30 December 2008
[Federal Register: December 30, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 250)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
46 CFR Part 393
[Docket No. MARAD-2008-0096]
America's Marine Highway Program: Stay of Effectiveness
AGENCY: Maritime Administration, DOT.
ACTION: Interim Final Rule: Stay of effectiveness.
SUMMARY: On October 9, 2008, this rulemaking was initially published.
This rulemaking requires congressional review. Therefore, the Maritime
Administration must stay the effectiveness of the regulations. The stay
does not otherwise change the October 9, 2008, rulemaking specifically
soliciting Marine Highway Corridor Recommendations and public comment
on the proposed America's Marine Highways Program.
DATES: Effective December 30, 2008, 46 CFR part 393 is stayed until
January 5, 2009.
Comment Date: At this time, the Maritime Administration is
accepting recommendations on Marine Highway Corridors and public
comment on the proposed America's Marine Highway program. We will be
soliciting applications for specific Marine Highway Projects once a
final rule has been issued. Comments are due on or before February 6,
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments [identified by DOT Docket Number
MARAD-2008-0096] by any of the following methods:
Web Site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments on the electronic docket site.
Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Room PL-401, Washington,
Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 of the Department of
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting
Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and
docket number for this rulemaking. Note that all comments received will
be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov including any
personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to
Room PL-401 of the Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey
Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Gordon, Office of Intermodal
System Development, Marine Highways and Passenger Services, at (202)
366-5468, via e-mail at michael.gordon@DOT.gov, or by writing to the
Office of Marine Highways and Passenger Services, MAR-520, Suite W21-
315, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
The rulemaking adding 46 CFR part 393 was published on October 9,
2008 (73 FR 59530). Congestion is one of the single largest threats to
America's economic prosperity and way of life. Overall, the Department
of Transportation estimates that congestion on our roads, bridges,
railways, and in certain ports costs the United States as much as $200
billion a year and this figure will continue to grow. In addition to
significant existing congestion, an increasing growth in trade will
place even more demands on our capability to move freight and people
through an already strained transportation network.
Over the next 15 years, experts project that cargoes moving through
our ports will nearly double. Federal Highway Administration, ``The
Freight Story: A National Perspective on Enhancing Freight
Transportation''. Most of this additional cargo will ultimately move
along our surface transportation corridors, many of which are already
at or beyond capacity. Since 92 percent of all domestic freight
currently moves on road and rail infrastructure, the implications of
this growth are significant. U.S. Department of Transportation
``Freight Analysis Framework''.
The challenge we face is to use all transportation modes available
to address the looming crisis. America's Marine Highway can be a viable
alternative transportation mode. Expanding the Marine Highway can be
cost effective and will require less new infrastructure than surface
transportation alternatives, represents significant fuel savings, while
offering a resilient and redundant means of transportation. The Marine
Highway, consisting of more than 25,000 miles of inland, intracoastal,
and coastal waterways, already transports about 1 billion tons of
domestic cargo annually, and has considerable room to grow. U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, ``Waterborne Commerce of the United States''
(2005). The following is an example of the benefit the Marine Highway
can offer. An East Coast container-on-barge operation that currently
runs between Baltimore, MD, and Norfolk, VA, relieves the busy I-95 and
I-64 corridors of almost 2,000 trucks every week. That is equal to 3
lanes of bumper-to-bumper trucks eight miles long for about \1/8\ the
amount of fuel. Transporting freight by water has traditionally been
used for the movement of bulk commodities such as coal, petroleum,
grain, and lumber, yet growing freight congestion on certain highway
Corridors, combined with innovative approaches, could encourage
shippers to consider marine transportation for container cargo.
In many cases, the Marine Highway runs parallel to some of the most
congested highway Corridors in the country. On September 10, 2007, the
Department of Transportation announced six interstate routes as
Corridors of the Future: I-95 from Florida to the Canadian border; I-70
in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio; I-15 in Arizona, Utah,
Nevada, and California; I-5 in California, Oregon, and Washington, I-10
from California to Florida, and I-69 from Michigan to Texas. The
designation of waterways along some of these and other clogged roadways
and rail routes as Marine Highway Corridors could reduce congestion,
pollution, and energy usage, increase freight system reliability, and
improve the life of citizens who live in proximity to the highway.
The Secretary, in consultation with the EPA, will submit a Report
to Congress by December 19, 2008. The report will include a description
of the activities conducted under the program, and any recommendations
for further legislative or administrative action that the Secretary of
Transportation considers appropriate. For complete background and
regulatory analysis, see the original document published October 9,
2008 (73 FR 59530).
List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 393
Marine highway, Short sea transportation, Vessels.
Accordingly, the Maritime Administration amends 46 CFR part 393 as
1. The authority citation for part 393 continues to read as follows:
Authority: Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007,
sections 1121, 1122, and 1123 of Public Law 110-140, approved
December 19, 2007 (121 Stat. 1492).
2. Effective December 30, 2008, part 393 is stayed until January 5,
By order of the Secretary.
Dated: December 22, 2008.
Secretary, Maritime Administration.
[FR Doc. E8-30992 Filed 12-29-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-81-P