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Proposed Rule

Regulated Navigation Area; Galveston Channel, TX

Action

Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking.

Summary

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a regulated navigation area across the entire width of the Galveston Channel in the vicinity of Sector Field Office (SFO) Galveston. This regulated navigation area would require vessels to navigate at no wake speeds within this area. Vessel transits at greater than minimum safe speed and causing wake in this area would be prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston or a designated representative. This regulated navigation area is needed to protect the Coast Guard Sector Field Office (SFO) Galveston vessels, break wall, and piers from further damage associated with excessive wake and to protect ongoing base construction.

Unified Agenda

Regulated Navigation Areas

    • Next Action Undetermined
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 13, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2009-0931 using any one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Lieutenant junior grade Margaret Brown, Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston, telephone (713) 678-9001, or e-mail margaret.a.brown@uscg.mil if you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Public Participation and Request for Comments Back to Top

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

Submitting Comments Back to Top

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2009-0931), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online (via http://www.regulations.gov) or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online via www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the “submit a comment” box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the “Document Type” drop down menu select “Proposed Rule” and insert “USCG-2009-0931” in the “Keyword” box. Click “Search” then click on the balloon shape in the “Actions” column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change the rule based on your comments.

Viewing Comments and Documents Back to Top

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the “read comments” box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the “Keyword” box insert “USCG-2009-0931” and click “Search.” Click the “Open Docket Folder” in the “Actions” column. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.

Privacy Act Back to Top

Anyone can search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Public Meeting Back to Top

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one using one of the four methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose Back to Top

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a regulated navigation area in Galveston Channel to protect the surrounding areas from the harmful effects of excessive wake. This regulated navigation area would require vessels to navigate at minimum safe speeds which produce no wake within the area of the Coast Guard SFO Galveston, Texas. Vessel transits at greater than minimum safe speed and causing wake in this area would be prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston or a designated representative. This regulated navigation area is needed to protect the Coast Guard vessels, break wall, and piers from further damage associated with excessive wake and to protect ongoing base construction.

Discussion of Proposed Rule Back to Top

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a regulated navigation area in Galveston Channel within the area from Latitude 29°20′19″ N, Longitude 094°46′36″ W, east to Latitude 29°20′06″ N, Longitude 094°46′15″ W, south to Latitude 29°19′4″ N, Longitude 094°46′27″ W, west to Latitude 29°19′51″ N, Longitude 094°46′45″ W, and north to Latitude 29°20′19″ N, Longitude 094°46′36″ W. Vessel transits at greater than minimum safe speed in this area would be prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston (COTP) or a designated representative.

Vessels can contact the COTP through Vessel Traffic Service Houston/Galveston on VHF Channel 5A, by telephone at (713) 671-5103, or by facsimile at (713) 671-5159.

Regulatory Analyses Back to Top

We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 13 of these statutes or executive orders.

Regulatory Planning and Review Back to Top

This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary. The basis of this finding is that the proposed regulated navigation area covers a small area and vessels are allowed to travel through it at a minimum safe speed so as not to delay vessel traffic in and around the Port of Galveston.

Small Entities Back to Top

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reason: The extent of the proposed regulated navigation area is limited in size and would not create undue delay to vessel traffic in and around the Port of Galveston.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Assistance for Small Entities Back to Top

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact Lieutenant junior grade Margaret Brown at (713) 678-9001. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

Collection of Information Back to Top

This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Federalism Back to Top

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Back to Top

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property Back to Top

This proposed rule would not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform Back to Top

This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Protection of Children Back to Top

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments Back to Top

This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Energy Effects Back to Top

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Technical Standards Back to Top

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

This proposed rule would not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment Back to Top

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 0023.1 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this preliminary determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. This proposed rule involves establishing a regulated navigation area in Galveston Channel. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Back to Top

Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

begin regulatory text

PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS Back to Top

1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

33 U.S.C. 1226, 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Add new § 165.827 to read as follows:

§ 165.827 Regulated Navigation Area; Galveston Channel, Texas.

(a) Location. The following area is a regulated navigation area: All waters of the Galveston Channel within the area from Latitude 29°20′19″ N, Longitude 094°46′36″ W, east to Latitude 29°20′06″ N, Longitude 094°46′15″ W, south to Latitude 29°19′47″ N, Longitude 094°46′27″ W, west to Latitude 29°19′51″ N, Longitude 094°46′45″ W, and north to Latitude 29°20′19″ N, Longitude 094°46′36″ W.

(b) Regulations. (1) Vessels navigating this area must do so at a minimum safe speed so as to not cause any wake.

(2) Vessels may proceed at greater than a minimum safe speed with permission of the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston or a designated representative.

(3) To request permission as required by these regulations, contact the Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center by telephone at (713) 671-5113.

Dated: March 24, 2010.

Mary E. Landry,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2010-8372 Filed 4-12-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P

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