Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).
With this proposed rule, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) considers allowing the United States Coast Guard (USCG or Coast Guard) to carry out certain otherwise prohibited activities within waters of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) approximately 3 nautical miles (nm) from the shore, in the areas of the sanctuaries that were expanded in 2015. The discharges under consideration are: Untreated vessel sewage, vessel graywater as defined by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (FWPCA), that does not meet the definition of “clean” as defined by the GFNMS and CBNMS regulations, and ammunition and pyrotechnic (warning projectile, flare, smoke float and marine marker) materials used in USCG training exercises for use of force (live fire or gunnery) and training exercises for search and rescue (SAR) of vessels or persons in distress. No change is proposed to the regulatory prohibitions or exceptions applicable to the pre-expansion boundaries of the two sanctuaries. A draft environmental assessment (DEA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has been prepared for this proposed action. NOAA is soliciting public comment on the proposed rule and DEA.
Comments will be considered if received by January 16, 2018. Public hearings will be held on December 5 and 13, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
You may submit comments on this document and/or on the DEA, identified by NOAA-NOS-2017-0140, by any of the following methods:
Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2017-0140, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
Mail: Submit written comments to Maria Brown, Superintendent, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 991 Marine Drive, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129.
Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to Start Printed Page 55530remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
Copies of the DEA and proposed rule can be downloaded or viewed on the internet at www.regulations.gov (search for docket # NOAA-NOS-2017-0140) or at https://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/regulations.html. Copies can also be obtained by contacting the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Maria Brown, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent, at Maria.Brown@noaa.gov or 415-561-6622.