(a) Most rules of local applicability are issued by District Commanders, Captains of the Port, and District Bridge Managers while rules of wider applicability are issued by senior Coast Guard officials at Coast Guard Headquarters. For both significant rulemaking (defined by Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review) and non-significant rulemaking, other than those areas delegated to District Commanders, Captains of the Port, and District Bridge Managers the regulatory process begins when an office chief with program responsibilities identifies a possible need for a new regulation or for changes to an existing regulation. The need may arise due to statutory changes, or be based on internal review or public input. Early public involvement is strongly encouraged.
(b) After a tentative significant regulatory approach is developed, a significant regulatory project proposal is submitted to the Marine Safety and Security Council for approval. The proposal describes the scope of the proposed regulation, alternatives considered, and potential cost and benefits, including possible environmental impacts. All significant regulatory projects require Marine Safety and Security Council approval.
(c) Significant rulemaking documents must also be approved by the Commandant of the Coast Guard.
(d) If the project is approved, the necessary documents are drafted, including documents to be published in the Federal Register. These may include regulatory evaluations, environmental analyses, requests for comments, announcements of public meetings, notices of proposed rulemakings, and final rules.