[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 249 (Monday, December 31, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74247-74250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-25340]



[[Page 74247]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

33 CFR Part 401

[Docket No. SLSDC 2007-0005]
RIN 2135-AA27


Seaway Regulations and Rules: Periodic Update, Various Categories

AGENCY: Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) and 
the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) of Canada, under 
international agreement, jointly publish and presently administer the 
St. Lawrence Seaway Regulations and Rules (Practices and Procedures in 
Canada) in their respective jurisdictions. Under agreement with the 
SLSMC, the SLSDC is proposing to amend the joint regulations by 
updating the Regulations and Rules in various categories. The proposed 
changes would update the following sections of the Regulations and 
Rules: Condition of Vessels; Seaway Navigation; and, Information and 
Reports. The SLSDC is seeking to harmonize the ballast water 
requirements for vessels transiting the U.S. waters of the Seaway with 
those currently required by Canadian authorities for transit in waters 
under Canadian jurisdiction of the Seaway. These proposed amendments 
are necessary to take account of updated procedures and would eliminate 
the confusion regarding the requirements for saltwater flushing in the 
binational waters of the Seaway System.

DATES: Any party wishing to present views on the proposed amendments 
may file comments with the Corporation on or before January 30, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by Docket Number SLSDC 
2007-0005] by any of the following methods:
     Web Site: http://www.Regulations.gov. Follow the online 
instructions for submitting comments/submissions.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-001.
     Hand Delivery: Documents may be submitted by hand delivery 
or courier to West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal Holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this 
rulemaking. Note that all comments received will be posted without 
change at http://www.Regulations.gov including any personal information 
provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under Regulatory Notices.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.Regulations.gov; or in person at 
the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carrie Bedwell Mann, Chief Counsel, 
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-0091.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development 
Corporation (SLSDC) and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation 
(SLSMC) of Canada, under international agreement, jointly publish and 
presently administer the St. Lawrence Seaway Regulations and Rules 
(Practices and Procedures in Canada) in their respective jurisdictions. 
Under agreement with the SLSMC, the SLSDC is proposing to amend the 
joint regulations by updating the Regulations and Rules in various 
categories. The proposed changes would update the following sections of 
the Regulations and Rules: Condition of Vessels; Seaway Navigation; 
and, Information and Reports. The SLSDC is seeking to harmonize the 
ballast water requirements for vessels transiting the U.S. waters of 
the Seaway with those currently required by Canadian authorities for 
transit in waters under Canadian jurisdiction of the Seaway. These 
updates are necessary to take account of updated procedures which would 
enhance the safety of transits through the Seaway and eliminate the 
confusion regarding the requirements for saltwater flushing of ballast 
tanks containing only residual amounts of water and/or sediment in the 
binational waters of the Seaway System. Several of the proposed 
amendments are merely editorial or clarification of existing 
requirements. Where new requirements or regulations are being proposed, 
an explanation for such a change is provided below.
    Regulatory Notices: Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the 
electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the 
name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, 
if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review the U.S. Department of Transportation's complete Privacy 
Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 
(Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://
www.Regulations.gov.
    The SLSDC is proposing to make one amendment to the Condition of 
Vessels section of the joint Seaway regulations. In Sec.  401.12, 
``Minimum requirements--mooring lines and fairleads,'' the language is 
modified to provide vessels the option of using mooring lines that are 
either wire or synthetic based upon the length of the vessel. Since 
mooring lines can be wire or synthetic some smaller vessels have 
presented themselves for transit with a mix of mooring wires and/or 
synthetic lines. Synthetic lines or hawsers are sufficient to moor the 
smaller vessels and mooring wire is more than capable of mooring the 
smaller vessels; therefore, the use of either wire or synthetic lines 
will be acceptable.
    Several amendments to the joint regulations pertaining to Seaway 
Navigation are being proposed. In Sec.  401.34, ``Vessels in tow,'' the 
SLSDC is proposing to add a provision that would require every vessel 
in tow be inspected prior to every transit. The SLSDC is proposing this 
amendment to ensure navigation safety through inspection of all vessels 
even when a vessel is in tow. Currently such vessels are being 
inspected; however, this proposed change will make it a mandatory 
requirement.
    The SLSDC is proposing to amend the joint regulations in Sec.  
401.30, ``Ballast water and trim.'' The proposed amendment seeks to 
harmonize the requirements for saltwater flushing of ballast water 
tanks containing residual amounts of ballast water and/or sediment with 
the requirements already in place for vessels transiting Canadian 
waters of the Seaway System. Vessels transiting the Seaway traverse 
Canadian and U.S. waters multiple times en route to ports in the Great 
Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. The proposed amendments would make 
the requirements for foreign flagged vessels (non U.S. or Canadian 
flagged) to conduct saltwater flushing of each ballast water tank that 
contains residual amounts of ballast water and/or

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sediment the same whether the vessel is transiting U.S. or Canadian 
waters of the Seaway after having operated outside the Canadian and/or 
U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The proposed requirement for 
saltwater flushing of ballast tanks is intended to mirror the 
regulations already in effect in waters under Canadian jurisdiction for 
vessels transiting the Seaway.
    Specifically, the SLSDC, in agreement with the SLSMC, proposes to 
amend the Seaway Regulations and Rules by adding new subsections (f) 
and (g) to Sec.  401.30, ``Ballast water and trim.'' These new 
subsections would require that, as a condition of transiting the 
Seaway, every foreign flagged vessel (non Canadian or U.S. flagged) 
must conduct a saltwater flushing of its ballast tanks that contain 
residual amounts of ballast water in an area 200 nautical miles from 
any shore before entering waters under Canadian jurisdiction. Saltwater 
flushing is defined as the addition of mid-ocean water to ballast water 
tanks: The mixing of the freshwater with residual water and sediment 
through the motion of the vessel; and the discharge of the mixed water. 
The resultant residual water remaining in the tank must have a salinity 
level of at least 30 parts per thousand (ppt). Further, each foreign 
flagged vessel must maintain the ability to measure salinity levels in 
each tank onboard the vessel so that final salinities of at least 30 
parts per thousand can be ensured. Any vessel that has tanks that fail 
to reach this salinity level will be required to retain any water in 
those tanks that is taken onboard in the St. Lawrence River or Great 
Lakes. The requirements for saltwater flushing would not apply to U.S. 
or Canadian flagged vessels or to any vessel that has operated 
exclusively inside the U.S. and/or Canadian EEZ.
    In addition, the SLSDC and SLSMC will continue to require that as a 
mandatory prerequisite for clearance of a commercial vessel for transit 
of the Seaway System after operating beyond the EEZ, the vessel must 
agree to comply with the ``Code of Best Practices for Ballast Water 
Management'' of the Shipping Federation of Canada dated September 28, 
2000.
    In light of the amount of interest and activity regarding control 
of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) at all levels of government, 
especially in the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Coast Guard, the joint 
regulations would be reviewed and revised once either national 
legislation and/or regulations are issued that would pertain directly 
to this issue.
    In Sec.  401.40, ``Entering, exiting, or position in lock'', the 
SLSDC proposes to prohibit a vessel, when it is being cast off in a 
lock, from departing in a manner that the stern passes the stop symbol 
on the local wall nearest the closed gates. Occasionally vessels drift 
backward in the lock while the mooring lines are being released; 
preventing the vessel's stern from passing the stop symbol will protect 
the vessel and the lock gates from possible damage.
    Other proposed changes made to the joint regulations, including one 
to the regulations pertaining to Information and Reports, are merely 
editorial or for clarification purposes.

Regulatory Evaluation

    This proposed regulation involves a foreign affairs function of the 
United States and therefore Executive Order 12866 does not apply and 
evaluation under the Department of Transportation's Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Determination

    I certify this proposed regulation will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Saint 
Lawrence Seaway Regulations and Rules primarily relate to commercial 
users of the Seaway, the vast majority of whom are foreign vessel 
operators. Therefore, any resulting costs will be borne mostly by 
foreign vessels.

Environmental Impact

    This proposed regulation does not require an environmental impact 
statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (49 U.S.C. 4321, 
et reg.) because it is not a major federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. The environmental 
considerations applicable to the basic substance of this proposed 
regulation are essentially discussed in the U.S. Coast Guard's 
Environmental Assessment for its May 17, 1999, ``Implementation of the 
National Invasive Species Act of 1996'' rulemaking (64 FR 26672) and 
the U.S. Coast Guard's Environmental Assessment for its August 31, 
2005, ``Ballast Water Management for Vessels Entering the Great Lakes 
That Declare No Ballast Onboard'' (71 FR 4605).

Federalism

    The Corporation has analyzed this proposed rule under the 
principles and criteria in Executive Order 13132, dated August 4, 1999, 
and has determined that this proposal does not have sufficient 
federalism implications to warrant a Federalism Assessment.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Corporation has analyzed this proposed rule under Title II of 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 109 Stat. 48) 
and determined that it does not impose unfunded mandates on State, 
local, and tribal governments and the private sector requiring a 
written statement of economic and regulatory alternatives.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed regulation has been analyzed under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 and does not contain new or modified information 
collection requirements subject to the Office of Management and Budget 
review.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 401

    Hazardous materials transportation, Navigation (water), Penalties, 
Radio, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels, Waterways.
    Accordingly, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation 
proposes to amend 33 CFR part 401, Regulations and Rules, as follows:

PART 401--SEAWAY REGULATIONS AND RULES

Subpart A--Regulations

    1. The authority citation for subpart A of part 401 continues to 
read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 983(a) and 984(a)(4), as amended; 49 CFR 
1.52, unless otherwise noted.

    2. In Sec.  401.12 paragraphs (a)(1) introductory text, (a)(1)(i), 
(a)(2) introductory text, (a)(3) introductory text, and (a)(4) 
introductory text are revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.12  Minimum requirements--mooring lines and fairleads.

    (a) * * *
    (1) Vessels of 80m or less in overall length shall have at least 
three mooring lines--wires or synthetic hawsers, two of which shall be 
independently power operated and one of which shall be hand held:
    (i) One line shall lead forward from the break of the bow and one 
line shall lead astern from the quarter and be independently power 
operated by winches, capstans or windlasses and lead through closed 
chocks or fairleads acceptable to the Manager and the Corporation; and
* * * * *
    (2) Vessels of more than 80m but not more than 100m in overall 
length shall have four mooring lines--wires or synthetic hawsers, of 
which three shall be independently power operated by

[[Page 74249]]

winches, capstans or windlasses and one being hand held. All lines 
shall be led through closed chocks or fairleads acceptable to the 
Manager and the Corporation, of which three mooring lines:
* * * * *
    (3) Vessels of more than 100m but not more than 120m in overall 
length shall have four mooring wires or synthetic hawsers independently 
power operated by winches, capstan or windlasses as follows:
* * * * *
    (4) Vessels of more than 120m in overall length shall have four 
mooring wires, two of which shall lead from the break of the bow and 
two of which shall lead from the quarter, and;
* * * * *
    3. Sec.  401.27 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.27  Compliance with instructions.

    Every vessel shall comply promptly with transit instructions given 
by the traffic controller or any other officer of the Corporation.
    4. In Sec.  401.29 paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.29  Maximum draft.

    (a) The draft and speed of a vessel in transit shall be controlled 
by the master, who shall take into account the vessel's individual 
characteristics and its tendency to list or squat, so as to avoid 
striking bottom.\1\
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    \1\ The main channels between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie 
have a controlling depth of 8.23m.
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* * * * *
    5. Sec.  401.30 is amended by adding new paragraphs (f) and (g) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  401.30  Ballast water and trim.

* * * * *
    (f) As a condition of transit of the Seaway after having operated 
outside the Canadian and or U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) every 
foreign flagged vessel (a non Canadian or U.S. flagged vessel) that 
carries only residual amounts of ballast water and/or sediment that 
were taken onboard the vessel outside waters under Canadian or U.S. 
jurisdiction shall:
    (1) Conduct a saltwater flushing of their ballast water tanks that 
contain the residual amounts of ballast water and/or sediment in an 
area 200 nautical miles from any shore before entering waters of the 
Seaway. Saltwater flushing is defined as the addition of midocean water 
to ballast water tanks: The mixing of the freshwater with residual 
water and sediment through the motion of the vessel; and the discharge 
of the mixed water, such that the resultant residual water remaining in 
the tank has as high salinity as possible, and is at least 30 parts per 
thousand (ppt). The vessel should take on as much mid-ocean water into 
each tank as is safe (for the vessel and crew) in order to conduct 
saltwater flushing. And adequate flushing may require more than one 
fill-mix-empty sequence, particularly if only small amounts of water 
can be safely taken onboard at one time. The master of the vessel is 
responsible for ensuring the safety of the vessel, crew, and 
passengers. Vessels reporting only residual ballast water onboard 
should take particular care to conduct saltwater flushing on the 
transit to the Great Lakes so as to eliminate fresh and or brackish 
water residuals in ballast tanks; and
    (2) Maintain the ability to measure salinity levels in each tank 
onboard the vessel so that final salinities of at least 30 ppt can be 
ensured.
    (g) Every foreign flagged vessel that is found not in compliance 
with Sec.  401.30(f) shall retain any ballast water taken aboard in the 
St. Lawrence River or Great Lakes.
    6. In Sec.  401.31 paragraph (c) introductory text is revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  401.31  Meeting and passing.

* * * * *
    (c) Except as instructed by the traffic controller, no vessel shall 
overtake and pass or attempt to overtake and pass another vessel--
* * * * *
    7. Sec.  401.34 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.34  Vessels in tow.

    No vessel that is not self-propelled (including but not limited to 
tug/tows and/or deadship/tows) shall be underway in any Seaway waters 
unless it is securely tied to an adequate tug or tugs, in accordance 
with special instructions given by the Manager or the Corporation 
pursuant to Sec.  401.33. Every vessel in tow has to be inspected prior 
to every transit unless it has a valid Seaway Inspection Certificate. 
The owner/master shall give a 24 hour notice of arrival when an 
inspection is requested.
    8. Sec.  401.36 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.36  Order of passing through.

    Vessels shall advance to a lock in the order instructed by the 
traffic controller.
    9. In Sec.  401.37 paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.37  Mooring at tie-up walls.

    (a) Upon arrival at a lock, a vessel awaiting instructions to 
advance shall moor at the tie-up wall, close up to the designated limit 
or approach sign or to the ship preceding it, whichever is specified by 
the traffic controller or an officer of the Corporation.
* * * * *
    10. In Sec.  401.40 paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.40  Entering, exiting or position in lock.

* * * * *
    (b) On being cast off in a lock, no vessel shall be able to fall 
back in such a manner that the stern passes the stop symbol on the lock 
wall nearest the closed gates.
* * * * *
    11. In Sec.  401.48 paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.48  Turning basins.

* * * * *
    (a) With permission from the traffic controller; and
* * * * *
    12. Sec.  401.49 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.49  Dropping anchor or tying to canal bank.

    Except in an emergency, no vessel shall drop anchor in any canal or 
tie-up to any canal bank unless authorized to do so by the traffic 
controller.
    13. In Sec.  401.50 the introductory text is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  401.50  Anchorage areas.

    Except in an emergency, or unless authorized to do so by the 
traffic controller, no vessel shall drop anchor in any part of the 
Seaway except in the following designated anchorage areas:
* * * * *
    14. In Sec.  401.51 paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.51  Signaling approach to a bridge.

    (a) Unless a vessel's approach has been recognized by a flashing 
signal, the master shall signal the vessel's presence to the bridge 
operator by VHF radio when it comes abreast of any of the bridge 
whistle signs.
* * * * *
    15. In Sec.  401.58 paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  401.58  Pleasure craft scheduling.

    (a) The transit of pleasure craft shall be scheduled by the traffic 
controller or the officer in charge of a lock and may be delayed so as 
to avoid interference with other vessels; and
* * * * *
    16. Sec.  401.83 is revised to read as follows:

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Sec.  401.83  Reporting position at anchor, wharf, etc.

    A vessel anchoring in a designated anchorage area, or elsewhere, 
and a vessel mooring at a wharf or dock, tying-up to a canal bank or 
being held on a canal bank in any manner shall immediately report its 
position to the traffic controller and it shall not resume its voyage 
without the traffic controller's permission.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on December 21, 2007.

    Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.
Collister Johnson, Jr.,
Administrator.
 [FR Doc. E7-25340 Filed 12-28-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-61-P