for the life of the 
treatment system as part of compliance measures to enforce ballast 
water discharge standards. In addition, commenters should be aware that 
the Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Technology 
Verification Program (http://www.epa.gov/etv/), an independent 
technology evaluation program could be used in conjunction with our 
approval program. If commenters believe that an approval program is not 
warranted, comments on alternative programs and their associated costs 
would be beneficial.
    The development of an approval program presents a complex challenge 
for the Coast Guard. We currently approve some equipment as a result of 
only land-based testing. The public should comment on if this is an 
adequate approach for approving ballast water treatment systems or 
should approval of these systems involve shipboard testing. The public 
should comment on appropriate water quality conditions, whether or not 
testing should include testing from both fresh water and salt water 
sources, and other environmental conditions that treatment systems 
should be subjected to as part of the approval program. The development 
of this program will require close collaboration between government 
agencies, the scientific community, water treatment experts, the 
shipping industry, and a wide range of stakeholders.

Public Meetings

    At this time, the Coast Guard is looking into holding a public 
meeting, and the various types of venues for the meeting. You may 
submit requests and/or comments for a public meeting to the Docket 
Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why one 
would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid the development 
of this program, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a 
later notice in the Federal Register.

    Dated: July 29, 2004.
Joseph J. Angelo,
Director of Standards, Marine Safety, Security & Environmental 
Protection.
[FR Doc. 04-17827 Filed 8-4-04; 8:45 am]
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