3/18/2019: Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study: Port approaches and international entry and departure transit areas

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The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that it is beginning a new study of routes used by ships to access ports on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. This new study supplements and builds on the Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (ACPARS) completed April 5, 2017.

The Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) (46 U.S.C. 70003(c)) requires the Coast Guard to study potential traffic density and assess the need for safe access routes for vessels. The Coast Guard coordinates with Federal and State agencies, and considers the views of the maritime community, environmental groups, and other interested stakeholders in order to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other reasonable waterway uses in the study area.

Coast Guard district commanders will prioritize and schedule a Port Access Route Study for specific port approaches and international transit areas associated with proposed ACPARS fairways within their areas of responsibilities. They will post these milestones on the docket by May 1, 2019. This initiative is expected to be completed by May 2021.

The Coast Guard will analyze ports that are economically significant, that support military operations or are strategic for national defense along the Atlantic. This includes but is not limited to:

First Coast Guard District

Kennebec River/Bath, Maine
Port of Portland, Maine
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Port of Boston, Massachusetts
Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island
Long Island Sound Eastern Entrances
Groton, Connecticut
New Haven Harbor, Connecticut
Port of New York and New Jersey, including Port Elizabeth and Newark

Fifth Coast Guard District

Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including Camden-Gloucester City, New Jersey, Port of Wilmington, Delaware and New Castle, Delaware
Port of Baltimore, Maryland
Port of Virginia including Norfolk, Newport News and Hampton Roads, Virginia
Morehead City, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina

Seventh Coast Guard District

Port of Charleston, South Carolina
Port of Savannah, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Kings Bay, Georgia
Port of Jacksonville, Florida
Port Canaveral, Florida
Port Everglades, Florida
Port of Miami, Florida

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2011-0351 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the supplementary information section for further instructions on submitting comments.

For full details about the study, view the Federal Register Notice. For questions about this document call or email George Detweiler with the Coast Guard at 202-372-1566 or George.H.Detweiler@uscg.mil.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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