The opinion of the court was delivered by: HARRIS
STANLEY S. HARRIS, U.S.D.J.
This matter is before the Court on the motion of the plaintiff, American Pilots' Association, Inc., for summary judgment; the motion of the federal defendants Admiral James S. Gracey, Commandant, U.S.C.G., the United States Coast Guard itself, Elizabeth Hanford Dole, Secretary of Transportation, and the United States Department of Transportation, for summary judgment; and the motion of defendant-intervenor American Waterways Operators, Inc., for summary judgment. Upon consideration of all the motions and the oppositions thereto, and plaintiff's reply, it is the conclusion of the Court that the United States Coast Guard acted within its statutory authority in promulgating the regulation codified in 46 C.F.R. § 157.20-.40 (1985), and that the Coast Guard did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in promulgating that regulation.
This case concerns the validity of a subsection of a final rule issued by the Coast Guard in rulemaking docket CGD 77-084, 50 Fed. Reg. 26,106 (1985) (codified in 46 C.F.R. § 157.20-.40), pursuant to the authority delegated to the Coast Guard by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to promulgate regulations implementing the various maritime statutes codified in Title 46 of the United States Code. See 49 C.F.R. § 1.46(n) (1984). The provision of the rule at issue (referred to hereinafter as the "Final Rule") specifies the requirements that must be satisfied for a licensed master, mate, or operator of a towing vessel to serve as a pilot on seagoing coastwise tank barge units of up to 10,000 gross tons, when underway, except on the high seas. Plaintiff challenges that provision of the Final Rule, contending that the rule (1) is contrary to statutory requirements and exceeds the Coast Guard's authority and jurisdiction, and (2) is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.
Statutory Requirements and Authority
The Coast Guard's authority as a delegate of the Secretary of Transportation, to issue licenses for one to operate as a master, mate, operator, or pilot is set forth in 46 U.S.C.A. § 7101(b) and (c) (1985). The general requirements for issuance of a pilot's license are specified in 46 U.S.C.A. § 7101(e) (1985). Pursuant to 46 U.S.C.A. § 8502(a) (1985), a coastwise seagoing vessel such as a tank barge must be "under the direction and control of a pilot licensed under section 7101" when underway, except on the high seas. There is no dispute that the operation of tank barges requires the services of a pilot meeting the § 7101 requirements. Plaintiff argues, however, that pilots authorized under the Final Rule do not qualify as pilots licensed under § 7101. Additionally, plaintiff argues that even if the authorized pilot category is viewed as a subcategory of licensed pilot, the Coast Guard had no authority under 46 U.S.C.A. § 3703 (1985) to promulgate the rule establishing this particular subcategory.
A. Statutory Requirements for Licensed Pilots
Section 7101(e) sets forth the following minimum requirements that must be satisfied prior to the issuances of a pilot's license:
(e) An individual may be issued a license under subsection (c)(2) of this section only if the applicant--
(1) is at least 21 years of age;
(2) is of sound health and has no physical limitations that would hinder or prevent the performance of a pilot's duties;
(3) has a thorough physical examination each year while holding the license, except that this requirement does not apply to an individual who will serve as a pilot only on a vessel of less than 1,600 gross tons;
(4) demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, that the applicant has the requisite general knowledge ...