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The Coast Guard published a proposed rule for special load line exemption for Lake Michigan and announced the availability of several requests for a rulemaking and their request for public comments . The requesters are petitioning the Coast Guard to establish a special load line-exempted route on Lake Michigan. This exemption would allow non-load line river barges to transit along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, between Chicago (Calumet Harbor), IL, and Muskegon, MI. This is similar to an existing exempted route along the western shore between Calumet and Milwaukee, WI.
The Coast Guard must consider several issues: The safety of the operation, protection of the marine environment, resource demands on the Coast Guard with compliance verification and enforcement and the potential economic costs and benefits.
Public comments on these issues, as well as other points that are pertinent to this petition, are encouraged.
Comments and related material must be submitted on or before August 25, 2014.
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