Washington Waves
Washington Waves

MarAd Developing Center For Maritime Innovation

Washington, D.C.—The Maritime Administration (MarAd) is requesting help from the public on how best to organize and structure a Center for Maritime Innovation to support the study and deployment of emerging marine technologies and practices related to the maritime transportation system.

Comments must be received by October 2 and should refer to DOT Docket No. MARAD-2023-0163.

They may be submitted via www.regulations.gov by searching for the docket number and following the instructions or by mail, hand-delivery or courier at Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590.

As authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2023, the secretary of transportation, through a competitive cooperative agreement, is directed to establish a center, which is envisioned to consist of a core advisory council that partners closely with MarAd and assigns working groups to address specific areas of concern for the industry.

For additional information, contact Carolyn Junemann at 202-569-3899 or META@dot.gov.

DERA Grants Available

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $115 million in grant funding to upgrade or replace older diesel-powered marine engines, buses, trucks, locomotives and nonroad equipment with newer, cleaner technologies.

Application packages should be submitted electronically to EPA by 11:59 p.m. (ET) December 1 through grants.gov.

Under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant funding competition, EPA anticipates making between four and 10 awards in each of EPA’s 10 regions to eligible applicants.

For questions on the application, email dera@epa.gov.

Calculators For Exams

The National Maritime Center (NMC) announced the implementation of a policy to standardize calculator usage during Coast Guard mariner credentialing examinations.

Beginning January 1, 2024, all mariners testing at a regional examination center, monitoring unit or federal/state maritime academy will be issued a Texas Instruments TI-30XIIS calculator to use during examinations.

“After December 31, 2023, no other calculators will be allowed in the examination room,” the NMC stated.

“All mariners should become familiar with the use of this calculator prior to their scheduled examination.”

The TI-30XIIS operating manual may be reviewed at TI-30XIIS Quick Reference Guide.

Questions, concerns or feedback should be directed to the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing IASKNMC@uscg.mil or calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

Navigation Safety Committee

The Coast Guard is seeking applications to fill two member vacancies on the National Navigation Safety Advisory Committee, which advises the secretary of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard on maritime collisions, allisions and groundings; Inland Rules of the Road; International Rules of the Road; navigation regulations and equipment, routing measures, marine information and aids to navigation systems.

Applications should reach the Coast Guard by October 6. They should be submitted via email with subject line ‘‘NNAVSAC Committee Application’’ to George.H.Detweiler@uscg.mil.

In this solicitation, applications for the two positions will be selected from the following membership categories: commercial vessel owners or operators, professional mariners, recreational boaters, the recreational boating industry, state agencies for vessel or port safety and the Maritime Law Association.

For additional information, contact George Detweiler at 202-372-1566 or George.H.Detweiler@uscg.mil.

Council On Environmental Quality

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is scheduled to hold its first virtual public meeting at 1 p.m. EDT August 26 on Phase 2 of its years-long effort to revise regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Three additional virtual meetings have been scheduled for 5 p.m. EDT August 30, 1 p.m. EDT September 11 and 2 p.m. September 21.

To register for the three-hour sessions, visit www.nepa.gov, which will lead to a form that also accepts requests for accommodations and one of the limited speaking slots.

CEQ also is accepting comments on its proposed rulemaking.

With a September 29 deadline, comments may be submitted under docket number CEQ-2023-0003 at www.regulations.gov, by fax at 202-456-6546 or by mail at Council on Environmental Quality, 730 Jackson Place NW, Washington, DC 20503.

For additional information, contact Amy Coyle at 202-395-5750 or Amy.B.Coyle@ceq.eop.gov.

CEQ’s proposal triggered opposing views from key lawmakers.

“I believe that these proposed permitting reforms will expedite the deployment of clean energy and critical infrastructure projects across our country while strengthening public input and advancing environmental justice,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, warned the “proposed rule is just another example of unchecked bureaucrats trying to force their radical agenda and burden Americans with red tape.”

Civil Monetary Penalties

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a final rule adjusting its civil monetary penalties to account for inflation.

Effective August 3, the adjustments are authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act (RHA) of 1922, the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the National Fishing Enhancement Act (NFEA).

For additional information on the RHA portion, contact Paul Clouse at 202-761-4709 or Paul.D.Clouse@usace.army.mil and on the CWA and NFEA portions, contact Matt Wilson at 202-761-5856 or Matthew.S.Wilson@usace.army.mil.