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Rule

Safety Zone; Large Cruise Ships; Lower Mississippi River, Southwest Pass Sea Buoy to Mile Marker 96.0; New Orleans, LA

Action

Final Rule.

Summary

The Coast Guard is establishing a moving safety zone around large cruise ships as they transit the Lower Mississippi River between the Port of New Orleans Cruise Ship Terminal, mile marker 96.0, and the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy. The moving safety zone extends from bank to bank encompassing one-mile ahead and one-mile astern of each cruise ship. This safety measure is necessary to protect persons and vessels from the potential safety hazards associated with congested maritime traffic on the Lower Mississippi River.

Unified Agenda

Safety Zone Regulations

    • Next Action Undetermined
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

This rule is effective December 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2010-0012. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Brandon Sullivan, Sector New Orleans, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 504-365-2280, email Brandon.J.Sullivan@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

Table of Acronyms Back to Top

DHSDepartment of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

NPRMNotice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. Regulatory History and Information Back to Top

The Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on May 17, 2012, in the Federal Register, 77 FR 29254. The Coast Guard received one comment. There were no requests for a Public Meeting.

B. Basis and Purpose Back to Top

The legal basis and authorities for this rule are found in 33 U.S.C. 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; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish and define regulatory safety zones.

The Coast Guard is establishing a moving safety zone around each large cruise ship as it transits the Lower Mississippi River between the Port of New Orleans Cruise Ship Terminal, mile marker 96.0, and the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy to address the increasing risk to safe navigation. For the purpose of this rule, the term “large cruise ship” is defined as a vessel over 100 feet in length, carrying more than 500 passengers for hire, making a voyage lasting more than 24 hours, any part of which is on the high seas, and for which passengers are embarked or disembarked in the United States or its territories. The marine transportation system on the lower Mississippi river has seen a sustained growth over the years and there are more vessels on the river than ever before. If a marine accident occurs involving a large cruise ship there is a significantly higher potential for loss of life than with any other type of commercial vessel. Therefore to mitigate the risks and consequences associated with higher traffic, the reduction of navigable space, and to protect lives, the Coast Guard is establishing a moving safety zone around each large cruise ship. This rule is intended to establish early passing or overtaking arrangements thus increasing the time available for safe maneuvering.

C. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule Back to Top

One comment was received which proposed a ship's automatic identification system (AIS) or a virtual AIS aid to navigation be incorporated into the proposed regulation. Although AIS is an effective tool to enhance safe navigation it is not specific to this rule making. Therefore, after consideration, the Coast Guard did not see a need to alter the regulation.

D. Regulatory Analyses Back to Top

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 14 of these statutes or executive orders.

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. The impacts on routine navigation are expected to be minimal. The moving safety zones will not interfere with a vessel's ability to make passing and overtaking arrangements. Routine navigation around and near the safety zones will not be impacted. The moving safety zone is intended to enable early notification of passing or overtaking arrangements, providing additional time and opportunity to negotiate navigational arrangements and to maneuver without causing delay in transit for both the large cruise ship and the other vessels operating in the area.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The Coast Guard received 0 comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The moving safety zones are intended to enable early notification that passing or overtaking arrangements may be necessary, providing additional time and opportunity to negotiate navigational arrangements, giving both vessels sufficient time to maneuver without causing delay in transit.

This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the Lower Mississippi River between mile marker 96.0, New Orleans, LA and the Southwest Pass Sea Buoy during cruise ship transits.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. 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 the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). 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.

4. Collection of Information

This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

5. Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

6. Protest Activities

The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

8. Taking of Private Property

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

9. Civil Justice Reform

This 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.

10. Protection of Children

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

11. Indian Tribal Governments

This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does 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.

12. Energy Effects

This action is not a “significant energy action” under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

13. Technical Standards

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

14. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 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 determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves establishing a moving safety zone 1 mile ahead, 1 mile astern and bank to bank of large cruise ships on the Lower Mississippi River. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Back to Top

begin regulatory text

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

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. 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 § 165.839 to read as follows:

§ 165.839 Safety Zone; Large Cruise Ships; Lower Mississippi River, Southwest Pass Sea Buoy to Mile Marker 96.0, New Orleans, LA.

(a) Location. Within the Lower Mississippi River and Southwest Pass, moving safety zones are established around all large cruise ships transiting between the Southwest Pass Entrance Lighted Buoy “SW”, at approximate position 28°52′42″ N, 89°25′54″ W [NAD 83] and Lower Mississippi River mile marker 96.0 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The moving safety zone extends bank to bank, encompassing all waters one-mile ahead and one-mile astern of a large cruise ship. The zone remains in effect during the entire transit of the large cruise ship.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section the term “large cruise ship” is defined as a vessel over 100 feet in length, carrying more than 500 passengers for hire, making a voyage lasting more than 24 hours, any part of which is on the high seas, and for which passengers are embarked or disembarked in the United States or its territories.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR Part 165, Subpart C, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the Safety Zone except for vessels authorized by the Captain of the Port or Designated Representatives, except as provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(2) For this section the Pilot directing the movement of the large cruise ship under the authority of the master has the authority to allow other vessels to enter the safety zone when necessary.

(3) All vessels are prohibited from entering this safety zone unless authorized as follows:

(i) Vessels that have made suitable passing or overtaking arrangements with the pilot onboard the large cruise ship may enter into this safety zone in accordance with those agreed upon arrangements.

(ii) Moored vessels or vessels anchored in a designated anchorage area may remain in their current moored or anchored position while the large cruise ship transits the area.

(iii) Barge Fleets or vessels working a fleet may continue their current operations while the large cruise ship transits the area.

(4) Vessels requiring a deviation from this rule must request permission from the Captain of the Port New Orleans. The Captain of the Port New Orleans may be contacted at (504) 365-2210.

end regulatory text

Dated: July 20, 2012.

P.W. Gautier,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard,Captain of the Port New Orleans.

[FR Doc. 2012-26808 Filed 10-30-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P

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