Emerging Policy

12/21/2016: Comment period to re-open for Alternative Planning Criteria National Guidelines

From the desk of Ms. Dana S. Tulis, Director, Incident Management and Preparedness Policy

The Coast Guard is temporarily suspending the promulgation of the Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) National Guidelines in order to re-open the public comment period for an additional 90 days. Understanding that this topic is of high importance, the Coast Guard desires to thoroughly consider all facets of the policy’s implementation. Although open to any comments, the Coast Guard is specifically interested in comments related to the economic impact of the policy, especially in remote areas. Additionally, the Coast Guard is interested in public comment regarding the exercise and verification aspects of the policy.

Existing APCs and related ACP acceptance policy will remain in effect over the course of this comment period. Existing APCs will be renewed such that the maritime industry is afforded an adequate and reasonable period of time to comply with the new policy, once released. APCs are not “required,” but voluntary alternatives to the national planning standards. The intention of an APC is to identify and address resource gaps until response resources are sufficiently built up to meet the national planning standards.

Any application for a new APC, or modification of a currently accepted APC, will be handled and reviewed in accordance with existing regulations and guidance (specifically, 33 C.F.R. Part 155, Coast Guard (CG-543) Policy Letter 09-02 and Western Alaska Marine Safety Information Bulletin 03-14 (dated April 28, 2014)). The Coast Guard references can be found here, and then follow these crumbs on the left-hand side of the page (Environmental -> Vessel Response Plan Program -> Tank Vessel Response Plans).

A Federal Register Notice will be released in the near future announcing the reopening of the comment period for an additional 90 days

View the original Federal Register Notice regarding the draft update to the APC National Guidelines for the background and further details on APC.

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.