[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 5 (Friday, January 7, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1448-1449]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-378]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

[USCG-2004-19842]


Ballast Water Management for Vessels Entering the Great Lakes 
That Declare No Ballast Onboard

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard seeks consultation with all interested and 
affected parties in identifying ballast water management strategies for 
vessels entering the Great Lakes that declare no ballast onboard 
(NOBOB). Our goal for these strategies is to prevent the introduction 
and spread of nonindigenous species via NOBOBs. To aid in the 
development of ballast water management strategies for NOBOBs, the 
Coast Guard will also hold a public meeting in order to expand the 
opportunity for the public to comment. We encourage all interested and/
or affected stakeholders to submit comments and to attend the public 
meeting.

DATES: The public meeting will be held at the following date and city:
     Cleveland, OH, May 9, 2005, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before May 9, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The Coast Guard will hold the public meeting at the 
following address:
     Cleveland, OH, Anthony J. Celebreeze Federal Building, 
1240 E. 9th Street, Cleveland, OH, 44419, 1-216-902-6020.
    You may also submit your comments and related material by only one 
of the following means:
    (1) By mail to the Docket Management Facility (USCG-2004-19842), 
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 
and the public meeting, call Mr. Bivan Patnaik, Project Manager, 
Environmental Standards Division, U.S. Coast Guard, telephone 202-267-
1744 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-
2004-19842). 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.

Information on Services for Individuals With Disabilities

    If you plan to attend the public meeting and require special 
assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable 
accommodations, please contact us as indicated in FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

Public Meetings

    The Coast Guard encourages interested and affected stakeholders to 
attend the public meeting and provide oral or written comments. The 
meeting is open to the public. Please note that the public meeting may 
close early if all business is finished. If you are unable to attend, 
you may submit comments to the Docket Management Facility at the 
address under ADDRESSES by May 9, 2005.

Regulatory History

    The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 
1990, as

[[Page 1449]]

reauthorized and amended by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, 
authorizes the Coast Guard to develop regulations to prevent the 
introduction of nonindigenous species (NIS) via ballast water 
discharges. The Coast Guard recently promulgated regulations in the 
Federal Register on June 14, 2004, entitled, ``Penalties for Non-
submission of Ballast Water Management Reports'' (68 FR 32864) and on 
July 28, 2004, entitled ``Mandatory Ballast Water Management for U.S. 
Waters'' (69 FR 44952). In doing so, the Great Lakes Ballast Water 
Management Program that became effective on May 10, 1993 (58 FR 18330), 
has remained unchanged, with the exception that all vessels equipped 
with ballast water tanks that enter the Great Lakes must now submit 
their ballast water reporting forms as of August 13, 2004 (68 FR 
32864).

Description of Issue

    Only vessels carrying pumpable ballast water that enter the Great 
Lakes after operating outside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone are 
required to comply with the Great Lakes ballast water management 
requirements found in 33 CFR part 151, subpart C. As a large number of 
vessels that call on the Great Lakes arrive with No Ballast on Board 
(NOBOB), they are not required to comply with these requirements. 
However, NOBOBs have the potential to carry NIS in their empty tanks 
via residual ballast water and/or accumulated sediments. Once NOBOBs 
enter the Great Lakes and take up ballast water, this water may mix 
with the residual water and sediments and if discharged into the Great 
Lakes, may provide a mechanism for NIS to enter the Great Lakes. 
Therefore, the Coast Guard is seeking the public's assistance in 
developing management strategies to address the invasion risks posed by 
NOBOBs.
    The Coast Guard will use information gathered from this notice to 
develop a comprehensive program to reduce the threat of introducing NIS 
into the Great Lakes via NOBOBs. The identification of strategies to 
address invasion risks from residual ballast water and sediments must 
take into account vessel safety and stability, the full range of vessel 
types entering the Great Lakes, costs associated with implementing 
strategy options, and the need to evaluate the effectiveness of these 
strategies in actually preventing the introduction of NIS into the 
Great Lakes. The development of management strategies to prevent NIS 
introduction from NOBOBs presents a complex challenge and requires 
close collaboration between government agencies, the scientific 
community, the shipping industry, and a wide range of stakeholders.

    Dated: January 3, 2005.
Joseph J. Angelo,
Director of Standards, Marine Safety, Security & Environmental 
Protection.
[FR Doc. 05-378 Filed 1-6-05; 8:45 am]
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