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Rule

Security Zones; Ports of Houston and Galveston, TX

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is extending the effective period for the Ports of Houston and Galveston security zones published May 1, 2002. This change will extend the effective period for the established security zones until October 15, 2002, allowing adequate time for a proposed permanent rule to be developed through informal rulemaking. We are also amending this section to make it clear that persons and not just vessels are prohibited from entry into these security zones. This temporary rule establishes temporary moving security zones around cruise ships entering and departing the Ports of Houston and Galveston.

DATES:

The amendments to § 165.T08-035 are effective on June 11, 2002. Section 165.T08-035, added at 67 FR 21578, May 1, 2002, effective April 8, 2002, until June 15, 2002 is extended and will remain in effect through 8 a.m. on October 15, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Documents as indicated in this preamble are available for inspection or copying at Marine Safety Office Houston-Galveston, 9640 Clinton Drive, Galena Park, TX, 77547 between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) George Tobey, Marine Safety Office Houston-Galveston, Texas, Port Waterways Management, at (713) 671-5100.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On May 1, 2002, we published a temporary final rule entitled “Security Zones; Ports of Houston and Galveston, TX” in the Federal Register (67 FR 21576). The effective period for this rule was from April 8, 2002 until June 15, 2002.

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. The original temporary final rule was immediately required to respond to the security concerns associated with cruise ship transits. It was anticipated that we would assess the security environment at the end of the effective period to determine whether continuing security measures were required. We have determined that the need for a continued security zone exists and elsewhere in today's issue of the Federal Register, we have published a Start Printed Page 39847NPRM, entitled “Security Zones; Ports of Houston and Galveston, TX” for a proposed permanent rule (docket number COTP Houston-Galveston-02-010). The Coast Guard will, during the extended effective period of this temporary final rule, complete notice and comment rulemaking to develop permanent regulations tailored to the present and foreseeable security environment.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553 (d) (3), good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. There is no indication that the present temporary final rule has been burdensome on the public. We are amending this section to make it clear that both persons and vessels are prohibited from entering the zone. Delaying the effective date of the rule would be contrary to public interest since action is needed to continue to respond to existing security risks.

Background and Purpose

On September 11, 2001, both towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists. National security and intelligence officials have warned that future terrorist attacks against civilian targets may be anticipated.

In response to these terrorist acts and warnings, heightened awareness for the security and safety of all vessels, ports, and harbors is necessary. Due to the increased safety and security concerns surrounding the transit of cruise ships, the Captain of the Port, Houston-Galveston established temporary security zones around these vessels.

The temporary security zone was to expire on June 15, 2002. In order to provide continuous protection while a permanent zone is being promulgated through notice and comment rulemaking, the Coast Guard is extending the effective date of this zone until October 15, 2002.

In addition we are amending this section to remove any ambiguity about its effect on persons. No person or vessel is permitted to enter within 100 yards of a cruise ship unless expressly authorized.

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 rule to be so minimal that a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary under paragraph 10(e) of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary. The impacts on routine navigation are expected to be minimal as the zones will only impact navigation for a short period of time and the size of the zones allows for the transit of most vessels with minimal delay.

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 for the reasons enumerated under the Regulatory Evaluation above. If you are a small business entity and are significantly affected by this regulation please contact LTJG George Tobey, Marine Safety Office Houston-Galveston, Texas, Port Waterways Management, at (713) 671-5100.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

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 of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Federalism

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 rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

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 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.

Taking of Private Property

This rule will not affect 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 create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

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.

Energy Effect

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Start Printed Page 39848Significantly 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. It has not been designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Environment

We have considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that under figure 2-1, paragraph 34(g), of Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends

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PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

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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, 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; 49 CFR 1.46.

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2. Revise temporary § 165.T08-035 paragraphs (b) and (d) to read as follows:

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Security Zones; Ports of Houston and Galveston, Texas.
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(b) Effective dates. This section is effective from 12 a.m. (noon) on April 8, 2002 through 8 a.m. on October 15, 2002.

* * * * *

(d) Regulations. (1) Entry of persons or vessels into this zone is prohibited unless authorized as follows.

(i) Vessels may enter within 500 yards but not closer than 100 yards of a cruise ship provided they operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course.

(ii) No person or vessel may enter within 100 yards of a cruise ship unless expressly authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston. Where the Houston Ship Channel narrows to 400 feet or less between Houston Ship Channel Entrance Lighted Bell Buoy “18”, light list no. 34385 at approximately 29°21′06″ N, 94°47′00″ W [NAD 83] and Barbours Cut, the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston may permit vessels that must transit the navigable channel between these points to enter within 100 yards of a cruise ship.

(iii) Moored vessels or vessels anchored in a designated anchorage area are permitted to remain within 100 yards of a cruise ship while it is in transit.

(2) Vessels requiring entry within 500 yards of a cruise ship that cannot slow to the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course must request express permission to proceed from the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston, or his designated representative.

(3) For the purpose of this section the term “cruise ship” is defined as a passenger vessel over 100 gross tons, carrying more than 12 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.

(4) The Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston will inform the public of the moving security zones around cruise ships via Marine Safety Information Broadcasts.

(5) To request permission as required by this section contact “Houston Traffic” via VHF Channels 11/12 or via phone at (713) 671-5103.

(6) All persons and vessels within the moving security zone shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston and designated on-scene U.S. Coast Guard patrol personnel. On-scene U.S. Coast Guard patrol personnel include commissioned, warrant, and petty officers of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Start Signature

Dated: May 29, 2002.

Kevin S. Cook,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Houston Galveston.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-14561 Filed 6-10-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P