Port Access Route Study: Off San Francisco, CA, 65543-65545 [E9-29415]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency Information Collection Activities: Andean Trade Preferences mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: 60-Day notice and request for comments; Revision of an existing information collection: 1651–0091. SUMMARY: As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on an information collection requirement concerning the Andean Trade Preferences. This request for comment is being made pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13; 44 U.S.C. 3505(c)(2)). DATES: Written comments should be received on or before February 8, 2010, to be assured of consideration. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Attn: Tracey Denning, Office of Regulations and Rulings, 799 9th Street, NW., 7th Floor, Washington, DC. 20229–1177. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to Tracey Denning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Regulations and Rulings, 799 9th Street, NW., 7th Floor, Washington, DC. 20229–1177, at 202–325–0265. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13; 44 U.S.C. 3505(c)(2)). The comments should address: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operations, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this document the CBP is soliciting comments concerning the following information collection: Title: Andean Trade Preferences. OMB Number: 1651–0091. Form Number: 449. Abstract: The information is to be used by CBP officers to document preferential tariff treatment under the provisions of the Andean Trade Preferences Act and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), as codified in 19 U.S.C. 3201 through 3206. CBP is adding form 449 to this collection of information so respondents can submit information under ATPDEA. Current Actions: This submission is being made to extend the expiration date and to revise this information collection by adding Form 449. Type of Review: Extension (with change). Affected Public: Businesses. ATPA Certificate of Origin: Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,133. Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 2. Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 4,266. Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 711. ATPDEA Certificate of Origin: Estimated Number of Respondents: 233. Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 7. Estimated Number of Total Annual Responses: 1,631. Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 815. Dated: December 7, 2009. Tracey Denning, Agency Clearance Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. [FR Doc. E9–29458 Filed 12–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. USCG–2009–0576] Port Access Route Study: Off San Francisco, CA Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of study; request for comments. ACTION: PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is conducting a Port Access Route Study (PARS) to evaluate the continued applicability of and the need for modifications to current vessel routing measures in the approaches to San Francisco. The goal of the study is to help reduce the risk of marine casualties and increase the efficiency of vessel traffic in the study area. The recommendations of the study may lead to future rulemaking action or appropriate international agreements. DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before February 8, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2009–0576 using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. (2) Fax: 202–493–2251. (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202–366–9329. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice of study, contact Lieutenant Sara Young, Project Officer, Eleventh Coast Guard District, telephone 510–437–2978; or e-mail Sara.E.Young@uscg.mil; or George Detweiler, Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard, telephone 202–372–1566, or e-mail George.H.Detweiler@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Renee K. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments Coast Guard AGENCY: 65543 We encourage you to participate in this study by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 65544 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices Submitting Comments If you submit comments, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG–2009–0576), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘submit a comment’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop down menu select ‘‘Notices’’ and insert ‘‘USCG– 2009–0576’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box. Click ‘‘Search’’ then click on the balloon shape in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Viewing the Comments and Documents To view the comments and documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘read comments’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Keyword’’ box insert ‘‘USCG–2009– 0576’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility. Privacy Act Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act, system of records notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316). Definitions The following definitions are from the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) publication ‘‘Ships’ Routeing’’ (except ‘‘Regulated Navigation Area’’) and should help you review this notice: Area to be avoided (ATBA) means a routing measure comprising an area within defined limits in which either navigation is particularly hazardous or it is exceptionally important to avoid casualties and which should be avoided by all vessels, or certain classes of vessels. Deep-water route means a route within defined limits, which has been accurately surveyed for clearance of sea bottom and submerged obstacles as indicated on nautical charts. Inshore traffic zone means a routing measure comprising a designated area between the landward boundary of a traffic separation scheme and the adjacent coast, to be used in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10(d), as amended, of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGS). Precautionary area means a routing measure comprising an area within defined limits where vessels must navigate with particular caution and within which the direction of traffic flow may be recommended. Recommended route means a route of undefined width, for the convenience of vessels in transit, which is often marked by centerline buoys. Recommended track is a route which has been specially examined to ensure so far as possible that it is free of dangers and along which vessels are advised to navigate. Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) means a water area within a defined boundary for which regulations for vessels navigating within the area have been established under 33 CFR part 165. Roundabout means a routing measure comprising a separation point or circular separation zone and a circular traffic lane within defined limits. Traffic within the roundabout is separated by moving in a counterclockwise direction around the separation point or zone. Separation Zone or separation line means a zone or line separating the traffic lanes in which vessels are proceeding in opposite or nearly opposite directions; or separating a traffic lane from the adjacent sea area; or separating traffic lanes designated for PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 particular classes of vessels proceeding in the same direction. Traffic lane means an area within defined limits in which one-way traffic is established. Natural obstacles, including those forming separation zones may constitute a boundary. Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) means a routing measure aimed at the separation of opposing streams of traffic by appropriate means and by the establishment of traffic lanes. Two-way route means a route within defined limits inside which two-way traffic is established, aimed at providing safe passage of ships through waters where navigation is difficult or dangerous. Vessel routing system means any system of one or more routes or routing measure aimed at reducing the risk of casualties; it includes traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, recommended tracks, areas to be avoided, no anchoring areas, inshore traffic zones, roundabouts, precautionary areas, and deep-water routes. Background and Purpose Requirement for port access route studies: Under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) (33 U.S.C. 1223(c)), the Commandant of the Coast Guard may designate necessary fairways and traffic separation schemes (TSSs) to provide safe access routes for vessels proceeding to and from United States ports. The designation of fairways and TSSs recognizes the paramount right of navigation over all other uses in the designated areas. The PWSA requires the Coast Guard to conduct a study of potential traffic density and the need for safe access routes for vessels before establishing or adjusting fairways or TSSs. Through the study process, we must coordinate with Federal, State, and foreign state agencies (as appropriate) and consider the views of maritime community representatives, environmental groups, and other interested stakeholders. A primary purpose of this coordination is, to the extent practicable, to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other reasonable waterway uses. Previous port access route studies: In 1979, the Coast Guard initiated a port access route study of the California coast. The study recommended an amendment to the existing TSSs off San Francisco which consisted of rotating the southern approach lane westward (seaward) to provide a true north-south alignment. This shift would encourage vessels in the area to transit farther offshore when entering or departing San Francisco Bay from or to the south. The International Maritime Organization E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 236 / Thursday, December 10, 2009 / Notices (IMO) adopted this recommendation in 1990. The United States elected to postpone implementation of the amendment until the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary was designated and a study of potential impacts was conducted. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Vessel Management Final Report was published October 22, 1998. Similar to the 1979 PARS and the IMO adopted amendments, the report recommended shifting the ‘‘southern approach’’ of the San Francisco TSS slightly west to reduce risk of groundings along the San Mateo coastline and to improve north-south alignment. Necessity for a new port access route study: The Coast Guard is always seeking ways to enhance the safety of life at sea. The Coast Guard has identified a potential safety enhancement by increasing predictability of vessel traffic patterns in a popular offshore fishing area near the northern approach of the traffic separation scheme off San Francisco. When vessels follow predictable and charted routing measures, congestion may be reduced, and mariners may be better able to predict where vessel interactions may occur and act accordingly. The Coast Guard plans to study whether extending the traffic lanes of the Traffic Separation Schemes off San Francisco would increase safety in the area just outside the radar range of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) San Francisco. Because the VTS does not monitor this region, extending the traffic lanes may increase the predictability of vessel movements and encounters and improve navigation safety. In addition, the study will also assess whether extending the traffic lanes may interfere with fishing vessels operating in the area. Furthermore, the present traffic lanes go through the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and, if extended, will go into the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The increased predictability of vessel traffic using established traffic lanes may decrease the potential for oil spills, collisions and other events that could threaten the marine environment. Timeline, study area, and process of this PARS: The Eleventh Coast Guard District will conduct this PARS. The study will begin immediately and should take 6 to 12 months to complete. The study area will encompass the traffic separation schemes off San Francisco extending to the limit of the VTS area and vessel traffic patterns of vessels departing from or approaching VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:19 Dec 09, 2009 Jkt 220001 65545 the traffic lanes. The VTS area covers the seaward approaches within a 38 nautical mile radius of Mount Tamalpais (37°55.8′ N., 122°34.6′ W). As part of this study, we will consider previous studies, analyses of vessel traffic density, fishing vessel information, and agency and stakeholder experience in vessel traffic management, navigation, ship handling, and effects of weather. We encourage you to participate in the study process by submitting comments in response to this notice. We will publish the results of the PARS in the Federal Register. It is possible that the study may validate existing vessel routing measures and conclude that no changes are necessary. It is also possible that the study may recommend one or more changes to enhance navigational safety and the efficiency of vessel traffic. The recommendations may lead to future rulemakings or appropriate international agreements. 3. Are modifications to existing vessel routing measures needed to address hazards and strains and to improve traffic efficiency in the study area? If so, please describe. 4. What costs and benefits are associated with the measures listed as potential study recommendations? What measures do you think are most costeffective? 5. What impacts, both positive and negative, would changes to existing routing measures or new routing measures have on the study area? This notice is issued under authority of 33 U.S.C. 1223(c) and 5 U.S.C. 552. Possible Scope of the Recommendations We are attempting to determine the scope of any safety problems associated with vessel transits in the study area. We expect that information gathered during the study will help us identify any problems and appropriate solutions. The study may recommend that we— • Maintain the current vessel routing measures; • Modify the existing traffic separation scheme; • Create one or more precautionary areas; • Create one or more inshore traffic zones; • Establish area(s) to be avoided; • Create deep-draft routes; • Establish a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) with specific vessel operating requirements to ensure safe navigation near shallow water; and • Identify any other appropriate ships’ routing measures. Fish and Wildlife Service Questions To help us conduct the port access route study, we request information that will help answer the following questions, although comments on other issues addressed in this notice are also welcome. In responding to a question, please explain your reasons for each answer and follow the instructions under ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ above. 1. What navigational hazards do vessels operating in the study area face? Please describe. 2. Are there strains on the current vessel routing system, such as increasing traffic density? Please describe. PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: October 13, 2009. Kevin S. Cook, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention Policy. [FR Doc. E9–29415 Filed 12–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR [FWS–R1–ES–2009–N231] [10120–1113– 0000–F5] Endangered Wildlife and Plants; Permits AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of permit applications; request for comments. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), invite the public to comment on applications for permits to conduct enhancement of survival activities with endangered species. The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) requires that we solicit public comment on these permit applications involving endangered species. DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by January 11, 2010. ADDRESSES: Program Manager, Endangered Species, Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 911 NE. 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232–4181. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Belluomini, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, at the above address or by telephone (503–231–6131) or fax (503– 231–6243). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following applicants have applied for recovery permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We are soliciting E:\FR\FM\10DEN1.SGM 10DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 236 (Thursday, December 10, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65543-65545]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-29415]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2009-0576]


Port Access Route Study: Off San Francisco, CA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of study; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is conducting a Port Access Route Study (PARS) 
to evaluate the continued applicability of and the need for 
modifications to current vessel routing measures in the approaches to 
San Francisco. The goal of the study is to help reduce the risk of 
marine casualties and increase the efficiency of vessel traffic in the 
study area. The recommendations of the study may lead to future 
rulemaking action or appropriate international agreements.

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before February 8, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2009-0576 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329. To avoid duplication, please use only one of 
these four methods. See the ``Public Participation and Request for 
Comments'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for 
instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice 
of study, contact Lieutenant Sara Young, Project Officer, Eleventh 
Coast Guard District, telephone 510-437-2978; or e-mail 
Sara.E.Young@uscg.mil; or George Detweiler, Office of Waterways 
Management, Coast Guard, telephone 202-372-1566, or e-mail 
George.H.Detweiler@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Renee K. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this study by submitting 
comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, 
without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any 
personal information you have provided.

[[Page 65544]]

Submitting Comments

    If you submit comments, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2009-0576), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an e-mail address, or a telephone number in the body of your 
document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your 
submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu select 
``Notices'' and insert ``USCG-2009-0576'' in the ``Keyword'' box. Click 
``Search'' then click on the balloon shape in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an 
unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for 
copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would 
like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, 
self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and 
material received during the comment period.

Viewing the Comments and Documents

    To view the comments and documents mentioned in this preamble as 
being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click 
on the ``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted in 
blue. In the ``Keyword'' box insert ``USCG-2009-0576'' and click 
``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket 
online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on 
the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an 
agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket 
Management Facility.

Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act, system of 
records notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, 
issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Definitions

    The following definitions are from the International Maritime 
Organization's (IMO's) publication ``Ships' Routeing'' (except 
``Regulated Navigation Area'') and should help you review this notice:
    Area to be avoided (ATBA) means a routing measure comprising an 
area within defined limits in which either navigation is particularly 
hazardous or it is exceptionally important to avoid casualties and 
which should be avoided by all vessels, or certain classes of vessels.
    Deep-water route means a route within defined limits, which has 
been accurately surveyed for clearance of sea bottom and submerged 
obstacles as indicated on nautical charts.
    Inshore traffic zone means a routing measure comprising a 
designated area between the landward boundary of a traffic separation 
scheme and the adjacent coast, to be used in accordance with the 
provisions of Rule 10(d), as amended, of the International Regulations 
for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGS).
    Precautionary area means a routing measure comprising an area 
within defined limits where vessels must navigate with particular 
caution and within which the direction of traffic flow may be 
recommended.
    Recommended route means a route of undefined width, for the 
convenience of vessels in transit, which is often marked by centerline 
buoys.
    Recommended track is a route which has been specially examined to 
ensure so far as possible that it is free of dangers and along which 
vessels are advised to navigate.
    Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) means a water area within a defined 
boundary for which regulations for vessels navigating within the area 
have been established under 33 CFR part 165.
    Roundabout means a routing measure comprising a separation point or 
circular separation zone and a circular traffic lane within defined 
limits. Traffic within the roundabout is separated by moving in a 
counterclockwise direction around the separation point or zone.
    Separation Zone or separation line means a zone or line separating 
the traffic lanes in which vessels are proceeding in opposite or nearly 
opposite directions; or separating a traffic lane from the adjacent sea 
area; or separating traffic lanes designated for particular classes of 
vessels proceeding in the same direction.
    Traffic lane means an area within defined limits in which one-way 
traffic is established. Natural obstacles, including those forming 
separation zones may constitute a boundary.
    Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) means a routing measure aimed at 
the separation of opposing streams of traffic by appropriate means and 
by the establishment of traffic lanes.
    Two-way route means a route within defined limits inside which two-
way traffic is established, aimed at providing safe passage of ships 
through waters where navigation is difficult or dangerous.
    Vessel routing system means any system of one or more routes or 
routing measure aimed at reducing the risk of casualties; it includes 
traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, recommended tracks, areas 
to be avoided, no anchoring areas, inshore traffic zones, roundabouts, 
precautionary areas, and deep-water routes.

Background and Purpose

    Requirement for port access route studies: Under the Ports and 
Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) (33 U.S.C. 1223(c)), the Commandant of the 
Coast Guard may designate necessary fairways and traffic separation 
schemes (TSSs) to provide safe access routes for vessels proceeding to 
and from United States ports. The designation of fairways and TSSs 
recognizes the paramount right of navigation over all other uses in the 
designated areas.
    The PWSA requires the Coast Guard to conduct a study of potential 
traffic density and the need for safe access routes for vessels before 
establishing or adjusting fairways or TSSs. Through the study process, 
we must coordinate with Federal, State, and foreign state agencies (as 
appropriate) and consider the views of maritime community 
representatives, environmental groups, and other interested 
stakeholders. A primary purpose of this coordination is, to the extent 
practicable, to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other 
reasonable waterway uses.
    Previous port access route studies: In 1979, the Coast Guard 
initiated a port access route study of the California coast. The study 
recommended an amendment to the existing TSSs off San Francisco which 
consisted of rotating the southern approach lane westward (seaward) to 
provide a true north-south alignment. This shift would encourage 
vessels in the area to transit farther offshore when entering or 
departing San Francisco Bay from or to the south. The International 
Maritime Organization

[[Page 65545]]

(IMO) adopted this recommendation in 1990.
    The United States elected to postpone implementation of the 
amendment until the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary was 
designated and a study of potential impacts was conducted. The Monterey 
Bay National Marine Sanctuary Vessel Management Final Report was 
published October 22, 1998. Similar to the 1979 PARS and the IMO 
adopted amendments, the report recommended shifting the ``southern 
approach'' of the San Francisco TSS slightly west to reduce risk of 
groundings along the San Mateo coastline and to improve north-south 
alignment.
    Necessity for a new port access route study: The Coast Guard is 
always seeking ways to enhance the safety of life at sea. The Coast 
Guard has identified a potential safety enhancement by increasing 
predictability of vessel traffic patterns in a popular offshore fishing 
area near the northern approach of the traffic separation scheme off 
San Francisco. When vessels follow predictable and charted routing 
measures, congestion may be reduced, and mariners may be better able to 
predict where vessel interactions may occur and act accordingly.
    The Coast Guard plans to study whether extending the traffic lanes 
of the Traffic Separation Schemes off San Francisco would increase 
safety in the area just outside the radar range of Vessel Traffic 
Service (VTS) San Francisco. Because the VTS does not monitor this 
region, extending the traffic lanes may increase the predictability of 
vessel movements and encounters and improve navigation safety. In 
addition, the study will also assess whether extending the traffic 
lanes may interfere with fishing vessels operating in the area.
    Furthermore, the present traffic lanes go through the Gulf of the 
Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and, if extended, will go into the 
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The increased predictability of 
vessel traffic using established traffic lanes may decrease the 
potential for oil spills, collisions and other events that could 
threaten the marine environment.
    Timeline, study area, and process of this PARS: The Eleventh Coast 
Guard District will conduct this PARS. The study will begin immediately 
and should take 6 to 12 months to complete.
    The study area will encompass the traffic separation schemes off 
San Francisco extending to the limit of the VTS area and vessel traffic 
patterns of vessels departing from or approaching the traffic lanes. 
The VTS area covers the seaward approaches within a 38 nautical mile 
radius of Mount Tamalpais (37[deg]55.8' N., 122[deg]34.6' W).
    As part of this study, we will consider previous studies, analyses 
of vessel traffic density, fishing vessel information, and agency and 
stakeholder experience in vessel traffic management, navigation, ship 
handling, and effects of weather. We encourage you to participate in 
the study process by submitting comments in response to this notice.
    We will publish the results of the PARS in the Federal Register. It 
is possible that the study may validate existing vessel routing 
measures and conclude that no changes are necessary. It is also 
possible that the study may recommend one or more changes to enhance 
navigational safety and the efficiency of vessel traffic. The 
recommendations may lead to future rulemakings or appropriate 
international agreements.

Possible Scope of the Recommendations

    We are attempting to determine the scope of any safety problems 
associated with vessel transits in the study area. We expect that 
information gathered during the study will help us identify any 
problems and appropriate solutions. The study may recommend that we--
     Maintain the current vessel routing measures;
     Modify the existing traffic separation scheme;
     Create one or more precautionary areas;
     Create one or more inshore traffic zones;
     Establish area(s) to be avoided;
     Create deep-draft routes;
     Establish a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) with specific 
vessel operating requirements to ensure safe navigation near shallow 
water; and
     Identify any other appropriate ships' routing measures.

Questions

    To help us conduct the port access route study, we request 
information that will help answer the following questions, although 
comments on other issues addressed in this notice are also welcome. In 
responding to a question, please explain your reasons for each answer 
and follow the instructions under ``Public Participation and Request 
for Comments'' above.
    1. What navigational hazards do vessels operating in the study area 
face? Please describe.
    2. Are there strains on the current vessel routing system, such as 
increasing traffic density? Please describe.
    3. Are modifications to existing vessel routing measures needed to 
address hazards and strains and to improve traffic efficiency in the 
study area? If so, please describe.
    4. What costs and benefits are associated with the measures listed 
as potential study recommendations? What measures do you think are most 
cost-effective?
    5. What impacts, both positive and negative, would changes to 
existing routing measures or new routing measures have on the study 
area?
    This notice is issued under authority of 33 U.S.C. 1223(c) and 5 
U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: October 13, 2009.
Kevin S. Cook,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention Policy.
[FR Doc. E9-29415 Filed 12-9-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P