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Safety Zone Regulation for San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Coast Guard, DOT.


Temporary final rule.


The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone within a 1500 foot radius surrounding the drill boat Apache while it is engaged in drilling or blasting operations. The drill boat will operate at the entrance to San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico. The safety zone is necessary to protect vessels and personnel in the vicinity of the drilling and blasting operations. Entry into this zone is prohibited, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port.


This rule is effective from 7 a.m., Atlantic Standard Time, on July 11, 2000, to 11:59 p.m., Atlantic Standard Time, October 31, 2000.

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Lieutenant Commander Robert Lefevers, Chief of Port Operations, Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Juan, telephone (787) 706-2440.

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Documents indicated in this preamble are available in the docket, are part of docket COTP San Juan 00-065, and are available for inspection or copying at the USCG Marine Safety Office, Rodriguez and Del Valle Building, 4th Floor, Calle San Martin, Road #2, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

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Regulatory Information

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM. It was impracticable to attempt to publish a NPRM for this situation due to the inherent difficulties in scheduling marine dredging operations, and the temporary nature of this regulation.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because the operational schedule for the drilling and blasting was not finalized until a June 21, 2000 meeting between the U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and Contract Drilling and Blasting.

Background and Purpose

These regulations are needed to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters from hazards associated with drilling and blasting operations that will occur at the entrance to San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico.

The drilling and blasting operations will be conducted to the west of the San Juan Harbor bar entrance channel, between buoys number 1 and number 4, in the approximate position of 18°28.3691′ N, 066°07.6889′ W. The drilling and blasting operations will occur outside of the navigation channel.

To further ensure the safety of life, the contractor conducting the drilling and blasting operations will, 15 minutes prior to any detonation, send two small boats outside the safety zone to advise mariners of the operation.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 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. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040, February 26, 1979). The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposal to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10(e) of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary as the operation will not significantly impede navigation and commercial activity due to the low frequency of occurrence and extremely short duration.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we considered whether this 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 rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit in a portion of San Juan Harbor from July 11, 2000 to October 31, 2000. This special local regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because this rule will be in effect sporadically, and vessel traffic can pass safely around the regulated area.

Assistance for Small Entities

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 rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or government jurisdiction and you have questions concerning is provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for assistance in understanding and participating in this rulemaking. We also have a point of contact for commenting on actions by employees of the Coast Guard. 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).

Collection of Information

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


We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13132 and have determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism under that Order.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) governs the issuance of Federal regulations that require unfunded mandates. An unfunded mandate is a regulation that requires a State, local, or tribal government or the private sector to incur direct costs without the Federal Government's having first provided the funds to pay those unfunded mandate costs. This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate.

Taking of Private Property

This rule will 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

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.

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 concern an environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children.


The Coast Guard has considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that under figure 2-1, paragraph 34(g) of Commandant Instruction M16475.1C, this rule is Start Printed Page 45910categorically excluded from further environmental documentation because it is establishing a temporary safety zone.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects In 33 CFR Part 165

  • Harbors
  • Marine safety
  • Navigation (water)
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and Safety measures
  • Waterways
End List of Subjects

For the reasons discussed in the Preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR Part 165 as follows:

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

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Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 49 CFR 1.46 and 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5.

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2. Temporary § 165.T00-065 is added to read as follows:

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Safety Zone; San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico

(a) Regulated Area. A temporary safety zone is established within a 1500-foot radius surrounding the drill boat Apache, operating at the entrance to San Juan Harbor in the approximate position of 18°28.3691′ N, 066°07.6889′ W, when the vessel is conducting drilling or blasting.

(b) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in 165.23 of this part, entry into, anchoring, mooring or transiting in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port.

(2) Notifications of blasting or drilling operations will be broadcast via VHF-FM radio Channel 16 beginning 2 hours prior to operations.

(c) Dates. These regulations become effective at 7 a.m., (ast), on July 9, 2000, and expires at 11:59 p.m., (ast), October 31, 2000.

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Dated: July 6, 2000.

J. Servidio,

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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[FR Doc. 00-18937 Filed 7-25-00; 8:45 am]