[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 133 (Wednesday, July 11, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 40802-40805]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16859]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

33 CFR Part 401

[Docket No. SLSDC-2012-0001]
RIN 2135-AA30


Seaway Regulations and Rules: Periodic Update, Various Categories

AGENCY: Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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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 amending the joint regulations by updating the 
Seaway Regulations and Rules in various categories. The changes will 
update the following sections of the Regulations and Rules: Condition 
of Vessels; Seaway Navigation; Dangerous Cargo; Information and 
Reports; General; and, Navigation Closing Procedures. These amendments 
are necessary to take account of updated procedures and will enhance 
the safety of transits through the Seaway. Several of the amendments 
are merely editorial or for clarification of existing requirements.

DATES: The final rule is effective July 11, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carrie Mann Lavigne, Chief Counsel, 
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, 180 Andrews Street, 
Massena, New York 13662; 315/764-3200.

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.

[[Page 40803]]

Under agreement with the SLSMC, the SLSDC is amending the joint 
regulations by updating the Regulations and Rules in various 
categories. The changes would update the following sections of the 
Regulations and Rules: Condition of Vessels; Seaway Navigation; 
Dangerous Cargo; Information and Reports; General; and, Navigation 
Closing Procedures. These amendments are necessary to take account of 
updated procedures which will enhance the safety of transits through 
the Seaway. Many of these changes are to clarify existing requirements 
in the regulations. Where new requirements or regulations are being 
made, an explanation for such a change is provided below.
    The joint regulations became effective in Canada on July 9, 2012. 
For consistency, because these are joint regulations under 
international agreement, and to avoid confusion among users of the 
Seaway, the SLSDC finds that there is good cause to make the U.S. 
version of the amendments effective upon the date of publication in the 
Federal Register.

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 DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478) or you may visit http://www.Regulations.gov. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in 
the Federal Register on May 31, 2012 (76 FR 13088). No comments were 
received.
    The SLSDC is amending three sections of the Condition of Vessels 
portion of the joint Seaway regulations. Under section 401.11, 
``Fairleads'', due to damage from fairleads on new vessels, the SLSDC 
is requiring that all sharp edges be rounded. In section 401.12, 
``Minimum requirements--mooring lines and fairleads'', the SLSDC is 
addressing the use of wire lines on vessels 100 m or less. In section 
401.15, ``Stern anchors'', the Seaway entities are requiring vessels of 
more than 125 m in overall length as well as every integrated tug and 
barge or articulated tug and barge unit greater than 125 m in overall 
length be equipped with a stern anchor.
    Several changes to the Seaway Navigation section are being made. 
The Seaway Corporations are amending their joint rules in section 
401.29, ``Maximum draft'', to permit vessels using a ``Draft 
Information System'' (DIS) to transit the Seaway up to 7 cm (3 inches) 
above the maximum permissible draft allowed at the time. The use of a 
DIS is an optional, not a mandatory requirement, to transit the Seaway. 
The DIS will allow the vessel to transit the Seaway at a draft up to 3 
inches (7 cm) more than the published maximum draft with prior approval 
from the two Seaway entities.

Benefits of Using the DIS

    The primary purpose of this amendment is safety. The use of the DIS 
will ensure that vessels maintain a safe under keel clearance as they 
make maximum use of the available water column. DIS uses water level 
measurements, bathymetry of the channel bottom, and squat of the vessel 
as it moves at different speeds and in different channel types. The 
squat of a vessel varies depending on the vessel type, hull shape, and 
the type of channel in which it is operating, and the vessel's speed. 
By including all the factors, the under keel clearance value is 
determined in real time. The information on the projected under keel 
clearance is integrated electronically with chart data, high-resolution 
bathymetry and other readings on a single bridge display.
    The technology features an algorithm, which allows the Master to 
estimate under keel clearance ahead, offering time for a course change 
or other required reaction in transit. With Masters having more precise 
information regarding the available water column, the risk of a vessel 
touching bottom or grounding is reduced.
    In addition to the safety benefits, increasing the maximum 
allowable draft will improve the Seaway's productivity and 
competitiveness. Depending on the commodity carried, an additional 
three inches of draft might account for as much as 360 additional 
metric tons per voyage.

Development of DIS Specification

    The use of a DIS tool began in 2003 in the St. Mary's River. In 
2006, the Seaway entities conducted 4 trials of the tool used in the 
St. Mary's River as a proof of concept. Three tests were conducted in 
the Montreal to Lake Ontario (MLO) section of the Seaway during 2007 
under low water conditions. During 2008, tests were conducted in the 
MLO and Welland Canal sections of the Seaway. In 2009, eight (8) trials 
were conducted in the Welland Canal section and ten (10) trials were 
conducted in the MLO section of the Seaway. In 2010 a DIS pilot program 
was instituted in the MLO and Welland Canal. After successful 
completion of the test trials and pilot program and to ensure future 
consistency and reliability of the DIS, the two Seaway entities began 
the development of a standard DIS specification.
    On January 19, 2011, the two Seaway Corporations jointly published 
an industrial implementation specification entitled, ``Implementation 
Specification--a Draft Information System for the St. Lawrence Seaway'' 
(Specification). Following a public comment period during which 
comments received were considered in the development of the 
Specification, a final Implementation Specification was published on 
the bi-national Web site at http://www.greatlakes-seaway.com on March 
16, 2011. The Specification was developed under the guidance of the St. 
Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, the SLSDC, together with 
representatives from system manufacturers and the shipping industry. 
The development of the Specification followed accelerated procedures 
derived from the International Organization for Standards (ISO) 
standardization process that endeavored to develop a broad based 
consensus standard. The DIS Implementation Specification describes the 
functionality and interfaces for a system which utilizes water levels, 
channel type, bathymetry, and vessel speed and characteristics to 
determine current and predicted under keel clearance. On March 18, 
2012, the first DIS Tool was verified by a member of the International 
Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to be compliant with the 
Specification.
    In addition to these changes, the two Seaway Corporations, in 
section 401.32, ``Cargo booms--deck cargo'' are requiring notification 
of the height of deck cargo in order to determine appropriate wind 
restrictions.
    In the Information and Reports section, a change to section 401.79, 
``Advance notice of arrival, vessels requiring inspection'' is being 
made. The amendments provide requirements for reporting notice of 
arrival depending on the vessel's voyage time. Further, vessels 
requiring inspection or re-inspection will be required to provide a 24-
hour notice of inspection based on certain specified factors. The 
Advance Notice of Arrival procedures are currently in effect pursuant 
to Seaway Notices.
    The other changes to the joint regulations are merely editorial or 
to clarify existing requirements.

[[Page 40804]]

Regulatory Evaluation

    This 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 that this regulation will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The St. 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 regulation does not require an environmental impact statement 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (49 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.) 
because it is not a major federal action significantly affecting the 
quality of the human environment.

Federalism

    The Corporation has analyzed this 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 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 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 
amends 33 CFR part 401 as follows:

PART 401--SEAWAY REGULATIONS AND RULES

Subpart A--Regulations

0
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.
0
2. In Sec.  401.11, add paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.11  Fairleads.

    (a) * * *
    (4) When passing synthetic lines through a type of fairlead or 
closed chock acceptable to the Manager and the Corporation all sharp 
edges of the fairlead, closed chock and/or bulwark shall be rounded to 
protect the line from chafing or breakage.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  401.12 revise paragraph (a)(1)(ii) to read as follows:


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

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) One synthetic hawser may be hand held or if wire line is used 
shall be powered. The line shall lead astern from the break of the bow 
through a closed chock to suitable bitts on deck for synthetic line or 
led from a capstan, winch drum or windlass to an approved fairlead for 
a wire line.
* * * * *

0
4. Revise Sec.  401.15 to read as follows:


Sec.  401.15  Stern anchors.

    (a) Every vessel of more than 125 m in overall length, the keel of 
which is laid after January 1, 1975, shall be equipped with a stern 
anchor.
    (b) Every integrated tug and barge or articulated tug and barge 
unit greater than 125 m in overall length which is constructed after 
January 1, 2003 shall be equipped with a stern anchor.

0
5. In Sec.  401.28 revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.28  Speed limits.

* * * * *
    (d) Notwithstanding the above speed limits, every vessel 
approaching a free standing lift bridge shall proceed at a speed that 
it will be able to stop prior to it reaching the Limit of Approach sign 
should the raising of the bridge be delayed.
* * * * *

0
6. Revise Sec.  401.29 to read as follows:


Sec.  401.29.  Maximum draft.

    (a) Notwithstanding any provision herein, the loading of cargo, 
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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    (b) The draft of a vessel shall not, in any case, exceed 79.2 dm or 
the maximum permissible draft designated in a Seaway Notice by the 
Manager and the Corporation for the part of the Seaway in which a 
vessel is passing.
    (c) Any vessel equipped with An operational Draft Information 
System (DIS) Tool verified by a member of the International Association 
of Classification Societies (IACS) as compliant with the Implementation 
Specifications found at http://www.greatlakes-seaway.com and contained 
in the Seaway Handbook under ``Ship Transit and Equipment 
Requirements'' shall have onboard:
    (1) Up-to-date electronic navigational charts; and
    (2) Up-to-date charts containing high-resolution bathymetric data; 
and
    (3) A pilot plug, if using a portable DIS Tool, will be permitted, 
when using the DIS Tool, subject to paragraph (a) of this section, to 
increase their draft by no more than 7 cm above the maximum permissible 
draft prescribed under paragraph (b) of this section in effect at the 
time.
    (d) Any vessel intending to use DIS must notify the Manager or the 
Corporation in writing at least 24-hours prior to commencement of its 
initial transit in the System with the DIS Tool.
    (e) Verification document of the DIS Tool must be kept on board the 
vessel at all times and made available for inspection.
    (f) If for any reason the DIS becomes inoperable, malfunctions, or 
is not used, the vessel must notify the Manager or the Corporation 
immediately.

(68 Stat. 93-96, 33 U.S.C. 981-990, as amended and secs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, 12 and 13 of Sec. 2 of Pub. L. 95-474, 92 Stat. 1471)


0
7. In Sec.  401.32 add paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.32  Cargo booms-deck cargo.

* * * * *
    (c) Seaway Traffic Control Center shall be notified of the height 
of deck cargo prior to transiting the Seaway or when departing from a 
Port or Wharf within the Seaway.

0
8. In Sec.  401.44, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.44  Mooring in locks.

* * * * *
    (b) Once the mooring lines are on the mooring posts, lines shall be 
kept slack

[[Page 40805]]

until the ``all clear'' signal is given by the lock personnel. When 
casting off signal is received, mooring lines should be kept slack 
until the ``all clear'' signal is given by the lock personnel.

0
9. In Sec.  401.59, add paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.59  Pollution.

* * * * *
    (e) Except as authorized by the Manager or the Corporation, no over 
the side painting shall be allowed in the Seaway.
* * * * *

0
10. In Sec.  401.72, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.72  Reporting--explosive and hazardous cargo vessels.

* * * * *
    (d) Every vessel carrying radioactive substances shall, when 
reporting in, give the number and date of issue of any required 
certificate issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) 
and/or the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) authorizing such 
shipment.
* * * * *

0
11. Revise Sec.  401.79 to read as follows:


Sec.  401.79  Advance notice of arrival, vessels requiring inspection.

    (a) Advance notice of arrival. All foreign flagged vessels 
intending to transit the Seaway shall submit one complete electronic 
Notice of Arrival (NOA) prior to entering at call in point 2 (CIP 2) as 
follows:
    (1) If your voyage time to CIP 2 is 96 hours or more, you must 
submit an electronic NOA 96 hours before entering the Seaway at CIP 2.
    (2) If your voyage time to CIP 2 is less than 96 hours, you must 
submit an electronic NOA before departure, but at least 24 hours before 
entering the Seaway at CIP 2.
    (3) If there are changes to the electronic NOA, submit them as soon 
as practicable but at least 12 hours before entering the Seaway at CIP 
2.
    (4) The NOA must be provided electronically following the USCG 
National Vessel Movement Center's (NVMC) procedures (http://www.nvmc.uscg.gov).
    (5) To complete the NOA correctly for Seaway entry, select the 
following:
    (i) ``CIP 2'' as the Arrival Port,
    (ii) ``Foreign to Saint Lawrence Seaway'' as the Voyage Type, and
    (iii) ``Saint Lawrence Seaway Transit'' as the Arrival State, City 
and Receiving Facility.
    (b) Vessels requiring inspection or reinspection. All pre-cleared 
vessels must provide a 24 hour notice of inspection as follows:
    (1) Enhanced Seaway inspection. All foreign flagged vessels and 
vessels of unusual design are subject to a Seaway inspection prior to 
initial transit of the Seaway each navigation season.
    (2) Inland self-inspection. Inland domestic vessels which are 
approved by the Seaway and are ISM certified and have a company quality 
management system, must submit the ``Self-Inspection Report'', every 2 
navigation seasons and not later than 30 days after ``fit out''.
    (3) Inland domestic vessels not participating in the ``Self-
Inspection Program'' are subject to Seaway inspection prior to every 
transit of the Seaway.
    (4) Tub/barge combinations not on the ``Seaway Approved Tow'' list 
are subject to Seaway inspection prior to every transit of the Seaway.

0
12. In Sec.  401. 84, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.84  Reporting of impairment or other hazard by vessels 
transiting within the Seaway.

* * * * *
    (c) Any malfunction of equipment on the vessel
* * * * *

0
13. In Sec.  401.89, add paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  401.89  Transit refused.

    (a) * * *
    (4) The vessel is not in compliance with flag state and/or 
classification society regulations.

0
14. Revise Sec.  401.92 to read as follows:


Sec.  401.92  Wintering and laying-up.

    No vessel shall winter within the Seaway or lay-up within the 
Seaway during the navigation season except with the written permission 
of the Manager or the Corporation and subject to the conditions and 
charges that may be imposed.

0
15. In Schedule II to Subpart A of Part 401--Table of Speeds, revise 
section number 2 and footnote 1 to read as follows:
* * * * *

                            Schedule II to Subpart A of Part 401--Table of Speeds \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Maximum speed over the bottom (knots)
             From--                       To--        ----------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Column III                    Column IV
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
2. Lake St. Louis Buoy A13......  Lower Entrance       12 (dnb); 14 (upb)            11 (upb); 13 (dnb).
                                   Lower Beauharnois
                                   Lock.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
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\1\ Maximum speeds at which a vessel may travel in the identified area in both normal and high water conditions
  are set out in this schedule. The Manager and the Corporation will, from time to time, designate the set of
  speed limits that is in effect.


    Issued at Washington, DC on July 5, 2012.

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.
Craig H. Middlebrook,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-16859 Filed 7-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-61-P