Port Access Route Study: Approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, 65398-65400 [2019-25757]

Download as PDF 65398 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Notices Date: December 2, 2019. Time: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center Building (NSC), 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Virtual Meeting). Contact Person: Shanta Rajaram, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, NINDS/NIH, NSC, 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3208, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435–6033, rajarams@mail.nih.gov. This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle. Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel; Research Education Opportunities R25. Date: December 11, 2019. Time: 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center Building (NSC), 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852. Contact Person: Delany Torres, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, NINDS, Neuroscience Center Building (NSC), 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3208, Bethesda, MD 20892, delany.torressalazar@nih.gov. Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel; Diversity K Grant Mechanism Review. Date: December 16, 2019. Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center Building (NSC), 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call). Contact Person: William C. Benzing, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, NINDS, NIH, NSC, 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3204, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892– 9529, (301) 496–0660, benzingw@ mail.nih.gov. Name of Committee: Neurological Sciences Training Initial Review Group; NST–1 Subcommittee. Date: January 27–28, 2020. Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: Washington Marriott Georgetown, 1221 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Contact Person: William C. Benzing, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, NINDS, NIH, NSC, 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3204, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892– 9529, (301) 496–0660, benzingw@ mail.nih.gov. Name of Committee: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel; DSPAN Review Meeting. Date: February 3, 2020. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:21 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 Time: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: Bourbon Orleans Hotel, 717 Orleans Street, New Orleans, LA 70116. Contact Person: William C. Benzing, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, NINDS, NIH, NSC, 6001 Executive Blvd., Suite 3204, MSC 9529, Bethesda, MD 20892– 9529, (301) 496–0660, benzingw@ mail.nih.gov. (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.853, Clinical Research Related to Neurological Disorders; 93.854, Biological Basis Research in the Neurosciences, National Institutes of Health, HHS) Dated: November 21, 2019. Sylvia L. Neal, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–25700 Filed 11–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG–2019–0862] Port Access Route Study: Approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of study; request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is conducting a Port Access Route Study (PARS) to determine whether existing or additional vessel routing measures are necessary in the approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, VA. This PARS will consider whether existing or additional routing measures are necessary to improve navigation safety due to factors such as planned or potential offshore development, current port capabilities and planned improvements, increased vessel traffic, changing vessel traffic patterns, weather conditions, or navigational difficulty. Vessel routing measures are measures aimed at reducing the risk of casualties and include among others, traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, recommended tracks, deep-water routes, precautionary areas, and areas to be avoided. The recommendations of the study may lead to future rulemakings or appropriate international agreements. DATES: Comments and related material must be received on or before January 27, 2020. Requests for a public meeting must be submitted on or before December 27, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2019–0862 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments. If you have questions about this notice or study, call or email Mr. Jerry Barnes, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpw), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398–6230, email Jerry.R.Barnes@uscg.mil; or Mr. Matt Creelman, Fifth Coast Guard District (dpw), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398–6225, email Matthew.K.Creelman2@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. 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. A. Submitting Comments: If you submit comments to the online public docket, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG– 2019–0862), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. We accept anonymous comments. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, and insert ‘‘USCG–2019–0862’’ in the ‘‘search box.’’ Click ‘‘Search’’ and then click ‘‘Comment Now.’’ We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. B. Public Meetings: The Coast Guard may hold public meeting(s) if there is sufficient public interest. You must submit a request for one on or before December 27, 2019. You may submit your request for a public meeting online via http://www.regulations.gov. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that a public meeting would aid in the study, we will hold a meeting at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register. C. Viewing 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–2019– 0862’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Notices ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. D. Privacy Act: We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions in response to this document, see DHS’s Correspondence System of Records notice (84 FR 48645, September 26, 2018). Documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website’s instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published. II. Background and Purpose A. Requirements for Port Access Route Studies: Under Section 70003 of title 46 of the United States Code, 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 U.S. ports. The designation of fairways and TSSs recognizes the paramount right of navigation over all other uses in the designated areas. Before establishing or adjusting fairways or TSSs, the Coast Guard must conduct a PARS, i.e., a study of potential traffic density and the need for safe access routes for vessels. Through the study process, the Coast Guard 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. The primary purpose of this coordination is, to the extent practicable, to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other reasonable waterway uses such as construction and operation of renewable energy facilities and other uses of the Atlantic Ocean in the study area. In addition to aiding the Coast Guard in establishing new or adjusting fairways or TSSs, the PARS may recommend establishing or amending other vessel routing measures. Examples of other routing measures, among others, include two-way routes, recommended tracks, deep-water routes (for the benefit primarily of ships whose ability to maneuver is constrained by their draft), precautionary areas (where ships must navigate with particular caution), and areas to be avoided (for reasons of exceptional danger or VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:21 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 especially sensitive ecological and environmental factors). B. Previous Port Access Route Studies: The Coast Guard last studied the approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, VA in 2002, and published the final results in 2004 (69 FR 3869, January 27, 2004). The study was conducted in response to the slow, continuous southward movement of the Nautilus Shoal and primarily examined the location of the Eastern Approach to determine a location that would better accommodate vessels. Study available at https:// www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/PARS/ CHESAPEAKE_BAY_PARS.pdf. C. Need for a New Port Access Route Study: In 2016, the Coast Guard published a notice of its Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (ACPARS) (81 FR 13307, March 14, 2016) that analyzed the Atlantic Coast waters seaward of existing port approaches within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and announced the report as final in 2017 (82 FR 16510, April 5, 2017). This multiyear study, began in 2011, included public participation, and identified the navigation routes customarily followed by ships engaged in commerce between international and domestic U.S. ports. Study available at https://navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName= PARSReports. In 2019, the Coast Guard announced a new study of routes used by ships to access ports on the Atlantic Coast of the United States (84 FR 9541, March 15, 2019). This new study of routes supplements and builds on the ACPARS. As part of the study, the Coast Guard will conduct several PARS to examine ports along the Atlantic coast that are economically significant, support military operations or critical national defense and related international entry and departure transit areas that are integral to the safe and efficient and unimpeded flow of commerce to/from major international shipping lanes. The purpose of this notice is to announce commencement of the PARS to examine the approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, VA, in conjunction with the implementation of recommendations of the ACPARS, and to solicit public comments. We encourage you to participate in the study process by submitting comments in response to this notice. Comments should address impacts to navigation in the approaches to the Chesapeake Bay resulting from factors such as planned or potential offshore development, current port capabilities and planned improvements, increased vessel traffic, changing vessel traffic patterns, weather conditions, or navigational difficulty. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65399 Similar to the ACPARS, the PARS will use AIS data and information from stakeholders to identify and verify customary navigation routes as well as potential conflicts involving alternative activities, such as wind energy generation and offshore mineral exploitation and exploration. III. Chesapeake Bay PARS: Timeline, Study Area, and Process The Fifth Coast Guard District and Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads will conduct this PARS. The study will commence upon publication of this notice and may take 12 months or more to complete. The study area is described as an area bounded by a line connecting the following geographic positions: • • • • • 38°16′ N, 71°16′ W; 35°19′ N, 71°16′ W; 35°19′ N, 75°21′ W; 36°56′ N, 76°03′ N; 38°16′ N, 75°16′ W. This area extends approximately 220 nautical miles seaward of the Chesapeake Bay, between Ocean City, MD, and Cape Hatteras, NC. An illustration showing the study area is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. Additionally, the study area is available for viewing on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal at http://portal.midatlanticocean.org/ visualize/. See the ‘‘Maritime’’ portion of the Data Layers section. The PARS will analyze navigation routes to/from the Chesapeake Bay, VA, to the proposed fairways outlined in the ACPRS as well as international routes to/from the United States. Current capabilities and planned improvements to handle maritime conveyances will be considered. Analyses will be conducted in accordance with COMDTINST 16003.2B, Marine Planning to Operate and Maintain the Marine Transportation System (MTS) and Implement National Policy. Instruction available at https:// media.defense.gov/2019/Jul/10/ 2002155400/-1/-1/0/CI_16003_2B.PDF. We will publish the results of the PARS in the Federal Register. It is possible that the study may validate the status quo (no additional fairways or routing measures) and conclude that no changes are necessary. It is also possible that the study may recommend one or more changes to address navigational safety and the efficiency of vessel traffic management. The recommendations may lead to future rulemakings or appropriate international agreements. This notice is published under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a). E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1 65400 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 229 / Wednesday, November 27, 2019 / Notices Dated: November 21, 2019. Keith M. Smith, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 2019–25757 Filed 11–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Approval of AmSpec LLC (La Porte, TX), as a Commercial Gauger Dated: October 23, 2019. Dave Fluty, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice of approval of AmSpec LLC (La Porte, TX), as a commercial gauger. AGENCY: [FR Doc. 2019–25754 Filed 11–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that AmSpec LLC (La Porte, TX), has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of June 12, 2019. DATES: AmSpec LLC (La Porte, TX) was approved, as a commercial gauger as of June 12, 2019. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for June 2022. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Eugene Bondoc, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202–344– 1060. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.13, that AmSpec LLC, 631 N 16th Street, La Porte, TX 77571 has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.13. AmSpec LLC (La Porte, TX) is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products from the American Petroleum Institute (API): SUMMARY: API chapters 3 ............... 7 ............... 8 ............... 11 ............. 12 ............. 17 ............. Title Tank Gauging. Temperature Determination. Sampling. Physical Properties Data. Calculations. Marine Measurement. Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:21 Nov 26, 2019 Jkt 250001 conduct the specific gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344–1060. The inquiry may also be sent to CBPGaugersLabs@ cbp.dhs.gov. Please reference the website listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories. http:// www.cbp.gov/about/labs-scientific/ commercial-gaugers-and-laboratories. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Customs Broker User Fee Payment for 2020 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: General notice. AGENCY: This document provides notice to customs brokers that the annual user fee that is assessed for each permit held by a broker, whether it may be an individual, partnership, association, or corporation, is due by January 31, 2020. Pursuant to fee adjustments required by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST ACT) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations, the annual user fee payable for calendar year 2020 will be $147.89. DATES: Payment of the 2020 Customs Broker User Fee is due by January 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melba Hubbard, Broker Management Branch, Office of Trade, (202) 325–6986, or melba.hubbard@cbp.dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background Pursuant to section 111.96 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 111.96(c)), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) assesses an annual user fee for each customs broker district and national permit held by an individual, partnership, association, or corporation. CBP regulations provide that this fee is payable for each calendar year in each broker district where the broker was issued a permit to do PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 business by the due date. See 19 CFR 24.22(h) and (i)(9). Broker districts are defined in the General Notice entitled, ‘‘Geographic Boundaries of Customs Brokerage, Cartage and Lighterage Districts,’’ published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2000 (65 FR 14011), and corrected, with minor changes, on March 23, 2000 (65 FR 15686) and on April 6, 2000 (65 FR 18151). Sections 24.22 and 24.23 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 24.22 and 24.23) provide for and describe the procedures that implement the requirements of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (Pub. L. 114–94, December 4, 2015). Specifically, paragraph (k) in section 24.22 (19 CFR 24.22(k)) sets forth the methodology to determine the change in inflation as well as the factor by which the fees and limitations will be adjusted, if necessary. The customs broker user fee is set forth in Appendix A of part 24. (19 CFR 24.22 Appendix A). On August 2, 2019, CBP published a Federal Register notice, CBP Dec. 19– 08, which among other things, announced that the annual broker permit user fee would increase to $147.89 for calendar year 2020. See 84 FR 37902. As required by 19 CFR 111.96, CBP must provide notice in the Federal Register no later than 60 days before the date that the payment is due for each broker permit. This document notifies customs brokers that for calendar year 2020, the due date for payment of the user fee is January 31, 2020. Dated: November 22, 2019. Brenda B. Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Trade. [FR Doc. 2019–25753 Filed 11–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651–0093] Agency Information Collection Activities: Declaration of Owner and Declaration of Consignee When Entry Is Made by an Agent U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: 30-Day notice and request for comments; extension of an existing collection of information. AGENCY: The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27NON1.SGM 27NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 229 (Wednesday, November 27, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65398-65400]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25757]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2019-0862]


Port Access Route Study: Approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, 
Virginia

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of study; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is conducting a Port Access Route Study (PARS) 
to determine whether existing or additional vessel routing measures are 
necessary in the approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, VA. This PARS will 
consider whether existing or additional routing measures are necessary 
to improve navigation safety due to factors such as planned or 
potential offshore development, current port capabilities and planned 
improvements, increased vessel traffic, changing vessel traffic 
patterns, weather conditions, or navigational difficulty. Vessel 
routing measures are measures aimed at reducing the risk of casualties 
and include among others, traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, 
recommended tracks, deep-water routes, precautionary areas, and areas 
to be avoided. The recommendations of the study may lead to future 
rulemakings or appropriate international agreements.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received on or before 
January 27, 2020. Requests for a public meeting must be submitted on or 
before December 27, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2019-0862 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. See the ``Public Participation and Request for 
Comments'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further 
instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this 
notice or study, call or email Mr. Jerry Barnes, Fifth Coast Guard 
District (dpw), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6230, email 
[email protected]; or Mr. Matt Creelman, Fifth Coast Guard 
District (dpw), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398-6225, email 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. 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.
    A. Submitting Comments: If you submit comments to the online public 
docket, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-
2019-0862), indicate the specific section of this document to which 
each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or 
recommendation. We accept anonymous comments.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
and insert ``USCG-2019-0862'' in the ``search box.'' Click ``Search'' 
and then click ``Comment Now.'' We will consider all comments and 
material received during the comment period.
    B. Public Meetings: The Coast Guard may hold public meeting(s) if 
there is sufficient public interest. You must submit a request for one 
on or before December 27, 2019. You may submit your request for a 
public meeting online via http://www.regulations.gov. Please explain 
why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine 
that a public meeting would aid in the study, we will hold a meeting at 
a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.
    C. Viewing 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-2019-0862'' and click ``Search.'' Click the

[[Page 65399]]

``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column.
    D. Privacy Act: We accept anonymous comments. All comments received 
will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov and will 
include any personal information you have provided. For more about 
privacy and submissions in response to this document, see DHS's 
Correspondence System of Records notice (84 FR 48645, September 26, 
2018). Documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the 
docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at 
https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that 
website's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket 
and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are 
posted or a final rule is published.

II. Background and Purpose

    A. Requirements for Port Access Route Studies: Under Section 70003 
of title 46 of the United States Code, 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 
U.S. ports. The designation of fairways and TSSs recognizes the 
paramount right of navigation over all other uses in the designated 
areas.
    Before establishing or adjusting fairways or TSSs, the Coast Guard 
must conduct a PARS, i.e., a study of potential traffic density and the 
need for safe access routes for vessels. Through the study process, the 
Coast Guard 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. The primary purpose of this coordination is, to the 
extent practicable, to reconcile the need for safe access routes with 
other reasonable waterway uses such as construction and operation of 
renewable energy facilities and other uses of the Atlantic Ocean in the 
study area.
    In addition to aiding the Coast Guard in establishing new or 
adjusting fairways or TSSs, the PARS may recommend establishing or 
amending other vessel routing measures. Examples of other routing 
measures, among others, include two-way routes, recommended tracks, 
deep-water routes (for the benefit primarily of ships whose ability to 
maneuver is constrained by their draft), precautionary areas (where 
ships must navigate with particular caution), and areas to be avoided 
(for reasons of exceptional danger or especially sensitive ecological 
and environmental factors).
    B. Previous Port Access Route Studies: The Coast Guard last studied 
the approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, VA in 2002, and published the 
final results in 2004 (69 FR 3869, January 27, 2004). The study was 
conducted in response to the slow, continuous southward movement of the 
Nautilus Shoal and primarily examined the location of the Eastern 
Approach to determine a location that would better accommodate vessels. 
Study available at https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/PARS/CHESAPEAKE_BAY_PARS.pdf.
    C. Need for a New Port Access Route Study: In 2016, the Coast Guard 
published a notice of its Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study 
(ACPARS) (81 FR 13307, March 14, 2016) that analyzed the Atlantic Coast 
waters seaward of existing port approaches within the U.S. Exclusive 
Economic Zone and announced the report as final in 2017 (82 FR 16510, 
April 5, 2017). This multiyear study, began in 2011, included public 
participation, and identified the navigation routes customarily 
followed by ships engaged in commerce between international and 
domestic U.S. ports. Study available at https://navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=PARSReports.
    In 2019, the Coast Guard announced a new study of routes used by 
ships to access ports on the Atlantic Coast of the United States (84 FR 
9541, March 15, 2019). This new study of routes supplements and builds 
on the ACPARS. As part of the study, the Coast Guard will conduct 
several PARS to examine ports along the Atlantic coast that are 
economically significant, support military operations or critical 
national defense and related international entry and departure transit 
areas that are integral to the safe and efficient and unimpeded flow of 
commerce to/from major international shipping lanes.
    The purpose of this notice is to announce commencement of the PARS 
to examine the approaches to the Chesapeake Bay, VA, in conjunction 
with the implementation of recommendations of the ACPARS, and to 
solicit public comments. We encourage you to participate in the study 
process by submitting comments in response to this notice. Comments 
should address impacts to navigation in the approaches to the 
Chesapeake Bay resulting from factors such as planned or potential 
offshore development, current port capabilities and planned 
improvements, increased vessel traffic, changing vessel traffic 
patterns, weather conditions, or navigational difficulty. Similar to 
the ACPARS, the PARS will use AIS data and information from 
stakeholders to identify and verify customary navigation routes as well 
as potential conflicts involving alternative activities, such as wind 
energy generation and offshore mineral exploitation and exploration.

III. Chesapeake Bay PARS: Timeline, Study Area, and Process

    The Fifth Coast Guard District and Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads 
will conduct this PARS. The study will commence upon publication of 
this notice and may take 12 months or more to complete.
    The study area is described as an area bounded by a line connecting 
the following geographic positions:

 38[deg]16' N, 71[deg]16' W;
 35[deg]19' N, 71[deg]16' W;
 35[deg]19' N, 75[deg]21' W;
 36[deg]56' N, 76[deg]03' N;
 38[deg]16' N, 75[deg]16' W.

    This area extends approximately 220 nautical miles seaward of the 
Chesapeake Bay, between Ocean City, MD, and Cape Hatteras, NC. An 
illustration showing the study area is available in the docket where 
indicated under ADDRESSES. Additionally, the study area is available 
for viewing on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal at http://portal.midatlanticocean.org/visualize/. See the ``Maritime'' portion of 
the Data Layers section.
    The PARS will analyze navigation routes to/from the Chesapeake Bay, 
VA, to the proposed fairways outlined in the ACPRS as well as 
international routes to/from the United States. Current capabilities 
and planned improvements to handle maritime conveyances will be 
considered. Analyses will be conducted in accordance with COMDTINST 
16003.2B, Marine Planning to Operate and Maintain the Marine 
Transportation System (MTS) and Implement National Policy. Instruction 
available at https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jul/10/2002155400/-1/-1/0/CI_16003_2B.PDF.
    We will publish the results of the PARS in the Federal Register. It 
is possible that the study may validate the status quo (no additional 
fairways or routing measures) and conclude that no changes are 
necessary. It is also possible that the study may recommend one or more 
changes to address navigational safety and the efficiency of vessel 
traffic management. The recommendations may lead to future rulemakings 
or appropriate international agreements.
    This notice is published under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a).


[[Page 65400]]


    Dated: November 21, 2019.
Keith M. Smith,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2019-25757 Filed 11-26-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P