Port Access Route Studies (PARS)
The Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA)(P.L. 95-474, 33 U.S.C. 1223(c)) requires the Coast Guard to conduct a Port Access Route Study (PARS) before establishing new or adjusting existing fairways or traffic separation schemes (TSS’s). A primary purpose of a PARS is, to the extent practicable, to reconcile the need for safe access routes with other reasonable waterway uses such as renewable energy sites. A PARS also seeks to reduce the risk of marine casualties and increase the efficiency of vessel traffic in the study area. Recommendations from a PARS may lead to future rulemaking action or appropriate international agreements.
In addition to aiding us in establishing new or adjusting existing fairways or Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS), the PARS process may be used to determine and justify if safety zones, security zones, recommended routes, regulated navigation areas, and other ships’ routing measures should be created.
PARS overall objectives include, but are not limited to, the following:
1) Determine present vessel traffic density.
2) Determine present vessel traffic movement.
3) Determine potential vessel traffic density.
4) Determine if existing vessel routing measures are adequate.
5) Determine if existing vessel routing measures require modifications.
6) Determine the type of modifications.
7) Define and justify the needs for new vessel routing measures.
8) Determine the type of new vessel routing measures.
9) Determine if the usage of the vessel routing measures must be mandatory for specific classes of vessels.