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Notice

Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) Recertification

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of recertification.

SUMMARY:

This notice informs the public that the Coast Guard has recertified the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) as an alternative voluntary advisory group for Prince William Sound, Alaska. This certification allows the PWSRCAC Start Printed Page 13644to monitor the activities of terminal facilities and crude oil tankers under the Prince William Sound Program established by statute.

DATES:

This recertification is effective for the period from March 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

LT P. Grizzle, Seventeenth Coast Guard District (dpi), by phone at (907) 463-2809, email at patrick.j.grizzle@uscg.mil.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Purpose

As part of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Congress passed the Oil Terminal and Oil Tanker Environmental Oversight and Monitoring Act of 1990 (the Act), 33 U.S.C. 2732, to foster a long-term partnership among industry, government, and local communities in overseeing compliance with environmental concerns in the operation of crude oil terminals and oil tankers.

On October 18, 1991, the President delegated his authority under 33 U.S.C. 2732(o) to the Secretary of Transportation in Executive Order 12777, section 8(g) (see 56 FR 54757; October 22, 1991) for purposes of certifying advisory councils, or groups, subject to the Act. On March 3, 1992, the Secretary redelegated that authority to the Commandant of the USCG (see 57 FR 8582; March 11, 1992). The Commandant redelegated that authority to the Chief, Office of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection (G-M) on March 19, 1992 (letter #5402).

On July 7, 1993, the USCG published a policy statement, 58 FR 36504, to clarify the factors that shall be considered in making the determination as to whether advisory councils, or groups, should be certified in accordance with the Act.

The Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety and Environmental Protection (G-M), redelegated recertification authority for advisory councils, or groups, to the Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District on February 26, 1999 (letter #16450).

On September 16, 2002, the USCG published a policy statement, 67 FR 58440, which changed the recertification procedures such that applicants are required to provide the USCG with comprehensive information every three years (triennially). For each of the two years between the triennial application procedures, applicants submit a letter requesting recertification that includes a description of any substantive changes to the information provided at the previous triennial recertification. Further, public comment is not solicited prior to recertification during streamlined years, only during the triennial comprehensive review.

The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company provides financial support to the PWSRCAC annually in the form of a long term contract. In return for this funding, the PWSRCAC must annually show that it “fosters the goals and purposes” of OPA 90 and is “broadly representative of the communities and interests in the vicinity of the terminal facilities and Prince William Sound.” The PWSRCAC is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1989. Though it receives Federal oversight like many independent, non-profit organizations, it is not a Federal agency. The PWSRCAC is a local organization that predates the passage of OPA 90. The existence of the PWSRCAC was specifically recognized in OPA 90 where it is defined as an “alternate voluntary advisory group.”

Alyeska funds the PWSRCAC, and the Coast Guard makes sure the PWSRCRC operates in a fashion that is broadly consistent with OPA 90.

Discussion of Comments

On February 2, 2017 the USCG published a Federal Register Notice; request for comments for recertification of Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council in the Federal Register (82 FR 9214). We received 63 letters commenting on the proposed action. No public meeting was requested. Of the 63 letters received, 62 had positive comments. One comment was received recommending against the recertification of the PWSRCAC, as appropriate regulations are already in place since OPA 90's conception. Of the positive comments, these letters consistently cited PWSRCAC's broad representation of the respective community's interest, appropriate actions to keep the public informed, improvements to both spill response preparation and spill prevention, and oil spill industry monitoring efforts that combat complacency—as intended by the Act.

Recertification

By letter dated February 27, 2017, the Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard certified that the PWSRCAC qualifies as an alternative voluntary advisory group under 33 U.S.C. 2732(o). This recertification terminates on February 28, 2018.

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Dated: February 27, 2017.

M.F. McAllister,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 2017-04987 Filed 3-13-17; 8:45 am]

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