[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 210 (Wednesday, October 30, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 64905-64906]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-25628]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

46 CFR Part 153

[Docket No. USCG-2013-0915]
RIN 1625-ZA31


Carriage of Conditionally Permitted Shale Gas Extraction Waste 
Water in Bulk

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces the availability of a proposed 
policy letter concerning the carriage of shale gas extraction waste 
water in bulk via barge, and invites public comment. The policy letter 
specifies the conditions under which a barge owner may request and be 
granted a Certificate of Inspection endorsement or letter allowing the 
barge to transport shale gas extraction waste water in bulk. The policy 
letter also defines the information the Coast Guard may require the 
barge owner to provide and specifies the additional requirements the 
Coast Guard is considering imposing on such barges. Upon reviewing 
comments received on this proposed policy letter, Coast Guard will 
issue the final policy letter and specify its effective date.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before November 29, 
2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2013-0915 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, 
call or email Dr. Cynthia A. Znati, Office of Design and Engineering 
Standards, Hazardous Materials Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 
202-372-1412, email HazmatStandards@uscg.mil. If you have questions on 
viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Barbara Hairston, 
Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments and related material on the 
proposed policy letter concerning the carriage of conditionally 
permitted shale gas extraction waste water in bulk. In particular, we 
specifically request public comment regarding the disclosure of 
proprietary information to the Coast Guard, and regarding the 
applicability of testing requirements for radioactive materials to all 
regions where shale gas extraction waste water may be transported by 
barge. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have 
provided.
    Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include the 
docket number for this notice (USCG-2013-0915) and provide a reason for 
each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and 
material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only 
one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of 
your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding 
your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu select 
``Notices'' and insert ``USCG-2013-0915'' in the ``Keyword'' box. Click 
``Search'' then click on the balloon shape in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you submit your comments 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 that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, 
self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and 
material received during the comment period.
    Viewing the comments and proposed new policy letter: To view the 
comments and the policy letter, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click 
on the ``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted in 
blue. In the ``Keyword'' box insert ``USCG-2013-0915'' and click 
``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket 
online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on 
the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an 
agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket 
Management Facility.
    Privacy Act: Anyone can search the electronic form of 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 a 
Privacy Act, system of records notice regarding our public dockets in 
the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

[[Page 64906]]

Background and Purpose

    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a). The 
purpose of this notice is to announce the availability of the Coast 
Guard's proposed policy letter entitled ``Carriage of Conditionally 
Permitted Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water in Bulk,'' and to request 
public comments on the policy the letter describes. The policy letter 
specifies the conditions under which a barge owner may request and be 
granted a Certificate of Inspection endorsement or letter, under 46 CFR 
part 153, allowing the barge to transport shale gas extraction waste 
water (SGEWW) in bulk as Conditionally Permitted SGEWW. The policy 
letter also defines the information the Coast Guard may require the 
barge owner to provide and specifies the additional requirements the 
Coast Guard is considering imposing on such barges.
    SGEWW is a by-product of drilling for natural gas using 
unconventional hydraulic fracturing technology, which involves the 
injection of water, sand, and chemical additives. The sand remains in 
the well but a substantial portion of the injected fluid re-surfaces 
after the drilling and must be handled as SGEWW. At present, this SGEWW 
is either stored at the drilling site or transported by rail or truck 
to remote storage or reprocessing centers. There is commercial interest 
in transporting SGEWW from northern Appalachia via inland waterways to 
storage or reprocessing centers and final disposal sites in Ohio, 
Texas, and Louisiana.
    Pursuant to 46 CFR 153.900(a) and (c), under certain circumstances 
a bulk liquid hazardous material may be transported by a tank vessel if 
it is a ``listed cargo'' (listed in any of several specified tables in 
Coast Guard regulations). SGEWW, however, cannot be treated as a 
``listed cargo'' because the specific chemical composition of SGEWW 
varies from one consignment load to another and may contain one or more 
hazardous materials as defined in 46 CFR 153.2, including radioactive 
isotopes such as radium-226 and radium-228. Variables affecting the 
chemical composition of SGEWW include the chemicals present in the 
initial drilling fluid, the specific site being drilled, and the age of 
the well. In addition, each load can be a mixture of SGEWW from 
different wells.
    Upon reviewing comments received on this proposed policy letter, 
Coast Guard will issue the final policy letter and specify its 
effective date.

    Dated: October 23, 2013.
J.G. Lantz,
Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, United States Coast 
Guard.
[FR Doc. 2013-25628 Filed 10-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P