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DHS/USCG RIN: 1625-AC57 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Shipping Safety Fairways Along the Atlantic Coast 

The Coast Guard seeks comments regarding the possible establishment of shipping safety fairways (fairways) along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Fairways are marked routes for vessel traffic in which any fixed obstructions are prohibited. The proposed fairways are based on studies about vessel traffic along the Atlantic Coast. The Coast Guard is coordinating this action with the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) to minimize the impact on potential offshore energy leases.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 33 CFR 166    33 CFR 167   
Legal Authority: 46 U.S.C. 70001    46 U.S.C. 70003    46 U.S.C. 70034   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

This rulemaking would establish shipping safety fairways along the Atlantic coast of the United States to facilitate the direct and unobstructed transits of ships  and facilitate development on the outer continental shelf.  The establishment of fairways would ensure that obstruction-free routes are preserved to and from US ports and along the Atlantic coast.  

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Section 70003 of title 46 United States Code (46 U.S.C. 70003) directs the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard resides to designate necessary fairways that provide safe access routes for vessels proceeding to and from U.S. ports.


The ANPRM outlined the Coast Guard's plans for fairways along the Atlantic Coast and requested information and data associated with the regulatory concepts.  The Coast Guard will use this information and data to shape regulatory language and alternatives and assess the associated impacts in the NPRM. The Coast Guard is also considering comments received on port access route studies notices in development of the proposed rule. 

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The fairways are designed to keep traditional vessel navigation routes free from fixed structures that could impact navigation safety and impede other shared offshore activities.  Fairways are not mandatory; however, the Coast Guard recognizes that there is increasing interest in offshore commercial development, including offshore renewable energy installations, and believes this development is best served by the establishment of consistent and well-defined fairwaysThe proposed fairways would help ensure that offshore developments remain viable by allowing developers to construct and maintain installations without risk of impeding vessel traffic.


The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is leasing offshore areas that could affect customary shipping routes.  Expeditious pursuit of this rulemaking is intended to prevent conflict between customary shipping routes and areas that may be leased by BOEM. 

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  06/19/2020  85 FR 37034   
ANPRM Comment Period End  08/18/2020 
NPRM  11/00/2023 
Additional Information: Docket number USCG-2019-0279
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Maureen Kallgren
Program Manager
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Coast Guard
Office of Navigation Systems (CG-NAV), 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, STOP 7509,
Washington, DC 20593-7509
Phone:202 372-1561