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Deferment of Service Obligations of Midshipmen Recipients of Scholarships or Fellowships

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Maritime Administration, DOT.


Final rule.


This rule adopts as final, without change, the interim final rule published in the Federal Register (69 FR 29079) on May 20, 2004. This final rule amends the Maritime Administration's (MARAD's) 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 final rule is effective on December 14, 2004.


This final rule is available for inspection and copying between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays at the Docket Clerk, U.S. DOT Dockets, Room PL-401, Department of Transportation, 400 7th St., SW., Washington, DC 20590. An electronic version of this document along with all documents entered into this docket are available on the World Wide Web at

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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.

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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.

On May 20, 2004, MARAD published the interim final rule that preceded this action in the Federal Register (69 FR 29079). While MARAD solicited public comments on the interim rule, no comments were received. Accordingly, MARAD adopts the interim final rule as a final rule without change.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), and Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures

This 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 final rule is not likely to result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. This 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 final rule only expands the subject area of courses of study that may be approved by the Maritime Administrator. 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 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 effect on the States, the current Federal-State relationship, or the current distribution of power and responsibilities among local officials. Therefore, consultation with State and local officials was not necessary.

Regulatory Flexibility

The Maritime Administrator certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule merely broadens the area of consideration for courses of study that may allow deferred service obligations.

Executive Order 13175

MARAD does not believe that this 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.

Environmental Assessment

We have analyzed this 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 final rule will not impose an unfunded mandate under the Unfunded Start Printed Page 74455Mandates 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 final rule is the least burdensome alternative that achieves this objective of U.S. policy.

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List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 310

  • Federal Aid Programs
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Schools
  • Seamen
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Interim Rule Adopted as Final Without Change

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Accordingly, MARAD adopts the interim final rule amending 46 CFR part 310 that was published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2004 (69 FR 29079) as a final rule without change.

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By Order of the Maritime Administrator.

Dated: December 9, 2004.

Joel C. Richard,

Secretary, Maritime Administration.

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[FR Doc. 04-27334 Filed 12-13-04; 8:45 am]