WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday publication in the Federal Register of an outer continental shelf notice of arrival rule designed to enhance maritime domain awareness over outer continental shelf activities.
This final rule enhances maritime security and safety by requiring U.S. and foreign vessels, floating facilities and mobile offshore drilling units arriving on and engaging in outer continental shelf activities to report their arrival time and location and information regarding the vessels’ voyage, cargo, crew and vessel information.
The outer continental shelf includes all submerged lands seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters and of which the subsoil and seabed are subject to the jurisdiction and control of the U.S. Outer continental shelf activity is defined in the U.S. regulations as any activity that occurs on the outer continental shelf and is associated with the exploration for or development or production of minerals, including oil.
“Maritime domain awareness supports and informs all of the nation’s maritime safety, security environmental and transportation interests. The equipment and procedures that create awareness are just as important for prevention of, and response to, vessel collisions and oil spills, and search and rescue cases as they are for law enforcement and counterterrorism missions,” said Dana Goward, director of the Coast Guard’s Marine Transportation Systems Management Division.
The rule implements provisions of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 and will enable the Coast Guard to more effectively prevent or respond to a safety or security concern on the outer continental shelf.
The final rule and related materials may be reviewed online at http://www.regulations.gov, number: USCG-2008-1088.
[Image via Minerals Management Service]