Coast Guard Proposes New Rule on Discharges in the Great Lakes

Varnum LLP‘s Timothy J. Lundgren recently had an article, Coast Guard Proposes New Rule on Discharges in the Great Lakes, published in The National Law Review:

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The Coast Guard is proposing to replace its interim rule with a new rule to regulate the operation of U.S. and foreign vessels carrying bulk dry cargo (e.g., limestone, iron ore, coal) on U.S. waters of the Great Lakes, and the operation of U.S. bulk dry cargo vessels anywhere on the Great Lakes. The new requirements address the discharge of bulk dry cargo residue (“DCR”). The proposed rule would continue to allow non-hazardous and non-toxic discharges of bulk DCR in limited areas of the Great Lakes. However, vessel owners and operators would need to minimize DCR discharges and document their methods for doing so in DCR management plans. Certain additional DCR discharges currently allowed would be restricted.

The potential for DCR discharges to encourage non-native species, the interaction of this regulation with EPA’s Vessel General Permit and the states’ coastal zone management plans as well as various other laws and treaties, and a variety of other topics are covered in the Federal Register Notice. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted to the online docket on or before October 29, 2012.

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