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Nontank Vessel Response Plan Guidance

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of availability.


The Coast Guard announces the availability of a document that provides interim guidelines for the development and review of plans for responding to a discharge, or threat of a discharge, of oil from nontank vessels. The document, in the form of a Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular, is available as indicated in this Start Printed Page 7956notice. Federal law requires that these response plans be prepared and submitted to the Coast Guard no later than August 8, 2005.

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If you have questions on the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular, call the Vessel Response Plan Program staff at telephone 202-267-6714. If you have questions on viewing material in the docket, call Ms. Renee K. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-0271.

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On August 9, 2004, the President signed the Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-293) (2004 Act). Section 701 of the 2004 Act amends section 311(a) and (j) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to require the preparation and submission of oil response plans for nontank vessels. The 2004 Act defines “nontank vessel” as a self-propelled vessel of 400 gross tons or greater, other than a tank vessel, that carries oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion and that is a vessel of the United States or operates on the navigable waters of the United States. Under the 2004 Act, response plans must be submitted to the Coast Guard by August 8, 2005.

The 2004 Act requires the Coast Guard to issue response plan regulations. However, to assist industry in meeting the August 8, 2005, deadline, the Coast Guard has issued guidance, in the form of a Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC), for use in the preparation and submission of response plans until regulations are in effect. As there are already certain provisions in the existing statute that these response plans must meet, the NVIC identifies those requirements, as well as the Coast Guard's recommendations.

Access to the NVIC

A copy of the nontank vessel response plan NVIC can be found in the docket at​ and at​hq/​g-m/​nvic/​. For those individuals without Internet access, a copy of the NVIC may be obtained by contacting the VRP Program staff at the number above, or your local U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office.

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Dated: February 10, 2005.

T. H. Gilmour,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection.

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[FR Doc. 05-2945 Filed 2-15-05; 8:45 am]