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Proposed Rule

Safety and Security Zone; Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

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 revising the established safety zone at the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal. This is in response to the re-opening of the terminal by Dominion Power scheduled for May 2003. This safety and security zone is necessary to help ensure public safety and security. The zone will prohibit vessels and persons from entering a well-defined area around the Cove Point LNG Terminal.

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:

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 [CGD05-03-023], 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 8 1/2 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 preparation for the re-opening of the LNG terminal at Cove Point, MD, the Coast Guard is evaluating the current safety zone established in 33 CFR 165.502. This safety zone was established during the initial operation of the terminal in 1979 and includes both the terminal and associated vessels. To better manage the safety and security of the LNG terminal, this Start Printed Page 13648proposed rule incorporates necessary security provisions and changes the size of the zone. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes to establish a combined safety zone and security zone for the LNG terminal at Cove Point.

Based on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York, NY and the Pentagon building in Arlington, VA, there is an increased risk that subversive activity could be launched by vessels or persons in close proximity to the Cove Point LNG Terminal. 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 subparts 6.01 and 6.04 of part 6 of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

Under 33 CFR 165.502, there are three safety zones around the Cove Point LNG Terminal: (1) A 1/2 mile zone while LNG vessels are maneuvering, (2) 50 yards shoreward and 200 yards offshore from the terminal while an LNG vessel is moored, and (3) 50 yards in all directions around the terminal at all other times. The Coast Guard proposes to consolidate these zones into one and increase the size of the permanent zone to reduce the potential threat that may be posed by vessels or persons that approach the offshore terminal. The proposed safety and security zone is 500 yards in all directions from the terminal. This will create a rectangular area approximately 2500 yards long by 1200 yards wide around the terminal.

The proposed safety and security zone will be in effect continuously. The effect will be to prohibit vessels or persons from entering the safety and security zone, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland. 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 Homeland Security.

We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. This regulation is of limited size, and vessels may transit around the zone.

There may be some adverse effects on the local maritime community that has been using the area as a fishing ground. Since the terminal has not been in operation, the Coast Guard has not enforced the current zone under 33 CFR 165.502. Commercial vessel operators have been using the area on a regular basis for commercial fishing, passenger tours, and fishing parties. Enforcement of the proposed zone or the current zone would prohibit these commercial vessel operators from using this area.

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 changes the size of the zone but does not create a new safety and security zone. The proposed rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in a portion of the Chesapeake Bay near the Cove Point LNG Terminal.

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 an 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. Start Printed Page 13649

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 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170. 2. Revise § 165.502 to read as follows:

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Safety and Security Zone; Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety and security zone: All waters of the Chesapeake Bay, from surface to bottom, encompassed by lines connecting the following points, beginning at 38°24′27″ N, 076°23′42″ W, thence to 38°24′44″ N, 076°23′11″ W, thence to 38°23′55″ N, 076°22′27″ W, thence to 38°23′37″ N, 076°22′58″ W, thence to beginning at 38°24′27″ N, 076°23′42″ W. These coordinates are based upon North American Datum (NAD) 1983. This area is 500 yards in all directions from the Cove Point LNG terminal structure.

(b) Regulations

(1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 and § 165.33 of this part, entry into or movement within this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland or his designated representative. Designated representatives include any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer.

(2) Persons desiring to transit the area of the zone may contact the Captain of the Port at telephone number (410) 576-2693 or via VHF Marine Band Radio 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 Captain of the Port or his designated representative.

(c) 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.

(d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the zone by Federal, State, local, and private agencies.

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Dated: February 26, 2003.

Roger B. Peoples,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-6636 Filed 3-19-03; 8:45 am]

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