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Proposed Rule

Action

Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking.

Summary

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) of Canada, under international agreement, jointly publish and presently administer the St. Lawrence Seaway Tariff of Tolls in their respective jurisdictions. The Tariff sets forth the level of tolls assessed on all commodities and vessels transiting the facilities operated by the SLSDC and the SLSMC. The SLSDC is revising its regulations to reflect the fees and charges levied by the SLSMC in Canada starting in the 2006 navigation season, which are effective only in Canada. An amendment to increase the minimum charge per lock for those vessels that are not pleasure craft or subject in Canada to tolls under items 1 and 2 of the Tariff for full or partial transit of the Seaway will apply in the U.S. (See Supplementary Information.)

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Any party wishing to present views on the proposed amendment may file comments with the Corporation on or before March 16, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may submit comments [identified by DOT DMS Docket Number SLSDC 2005-20518] by any of the following methods:

  • Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-001.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under Regulatory Notices.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or to RoomPL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Craig H. Middlebrook, Acting Chief Counsel, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-0091.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) of Canada, under international agreement, jointly publish and presently administer the St. Lawrence Seaway Tariff of Tolls (Schedule of Fees and Charges in Canada) in their respective jurisdictions.

The Tariff sets forth the level of tolls assessed on all commodities and vessels transiting the facilities operated by the SLSDC and the SLSMC. The SLSDC is proposing to revise 33 CFR 402.8, “Schedule of Tolls”, to reflect the fees and charges levied by the SLSMC in Canada beginning in the 2006 navigation season. Additionally, the SLSDC is proposing to revise 33 CFR 402.3 and 33 CFR 402.4 to provide interpretations of two charges for vessels carrying new cargo on the Welland Canal and the MLO Section of the Seaway. With one exception, the changes affect the tolls for commercial vessels and are applicable only in Canada. The collection of tolls by the SLSDC on commercial vessels transiting the U.S. locks is waived by law (33 U.S.C. 988a(a)). Accordingly, no notice or comment is necessary on these amendments.

The SLSDC is proposing to amend 33 CFR 402.8, “Schedule of Tolls”, to increase the minimum charge per vessel per lock for full or partial transit of the Seaway from $20.00 to $20.40. This charge is for vessels that are not pleasure craft or subject in Canada to the tolls under items 1 and 2 of the Tariff. This increase is due to higher operating costs at the locks.

Regulatory Notices: Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Regulatory Evaluation Back to Top

This proposed regulation involves a foreign affairs function of the United States and therefore Executive Order 12866 does not apply and evaluation under the Department of Transportation's Regulatory Policies and Procedures is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Determination Back to Top

I certify this proposed regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The St. Lawrence Seaway Regulations and Rules primarily relate to commercial users of the Seaway, the vast majority of whom are foreign vessel operators. Therefore, any resulting costs will be borne mostly by foreign vessels.

Environmental Impact Back to Top

This proposed regulation does not require an environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (49 U.S.C. 4321, et reg.) because it is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

Federalism Back to Top

The Corporation has analyzed this proposed rule under the principles and criteria in Executive Order 13132, dated August 4, 1999, and has determined that this proposal does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant a Federalism Assessment.

Unfunded Mandates Back to Top

The Corporation has analyzed this proposed rule under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 109 Stat. 48) and determined that it does not impose unfunded mandates on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector requiring a written statement of economic and regulatory alternatives.

Paperwork Reduction Act Back to Top

This proposed regulation has been analyzed under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and does not contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Office of Management and Budget review.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 402 Back to Top

Accordingly, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation proposes to amend 33 CFR part 402, Tariff of Tolls, as follows:

begin regulatory text

PART 402—TARIFF OF TOLLS Back to Top

1. The authority citation for part 402 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

33 U.S.C. 983(a), 984(a)(4) and 988, as amended; 49 CFR 1.52.

2. Section 402.3 is amended by redesignating paragraphs (k) through (n) as (m) through (p) and by adding new paragraphs (k) and (l) to read as follows:

§ 402.3 Interpretation.

* * * * *

(k) New cargo—MLO Section means either containerized cargo or cargo which has not moved through the MLO Section in an average annual amount, over the navigation seasons 2001-2002-2003, greater than 10,000 metric tons.

(l) New cargo—Welland Canal means either containerized cargo or cargo which has not moved through the Welland Canal in an average annual amount, over the navigation seasons 2001-2002-2003, greater than 10,000 metric tons.

(m) Passenger means a person being transported through the Seaway who has a paid fare for passage.

(n) Pleasure craft means a ship, however propelled, that is used exclusively for pleasure and does not carry passengers.

(o) Seaway includes all facilities and services authorized under Public Law 358, 83rd Congress, May 13, 1954, enacted by the Congress of the United States, as amended, (33 U.S.C. 981, et seq.) and the meaning ascribed to it under the Canada Marine Act.

(p) Vessel (“ship” in Canada) means every type of craft used as a means of transportation on water, except a vessel owned or employed by the Manager or the Corporation.

3. Section 402.4 is amended by adding paragraphs (d) through (f) to read as follows:

§ 402.4 Tolls.

* * * * *

(d) As part of the fees applicable under the New Cargo—Welland Canal and the New Cargo—MLO Section, once a cargo has qualified as new cargo, it will remain qualified for the navigation seasons 2006 and 2007.

(e) For a transit to be accepted under the New Cargo—Welland Canal or the New Cargo—MLO Section, more than 50% of the cargo carried on that transit for each section must qualify as new cargo.

(f) Barges transiting the Welland Canal together as one unit pulled by the same tug or tugs shall, for the purpose of calculating lockage fees, be deemed to be a combination unit and will pay lockage fees as a single barge.

4. Section 402.8 is revised to read as follows:

§ 402.8 Schedule of tolls.

Column 1 Item—Description of charges Column 2 Rate ($)Montreal to or from Lake Ontario (5 locks) Column 3 Rate ($)Welland Canal—Lake Ontario to or from Lake Erie (8 locks)
1The applicable charge at the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation's locks (Eisenhower, Snell) for pleasure craft is $25 U.S., or $30 Canadian per lock. The applicable charge under item 3 at the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation's locks (Eisenhower, Snell) will be collected in U.S. dollars. The other amounts are in Canadian dollars and are for the Canadian Share of tolls. The collection of the U.S. portion of tolls for commercial vessels is waived by law (33 U.S.C. 988a(a)).
1. Subject to item 3, for complete transit of the Seaway, a composite toll, comprising:    
(1) A charge per gross registered ton of the ship, applicable whether the ship is wholly or partially laden, or is in ballast, and the gross registered tonnage being calculated according to prescribed rules for measurement or under the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, as amended from time to time 0.0947 0.1537.
(2) A charge per metric ton of cargo as certified on the ship's manifest or other document, as follows:    
(a) Bulk cargo 0.9816 0.6504.
(b) General cargo 2.3651 1.0408.
(c) Steel slab 2.1405 0.7451.
(d) Containerized cargo 0.9816 0.6504.
(e) Government aid cargo N/A N/A.
(f) Grain 0.6030 0.6504.
(g) Coal 0.5795 0.6504.
(3) A charge per passenger per lock 1.3954 1.3954.
(4) A charge per lock for transit of the Welland Canal in either direction by cargo ships:    
(a) Loaded N/A 519.40.
(b) In ballast N/A 383.75.
2. Subject to item 3, for partial transit of the Seaway 20 per cent per lock of the applicable charge under items 1(1) and (2) plus the applicable charge under items 1(3) and (4) 13 per cent per lock of the applicable charge under items 1(1) and (2) plus the applicable charge under items 1(3) and (4).
3. Minimum charge per ship per lock transited for full or partial transit of the Seaway 20.40 20.40.
4. A rebate applicable to the rates of item 1 to 3 N/A N/A.
5. A charge per pleasure craft per lock transited for full or partial transit of the Seaway, including applicable federal taxes1 20.00 20.00.
6. Subject to item 3, in lieu of item 1(4), for vessel carrying new cargo on the Welland Canal or returning ballast after carrying new cargo on the Welland Canal, a charge per gross registered ton of the ship, the gross registered tonnage being calculated according to item 1(1):    
(a) Loaded N/A 0.1530.
(b) In ballast N/A 0.1122.
7. Subject to item 3, in lieu of item 1(1), for vessel carrying new cargo on the MLO section or returning ballast after carrying new cargo on the MLO Section, a charge per gross registered ton of the ship, the gross registered tonnage being calculated according to item 1(1): 0.0000 N/A.

Issued at Washington, DC, on February 2, 2006.

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

Albert S. Jacquez,

Administrator.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. E6-2045 Filed 2-13-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-61-P

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