The 2008 draft of the Passenger Vessel Accessibility Guidelines (PVAG) is not provided for public comment on its contents. The draft was created to support two public information meetings.
When the regulatory assessment and Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis are completed, PVAG will be proposed for public comment as part of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). At that time, the Board will accept comments on the content of the guidelines. The NPRM will include a preamble that will explain many of the changes made to the 2006 version of the draft in creating the version included in the NPRM. However, comments which identify provisions in the 2008 draft that trigger major costs and include the applicable costs will be accepted.
The 2008 draft has two sections (V208.1 and V1104) that leave it to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish the criteria related to getting passengers with disabilities on and off passenger vessels. At this point, DOT has not proposed any criteria and the DOT regulation number in the Advisory V208.1 is only a place holder. The Board expects that when its NPRM is published, at the same time or near that time, DOT will also publish a NPRM that will propose the On/Off criteria for public comment and address how the Board’s guidelines relate to DOT’s standards.
Provisions in the 2008 draft related to emergency alarms are under review. See report from the Passenger Vessel Emergency Alarms Advisory Committee.
To help identify the cost impacts of the potential vessel guidelines, 10 vessel case studies were conducted. The case studies provided below reflect the provisions in the 2008 draft. As no operator of a large cruise ship was willing to participate in a study, only one (small) cruise ship study was conducted. Similarly, a case study of an off-shore excursion vessel (carrying more than 150 passengers) was sought, but no operator was willing to participate. Plans for a study of a gaming vessel were cancelled after the American Gaming Association indicated that such a study was no longer needed. Likewise, a study of a tender (carrying 60 or more passengers) was not undertaken as the International Council of Cruise Lines (now part of Cruise Lines International Association) indicated that such a study was not necessary. Lastly, a study of a high speed vehicle ferry was cancelled as the general impacts are believed to be caught in the study of the 450 passenger high speed ferry.