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The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program today published in the Federal Register an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program (CVA). This ANPR has a different purpose than a Proposed Rule where we ask for comments on our proposed regulation. The ANPR asks you to share knowledge, opinions, experiences, research, and legal/policy implications on a variety of topics of interest related to CVA. We will then use this information to help develop a proposed rule.

We are seeking responses from a wide range of interest groups, such as boaters, vendors, engineers, harbor masters, parks departments, marina and boater associations, the general public, as well as Federal, State, and local governments. We ask not only your responses to the topics in this notice, but also your help in distributing the information to help us to reach a wide range of expertise and interest.

The topics we specifically seek to know more about include: information on current and future technology that could improve how we deliver grant benefits, legal restrictions or considerations that prevent States from being able to take advantage of all eligible program benefits, and better defining how and to whom we deliver program benefits.

The ANPR is published at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-14/pdf/2015-22723.pdf

We hope you will join us as we explore and gather information that will inform rulemaking in this popular grant program that offers benefits to boaters and the environment.

For more information or for questions, please contact: Lisa_Van_Alstyne@fws.gov  

 

CVA ANPR:     

States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) Powerpoint Presentation:  

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  1. Anonymous

    Marina Association of Texas (MAT) comments regarding Clean Vessel Act program rule review

     

    Issue 2 regarding assistance in the operation and maintenance of pump-outs:

                O&M is an important component to assure pump-outs are operational and available to boating public.

                Texas has not offered O&M assistance to date.

                            CVA program not adequately staffed, appears to be low priority.

                            Hard to process a number of relatively small annual grant agreements

                MAT considering acting as a clearinghouse with blanket O&M grant and subgranting to marinas

                            Factors are the cost to MAT and how well the record keeping and cost documentation can be streamlined.

    Recommendations:

                Continue to encourage states to provide a mechanism for pump-out operators to recoup their O&M costs.

                Be as flexible as possible in cost accounting and record keeping regarding O&M costs.

                            Documenting the average cost per pump-out and logging of number of pump-outs is reasonable. 
                            We are considering two average costs - one for self-serve pump-outs and one for staff served.

                            Monitors should be encouraged but not mandated.  They are high cost, and nobody here (Texas) shows a willingness to compile/utilize data.

     

    Issue 1 regarding dockside floating restrooms as an allowable CVA funded facility:

                All boaters eventually will “have to go” whether they have a bathroom on their boat or not. Odd that CVA program created to deal with human waste is the only program that won't fund a dockside restroom.

    Recommendations:

                Permit dockside restrooms to be an eligible facility under the CVA program.  To address non-boater use issue by considering the following limitations:

                            Limit federal participation to 50% of restroom cost.

                            Limit federal participation to $100,000 per facility.

                            Require that the facility have signage viewable from the water as a "Public Restroom"

                            Allow only stand-alone structures, no restrooms inside larger structures.

                            Require sponsor to commit to future O&M costs

                            Allow security cameras/systems to be an allowable cost.

     

    General CVA rule recommendations:

                Encourage greater state participation in the CVA program.

                            Waive matching requirement for first $25,000 of CVA program administration costs.

                 No individual state should receive greater than 10% of annual CVA program funding.

                 Eliminate need for coastal states to submit inland and coastal CVA applications separately.

                            If coastal preference has been removed, no reason to divide program.  MAT currently conducts clean boater workshops around the state and has to track workshops conducted inland versus those conducted on the coast, under 2 separate grants.  It is the same workshop.

                 Streamline environmental review process.  Eliminate process for non-excavation projects.