[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 74 (Friday, April 17, 1998)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19190-19192]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-9921]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 160

46 CFR Part 4

[CGD 94-027 and CGD 94-030]
RIN 2115-AE82 and 2115-AE89

Notice of Hazardous Conditions/Immediate Reporting of Casualties

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is issuing a final rule which amends the rules 
that describe what marine casualties and hazardous conditions require 
immediate notice. This rule also clarifies notice procedures. The 
reason for the change is to provide mechanisms that will help prevent 
another disaster such as the derailment of a passenger train near 
Mobile, Alabama, in September 1993. The final rule combines the Notice 
of Hazardous Conditions and the Immediate Reporting of Casualties 
interim rules that became effective on August 3, 1994. The Notice of 
Hazardous Conditions interim rule amending 33 CFR part 160 is adopted 
as final without change.

DATES: This final rule is effective on May 18, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Documents indicated in this preamble are available for 
inspection or copying at the office of the Executive Secretary, Marine 
Safety Council (G-LRA/3406), U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 2100 Second 
Street SW., room 3406, Washington, DC 20593-0001, between 9:30 a.m. and 
2 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202 267-1477.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Kenneth W. Olsen, Project Manager, 
Office of Investigations and Analysis, (G-MOA-1), U.S. Coast Guard, 
2100 Second Street, SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001, telephone (202) 


Regulatory History

    On August 3, 1994, the Coast Guard published in the Federal 
Register two interim rules entitled Notice of Hazardous Conditions (59 
FR 39458) and Immediate Reporting of Casualties (59 FR 39469). The 
Notice of Hazardous Conditions interim rule amended 33 CFR part 160, 
and the Immediate Reporting of Casualties interim rule amended 46 CFR 
part 4. These rules were published as interim rules because the Coast 
Guard determined that it would be contrary to the public interest to 
delay publication of rules, which clarified existing law, imposed no 
new regulatory requirements, and involved no significant change in 
policy. The Coast Guard combined the interim rules into a single final 
rule because both were initiated as a result of the derailment of the 
Amtrak Sunset Limited passenger train near Mobile, AL. The Coast Guard 
received 15 letters commenting on the rulemaking for Immediate 
Reporting of Casualties and two additional letters which presented 
comments on both the rulemaking for Immediate Reporting of Casualties 
and the rulemaking for Notice of Hazardous Conditions. No public 
hearing was requested, and none was held as a result of these comments.

Background and Purpose

    The derailment of the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train, on 
September 22, 1993, with extensive injury and loss of life, resulted in 
a study by the Coast Guard entitled Review of Marine Safety Issues 
Related to Uninspected Towing Vessels. This study provided the 
Commandant of the Coast Guard with a number of

[[Page 19191]]

recommendations to enhance safety in the towing industry.
    One of those recommendations called for a regulatory project to 
improve how information concerning allisions is reported. Another 
recommendation called for a regulatory project to amend 33 CFR 160.215 
to clearly indicate that the required notice of a hazardous condition 
includes a hazardous condition caused by a vessel or its operation even 
when the hazardous condition is not on board the vessel.
    The Commandant concurred with these and other recommendations and 
directed the appropriate offices to initiate the regulatory projects.
    On March 2, 1994, the Coast Guard published a notice in the Federal 
Register (59 FR 10031) announcing a public meeting to review the study 
and seek public comment on the recommendations identified in the study. 
The meeting took place on April 4, 1994, at Coast Guard Headquarters, 
in Washington, DC. This public meeting, comprised mainly of 
representatives from the towing industry and the Coast Guard, solicited 
and elicited detailed comments concerning the recommendations. These 
comments were considered when the Coast Guard developed the interim 
rules for the immediate reporting and hazardous condition regulatory 

Discussion of Comments and Changes

1. 33 CFR 160.215

    Two comments recommended revising the rule to include language to 
protect vessel personnel from employer retaliation when a hazardous 
condition or casualty is reported directly to the Coast Guard. An 
existing law, 46 U.S.C. 2114, prohibits the discharge of or 
discrimination against a seaman by the owner, charterer, managing 
operator, agent, master or individual in charge of a vessel when the 
seaman in good faith reports or is about to report to the Coast Guard a 
violation of 46 U.S.C. subtitle II or related regulations. This statute 
clearly expresses that a seaman discharged or discriminated against in 
violation of 46 U.S.C. 2114 may bring an action in an appropriate 
district court of the United States. The Coast Guard believes that this 
statute provides suitable protection and remedy for seamen in such 

2. 46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(1)

    One comment questioned the use of the term ``allision'' and 
suggested its removal.
    However the Coast Guard considers the term ``allision'' to be 
appropriate when describing collisions involving vessels and stationary 
objects and no change was made to the rule as a result of this comment.

3. 46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(1)

    One comment expressed the need to include collisions as reportable 
casualties in 46 CFR subpart 4.05. The Coast Guard does not believe 
that every collision needs to be reported. Only those collisions that 
result in the conditions presented in 46 CFR 4.05-1 (a)(4) through 
(a)(7), or those that are the result of a loss detailed in 46 CFR 4.05-
1(a)(3), must be reported.

4. 46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(2)

    Another comment suggested that all intended and unintended strikes 
with bridges should be considered reportable casualties. The Coast 
Guard does not agree with this suggestion. Intended strikes that do not 
meet any criterion of 46 CFR subpart 4.05-1 (a)(3) through (a)(7), and 
that do not create a hazardous condition, a hazard to navigation, the 
environment, or the safety of a vessel; are considered non-reportable 

5. 46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(3)

    Two comments questioned the purpose of requiring immediate 
reporting of casualties which occur at sea when no other vessel is 
involved. Additionally, the comments contended that there was no added 
value in reporting mechanical breakdowns when the breakdowns are 
rectified by vessel personnel. The Coast Guard disagrees with these 
comments. The collection of casualty related system and vessel 
operational data is essential to the Coast Guard's effort in measuring 
the effectiveness of its marine safety programs. Thus, no change was 
made to the rule as a result of these comments.

6. 46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(6) and 4.05-10(a)

    Two comments expressed concern about the increased workload that 
may emerge as a result of reporting certain injuries and of reporting 
injuries on commercial vessels that render crewmen unfit for duty. The 
rule does not create a substantial workload increase to vessel owners, 
agents, masters, operators, or persons in charge because it clarifies 
an existing requirement and does not place any new requirement on the 
public. This eliminates misunderstanding as to what events require a 
written report and results in an even greater reduction in workload.

7. 46 CFR 4.05-1 (a) and (b) and 4.05-10(b)

    Three comments suggested that the phrase ``filed without delay,'' 
and the term ``delivered'' used in 46 CFR 4.05-10 required 
clarification. The Coast Guard has considered these comments and has 
concluded that no change is necessary and that the phrase ``filed 
without delay'' and the term ``delivered'' are appropriately used in 
the rule.

8. 46 CFR 4.05-10(a)

    Three comments questioned the use of the phrase ``any marine 
casualty'' in 46 CFR 4.05-10(a). The Coast Guard recognizes that ``any 
marine casualty'' could mean those casualties defined by 46 CFR 4.03-1. 
However, the Coast Guard only requires written reports for casualties 
reported under 46 CFR 4.05-1(a). Therefore, the rule has been amended 
to clarify that the term ``marine casualty'' refers only to those 
defined in Sec. 4.05-1.

9. 46 CFR 4.05-10(a)

    One comment had no suggestions regarding the interim rules, but 
requested better instruction on form CG-2692 (Report of Marine 
Accident, Injury or Death). The Coast Guard considered this request and 
determined that making revisions to form CG-2692 is beyond the scope of 
this rulemaking.

10. 46 CFR 4.05-10(b)

    The Coast Guard clarifies this section. The term ``notice'' used in 
the phrase ``the notice required by paragraph (a) of this section'' is 
incorrect. The rule has been amended because paragraph (a) of 
Sec. 4.05-10 requires a written report, not a notice.

Regulatory Evaluation

    This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not require an 
assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of the 
Order. It has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
under that Order. It is not significant under the regulatory policies 
and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) [44 FR 11040 
(February 26, 1979)].
    The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this rule to be so 
minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10(e) of the 
regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary. This finding 
rests on the determination that this rule clarifies existing 
requirements and does not place any new requirements on the industry.

[[Page 19192]]

Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) the 
Coast Guard must consider whether this final rule will have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
``Small entities'' may include small businesses and not-for-profit 
organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not 
dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with 
populations of less than 50,000.
    The Coast Guard reviewed this rule for potential impact on small 
entities and has determined that it does not place any new requirements 
on the public or any small entity, because it only clarifies existing 
law. Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under section 605(b) of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) that this final rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.

Assistance for Small Entities

    In accordance with section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), the Coast Guard 
offers to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they 
could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the 
rulemaking process. Assistance with provisions of this final rule can 
be obtained by contacting Commandant (G-MOA-1), Office of 
Investigations and Analysis, 2100 Second Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20593-0001, telephone 202-267-1430.

Collection of Information

    This final rule contains no new collection-of-information 
requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.).


    The Coast Guard has analyzed this final rule under the principles 
and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612 and has determined that 
the rule does not have sufficient implications for federalism to 
warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.


    The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this final 
rule and concluded that, under paragraph 2.B.2 e.(34)(a) of Commandant 
Instruction M16475.1B, this rule is categorically excluded from further 
environmental documentation. This rule concerns administrative matters 
which clearly have no environmental impact. A Categorical Exclusion 
Determination is available in the docket for inspection or copying 
where indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 160

    Administrative practice and procedure, Hazardous materials 
transportation, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Vessels, Waterways.



    Accordingly, the interim rule amending 33 CFR part 160 which was 
published at 59 FR 39458 on August 3, 1994, is adopted as a final rule 
without change.

List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 4

    Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Drug abuse, 
Drug testing, Investigations, Marine safety, National Transportation 
Safety Board, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety, 
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard is 
adopting the interim rule published at 59 FR 39458, August 3, 1994, 
amending 46 CFR part 4 as final with the following changes:



    1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 43 U.S.C. 1333; 46 U.S.C. 2103, 2306, 
6101, 6301, 6305; 50 U.S.C. 198; 49 CFR 1.46, Authority for subpart 
4.40: 49 U.S.C. 1903(a)(1)(E); 49 CFR 1.46.

    2. Section 4.05-10 is revised to read as follows:

Sec. 4.05-10  Written report of marine casualty.

    (a) The owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge shall, 
within five days, file a written report of any marine casualty required 
to be reported under Sec. 4.05-1. This written report is in addition to 
the immediate notice required by Sec. 4.05-1. This written report must 
be delivered to a Coast Guard Marine Safety Office or Marine Inspection 
Office. It must be provided on Form CG-2692 (Report of Marine Accident, 
Injury or Death), supplemented as necessary by appended Forms CG-2692A 
(Barge Addendum) and CG-2692B (Report of Required Chemical Drug and 
Alcohol Testing Following a Serious Marine Incident).
    (b) If filed without delay after the occurrence of the marine 
casualty, the report required by paragraph (a) of this section suffices 
as the notice required by Sec. 4.05-1(a).

    Dated: April 9, 1998.
R. C. North,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety 
and Environmental Protection.
[FR Doc. 98-9921 Filed 4-16-98; 8:45 am]