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Proposed Rule

Seaway Regulations and Rules: Automatic Identification System

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, DOT.

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 Regulations and Rules (Practices and Procedures in Canada) in their respective jurisdictions. Under agreement with the SLSMC, the SLSDC is proposing to amend the joint regulations to make use of Automatic Identification System (AIS) in Seaway waters from St. Lambert, Quebec to Long Point, mid-Lake Erie mandatory effective at the beginning of the 2003 navigation season, which is scheduled for March 25, 2003.

DATES:

Any party wishing to present views on the proposed amendments may file comments with the Corporation on or before January 27, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Signed, written comments should refer to the docket number appearing at the top of this document and must be submitted to the Docket Clerk, U.S. DOT Dockets, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Written comments may also be submitted electronically at http://dmses.dot.gov/​submit/​BlankDSS.asp. All comments received will be available for examination between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Those desiring notification of receipt of comments must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marc C. Owen, Chief Counsel, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-6823.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 Regulations and Rules (Practices and Procedures in Canada) in their respective jurisdictions. Under agreement with the SLSMC, the SLSDC is proposing to amend the joint regulations to make use of Automatic Identification System (AIS) in Seaway waters from St. Lambert, Quebec to Long Point, mid-Lake Erie mandatory effective at the beginning of the 2003 navigation season, which is scheduled for March 25, 2003.

Background and Purpose

Since the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) system has been responsible for monitoring the progress of commercial traffic to ensure the safe and expeditious passage of vessels operating in Seaway sectors under their control. Procedures in use today include limits on vessel speed and requirements for all commercial traffic to report by voice on marine VHF radio to the Vessel Control (VTC) centers. These reports are made at designated “call-in-points” along the river. Traffic managers at VTC centers use the vessel reports to monitor traffic patterns, including one-way vessel traffic restricted areas and project the estimated times of arrival (ETA) of vessels at locks in the Seaway.

SLSDC and SLSMC sponsored successful prototype demonstrations and evaluations of a Global Positioning System based VTS system in the fall of 1994 and during the 1995 shipping season. The demonstrations established that a VTS using AIS technology was both feasible and cost effective and can improve the efficiency and safety of operations. In the 1999 shipping season, SLSDC and SLSMC deployed a modernized vessel Traffic Management System (TMS). Now, for the first time, all vessel control centers in the Saint Lawrence Seaway share a common vessel information database. Presently, vessel positions, derived from simulations based on transit histories of vessels, are entered manually into the TMS system by traffic controllers and then updated by voice reports from the vessels during actual transits.

AIS is a broadcast system, operating in the VHF maritime mobile band. It is capable of sending and receiving ship information such as identification, Start Printed Page 70898position, course, speed and more, to and from other ships and to and from shore. The Seaway TMS will send pertinent navigation information such as local wind speed and direction, water levels, ice conditions, availability of next lockage, and safety-related messages to vessels.

With the capabilities of ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship communications, AIS will greatly enhance the safety, improve the efficiency of the traffic management and increase the vessel security and emergency response capabilities. Specifically, the potential benefits of AIS for the Seaway entities include providing a more efficient vessel traffic management as a result of knowing accurate location and speed of the vessels, monitoring vessel speeds especially for hazardous cargo and deeper draft vessels and faster response time to vessels in case of security concerns and vessel accidents or incidents. The potential benefits to the carrier users include the reduction of overall transit time as a result of better scheduling of lockages and other services timely dispatching of pilots. It also provides real-time position, speed, heading and other pertinent information of the vessel, which will allow master or pilot to better coordinate on the meeting or overtaking in critical reaches of the Seaway.

Proposed Rule

The SLSDC and the SLSMC are proposing a new § 401.20 that would require mandatory use of AIS in Seaway waters from St. Lambert, Quebec to Long Point, mid-Lake Erie effective at the beginning of the 2003 navigation season, which is scheduled for March 25, 2003. All vessels that require pre-clearance and have a 300 gross tonnage or greater, have an Length Over All (LOA) over 20 meters, or carry more than 50 passengers for hire, would have to use an AIS transponder to transit the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Dredges and floating plants and towing vessels over 8 meters in length would also be required to use AIS, except only each lead unit of combined and multiple units (tugs and tows) would have to use it. Each vessel would have to meet the following international recommendations, standards, and guidelines:

1. International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution MSC.74(69), Annex 3, Recommendation on Performance Standards for a Universal Shipborne AIS, as amended;

2. International Telecommunication Union, ITU-R Recommendation M.1371-1: 2000, Technical Characteristics For A Universal Shipborne AIS Using Time Division Multiple Access In The VHF Maritime Mobile Band, as amended;

3. International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC 61993-2 Ed.1, Maritime Navigation and Radio Communication Equipment and Systems—AIS —Part 2: Class A Shipborne Equipment of the Universal AIS—Operational and Performance Requirements, Methods of Test and Required Test Results, as amended;

4. International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines for Installation of Shipborne Automatic Identification System (AIS), NAV 48/18, 2 April 2002, as amended, and for ocean vessels only, with a pilot plug, as specified in Section 3.2 of those Guidelines, installed close to the primary conning position in the navigation bridge and a standard 120 Volt, AC, 3-prong power receptacle accessible for the pilot's laptop computer; and

5. Computation of AIS position reports using differential GPS corrections from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards' maritime Differential Global Positioning System radiobeacon services.

6. The use of portable AIS is permissible.

Regulatory Evaluation

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

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation certifies that this proposed regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The St. Lawrence Seaway Tariff of Tolls primarily relates 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

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 human environment. All nine AIS shore base stations (three in U.S. and six in Canada) are co-located with the existing Seaway VHF radio or private telephone towers.

Federalism

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

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

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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 401

End List of Subjects

Accordingly, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation proposes to amend 33 CFR chapter IV as follows:

Start Part

PART 401—SEAWAY REGULATIONS AND RULES

Subpart A—[Amended]

1. The authority citation for subpart A of part 401 would continue to read as follows:

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Authority: 33 U.S.C. 983(a) and 984(a)(4), as amended; 49 CFR 1.52, unless otherwise noted.

End Authority

2. Part 401 would be amended by adding a new § 401.20 to read as follows:

Automated Identification System.

(a) Each of the following vessels must use an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder to transit the Seaway:

(1) each vessel that requires pre-clearance in accordance with § 401.22 and has a 300 gross tonnage or greater, has a Length Over All (LOA) over 20 meters, or carries more than 50 passengers for hire; and

(2) each dredge, floating plant or towing vessel over 8 meters in length, Start Printed Page 70899except only each lead unit of combined and multiple units (tugs and tows).

(b) Each vessel listed in paragraph (a) of this section must meet the following requirements to transit the Seaway:

(1) International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution MSC.74(69), Annex 3, Recommendation on Performance Standards for a Universal Shipborne AIS, as amended;

(2) International Telecommunication Union, ITU-R Recommendation M.1371-1: 2000, Technical Characteristics For A Universal Shipborne AIS Using Time Division Multiple Access In The VHF Maritime Mobile Band, as amended;

(3) International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC 61993-2 Ed.1, Maritime Navigation and Radio Communication Equipment and Systems—AIS —Part 2: Class A Shipborne Equipment of the Universal AIS—Operational and Performance Requirements, Methods of Test and Required Test Results, as amended;

(4) International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines for Installation of Shipborne Automatic Identification System (AIS), NAV 48/18, 2 April 2002, as amended, and, for ocean vessels only, with a pilot plug, as specified in Section 3.2 of those Guidelines, installed close to the primary conning position in the navigation bridge and a standard 120 Volt, AC, 3-prong power receptacle accessible for the pilot's laptop computer; and

(5) Computation of AIS position reports using differential GPS corrections from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards' maritime Differential Global Positioning System radiobeacon services; or

(6) The use of portable AIS is permissible.

Start Signature

Issued at Washington, DC, on November 22, 2002.

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

Marc C. Owen,

Chief Counsel.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-30095 Filed 11-26-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-61-P