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Unified Agenda 1625-AA89

Dry Cargo Residue Discharges in the Great Lakes

Summary

The historical practice of bulk dry cargo vessels on the Great Lakes is to discharge cargo residues ("dry cargo residue" or DCR) overboard. Dry cargo residue is cargo that remains on the deck or cargo spaces after loading or unloading operations. Generally, these residues include limestone and other clean stone, iron ore (such as taconite), coal, salt, and cement. These substances are primarily inorganic, non-toxic, and non-hazardous. Public Law 108-293, sec. 623(b), gives the Coast Guard regulatory authority over DCR discharges in the Great Lakes. An Interim Rule (73 FR 56492, Sep. 29, 2008) allows the discharge of bulk DCR in limited areas of the Great Lakes by self-propelled vessels and by any barge that is part of an integrated tug and barge unit. A Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (77 FR 44528, Jul. 30 2012), proposed replacing its existing interim rule with a new rule and also announced the availability of a tiered Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared in support of the SNPRM. The SNPRM would allow the discharge of DCR in limited areas of the Great Lakes. However, vessel owners and operators would need to minimize DCR discharges using methods they would be required to document in DCR management plans. The proposed rule would prohibit limestone and clean stone discharges in some waters where they are now permitted.

Timeline

7 actions from May 23rd, 2008 to November 2013

  • May 23rd, 2008
  • July 22nd, 2008
    • NPRM Comment Period End
  • September 29th, 2008
  • January 15th, 2009
    • Interim Final Rule Comment Period End
  • July 30th, 2012
  • October 29th, 2012
    • Supplemental NPRM Comment Period End
  • November 2013
    • Final Rule

Contacts

  • John Morris
    Project Manager
    Phone 202 372-1433
    2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, STOP 7509,
    Washington DC 20593-7509

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