Exemption and Equivalent Arrangements Under the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as Modified by the Protocol of 1988, 62560-62562 [2010-25500]

Download as PDF 62560 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 196 / Tuesday, October 12, 2010 / Notices (5) ensures accurate, accessible, timely, and effective translation of science for use by multiple audiences; (6) leads identification and implementation of information dissemination channels; (7) provides communication and marketing project management expertise; (8) collaborates with external organizations and the news, public service, and entertainment and other media to ensure that scientific findings and their implications for public health reach the intended audiences; (9) collaborates closely with divisions to produce materials tailored to meet the requirements of news and other media channels, including press releases, letters to the editor, public service announcements, television programming, video news releases, and other electronic and printed materials; (10) coordinates the development and maintenance of accessible public information through the Internet, social media and other applicable channels; (11) supervises and manages a comprehensive records management activity in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration standards and CERCLA legislative requirements; (12) provides training and technical assistance in the areas of health communication, risk communication, social marketing, and public affairs; (13) provides editorial services, including writing, editing, and technical editing; (14) supervises and manages OC activities, programs, and staff; (15) serves as liaison to internal and external groups to advance the agency’s mission; (16) collaborates with the CDC Office of the Associate Director for Communication on media relations, electronic communication, health media production, and brand management activities; and (17) collaborates with CDC Centers/Institute/Offices in the development of marketing communications targeted to populations that would benefit from a crossfunctional approach. Dated: September 27, 2010. William P. Nichols, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [FR Doc. 2010–25221 Filed 10–8–10; 8:45 am] srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 4160–70–M VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Oct 08, 2010 Jkt 223001 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection; Comment Request 30-Day Notice of Information Collection for Review; Application for Stay of Deportation or Removal, Form I–246, OMB No. 1653–0021. ACTION: The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is submitting the following information collection request for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The Information Collection was previously published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 135, 41214, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. ICE received no comments on this Information Collection from the public during this 60-day period. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for thirty days until November 12, 2010. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies regarding items contained in this notice and especially with regard to the estimated public burden and associated response time should be directed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov or faxed to (202) 395–5806. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information should address one or more of the following four points: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension of a currently approved Information Collection. (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Stay of Deportation or Removal. (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department of Homeland Security sponsoring the collection: I–246; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individual or Households, Business or other nonprofit. The information collected on the Form I–246 is necessary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make a determination that the eligibility requirements for a request for a stay of deportation or removal are met by the applicant. (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 10,000 responses at 30 minutes (.50 hours) per response. (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: 5,000 annual burden hours. Requests for a copy of the proposed information collection instrument, with instructions; or inquiries for additional information regarding this Information Collection should be requested via e-mail to: forms.ice@dhs.gov with ‘‘ICE Form I–246’’ in the subject line. Dated: October 5, 2010. Joseph M. Gerhart, Chief, Records Management Branch, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2010–25555 Filed 10–8–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–28–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG–2010–0618] Exemption and Equivalent Arrangements Under the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as Modified by the Protocol of 1988 AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\12OCN1.SGM Coast Guard, DHS. 12OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 196 / Tuesday, October 12, 2010 / Notices Notice of issuance and availability. ACTION: The Coast Guard announces that it has recently notified the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of issuance of an exemption under the International Convention on Load Lines (ICLL) covering reduced ‘‘working freeboard’’ exemptions for hopper dredges. In addition, the Coast Guard announces completion and availability of the DR–68 reduced freeboard standards for hopper dredges. The Coast Guard also notified IMO of approved equivalent arrangements, as permitted by the ICLL and U.S. regulations, regarding hatch covers for hopper dredges and barges that meet ‘‘flooded hopper’’ stability criteria. This notice may be of special interest to the U.S. dredging industry and naval architecture, and marine engineering firms. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard issued formal notification to the IMO of equivalent arrangements for hatch covers for certain unmanned open hopper barges on March 30, 2009. We issued formal notification to the IMO of equivalent arrangements for hatch covers for certain manned, self-propelled open hopper dredges on November 12, 2009. We issued formal notification to the IMO of reduced freeboard exemptions for hopper dredges on April 7, 2010. ADDRESSES: More information on load lines can be found on the Coast Guard load line website at: http:// www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5212/ loadlines.asp. This notice, the IMO notifications, and DR–68 are available in the docket and can be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG–2010–0618 in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and then clicking ‘‘Search.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Jordan, United States Coast Guard, Office of Design and Engineering Standards, Naval Architecture Division (CG–5212), at telephone 202–372–1370, or by e-mail at thomas.d.jordan@uscg.mil. DATES: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Background The International Convention on Load Lines (ICLL), 1966 is one of several international conventions administered by the IMO, a specialized agency of the United Nations. It was created to establish ‘‘uniform principles and rules with respect to the limits to which ships on international voyages may be [safely] loaded.’’ Chapter 51 (Load Lines) of Title 46 of the United States Code gives effect to ICLL provisions. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Oct 08, 2010 Jkt 223001 The most familiar load line feature is the well-known ‘‘Plimsoll mark’’ visible on each side of the hull. However, load lined vessels must also meet specific design and construction requirements. The purpose of load line assignment is to ensure the over-all seaworthiness of the intact (undamaged) vessel. Ocean service load lines allow unrestricted operations on any ocean, at any time of year (an extreme example being winter in the North Atlantic). This is accomplished by load line requirements that ensure: A robust hull that can withstand severe sea conditions, the weathertight and watertight integrity of critical openings, sufficient reserve buoyancy and freeboard, and accurate stability and loading information provided on board. To that effect, the ICLL prescribes 44 regulations that pertain to the design and construction of a ship, an additional five regulations specifically for vessels that carry timber deck cargoes, and seven regulations that divide the oceans into zones and areas on the basis of seasonal weather criteria. The United States regulations for a domestic ocean service load line (in 46 CFR Part 42) implement Chapter 51 of Title 46 of the United States Code. United States and ICLL Regulations As stipulated in 46 CFR 42.03–5, most commercial United States vessels more than 79 feet long that operate outside the Boundary Line are required to have a load line assignment. Those United States vessels that go on voyages to foreign ports must have an international load line assignment issued in accordance with the ICLL. United States vessels that operate outside the Boundary Line on domestic voyages only (i.e., coastwise, Great Lakes, or ocean voyages that return directly to a U.S. port) must have a domestic United States load line assignment. Although most domestic and ICLL load line requirements are appropriate for laden cargo ships on the high seas, some of the requirements can be overly conservative—and burdensome—for certain service vessels that operate nearshore under less-severe conditions. However, under the ICLL and 46 CFR 42.03–20 and 42.03–30, it is possible to relax those requirements—or exempt them entirely—if the vessel is still able to maintain the equivalent level of safety intended by load line assignment. Exemption and Equivalency Authority Under the ICLL and United States Law Recognizing the wide variety of commercial vessel types and realizing that not every regulation is necessarily appropriate for every vessel design, the PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 62561 ICLL includes provisions that give Administrations (signatory member nations) some degree of flexibility in applying the regulations to vessels of unusual form or service. In addition, 46 U.S.C. 5108 (‘‘Special Exemptions’’) permits exemption of a vessel from the load lines requirements when ‘‘(1) the vessel is entitled to an exemption under an international agreement to which the United States is a party; or (2) under regulations (including regulations on special operations conditions) prescribed by the Secretary, the Secretary finds that good cause exists for granting an exemption.’’ When an exemption is granted, a certificate of exemption may be issued. Exemptions: Both ICLL Article 6(2) and 46 CFR 42.03–30 authorize the exemption of any vessel which embodies features of a novel kind from load lines requirements that might impede research and development of such novel features. Under both provisions, however, the relevant authority is required to ensure the overall safety of the vessel for the service intended. Equivalents: Both ICLL Article 8 and 46 CFR 42.03–20 allow the approval of any alternative fitting, material, appliance, apparatus, or other provision, provided that the alternative is as effective as that required by the Convention. IMO Notification: When approving an exemption or equivalency under the authority of either Article 6(2) or 8, the Administration is required to submit a notification to IMO, describing the issue, the reasons for the Administration’s decision, and the alternative arrangement that was approved (if applicable). IMO then circulates the notification among all member Administrations for their information. ICLL Exemptions for Hopper Dredges: Reduced Freeboards The Coast Guard has recently approved reduced freeboard exemptions for some United States dredges under two special load line regimes: (1) ‘‘working freeboard’’ and 2) DR67. ‘‘Working Freeboard’’ With few exceptions, vessels are prohibited from submersion of their load line marks. This prevents overloading and maintains sufficient freeboard and reserve buoyancy for the high seas voyage. However, it is not possible for hopper dredges to conduct dredging operations under the extreme weather conditions anticipated by the load line regulations. Furthermore, unlike cargo ships, hopper dredges have E:\FR\FM\12OCN1.SGM 12OCN1 62562 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 196 / Tuesday, October 12, 2010 / Notices srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES the unique ability to quickly jettison their spoils cargo and regain thousands of tons of buoyancy. Therefore, the full freeboard for unrestricted ocean operation is unnecessary during dredging operations. Permitting the dredge to operate at a reduced freeboard (i.e., to submerge its marks) under relatively benign weather conditions allows it to safely carry more spoils per run, thereby increasing its efficiency. Based on that consideration, there are two special reduced freeboard exemption regimes that have been developed for qualified hopper dredges. The first regime was established in 1989 for United States dredges operating in domestic waters, when the Coast Guard promulgated the ‘‘working freeboard’’ load line regulations in 46 CFR 44.300 through 44.340. In order to qualify for the reduced ‘‘working freeboard’’ assignment, a dredge must meet several design and equipment requirements: intact and twocompartment damage stability, remote draft indicators, ability to jettison spoils under emergency conditions, etc. When dredging at the reduced freeboard, it is operationally restricted to locations within 20 nautical miles from a place of refuge, seas not exceeding 10 feet and winds not exceeding 35 knots. Under these conditions, the dredge can be assigned a reduced ‘‘working freeboard’’ of 50% of its normal freeboard assignment. Several United States hopper dredges have qualified for this domestic ‘‘working freeboard’’ assignment over the 20 years that the regime has been in existence. The Coast Guard has now reviewed this domestic regime and determined that it is equally suitable for international service. For purposes of ICLL assignment, dredges that meet the ‘‘working freeboard’’ criteria of 46 CFR 44.300 embody ‘‘novel features’’ as contemplated by ICLL Article 6(2) (discussed above). When operated in conjunction with appropriate weather restrictions, they may safely operate at the reduced freeboard. Therefore, in accordance with the ICLL Article 6(2) and 46 CFR 42.03–30, and on a case-bycase basis, the Coast Guard will authorize an ICLL Exemption Certificate that exempts the dredges from ICLL Article 12, which otherwise prohibits submersion of the load line marks. DR–67 and DR–68 The second reduced freeboard regime for hopper dredges was established in 2001 by a joint European working group of classification societies, the dredging industry, the shipbuilding industry, and regulatory officials from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Oct 08, 2010 Jkt 223001 the United Kingdom. Their exemption regime is titled ‘‘Guidelines for the Construction and Operation of Dredges Assigned Reduced Freeboards,’’ but is generally referred to as ‘‘DR–67.’’ Like the United States ‘‘working freeboard’’ regime, DR–67 sets out similar design and equipment requirements. However, DR–67 differs from the United States regime in that it is more flexible in its weather restrictions, and can allow up to a 66% reduction in freeboard under sufficiently benign conditions. The European working group has revised and updated DR–67; the new revision is referred to as ‘‘DR–68.’’ The Coast Guard participated in this revision effort to ensure that DR–68 is consistent with United States safety concerns and in order to provide United States dredge operators with an alternative approach for reduced freeboard assignment. Therefore, in accordance with the ICLL Article 6(2) and 46 CFR 42.03–30, and on a case-by-case basis, the Coast Guard will authorize an ICLL Exemption Certificate that exempts the dredges from ICLL Article 12, which otherwise prohibits submersion of the load line marks. ICLL Equivalents for Hopper Dredges and Barges: Hatch Covers Ordinarily, load line regulations require hatch openings to be closed by weathertight hatch covers, since conventional cargo ships cannot survive extensive flooding of their cargo holds. However, some open hopper vessels (such as dredges, dump scows, etc.) can be designed to maintain adequate buoyancy and stability even with flooded hoppers. For such vessels, this stability characteristic provides an equivalent level of safety to the hatch covers; therefore, hatch covers are unnecessary and may actually interfere with other aspects of the vessel design. In accordance with the ICLL Article 8 and 46 CFR 42.03–20, the Coast Guard will, on a case-by-case basis, approve equivalent arrangements from ICLL Regulation 14 (requirement for hatch covers). Coast Guard Notifications to IMO As required by the Convention, the Coast Guard has already submitted the requisite notifications to IMO. These documents, as well as copies of DR–67 and DR–68, are posted on-line at: http://www.regulations.gov (docket ID number USCG–2010–0618). Requesting Exemptions and Equivalencies Owners/operators of hopper dredges or barges desiring an exemption or equivalency using any of the above PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 three standards should contact their load line issuing authority (classification society), who will review the vessel for compliance with the Coast Guard’s criteria for the exemption or equivalency. The classification society will then make a recommendation to the Coast Guard Naval Architecture Division (CG–5212) for approval. The mailing address is Commandant (CG– 5212), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street, SW., Stop 7126, Washington, DC 20593–7126. This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552 and 46 U.S.C. 5108. Dated: September 15, 2010. J.G. Lantz, Director, Office of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast Guard. [FR Doc. 2010–25500 Filed 10–8–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R7–ES–2010–N192; 70120–1113– 0000–C4] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Availability of Draft Recovery Plan for the Southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the Northern Sea Otter Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and public comment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our draft recovery plan for the southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the northern sea otter (Enydra lutris kenyoni), listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our recovery plan describes the status, current management, recovery objectives and criteria, and specific actions needed to enable us to delist the southwest Alaska DPS. We request review and comment on our plan from local, State, and Federal agencies and the public. We will also accept any new information on the species’ status throughout its range. DATES: We must receive written comments on or before February 9, 2011. However, we will accept information about any species at any time. ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available by request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management Office, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503; SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12OCN1.SGM 12OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 196 (Tuesday, October 12, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62560-62562]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-25500]


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

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2010-0618]


Exemption and Equivalent Arrangements Under the International 
Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as Modified by the Protocol of 1988

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

[[Page 62561]]


ACTION: Notice of issuance and availability.

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

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces that it has recently notified the 
International Maritime Organization (IMO) of issuance of an exemption 
under the International Convention on Load Lines (ICLL) covering 
reduced ``working freeboard'' exemptions for hopper dredges. In 
addition, the Coast Guard announces completion and availability of the 
DR-68 reduced freeboard standards for hopper dredges. The Coast Guard 
also notified IMO of approved equivalent arrangements, as permitted by 
the ICLL and U.S. regulations, regarding hatch covers for hopper 
dredges and barges that meet ``flooded hopper'' stability criteria. 
This notice may be of special interest to the U.S. dredging industry 
and naval architecture, and marine engineering firms.

DATES: The Coast Guard issued formal notification to the IMO of 
equivalent arrangements for hatch covers for certain unmanned open 
hopper barges on March 30, 2009. We issued formal notification to the 
IMO of equivalent arrangements for hatch covers for certain manned, 
self-propelled open hopper dredges on November 12, 2009. We issued 
formal notification to the IMO of reduced freeboard exemptions for 
hopper dredges on April 7, 2010.

ADDRESSES: More information on load lines can be found on the Coast 
Guard load line website at: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5212/loadlines.asp. This notice, the IMO notifications, and DR-68 are 
available in the docket and can be viewed by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG-2010-0618 in the ``Keyword'' box, 
and then clicking ``Search.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Jordan, United States Coast 
Guard, Office of Design and Engineering Standards, Naval Architecture 
Division (CG-5212), at telephone 202-372-1370, or by e-mail at 
thomas.d.jordan@uscg.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The International Convention on Load Lines (ICLL), 1966 is one of 
several international conventions administered by the IMO, a 
specialized agency of the United Nations. It was created to establish 
``uniform principles and rules with respect to the limits to which 
ships on international voyages may be [safely] loaded.'' Chapter 51 
(Load Lines) of Title 46 of the United States Code gives effect to ICLL 
provisions.
    The most familiar load line feature is the well-known ``Plimsoll 
mark'' visible on each side of the hull. However, load lined vessels 
must also meet specific design and construction requirements. The 
purpose of load line assignment is to ensure the over-all seaworthiness 
of the intact (undamaged) vessel. Ocean service load lines allow 
unrestricted operations on any ocean, at any time of year (an extreme 
example being winter in the North Atlantic). This is accomplished by 
load line requirements that ensure: A robust hull that can withstand 
severe sea conditions, the weathertight and watertight integrity of 
critical openings, sufficient reserve buoyancy and freeboard, and 
accurate stability and loading information provided on board.
    To that effect, the ICLL prescribes 44 regulations that pertain to 
the design and construction of a ship, an additional five regulations 
specifically for vessels that carry timber deck cargoes, and seven 
regulations that divide the oceans into zones and areas on the basis of 
seasonal weather criteria. The United States regulations for a domestic 
ocean service load line (in 46 CFR Part 42) implement Chapter 51 of 
Title 46 of the United States Code.

United States and ICLL Regulations

    As stipulated in 46 CFR 42.03-5, most commercial United States 
vessels more than 79 feet long that operate outside the Boundary Line 
are required to have a load line assignment. Those United States 
vessels that go on voyages to foreign ports must have an international 
load line assignment issued in accordance with the ICLL. United States 
vessels that operate outside the Boundary Line on domestic voyages only 
(i.e., coastwise, Great Lakes, or ocean voyages that return directly to 
a U.S. port) must have a domestic United States load line assignment.
    Although most domestic and ICLL load line requirements are 
appropriate for laden cargo ships on the high seas, some of the 
requirements can be overly conservative--and burdensome--for certain 
service vessels that operate nearshore under less-severe conditions. 
However, under the ICLL and 46 CFR 42.03-20 and 42.03-30, it is 
possible to relax those requirements--or exempt them entirely--if the 
vessel is still able to maintain the equivalent level of safety 
intended by load line assignment.

Exemption and Equivalency Authority Under the ICLL and United States 
Law

    Recognizing the wide variety of commercial vessel types and 
realizing that not every regulation is necessarily appropriate for 
every vessel design, the ICLL includes provisions that give 
Administrations (signatory member nations) some degree of flexibility 
in applying the regulations to vessels of unusual form or service. In 
addition, 46 U.S.C. 5108 (``Special Exemptions'') permits exemption of 
a vessel from the load lines requirements when ``(1) the vessel is 
entitled to an exemption under an international agreement to which the 
United States is a party; or (2) under regulations (including 
regulations on special operations conditions) prescribed by the 
Secretary, the Secretary finds that good cause exists for granting an 
exemption.'' When an exemption is granted, a certificate of exemption 
may be issued.
    Exemptions: Both ICLL Article 6(2) and 46 CFR 42.03-30 authorize 
the exemption of any vessel which embodies features of a novel kind 
from load lines requirements that might impede research and development 
of such novel features. Under both provisions, however, the relevant 
authority is required to ensure the over-all safety of the vessel for 
the service intended.
    Equivalents: Both ICLL Article 8 and 46 CFR 42.03-20 allow the 
approval of any alternative fitting, material, appliance, apparatus, or 
other provision, provided that the alternative is as effective as that 
required by the Convention.
    IMO Notification: When approving an exemption or equivalency under 
the authority of either Article 6(2) or 8, the Administration is 
required to submit a notification to IMO, describing the issue, the 
reasons for the Administration's decision, and the alternative 
arrangement that was approved (if applicable). IMO then circulates the 
notification among all member Administrations for their information.

ICLL Exemptions for Hopper Dredges: Reduced Freeboards

    The Coast Guard has recently approved reduced freeboard exemptions 
for some United States dredges under two special load line regimes: (1) 
``working freeboard'' and 2) DR67.

``Working Freeboard''

    With few exceptions, vessels are prohibited from submersion of 
their load line marks. This prevents overloading and maintains 
sufficient freeboard and reserve buoyancy for the high seas voyage. 
However, it is not possible for hopper dredges to conduct dredging 
operations under the extreme weather conditions anticipated by the load 
line regulations. Furthermore, unlike cargo ships, hopper dredges have

[[Page 62562]]

the unique ability to quickly jettison their spoils cargo and regain 
thousands of tons of buoyancy. Therefore, the full freeboard for 
unrestricted ocean operation is unnecessary during dredging operations. 
Permitting the dredge to operate at a reduced freeboard (i.e., to 
submerge its marks) under relatively benign weather conditions allows 
it to safely carry more spoils per run, thereby increasing its 
efficiency. Based on that consideration, there are two special reduced 
freeboard exemption regimes that have been developed for qualified 
hopper dredges.
    The first regime was established in 1989 for United States dredges 
operating in domestic waters, when the Coast Guard promulgated the 
``working freeboard'' load line regulations in 46 CFR 44.300 through 
44.340. In order to qualify for the reduced ``working freeboard'' 
assignment, a dredge must meet several design and equipment 
requirements: intact and two-compartment damage stability, remote draft 
indicators, ability to jettison spoils under emergency conditions, etc. 
When dredging at the reduced freeboard, it is operationally restricted 
to locations within 20 nautical miles from a place of refuge, seas not 
exceeding 10 feet and winds not exceeding 35 knots. Under these 
conditions, the dredge can be assigned a reduced ``working freeboard'' 
of 50% of its normal freeboard assignment.
    Several United States hopper dredges have qualified for this 
domestic ``working freeboard'' assignment over the 20 years that the 
regime has been in existence. The Coast Guard has now reviewed this 
domestic regime and determined that it is equally suitable for 
international service. For purposes of ICLL assignment, dredges that 
meet the ``working freeboard'' criteria of 46 CFR 44.300 embody ``novel 
features'' as contemplated by ICLL Article 6(2) (discussed above). When 
operated in conjunction with appropriate weather restrictions, they may 
safely operate at the reduced freeboard. Therefore, in accordance with 
the ICLL Article 6(2) and 46 CFR 42.03-30, and on a case-by-case basis, 
the Coast Guard will authorize an ICLL Exemption Certificate that 
exempts the dredges from ICLL Article 12, which otherwise prohibits 
submersion of the load line marks.

DR-67 and DR-68

    The second reduced freeboard regime for hopper dredges was 
established in 2001 by a joint European working group of classification 
societies, the dredging industry, the shipbuilding industry, and 
regulatory officials from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, 
and the United Kingdom. Their exemption regime is titled ``Guidelines 
for the Construction and Operation of Dredges Assigned Reduced 
Freeboards,'' but is generally referred to as ``DR-67.'' Like the 
United States ``working freeboard'' regime, DR-67 sets out similar 
design and equipment requirements. However, DR-67 differs from the 
United States regime in that it is more flexible in its weather 
restrictions, and can allow up to a 66% reduction in freeboard under 
sufficiently benign conditions.
    The European working group has revised and updated DR-67; the new 
revision is referred to as ``DR-68.'' The Coast Guard participated in 
this revision effort to ensure that DR-68 is consistent with United 
States safety concerns and in order to provide United States dredge 
operators with an alternative approach for reduced freeboard 
assignment. Therefore, in accordance with the ICLL Article 6(2) and 46 
CFR 42.03-30, and on a case-by-case basis, the Coast Guard will 
authorize an ICLL Exemption Certificate that exempts the dredges from 
ICLL Article 12, which otherwise prohibits submersion of the load line 
marks.

ICLL Equivalents for Hopper Dredges and Barges: Hatch Covers

    Ordinarily, load line regulations require hatch openings to be 
closed by weathertight hatch covers, since conventional cargo ships 
cannot survive extensive flooding of their cargo holds. However, some 
open hopper vessels (such as dredges, dump scows, etc.) can be designed 
to maintain adequate buoyancy and stability even with flooded hoppers. 
For such vessels, this stability characteristic provides an equivalent 
level of safety to the hatch covers; therefore, hatch covers are 
unnecessary and may actually interfere with other aspects of the vessel 
design.
    In accordance with the ICLL Article 8 and 46 CFR 42.03-20, the 
Coast Guard will, on a case-by-case basis, approve equivalent 
arrangements from ICLL Regulation 14 (requirement for hatch covers).

Coast Guard Notifications to IMO

    As required by the Convention, the Coast Guard has already 
submitted the requisite notifications to IMO. These documents, as well 
as copies of DR-67 and DR-68, are posted on-line at:  http://www.regulations.gov (docket ID number USCG-2010-0618).

Requesting Exemptions and Equivalencies

    Owners/operators of hopper dredges or barges desiring an exemption 
or equivalency using any of the above three standards should contact 
their load line issuing authority (classification society), who will 
review the vessel for compliance with the Coast Guard's criteria for 
the exemption or equivalency. The classification society will then make 
a recommendation to the Coast Guard Naval Architecture Division (CG-
5212) for approval. The mailing address is Commandant (CG-5212), U.S. 
Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street, SW., Stop 7126, Washington, DC 20593-
7126.
    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552 and 46 U.S.C. 
5108.

    Dated: September 15, 2010.
J.G. Lantz,
Director, Office of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast 
Guard.
[FR Doc. 2010-25500 Filed 10-8-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P