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GLIN==> Dry cargo discharges to the Great Lakes

Coast Guard EIS on discharge of "dry cargo residue" from 
freighters to the Great Lakes.....  

[Federal Register: March 9, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 46)]
[Page 12209-12211]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


Coast Guard
Dry Cargo Residue Discharges in the Great Lakes; Preparation of 
Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.
ACTION: Notice of intent; notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces its intent to prepare an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) in connection with the development 
of proposed new regulations on the incidental discharge of dry cargo 
residue in the Great Lakes. Publication of this notice begins a public 
scoping process that will help determine the scope of issues to be 
addressed in the EIS and identify the significant environmental issues 
related to this EIS (40 CFR 1506.6). This notice also solicits public 
participation in the scoping process, and announces the availability of 
a study on current dry cargo residue discharge practices in the Great 

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before July 31, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket 
number USCG-2004-19621 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. 
Department of Transportation.

[[Page 12210]]

    Address docket submissions for USCG-2004-19621 to: Docket 
Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    The Docket Management Facility accepts hand-delivered submissions, 
and makes docket contents available for public inspection and copying 
at this address, in room PL-401, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Facility's telephone is 
202-366-9329, its fax is 202-493-2251, and its Web site for electronic 
submissions or for electronic access to docket contents is <A HREF="http://dms.dot.gov";>

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions regarding this 
notice, contact LCDR Mary Sohlberg, U.S. Coast Guard, fax 202-267-4690 
or e-mail <A HREF="mailto:msohlberg@comdt.uscg.mil";>msohlberg@comdt.uscg.mil</A>. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-493-0402.


Request for Comments

    We request public comments or other relevant information on 
environmental issues related to all aspects of incidental dry cargo 
residue discharges on the Great Lakes. You can submit comments to the 
Docket Management Facility during the public comment period (see 
DATES). We will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period.
    Submissions should include:
    ? Docket number USCG-2004-19621.
    ? Your name and address.
    ? Your reasons for making each comment or for bringing 
information to our attention.
    Submit comments or material using only one of the following methods:
    ? Electronic submission to DMS, <A HREF="http://dms.dot.gov";>http://dms.dot.gov</A>.
    ? Fax, mail, or hand delivery to the Docket Management 
Facility (see ADDRESSES). Faxed or hand delivered submissions must be 
unbound, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, and suitable for copying 
and electronic scanning. If you mail your submission and want to know 
when it reaches the Facility, include a stamped, self-addressed 
postcard or envelope.
    Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, 
all submissions will be posted, without change, to the DMS Web site 
(<A HREF="http://dms.dot.gov";>http://dms.dot.gov</A>), and will include any personal information 
you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You 
may wish to read the Privacy Act notice that is available on the DMS 
Web site, or the Department of Transportation Privacy Act Statement 
that appeared in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477).
    You may view docket submissions at the Docket Management Facility 
(see ADDRESSES), or electronically on the DMS Web site.


    The Coast Guard has previously published Federal Register documents 
concerning regulation of incidental dry cargo residue on the Great 
Lakes: 69 FR 1994 (January 13, 2004), 69 FR 57711 (September 27, 2004), 
69 FR 77147 (December 27, 2004; corrected at 70 FR 1400, January 7, 2005).
    The historical practice of bulk dry cargo vessels on the Great 
Lakes is to wash non-hazardous and non-toxic cargo residues (``dry 
cargo residue'' or ``cargo sweepings'') overboard. These non-hazardous 
non-toxic discharges eliminate unsafe conditions onboard the vessel, 
without requiring alternatives that could involve time delays or added 
cost. Current environmental statutes, if strictly enforced, would 
prohibit these incidental discharges. However, under an ``interim 
enforcement policy'' (IEP) first adopted by the Coast Guard's Ninth 
District in 1993, incidental discharges of dry cargo residue are 
permitted in defined portions of the Great Lakes. Congress has 
authorized continuation of the IEP until September 30, 2008, unless the 
Coast Guard acts sooner to replace the IEP with new regulations.
    Dry cargo residue on the Great Lakes generally includes, but is not 
limited to, limestone and other clean stone, iron ore such as taconite, 
coal and salt, and cement. The IEP applies only to such cargo residues, 
and does not alter the strict prohibition of any discharge of oily 
waste, untreated sewage, plastics, dunnage, or other things commonly 
understood to be ``garbage,'' from vessels on the Great Lakes. Nor does 
the IEP permit the discharge of any substance known to be toxic or 
hazardous, such as nickel, copper, zinc, or lead. The IEP permits 
incidental dry cargo residue discharges only in areas that are 
relatively far from shore, and that meet depth restrictions and other 
restrictions near special protection areas.
    Our December 27, 2004 Federal Register document (69 FR 77147; 
corrected at 70 FR 1400, January 7, 2005) announced that we would 
conduct a study of current dry cargo residue discharge practices in the 
Great Lakes, and requested information from the public that could help 
us conduct that study. The study is now complete and is available for 
public review either electronically or at the Docket Management 
Facility (see ADDRESSES and Request for Comments).

Proposed Action and Alternatives

    The proposed action is to adopt the IEP as the basis for permanent 
regulations, adding new requirements for standardized record-keeping by 
vessels that discharge dry cargo residue. The discharges that require 
logging, the format for log entries, the retention time of the logs, 
and the physical location of the log would be specified. The 
alternatives to the proposed action include:
    ? Allowing the IEP to terminate on September 30, 2008, after 
which the Coast Guard would enforce all laws applicable to the 
discharge of dry cargo residues into the Great Lakes. For the purposes 
of our environmental review this represents the ``no-action'' alternative;
    ? Adopting the IEP as the basis for permanent regulations, 
without significant change;
    ? Adopting the IEP as the basis for permanent regulations, 
possibly with significant changes (other than record-keeping) designed 
to reduce the environmental impact. Possible changes would be specified 
and could include adoption of best management practices, quantity limits, 
cargo type limits, or additional restrictions on discharge locations;
    ? Developing a Coast Guard permit system for vessels 
discharging incidental dry cargo residue; and
    ? Regulating shoreside facilities to control or eliminate 
dry cargo spillage during vessel loading or unloading.

Scoping Process

    The scoping process (40 CFR 1501.7) is an early and open process 
for determining the scope of issues to be addressed in an EIS and for 
identifying the significant issues related to the proposed action. The 
scoping process begins with publication of this notice and ends when 
the Coast Guard has completed the following actions:
    ? Invites the participation of Federal, State, and local 
agencies, any affected Indian tribe, the applicant, and other 
interested persons;
    ? Determines the actions, alternatives, and impacts 
described in 40 CFR 1508.25;
    ? Identifies and eliminates from detailed study those issues 
that are not significant or that are previously documented and can be 
incorporated by reference;
    ? Allocates responsibility for preparing EIS components;

[[Page 12211]]

    ? Indicates any related environmental assessments or 
environmental impact statements that are not part of the EIS;
    ? Identifies other relevant environmental review and 
consultation requirements;
    ? Indicates the relationship between timing of the 
environmental review and other aspects of the application process; and
    ? At its discretion, exercises the options provided in 40 
CFR 1501.7(b).
    The Coast Guard will publish a Federal Register Notice to announce 
a public meeting and will include the time, location, and venue for the 
meeting as part of the scoping process under NEPA for this action. The 
Coast Guard intends to announce these details after gauging the level 
of public interest in response to the current notice. Once the scoping 
process is complete, the Coast Guard will prepare a draft EIS, and we 
will publish a Federal Register notice announcing its public 
availability. If you wish to be mailed or e-mailed the public meeting 
notice or the draft EIS notice of availability, please contact the 
person named in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will provide the 
public with an opportunity to review and comment on the draft EIS. 
After the Coast Guard considers those comments, we will prepare the 
final EIS and similarly announce its availability and issue a Record of 
Decision 30 days later.

    Dated: March 6, 2006.
Howard L. Hime,
Acting Director of Standards, Assistant Commandant for Prevention.
[FR Doc. 06-2258 Filed 3-6-06; 4:25 pm]


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

657 Spartan Ave,  East Lansing, MI  48823  
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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