Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Stickney Point (SR 72) Bridge, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 68.6, Sarasota, FL
The Coast Guard is changing the operating regulation governing the operation of the Stickney Point (SR 72) Bridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, mile 68.6, Sarasota, Florida. The rule will require the drawbridge to open on the hour, twenty minutes past the hour and forty minutes past the hour.
Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Biscayne Bay, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Miami River, and Miami Beach Channel, Miami-Dade County, FL
The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the regulations governing the operation of the east and west spans of the Venetian Causeway bridges across the Miami Beach Channel on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, the Miami Avenue bridge and the Brickell Avenue bridge across the Miami River, Miami-Dade County. This temporary final rule allows these bridges to remain in the closed position during the running of the Miami Marathon on January 28, 2007. By doing so, this will allow the footrace to take place without runners being unnecessarily delayed.
Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Implementation in the Maritime Sector; Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Driver's License
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the United States Coast Guard (Coast Guard), issues this final rule to further secure our Nation's ports and modes of transportation. This rule implements the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 and the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006. Those statutes establish requirements regarding the promulgation of regulations that require credentialed merchant mariners and workers with unescorted access to secure areas of vessels and facilities to undergo a security threat assessment and receive a biometric credential, known as a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). After DHS publishes a notice announcing the compliance date for each Captain of the Port (COTP) zone, persons without TWICs will not be granted unescorted access to secure areas at affected maritime facilities. Those seeking unescorted access to secure areas aboard affected vessels, and all Coast Guard credentialed merchant mariners must possess a TWIC by September 25, 2008. This final rule will enhance the security of ports by requiring such security threat assessments of persons in secure areas and by improving access control measures to prevent those who may pose a security threat from gaining unescorted access to secure areas of ports. With this final rule, the Coast Guard amends its regulations on vessel and facility security to require the use of the TWIC as an access control measure. The Coast Guard also amends its merchant mariner regulations to incorporate the requirement to obtain a TWIC. This final rule does not include the card reader requirements for owners and operators set forth in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued in this matter on May 22, 2006. Such requirements will be addressed in a future rulemaking. Although the card reader requirements are not being implemented at this time, the Coast Guard will institute periodic unannounced checks to confirm the identity of the holder of the TWIC. With this final rule, TSA applies its security threat assessment standards that currently apply to commercial drivers authorized to transport hazardous materials in commerce to merchant mariners and workers who require unescorted access to secure areas on vessels and at maritime facilities. This final rule amends TSA regulations in a number of ways. To minimize redundant background checks of workers, TSA amends the threat assessment standards to include a process by which TSA determines if a security threat assessment conducted by another governmental agency or by TSA for another program is comparable to the standards in this rule. TSA amends the qualification standards by changing the list of crimes that disqualify an individual from holding a TWIC or a hazardous materials endorsement. TSA expands the appeal and waiver provisions to apply to TWIC applicants and air cargo employees who undergo a security threat assessment. These modifications include a process for the review of adverse waiver decisions and certain disqualification cases by an administrative law judge (ALJ). TSA also extends the time period in which applicants may apply for an appeal or waiver. Finally, this rule establishes the user fee for the TWIC and invites comment on one component of the fee, the card replacement fee. Under this rule, TSA will begin issuing first generation TWIC cards at initial port deployment locations. These TWIC cards will not initially support contactless biometric operations, but the TWIC cards will be functional with certain existing access control systems in use at ports today. TSA and the Coast Guard have established a working group, comprised of members of the maritime and technology industries, through the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC), a federal advisory committee to the Coast Guard. This working group, in consultation with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), is tasked with recommending the contactless biometric software specification for TWIC cards. TSA will publish a notice detailing the draft contactless biometric software specification for TWIC cards no later than the date by which it publishes the final TWIC fee as required by this Rule. Currently those notices are expected to be published in February 2007. TSA will subsequently publish a final specification for TWIC contactless biometric software functionality and the associated specifications for TWIC card readers. TSA plans also to write electronically the contactless biometric software application to all issued TWIC cards after publication of this specification. After initial field testing, this additional contactless biometric function will be included with all TWIC cards produced after publication of the contactless biometric software specification. Although this rule goes into effect on March 26, 2007, the requirements to hold a TWIC, and to restrict access to secure areas of a facility or OCS facility, will be effective only after the regulated party is notified by DHS. These notifications will be published in the Federal Register and will require compliance on a COTP by COTP basis. Those seeking unescorted access to secure areas aboard affected vessels, and all Coast Guard credentialed merchant mariners must possess a TWIC by September 25, 2008.
Consolidation of Merchant Mariner Qualification Credentials
The Coast Guard issues this Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) for the Consolidation of Merchant Mariner Qualification Credentials rulemaking project to amend its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in May 2006. The purpose of this SNPRM is to address comments received from the public on the NPRM, revise the proposed rule based on those comments, and provide the public with an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed revisions. This revised proposed rule would work in tandem with the joint final rule published by the Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published elsewhere in today's Federal Register entitled ``Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Implementation in the Maritime Sector; Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Driver's License''.