[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 177 (Thursday, September 14, 2017)]
[Page 43248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-19523]



Office of the Secretary

Waiver of Compliance With Navigation Laws; Hurricanes Harvey and 

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.


    Hurricane Harvey striking the U.S. Gulf Coast has resulted in 
severe disruptions in both the midstream and downstream sectors of the 
oil supply system. Some refineries and pipeline networks are shut-in or 
running at reduced rates. In addition, conditions exist for a potential 
imminent shortage of energy supply in areas predicted to be affected by 
Hurricane Irma. In light of the impact on the affected region's energy 
needs, the Department of Energy (DOE) has recommended that the 
Department of Homeland Security waive the requirements of the Jones Act 
in the interest of national defense to facilitate the transportation of 
the necessary volume of petroleum products for a 7-day period. 
Furthermore, the Department of Defense (DoD) has requested a 7-day 
waiver of the Jones Act in the interest of national defense, commencing 
    The Jones Act, 46 United States Code (U.S.C.) 55102, states ``a 
vessel may not provide any part of the transportation of merchandise by 
water, or by land and water, between points in the United States to 
which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or via a foreign port'' 
unless the vessel was built in and documented under the laws of the 
United States and is wholly owned by persons who are citizens of the 
United States. Such a vessel, after obtaining a coastwise endorsement 
from the U.S. Coast Guard, is ``coastwise-qualified.'' The coastwise 
laws generally apply to points in the territorial sea, which is defined 
as the belt, three nautical miles wide, seaward of the territorial sea 
baseline, and to points located in internal waters, landward of the 
territorial sea baseline.
    The navigation laws, including the coastwise laws, can be waived 
under the authority provided by 46 U.S.C. 501. The statute provides in 
relevant part, ``On request of the Secretary of Defense, the head of an 
agency responsible for the administration of the navigation or vessel-
inspection laws shall waive compliance with those laws to the extent 
the Secretary considers necessary in the interest of national 
defense.'' 46 U.S.C. 501(a).
    For the reasons stated above, and in light of the request from the 
Department of Defense and the concurrence of the Department of Energy, 
I am exercising my authority to waive the Jones Act for a 7-day period, 
commencing immediately, to facilitate movement of refined petroleum 
products, including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel--to be shipped from 
New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Louisiana to South Carolina, 
Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico. This waiver applies to covered 
merchandise laded on board a vessel within the 7 day period of the 

    Executed this 8th day of September, 2017.
Elaine C. Duke,
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2017-19523 Filed 9-13-17; 8:45 am]