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Proposed Rule

Safety and Security Zones; Chesapeake Bay, Maryland and Tributaries

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, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes establishing moving and fixed safety/security zones on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and it tributaries for cruise ships and vessels carrying Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), or Liquefied Hazardous Gas (LHG) in the Captain of the Port (COTP) Baltimore zone. These zones are necessary to provide for the safety and security of these vessels in response to potential terrorist acts. This rule is necessary to enhance the public and maritime safety and security by requiring vessel traffic to maintain a safe distance from these vessels while they are transiting, anchored, or moored in the COTP Baltimore zone.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 21, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Activities, 2401 Hawkins Point Road, Building 70, Port Safety, Security and Waterways Management Branch, Baltimore, Maryland, 21226-1791. The Port Safety, Security and Waterways Management Branch of Coast Guard Activities Baltimore maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and material 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 Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Activities, 2401 Hawkins Point Road, Building 70, Port Safety, Security and Waterways Management Branch, Baltimore, Maryland, 21226-1791, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant Dulani Woods, at Coast Guard Activities Baltimore, Port Safety, Security and Waterways Management Branch, at telephone number (410) 576-2513.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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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 [CGD05-03-008], 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 Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Activities Baltimore at the address 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

In light of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York, NY and the Pentagon in Arlington, VA on September 11, 2001, safety and security zones are being established to safeguard certain types of vessels and the public from sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other events of a similar nature, and to protect persons, vessels, and others in the maritime community from the hazards associated with the transit and limited maneuverability of these vessels. These safety and security zones prohibit entry into or movement within the specified areas.

This rule proposes to establish safety and security zones around cruise ships and vessels carrying CDC, LNG, or LHG while underway, anchored, or moored in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This rule creates safety and security zones within navigable waters of the United States in the COTP Baltimore zone, as defined in 33 CFR 3.25-15. While the COTP anticipates some impact on vessel traffic due to this regulation, these safety and security zones are deemed necessary for the protection of life, property, and the safety and security of navigation within the COTP Baltimore zone.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

In its effort to thwart terrorist activity, the Coast Guard has increased safety and security measures in U.S. ports and waterways. 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 and safety zones, to prevent or respond to acts of terrorism against individuals, vessels, or public or commercial structures. The Coast Guard also has authority to establish security zones pursuant to the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917, as amended by the Magnuson Act of August 9, 1950 (50 U.S.C. 191 et seq.) (“Magnuson Act”), section 104 of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of November 25, 2002, and by implementing regulations promulgated by the President in 33 CFR 6.01 and 6.04.

In this particular rulemaking, to address the aforementioned security concerns and take steps to prevent the catastrophic impacts that a terrorist attack against cruise ships and vessels carrying CDC, LNG, or LHG would have on the public interest, the Coast Guard proposes establishing safety and security zones around and under these vessels while transiting, anchored, or moored within the COTP Baltimore zone. These safety and security zones will help the Coast Guard prevent other vessels or persons from engaging in terrorist actions against these vessels. The Coast Guard believes the establishment of safety and security zones is prudent for the following reasons:

(1) Cruise Ships. These are vessels of at least 100 gross tons defined as “passenger vessel” in 46 U.S.C. 2101 (22) that typically carry 500 or more passengers. The establishment of safety and security zones will increase the protection afforded these vessels.

(2) Vessels Carrying CDC. Under 33 CFR 160 these cargoes include division 1.1 and 1.2 explosives, permitted oxidizing material or blasting agents, highway route controlled or fissile radioactive material, poisonous gases, and other toxic or volatile materials. By the nature of these materials, an explosion or release of this type of cargo could have serious impact on the general public.

(3) LHG and LNG Vessels. LHG and LNG vessels carry highly toxic and/or flammable gases in large quantities as cargo. By the nature of these materials, a release of this type of cargo could have a serious impact on the general public.

The proposed safety and security zones surrounding each type of vessel will control the movement of persons and other vessels from the surface to the bottom in a 500 yard radius. All vessels and persons will be prohibited from entering the zone without permission from the COTP Baltimore or his or her designated representative. The COTP shall notify the general public by marine information broadcast of the activation of these zones. Federal, State, local, and private agencies may assist the Coast Guard in the enforcement of this rule.

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, 1979).

We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary. This finding is based on the limited size of the zones, the minimal time that vessels will be restricted from the zones, and vessels may transit around the zones. In addition, vessels that may need to enter the zones may request permission on a case by case basis from the COTP Baltimore or his designated representatives.

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.

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 affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit in a portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries near a vessel encompassed by the safety and security zones. Start Printed Page 13651

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 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 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 Dulani Woods, at Coast Guard Activities Baltimore, Port Safety, Security and Waterways Management Branch, at telephone number (410) 576-2513.

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

Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule would 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 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 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. We invite your comments on how this proposed rule might impact tribal governments, even if that 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 because this rule establishes a safety and security zone. 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. 2. Add § 165.500 to read as follows:

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Safety and Security Zones; Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

(a) Definitions. (1) Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC) means a material defined in 33 CFR part 160.

(2) Liquefied Hazardous Gas (LHG) means a material defined in 33 CFR part 127.

(3) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) means a material defined in 33 CFR part 127.

(4) Cruise ship means a vessel defined as a “passenger vessel” in 46 U.S.C. 2101 (22).

(b) Location. The following areas are safety and security zones: All waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, from surface to bottom, within a 500 yard radius around cruise ships and vessels transporting CDC, LNG, or LHG while transiting, anchored, or moored within the COTP Baltimore zone.

(c) Regulations. (1) The COTP will notify the maritime community of periods during which the safety and security zones will be enforced by providing notice in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7.

(2) Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard COTP, Baltimore, Maryland or his designated representative.

(3) Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone may contact the COTP at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on VHF channel 16 (156.8 MHz) to seek permission to transit the area. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP or his or her designated representative.

(d) Authority. In addition to 33 U.S.C. 1231 and 50 U.S.C. 191, the authority for this section includes 33 U.S.C. 1226.

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Dated: February 26, 2003.

Evan Q. Kahler,

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland.

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[FR Doc. 03-6633 Filed 3-19-03; 8:45 am]

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