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Security Zone: Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego, CA

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble


Coast Guard, DHS.


Temporary final rule.


The Coast Guard is establishing temporary security zones 25 yards in the U.S. navigable waters around all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings of the Coronado Bay Bridge. Start Printed Page 18124These temporary security zones are needed for national security reasons to protect the public ports from potential subversive actions. Persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, loitering, or anchoring within this security zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.


This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m. (P.S.T.) on March 22, 2003, until 11:59 p.m. (P.D.T.) on June 22, 2003.


Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket (COTP San Diego 03-013) and are available for inspection or copying at Marine Safety Office San Diego, 2716 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-1064 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info


Petty Officer Austin Murai, USCG, c/o U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, telephone (619) 683-6495.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


Regulatory Information

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), for the reasons set forth below, the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM. Also, 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 threat of maritime attacks is real as evidenced by the October 2002 attack of a tank vessel off the coast of Yemen and the continuing threat to U.S. assets as described in the President's finding in Executive Order 13273 of August 21, 2002 (67 FR 56215, September 3, 2002), that the security of the U.S. is endangered by the September, 11, 2001 attacks, and that such disturbances continue to endanger the international relations of the United States. See also Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks, (67 FR 58317, September 13, 2002); Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect To Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, Or Support Terrorism, (67 FR 59447, September 20, 2002). Moreover, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General recently elevated the Threat Level to Orange-High Condition. A High Condition is declared when there is a high risk of terrorist attacks. As a result, many agencies, like the Coast Guard, that will be a part of the new Department of Homeland Security on March 1, are taking additional steps to increase their protective measures. Under High Condition, among other things, federal agencies are to consider the following protective measures: Coordinate necessary security efforts with Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, National Guard or other security and armed forces; and restrict access to a threatened facility to essential personnel only. As a result, a heightened level of security has been established around the Coronado Bridge. Additionally, the measures contemplated by this rule are intended to prevent future terrorist attacks against individuals on or near the Coronado Bridge. Any delay in the effective date of this TFR is impractical and contrary to the public interest.

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 hostilities in Afghanistan and the war with Iraq have made it prudent to U.S. ports to be on 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. In its effort to thwart terrorist activity, the Coast Guard has increased safety and security measures on 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.

In this particular rulemaking, to address the aforementioned security concerns, and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against the Coronado Bridge would have on the public interest, the Coast Guard is establishing security zones around the Coronado Bridge. These security zones help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from engaging in terrorist actions against these bridges. Due to these heightened security concerns, and the catastrophic impact a terrorist attack on these bridges would have on the public the transportation system and surrounding areas and communities, security zones are prudent for these structures.

Discussion of Rule

In this temporary rule, the Coast Guard is establishing fixed security zones extending from the surface to the sea floor, 25 yards in the waters around all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings of the Coronado Bridge, San Diego Bay, California. Entry into these security zones is prohibited, unless doing so is necessary for safe navigation, or to conduct official business such as scheduled maintenance or retrofit operations. Vessels and people may be allowed to enter an established security zone on a case-by-case basis with authorization from the Captain of the Port.

Vessels or persons violating this section will be subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232. Pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 1232, any violation of the security zone described herein, is punishable by civil penalties (not to exceed $27,500 per violation, where each day of a continuing violation is a separate violation), criminal penalties (imprisonment up to 6 years and a maximum fine of $250,000), and in rem liability against the offending vessel. Any person who violates this section, using a dangerous weapon, or who engages in conduct that causes bodily injury or fear of imminent bodily injury to any officer authorized to enforce this regulation, also faces imprisonment up to 12 years.

Coast Guard personnel will enforce this regulation and the Captain of the Port may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local agencies in the patrol and enforcement of the regulation. This regulation is issued under the authority of 33 U.S.C. 1226 in addition to the authority contained in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

Regulatory Evaluation

This 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 (DHS).

Although this regulation restricts access to the zones, the effect of this regulation will not be significant because: (i) The zones will encompass only a small portion of the waterway; (ii) vessels will be able to pass safely around the zones; and (iii) vessels may be allowed to enter these zones on a Start Printed Page 18125case-by-case basis with permission of the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.

The sizes of the zones are the minimum necessary to provide adequate protection for the bridges, vessels operating in the vicinity, their crews and passengers, adjoining areas and the public. The entities most likely to be affected are commercial vessels transiting the main ship channel en route the southern San Diego Bay and Chula Vista ports and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities and sightseeing.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 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 security zones will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for several reasons: Small vessel traffic can pass safely around the security zones and vessels engaged in recreational activities, sightseeing and commercial fishing have ample space outside of the security zones to engage in these activities. Small entities and the maritime public will be advised of these security zones via public notice to mariners.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offer to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. If the rule will affect your small business, organization, or government jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for assistance in understanding this rule.

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).


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 expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

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 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 Effects

We have analyzed this 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. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.


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 because we are establishing a security zone. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

  • Harbors
  • Marine safety
  • Navigation (water)
  • Reporting and record-keeping requirements
  • Security measures
  • Waterways
End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

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End Part Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Add new § 165.T11-032 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Security Zone: Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego, CA.

(a) Location. All waters extending from the surface to the sea floor, 25 yards around all piers, abutments, Start Printed Page 18126fenders and pilings of the Coronado Bay Bridge on the navigable waters of San Diego Bay. This security zone will not restrict the main navigational channel and vessels will not be restricted from transiting through the channel.

(b) Effective Period. This section is effective from 12:01 a.m. (PST) on March 22, 2003 until 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on June 22, 2003. If the Coast Guard terminates enforcement of this security zone prior to the scheduled termination of this section, the Captain of the Port will announce that fact via Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

(c) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transit through, loitering, or anchoring within this security zone by all persons and vessels is prohibited, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative. Mariners are advised that the security zones will not restrict the main navigational channel and transit through the channel is not prohibited. Mariners requesting permission to transit through the security zone may request authorization to do so from Captain of the Port or his designated representative. The Coast Guard can be contacted on San Diego Bay via VHF-FM channel 16.

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

Start Signature

Dated: March 21, 2003.

Stephen P. Metruck,

Commander, Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Diego.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-8946 Filed 4-14-03; 8:45 am]