Fire Safety of Small Passenger Vessels, 73160-73173 [2021-27549]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES 73160 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 3. On page 65730, B.11 Emergency Medicine, eighth column, seventh full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 6, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 4. On page 65743, B.13 Family Medicine, eighth column, first full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 5. On page 65751, B.14 Gastroenterology, eighth column, third full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 7, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 6. On page 65753, B.15 General Surgery, eighth column, sixth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 6, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 7. On page 65768, B.19 Internal Medicine, eighth column, fifth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, lines 7 and 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 8. On page 65779, B.21 Mental/ Behavioral, eighth column, third full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 7, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 9. On page 65783, B.22 Nephrology, eighth column, third full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 7, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 10. On page 65787, B.23 Neurology, eighth column, seventh full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 7, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 11. On page 65800, B.26 Obstetrics/ Gynecology, eighth column, third full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 10, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 12. On page 65805, B.27 Oncology/ Hematology, eighth column, fifth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 8, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 13. On page 65817, B.29 Orthopedic Surgery, eighth column, second full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 14. On page 65824, B.30 Otolaryngology, eighth column, second full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, lines 7 and 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 15. On page 65833, B.33 Physical Medicine, eighth column, second full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, lines 7 and 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 16. On page 65841, B.35 Plastic Surgery eighth column, third full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, lines 7 and 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 17. On page 65849, B.37 Preventive Medicine, eighth column, second full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, lines 7 and 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 18. On page 65856, B.39 Rheumatology, eighth column, fourth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 7, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 19. On page 65859, B.40 Skilled Nursing Facility, eighth column, fifth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 6, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 20. On page 65865, B.42 Thoracic Surgery, seventh column, fourth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, lines 8 and 9, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 21. On page 65867, B.43 Urgent Care, eighth column, second full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, lines 7 and 8, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 22. On page 65870, B.44 Urology, eighth column, fifth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Documented, line 7, the phrase ‘‘prehypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 23. On page 65875, B.45 Vascular Surgery, eighth column, fifth full row, Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, line 7, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 24. On page 65967, D.87: Preventive Care and Screening: Screening for High Blood Pressure and Follow-up Documented, second column, Description, sixth full row, Current Measure Description, line 2, the phrase ‘‘pre-hypertensive’’ is corrected to read ‘‘elevated’’. 25. On page 65979, Table B: Changes to Previously Adopted Improvement Activities for the CY 2022 Performance Period/2024 MIPS Payment Year and Future Years, second column, IA_AHE_ 1, fifth full row, of this Current Improvement Activity, Current Weighting, the phrase ‘‘Medium’’ should be corrected to read ‘‘High’’. 26. On page 65980, Table B: Changes to Previously Adopted Improvement Activities for the CY 2022 Performance Period/2024 MIPS Payment Year and Future Years, second column, IA_AHE_ 1, fifth full row, of this Finalized Improvement Activity, Weighting, the phrase ‘‘Medium’’ should be corrected to read ‘‘High’’. 27. On page 65998, footnote 287, that reads ‘‘See section IV.A.3.b.(2)(d) of this final rule for additional details regarding the MVP implementation timeline’’ is corrected to read: ‘‘See section IV.A.3.b.(2)(c) of this final rule for additional details regarding the MVP implementation timeline.’’ Karuna Seshasai, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services. [FR Doc. 2021–27853 Filed 12–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 46 CFR Parts 114, 116, 118, 122, 175, 177, 181, and 185 [Docket No. USCG–2021–0306] RIN 1625–AC69 Fire Safety of Small Passenger Vessels Coast Guard, DHS. Interim rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is issuing an interim rule as the first step to SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations implementing the statutorily mandated requirements for fire safety on certain covered small passenger vessels. This statutory mandate is in response to the fire and loss of life on the dive boat CONCEPTION off the coast of California on September 2, 2019. This interim rule adds additional fire safety requirements for small passenger vessels, including fire detection and suppression systems, avenues of escape, egress drills, crew firefighting training, watchmen monitoring devices, and the handling of flammable items such as rechargeable batteries. DATES: This interim rule is effective March 28, 2022, except for amendatory instruction numbers 13, 14, 29, and 31 adding of § 122.507(b), amending 122.515, adding 185.507(b), and adding 185.515(a), respectively, which are delayed indefinitely. The Coast Guard will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those additions. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 27, 2022. Comments on the collection of information must be received by the Coast Guard on or before January 26, 2022. The incorporation by reference of the material in § 181.450 was approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 11, 1996. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2021–0306 using the Federal Decision Making Portal at https:// www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments. To view documents mentioned in this interim rule as being available in the docket, search the docket number USCG–2021–0306 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this document, call or email Lieutenant Carmine Faul, Coast Guard; telephone 202–475–1357, email carmine.a.faul@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Table of Contents for Preamble I. Abbreviations II. Basis and Purpose III. Background and Regulatory History IV. Discussion of the Rule V. Regulatory Analyses A. Assistance for Small Entities B. Collection of Information C. Federalism D. Unfunded Mandates E. Taking of Private Property F. Civil Justice Reform G. Protection of Children VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 H. Indian Tribal Governments I. Energy Effects J. Technical Standards K. Environment VI. Public Participation and Request for Comments I. Abbreviations 2020 CGAA Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 DHS Department of Homeland Security CFR Code of Federal Regulations FR Federal Register IBR Incorporated by Reference NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking NRTL Nationally recognized testing laboratory NTSB National Transportation Safety Board OCMI Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection OMB Office of Management and Budget § Section SPV Small passenger vessel UL Underwriter Laboratories U.S.C. United States Code II. Basis and Purpose Section 8441 of the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 (2020 CGAA) amended Title 46 of the United States Code (U.S.C.), section 3306, which now directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prescribe fire safety regulations for certain ‘‘covered small passenger vessels,’’ defined as small passenger vessels (SPVs) with overnight accommodations for passengers or operating on Oceans or Coastwise routes, excluding fishing vessels and ferries. (See Pub. L. 116– 283, January 1, 2021.) The 2020 CGAA added a new paragraph (n) to section 3306 which requires the Secretary to issue interim requirements to cover the following eight provisions: 1. Marine firefighting training programs to improve crewmember training and proficiency, including egress training for each member of the crew; 2. Interconnected fire detection equipment and additional fire extinguishers and firefighting equipment in all areas on board where passengers and crew have access; 3. Installation and use of monitoring devices to ensure wakefulness of the required night watch (for covered SPVs with overnight passenger accommodations); 4. Increased fire detection and suppression systems in unmanned areas with machinery or areas with other potential heat sources; 5. No less than two independent avenues of escape for all general areas accessible to passengers, that are constructed and arranged to allow for unobstructed egress, located so that if one avenue of escape is not available, another avenue of escape is available, PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 73161 and not directly above, or dependent on, a berth (for covered SPVs with overnight passenger accommodations); 6. Handling, storage, and operation of flammable items, such as rechargeable batteries, including lithium-ion batteries; 7. Requirements for passenger emergency egress drills (for covered SPVs with overnight passenger accommodations); and 8. Providing all passengers a copy of the emergency egress plan for the vessel (for covered SPVs with overnight passenger accommodations). Section 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) requires that the Secretary perform a comprehensive review of all existing requirements for fire detection, protection, and suppression systems, and avenues of egress on covered SPVs to support the rulemaking. Prior to completing the comprehensive review and issuing final regulations, Section 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) requires that the Secretary implement interim requirements to enforce the fire safety provisions listed in Section 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3), which is the subject of this interim rule. The Secretary delegated the statutory authority to promulgate regulations related to passenger safety on vessels to the Coast Guard through DHS Delegation No. 00170.1(92)(b), Revision No. 01.2. Section 3306(n)(4)(B) exempts the Coast Guard’s implementation of the interim requirements from compliance with Chapters 5 and 6 of 5 U.S.C., and from Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review). This means that the interim requirements are exempt from several common rulemaking procedural steps, including: • The public notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act; • The economic analysis requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act; • The Unified Agenda, significance determination, and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs review requirements of Executive Order 12866; and • Executive Order 13563 requirements that the rule impose the least burden and maximize net benefits. The exemptions provided in the 2020 CGAA do not cover all the laws and Executive orders that potentially apply to rulemaking. The Federal Register Act, Paperwork Reduction Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and various Executive orders, such as those on Federalism, tribal consultation, and taking of property still apply and are E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 73162 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations considered in this preamble. We are issuing an interim rule with request for public comment to implement the interim requirements. In the future, we plan to issue final regulations after consideration of public comment and relevant matter presented from our comprehensive review. The comprehensive review will incorporate both technical and economic benefitcost considerations not required to be addressed in this interim rule. III. Background and Regulatory History khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES The mandates in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) are an outcome of the fire onboard the 75foot dive boat CONCEPTION on September 2, 2019, off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, California, resulting in the deaths of 34 persons. At approximately 3 a.m., fire broke out on the main deck directly above the lower deck berthing area where the 33 passengers and 1 crewmember were sleeping and ultimately perished. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an investigation of the incident and stated in its Marine Accident Report that, ‘‘the probable cause of the accident on board the SPV CONCEPTION was the failure of Truth Aquatics, Inc. to provide effective oversight of its vessel and crewmember operations, including requirements to ensure that a roving patrol was maintained, which allowed a fire of unknown cause to grow, undetected, in the vicinity of the aft salon on the main deck.’’ 1 The NTSB determined that other contributing causes were inadequate smoke detection and inadequate egress arrangements. While the cause of the fire remains unknown, potential sources of ignition noted by the NTSB include malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries and overloading electrical circuits due to excessively connecting a series of rechargeable devices together using a single connection. Furthermore, the NTSB issued safety recommendations to the Coast Guard in its October 20, 2020 Marine Accident Report discussing the CONCEPTION incident,2 which we summarize as the following provisions: 1 Fire Aboard Small Passenger Vessel Conception, Platts Harbor, Channel Islands National Park, Santa Cruz Island, 21.5 miles South-Southwest of Santa Barbara, California, September 2, 2019. Marine Accident Report. Adopted October 20, 2020. The report includes a total of 10 recommendations. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/ AccidentReports/Reports/MAR2003.pdf. 2 Id. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/ AccidentReports/Reports/MAR2003.pdf. The report contains 10 recommendations total. Seven of the recommendations are directed to the Coast Guard; two recommendations are for the Passenger Vessel Association, Sportfishing Association of California, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 • Revise 46 CFR Subchapter T to require all new and existing vessels with overnight accommodations to have smoke detectors in all accommodation spaces (M–20–014 & M–20–015); • Revise Subchapters T and K to require all new and existing vessels with overnight accommodations to have interconnected smoke detectors (M–20– 016); • Develop and implement inspection procedures to verify that vessel owners, operators, and charterers are conducting roving patrols (M–20–017); • Revise Subchapter T to require all new and existing vessels with overnight accommodations to provide secondary means of escape into a different space than the primary exit (M–20–018 & M– 20–019); and • Review suitability of Subchapter T regulations regarding means of escape for vessels constructed prior to 1996 (M–20–020). This interim rule implements the requirements in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(4)(A) to add additional interim fire safety requirements for SPVs. The Coast Guard has several existing fire safety regulations for small passenger vessels in 46 CFR Subchapter K, titled ‘‘Small Passenger Vessels Carrying More Than 150 Passengers Or With Overnight Accommodations For More Than 49 Passengers,’’ and Subchapter T, titled ‘‘Small Passenger Vessels (Under 100 Gross Tons).’’ Subchapter K applies to small passenger vessels (as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101, and implemented under Subchapter K) less than 100 GT that carry more than 150 passengers, or that have overnight accommodations for more than 49 passengers, and carry at least 1 passenger for hire. Subchapter T applies to small passenger vessels (as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101, and implemented under Subchapter T) less than 100 GT that carry 150 or less passengers, or that have overnight accommodations for 49 or less passengers, and that carry more than 6 passengers, including at least 1 for hire. On March 11, 1996, the Coast Guard implemented regulations generally applicable to ‘‘new vessels’’ (defined in 46 CFR 114.400 and 175.400), whereas several parts allowed ‘‘existing vessels’’ (defined in 46 CFR 114.400 and 175.400) to remain in compliance with regulations that existed on March 10, 1996. See 61 FR 864 (Jan. 10, 1996). This interim rule implements many of the statutory mandates by requiring certain small passenger vessels to come into compliance with a handful of fire safety and means of escape and National Association of Charterboat Operator; and one recommendation is for Truth Aquatics. PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 requirements implemented on March 11, 1996 that were previously only applicable to ‘‘new vessels.’’ This interim rule will increase the applicability of the Subchapter K and T requirements to ‘‘existing vessels’’ and also adds additional requirements, as directed by the 2020 CGAA. Some of the terminology used in this interim rule’s regulatory text and preamble varies from the terms or phrases used in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n). For the purpose of promoting consistency, this interim rule uses language and terms that are already defined or used in Subchapters K and T when applicable. For example, the Coast Guard uses the phrase ‘‘overnight accommodations for passengers’’ instead of the 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) phrase ‘‘overnight passenger accommodations’’ because ‘‘overnight accommodations’’ is already defined in Subchapters K and T in §§ 114.400 and 175.400 to capture all the relevant characteristics that would qualify a vessel as having an overnight passenger accommodation space. In this interim rule, our existing definition for ‘‘overnight accommodation’’ would apply with the qualifier ‘‘for passengers,’’ to capture only vessels with passenger overnight accommodation spaces and exclude vessels that only have crew overnight accommodation spaces. The existing definition of ‘‘overnight accommodation’’ includes an accommodation space for use by passengers that has one or more berths, including beds or bunks, for passengers to rest for extended periods. Staterooms, cabins, and berthing areas are normally overnight accommodation spaces. Overnight accommodations do not include spaces that contain only seats, including reclining seats. The term used in this interim rule, ‘‘Overnight accommodations for passengers,’’ will include all of these spaces that would normally be considered an overnight accommodation and is consistent with other usages of this phrase in Subchapters K and T. The Coast Guard adopts similar nomenclature changes to terms in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) to be more technically precise or to align with industry and regulatory usage of the terms. We explain the differences in terminology in the following Discussion of the Rule section. IV. Discussion of the Rule In general, the interim rule adds the following requirements to 46 CFR subchapters T and K for vessels (that are not ferries) that operate on a Coastwise or Oceans route or have overnight accommodations for passengers. These vessels must: E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 1. Install interconnected fire detection systems in all spaces where passengers and crew have routine access, including dining areas, sleeping quarters, and lounges; 2. Install portable fire extinguishers on ‘‘existing vessels’’ so that they meet the same current regulatory requirements for ‘‘new vessels’’; 3. Develop safe handling procedures for the operation and storage of potentially hazardous items such as rechargeable batteries; and 4. Develop crew firefighting and emergency egress training. In addition, vessels regulated under Subchapters K and T that are not ferries and have overnight accommodations for passengers must also: 1. Have two unobstructed means of escape that are not located directly above, or dependent on, a berth; 2. Ensure that means of escape arrangements onboard ‘‘existing vessels’’ meet the same current regulatory requirements outlined for ‘‘new vessels’’; 3. Install and use a monitoring device to ensure the wakefulness of the required night watchmen; 73163 4. Conduct passenger emergency egress drills; and 5. Post a passenger safety bill (that includes an emergency egress plan) in passenger accommodation spaces. Table 1, ‘‘Summary of Changes and 46 CFR Subchapters and Sections Affected’’ provides a list of 11 categories of changes, as well as summaries of the changes, and a list of the affected subchapters and sections. After the table, we provide a detailed explanation of the changes in each category. TABLE 1—SUMMARY OF CHANGES AND 46 CFR SUBCHAPTER AND SECTIONS AFFECTED Category or equipment Changes made Applicability and Definitions ........ Editorial ....................................... Watchkeeping .............................. Fire Detection .............................. Fire Suppression ......................... Training ....................................... Egress ......................................... Construction and Arrangement ... Hazardous items ......................... Implementation ............................ 1. Defines applicable vessels subject to regulatory change. 2. Adds definitions for ‘‘Listed’’ and for ‘‘Nationally recognized testing laboratory or NRTL’’. Updates paragraph numbering resulting from insertion of new regulatory text. Adds requirement for use of night watch monitoring device. Updates requirements for type and location of interconnected fire detection systems. Requires affected existing vessels to conform with current fire suppression regulations outlined in §§ 118.500 and 181.500. Adds training requirement to enhance crews’ firefighting capabilities. 1. Adds requirements for master to conduct emergency egress drills. 2. Adds and updates requirements for posting Passenger Safety Bills. 1. Requires vessels with overnight accommodations for passengers to conform to current regulations for means of escape construction and arrangement. 2. Adds requirements preventing berths to aid in means of escape. Adds requirements for handling, storing, and operating potentially hazardous items. Outlines implementation schedule for affected operators to implement regulatory requirements. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Applicability and Definitions The statute defines ‘‘covered small passenger vessel,’’ but, because the term ‘‘cover(ed)’’ is utilized already throughout Subchapters T and K to mean something unrelated, utilizing ‘‘covered small passenger vessel’’ could be misleading. Instead, the interim rule adds statements to the applicability sections in 46 CFR Subchapters K (§ 114.110) and T (§ 175.110) to identify the types of SPVs that must meet the new requirements. These statements of applicability capture all the ‘‘covered small passenger vessels’’ identified in the statute. For each applicability VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Affected 46 CFR subchapters and sections Jkt 256001 Subchapter K: §§ 114.110(e), 114.110(f), and 116.115(c). Subchapter T: §§ 175.110(c), 175.110(d), 177.115(c), 175.400. Subchapter K: §§ 116.500(p),(q), and (r), 118.400(e),(f),(g),(h), and (i), 122.410(a), 122.420(c) and (d), and 122.515(c). Subchapter T: §§ 177.500(o),(p), and (q), 181.450(a)(3) and(4), 185.410(a), and 185.420(c) and (d). Subchapter K: § 122.410(b). Subchapter T: § 185.410(b). Subchapter K: § 118.400(d). Subchapter T: §§ 181.405(c), 181.450(a)(1) and (a)(2), and 181.450(b). Subchapter K: § 114.110(e). Subchapter T: § 175.110(c). Subchapter Subchapter Subchapter Subchapter Subchapter K: §§ 116.115(c) and 116.500(o). Subchapter T: §§ 177.115(c) and 177.500(n). Subchapter Subchapter Subchapter Subchapter statement, we include a list of the specific regulatory sections that those types of vessels must comply with. In accordance with the definition of covered SPVs in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(5), a vessel to which Subchapter K or T applies, irrespective of build date, must meet the listed general fire safety requirements if it is not a ferry; and (1) has overnight accommodations for passengers; or (2) is operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route. The fire safety requirements in this interim rule are substantively the same in each Subchapter. The general fire safety requirements are listed in §§ 118.400(d), 118.500, 122.364, and 122.420(b) for PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 K: § 122.420(b). T: § 185.420(b). K: §§ 122.507 and 122.515. T: §§ 185.507 and 185.515. K: § 122.364. T: § 185.364. K: § 114.110(g). T: § 175.110(e). vessels regulated under Subchapter K and in §§ 181.405, 181.450, 181.500, 185.364, and 185.420(b) for vessels regulated under Subchapter T. In addition to the general requirements, SPVs that have overnight accommodations for passengers will be required to meet additional fire safety requirements, as mandated by 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(B). For Subchapter K, SPVs with overnight accommodations for passengers, irrespective of build date, will be required to meet the additional requirements in revised §§ 116.115(c), 116.500(o), 122.410(b), 122.507, and 122.515. SPVs with overnight accommodations for passengers, E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 73164 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations irrespective of build date, regulated under Subchapter T will have to meet the additional requirements in revised §§ 177.115(c), 177.500(n), 185.410(b), 185.507, and 185.515. These additional requirements are discussed later in this preamble, and are substantively the same in each subchapter. Section 3306(n)(5)(B) states that the regulations do not apply to ferries or fishing vessels as those terms are defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101. As such, the new requirements implemented by this interim rule do not apply to ferries or fishing vessels. Under the statutory authorities and this interim rule, SPVs inspected under Subchapters K or T engaged in passenger vessel operations on a fishing excursion does not meet the definition of a ‘‘fishing vessel’’ in 46 U.S.C. 2101. This interim rule also adds definitions to Subchapter T for the terms ‘‘listed’’ and ‘‘Nationally recognized testing laboratory or NRTL.’’ Both definitions will apply to the new requirements in § 181.450 for interconnected fire detection and alarm systems. In that section, we require an interconnected detection and alarm system to consist of multiple-station smoke detectors listed by an NRTL, or independent laboratory accepted by the Commandant. The definition of ‘‘listed’’ would help the reader identify what types of materials or equipment are acceptable under the regulations. The definition of ‘‘NRTL’’ will help the reader identify the organization as one that is recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Editorial This interim rule makes several editorial changes to update paragraph numbering from the addition of new regulatory text. All affected paragraphs that have been redesignated by this interim rule are listed in Table 1 of this preamble, ‘‘Summary of Changes and 46 CFR Subchapters and Sections Affected.’’ These editorial changes have no substantive impact on the public or affected owners or operators of SPVs. Watchkeeping Existing regulations in 46 CFR 122.410 and 185.410 require an owner of a vessel carrying overnight passengers to have a suitable number of members of the crew patrol throughout the vessel during nighttime. Under 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(iii), we must issue requirements for the installation and use of monitoring device(s) to ensure the wakefulness of the required night watch for SPVs with overnight accommodations for passengers. Sections 122.410 and 185.410 already VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 require these vessels to have a suitable number of watchmen patrol throughout the vessel during the nighttime. The purpose of having a required night watch is to always have someone monitoring the safety and security of the vessel, who can alert the crew and passengers if there are any emergencies on board, such as fire, flooding, vessel collisions, or other hazards. In new paragraphs 122.410(b) and 185.410(b), this interim rule requires the following for operators of vessels regulated by Subchapter T or K that have overnight accommodations for passengers. Vessels already in service must submit plans to the cognizant OCMI, in accordance with existing §§ 115.700 or §§ 176.700, for the installation and use of monitoring device(s) to ensure the wakefulness of the watchmen. Vessels with a keel laid date after March 28, 2022, must include plans for the monitoring device(s) within the plan submissions required in §§ 116.202 or 177.202. The Coast Guard will work with the vessel operators to determine a reasonable implementation schedule once the plans are accepted. This plan submission requirement will be effective 90 days after publication of this interim rule. The main goal for requiring use and installation of the monitoring device is to ensure the required watchmen stay awake while monitoring the vessel for emergencies. The monitoring devices must also satisfy the following three requirements, which we have incorporated into the regulatory text. First, the monitoring devices must alert the crew in the case of an unresponsive watchstander. This requirement will ensure that, if a watchman becomes unresponsive, the crew will be alerted to check on the unresponsive watchman and provide a continuous safety watch throughout the night. Second, the monitoring device must remain operable throughout the nighttime watch, to coincide with the required patrol in §§ 122.410(a) and 185.410(a), which requires ‘‘watchmen patrol throughout the vessel during the nighttime.’’ Third, the monitoring device(s) must be arranged to ensure proper coverage of the passenger accommodation spaces, common areas, and spaces with potential fire hazards. We are requiring the device(s) be arranged with proper coverage around the vessel to ensure that those assigned with a watchkeeping responsibility remain alert while conducting frequent rounds of the vessel. Per existing §§ 115.800(a) and 176.800(a), ‘‘Inspection standards’’, the cognizant OCMI may inspect the vessel’s monitoring devices for compliance with the subchapter and, PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 where the standard is not set by these updated regulations, in accordance with standards acceptable to the cognizant OCMI as good marine practice. For implementing the monitoring device(s) requirement, we considered requiring systems similar to the International Electrotechnical Commission standard, IEC 62616, ‘‘Maritime navigation and radio communication equipment and systems—Bridge navigational watch alarm system (BNWAS).’’ The IEC 62616 standard specifies the minimum performance requirements, technical characteristics, methods of testing, and required test results for a BNWAS, as required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life as Sea (SOLAS). SOLAS regulation V/19.2.2.3 requires that BNWAS must be in operation whenever the ship is underway at sea. The BNWAS monitors bridge activity and detects operator disability that could lead to marine accidents. According to the IEC 62616 standard, the system monitors the awareness of the watchman. If they become incapable of performing their watch duties, a series of indications and alarms alert first the watchman and then, if they are not responding, alert the Master or another qualified watchman. Under IEC 62616, the BNWAS may be integrated into other equipment, such as radar or Electronic Chart Display and Information System, etc. A BNWAS is just one example of a device that would satisfy the requirements of §§ 122.410(b) and 185.410(b). Further, systems such as a personnel alarm, as required by 46 CFR 62.50–20(b) for vessels regulated under Subchapter F, would also be considered as meeting the requirements of §§ 122.410(b) and 185.410(b). These two systems are just examples, and are not intended as an all-inclusive list of devices that could satisfy the requirements of §§ 122.410(b) and 185.410(b). However, for the purpose of this interim rule, we are initially allowing operators the flexibility to choose a system that works for them in meeting the requirements set forth in 122.410(b) and 185.410(b), subject to cognizant OCMI or Marine Safety Center approval. We welcome comments providing information as to the types of wakefulness monitoring systems or procedures that are preferable or already in use by these vessels, if any. Fire Detection Title 46 CFR 181.450(c) lists the requirements for independent modular smoke detecting units in overnight accommodation spaces on a vessel. To align with the requirements of 46 U.S.C. E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 3306(n)(3)(A)(ii), vessels regulated by Subchapter T or K that have overnight accommodations for passengers or operate on a Coastwise or Oceans route, irrespective of build date, must now have interconnected fire detection systems. The text in 46 U.S.C. 3306(b)(3)(A)(ii) requires interconnected fire detection equipment ‘‘in all areas on board the vessel where passengers and crew have access, including dining areas, sleeping quarters, and lounges.’’ The Coast Guard uses the term ‘‘interconnected fire detection systems’’ because it is not likely or logical that the fire detection equipment will be interconnected; it is the system that is interconnected. This is a nomenclature change we made to be more precise with the language used in the regulations. We have interpreted the statutory language, ‘‘all areas where passengers and crew have access’’ to include enclosed spaces such as accommodation spaces and machinery spaces that would be routinely occupied by passengers or crew. While the statute says, ‘‘all areas on board the vessel where passengers and crew have access . . .’’ the Coast Guard does not interpret this to mean only spaces where crew and passengers both have access; we interpret this to mean spaces where either have access. Otherwise, machinery spaces and crew kitchens with heat sources and fire risks would not be included in the requirement. That interpretation would be inconsistent with the intent of the 2020 CGAA, to have the interconnected fire detection systems in all areas onboard. This interim rule does not require interconnected fire detection systems on weatherdecks because fire detection equipment is not effective above decks where there may be no ceilings and smoke disperses before it can be detected. In addition, we do not include small spaces that open to spaces with fire detection equipment, such as closets, in the meaning of ‘‘areas where passengers and crew have routine access,’’ where it is impractical or there are no potential heat sources to justify requiring an interconnected fire detection system therein. The regulations in §§ 118.400(d) and 181.405(c) will now require an interconnected fire detection system that meets the existing requirements in § 181.450 in all enclosed areas to which passengers and crew have routine access, including accommodation spaces and machinery spaces. Now that the statute requires all SPV fire detection systems to be interconnected, we changed the type of the detection system described in § 181.450 from ‘‘Independent modular smoke detecting VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 units’’ to ‘‘Interconnected fire detection system’’. Section 181.450 will continue to require that the fire detection system used by the vessel must be listed by an NRTL or independent laboratory, as type-approved to meet Underwriter Laboratories (UL) standard UL 217, ‘‘Single and Multiple Station Smoke Detectors,’’ already incorporated by reference in § 175.600 and 181.450. In Subchapter K’s interconnected fire detection system requirements, in new § 118.400(d), we opt to cross-reference the existing Subchapter T standards in § 181.450 that apply to interconnected fire detection systems, rather than duplicating the standards in Subchapter K. All SPVs that either operate on a Coastwise or Oceans route or have overnight accommodations for passengers, irrespective of build date, must have an interconnected fire detection system that meets the requirements in § 181.450. Fire Suppression Existing §§ 118.500 and 181.500 list the requirements for number, type, and location of portable fire extinguishers applicable to ‘‘new vessels’’ (defined in §§ 114.400 and 175.400). These sections list the minimum number of fire extinguishers a vessel must have and also indicate that the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) may require more than the minimum number listed. Paragraph (n)(3)(A)(vii) of 46 U.S.C. 3306 requires the Coast Guard to issue regulations for increased fire suppression systems (including additional fire extinguishers) in unmanned areas with machinery, or areas with other potential heat sources. Sections 118.115 and 181.115 previously allowed ‘‘existing vessels’’ (defined in §§ 114.400 and 175.400) to comply with the fire protection regulations that were applicable to the vessel on March 10, 1996. This interim rule requires all vessels regulated by Subchapter T or K that have overnight accommodations for passengers or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route, regardless of build date, to comply with the portable fire extinguisher regulations in §§ 118.500 or 181.500. The new applicability paragraphs §§ 114.110(e) and 175.110(c) indicate the specific regulations that these SPVs must meet, including the fire extinguisher regulations in §§ 118.500 or 181.500. These regulations were previously only applicable to ‘‘new vessels.’’ This change will directly affect ‘‘existing vessels’’ that previously complied with portable fire extinguisher regulations applicable to the vessel on March 10, 1996, but do not meet the regulation PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 73165 standards for ‘‘new vessels.’’ All SPVs regulated under Subchapters T and K that have overnight accommodations for passengers or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route will be required to comply with the portable fire extinguisher minimum numbers and type requirements in §§ 118.500 or 181.500 no later than 1 year after publication of this interim rule. The Coast Guard invites public comment to determine if requirements for additional portable fire extinguishers beyond what is currently required in §§ 118.500 or 181.500 should be required to facilitate proper fire protection. Additionally, these SPVs will be subject to the cognizant OCMI’s discretion in requiring additional portable fire extinguishers. In requiring additional portable fire extinguishers, the OCMI considers multiple factors, including such vessel characteristics as the size, passenger capacity, egress plans, and layout. This OCMI discretion already exists in 118.500(a) and 181.500(a). Therefore, we expect OCMIs to use the same criteria they apply to new vessels to existing vessels in determining an acceptable minimum amount of fire extinguishers in the spaces listed. The fire extinguisher requirements in §§ 118.500 and 181.500 cover all types of areas on the vessel, including minimum fire extinguisher requirements for unmanned areas with machinery, and areas with potential heat sources, as required by the statute. In this interim rule, the Coast Guard considered requiring fixed firefighting systems to address the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 3306(n), but decided instead to make the standards for the number, type, and location of portable extinguishers onboard new vessels applicable to both new and existing vessels. When the Coast Guard revised the regulations for small passenger vessels in 1996, the requirements for fixed fire suppression systems were retroactively applied to existing vessels of combustible construction (See 61 FR 864, Jan. 10, 1996). These higher risk vessels have been required to install fixed suppression systems since March 1999. However, under the 1996 regulation, existing vessels were not required to comply with requirements for the number, type, and location of portable extinguishers. At present, there is insufficient data to justify requiring the additional cost and complexity of fixed systems on existing vessels of noncombustible construction. Instead, under the interim rule, the Coast Guard is requiring existing vessels to meet the current requirements for portable fire extinguishers, which meets the intent of 46 U.S.C. 3306(n). At the same time, the E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 73166 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations interim final rule will allow for public comment regarding requirements for portable and fixed fire suppression systems onboard these vessels. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Training Currently, SPVs are required to conduct crew firefighting drills and training in accordance with §§ 122.524 and 185.524. Per the mandate in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(i), this interim rule adds additional crew firefighting training requirements for vessels regulated by Subchapter T or K that have overnight accommodations for passengers or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route. These additional training requirements will promote crew member firefighting proficiency, while requiring regular egress training for vessel crew members. In new paragraphs 122.420(b) and 185.420(b), this interim rule adds required crew training in the use and location of firefighting equipment and general firefighting knowledge, including a list of knowledge and training aspects that must be covered. Additionally, this interim rule adds a requirement to conduct emergency egress training for all members of the crew, to be conducted at least monthly while such members are employed on board the vessel, and each time someone joins the crew. The new provisions in §§ 122.420(b) and 185.420(b) will also cross-reference the existing requirements for the vessel master or operator to conduct the firefighting drills and training in §§ 122.524 and 185.524, respectively, including identifying fire location and fire type. The additional general firefighting knowledge requirements in §§ 122.524 and 185.524 already apply to all vessels regulated under Subchapter K and Subchapter T, respectively. The purpose of adding these cross references to §§ 122.420(b) and 185.420(b) is to clearly specify in one place all the firefighting crew training requirements for SPVs that have overnight accommodations for passengers or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route. Egress 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(vii) requires regulations for conducting passenger emergency egress drills prior to the vessel beginning each excursion. New §§ 122.507 and 185.507 of this interim rule require owners or operators of SPVs that have overnight accommodations for passengers to conduct emergency egress drills with the new passengers prior to the vessel getting underway. If the vessel does not get underway, and if passengers do not remain overnight on VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 the vessel, the vessel operator would not be required to complete the passenger emergency egress drills. The statute requires the egress drills be performed before the vessel begins an ‘‘excursion,’’ which we have interpreted to mean anytime a vessel gets underway, or anytime passengers remain overnight on the vessel. Per this definition, a vessel operator that has passengers remain onboard overnight is required to conduct the passenger emergency egress drills, regardless if the vessel leaves the pier. Where vessels with overnight passengers remain pierside for various reasons, such as inclement weather or as part of the normal practice, emergencies can still happen on these excursions. Requiring the emergency egress drills for vessels with overnight passengers that remain pierside supports Congress’s safety intent of performing the passenger egress drills on these vessels. For passengers assigned to an accommodation space, this interim rule requires the emergency egress drills must be performed from that assigned space. If passengers are not assigned an accommodation space, the emergency egress drill must be performed from another reasonable accommodation space, which the master of the vessel will have discretion to choose. We included this contingency for when passengers are not assigned accommodation space for situations where the vessel has overnight accommodation space for passengers but is not getting underway with passengers. In these cases, the master of the vessel is still required to perform an emergency egress drill with the passengers because the 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(5) definition of ‘‘covered small passenger vessel’’ applies to any SPV that has overnight passenger accommodations on the vessel and does not distinguish whether or not they are actually used overnight by passengers. Section 3306(n)(3)(A)(vii) requires the crew to conduct an egress drill from all areas where passengers have access. However, strict application of the statute would lead to an overly redundant and burdensome process, with multiple drills being conducted from every accessible space on the vessel, and only a nominal increase in safety. Instead, we will require passengers to undergo one emergency egress drill from their assigned accommodation space, or, if not assigned an accommodation space, from another reasonable accommodation space chosen by the vessel master. The emergency egress drills are a supplement to any applicable passenger safety requirements under 46 CFR parts 122 and 185 or SOLAS. In some cases, PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the emergency egress drill can be done concurrently with other required safety drills, as long as the passengers perform the emergency egress drill starting from the passenger’s assigned accommodation spaces before beginning an excursion with new passengers. Most relevant, §§ 122.506(e) and 185.506(e) require SPVs on a voyage of more than 24 hours duration request that passengers don life jackets and go to the appropriate embarkation station during the safety orientation. A vessel operator could satisfy §§ 122.506(e) or 185.506(e) and the new emergency egress drill requirement by performing the emergency egress drill from the passenger’s assigned overnight accommodation space, meeting at the embarkation station, and donning life jackets. This emergency egress drill must be conducted before the vessel begins an excursion with new passengers. Paragraphs 3306(n)(3)(A)(viii) & (B) require providing passengers a copy of the emergency egress plan for the vessel on vessels that have overnight accommodation spaces for passengers. In Subchapters K and T, the Coast Guard refers to these plans as passenger safety bills. This interim rule requires passenger safety bills to be posted in each cabin or stateroom, and in passenger accommodation spaces. Passenger safety bills must include the following information: (1) The embarkation station and the number and location of survival craft to which each passenger is assigned, if applicable; (2) the fire and emergency signal and the abandon ship signal; (3) the essential action that must be taken in an emergency; and (4) the location of immersion suits and illustrated instructions on the method of donning the suits, if immersion suits are provided. The Coast Guard determined that including this emergency egress information will increase the passenger safety bill’s usefulness to passengers during an emergency. These passenger safety bill requirements will be in § 122.515 and new § 185.515. Previously, passenger safety bill requirements in § 122.515 only applied to vessels more than 65 feet with more than 49 overnight passengers. The requirements in § 122.515 will now apply to all vessels regulated under Subchapter K with overnight accommodations spaces for passengers, regardless of length of vessel or number of overnight passengers. The Coast Guard considered requiring masters of affected vessels to distribute copies of passenger safety bills to passengers. We did not choose this option as it is unrealistic to expect E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES passengers to have the safety bills in their possession at all times in case of an emergency. Posting the passenger safety bills in accommodation spaces and staterooms ensures the emergency egress plans are available for viewing from multiple places on the vessel in an emergency. Construction and Arrangement The regulations for construction and arrangement in 46 CFR parts 116 and 175 are currently applicable to ‘‘new vessels’’ (defined in §§ 114.400 and 175.400). ‘‘Existing vessels’’ (also defined in §§ 114.400 and 175.400) have the opportunity to comply with regulations that were applicable on March 10, 1996. Section 3306(n)(3)(A)(v) of 46 U.S.C. requires SPVs with overnight accommodations for passengers to have two independent avenues of escape from general areas accessible to passengers. New applicability provisions in §§ 116.115(c) and 177.115(c) will require vessels regulated by Subchapter T or K that have overnight accommodations for passengers, regardless of build date, to comply with the requirements for means of escape in §§ 116.500 and 177.500. Requiring compliance with §§ 116.500 and 177.500 will ensure that all existing vessels with overnight accommodations for passengers will maintain at least two independent means of escape that allow for free and unobstructed egress from any point in a vessel to an embarkation station for SPVs regulated under Subchapter T, or to an embarkation station or area of refuge for SPVs regulated under Subchapter K. Specifically, §§ 116.500(b) and 177.500(b) require two means of escape that must be widely separated and, if possible, at opposite ends or sides of the space to minimize the possibility of one incident blocking both escapes. Although the terms ‘‘if possible’’ and ‘‘minimize the possibility’’ provide a level of ambiguity to the regulations, the notion of having two means of escape widely separated at opposite ends of the space, where a blockage of one will not result in the blockage of both escapes, is enforced strictly. The term ‘‘if possible’’ in relation to placement of the means of escape provides a level of discretion to the Coast Guard to allow for the two independent means of escape to exist in the same space without being on absolute opposite ends of the space. However, the Coast Guard will ensure, in its judgement, that the means of escape are placed as widely apart as possible to minimize the possibility that one incident could block both means of escape. Current regulations under Subchapter T define a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 ‘‘means of escape’’ as ‘‘a continuous and unobstructed way of exit travel from any point in a vessel to an embarkation station.’’ For vessels inspected under Subchapter K, a ‘‘means of escape’’ is ‘‘a continuous and unobstructed way of exit travel from any point in a vessel to an embarkation station or area of refuge.’’ (See 46 CFR 114.400 and 175.400). Regardless of how widely spaced the means of escape are from each other in a single space, the Coast Guard will ensure there are two independent means of escape that prevent one incident blocking both means of escape. Additionally, this interim rule will add a new provision prohibiting avenues of escape that are located directly above, or dependent on, a berth for vessels with overnight accommodations for passengers. Section 3306(n)(3)(A)(v)(III) mandates that the required two independent avenues of escape and the door, hatch, or scuttle are not located directly above or dependent on a berth. This mandated requirement is implemented in revised §§ 116.500(o) and 177.500(n) only for vessels with overnight accommodations for passengers. Hazardous Items Under 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(vi), all vessels regulated by Subchapters K or T that have overnight accommodations for passengers, or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route, will be required to take extra precautions in handling, storing, and operating flammable items such as rechargeable batteries.3 New §§ 122.364 and 185.364 require potentially hazardous items used for commercial purposes to be handled, stored, and operated in a way that mitigates the risk of hazardous conditions. In addition, operators should read the Coast Guard’s Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG– CVC) Policy Letter 20–03, ‘‘Carriage of Lithium-Ion Batteries on Small Passenger Vessels,’’ issued on October 29, 2020 (or any subsequent versions), to better understand how to identify signs of damage to lithium ion batteries, how to extinguish small lithium-ion battery fires, and how to avoid unsafe practices or improper installations onboard.4 A copy of the Policy Letter 20–03 will be posted to the docket. For 3 As required by 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(vi). copy is available in the docket for this interim rule and at the following website: https:// www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/ 5p/CG-5PC/CG-CVC/Policy%20Letters/2020/CVC %20PL%2020-03_CARRIAGE%20OF%20LITHIUMION%20BATTERIES%20ON%20SMALL %20PASSENGER%20VESSELS.pdf. 4A PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 73167 instructions on locating the docket, see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. Implementation The Coast Guard considered implementation schedules while balancing expected or potential impacts and vessel and passenger safety concerns. In the Subchapters K and T applicability sections, 114.110(g) and 175.110(e), we list the dates of when each regulatory requirement must be implemented. These dates are the earliest that the Coast Guard would enforce the requirements. We opt for a staggered implementation schedule, where the more extensive changes are given more time to implement, and the simpler changes are given 90 days to implement. The new requirements for means of escape in §§ 116.115(c), 116.500(o), 177.115(c), and 177.500(n) are deemed the most logistically challenging. Relevant vessel owners could expect to allocate time and resources for making appropriate vessel conversions. Vessel owners may need to schedule a drydocking period with a boatyard to conduct conversions necessary to meet the means of escape requirements in these sections. Therefore, we allow vessel owners 2 years to implement those requirements; that is, by December 27, 2023. The regulatory changes for fire protection equipment in 46 CFR parts 118 and 181 will require equipment to be procured and installed onboard. The Coast Guard recognizes that required equipment may not be readily available, so we have allowed vessel owners 1 year, until December 27, 2022, to implement the requirements in §§ 118.400(d), 118.500, 181.405, 181.450, and 181.500. Vessel owners will have 90 days, until March 28, 2022, to implement the remaining requirements of this interim rule. These requirements include those listed in §§ 122.364, 122.420(b), 116.115(c), 122.410(b), 122.507, 122.515, 185.364, 185.410(b), 185.420(b), 185.507, and 185.515. Lastly, §§ 122.507(b), 185.507(b), and 185.515(a), and the addition of a paragraph to § 122.515, which contain collections of information that have not yet been approved by OMB, are delayed indefinitely. These sections are related to the requirements for posting a passenger safety bill in accommodation spaces, recording passenger egress drills, and recording crew firefighting and emergency egress training. The Coast Guard will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective dates of those sections if OMB E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 73168 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations approves the new collections of information. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES V. Regulatory Analyses Paragraph (n)(4)(B) of 46 U.S.C. 3306 exempts the requirements in this interim rule from the economic analysis requirements in the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed this rule under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 because this interim rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866. This interim rule will impose a cost to the SPV industry, much of which is made up of small businesses. While the Coast Guard did not conduct a benefit cost analysis, the Coast Guard recognizes that there may be impacts to small business. There will be a cost burden to update fire and smoke detection equipment and to add additional independent avenues of escape (for instance, egress) on many SPVs, with a potential associated loss of passenger capacity on some SPVs. Additional costs will be associated with crew training and competency, passenger egress drills, monitoring devices to ensure wakefulness of the night watch, and flammable item storage. The Coast Guard will consider all cost-related public comments at the final rule phase and not for this interim final rule. We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes or Executive orders. A. Assistance for Small Entities Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104– 121, we offer to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard. Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1– 888–REG–FAIR (1–888–734–3247). B. Collection of Information This interim rule calls for a change to an existing collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520. The relevant collection of information is titled ‘‘Small Passenger Vessels—Title 46 CFR Subchapters K and T,’’ which is assigned OMB Control Number 1625– 0057. The Coast Guard uses the information in this collection to ensure compliance with Subchapter K and T regulations for the safety, design, construction, alteration, repair and operation of small passenger vessels. As defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(c), ‘‘collection of information’’ comprises reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and other similar actions. The title and description of the information collections, a description of those who must collect the information, and an estimate of the total annual burden follow. The estimate covers the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing sources of data, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection. Title: Small Passenger Vessels—Title 46 CFR Subchapters K and T. OMB Control Number: 1625–0057. Summary of the Collection of Information: The information requirements are necessary for the proper administration and enforcement of the safety of applicable SPVs affected by this interim rule. The new requirements of this interim rule affect SPVs (under 100 gross tons) that carry more than six passengers and have overnight accommodations for passengers or operate on a coastwise or oceans route. The Coast Guard will require the operators of these vessels to: (1) Post copies of the passenger safety bill for all passengers in all passenger staterooms and cabins and passenger accommodation spaces; (2) log the occurrence of passenger emergency egress drills; and (3) log the occurrence of crew marine firefighting and emergency egress training. The interim rule requirement for vessel operators of SPVs with overnight accommodations for passengers to submit plans to the USCG for use and installation of night watchmen monitoring devices would also increase the burden estimates for the existing collections covered by plan approval sections §§ 115.700, 116.202, 176.700 and 177.202. Need for Information: Under the authority of 46 U.S.C. 3305 and 3306, PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the Coast Guard is prescribing regulations for the design, construction, alteration, repair and operation of SPVs to secure the safety of individuals and property on board. The Coast Guard must issue interim fire safety requirements for these vessels per 46 U.S.C. 3306(n), requiring masters of SPVs to provide passengers copies of emergency egress plans and to conduct passenger emergency egress drills before every excursion, and conduct crew marine firefighting and emergency egress trainings monthly and every time a new crewmember joins the crew. Plan approvals for the night watchmen monitoring devices is needed to ensure the devices will perform adequately to ensure the wakefulness of the night watch. Proposed Use of Information: The Coast Guard is requiring vessel operators to post copies of the passenger safety bill in all passenger staterooms and passenger accommodation spaces for the passengers’ access and use before and during an emergency. Additionally, the requirement for vessel operators to log the occurrence of passenger emergency egress drills and crew firefighting and emergency egress training will be used by the Coast Guard to inspect vessel operators’ compliance with the requirements. The plans for the night watch monitoring devices will be used to ensure compliance with the requirement to installation and use of the devices meet the minimum standards in the regulations. Description of the Respondents: Owners and operators of SPVs (under 100 gross tons) that carry more than six passengers with overnight accommodations for passengers. Number of Respondents: The current OMB-approved number of respondents remains unchanged. Frequency of Response: The log entry for passenger egress drills must be completed prior to every excursion. The log entry for the crew firefighting and emergency egress training is expected to occur once a month and every time a new crew member joins the crew. The posting of the passenger bill will be a one-time posting requirement per vessel. The plan submission for the night watch monitoring devices will be a one-time submission requirement per vessel. Burden of Response: The burden of response varies per activity. The log entry at the completion of a passenger egress drill takes 2 minutes to complete prior to every excursion. The log entry at the completion of the crew firefighting training takes 2 minutes to complete and is expected to occur an average of 18 times per year, per E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES applicable vessel. The posting of a passenger safety bill takes 1 minute per activity with 10 activities per Subchapter K vessel and 6 activities per Subchapter T vessel, and we expect each vessel to post passenger safety bills only once. The submission of a vessel plan takes 30 minutes per activity with an estimated 370 submissions. Estimate of Total Annual Burden: The crew emergency egress training will increase the annual burden by 676 hours. The new passenger egress drills will increase the annual burden by 611 hours. The posting of additional passenger safety bills will increase the annual burden by 46 hours. The onetime submission of the night watch monitoring device plan submission will increase the annual burden by 185 hours. This rulemaking will increase the estimated annual burden by 1,518 hours. As required by 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) and 5 CFR 1320.10, we will submit a copy of this interim rule to OMB for its review of the collection of information. We are soliciting comments on the revisions to the collection of information. Comments may be submitted in accordance with the Public Participation and Request for Comments section in this preamble. You are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has not yet completed its review of this updated collection. Therefore, we are not making §§ 122.507(b), a new paragraph in 122.515, 185.507(b), and 185.515(a) effective until OMB completes its action on our revised information collection request. We will publish a Federal Register document describing OMB’s action and, if OMB grants approval, notifying you when §§ 122.507(b), the new paragraph in 122.515, 185.507(b), and 185.515(a) take effect. C. Federalism A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) if it has a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this interim rule under Executive Order 13132 and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132. Our analysis follows. It is well settled that States may not regulate in categories reserved for regulation by the Coast Guard. It is also VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 well settled that all of the categories covered in 46 U.S.C. 3306, (design, construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, operation, equipping), in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel’s obligations, are within the field foreclosed from regulation by the States. See the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 (2000). This interim rule implements mandatory fire safety requirements for SPVs prescribed by 46 U.S.C. 3306(n). Therefore, because the States may not regulate within these categories, this rule is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132. While it is well settled that States may not regulate in categories in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a vessel’s obligations, the Coast Guard recognizes the key role that State and local governments may have in making regulatory determinations. Additionally, for rules with federalism implications and preemptive effect, Executive Order 13132 specifically directs agencies to consult with State and local governments during the rulemaking process. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, please call or email the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble. D. Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531–1538, requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. The Coast Guard discusses the requirements and some of the implications of this interim rule elsewhere in the preamble. This interim rule is exempt from economic analysis requirements in the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. Hence, this rulemaking does not include a regulatory analysis. Additionally, the interim requirements implemented by this rule are required by statute and are not discretionary. E. Taking of Private Property This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630 (Governmental Actions and PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 73169 Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights). F. Civil Justice Reform This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. G. Protection of Children We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks). This rule will not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children. H. Indian Tribal Governments This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), because it will not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. I. Energy Effects We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use). We have determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under that order because it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. J. Technical Standards and Incorporation by Reference The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, codified as a note to 15 U.S.C. 272, directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (for example, specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This rule uses one voluntary consensus standard, UL 217, ‘‘Single and Multiple Station Smoke Detectors.’’ The sections that reference this standard and the locations where this standard is available are listed in 46 CFR 175.600 E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 73170 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations and 181.450(a)(1). UL 217 is a standard for type-approved multiple-station smoke detectors, and is already incorporated by reference in these sections. The Director of the Federal Register has approved the material in 46 CFR 181.450(a)(1) for incorporation by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552 and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the material are available from the sources listed in 46 CFR 175.600. Consistent with 1 CFR part 51 incorporation by reference provisions, this material is reasonably available. Interested persons have access to it through their normal course of business, may purchase it from the organization identified in 46 CFR 117.600, or may view a copy by means we have identified in that section. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES K. Environment We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023–01, Rev. 1, associated implementing instructions, and Environmental Planning COMDTINST 5090.1 (series), which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket. For instructions on locating the docket, see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. This rule is categorically excluded under paragraph L56 and L57of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023–01–001–01, Rev 1. Paragraph L56 pertains to regulations concerning the training, qualifying, licensing, and disciplining of maritime personnel and L57 pertains to regulations concerning manning, documentation, admeasurement, inspection, and equipping of vessels. This rule involves adding requirements such as fire detection and suppression systems, avenues of escape, egress drills, marine firefighting training, and the handling of flammable items such as rechargeable batteries. VI. Public Participation and Request for Comments The Coast Guard views public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received on this interim rule during the comment period. Your comment can help shape fire safety final rules for SPVs called for by VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 46 U.S.C. 3306(n). If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rule, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. Submitting comments. We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal Decision Making Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. To do so, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG–2021–0306 in the search box and click ‘‘Search.’’ Next, look for this document in the Search Results column, and click on it. Then click on the Comment option. If you cannot submit your material by using https:// www.regulations.gov, call or email the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this interim rule for alternate instructions. Viewing material in docket. To view documents mentioned in this interim rule as being available in the docket, find the docket as described in the previous paragraph, and then select ‘‘Supporting & Related Material’’ in the Document Type column. Public comments will also be placed in our online docket and can be viewed by following instructions on the https:// www.regulations.gov Frequently Asked Questions web page. We review all comments received, but we will only post comments that address the topic of the interim rule. We may choose not to post off-topic, inappropriate, or duplicate comments that we receive. Personal information. We accept anonymous comments. Comments we post to https://www.regulations.gov will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions in response to this document, see DHS’s eRulemaking System of Records notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020). Public meeting. We are not planning to hold a public meeting but will consider doing so if we determine from public comments that a meeting would be helpful. We would issue a separate Federal Register notice to announce the date, time, and location of such a meeting. List of Subjects in 46 CFR Parts 114, 116, 118, 122, 175, 177, 181, and 185 46 CFR Part 114 Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 46 CFR Part 116 Fire prevention, Marine safety, Passenger vessel, Seamen. PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 46 CFR Part 118 Fire prevention, Marine safety, Passenger vessels. 46 CFR Part 122 Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 46 CFR Part 175 Marine safety, Incorporation by reference, Passenger vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 46 CFR Part 177 Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 46 CFR Part 181 Fire prevention, Incorporation by reference, Marine safety, Passenger vessels. 46 CFR Part 185 Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 46 CFR parts 114, 116, 118, 122, 175, 177, 181, and 185 as follows: Title 46—Shipping PART 114—GENERAL PROVISIONS 1. The authority citation for part 114 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306, 3703; Pub. L. 103–206, 107 Stat. 2439; 49 U.S.C. App. 1804; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a); § 114.900 also issued under 44 U.S.C. 3507. 2. Amend § 114.110 by adding paragraphs (e) through (g) to read as follows: ■ § 114.110 General applicability * * * * * (e) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter applies must meet 46 CFR 118.400(d), 118.500, 122.364, and 122.420(b) if it is not a ferry, and if it — (1) Has overnight accommodations for passengers; or (2) Is operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route. (f) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter applies must meet 46 CFR 116.115(c), 116.500(o), 122.410(b), 122.507, and 122.515 if it is not a ferry, and has overnight accommodations for passengers. (g) The requirements outlined in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section must be met no later than March 28, 2022, except for: E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (1) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 118.400(c) and 118.500r, which must be met no later than December 27, 2022; and (2) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 116.115(c) and 116.500(o), which must be met no later than December 27, 2023. § 122.364 Use of potentially hazardous items for commercial purposes. 3. The authority citation for part 116 is revised to read as follows: Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277, DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a). 4. Amend § 116.115 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ Applicability to existing vessels. * * * * * (c) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must comply with the regulations in § 116.500. ■ 5. Amend § 116.500 as follows: ■ a. Redesignate paragraphs (o) through (q) as (p) through (r), respectively; and ■ b. Add new paragraph (o). The addition reads as follows: Means of escape. * * * * * (o) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must ensure that the two means of escape required in paragraph (b) of this section are unobstructed and not located directly above, or dependent on, a berth. * * * * * PART 118—FIRE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT 6. The authority citation for part 118 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a). 7. Amend § 118.400 as follows: a. Redesignate paragraphs (d) through (h) as (e) through (i), respectively; and ■ b. Add new paragraph (d). The addition reads as follows: ■ ■ § 118.400 Where required. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES * * * * * (d) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(e) must have an interconnected fire detection system in compliance with 46 CFR 181.450 installed in all enclosed areas where passengers and crew have routine access, including accommodation spaces and machinery spaces. * * * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306, 6101; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a). 9. Add § 122.364 to subpart C to read as follows: ■ § 116.500 8. The authority citation for part 122 is revised to read as follows: ■ ■ PART 116—CONSTRUCTION AND ARRANGEMENT § 116.115 § 122.420 PART 122—OPERATIONS On vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(e), flammable items not covered by the regulations of this subchapter, such as rechargeable batteries, including lithium ion batteries utilized for commercial purposes, must be handled, stored, and operated in a way that mitigates the risk of hazardous conditions. ■ 10. Amend § 122.410 as follows: ■ a. Redesignate the introductory text as paragraph (a); and ■ b. Add paragraph (b). The addition reads as follows: § 122.410 Watchmen. * * * * * (b) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must submit plans to the cognizant OCMI, in accordance with 46 CFR 115.700, for the installation and use of monitoring device(s) to ensure the wakefulness of the watchmen required in paragraph (a) of this section. Vessels with a keel laid date after March 28, 2022, must include plans for the monitoring device(s) within the plan submissions required in 46 CFR 116.202. The Coast Guard will work with the vessel operators to determine a reasonable implementation schedule once the plans are accepted. The monitoring device(s) must: (1) Ensure the wakefulness of the crew in the event that the watchman required in paragraph (a) of this section is unresponsive; (2) Remain operable during the nighttime watch; and (3) Be arranged to ensure proper coverage of the passenger accommodation spaces, common areas, and spaces with potential fire hazards. ■ 11. Amend § 122.420 as follows: ■ a. Redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d); ■ b. Add new paragraph (b); and ■ c. In newly redesignated paragraph (c): ■ i. Add the text ‘‘, monthly,’’ after the word ‘‘initial’’; and ■ ii. Remove the text ‘‘paragraph (a)’’ and add in its place the text ‘‘paragraphs (a) and (b)’’. The addition reads as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 73171 Crew training. * * * * * (b) For a vessel described by 46 CFR 114.100(e), the training program in paragraph (a) of this section must address firefighting proficiency and must include, but need not be limited to— (1) Training in the use and location of firefighting equipment and general firefighting knowledge, including: (i) Location of firefighting appliances and emergency escape routes; (ii) Types and sources of ignition; (iii) Flammable materials, fire hazards and spread of fire; (iv) The need for constant vigilance; (v) Actions to be taken on board; (vi) Fire and smoke detection and automatic systems on board; and (vii) Classification of fire and applicable extinguishing agents. (2) The drills required by § 122.524, including fire location and fire type; and (3) Emergency egress training for each member of the crew, to occur for all members of the crew— (i) At least monthly while such members are employed on board the vessels; and (ii) Each time a crew member joins the crew of such vessel. * * * * * ■ 12. Add § 122.507 to read as follows: § 122.507 Passenger egress drills. (a) The master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must conduct passenger emergency egress drills from the passengers’ assigned overnight accommodation spaces prior to beginning an excursion with new passengers. (1) If the passengers are not assigned an overnight accommodation space, the master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must conduct passenger emergency egress drills from an accommodation space prior to beginning an excursion with new passengers. (2) For the purposes of this section, excursion includes anytime the vessel gets underway, or anytime passengers remain overnight on the vessel. (b) [Reserved] ■ 13. Delayed indefinitely, amend § 122.507 by adding paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 122.507 Passenger egress drills. * * * * * (b) Passenger egress drills must be logged or otherwise documented for review by the Coast Guard upon request. The drill entry must include the following information: (1) Date and time of the drill; and E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 73172 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (2) Number of drill participants. 14. Delayed indefinitely, amend § 122.515 as follows: ■ a. Redesignate paragraph (b) as paragraph (c); and ■ b. Add new paragraph (b). The addition reads as follows: ■ § 122.515 Passenger safety bill. * * * * * (b) For vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f), the master must post a passenger safety bill in each passenger cabin or stateroom and in passenger accommodation spaces. * * * * * PART 175—GENERAL PROVISIONS PART 177—CONSTRUCTION AND ARRANGEMENT 15. The authority citation for part 175 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3205, 3306, 3703; Pub. L. 103–206, 107 Stat. 2439; 49 U.S.C. App. 1804; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a); § 175.900 also issued under 44 U.S.C. 3507. Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a). ■ 18. The authority citation for part 177 is revised to read as follows: 19. Amend § 177.115 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows: 16. Amend § 175.110 by adding paragraphs (c) through (e) to read as follows: ■ § 175.110 * ■ § 177.115 General applicability. * khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES organization that is an accepted independent laboratory, as defined in 46 CFR 159.010, or a nationally recognized testing laboratory, as set forth in 29 CFR 1910.7, whose listing states that either the equipment or material meets appropriate designated standards. * * * * * Nationally recognized testing laboratory or NRTL means an organization that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized as meeting the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.7. * * * * * * * * * (c) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter applies must meet 46 CFR 181.405, 181.450, 181.500, 185.364, and 185.420(b), if it is not a ferry, and if it— (1) Has overnight accommodations for passengers; or (2) Is operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route. (d) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter applies must meet 46 CFR 177.115(c), 177.500(n), 185.410(b), 185.507, and 185.515, if it is not a ferry and has overnight accommodations for passengers. (e) The requirements outlined in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section must be met no later than March 28, 2022, except for: (1) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 181.405, 181.450, and 181.500, which must be met no later than December 27, 2022; and (2) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 177.115(c) and 177.500(n), which must be met no later than December 27, 2023. ■ 17. Amend § 175.400 by adding in alphabetical order definitions for ‘‘Listed’’ and ‘‘Nationally recognized testing laboratory or NRTL’’ to read as follows: § 175.400 Definitions of terms used in this subchapter. * * * * * Listed means equipment or materials included in a list published by an VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 Applicability to existing vessels. * * * * (c) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must comply with the regulations in § 177.500. ■ 20. Amend § 177.500 as follows: ■ a. Redesignate paragraphs (n) through (p) as paragraphs (o) through (q), respectively; and ■ b. Add new paragraph (n). The addition reads as follows: § 177.500 Means of escape. * * * * * (n) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must ensure that the two means of escape required in paragraph (b) of this section are unobstructed and the door, hatch, or scuttle is not located directly above, or dependent on, a berth. * * * * * PART 181—FIRE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT 21. The authority citation for part 181 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a). 22. Amend § 181.405 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ § 181.405 Spaces required to have fire detection systems. * * * * * (c) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(c) must have an interconnected fire detection system in compliance with § 181.450 installed in all enclosed PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 areas where passengers and crew have routine access, including accommodation spaces and machinery spaces. * * * * * ■ 23. Revise § 181.450 to read as follows: § 181.450 Interconnected detection and alarm system. (a) An interconnected detection and alarm system must: (1) Consist of multiple-station smoke detectors listed by an NRTL, or independent laboratory accepted by the Commandant according to 46 CFR subpart 159.010, as meeting UL 217 (incorporated by reference, see 46 CFR 175.600); (2) Be installed such that the actuation of alarm in one area results in both audible and visual alarms in all areas required by 46 CFR 181.405(c) or 118.400(d) to be protected by the interconnected detection and alarm system; (3) Contain an independent power source; and (4) Alarm on low power. (b) A fire detection and alarm system of an approved type installed in accordance with 46 CFR part 76 would satisfy the requirements of this section. PART 185—OPERATIONS 24. The authority citation for part 185 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306, 6101; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a). 25. Add § 185.364 to subpart C to read as follows: ■ § 185.364 Use of potentially hazardous items for commercial purposes. On vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(c), flammable items not otherwise covered by the regulations of this subchapter, such as rechargeable batteries, including lithium ion batteries utilized for commercial purposes, must be handled, stored, and operated in a way that mitigates the risk of hazardous conditions. 26. Amend § 185.410 as follows: a. Redesignate the introductory text as paragraph (a); and ■ b. Add paragraph (b). The addition reads as follows: ■ ■ § 185.410 Watchmen. * * * * * (b) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must submit plans to the cognizant OCMI, in accordance with 46 CFR 176.700, for the installation and use of monitoring device to ensure the E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Rules and Regulations wakefulness of the watchmen required in paragraph (a) of this section. Vessels with a keel laid date after March 28, 2022, must include plans for the monitoring device(s) within the plan submissions required in 46 CFR 177.202. The Coast Guard will work with the vessel operators to determine a reasonable implementation schedule once the plans are accepted. The monitoring device(s) must: (1) Ensure the wakefulness of the crew in the event that the watchman required in paragraph (a) of this section is unresponsive; (2) Remain operable during the nighttime watch; and (3) Be arranged to ensure proper coverage of the passenger accommodation spaces, common areas, and spaces with potential fire hazards. ■ 27. Amend § 185.420 as follows: ■ a. Redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d); ■ b. Add new paragraph (b); and ■ c. In newly redesignated paragraph (c): ■ i. Add the text ‘‘, monthly,’’ after the word ‘‘initial’’; and ■ ii. Remove the text ‘‘paragraph (a)’’ and add, in its place, the text ‘‘paragraphs (a) and (b)’’. The addition reads as follows: § 185.420 Crew training. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES * * * * * (b) For a vessel described by 46 CFR 175.110(c), the training program in paragraph (a) of this section must address firefighting proficiency and must include, but need not be limited to— (1) Training in the use and location of firefighting equipment and general firefighting knowledge, including: (i) Location of firefighting appliances and emergency escape routes; (ii) Types and sources of ignition; (iii) Flammable materials, fire hazards and spread of fire; (iv) The need for constant vigilance; (v) Actions to be taken on board; (vi) Fire and smoke detection and automatic systems on board; and (vii) Classification of fire and applicable extinguishing agents. (2) The drills required by § 185.524, including fire location and fire type; and (3) Emergency egress training for each member of the crew, to occur for all members of the crew— (i) At least monthly while such members are employed on board the vessels; and (ii) Each time a crew member joins the crew of such vessel. * * * * * ■ 28. Add § 185.507 to read as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 § 185.507 Passenger egress drills. (a) The master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must conduct passenger emergency egress drills from the passengers’ assigned overnight accommodation spaces prior to beginning an excursion with new passengers. (1) If the passengers are not assigned an overnight accommodation space, the master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must conduct passenger emergency egress drills from an accommodation space prior to beginning an excursion with new passengers. (2) For the purposes of this section, excursion includes anytime the vessel gets underway, or anytime passengers remain overnight on the vessel. (b) [Reserved] 29. Delayed indefinitely, amend § 185.507 by adding paragraph (b) to read as follows: ■ § 185.507 Passenger egress drills. * * * * * (b) Passenger egress drills must be logged or otherwise documented for review by the Coast Guard upon request. The drill entry must include the following information: (1) Date and time of the drill; and (2) Number of drill participants. ■ 30. Add § 185.515 to read as follows: § 185.515 Passenger safety bill. (a) [Reserved] (b) Each passenger safety bill required by this section must list: (1) The embarkation station and the number and location of the survival craft to which each passenger is assigned, if applicable; (2) The fire and emergency signal and the abandon ship signal; (3) Essential action that must be taken in an emergency; and (4) If immersion suits are provided for passengers, the location of the suits and illustrated instructions on the method of donning the suits. 31. Delayed indefinitely, amend § 185.515 by adding paragraph (a) to read as follows: ■ § 185.515 Passenger safety bill. (a) On vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d), a passenger safety bill must be posted by the master in each cabin or stateroom, and in passenger accommodation spaces. * * * * * PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 73173 Dated: December 15, 2021. J.W. Mauger, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy. [FR Doc. 2021–27549 Filed 12–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 195 [Docket No. PHMSA–2017–0152; Amdt. No. 195–104] RIN 2137–AF31 Pipeline Safety: Unusually Sensitive Areas for the Great Lakes, Coastal Beaches, and Certain Coastal Waters Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT. ACTION: Interim final rule. AGENCY: PHMSA is amending the pipeline safety regulations to explicitly state that certain coastal waters, the Great Lakes, and coastal beaches are classified as unusually sensitive areas for the purpose of compliance with the hazardous liquid integrity management regulations. This amendment implements mandates contained in the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2016, as amended by the PIPES Act of 2020. A hazardous liquid pipeline that could affect these newly designated areas must be included in an operator’s integrity management program. SUMMARY: The effective date of the interim final rule is February 25, 2022. Submit comments by February 25, 2022. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. PHMSA–2017– 0152, by any of the following methods: • E-Gov Web: https:// www.regulations.gov. This site allows the public to enter comments on any Federal Register notice issued by any agency. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Docket Management System: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: DOT Docket Management System: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. DATES: E:\FR\FM\27DER1.SGM 27DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 245 (Monday, December 27, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73160-73173]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-27549]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

46 CFR Parts 114, 116, 118, 122, 175, 177, 181, and 185

[Docket No. USCG-2021-0306]
RIN 1625-AC69


Fire Safety of Small Passenger Vessels

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Interim rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is issuing an interim rule as the first step 
to

[[Page 73161]]

implementing the statutorily mandated requirements for fire safety on 
certain covered small passenger vessels. This statutory mandate is in 
response to the fire and loss of life on the dive boat CONCEPTION off 
the coast of California on September 2, 2019. This interim rule adds 
additional fire safety requirements for small passenger vessels, 
including fire detection and suppression systems, avenues of escape, 
egress drills, crew firefighting training, watchmen monitoring devices, 
and the handling of flammable items such as rechargeable batteries.

DATES: This interim rule is effective March 28, 2022, except for 
amendatory instruction numbers 13, 14, 29, and 31 adding of Sec.  
122.507(b), amending 122.515, adding 185.507(b), and adding 185.515(a), 
respectively, which are delayed indefinitely. The Coast Guard will 
publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective 
date of those additions. Comments and related material must be received 
by the Coast Guard on or before June 27, 2022. Comments on the 
collection of information must be received by the Coast Guard on or 
before January 26, 2022. The incorporation by reference of the material 
in Sec.  181.450 was approved by the Director of the Federal Register 
as of March 11, 1996.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2021-0306 using the Federal Decision Making Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See the ``Public Participation and Request for 
Comments'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further 
instructions on submitting comments. To view documents mentioned in 
this interim rule as being available in the docket, search the docket 
number USCG-2021-0306 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this document, 
call or email Lieutenant Carmine Faul, Coast Guard; telephone 202-475-
1357, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Abbreviations
II. Basis and Purpose
III. Background and Regulatory History
IV. Discussion of the Rule
V. Regulatory Analyses
    A. Assistance for Small Entities
    B. Collection of Information
    C. Federalism
    D. Unfunded Mandates
    E. Taking of Private Property
    F. Civil Justice Reform
    G. Protection of Children
    H. Indian Tribal Governments
    I. Energy Effects
    J. Technical Standards
    K. Environment
VI. Public Participation and Request for Comments

I. Abbreviations

2020 CGAA Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020
DHS Department of Homeland Security
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
FR Federal Register
IBR Incorporated by Reference
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking
NRTL Nationally recognized testing laboratory
NTSB National Transportation Safety Board
OCMI Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection
OMB Office of Management and Budget
Sec.  Section
SPV Small passenger vessel
UL Underwriter Laboratories
U.S.C. United States Code

II. Basis and Purpose

    Section 8441 of the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization 
Act of 2020 (2020 CGAA) amended Title 46 of the United States Code 
(U.S.C.), section 3306, which now directs the Secretary of the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prescribe fire safety 
regulations for certain ``covered small passenger vessels,'' defined as 
small passenger vessels (SPVs) with overnight accommodations for 
passengers or operating on Oceans or Coastwise routes, excluding 
fishing vessels and ferries. (See Pub. L. 116-283, January 1, 2021.) 
The 2020 CGAA added a new paragraph (n) to section 3306 which requires 
the Secretary to issue interim requirements to cover the following 
eight provisions:
    1. Marine firefighting training programs to improve crewmember 
training and proficiency, including egress training for each member of 
the crew;
    2. Interconnected fire detection equipment and additional fire 
extinguishers and firefighting equipment in all areas on board where 
passengers and crew have access;
    3. Installation and use of monitoring devices to ensure wakefulness 
of the required night watch (for covered SPVs with overnight passenger 
accommodations);
    4. Increased fire detection and suppression systems in unmanned 
areas with machinery or areas with other potential heat sources;
    5. No less than two independent avenues of escape for all general 
areas accessible to passengers, that are constructed and arranged to 
allow for unobstructed egress, located so that if one avenue of escape 
is not available, another avenue of escape is available, and not 
directly above, or dependent on, a berth (for covered SPVs with 
overnight passenger accommodations);
    6. Handling, storage, and operation of flammable items, such as 
rechargeable batteries, including lithium-ion batteries;
    7. Requirements for passenger emergency egress drills (for covered 
SPVs with overnight passenger accommodations); and
    8. Providing all passengers a copy of the emergency egress plan for 
the vessel (for covered SPVs with overnight passenger accommodations).
    Section 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) requires that the Secretary perform a 
comprehensive review of all existing requirements for fire detection, 
protection, and suppression systems, and avenues of egress on covered 
SPVs to support the rulemaking. Prior to completing the comprehensive 
review and issuing final regulations, Section 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) 
requires that the Secretary implement interim requirements to enforce 
the fire safety provisions listed in Section 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3), 
which is the subject of this interim rule. The Secretary delegated the 
statutory authority to promulgate regulations related to passenger 
safety on vessels to the Coast Guard through DHS Delegation No. 
00170.1(92)(b), Revision No. 01.2.
    Section 3306(n)(4)(B) exempts the Coast Guard's implementation of 
the interim requirements from compliance with Chapters 5 and 6 of 5 
U.S.C., and from Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and 
Review) and 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review). This 
means that the interim requirements are exempt from several common 
rulemaking procedural steps, including:
     The public notice and comment requirements of the 
Administrative Procedure Act;
     The economic analysis requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act;
     The Unified Agenda, significance determination, and the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs review requirements of 
Executive Order 12866; and
     Executive Order 13563 requirements that the rule impose 
the least burden and maximize net benefits.
    The exemptions provided in the 2020 CGAA do not cover all the laws 
and Executive orders that potentially apply to rulemaking. The Federal 
Register Act, Paperwork Reduction Act, National Environmental Policy 
Act, and various Executive orders, such as those on Federalism, tribal 
consultation, and taking of property still apply and are

[[Page 73162]]

considered in this preamble. We are issuing an interim rule with 
request for public comment to implement the interim requirements. In 
the future, we plan to issue final regulations after consideration of 
public comment and relevant matter presented from our comprehensive 
review. The comprehensive review will incorporate both technical and 
economic benefit-cost considerations not required to be addressed in 
this interim rule.

III. Background and Regulatory History

    The mandates in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) are an outcome of the fire 
onboard the 75-foot dive boat CONCEPTION on September 2, 2019, off the 
coast of Santa Cruz Island, California, resulting in the deaths of 34 
persons. At approximately 3 a.m., fire broke out on the main deck 
directly above the lower deck berthing area where the 33 passengers and 
1 crewmember were sleeping and ultimately perished.
    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an 
investigation of the incident and stated in its Marine Accident Report 
that, ``the probable cause of the accident on board the SPV CONCEPTION 
was the failure of Truth Aquatics, Inc. to provide effective oversight 
of its vessel and crewmember operations, including requirements to 
ensure that a roving patrol was maintained, which allowed a fire of 
unknown cause to grow, undetected, in the vicinity of the aft salon on 
the main deck.'' \1\ The NTSB determined that other contributing causes 
were inadequate smoke detection and inadequate egress arrangements. 
While the cause of the fire remains unknown, potential sources of 
ignition noted by the NTSB include malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries 
and overloading electrical circuits due to excessively connecting a 
series of rechargeable devices together using a single connection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Fire Aboard Small Passenger Vessel Conception, Platts 
Harbor, Channel Islands National Park, Santa Cruz Island, 21.5 miles 
South-Southwest of Santa Barbara, California, September 2, 2019. 
Marine Accident Report. Adopted October 20, 2020. The report 
includes a total of 10 recommendations. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/MAR2003.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Furthermore, the NTSB issued safety recommendations to the Coast 
Guard in its October 20, 2020 Marine Accident Report discussing the 
CONCEPTION incident,\2\ which we summarize as the following provisions:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Id. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/MAR2003.pdf. The report contains 10 recommendations total. 
Seven of the recommendations are directed to the Coast Guard; two 
recommendations are for the Passenger Vessel Association, 
Sportfishing Association of California, and National Association of 
Charterboat Operator; and one recommendation is for Truth Aquatics.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Revise 46 CFR Subchapter T to require all new and existing 
vessels with overnight accommodations to have smoke detectors in all 
accommodation spaces (M-20-014 & M-20-015);
     Revise Subchapters T and K to require all new and existing 
vessels with overnight accommodations to have interconnected smoke 
detectors (M-20-016);
     Develop and implement inspection procedures to verify that 
vessel owners, operators, and charterers are conducting roving patrols 
(M-20-017);
     Revise Subchapter T to require all new and existing 
vessels with overnight accommodations to provide secondary means of 
escape into a different space than the primary exit (M-20-018 & M-20-
019); and
     Review suitability of Subchapter T regulations regarding 
means of escape for vessels constructed prior to 1996 (M-20-020).
    This interim rule implements the requirements in 46 U.S.C. 
3306(n)(4)(A) to add additional interim fire safety requirements for 
SPVs. The Coast Guard has several existing fire safety regulations for 
small passenger vessels in 46 CFR Subchapter K, titled ``Small 
Passenger Vessels Carrying More Than 150 Passengers Or With Overnight 
Accommodations For More Than 49 Passengers,'' and Subchapter T, titled 
``Small Passenger Vessels (Under 100 Gross Tons).'' Subchapter K 
applies to small passenger vessels (as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101, and 
implemented under Subchapter K) less than 100 GT that carry more than 
150 passengers, or that have overnight accommodations for more than 49 
passengers, and carry at least 1 passenger for hire. Subchapter T 
applies to small passenger vessels (as defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101, and 
implemented under Subchapter T) less than 100 GT that carry 150 or less 
passengers, or that have overnight accommodations for 49 or less 
passengers, and that carry more than 6 passengers, including at least 1 
for hire.
    On March 11, 1996, the Coast Guard implemented regulations 
generally applicable to ``new vessels'' (defined in 46 CFR 114.400 and 
175.400), whereas several parts allowed ``existing vessels'' (defined 
in 46 CFR 114.400 and 175.400) to remain in compliance with regulations 
that existed on March 10, 1996. See 61 FR 864 (Jan. 10, 1996). This 
interim rule implements many of the statutory mandates by requiring 
certain small passenger vessels to come into compliance with a handful 
of fire safety and means of escape requirements implemented on March 
11, 1996 that were previously only applicable to ``new vessels.'' This 
interim rule will increase the applicability of the Subchapter K and T 
requirements to ``existing vessels'' and also adds additional 
requirements, as directed by the 2020 CGAA.
    Some of the terminology used in this interim rule's regulatory text 
and preamble varies from the terms or phrases used in 46 U.S.C. 
3306(n). For the purpose of promoting consistency, this interim rule 
uses language and terms that are already defined or used in Subchapters 
K and T when applicable. For example, the Coast Guard uses the phrase 
``overnight accommodations for passengers'' instead of the 46 U.S.C. 
3306(n) phrase ``overnight passenger accommodations'' because 
``overnight accommodations'' is already defined in Subchapters K and T 
in Sec. Sec.  114.400 and 175.400 to capture all the relevant 
characteristics that would qualify a vessel as having an overnight 
passenger accommodation space. In this interim rule, our existing 
definition for ``overnight accommodation'' would apply with the 
qualifier ``for passengers,'' to capture only vessels with passenger 
overnight accommodation spaces and exclude vessels that only have crew 
overnight accommodation spaces. The existing definition of ``overnight 
accommodation'' includes an accommodation space for use by passengers 
that has one or more berths, including beds or bunks, for passengers to 
rest for extended periods. Staterooms, cabins, and berthing areas are 
normally overnight accommodation spaces. Overnight accommodations do 
not include spaces that contain only seats, including reclining seats. 
The term used in this interim rule, ``Overnight accommodations for 
passengers,'' will include all of these spaces that would normally be 
considered an overnight accommodation and is consistent with other 
usages of this phrase in Subchapters K and T. The Coast Guard adopts 
similar nomenclature changes to terms in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n) to be more 
technically precise or to align with industry and regulatory usage of 
the terms. We explain the differences in terminology in the following 
Discussion of the Rule section.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

    In general, the interim rule adds the following requirements to 46 
CFR subchapters T and K for vessels (that are not ferries) that operate 
on a Coastwise or Oceans route or have overnight accommodations for 
passengers. These vessels must:

[[Page 73163]]

    1. Install interconnected fire detection systems in all spaces 
where passengers and crew have routine access, including dining areas, 
sleeping quarters, and lounges;
    2. Install portable fire extinguishers on ``existing vessels'' so 
that they meet the same current regulatory requirements for ``new 
vessels'';
    3. Develop safe handling procedures for the operation and storage 
of potentially hazardous items such as rechargeable batteries; and
    4. Develop crew firefighting and emergency egress training.
    In addition, vessels regulated under Subchapters K and T that are 
not ferries and have overnight accommodations for passengers must also:
    1. Have two unobstructed means of escape that are not located 
directly above, or dependent on, a berth;
    2. Ensure that means of escape arrangements onboard ``existing 
vessels'' meet the same current regulatory requirements outlined for 
``new vessels'';
    3. Install and use a monitoring device to ensure the wakefulness of 
the required night watchmen;
    4. Conduct passenger emergency egress drills; and
    5. Post a passenger safety bill (that includes an emergency egress 
plan) in passenger accommodation spaces.
    Table 1, ``Summary of Changes and 46 CFR Subchapters and Sections 
Affected'' provides a list of 11 categories of changes, as well as 
summaries of the changes, and a list of the affected subchapters and 
sections. After the table, we provide a detailed explanation of the 
changes in each category.

 Table 1--Summary of Changes and 46 CFR Subchapter and Sections Affected
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Affected 46 CFR
    Category or equipment         Changes made         subchapters and
                                                          sections
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Applicability and             1. Defines            Subchapter K: Sec.
 Definitions.                  applicable vessels    Sec.   114.110(e),
                               subject to            114.110(f), and
                               regulatory change.    116.115(c).
                              2. Adds definitions   Subchapter T: Sec.
                               for ``Listed'' and    Sec.   175.110(c),
                               for ``Nationally      175.110(d),
                               recognized testing    177.115(c),
                               laboratory or         175.400.
                               NRTL''.
Editorial...................  Updates paragraph     Subchapter K: Sec.
                               numbering resulting   Sec.
                               from insertion of     116.500(p),(q), and
                               new regulatory text.  (r),
                                                     118.400(e),(f),(g),
                                                     (h), and (i),
                                                     122.410(a),
                                                     122.420(c) and (d),
                                                     and 122.515(c).
                                                    Subchapter T: Sec.
                                                     Sec.
                                                     177.500(o),(p), and
                                                     (q), 181.450(a)(3)
                                                     and(4), 185.410(a),
                                                     and 185.420(c) and
                                                     (d).
Watchkeeping................  Adds requirement for  Subchapter K: Sec.
                               use of night watch    122.410(b).
                               monitoring device.   Subchapter T: Sec.
                                                     185.410(b).
Fire Detection..............  Updates requirements  Subchapter K: Sec.
                               for type and          118.400(d).
                               location of          Subchapter T: Sec.
                               interconnected fire   Sec.   181.405(c),
                               detection systems.    181.450(a)(1) and
                                                     (a)(2), and
                                                     181.450(b).
Fire Suppression............  Requires affected     Subchapter K: Sec.
                               existing vessels to   114.110(e).
                               conform with         Subchapter T: Sec.
                               current fire          175.110(c).
                               suppression
                               regulations
                               outlined in Sec.
                               Sec.   118.500 and
                               181.500.
Training....................  Adds training         Subchapter K: Sec.
                               requirement to        122.420(b).
                               enhance crews'       Subchapter T: Sec.
                               firefighting          185.420(b).
                               capabilities.
Egress......................  1. Adds requirements  Subchapter K: Sec.
                               for master to         Sec.   122.507 and
                               conduct emergency     122.515.
                               egress drills.       Subchapter T: Sec.
                              2. Adds and updates    Sec.   185.507 and
                               requirements for      185.515.
                               posting Passenger
                               Safety Bills.
Construction and Arrangement  1. Requires vessels   Subchapter K: Sec.
                               with overnight        Sec.   116.115(c)
                               accommodations for    and 116.500(o).
                               passengers to        Subchapter T: Sec.
                               conform to current    Sec.   177.115(c)
                               regulations for       and 177.500(n).
                               means of escape
                               construction and
                               arrangement.
                              2. Adds requirements
                               preventing berths
                               to aid in means of
                               escape.
Hazardous items.............  Adds requirements     Subchapter K: Sec.
                               for handling,         122.364.
                               storing, and         Subchapter T: Sec.
                               operating             185.364.
                               potentially
                               hazardous items.
Implementation..............  Outlines              Subchapter K: Sec.
                               implementation        114.110(g).
                               schedule for         Subchapter T: Sec.
                               affected operators    175.110(e).
                               to implement
                               regulatory
                               requirements.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Applicability and Definitions

    The statute defines ``covered small passenger vessel,'' but, 
because the term ``cover(ed)'' is utilized already throughout 
Subchapters T and K to mean something unrelated, utilizing ``covered 
small passenger vessel'' could be misleading. Instead, the interim rule 
adds statements to the applicability sections in 46 CFR Subchapters K 
(Sec.  114.110) and T (Sec.  175.110) to identify the types of SPVs 
that must meet the new requirements. These statements of applicability 
capture all the ``covered small passenger vessels'' identified in the 
statute. For each applicability statement, we include a list of the 
specific regulatory sections that those types of vessels must comply 
with.
    In accordance with the definition of covered SPVs in 46 U.S.C. 
3306(n)(5), a vessel to which Subchapter K or T applies, irrespective 
of build date, must meet the listed general fire safety requirements if 
it is not a ferry; and (1) has overnight accommodations for passengers; 
or (2) is operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route. The fire safety 
requirements in this interim rule are substantively the same in each 
Subchapter. The general fire safety requirements are listed in 
Sec. Sec.  118.400(d), 118.500, 122.364, and 122.420(b) for vessels 
regulated under Subchapter K and in Sec. Sec.  181.405, 181.450, 
181.500, 185.364, and 185.420(b) for vessels regulated under Subchapter 
T.
    In addition to the general requirements, SPVs that have overnight 
accommodations for passengers will be required to meet additional fire 
safety requirements, as mandated by 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(B). For 
Subchapter K, SPVs with overnight accommodations for passengers, 
irrespective of build date, will be required to meet the additional 
requirements in revised Sec. Sec.  116.115(c), 116.500(o), 122.410(b), 
122.507, and 122.515. SPVs with overnight accommodations for 
passengers,

[[Page 73164]]

irrespective of build date, regulated under Subchapter T will have to 
meet the additional requirements in revised Sec. Sec.  177.115(c), 
177.500(n), 185.410(b), 185.507, and 185.515. These additional 
requirements are discussed later in this preamble, and are 
substantively the same in each subchapter.
    Section 3306(n)(5)(B) states that the regulations do not apply to 
ferries or fishing vessels as those terms are defined in 46 U.S.C. 
2101. As such, the new requirements implemented by this interim rule do 
not apply to ferries or fishing vessels. Under the statutory 
authorities and this interim rule, SPVs inspected under Subchapters K 
or T engaged in passenger vessel operations on a fishing excursion does 
not meet the definition of a ``fishing vessel'' in 46 U.S.C. 2101.
    This interim rule also adds definitions to Subchapter T for the 
terms ``listed'' and ``Nationally recognized testing laboratory or 
NRTL.'' Both definitions will apply to the new requirements in Sec.  
181.450 for interconnected fire detection and alarm systems. In that 
section, we require an interconnected detection and alarm system to 
consist of multiple-station smoke detectors listed by an NRTL, or 
independent laboratory accepted by the Commandant. The definition of 
``listed'' would help the reader identify what types of materials or 
equipment are acceptable under the regulations. The definition of 
``NRTL'' will help the reader identify the organization as one that is 
recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Editorial

    This interim rule makes several editorial changes to update 
paragraph numbering from the addition of new regulatory text. All 
affected paragraphs that have been redesignated by this interim rule 
are listed in Table 1 of this preamble, ``Summary of Changes and 46 CFR 
Subchapters and Sections Affected.'' These editorial changes have no 
substantive impact on the public or affected owners or operators of 
SPVs.

Watchkeeping

    Existing regulations in 46 CFR 122.410 and 185.410 require an owner 
of a vessel carrying overnight passengers to have a suitable number of 
members of the crew patrol throughout the vessel during nighttime. 
Under 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(iii), we must issue requirements for the 
installation and use of monitoring device(s) to ensure the wakefulness 
of the required night watch for SPVs with overnight accommodations for 
passengers. Sections 122.410 and 185.410 already require these vessels 
to have a suitable number of watchmen patrol throughout the vessel 
during the nighttime. The purpose of having a required night watch is 
to always have someone monitoring the safety and security of the 
vessel, who can alert the crew and passengers if there are any 
emergencies on board, such as fire, flooding, vessel collisions, or 
other hazards.
    In new paragraphs 122.410(b) and 185.410(b), this interim rule 
requires the following for operators of vessels regulated by Subchapter 
T or K that have overnight accommodations for passengers. Vessels 
already in service must submit plans to the cognizant OCMI, in 
accordance with existing Sec. Sec.  115.700 or Sec. Sec.  176.700, for 
the installation and use of monitoring device(s) to ensure the 
wakefulness of the watchmen. Vessels with a keel laid date after March 
28, 2022, must include plans for the monitoring device(s) within the 
plan submissions required in Sec. Sec.  116.202 or 177.202. The Coast 
Guard will work with the vessel operators to determine a reasonable 
implementation schedule once the plans are accepted. This plan 
submission requirement will be effective 90 days after publication of 
this interim rule. The main goal for requiring use and installation of 
the monitoring device is to ensure the required watchmen stay awake 
while monitoring the vessel for emergencies.
    The monitoring devices must also satisfy the following three 
requirements, which we have incorporated into the regulatory text. 
First, the monitoring devices must alert the crew in the case of an 
unresponsive watchstander. This requirement will ensure that, if a 
watchman becomes unresponsive, the crew will be alerted to check on the 
unresponsive watchman and provide a continuous safety watch throughout 
the night. Second, the monitoring device must remain operable 
throughout the nighttime watch, to coincide with the required patrol in 
Sec. Sec.  122.410(a) and 185.410(a), which requires ``watchmen patrol 
throughout the vessel during the nighttime.'' Third, the monitoring 
device(s) must be arranged to ensure proper coverage of the passenger 
accommodation spaces, common areas, and spaces with potential fire 
hazards. We are requiring the device(s) be arranged with proper 
coverage around the vessel to ensure that those assigned with a 
watchkeeping responsibility remain alert while conducting frequent 
rounds of the vessel.
    Per existing Sec. Sec.  115.800(a) and 176.800(a), ``Inspection 
standards'', the cognizant OCMI may inspect the vessel's monitoring 
devices for compliance with the subchapter and, where the standard is 
not set by these updated regulations, in accordance with standards 
acceptable to the cognizant OCMI as good marine practice.
    For implementing the monitoring device(s) requirement, we 
considered requiring systems similar to the International 
Electrotechnical Commission standard, IEC 62616, ``Maritime navigation 
and radio communication equipment and systems--Bridge navigational 
watch alarm system (BNWAS).'' The IEC 62616 standard specifies the 
minimum performance requirements, technical characteristics, methods of 
testing, and required test results for a BNWAS, as required by the 
International Convention for the Safety of Life as Sea (SOLAS). SOLAS 
regulation V/19.2.2.3 requires that BNWAS must be in operation whenever 
the ship is underway at sea. The BNWAS monitors bridge activity and 
detects operator disability that could lead to marine accidents. 
According to the IEC 62616 standard, the system monitors the awareness 
of the watchman. If they become incapable of performing their watch 
duties, a series of indications and alarms alert first the watchman and 
then, if they are not responding, alert the Master or another qualified 
watchman. Under IEC 62616, the BNWAS may be integrated into other 
equipment, such as radar or Electronic Chart Display and Information 
System, etc. A BNWAS is just one example of a device that would satisfy 
the requirements of Sec. Sec.  122.410(b) and 185.410(b). Further, 
systems such as a personnel alarm, as required by 46 CFR 62.50-20(b) 
for vessels regulated under Subchapter F, would also be considered as 
meeting the requirements of Sec. Sec.  122.410(b) and 185.410(b). These 
two systems are just examples, and are not intended as an all-inclusive 
list of devices that could satisfy the requirements of Sec. Sec.  
122.410(b) and 185.410(b). However, for the purpose of this interim 
rule, we are initially allowing operators the flexibility to choose a 
system that works for them in meeting the requirements set forth in 
122.410(b) and 185.410(b), subject to cognizant OCMI or Marine Safety 
Center approval. We welcome comments providing information as to the 
types of wakefulness monitoring systems or procedures that are 
preferable or already in use by these vessels, if any.

Fire Detection

    Title 46 CFR 181.450(c) lists the requirements for independent 
modular smoke detecting units in overnight accommodation spaces on a 
vessel. To align with the requirements of 46 U.S.C.

[[Page 73165]]

3306(n)(3)(A)(ii), vessels regulated by Subchapter T or K that have 
overnight accommodations for passengers or operate on a Coastwise or 
Oceans route, irrespective of build date, must now have interconnected 
fire detection systems.
    The text in 46 U.S.C. 3306(b)(3)(A)(ii) requires interconnected 
fire detection equipment ``in all areas on board the vessel where 
passengers and crew have access, including dining areas, sleeping 
quarters, and lounges.'' The Coast Guard uses the term ``interconnected 
fire detection systems'' because it is not likely or logical that the 
fire detection equipment will be interconnected; it is the system that 
is interconnected. This is a nomenclature change we made to be more 
precise with the language used in the regulations. We have interpreted 
the statutory language, ``all areas where passengers and crew have 
access'' to include enclosed spaces such as accommodation spaces and 
machinery spaces that would be routinely occupied by passengers or 
crew. While the statute says, ``all areas on board the vessel where 
passengers and crew have access . . .'' the Coast Guard does not 
interpret this to mean only spaces where crew and passengers both have 
access; we interpret this to mean spaces where either have access. 
Otherwise, machinery spaces and crew kitchens with heat sources and 
fire risks would not be included in the requirement. That 
interpretation would be inconsistent with the intent of the 2020 CGAA, 
to have the interconnected fire detection systems in all areas onboard.
    This interim rule does not require interconnected fire detection 
systems on weatherdecks because fire detection equipment is not 
effective above decks where there may be no ceilings and smoke 
disperses before it can be detected. In addition, we do not include 
small spaces that open to spaces with fire detection equipment, such as 
closets, in the meaning of ``areas where passengers and crew have 
routine access,'' where it is impractical or there are no potential 
heat sources to justify requiring an interconnected fire detection 
system therein.
    The regulations in Sec. Sec.  118.400(d) and 181.405(c) will now 
require an interconnected fire detection system that meets the existing 
requirements in Sec.  181.450 in all enclosed areas to which passengers 
and crew have routine access, including accommodation spaces and 
machinery spaces. Now that the statute requires all SPV fire detection 
systems to be interconnected, we changed the type of the detection 
system described in Sec.  181.450 from ``Independent modular smoke 
detecting units'' to ``Interconnected fire detection system''. Section 
181.450 will continue to require that the fire detection system used by 
the vessel must be listed by an NRTL or independent laboratory, as 
type-approved to meet Underwriter Laboratories (UL) standard UL 217, 
``Single and Multiple Station Smoke Detectors,'' already incorporated 
by reference in Sec.  175.600 and 181.450.
    In Subchapter K's interconnected fire detection system 
requirements, in new Sec.  118.400(d), we opt to cross-reference the 
existing Subchapter T standards in Sec.  181.450 that apply to 
interconnected fire detection systems, rather than duplicating the 
standards in Subchapter K. All SPVs that either operate on a Coastwise 
or Oceans route or have overnight accommodations for passengers, 
irrespective of build date, must have an interconnected fire detection 
system that meets the requirements in Sec.  181.450.

Fire Suppression

    Existing Sec. Sec.  118.500 and 181.500 list the requirements for 
number, type, and location of portable fire extinguishers applicable to 
``new vessels'' (defined in Sec. Sec.  114.400 and 175.400). These 
sections list the minimum number of fire extinguishers a vessel must 
have and also indicate that the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection 
(OCMI) may require more than the minimum number listed. Paragraph 
(n)(3)(A)(vii) of 46 U.S.C. 3306 requires the Coast Guard to issue 
regulations for increased fire suppression systems (including 
additional fire extinguishers) in unmanned areas with machinery, or 
areas with other potential heat sources. Sections 118.115 and 181.115 
previously allowed ``existing vessels'' (defined in Sec. Sec.  114.400 
and 175.400) to comply with the fire protection regulations that were 
applicable to the vessel on March 10, 1996.
    This interim rule requires all vessels regulated by Subchapter T or 
K that have overnight accommodations for passengers or are operating on 
a Coastwise or Oceans route, regardless of build date, to comply with 
the portable fire extinguisher regulations in Sec. Sec.  118.500 or 
181.500. The new applicability paragraphs Sec. Sec.  114.110(e) and 
175.110(c) indicate the specific regulations that these SPVs must meet, 
including the fire extinguisher regulations in Sec. Sec.  118.500 or 
181.500. These regulations were previously only applicable to ``new 
vessels.'' This change will directly affect ``existing vessels'' that 
previously complied with portable fire extinguisher regulations 
applicable to the vessel on March 10, 1996, but do not meet the 
regulation standards for ``new vessels.'' All SPVs regulated under 
Subchapters T and K that have overnight accommodations for passengers 
or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route will be required to 
comply with the portable fire extinguisher minimum numbers and type 
requirements in Sec. Sec.  118.500 or 181.500 no later than 1 year 
after publication of this interim rule. The Coast Guard invites public 
comment to determine if requirements for additional portable fire 
extinguishers beyond what is currently required in Sec. Sec.  118.500 
or 181.500 should be required to facilitate proper fire protection.
    Additionally, these SPVs will be subject to the cognizant OCMI's 
discretion in requiring additional portable fire extinguishers. In 
requiring additional portable fire extinguishers, the OCMI considers 
multiple factors, including such vessel characteristics as the size, 
passenger capacity, egress plans, and layout. This OCMI discretion 
already exists in 118.500(a) and 181.500(a). Therefore, we expect OCMIs 
to use the same criteria they apply to new vessels to existing vessels 
in determining an acceptable minimum amount of fire extinguishers in 
the spaces listed. The fire extinguisher requirements in Sec. Sec.  
118.500 and 181.500 cover all types of areas on the vessel, including 
minimum fire extinguisher requirements for unmanned areas with 
machinery, and areas with potential heat sources, as required by the 
statute.
    In this interim rule, the Coast Guard considered requiring fixed 
firefighting systems to address the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 3306(n), 
but decided instead to make the standards for the number, type, and 
location of portable extinguishers onboard new vessels applicable to 
both new and existing vessels. When the Coast Guard revised the 
regulations for small passenger vessels in 1996, the requirements for 
fixed fire suppression systems were retroactively applied to existing 
vessels of combustible construction (See 61 FR 864, Jan. 10, 1996). 
These higher risk vessels have been required to install fixed 
suppression systems since March 1999. However, under the 1996 
regulation, existing vessels were not required to comply with 
requirements for the number, type, and location of portable 
extinguishers. At present, there is insufficient data to justify 
requiring the additional cost and complexity of fixed systems on 
existing vessels of non-combustible construction. Instead, under the 
interim rule, the Coast Guard is requiring existing vessels to meet the 
current requirements for portable fire extinguishers, which meets the 
intent of 46 U.S.C. 3306(n). At the same time, the

[[Page 73166]]

interim final rule will allow for public comment regarding requirements 
for portable and fixed fire suppression systems onboard these vessels.

Training

    Currently, SPVs are required to conduct crew firefighting drills 
and training in accordance with Sec. Sec.  122.524 and 185.524. Per the 
mandate in 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(i), this interim rule adds 
additional crew firefighting training requirements for vessels 
regulated by Subchapter T or K that have overnight accommodations for 
passengers or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route. These 
additional training requirements will promote crew member firefighting 
proficiency, while requiring regular egress training for vessel crew 
members.
    In new paragraphs 122.420(b) and 185.420(b), this interim rule adds 
required crew training in the use and location of firefighting 
equipment and general firefighting knowledge, including a list of 
knowledge and training aspects that must be covered. Additionally, this 
interim rule adds a requirement to conduct emergency egress training 
for all members of the crew, to be conducted at least monthly while 
such members are employed on board the vessel, and each time someone 
joins the crew.
    The new provisions in Sec. Sec.  122.420(b) and 185.420(b) will 
also cross-reference the existing requirements for the vessel master or 
operator to conduct the firefighting drills and training in Sec. Sec.  
122.524 and 185.524, respectively, including identifying fire location 
and fire type. The additional general firefighting knowledge 
requirements in Sec. Sec.  122.524 and 185.524 already apply to all 
vessels regulated under Subchapter K and Subchapter T, respectively. 
The purpose of adding these cross references to Sec. Sec.  122.420(b) 
and 185.420(b) is to clearly specify in one place all the firefighting 
crew training requirements for SPVs that have overnight accommodations 
for passengers or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route.

Egress

    46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(vii) requires regulations for conducting 
passenger emergency egress drills prior to the vessel beginning each 
excursion. New Sec. Sec.  122.507 and 185.507 of this interim rule 
require owners or operators of SPVs that have overnight accommodations 
for passengers to conduct emergency egress drills with the new 
passengers prior to the vessel getting underway. If the vessel does not 
get underway, and if passengers do not remain overnight on the vessel, 
the vessel operator would not be required to complete the passenger 
emergency egress drills. The statute requires the egress drills be 
performed before the vessel begins an ``excursion,'' which we have 
interpreted to mean anytime a vessel gets underway, or anytime 
passengers remain overnight on the vessel. Per this definition, a 
vessel operator that has passengers remain onboard overnight is 
required to conduct the passenger emergency egress drills, regardless 
if the vessel leaves the pier. Where vessels with overnight passengers 
remain pierside for various reasons, such as inclement weather or as 
part of the normal practice, emergencies can still happen on these 
excursions. Requiring the emergency egress drills for vessels with 
overnight passengers that remain pierside supports Congress's safety 
intent of performing the passenger egress drills on these vessels.
    For passengers assigned to an accommodation space, this interim 
rule requires the emergency egress drills must be performed from that 
assigned space. If passengers are not assigned an accommodation space, 
the emergency egress drill must be performed from another reasonable 
accommodation space, which the master of the vessel will have 
discretion to choose. We included this contingency for when passengers 
are not assigned accommodation space for situations where the vessel 
has overnight accommodation space for passengers but is not getting 
underway with passengers. In these cases, the master of the vessel is 
still required to perform an emergency egress drill with the passengers 
because the 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(5) definition of ``covered small 
passenger vessel'' applies to any SPV that has overnight passenger 
accommodations on the vessel and does not distinguish whether or not 
they are actually used overnight by passengers.
    Section 3306(n)(3)(A)(vii) requires the crew to conduct an egress 
drill from all areas where passengers have access. However, strict 
application of the statute would lead to an overly redundant and 
burdensome process, with multiple drills being conducted from every 
accessible space on the vessel, and only a nominal increase in safety. 
Instead, we will require passengers to undergo one emergency egress 
drill from their assigned accommodation space, or, if not assigned an 
accommodation space, from another reasonable accommodation space chosen 
by the vessel master.
    The emergency egress drills are a supplement to any applicable 
passenger safety requirements under 46 CFR parts 122 and 185 or SOLAS. 
In some cases, the emergency egress drill can be done concurrently with 
other required safety drills, as long as the passengers perform the 
emergency egress drill starting from the passenger's assigned 
accommodation spaces before beginning an excursion with new passengers. 
Most relevant, Sec. Sec.  122.506(e) and 185.506(e) require SPVs on a 
voyage of more than 24 hours duration request that passengers don life 
jackets and go to the appropriate embarkation station during the safety 
orientation. A vessel operator could satisfy Sec. Sec.  122.506(e) or 
185.506(e) and the new emergency egress drill requirement by performing 
the emergency egress drill from the passenger's assigned overnight 
accommodation space, meeting at the embarkation station, and donning 
life jackets. This emergency egress drill must be conducted before the 
vessel begins an excursion with new passengers.
    Paragraphs 3306(n)(3)(A)(viii) & (B) require providing passengers a 
copy of the emergency egress plan for the vessel on vessels that have 
overnight accommodation spaces for passengers. In Subchapters K and T, 
the Coast Guard refers to these plans as passenger safety bills. This 
interim rule requires passenger safety bills to be posted in each cabin 
or stateroom, and in passenger accommodation spaces. Passenger safety 
bills must include the following information: (1) The embarkation 
station and the number and location of survival craft to which each 
passenger is assigned, if applicable; (2) the fire and emergency signal 
and the abandon ship signal; (3) the essential action that must be 
taken in an emergency; and (4) the location of immersion suits and 
illustrated instructions on the method of donning the suits, if 
immersion suits are provided. The Coast Guard determined that including 
this emergency egress information will increase the passenger safety 
bill's usefulness to passengers during an emergency.
    These passenger safety bill requirements will be in Sec.  122.515 
and new Sec.  185.515. Previously, passenger safety bill requirements 
in Sec.  122.515 only applied to vessels more than 65 feet with more 
than 49 overnight passengers. The requirements in Sec.  122.515 will 
now apply to all vessels regulated under Subchapter K with overnight 
accommodations spaces for passengers, regardless of length of vessel or 
number of overnight passengers.
    The Coast Guard considered requiring masters of affected vessels to 
distribute copies of passenger safety bills to passengers. We did not 
choose this option as it is unrealistic to expect

[[Page 73167]]

passengers to have the safety bills in their possession at all times in 
case of an emergency. Posting the passenger safety bills in 
accommodation spaces and staterooms ensures the emergency egress plans 
are available for viewing from multiple places on the vessel in an 
emergency.

Construction and Arrangement

    The regulations for construction and arrangement in 46 CFR parts 
116 and 175 are currently applicable to ``new vessels'' (defined in 
Sec. Sec.  114.400 and 175.400). ``Existing vessels'' (also defined in 
Sec. Sec.  114.400 and 175.400) have the opportunity to comply with 
regulations that were applicable on March 10, 1996. Section 
3306(n)(3)(A)(v) of 46 U.S.C. requires SPVs with overnight 
accommodations for passengers to have two independent avenues of escape 
from general areas accessible to passengers. New applicability 
provisions in Sec. Sec.  116.115(c) and 177.115(c) will require vessels 
regulated by Subchapter T or K that have overnight accommodations for 
passengers, regardless of build date, to comply with the requirements 
for means of escape in Sec. Sec.  116.500 and 177.500. Requiring 
compliance with Sec. Sec.  116.500 and 177.500 will ensure that all 
existing vessels with overnight accommodations for passengers will 
maintain at least two independent means of escape that allow for free 
and unobstructed egress from any point in a vessel to an embarkation 
station for SPVs regulated under Subchapter T, or to an embarkation 
station or area of refuge for SPVs regulated under Subchapter K.
    Specifically, Sec. Sec.  116.500(b) and 177.500(b) require two 
means of escape that must be widely separated and, if possible, at 
opposite ends or sides of the space to minimize the possibility of one 
incident blocking both escapes. Although the terms ``if possible'' and 
``minimize the possibility'' provide a level of ambiguity to the 
regulations, the notion of having two means of escape widely separated 
at opposite ends of the space, where a blockage of one will not result 
in the blockage of both escapes, is enforced strictly. The term ``if 
possible'' in relation to placement of the means of escape provides a 
level of discretion to the Coast Guard to allow for the two independent 
means of escape to exist in the same space without being on absolute 
opposite ends of the space. However, the Coast Guard will ensure, in 
its judgement, that the means of escape are placed as widely apart as 
possible to minimize the possibility that one incident could block both 
means of escape. Current regulations under Subchapter T define a 
``means of escape'' as ``a continuous and unobstructed way of exit 
travel from any point in a vessel to an embarkation station.'' For 
vessels inspected under Subchapter K, a ``means of escape'' is ``a 
continuous and unobstructed way of exit travel from any point in a 
vessel to an embarkation station or area of refuge.'' (See 46 CFR 
114.400 and 175.400). Regardless of how widely spaced the means of 
escape are from each other in a single space, the Coast Guard will 
ensure there are two independent means of escape that prevent one 
incident blocking both means of escape.
    Additionally, this interim rule will add a new provision 
prohibiting avenues of escape that are located directly above, or 
dependent on, a berth for vessels with overnight accommodations for 
passengers. Section 3306(n)(3)(A)(v)(III) mandates that the required 
two independent avenues of escape and the door, hatch, or scuttle are 
not located directly above or dependent on a berth. This mandated 
requirement is implemented in revised Sec. Sec.  116.500(o) and 
177.500(n) only for vessels with overnight accommodations for 
passengers.

Hazardous Items

    Under 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(vi), all vessels regulated by 
Subchapters K or T that have overnight accommodations for passengers, 
or are operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route, will be required to 
take extra precautions in handling, storing, and operating flammable 
items such as rechargeable batteries.\3\ New Sec. Sec.  122.364 and 
185.364 require potentially hazardous items used for commercial 
purposes to be handled, stored, and operated in a way that mitigates 
the risk of hazardous conditions. In addition, operators should read 
the Coast Guard's Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) 
Policy Letter 20-03, ``Carriage of Lithium-Ion Batteries on Small 
Passenger Vessels,'' issued on October 29, 2020 (or any subsequent 
versions), to better understand how to identify signs of damage to 
lithium ion batteries, how to extinguish small lithium-ion battery 
fires, and how to avoid unsafe practices or improper installations 
onboard.\4\ A copy of the Policy Letter 20-03 will be posted to the 
docket. For instructions on locating the docket, see the ADDRESSES 
section of this preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ As required by 46 U.S.C. 3306(n)(3)(A)(vi).
    \4\ A copy is available in the docket for this interim rule and 
at the following website: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO%20Documents/5p/CG-5PC/CG-CVC/Policy%20Letters/2020/CVC%20PL%2020-03_CARRIAGE%20OF%20LITHIUM-ION%20BATTERIES%20ON%20SMALL%20PASSENGER%20VESSELS.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Implementation

    The Coast Guard considered implementation schedules while balancing 
expected or potential impacts and vessel and passenger safety concerns. 
In the Subchapters K and T applicability sections, 114.110(g) and 
175.110(e), we list the dates of when each regulatory requirement must 
be implemented. These dates are the earliest that the Coast Guard would 
enforce the requirements. We opt for a staggered implementation 
schedule, where the more extensive changes are given more time to 
implement, and the simpler changes are given 90 days to implement.
    The new requirements for means of escape in Sec. Sec.  116.115(c), 
116.500(o), 177.115(c), and 177.500(n) are deemed the most logistically 
challenging. Relevant vessel owners could expect to allocate time and 
resources for making appropriate vessel conversions. Vessel owners may 
need to schedule a drydocking period with a boatyard to conduct 
conversions necessary to meet the means of escape requirements in these 
sections. Therefore, we allow vessel owners 2 years to implement those 
requirements; that is, by December 27, 2023.
    The regulatory changes for fire protection equipment in 46 CFR 
parts 118 and 181 will require equipment to be procured and installed 
onboard. The Coast Guard recognizes that required equipment may not be 
readily available, so we have allowed vessel owners 1 year, until 
December 27, 2022, to implement the requirements in Sec. Sec.  
118.400(d), 118.500, 181.405, 181.450, and 181.500.
    Vessel owners will have 90 days, until March 28, 2022, to implement 
the remaining requirements of this interim rule. These requirements 
include those listed in Sec. Sec.  122.364, 122.420(b), 116.115(c), 
122.410(b), 122.507, 122.515, 185.364, 185.410(b), 185.420(b), 185.507, 
and 185.515.
    Lastly, Sec. Sec.  122.507(b), 185.507(b), and 185.515(a), and the 
addition of a paragraph to Sec.  122.515, which contain collections of 
information that have not yet been approved by OMB, are delayed 
indefinitely. These sections are related to the requirements for 
posting a passenger safety bill in accommodation spaces, recording 
passenger egress drills, and recording crew firefighting and emergency 
egress training. The Coast Guard will publish a document in the Federal 
Register announcing the effective dates of those sections if OMB

[[Page 73168]]

approves the new collections of information.

V. Regulatory Analyses

    Paragraph (n)(4)(B) of 46 U.S.C. 3306 exempts the requirements in 
this interim rule from the economic analysis requirements in the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory 
Planning and Review) and 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed 
this rule under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 because this 
interim rule is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866.
    This interim rule will impose a cost to the SPV industry, much of 
which is made up of small businesses. While the Coast Guard did not 
conduct a benefit cost analysis, the Coast Guard recognizes that there 
may be impacts to small business. There will be a cost burden to update 
fire and smoke detection equipment and to add additional independent 
avenues of escape (for instance, egress) on many SPVs, with a potential 
associated loss of passenger capacity on some SPVs. Additional costs 
will be associated with crew training and competency, passenger egress 
drills, monitoring devices to ensure wakefulness of the night watch, 
and flammable item storage. The Coast Guard will consider all cost-
related public comments at the final rule phase and not for this 
interim final rule.
    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and 
Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses 
based on these statutes or Executive orders.

A. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, we offer to assist small 
entities in understanding this rule so that they can better evaluate 
its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. The Coast Guard 
will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain 
about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal 
regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory 
Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory 
Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and 
rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to 
comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR 
(1-888-734-3247).

B. Collection of Information

    This interim rule calls for a change to an existing collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-
3520. The relevant collection of information is titled ``Small 
Passenger Vessels--Title 46 CFR Subchapters K and T,'' which is 
assigned OMB Control Number 1625-0057. The Coast Guard uses the 
information in this collection to ensure compliance with Subchapter K 
and T regulations for the safety, design, construction, alteration, 
repair and operation of small passenger vessels.
    As defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(c), ``collection of information'' 
comprises reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and 
other similar actions. The title and description of the information 
collections, a description of those who must collect the information, 
and an estimate of the total annual burden follow. The estimate covers 
the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing sources of 
data, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and 
reviewing the collection.
    Title: Small Passenger Vessels--Title 46 CFR Subchapters K and T.
    OMB Control Number: 1625-0057.
    Summary of the Collection of Information: The information 
requirements are necessary for the proper administration and 
enforcement of the safety of applicable SPVs affected by this interim 
rule. The new requirements of this interim rule affect SPVs (under 100 
gross tons) that carry more than six passengers and have overnight 
accommodations for passengers or operate on a coastwise or oceans 
route. The Coast Guard will require the operators of these vessels to: 
(1) Post copies of the passenger safety bill for all passengers in all 
passenger staterooms and cabins and passenger accommodation spaces; (2) 
log the occurrence of passenger emergency egress drills; and (3) log 
the occurrence of crew marine firefighting and emergency egress 
training. The interim rule requirement for vessel operators of SPVs 
with overnight accommodations for passengers to submit plans to the 
USCG for use and installation of night watchmen monitoring devices 
would also increase the burden estimates for the existing collections 
covered by plan approval sections Sec. Sec.  115.700, 116.202, 176.700 
and 177.202.
    Need for Information: Under the authority of 46 U.S.C. 3305 and 
3306, the Coast Guard is prescribing regulations for the design, 
construction, alteration, repair and operation of SPVs to secure the 
safety of individuals and property on board. The Coast Guard must issue 
interim fire safety requirements for these vessels per 46 U.S.C. 
3306(n), requiring masters of SPVs to provide passengers copies of 
emergency egress plans and to conduct passenger emergency egress drills 
before every excursion, and conduct crew marine firefighting and 
emergency egress trainings monthly and every time a new crewmember 
joins the crew. Plan approvals for the night watchmen monitoring 
devices is needed to ensure the devices will perform adequately to 
ensure the wakefulness of the night watch.
    Proposed Use of Information: The Coast Guard is requiring vessel 
operators to post copies of the passenger safety bill in all passenger 
staterooms and passenger accommodation spaces for the passengers' 
access and use before and during an emergency. Additionally, the 
requirement for vessel operators to log the occurrence of passenger 
emergency egress drills and crew firefighting and emergency egress 
training will be used by the Coast Guard to inspect vessel operators' 
compliance with the requirements. The plans for the night watch 
monitoring devices will be used to ensure compliance with the 
requirement to installation and use of the devices meet the minimum 
standards in the regulations.
    Description of the Respondents: Owners and operators of SPVs (under 
100 gross tons) that carry more than six passengers with overnight 
accommodations for passengers.
    Number of Respondents: The current OMB-approved number of 
respondents remains unchanged.
    Frequency of Response: The log entry for passenger egress drills 
must be completed prior to every excursion. The log entry for the crew 
firefighting and emergency egress training is expected to occur once a 
month and every time a new crew member joins the crew. The posting of 
the passenger bill will be a one-time posting requirement per vessel. 
The plan submission for the night watch monitoring devices will be a 
one-time submission requirement per vessel.
    Burden of Response: The burden of response varies per activity. The 
log entry at the completion of a passenger egress drill takes 2 minutes 
to complete prior to every excursion. The log entry at the completion 
of the crew firefighting training takes 2 minutes to complete and is 
expected to occur an average of 18 times per year, per

[[Page 73169]]

applicable vessel. The posting of a passenger safety bill takes 1 
minute per activity with 10 activities per Subchapter K vessel and 6 
activities per Subchapter T vessel, and we expect each vessel to post 
passenger safety bills only once. The submission of a vessel plan takes 
30 minutes per activity with an estimated 370 submissions.
    Estimate of Total Annual Burden: The crew emergency egress training 
will increase the annual burden by 676 hours. The new passenger egress 
drills will increase the annual burden by 611 hours. The posting of 
additional passenger safety bills will increase the annual burden by 46 
hours. The one-time submission of the night watch monitoring device 
plan submission will increase the annual burden by 185 hours. This 
rulemaking will increase the estimated annual burden by 1,518 hours.
    As required by 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) and 5 CFR 1320.10, we will submit 
a copy of this interim rule to OMB for its review of the collection of 
information.
    We are soliciting comments on the revisions to the collection of 
information. Comments may be submitted in accordance with the Public 
Participation and Request for Comments section in this preamble.
    You are not required to respond to a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has not 
yet completed its review of this updated collection. Therefore, we are 
not making Sec. Sec.  122.507(b), a new paragraph in 122.515, 
185.507(b), and 185.515(a) effective until OMB completes its action on 
our revised information collection request. We will publish a Federal 
Register document describing OMB's action and, if OMB grants approval, 
notifying you when Sec. Sec.  122.507(b), the new paragraph in 122.515, 
185.507(b), and 185.515(a) take effect.

C. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132 
(Federalism) if it has a substantial direct effect on States, on the 
relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. We have analyzed this interim rule under Executive Order 
13132 and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental 
federalism principles and preemption requirements described in 
Executive Order 13132. Our analysis follows.
    It is well settled that States may not regulate in categories 
reserved for regulation by the Coast Guard. It is also well settled 
that all of the categories covered in 46 U.S.C. 3306, (design, 
construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, operation, equipping), 
in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a 
vessel's obligations, are within the field foreclosed from regulation 
by the States. See the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. 
Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89, 120 S.Ct. 1135 (2000). This 
interim rule implements mandatory fire safety requirements for SPVs 
prescribed by 46 U.S.C. 3306(n). Therefore, because the States may not 
regulate within these categories, this rule is consistent with the 
fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described 
in Executive Order 13132.
    While it is well settled that States may not regulate in categories 
in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a 
vessel's obligations, the Coast Guard recognizes the key role that 
State and local governments may have in making regulatory 
determinations. Additionally, for rules with federalism implications 
and preemptive effect, Executive Order 13132 specifically directs 
agencies to consult with State and local governments during the 
rulemaking process. If you believe this rule has implications for 
federalism under Executive Order 13132, please call or email the person 
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

D. Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for 
inflation) or more in any one year. The Coast Guard discusses the 
requirements and some of the implications of this interim rule 
elsewhere in the preamble. This interim rule is exempt from economic 
analysis requirements in the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive 
Orders 12866 and 13563. Hence, this rulemaking does not include a 
regulatory analysis. Additionally, the interim requirements implemented 
by this rule are required by statute and are not discretionary.

E. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630 (Governmental 
Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property 
Rights).

F. Civil Justice Reform

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

G. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045 (Protection 
of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks). This 
rule will not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety 
that might disproportionately affect children.

H. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 
13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), 
because it will not have a substantial direct effect on one or more 
Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and 
Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

I. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211 (Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use). We have determined that it is not a 
``significant energy action'' under that order because it is not likely 
to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or 
use of energy.

J. Technical Standards and Incorporation by Reference

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, codified as a 
note to 15 U.S.C. 272, directs agencies to use voluntary consensus 
standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides 
Congress, through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards 
would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. 
Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (for example, 
specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test 
methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) 
that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.
    This rule uses one voluntary consensus standard, UL 217, ``Single 
and Multiple Station Smoke Detectors.'' The sections that reference 
this standard and the locations where this standard is available are 
listed in 46 CFR 175.600

[[Page 73170]]

and 181.450(a)(1). UL 217 is a standard for type-approved multiple-
station smoke detectors, and is already incorporated by reference in 
these sections.
    The Director of the Federal Register has approved the material in 
46 CFR 181.450(a)(1) for incorporation by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552 
and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of the material are available from the 
sources listed in 46 CFR 175.600.
    Consistent with 1 CFR part 51 incorporation by reference 
provisions, this material is reasonably available. Interested persons 
have access to it through their normal course of business, may purchase 
it from the organization identified in 46 CFR 117.600, or may view a 
copy by means we have identified in that section.

K. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security 
Management Directive 023-01, Rev. 1, associated implementing 
instructions, and Environmental Planning COMDTINST 5090.1 (series), 
which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made 
a determination that this action is one of a category of actions that 
do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the 
human environment. A Record of Environmental Consideration supporting 
this determination is available in the docket. For instructions on 
locating the docket, see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. This 
rule is categorically excluded under paragraph L56 and L57of Appendix 
A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev 1. Paragraph 
L56 pertains to regulations concerning the training, qualifying, 
licensing, and disciplining of maritime personnel and L57 pertains to 
regulations concerning manning, documentation, admeasurement, 
inspection, and equipping of vessels. This rule involves adding 
requirements such as fire detection and suppression systems, avenues of 
escape, egress drills, marine firefighting training, and the handling 
of flammable items such as rechargeable batteries.

VI. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    The Coast Guard views public participation as essential to 
effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material 
received on this interim rule during the comment period. Your comment 
can help shape fire safety final rules for SPVs called for by 46 U.S.C. 
3306(n). If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for 
this rule, indicate the specific section of this document to which each 
comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or 
recommendation.
    Submitting comments. We encourage you to submit comments through 
the Federal Decision Making Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. To 
do so, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2021-0306 in the 
search box and click ``Search.'' Next, look for this document in the 
Search Results column, and click on it. Then click on the Comment 
option. If you cannot submit your material by using https://www.regulations.gov, call or email the person in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this interim rule for alternate 
instructions.
    Viewing material in docket. To view documents mentioned in this 
interim rule as being available in the docket, find the docket as 
described in the previous paragraph, and then select ``Supporting & 
Related Material'' in the Document Type column. Public comments will 
also be placed in our online docket and can be viewed by following 
instructions on the https://www.regulations.gov Frequently Asked 
Questions web page. We review all comments received, but we will only 
post comments that address the topic of the interim rule. We may choose 
not to post off-topic, inappropriate, or duplicate comments that we 
receive.
    Personal information. We accept anonymous comments. Comments we 
post to https://www.regulations.gov will include any personal 
information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions 
in response to this document, see DHS's eRulemaking System of Records 
notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020).
    Public meeting. We are not planning to hold a public meeting but 
will consider doing so if we determine from public comments that a 
meeting would be helpful. We would issue a separate Federal Register 
notice to announce the date, time, and location of such a meeting.

List of Subjects in 46 CFR Parts 114, 116, 118, 122, 175, 177, 181, 
and 185

46 CFR Part 114

    Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

46 CFR Part 116

    Fire prevention, Marine safety, Passenger vessel, Seamen.

46 CFR Part 118

    Fire prevention, Marine safety, Passenger vessels.

46 CFR Part 122

    Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Penalties, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

46 CFR Part 175

    Marine safety, Incorporation by reference, Passenger vessels, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

46 CFR Part 177

    Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

46 CFR Part 181

    Fire prevention, Incorporation by reference, Marine safety, 
Passenger vessels.

46 CFR Part 185

    Marine safety, Passenger vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 
46 CFR parts 114, 116, 118, 122, 175, 177, 181, and 185 as follows:

Title 46--Shipping

PART 114--GENERAL PROVISIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 114 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306, 3703; Pub. L. 103-206, 107 
Stat. 2439; 49 U.S.C. App. 1804; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision 
No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a); Sec.  114.900 also issued under 44 
U.S.C. 3507.


0
2. Amend Sec.  114.110 by adding paragraphs (e) through (g) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  114.110   General applicability

* * * * *
    (e) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter 
applies must meet 46 CFR 118.400(d), 118.500, 122.364, and 122.420(b) 
if it is not a ferry, and if it --
    (1) Has overnight accommodations for passengers; or
    (2) Is operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route.
    (f) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter 
applies must meet 46 CFR 116.115(c), 116.500(o), 122.410(b), 122.507, 
and 122.515 if it is not a ferry, and has overnight accommodations for 
passengers.
    (g) The requirements outlined in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this 
section must be met no later than March 28, 2022, except for:

[[Page 73171]]

    (1) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 118.400(c) and 118.500r, 
which must be met no later than December 27, 2022; and
    (2) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 116.115(c) and 116.500(o), 
which must be met no later than December 27, 2023.

PART 116--CONSTRUCTION AND ARRANGEMENT

0
3. The authority citation for part 116 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 
1980 Comp., p. 277, DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, 
paragraph (II)(92)(a).


0
4. Amend Sec.  116.115 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  116.115   Applicability to existing vessels.

* * * * *
    (c) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must comply with the 
regulations in Sec.  116.500.

0
5. Amend Sec.  116.500 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraphs (o) through (q) as (p) through (r), 
respectively; and
0
b. Add new paragraph (o).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  116.500   Means of escape.

* * * * *
    (o) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must ensure that the two 
means of escape required in paragraph (b) of this section are 
unobstructed and not located directly above, or dependent on, a berth.
* * * * *

PART 118--FIRE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

0
6. The authority citation for part 118 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 
1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, 
paragraph (II)(92)(a).


0
7. Amend Sec.  118.400 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraphs (d) through (h) as (e) through (i), 
respectively; and
0
b. Add new paragraph (d).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  118.400  Where required.

* * * * *
    (d) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(e) must have an 
interconnected fire detection system in compliance with 46 CFR 181.450 
installed in all enclosed areas where passengers and crew have routine 
access, including accommodation spaces and machinery spaces.
* * * * *

PART 122--OPERATIONS

0
8. The authority citation for part 122 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306, 6101; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 
3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 
01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a).


0
9. Add Sec.  122.364 to subpart C to read as follows:


Sec.  122.364  Use of potentially hazardous items for commercial 
purposes.

    On vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(e), flammable items not 
covered by the regulations of this subchapter, such as rechargeable 
batteries, including lithium ion batteries utilized for commercial 
purposes, must be handled, stored, and operated in a way that mitigates 
the risk of hazardous conditions.

0
10. Amend Sec.  122.410 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate the introductory text as paragraph (a); and
0
b. Add paragraph (b).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  122.410  Watchmen.

* * * * *
    (b) Vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must submit plans to the 
cognizant OCMI, in accordance with 46 CFR 115.700, for the installation 
and use of monitoring device(s) to ensure the wakefulness of the 
watchmen required in paragraph (a) of this section. Vessels with a keel 
laid date after March 28, 2022, must include plans for the monitoring 
device(s) within the plan submissions required in 46 CFR 116.202. The 
Coast Guard will work with the vessel operators to determine a 
reasonable implementation schedule once the plans are accepted. The 
monitoring device(s) must:
    (1) Ensure the wakefulness of the crew in the event that the 
watchman required in paragraph (a) of this section is unresponsive;
    (2) Remain operable during the nighttime watch; and
    (3) Be arranged to ensure proper coverage of the passenger 
accommodation spaces, common areas, and spaces with potential fire 
hazards.

0
11. Amend Sec.  122.420 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d);
0
b. Add new paragraph (b); and
0
c. In newly redesignated paragraph (c):
0
i. Add the text ``, monthly,'' after the word ``initial''; and
0
ii. Remove the text ``paragraph (a)'' and add in its place the text 
``paragraphs (a) and (b)''.
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  122.420  Crew training.

* * * * *
    (b) For a vessel described by 46 CFR 114.100(e), the training 
program in paragraph (a) of this section must address firefighting 
proficiency and must include, but need not be limited to--
    (1) Training in the use and location of firefighting equipment and 
general firefighting knowledge, including:
    (i) Location of firefighting appliances and emergency escape 
routes;
    (ii) Types and sources of ignition;
    (iii) Flammable materials, fire hazards and spread of fire;
    (iv) The need for constant vigilance;
    (v) Actions to be taken on board;
    (vi) Fire and smoke detection and automatic systems on board; and
    (vii) Classification of fire and applicable extinguishing agents.
    (2) The drills required by Sec.  122.524, including fire location 
and fire type; and
    (3) Emergency egress training for each member of the crew, to occur 
for all members of the crew--
    (i) At least monthly while such members are employed on board the 
vessels; and
    (ii) Each time a crew member joins the crew of such vessel.
* * * * *

0
12. Add Sec.  122.507 to read as follows:


Sec.  122.507  Passenger egress drills.

    (a) The master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must 
conduct passenger emergency egress drills from the passengers' assigned 
overnight accommodation spaces prior to beginning an excursion with new 
passengers.
    (1) If the passengers are not assigned an overnight accommodation 
space, the master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 114.110(f) must 
conduct passenger emergency egress drills from an accommodation space 
prior to beginning an excursion with new passengers.
    (2) For the purposes of this section, excursion includes anytime 
the vessel gets underway, or anytime passengers remain overnight on the 
vessel.
    (b) [Reserved]

0
13. Delayed indefinitely, amend Sec.  122.507 by adding paragraph (b) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  122.507  Passenger egress drills.

* * * * *
    (b) Passenger egress drills must be logged or otherwise documented 
for review by the Coast Guard upon request. The drill entry must 
include the following information:
    (1) Date and time of the drill; and

[[Page 73172]]

    (2) Number of drill participants.

0
14. Delayed indefinitely, amend Sec.  122.515 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraph (b) as paragraph (c); and
0
b. Add new paragraph (b).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  122.515   Passenger safety bill.

* * * * *
    (b) For vessels described by 46 CFR 114.110(f), the master must 
post a passenger safety bill in each passenger cabin or stateroom and 
in passenger accommodation spaces.
* * * * *

PART 175--GENERAL PROVISIONS

0
15. The authority citation for part 175 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3205, 3306, 3703; Pub. L. 103-206, 
107 Stat. 2439; 49 U.S.C. App. 1804; DHS Delegation 00170.1, 
Revision No. 01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a); Sec.  175.900 also issued 
under 44 U.S.C. 3507.


0
16. Amend Sec.  175.110 by adding paragraphs (c) through (e) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  175.110  General applicability.

* * * * *
    (c) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter 
applies must meet 46 CFR 181.405, 181.450, 181.500, 185.364, and 
185.420(b), if it is not a ferry, and if it--
    (1) Has overnight accommodations for passengers; or
    (2) Is operating on a Coastwise or Oceans route.
    (d) Irrespective of build date, a vessel to which this subchapter 
applies must meet 46 CFR 177.115(c), 177.500(n), 185.410(b), 185.507, 
and 185.515, if it is not a ferry and has overnight accommodations for 
passengers.
    (e) The requirements outlined in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this 
section must be met no later than March 28, 2022, except for:
    (1) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 181.405, 181.450, and 
181.500, which must be met no later than December 27, 2022; and
    (2) The requirements to implement 46 CFR 177.115(c) and 177.500(n), 
which must be met no later than December 27, 2023.

0
17. Amend Sec.  175.400 by adding in alphabetical order definitions for 
``Listed'' and ``Nationally recognized testing laboratory or NRTL'' to 
read as follows:


Sec.  175.400  Definitions of terms used in this subchapter.

* * * * *
    Listed means equipment or materials included in a list published by 
an organization that is an accepted independent laboratory, as defined 
in 46 CFR 159.010, or a nationally recognized testing laboratory, as 
set forth in 29 CFR 1910.7, whose listing states that either the 
equipment or material meets appropriate designated standards.
* * * * *
    Nationally recognized testing laboratory or NRTL means an 
organization that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
(OSHA) has recognized as meeting the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.7.
* * * * *

PART 177--CONSTRUCTION AND ARRANGEMENT

0
18. The authority citation for part 177 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 
1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, 
paragraph (II)(92)(a).


0
19. Amend Sec.  177.115 by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  177.115  Applicability to existing vessels.

* * * * *
    (c) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must comply with the 
regulations in Sec.  177.500.

0
20. Amend Sec.  177.500 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraphs (n) through (p) as paragraphs (o) through 
(q), respectively; and
0
b. Add new paragraph (n).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  177.500  Means of escape.

* * * * *
    (n) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must ensure that the two 
means of escape required in paragraph (b) of this section are 
unobstructed and the door, hatch, or scuttle is not located directly 
above, or dependent on, a berth.
* * * * *

PART 181--FIRE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

0
21. The authority citation for part 181 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 
1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 01.2, 
paragraph (II)(92)(a).


0
22. Amend Sec.  181.405 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  181.405  Spaces required to have fire detection systems.

* * * * *
    (c) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(c) must have an 
interconnected fire detection system in compliance with Sec.  181.450 
installed in all enclosed areas where passengers and crew have routine 
access, including accommodation spaces and machinery spaces.
* * * * *

0
23. Revise Sec.  181.450 to read as follows:


Sec.  181.450  Interconnected detection and alarm system.

    (a) An interconnected detection and alarm system must:
    (1) Consist of multiple-station smoke detectors listed by an NRTL, 
or independent laboratory accepted by the Commandant according to 46 
CFR subpart 159.010, as meeting UL 217 (incorporated by reference, see 
46 CFR 175.600);
    (2) Be installed such that the actuation of alarm in one area 
results in both audible and visual alarms in all areas required by 46 
CFR 181.405(c) or 118.400(d) to be protected by the interconnected 
detection and alarm system;
    (3) Contain an independent power source; and
    (4) Alarm on low power.
    (b) A fire detection and alarm system of an approved type installed 
in accordance with 46 CFR part 76 would satisfy the requirements of 
this section.

PART 185--OPERATIONS

0
24. The authority citation for part 185 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306, 6101; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 
3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; DHS Delegation 00170.1, Revision No. 
01.2, paragraph (II)(92)(a).

0
25. Add Sec.  185.364 to subpart C to read as follows:


Sec.  185.364  Use of potentially hazardous items for commercial 
purposes.

    On vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(c), flammable items not 
otherwise covered by the regulations of this subchapter, such as 
rechargeable batteries, including lithium ion batteries utilized for 
commercial purposes, must be handled, stored, and operated in a way 
that mitigates the risk of hazardous conditions.


0
26. Amend Sec.  185.410 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate the introductory text as paragraph (a); and
0
b. Add paragraph (b).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  185.410  Watchmen.

* * * * *
    (b) Vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must submit plans to the 
cognizant OCMI, in accordance with 46 CFR 176.700, for the installation 
and use of monitoring device to ensure the

[[Page 73173]]

wakefulness of the watchmen required in paragraph (a) of this section. 
Vessels with a keel laid date after March 28, 2022, must include plans 
for the monitoring device(s) within the plan submissions required in 46 
CFR 177.202. The Coast Guard will work with the vessel operators to 
determine a reasonable implementation schedule once the plans are 
accepted. The monitoring device(s) must:
    (1) Ensure the wakefulness of the crew in the event that the 
watchman required in paragraph (a) of this section is unresponsive;
    (2) Remain operable during the nighttime watch; and
    (3) Be arranged to ensure proper coverage of the passenger 
accommodation spaces, common areas, and spaces with potential fire 
hazards.

0
27. Amend Sec.  185.420 as follows:
0
a. Redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d);
0
b. Add new paragraph (b); and
0
c. In newly redesignated paragraph (c):
0
i. Add the text ``, monthly,'' after the word ``initial''; and
0
ii. Remove the text ``paragraph (a)'' and add, in its place, the text 
``paragraphs (a) and (b)''.
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  185.420  Crew training.

* * * * *
    (b) For a vessel described by 46 CFR 175.110(c), the training 
program in paragraph (a) of this section must address firefighting 
proficiency and must include, but need not be limited to--
    (1) Training in the use and location of firefighting equipment and 
general firefighting knowledge, including:
    (i) Location of firefighting appliances and emergency escape 
routes;
    (ii) Types and sources of ignition;
    (iii) Flammable materials, fire hazards and spread of fire;
    (iv) The need for constant vigilance;
    (v) Actions to be taken on board;
    (vi) Fire and smoke detection and automatic systems on board; and
    (vii) Classification of fire and applicable extinguishing agents.
    (2) The drills required by Sec.  185.524, including fire location 
and fire type; and
    (3) Emergency egress training for each member of the crew, to occur 
for all members of the crew--
    (i) At least monthly while such members are employed on board the 
vessels; and
    (ii) Each time a crew member joins the crew of such vessel.
* * * * *


0
28. Add Sec.  185.507 to read as follows:


Sec.  185.507  Passenger egress drills.

    (a) The master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must 
conduct passenger emergency egress drills from the passengers' assigned 
overnight accommodation spaces prior to beginning an excursion with new 
passengers.
    (1) If the passengers are not assigned an overnight accommodation 
space, the master of a vessel described by 46 CFR 175.110(d) must 
conduct passenger emergency egress drills from an accommodation space 
prior to beginning an excursion with new passengers.
    (2) For the purposes of this section, excursion includes anytime 
the vessel gets underway, or anytime passengers remain overnight on the 
vessel.
    (b) [Reserved]


0
29. Delayed indefinitely, amend Sec.  185.507 by adding paragraph (b) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  185.507  Passenger egress drills.

* * * * *
    (b) Passenger egress drills must be logged or otherwise documented 
for review by the Coast Guard upon request. The drill entry must 
include the following information:
    (1) Date and time of the drill; and
    (2) Number of drill participants.


0
30. Add Sec.  185.515 to read as follows:


Sec.  185.515  Passenger safety bill.

    (a) [Reserved]
    (b) Each passenger safety bill required by this section must list:
    (1) The embarkation station and the number and location of the 
survival craft to which each passenger is assigned, if applicable;
    (2) The fire and emergency signal and the abandon ship signal;
    (3) Essential action that must be taken in an emergency; and
    (4) If immersion suits are provided for passengers, the location of 
the suits and illustrated instructions on the method of donning the 
suits.


0
31. Delayed indefinitely, amend Sec.  185.515 by adding paragraph (a) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  185.515  Passenger safety bill.

    (a) On vessels described by 46 CFR 175.110(d), a passenger safety 
bill must be posted by the master in each cabin or stateroom, and in 
passenger accommodation spaces.
* * * * *

    Dated: December 15, 2021.
J.W. Mauger,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention 
Policy.
[FR Doc. 2021-27549 Filed 12-23-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P