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Rule

Security Zone; St. Thomas, U.S. VI

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing moving and fixed security zones 50 yards around all cruise ships entering, departing, moored or anchored in the Port of Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands. These security zones are needed for national security reasons to protect the public and ports from potential subversive acts. Entry into these zones is prohibited, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port of San Juan or his designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 7, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

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 Juan-03-024] and are available for inspection or copying at Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Juan, Rodriguez and Del Valle Building, San Martin Street, Carr. #2, Km. 4.9, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, 00968, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal Holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant Chip Lopez at Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Juan, Puerto Rico, (787) 706-2444.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On February 19, 2003, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled: “Security Zone, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in the Federal Register (68 FR 7958). We received one letter commenting on the proposed rule. No public hearing was requested and none was held.

Background and Purpose

Based on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, there is an increased risk that subversive activity could be launched by vessels or persons in close proximity to the Port of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, against cruise ships entering, departing and moored within the Port of Charlotte Amalie. Following these attacks by well-trained and clandestine terrorists, national security and intelligence officials have warned that future terrorists attacks are likely.

The terrorist acts against the United States on September 11, 2001, have increased the need for safety and security measures on U.S. ports and waterways. In response to these terrorist acts, and in order to prevent similar occurrences, the Coast Guard is establishing security zones around all cruise ships entering, departing and moored within the Port of Charlotte Amalie. We previously published two temporary final rules entitled “Security Zones; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.” in the Federal Register on February 1, 2002 (67 FR 4909) and on November 13, 2002 (67 FR 68760). These temporary final rules contained similar provisions as those in this rulemaking.

The security zone for a cruise ship entering port is activated when the vessel passes: St. Thomas Harbor green lighted buoy 3 in approximate position 18°19′19″ North, 64°55′40″ West when entering the port using St. Thomas Channel; red buoy 2 in approximate position 18°19′15″ North, 64°55′59″ West when entering the port using East Gregorie Channel; and red lighted buoy 4 in approximate position 18°18′16″ North, 64°57′30″ West when entering the port using West Gregorie Channel. These zones are deactivated when the cruise ship passes any of these buoys on its departure from the Port of Charlotte Amalie.

Persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into or transiting through a security zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP), or his designated representative. Each person and vessel in a security zone must obey any direction or order of the COTP. The COTP may remove any person, vessel, article, or thing from a security zone. No person may board, or take or place any article or thing on board, any vessel in a security zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port. The Captain of the Port will notify the public of these security zones through Marine Safety Information Bulletins via facsimile and the Marine Safety Office San Juan Web site at http://www.msocaribbean.com.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

We received one letter commenting on the proposed rule. This comment addressed whether or not this rule would affect the use of a “dinghy dock” adjacent to the Crown Bay Cruise Ship terminal. The originator of the comment stated that the establishment of a 50 yard security zone around cruise ships moored at the Crown Bay terminal should not impact the use of this “dinghy dock” as users would have enough sea room to use the dock and not enter the security zone. The Coast Guard agrees that this rule will not affect the use of the dock as vessels may transit to and from it without entering the 50 yard security zone. The Coast Guard will allow the continued use of this dock while cruise ships are moored at the Crown Bay terminal.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not Start Printed Page 33391require 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). We expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10(e) of the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary because other vessels will be able to safely navigate around the zones while in place and persons may be authorized to enter or transit the zone with the permission of the Captain of the Port.

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 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the Port of Charlotte Amalie when a cruise ship is entering, departing, moored or anchored in the Port of Charlotte Amalie. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because other vessels will be able to safely navigate around the zones while in place and persons may be authorized to enter or transit the zone with the permission of the Captain of the Port.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact Lieutenant Chip Lopez at (787) 706-2444 for assistance in understanding this rulemaking. We also have a point of contact for commenting on actions by employees of the Coast Guard. 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 businesses. 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

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13132 and have determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism under that order.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) governs the issuance of Federal regulations that require unfunded mandates. An unfunded mandate is a regulation that requires a State, local, or tribal government or the private sector to incur direct costs without the Federal Government's having first provided the funds to pay those unfunded mandate costs. This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate.

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 safety that may disproportionately affect children.

Environment

The Coast Guard has considered the environmental impact of this rule and has determined that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)g, of Commandant Instruction M16475.ID, that this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket 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, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.

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2. Section 165.762 is added to read as follows:

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Security Zone; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

(a) Location. Moving and fixed security zones are established 50 yards around all cruise ships entering, departing, moored or anchored in the Port of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The security zone for a cruise ship entering port is activated when the vessel passes: St. Thomas Harbor green lighted buoy 3 in approximate position 18°19′19″ North, 64°55′40″ West when entering the port using St. Thomas Channel; red buoy 2 in approximate position 18°19′15″ North, 64°55′59″ West when entering the port using East Gregorie Channel; and red lighted buoy 4 in approximate position 18°18′16″ North, 64°57′30″ West when entering the port using West Gregorie Channel. These zones are deactivated when the cruise ship passes any of these buoys on its departure from the Port.

(b) Regulations. (1) Under general regulations in § 165.33 of this part, entering, anchoring, mooring or transiting in these zones is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of San Juan.

(2) Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone may contact the Captain of the Port at the Greater Antilles Section Operations Center at (787) 289-2041 or via VHF radio on Channel 16 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. Start Printed Page 33392

(3) The Marine Safety Office San Juan will attempt to notify the maritime community of periods during which these security zones will be in effect by providing advance notice of scheduled arrivals and departures of cruise ships via a broadcast notice to mariners.

(c) Definition. As used in this section, cruise ship means a passenger vessel greater than 100 feet in length that is authorized to carry more than 150 passengers for hire, except for a ferry.

(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.

Start Signature

Dated: May 15, 2003.

William J. Uberti,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-14016 Filed 6-3-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P