Maritime Administration, DOT.
Interim final rule with request for comments.
The Maritime Administration (MARAD, we, us, or our) is amending its regulations so that the Maritime Administrator's authority to defer service obligations of United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) midshipmen recipients of scholarships or fellowships of national significance is not conditioned on enrollment in postgraduate marine or maritime-related courses of study.
This interim final rule is effective on May 20, 2004. However, MARAD will consider comments received not later than June 21, 2004.
You may submit comments [identified by DOT DMS Docket Number MARAD 2004-17759] by any of the following methods:
- Web site: http://dms.dot.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 7th St., SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-001.
- Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 7th St., 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. Start Printed Page 29080
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://dms.dot.gov at any time or to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 7th St., SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rita Jackson, Academies Program Officer, Office of Policy and Plans, Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation, 400 7th St., SW., Room 7302, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: (202) 366-0284.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
46 App. U.S.C. 1295b(e)(5) states that the Maritime Administrator, relying on a delegation of authority from the Secretary may defer the service obligation of any student graduating from the USMMA for up to two years provided that student is enrolled in an approved course of study.
46 CFR 310.58(g) states that the Maritime Administrator may grant a deferment of a service obligation contract, for up to two years only for graduate students enrolled in a marine or maritime-related graduate course of study approved by the Administrator.
The differences in the terms of 46 App. U.S.C. 1295b(e)(5) and 46 CFR 310.58 may hinder midshipmen with superior credentials from pursuing postgraduate scholarships and fellowships. Specifically, since service obligations may be deferred only if postgraduate course work involves a marine or maritime-related course of study, graduate studies are limited.
The Administrator's discretion to defer the service obligations of USMMA midshipmen recipients of scholarships is not limited by the U.S. Code. Therefore, we are amending 46 CFR 310.58(g) to reflect the terms of 46 App. U.S.C. 1295b(e)(5) so that the amended regulation will not condition the Administrator's ability to defer the service obligations of recipients of scholarships and fellowships of national significance on enrollment in a marine or maritime-related course of study.
Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), and Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures
This interim final rule is not considered a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and therefore, was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This interim final rule is not likely to result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. This interim final rule is also not significant under the Regulatory Policies and Procedures of the Department of Transportation (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). The costs and overall economic impact of this rulemaking are so minimal that no further analysis is necessary.
Administrative Procedure Act
The Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) provides an exception to notice and comment procedures when they are unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. MARAD finds that under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) good cause exists for not providing notice and comment since this interim final rule only expands the subject area of courses of study that may be approved by the Maritime Administrator. Accordingly, opportunity for public comment is unnecessary. However, we are requesting public comment on this interim final rule. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), MARAD finds that, for the same reason listed above, good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
We analyzed this interim final rule in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in E.O. 13132 (“Federalism”) and have determined that it does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The regulations have no substantial effects on the States, the current Federal-State relationship, or the current distribution of power and responsibilities among the various local officials. Therefore, consultation with State and local officials was not necessary.
The Maritime Administrator certifies that this interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This interim final rule merely broadens the area of consideration for courses of study that may allow deferred service obligations.
MARAD does not believe that this interim final rule will significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Indian tribal governments when analyzed under the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments). Therefore, the funding and consultation requirements of this Executive Order do not apply.
We have analyzed this interim final rule for purposes of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and have concluded that under the categorical exclusions provision in section 4.05 of Maritime Administrative Order (MAO) 600-1, “Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts,” 50 FR 11606 (March 22, 1985), neither the preparation of an Environmental Assessment, an Environmental Impact Statement, nor a Finding of No Significant Impact for this rulemaking is required. This rulemaking has no environmental impact.
Paperwork Reduction Act
This rulemaking contains no new or amended information collection or recordkeeping requirements that have been approved or require approval by the Office of Management and Budget.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
This interim final rule will not impose an unfunded mandate under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. It will not result in costs of $100 million or more, in the aggregate, to any of the following: State, local, or Native American tribal governments, or the private sector. This interim final rule is the least burdensome alternative that achieves the objective of U.S. policy.
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.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 310End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part
Accordingly,End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 310—MERCHANT MARINE TRAININGEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 310 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
2. In § 310.58, revise paragraph (g) to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(g) Deferments. In exceptional cases, the Administration may grant a deferment of all or part of the agreement under paragraph (a)(5) of this section and the service obligation contract, for a period not to exceed 2 years, only for graduates considered to have superior academic and conduct records while at the Academy and only for the purpose of entering a marine or maritime-related graduate course of study approved by the Administrator or for the purpose of pursuing studies as recipients of scholarships or fellowships of national significance; Provided, that any deferment of service as a commissioned officer under paragraph (a)(5)(iii) of this section and the service obligation contract shall be subject to the sole approval of the Secretary of the department which has jurisdiction over such service (including the Secretary of the department in which the U.S. Coast Guard is operating and the Secretary of Commerce with respect to NOAA). A graduate shall make application for such deferment through the Superintendent of the Academy, who shall forward each application, together with the Superintendent's recommendation for approval or disapproval and an evaluation of the applicant's academic and conduct records, to the Academies Program Officer, Maritime Administration, Office of Policy and Plans, NASSIF Building, 400 7th St., SW., Washington, DC 20590 for appropriate action.
Dated: May 13, 2004.
By Order of the Maritime Administrator.
Joel C. Richard,
Secretary, Maritime Administration.
[FR Doc. 04-11319 Filed 5-19-04; 8:45 am]
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