[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 121 (Thursday, June 24, 2004)]
[Pages 35389-35390]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-14369]



Coast Guard


Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program; Programmatic 
Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for public comments.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces the availability of the draft 
Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) that evaluates the 
potential environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of 
the Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP). The purpose of STEP 
is to facilitate the development of effective ballast water treatment 
technologies to protect U.S. waters against the unintentional 
introduction of nonindigenous species via ballast water discharges. 
STEP will create more options for vessels seeking alternatives to 
ballast water exchange as they manage their ballast water.

DATES: Comments and related materials must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before July 26, 2004.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket 
number USCG-2001-9267 to the Docket management facility at the U.S. 
Department of Transportation. To avoid duplication, please use only one 
of the following methods:
    (1) By mail to the Docket Management Facility (USCG-2001-9267), 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001.
    (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.
    The Docket Management Facility maintains the public docket for this 
notice. Comments will become part of this docket and will be available 
for inspection or copying in Room PL-401, located on the Plaza Level of 
the Nassif Building at the above address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays. You may also view 
this docket, including this notice and comments, on the Internet at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this program, 
or would like a copy of the PEA, call Mr. Bivan Patnaik, Project 
Manager at (202) 267-1744 or e-mail: bpatnaik@comdt.uscg.mil. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call 
Andrea M. Jenkins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, Department of 
Transportation, telephone 202-366-0271.


Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments and related materials on this 
notice. Persons submitting comments should include their names and 
addresses, this notice docket number (USCG-2001-9267), and the reasons 
for each comment. You may submit your comments and materials by mail, 
hand delivery, fax, or electronic means to the Docket Management 
Facility at the ADDRESSES. If you choose to submit them by mail or hand 
delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no longer than 8 1/2 by 11 
inches, and suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit 
them by mail and would like to know if they reached the Facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will 
consider all comments and materials received during the comment period.

Programmatic Environmental Assessment

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(section 102(2)(c)), as implemented by the Council on Environment 
Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and Coast Guard Policy for 
Considering Environmental Impacts (COMDTINST M16475.1D), the Coast 
Guard has prepared a draft PEA to consider the environmental impacts of 
implementing STEP. The draft PEA identifies and examines those 
reasonable alternatives needed to effectively implement STEP. The draft 
PEA analyzes the no action alternative and two action alternatives that 
could fulfill the purpose and need of STEP. The draft PEA is a program 
document meant to provide a broad environmental review of a Federal 
agency's (Coast Guard) national program. In this case, the draft PEA 
provides a broad, general view of the potential environmental impacts 
that can be anticipated by implementing STEP. Specifically, the draft 
PEA considers potential effects to the natural and human environments 
including: Fish; marine mammals; invertebrates; microbes and plankton; 
submerged and emergent species; threatened and endangered species; 
essential fish habitats; and various socioeconomic resources. The draft 
PEA cannot foresee all possible specific operational sites or 
cumulative environmental impacts as a result of implementing any of the 
action alternatives. However, once specific operational sites and 
individual shipboard ballast water treatment technologies have been 
identified, these technologies will undergo a more specific 
environmental review (tiering). This environmental review of individual 
shipboard ballast water treatment technologies and specific operational 
sites will result in the issuance of either: (1) Categorical

[[Page 35390]]

Exclusion; (2) Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) after an 
Environmental Assessment (EA); or (3) Environmental Impact Statement 
    The purpose of this Notice of Availability is to inform the public, 
Federal, State, and local governments that the draft PEA is available 
for review and comment. Therefore, we are requesting your comments on 
environmental concerns you may have related to the draft PEA. This 
includes methodologies for use in the draft PEA or possible sources of 
data or information not included in the draft PEA. Your comments will 
be considered in preparing a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) 
and final PEA.

    Dated: May 11, 2004.
Howard L. Hime,
Acting Director of Standards, Marine Safety, Security and Environmental 
[FR Doc. 04-14369 Filed 6-23-04; 8:45 am]