[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 166 (Friday, August 28, 2009)]
[Pages 44673-44674]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-20313]

Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 166 / Friday, August 28, 2009 / 

[[Page 44673]]



Coast Guard


Standards for Living Organisms in Ships' Ballast Water Discharged 
in U.S. Waters; Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces the availability of a Draft 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for the rulemaking 
entitled ``Standards for Living Organisms in Ships' Ballast Water'' 
(Docket No. USCG-2001-10486), published elsewhere in today's issue of 
the Federal Register. This DPEIS provides an assessment of the 
potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
establishment of ballast water discharge standards. The standards would 
be used to approve alternative ballast water management methods that 
are effective in preventing or reducing the introduction of 
nonindigenous species via discharged ballast water into United States 
waters. We request your comments on this DPEIS.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before November 27, 
2009 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2001-10486 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 e-mail Mr. John Morris, Project Manager, Environmental 
Standards Division, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, telephone 202-372-
1433, e-mail: John.C.Morris@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing 
or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.


Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments and related material on the 
Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS). 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-2001-10486) 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 e-mail 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 and 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. Insert ``USCG-2001-10486'' in the Keyword box, 
click ``Search'', and 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 DPEIS: To view the comments and the DPEIS, 
go to http://www.regulations.gov, enter the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2001-10486) in the Keyword box, and click ``Search''. 
If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket 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 
    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).

Background and Purpose

    The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has evaluated the impacts to 
the environment from a range of alternative ballast water discharge 
standards (BWDS). BWDS would be used to approve ballast water 
management systems (BWMS) that are at least as effective as ballast 
water exchange in preventing or reducing the introduction of 
nonindigenous species (NIS) via discharged ballast water.
    Ballast water is taken on by a vessel to increase the water draft, 
change the trim, regulate the stability, or maintain stress loads 
within acceptable operational limits. The term NIS refers to organisms 
found outside of their native or historical range. In cases where they 
invade ecosystems, NIS may alter aquatic and marine ecosystems and 
biodiversity, impact commercial and recreational fisheries, cause 
infrastructure damage, contribute to potential risks to human health, 
and generally create detrimental economic impacts. Ballast water 
discharge (BWD) is a major pathway for NIS introduction from vessels 
operating in or entering United States waters.
    On September 26, 2003, the USCG announced its proposed action to 
establish BWDS that would be effective in preventing the introduction 
and spread of NIS via discharged ballast water. (68 FR 55559). This 
Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) addresses the 
effects on the human and natural environment of five alternatives for 
the proposed regulatory action to establish BWDS. This DPEIS is issued 
in conjunction with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published 
elsewhere in today's Federal Register. The DPEIS will be used to make 
an informed decision about BWDS and to understand the nationwide 
environmental and socioeconomic implications of the decision.

[[Page 44674]]

Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS)

    We request your comments on the alternatives analyzed in the DPEIS, 
methodologies used in the DPEIS, and possible sources of data or 
information not included in the DPEIS. Your comments will be considered 
in preparing the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement 
    The USCG is the lead federal agency for this action under the 
Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 
(NANPCA) as reauthorized and amended in the National Invasive Species 
Act of 1996 (NISA).

    Dated: August 17, 2009.
F.J. Sturm,
Acting Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast 
[FR Doc. E9-20313 Filed 8-27-09; 8:45 am]