(a) The Commandant grants an exemption or partial exemption from compliance with any requirement in this part if:
(1) A ship operator submits a written request for an exemption via the COTP or OCMI thirty (30) days before operations under the exemption are proposed unless the COTP or OCMI authorizes a shorter time; and
(2) It is determined from the request that:
(i) Compliance with a specific requirement is economically or physically impractical;
(ii) No alternative procedures, methods, or equipment standards exist that would provide an equivalent level of protection from pollution; and
(iii) The likelihood of discharges occurring as a result of the exemption is minimal.
(b) If requested, the applicant must submit any appropriate information, including an environmental and economic assessment of the effects of and the reasons for the exemption and proposed procedures, methods, or equipment standards.
(c) The exemption may specify the procedures, methods, or equipment standards that will apply.
(d) An oceangoing ship is not given an exemption from the requirements of subpart B of this part unless the ship is a hydrofoil, air cushion vehicle or other new type of ship (near-surface craft, submarine craft, etc.) whose constructional features are such as to render the application of any of the provisions of subpart B relating to construction and equipment unreasonable or impractical. The construction and equipment of the ship must provide protection equivalent to that afforded by subpart B of this part against pollution, having regard to the service for which the ship is intended.
(e) An exemption is granted or denied in writing. The decision of the Commandant is a final agency action.