Washington Waves
Washington Waves

Grace Period Expanded For Expired MMCs

Washington, D.C.—Mariners will be allowed up to six years to renew their expired merchant mariner credentials (MMC) without taking the complete original examination, according to CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-24.

“Mariners who had previously applied for renewal of their MMC after the one-year grace period had expired may re-apply for renewal if they are within the new, extended grace period,” said Mayte Medina, chief of the Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing, which published the policy letter. “A new application will be necessary, including payment of required fees, per 46 CFR 10.219.”

Mariners with a current approval-to-test letter issued by the National Maritime Center (NMC) to reinstate an MMC expired beyond the one-year administrative grace period but within six years should contact the NMC at iasknmc@uscg.mil or 888-427-5662.

Effective immediately, the Temporary Extension of Administrative Grace Period for Credentialing Transactions policy letter will remain in effect indefinitely and is available on the Merchant Mariner Credentialing Policy Letter webpage.

Mariners and others with questions or feedback should contact the Mariner Credentialing Program Policy Division at MMCPolicy@uscg.mil or 202-372-2357.

Coast Guard Priorities

Citing an unprecedented workforce shortage, the Coast Guard is seeking comments from the public on planned actions that will allow the service to prioritize lifesaving missions and protection of the Marine Transportation System.

“If actions are not taken to adjust operations, we can anticipate longer-term impacts to mission effectiveness and increased risk to our service members, as well as to commercial mariners and private boaters,” the Coast Guard stated April 26 in the Federal Register.

Written comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard by May 24. Identified by docket number USCG-2024-0281, they may be submitted at www.regulations.gov.

Adjustments identified by the Coast Guard fall into two categories:

First, in regions where multiple units could respond if they were resourced appropriately, boats and people will be consolidated at one or more units to ensure a robust response.

Secondly, in areas where the Coast Guard operates limited or seasonal units that do not have sufficient personnel to respond, operations will be temporarily paused as resources are moved to higher-priority areas.

For additional information including an alternate method of submitting comments, contact Kiesha Miller at 202-372-4632 or SMB-COMDT-TempOpsAdjust@uscg.mil.

Permitting Reviews

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final rule to accelerate project permitting and environmental reviews while ensuring strong environmental protections.

Effective July 1, the rule completes a multiphase process that CEQ launched in 2021 to improve implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Reactions mostly fell along party lines with supporters applauding the Biden administration for implementing changes to NEPA included in the Fiscal Responsibility Act to speed up the permitting process, specifically on clean energy projects, while critics warned the rule will end up adding red tape and unneeded mandates to the process.

CEQ created Docket No. CEQ-2023-0003 on www.regulations.gov, where all of the documents are listed.

For additional information, contact Megan Healy at 202-395-5750 or Megan.E.Healy@ceq.eop.gov.

Civil Works Anniversary

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Civil Works program.

“The Civil Works mission that has been entrusted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is something that makes USACE unique among the world’s military organizations,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, the Corps’ commanding general.

“Our abilities to cohesively perform military, civil, and research and development missions have enabled us to take on and find solutions for many of our nation’s toughest challenges, both at home and abroad. We take great pride in the contributions we make to our nation, her citizens and our armed forces on a daily basis.”

According to the Corps, its Civil Works mission dates back to two bills signed into law by President James Monroe in 1824.

The General Survey Act of 1824 authorized Army engineers to chart transportation improvements vital to the nation’s military security and commercial growth through the design of state and private roads, canals and railroads, enabling them to contribute to the nation’s westward expansion.

The first Rivers and Harbors Act authorized improvements for navigation on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, recognizing the importance of maintaining navigable waterways for commerce and transportation.


The Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) is scheduled to meet virtually June 4 with presentations from Shipyard and Longshoring workgroups, the Office of Communications and the Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs and wind turbine safety on its tentative agenda.

Held via WebEx, the MACOSH meeting is to begin at 10 a.m. ET, and the meeting of the workgroups is at 1 p.m. ET.

Members of the public wishing to attend the virtual meeting must register via the link on the MACOSH webpage at www.osha.gov/advisorycommittee/macosh.