Commercial Vessel Compliance

2/6/2015: Coast Guard has not taken final action on proposed policy letter for carriage of cargo

The Coast Guard reiterated Thursday that it has not taken final agency action or approved requests for the carriage of Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water, or SGEWW, in bulk.

“The Coast Guard has not taken final agency action on the June 2012 request to carry Shale Gas Extraction Waste Water,” stated CAPT John Mauger, Chief of the Office of Design Engineering Standards at Coast Guard Headquarters. “Our action on this request is still pending our analysis of the comments received during the public review of our proposed policy.”

In June 2012, the Coast Guard received a request to classify and carry SGEWW for bulk transportation via barge. The regulations in 46 CFR 153, require the Coast Guard’s Office of Design and Engineering Standards to assess the hazards and classify a cargo before it can be carried in bulk.

In October 2013, the Coast Guard published a draft policy that proposed conditions for carriage of this cargo. No decision regarding the carriage of this cargo has been made.

As described in the draft policy, the proposed standards would not supersede existing allowances for oil field wastes to be shipped as hazardous wastes under long-standing Coast Guard policy in Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 7-8 7, Guidance on Waterborne Transport of Oil Field Wastes. This policy describes the oil field wastes and provides several examples. Under this policy, vessels carrying hazardous waste are subject to inspection. Further, waterfront facilities involved in the handling, storage or transfer of hazardous waste are regulated by the Coast Guard under 33 CFR, Part 126.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.