Operating & Environmental Standards

End of Reporting for Bulk Dry Cargo Residue Discharges into U.S. waters of the Great Lakes

The Office of Operating and Environmental Standards (CG-OES) would like to clarify for the maritime community the February 28, 2015, sunset provision in Title 33 CFR 151.66. Vessel owners and operators are no longer required to submit to the Coast Guard quarterly reports of their discharges of bulk dry cargo residues into U.S. waters of the Great Lakes, or to use the official Form CG-33.

Recordkeeping on board is still required, but vessel owners and operators may use their own forms. The Coast Guard no longer maintains its official Form CG-33 and has removed it from the CG-OES website.

The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2014, and the Coast Guard made this intent clear in its preamble:

“The final rule’s provisions are identical to those we proposed in the SNPRM, except insofar as we have decided to retain existing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the final rule’s first year in effect, as a transitional measure.” …

“V. Discussion of Final Rule… Our final rule makes the following four general changes to the current interim rule, all of which are supported by the final rule’s FEIS, and otherwise finalizes the interim rule. …Fourth, one year after the remainder of the final rule takes effect, we will remove the requirements of 33 CFR 151.66(c) to record cargo loading and unloading operations and DCR discharge data on a Coast Guard form and to submit copies of those forms to us once each quarter.” …

“Recordkeeping and reporting. We are retaining the interim rule’s requirement, in 33 CFR 151.66(c), for vessels to keep detailed records of their bulk dry cargo loading and unloading operations and their DCR discharges. However, effective February 28, 2015 we will relax the interim rule’s requirement in section 151.66(c)(3)(iv), for these records to be kept on Coast Guard Form CG-33, and for copies of the records to be submitted to the Coast Guard on a quarterly basis. Our SNPRM, 77 FR at 44531, col. 1, stated that “[w]e lack sufficient information to remove the reporting requirement at this time.” Form CG-33 greatly facilitated our research in preparation for issuing this final rule, but we have since concluded that while reporting on Form CG-33 may have value in monitoring the first year of operation under the final rule, after that time it will no longer be necessary to use Form CG-33, and no longer necessary to submit reports. This should reduce industry’s recordkeeping and reporting burden. We have also concluded that we have good cause to relieve this burden without additional public notice or opportunity to comment, because after the first year of operation under the final rule it will be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest, within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 553, to impose that burden.”

The regulatory text is copied here, and the sunset provisions are highlighted in bold font:

“§151.66   Operating requirements: Discharge of garbage in the Great Lakes and other navigable waters. …

(b)(2)… Bulk dry cargo residues means nonhazardous and non-toxic residues, regardless of particle size, of dry cargo carried in bulk, including limestone and other clean stone, iron ore, coal, salt, and cement. It does not include residues of any substance known to be toxic or hazardous, such as nickel, copper, zinc, lead, or materials classified as hazardous in provisions of law or treaty. …

(c)(3)… (iv) Until February 28, 2015, records must be kept on Coast Guard Form CG–33, which can be found at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg522/cg5224/dry_cargo.asp. Copies of the records must be forwarded to the Coast Guard at least once each quarter, no later than the 15th day of January, April, July, and October. The record copies must be provided to the Coast Guard using only one of the following means:

(A) Email to DCRRecordkeeping@USCG.mil;

(B) Fax to 202–372–1928, ATTN: DCR RECORDKEEPING; or

(C) Mail to U.S. Coast Guard: Commandant (CG–OES), ATTN: DCR RECORDKEEPING,
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Stop 7509, Washington, DC 20593–7126.

(v) After February 28, 2015, the use of Form CG–33 is optional. However, records must still be certified by the master, owner, operator, or person in charge; must be kept in written form on board the ship for at least 2 years; and must be made available for Coast Guard inspection upon request.”

The Coast Guard appreciates all stakeholders’ support in balancing the needs of maritime commerce and environmental protection, and hopes this clarification will help simplify compliance efforts.

If you have additional questions that are not addressed in the Final Rule, please contact Mr. John Morris of the Environmental Standards Division, COMDT (CG-OES-3), at John.C.Morris@uscg.mil

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 publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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