Commercial Vessel Compliance

2/23/2016: Carriage of conditionally permitted shale gas extraction waste water in bulk

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The Coast Guard announced a notice of withdrawal for a proposed policy letter concerning the carriage of shale gas extraction waste water (SGEWW) in bulk via barge.

The policy letter proposed a new standardized process and specified conditions under which a barge owner could request and be granted a Certificate of Inspection endorsement, or letter, allowing the barge to transport SGEWW in bulk. That proposed policy is withdrawn and no new policy is proposed at this time.

Barge owners may continue to request case-by-case approval to transport SGEWW under current regulations by providing recent detailed chemical composition, environmental analyses and other information for each individual tank barge load.

The Coast Guard will consider instituting a standardized process for transporting SGEWW in bulk after it has assessed whether current regulations are inadequate to handle requests for transport of SGEWW in bulk and environmental impacts that may be associated with SGEWW transport by barge.

The proposed policy letter was withdrawn February 23, 2016.

View the Federal Register notice for full background and other details.

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