findings, we published an interim rule on September 29, 2008 (73 FR 56492). It kept in place the Coast Guard's interim enforcement policy for Great Lakes DCR discharges and announced our intention to research Phase I FEIS data gaps related to DCR discharge control measure costs and effectiveness.
interim rule. It finalizes the Phase II draft EIS that we made available for public comment when we issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (77 FR 44528; Jul. 30, 2012) to propose the final rule. The Phase II FEIS reviews data we collected from approximately 2,000 DCR reporting forms and 30 Coast Guard-observed dry cargo loading and unloading operations. Data collected permitted further evaluations of DCR quantities and the effectiveness of control measures. The Phase II FEIS analysis concludes that the final rule would require maintaining a "broom-clean" standard on the vessel deck and implementing a management plan to minimize DCR discharges from a vessel's deck and tunnel. Vessels would need to keep onboard records of DCR-related discharges and continue observing existing DCR discharge exclusion areas. Mitigation of nearshore and port impacts would be included through a prohibition of limestone and clean stone DCR discharges within 3 statute miles of shore. In the Western Basin of Lake Erie, vessels not traveling beyond 3 statute miles from shore could discharge DCR within dredged navigation channels and not create adverse impacts to native sediment or benthos.