[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 205 (Wednesday, October 23, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63235-63236]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24746]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2013-0522]


Tank Vessel Oil Transfers

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces that it is considering new measures 
to reduce the risks of oil spills in oil transfer operations from or to 
a tank vessel, and requests public input on measures that can be 
implemented to reduce these risks. The Coast Guard may use that input 
to inform future rulemaking efforts.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before November 22, 
2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2013-0522 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 Ken Smith, Vessel and Facility Operating Standards 
Division (CG-OES-2), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1413, email 
Ken.A.Smith@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 
topics and questions described in this notice. 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-2013-0522) 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, 
type the docket number (USCG-2013-0522) in the ``SEARCH'' box and click 
``SEARCH.'' Click on ``Submit a Comment'' on the line associated with 
this notice. 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 material in the docket: To view comments 
and material on the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the 
docket number (USCG-2013-0522) in the ``SEARCH'' box and click 
``SEARCH.'' Click on ``Open Docket Folder'' on the line associated with 
this notice. 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).

Background and Purpose

    Currently, applicable regulations that address reducing the risk of 
oil spills exist in 33 CFR subchapter O and in 46 CFR subchapter D. 
Section 702 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 requires the 
Coast Guard to promulgate additional regulations to reduce the risks of 
oil spills in operations involving the transfer of oil from or to a 
tank vessel (Pub. L. 111-281, codified at 46 U.S.C. 3703 Note). In 
accordance with section 702, the Coast Guard intends to focus on 
operations that have the highest risks of discharge, including 
operations at night and in inclement weather. We are considering 
whether or not to establish new or amend existing regulations for the 
use of equipment, such as putting booms in place for transfers, safety, 
and environmental impacts; and operational procedures such as manning 
standards, communication protocols, and restrictions on operations in 
high-risk areas. We are also taking into account the safety of 
personnel and effectiveness of available procedures and equipment for 
preventing or mitigating transfer spills.

Request for Comments

    We seek public input and assistance in identifying appropriate 
issues to assist reducing the risks of oil spills in operations 
involving the transfer of oil from or to a tank vessel. We request 
input on the following questions:
    1. In addition to operations at night and inclement weather, what 
other oil transfer operations to or from tank vessels have the highest 
risk of spilling oil?
    2. What measures should the Coast Guard implement to reduce the 
spillage of oil from other high-risk operations conducted during oil 
transfer operations to or from tank vessels?
    3. What measures should the Coast Guard implement to reduce 
spillage of

[[Page 63236]]

oil from oil transfers conducted to or from tank vessels at night?
    4. What measures should the Coast Guard implement to reduce 
spillage of oil from oil transfers conducted to or from tank vessels 
during periods of inclement weather?
    5. What additional equipment should the Coast Guard require to 
reduce oil spills from oil transfers to or from tank vessels, improve 
safety for personnel involved in oil transfer operations to or from 
tank vessels, and protect the marine environment from oil spilled 
during oil transfers to or from tank vessels; and what requirements 
should the Coast Guard impose for use of the equipment to help reduce 
oil spilled during oil transfers to or from tank vessels?
    6. What operational requirements (e.g., manning standards, 
communications protocols, and restrictions on operations in high-risk 
areas) should the Coast Guard require to reduce oil spills from oil 
transfers conducted to or from tank vessels?
    7. What improvements are needed to ensure the safety of personnel 
involved in oil transfers conducted to or from tank vessels or in the 
cleanup of spills associated with oil transfers to or from tank 
vessels?
    8. How effective are the existing procedures and equipment for 
preventing or mitigating oil spills from oil transferred to or from 
tank vessels?
    9. How do existing federal requirements \1\ differ from state 
requirements for oil transfers conducted to or from tank vessels?
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    \1\ For the purposes of this notice, ``existing federal 
requirements'' refers to 33 CFR subchapter O and 46 CFR subchapter 
D.
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    10. Does compliance with any known state oil transfer regulations 
interfere with existing federal requirements for prevention of 
pollution of oil transfers for vessels or facilities transfering oil to 
or from tank vessels?
    11. What international and industry consensus standards should the 
Coast Guard consider incorporating or conforming to, to further prevent 
oil spills from tank vessels engaged in oil transfer operations?
    12. Are there conflicts or areas of improvement with regard to 
regulations in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations covering 
waterfront facility oil transfer regulations that will further prevent 
oil spills from oil transfered to or from tank vessels?
    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 33 U.S.C. 
1231, and 46 U.S.C. 3703 Note.

F.J. Sturm,
Acting Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast 
Guard.
[FR Doc. 2013-24746 Filed 10-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P