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Federal Register Notice: Draft guidance for nationally consistent Coastal Zone Area Contingency Plan architecture

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The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that a Notice of Availability (NOA) pertaining to Coastal Zone Area Contingency Plan (ACP) guidance has been published to the Federal Register.

This NOA presents a draft guidance document intended to establish a new, nationally consistent architecture for coastal ACPs. ACPs are required by the Clean Water Act and demonstrate the planning for oil and hazardous substance incident response at the local level. ACPs for areas within the coastal zone are approved by the Coast Guard. To modernize coastal ACPs, improve usability, and attain national consistency, the U.S. Coast Guard is developing new policy pertaining to ACP architecture. This new, standardized construct will better enable industry plan writers of vessel and facility response plans with multiple, diverse operating areas to consistently align with Coast Guard approved ACPs. A more standardized approach will minimize confusion due to highly variable ACP structure and content and facilitate more efficient responses, especially large sale responses requiring mobilization of personnel and resources from outside the region. Additionally, adopting a nationally consistent architecture will facilitate the Coast Guard’s development of a modern, app-based ACP product for end users.

The U.S. Coast Guard requests comments from all stakeholders who use or have a role in the development of ACPs, including but not limited to: federal agencies with a nexus to the National Response System, tribal representatives, state and local agencies (Local Emergency Planning Committees), emergency managers, response personnel, Oil Spill Removal Organizations and environmental consultants, Non-profit and voluntary organizations, Industry plan holders, and any other organizations active in Area Committee functions. Comments received will be considered in preparing final guidance document(s).

Please note that the proposed guidance is for a macro level ACP architecture only, and that the U.S. Coast Guard recognizes that some degree of local variability is expected beneath the macro level elements. The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to advance additional, more detailed policy guidance supporting this new ACP architecture.

This Notice is available on the Federal Register under Docket number USCG-2022-0576.

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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