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Proposed Rule

Security Zones; Passenger Vessels, Portland, ME, Captain of the Port Zone

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.

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to establish moving and fixed security zones around high capacity passenger vessels, including international ferries, located in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. These proposed security zones are necessary to ensure public safety and prevent sabotage or terrorist acts against these vessels. When Start Printed Page 9040activated, persons and vessels will be prohibited from entering these security zones without the permission of the Captain of the Port, Portland, Maine.

DATES:

Comments and related materials much reach the U.S. Coast Guard on or before March 31, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Marine Safety Office Portland, 103 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101. Marine Safety Office Portland maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and materials received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at Marine Safety Office Portland between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant R. F. Pigeon, Port Operations Department, Marine Safety Office Portland at (207) 780-3092.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-03-001), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like to know that your submission reached us, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them.

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to Marine Safety Office Portland at the address listed under ADDRESSES explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a separate notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and Flight 93, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued several warnings concerning the potential for additional terrorist attacks within the United States. In addition, the ongoing operation in Afghanistan and growing tensions in Iraq have made it prudent for U.S. ports to be on a higher state of alert because the Al-Qaeda organization and other similar organizations have declared an ongoing intention to conduct armed attacks on U.S. interests worldwide. Due to these concerns, security zones around passenger vessels are prudent to ensure the safety and protection of the passengers aboard. As part of the Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-399), Congress amended section 7 of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA), 33 U.S.C. 1226, to allow the Coast Guard to take actions, including the establishment of security zones, to prevent or respond to acts of terrorism against individuals, vessels, or public or commercial structures. Moreover, the Coast Guard has authority to establish security zones pursuant to the Act of June 15, 1917, as amended by the Magnuson Act of August 9, 1950 (50 U.S.C. 191 et seq.) (the “Magnuson Act”), and implementing regulations promulgated by the President in subparts 6.01 and 6.04 of part 6 of title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

On October 7, 2002, a temporary final rule (TFR) entitled “Security Zones; Passenger Vessels, Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port Zone” was published in the Federal Register (67 FR 62373). That TFR, effective from September 25, 2002, until December 1, 2002, addressed concerns that vessels operating near passenger vessels present possible platforms from which individuals may gain unauthorized access to these vessels or launch terrorist attacks upon these vessels. The TFR was issued to safeguard human life, vessels, and waterfront facilities from sabotage or terrorist acts.

To address the aforementioned concerns, the Coast Guard proposes to establish permanent security zones to prevent vessels or persons from accessing the navigable waters around and under passenger vessels in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. Due to the continued heightened security concerns, this proposed rule is necessary to provide for the safety of the port, the vessels, passengers and crew on the vessels, as well as to ensure passenger vessels are not used as possible platforms for terrorist attacks.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

This proposed rule would establish security zones that will be in effect in the navigable waters within a 100-yard radius around any passenger vessel that is moored, or in the process of mooring, at any berth or anchored within the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. While underway, the security zones will be 100 yards aside and astern of the passenger vessel and 200 yards ahead which is needed due to the passenger vessel's speed of advance through the water. To clarify the types of passenger vessels this rule applies to, we have adopted a modified version of the definition in 33 CFR 120.100 for this rule by removing the requirement “lasting more than 24 hours” from the phrase “making voyages lasting more than 24 hours, any part of which is on the high seas; and by increasing the requirement for number of passengers from “authorized to carry more than 12 passengers for hire” to “authorized to carry more than 500 passengers for hire”. This definition will include high capacity cruise ships and international ferries while excluding smaller vessels.

This proposed rule is needed to protect passenger vessels, persons aboard passenger vessels, the public, waterways, ports and adjacent facilities from sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other events of a similar nature taken upon passenger vessels in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone. Entry into these zones will be prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative. Vessels already moored or anchored when these security zones take effect are not required to get underway to avoid either the moving or fixed zones unless specifically ordered to do so by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative.

These security zones will not preclude the routine loading and unloading of passengers, vehicles or cargo; or movement of authorized employees and support personnel at any facility or aboard any passenger vessel.

The Captain of the Port will enforce these zones and may enlist the aid and cooperation of any Federal, state, county, municipal, or private agency to assist in the enforcement of the regulation. To the extent that each is applicable, this regulation is issued under the authority contained in 33 U.S.C. 1226 and 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6 and 160.5; and 49 CFR 1.46.

Any violation of the security zones described herein is punishable by, among others, civil penalties (not to exceed $25,000 per violation, where each day of a continuing violation is a separate violation), criminal penalties (imprisonment for not more than 10 years and a fine of not more than Start Printed Page 9041$250,000), in rem liability against the offending vessel and license sanctions.

Regulatory Evaluation

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. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT)(44 FR 11040, February 26, l979).

The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposal to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary for the following reasons: (a) The proposed security zones will encompass only relatively small portions of the Captain of the Port, Portland, Maine zone around the transiting passenger vessels, allowing vessels to safely navigate around the zones without delay; (b) Vessels and persons may be allowed to enter these zones on a case-by-case basis with permission of the Captain of the Port.

Small Entities

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.

For reasons enumerated in the Regulatory Evaluation section above, 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. There is no indication the previous rule was burdensome on the maritime public. No letters commenting on the previous rule were received from the public.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this 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

Under subsection 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 proposed rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact Lieutenant R. F. Pigeon, Port Operations Department, Marine Safety Office Portland at (207) 780-3092.

Collection of Information

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

A proposed 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

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 will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

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

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

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This proposed 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

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.

To help the Coast Guard establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with Indian and Alaskan Native tribes, we published a notice in the Federal Register (66 FR 36361, July 11, 2001) requesting comments on how to best carry out the order. We invite your comments on how this proposed rule might impact tribal governments, even if the impact may not constitute a “tribal implication” under the Order.

Energy Effects

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. 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 proposed rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket 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 proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

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PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

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 and 160.5; 49 CFR 1.46.

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2. Add § 165.105 to read as follows:

Security Zone: Passenger Vessels, Portland, Maine Captain of the Port Zone.

(a) Definition. “Passenger vessel” as used in this section means a passenger vessel over 100 gross tons authorized to carry more than 500 passengers for hire making voyages, any part of which is on the high seas, and for which passengers are embarked or disembarked in the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port zone as delineated in 33 CFR 3.05-15.

(b) Location. The following areas are security zones:

(1) All navigable waters within the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port Zone, extending from the surface to the sea floor, within a 100-yard radius of any passenger vessel that is anchored, moored, or in the process of mooring.

(2) All navigable waters, within the Portland, Maine, Captain of the Port Zone, extending from the surface to the sea floor, extending 200 yards ahead, and 100 yards aside and astern of any passenger vessel that is underway.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.33 of this part, entry into or movement within these zones is prohibited unless previously authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Portland, Maine (COTP) or his designated representative.

(2) All persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP or the designated on-scene Coast Guard patrol personnel. On-scene Coast Guard patrol personnel include commissioned, warrant and petty officers of the Coast Guard on board Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and local, State and Federal law enforcement vessels. Emergency response vessels are authorized to move within the zone, but must abide by restrictions imposed by the COTP or his designated representative.

(3) No person may swim upon or below the surface of the water within the boundaries of these security zones unless previously authorized by the COTP or his designated representative.

(d) Enforcement. The Captain of the Port will enforce these zones and may enlist the aid and cooperation of any Federal, State, county, municipal, or private agency to assist in the enforcement of the regulation.

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Dated: February 3, 2003.

Mark P. O'Malley,

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Portland, Maine.

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[FR Doc. 03-4635 Filed 2-26-03; 8:45 am]

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