Comments Sought on Nantucket Sound Safety Study

Nantucket Island - chart #13241
Nantucket Island – chart #13241

The Coast Guard is conducting a Port Access Route Study (PARS) to determine whether it should revise existing regulations to improve navigation safety in Nantucket Sound due to factors such as increased vessel traffic, changing vessel traffic patterns, weather conditions, or navigational difficulty.

The Nantucket Sound PARS was announced in the March 22 edition of the Federal Register. CLICK HERE.

The Coast Guard is encouraging public comment during the study process. Comments should address impacts to navigation in Nantucket Sound resulting from factors such as increased vessel traffic, changing vessel traffic patterns, weather conditions, or navigational difficulty.

Comments and material may be submitted online via www.regulations.gov. Type “USCG-2016-0165” into the search bar and click search. Next to the displayed search results click “Comment Now,” which will open the comment page for the study. The Coast Guard will consider all comments and material received during the 90-day comment period, which ends June 20.

The Coast Guard may hold public meetings if there is sufficient public interest. A request for one must be submitted on or before April 12 online via www.regulations.gov. If the Coast Guard determines that a public meeting would aid in the study, it will hold a meeting at a time and place announced by a later Marine Safety Information Bulletin and notice in the Federal Register.

The Coast Guard will conduct the Nantucket Sound PARS using the standards and methodology of the Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study, to determine whether it should revise existing regulations to improve navigation safety in Nantucket Sound. The “marine planning guidelines” of the Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study are included in the docket HERE, docket USCG-2016-0165.

The exact coordinates of the study area are listed in the Federal Register notice referenced above.

The results of the study will be published in the Federal Register. It is possible that the study may validate the status quo (no routing measures) and conclude that no changes are necessary. It is also possible that the study may recommend one or more changes to address navigational safety and the efficiency of vessel traffic management. The recommendations may lead to future rulemakings or appropriate international agreements.

Questions regarding this bulletin may be addressed to Edward G. LeBlanc at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, Edward.G.LeBlanc@uscg.mil, (401) 435-2351.