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Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, VA

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

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SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is revising the Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, Virginia, by imposing vessel reporting requirements and speed limit restrictions in certain areas of the port. These measures are necessary because of the unique physical characteristics and resources contained in the port. These regulations will enhance the safety and security of vessels and property in the Hampton Roads port complex while minimizing, to the extent possible, the impact on commerce and legitimate waterway use.

DATES:

This rule is effective June 15, 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 CGD05-02-099 and are available for inspection or copying at Marine Safety Division, Fifth Coast Guard District, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant Lewis Fisher, Jr., Marine Safety Division, Fifth Coast Guard District, (757) 398-6387, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On April 29, 2003, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, VA in the Federal Register (68 FR 22648). We received three letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public hearings were requested, and none were held.

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. This rule will make permanent the two temporary final rules (68 FR 2201 and 68 FR 2884) discussed below. The temporary final rules will expire on June 15, 2003. During the effective period of these temporary final rules, dating back to October and December of 2001 respectfully, we have received no comments concerning the proposed changes to the Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, VA. This final rule is necessary to ensure the continued safety and security of vessels operating within the Port of Hampton Roads, VA. There have been recent reports, all a matter of public record that indicate a continuing high risk of terrorist activity in the United States. Delay in implementing this rule, would therefore be contrary to public interest.

We have issued a notice of proposed rulemaking; withdrawal (68 FR 34370) which was published on June 9, 2003, for a duplicate notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, VA” (68 FR 27948) which was published on May 22, 2003. The May 22, 2003, notice of proposed rulemaking was inadvertently published after the initial April 29, 2003, publication of a substantially similar notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, VA” (68 FR 22648). The Coast Guard has only withdrawn the May 22, 2003, notice of rulemaking. The April 29, 2003, notice of proposed rulemaking is the basis of this rule.

Background and Purpose

History

Terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, inflicted catastrophic human casualties and property damage. These attacks highlighted the terrorists' ability and desire to utilize multiple means in different geographic areas to increase their opportunities to successfully carry out their mission, thereby maximizing destruction using multiple terrorist acts.

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. The threat of maritime attacks is real as evidenced by the October 2002 attack on a tank vessel off the coast of Yemen and the prior attack on the USS COLE. These attacks manifest a 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). The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) in Advisory 02-07 advised U.S. shipping interests to maintain a heightened state of alert against possible terrorist attacks. MARAD more recently issued Advisory 03-05 informing operators of maritime interests of increased threat possibilities to vessels and facilities and a higher risk of terrorist attack to the transportation community in the United States. The ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it prudent for U.S. ports and waterways 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 increased awareness that future terrorist attacks are possible, the Coast Guard as lead Federal agency for maritime homeland security, has determined that the District Commander must have the means to be aware of, deter, detect, intercept, and respond to asymmetric threats, acts of aggression, and attacks by terrorists on the American homeland while still maintaining our freedoms and sustaining the flow of commerce. A Regulated Navigation Area is a tool available to the Coast Guard that may be used to control vessel traffic by specifying times of vessel entry, movement, or departure to, from, within, or through ports, harbors, or other waters.

On October 24, 2001, we published a temporary final rule entitled, “Regulated Navigation Area; Chesapeake Bay Entrance and Hampton Roads, VA and Adjacent Waters,” in the Federal Register (66 FR 53712). The temporary final rule required that all vessels of 300 gross tons or greater reduce speed to eight knots in the vicinity of Naval Station Norfolk, in order to improve security measures and reduce the potential threat to Naval Station Norfolk security that may be posed by these vessels. In June 2002, this temporary final rule was extended in the Federal Register (67 FR 41337). On December 22, 2002, we republished this temporary final rule in the Federal Register (68 FR 2201).

On December 27, 2001, we published a temporary final rule entitled, “Regulated Navigation Area; Chesapeake Bay Entrance and Hampton Roads, VA and Adjacent Waters,” in the Federal Register (66 FR 66753). The temporary rule expanded the geographic definitions of the Hampton Roads Regulated Navigation Area to include the waters of the 12 nautical mile territorial sea off the Coast of Virginia and added new port security measures. The port security measures require that vessels in excess of 300 gross tons, including tug and barge combinations in excess of 300 gross tons combined, check-in with the Captain of the Port or his representative at least 30 minutes prior to entry to obtain permission to transit the Regulated Navigation Area. The vessel may enter the Regulated Start Printed Page 35174Navigation Area upon authorization and approval by the Captain of the Port or his representative. A vessel that receives permission to enter the Regulated Navigation Area remains subject to a Coast Guard port security boarding. Thirty (30) minutes prior to getting underway, vessels departing or moving within the Regulated Navigation Area must contact the Captain of the Port or his representative via VHF-FM channel 13 or 16, call (757) 444-5209/5210 or (757) 668-5555 for the Captain of the Port Duty Officer. In June 2002, this temporary final rule was extended in the Federal Register (67 FR 41337). On December 22, 2002, we republished this temporary final rule in the Federal Register (68 FR 2201).

On April 29, 2003, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, VA” in the Federal Register (68 FR 22648). We received three letters commenting on the proposed rule.

This rule will make permanent the above two temporary rules as well as update the Regulated Navigation Area to encompass aspects of navigational safety and security in a post September 11, 2001, environment. The reporting and speed limit restrictions will enable the COTP to closely monitor vessel movements in the Regulated Navigation Area.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

We received two letters on the eight knots speed limit for vessels over 300 gross tons in the Norfolk Harbor Reach channel. The comments stated that in some instances it is difficult for vessels to operate at this reduced speed. Depending on individual ship construction and engine type, eight knots may be near or at the lower limit of speed necessary to maintain positive control of a vessel's steering system. The comments stated that when a vessel is transiting with the current, it may be necessary to operate at a “dead slow” bell to maintain an eight knot speed, which may limit steering capability and introduce a safety concern. The Coast Guard agrees with these comments and has changed the speed restriction in the Norfolk Harbor Reach channel from eight knots to ten knots.

We received one letter with four comments on specific regulations. The first comment regarded the expansion of the Regulated Navigation Area to twelve nautical miles offshore, noting that vessels over 300 gross tons that are transiting the coast without intent to enter the Port of Hampton Roads would still have to request permission from the Joint Harbor Operations Center if they would be passing within 12 nautical miles. This is the intent of the rule. To increase maritime domain awareness, the Coast Guard desires that all vessels over 300 gross tons contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center so that their intent of transit may be ascertained. This increases the Coast Guard's ability to detect potential security risks to the port as early as possible.

The second comment stated that the requirement for vessels over 300 gross tons to contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center for permission to enter the Regulated Navigation Area is redundant with separate advance notice of arrival requirements. The comment stated that the Coast Guard should coordinate local and national regulations. The Coast Guard believes that these regulations are both coordinated and complementary. When vessels over 300 gross tons give advance notice of arrival, their expected arrival date and time are provided in a daily list to the Joint Harbor Operations Center. When a specific vessel calls to request permission to enter the Regulated Navigation Area, the Joint Harbor Operations Center is able to rapidly verify that the vessel is expected. This procedure provides a positive measure of security to the port, in that the Joint Harbor Operations Center can identify an unexpected arrival of a vessel over 300 gross tons.

The third comment stated that the security provisions of the regulation seemingly allow members of the Coast Guard to board vessels without a valid purpose and without identification. The Coast Guard has an overall methodology for managing security in the port. Random vessel boardings are a defined part of that methodology. Therefore, all vessel boardings conducted by Coast Guard boarding teams are sanctioned and valid in nature. All Coast Guard personnel will have proper identification at all times, and Coast Guard vessels will be properly marked and will be flying the Coast Guard ensign.

The fourth comment concerned the requirement to provide photo identification and a valid purpose to board vessels over 300 gross tons, asking if this requirement applied at dockside, shipyards and for passenger ferries. This is the intent of the rule. We do expect this requirement to be fully enforced for vessels over 300 gross tons at dockside. Regarding shipyards, we recognize that persons go on and off ships in repair status constantly. We expect that individual shipyard security programs will manage who is in the shipyard at all times and will ensure compliance with this requirement. The rule does apply to passenger ferries, recognizing that there are currently no passenger ferries over 300 gross tons that make routine stops within the Regulated Navigation Area. It is possible that a passenger ferry over 300 gross tons could operate within the Regulated Navigation Area, and the Coast Guard would expect compliance with the regulation. Operators of ferries over 300 gross tons that anticipate conducting passenger operations within the Regulated Navigation Area are encouraged to contact the Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads if they have concerns with this rule.

Finally, we have re-arranged the definitions section of the regulations so that the definitions are in alphabetical order. No other changes were made.

Discussion of Rule

On April 29, 2003, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Regulated Navigation Area in Hampton Roads, VA in the Federal Register (68 FR 22648).

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).

We expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is not necessary. The speed limit restriction for the Norfolk Harbor Reach would apply to vessels 300 gross tons or greater. The speed limit requirements would only be in effect for less than 4 miles, and based on the typical vessel speeds we expect delays for vessels to be less than 5 minutes in each direction. The port security measures will affect only those vessels in excess of 300 gross tons that enter or move within the Port of Hampton Roads. The additional changes to this rule clarify and simplify existing regulations, and remove unnecessary restrictions.

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 Start Printed Page 35175organizations 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 does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule affects the following entities, some of which might be small entities: Shipping companies, towing companies, dredging companies, commercial fishing vessels, small passenger vessels and recreational vessels that operate within the Regulated Navigation Area.

This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: It will limit the speed of vessels 300 gross tons or greater transiting Norfolk Harbor Reach to 10 knots. It will institute additional port security measures for vessels in excess of 300 gross tons that enter or move within the Port of Hampton Roads. Vessels under 300 gross tons are exempt.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

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

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. Although 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 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 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 would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 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 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.

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. 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 analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, this rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. A final “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a final “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR 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. Revise § 165.501 to read as follows:

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Chesapeake Bay entrance and Hampton Roads, VA and adjacent waters—Regulated Navigation Area.

(a) Location. The waters enclosed by the shoreline and the following lines are a Regulated Navigation Area:

(1) Offshore zone. A line drawn due East from the mean low water mark at the North Carolina and Virginia border at latitude 36°33′03″ N, longitude 75°52′00″ W, to the Territorial Seas boundary line at latitude 36°33′05″ N, longitude 75°36′51″ W, thence generally Northeastward along the Territorial Seas boundary line to latitude 38°01′39″ N, longitude 74°57′18″ W, thence due West to the mean low water mark at the Maryland and Virginia border at latitude 38°01′39″ N, longitude 75°14′30″ W, thence South along the mean low water mark on the Virginia coast, and eastward of the Colregs Demarcation Lines across Chincoteague Inlet, Assawoman Inlet, Gargathy Inlet, Metompkin Inlet, Wachapreague Inlet, Quinby Inlet, Great Machipongo Inlet, Sand Shoal Inlet, New Inlet, Ship Shoal Inlet and Little Inlet, to the Colregs Demarcation Line across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, continuing south along the Virginia low water mark and eastward of the Colregs Demarcation Line across Rudee Inlet to the point of beginning. All positions reference NAD 83.

(2) Inland zone. The waters enclosed by the shoreline and the following lines: Start Printed Page 35176

(i) A line drawn across the entrance to Chesapeake Bay between Wise Point and Cape Charles Light, and then continuing to Cape Henry Light.

(ii) A line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay between Old Point Comfort Light and Cape Charles City Range “A” Rear Light.

(iii) A line drawn across the James River along the eastern side of U.S. Route 17 highway bridge, between Newport News and Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

(iv) A line drawn across Chuckatuck Creek along the northern side of the north span of the U.S. Route 17 highway bridge, between Isle of Wight County and Suffolk, Virginia.

(v) A line drawn across the Nansemond River along the northern side of the Mills Godwin (U.S. Route 17) Bridge, Suffolk, Virginia.

(vi) A line drawn across the mouth of Bennetts Creek, Suffolk, Virginia.

(vii) A line drawn across the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River along the eastern side of the West Norfolk Bridge, Portsmouth, Virginia.

(viii) A line drawn across the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River along the northern side of the I-64 highway bridge, Chesapeake, Virginia.

(ix) A line drawn across the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River along the western side of the west span of the Campostella Bridge, Norfolk, Virginia.

(x) A line drawn across the Lafayette River along the western side of the Hampton Boulevard Bridge, Norfolk, Virginia.

(xi) A line drawn across Little Creek along the eastern side of the Ocean View Avenue (U.S. Route 60) Bridge, Norfolk, Virginia.

(xii) A line drawn across Lynnhaven Inlet along the northern side of Shore Drive (U.S. Route 60) Bridge, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

(b) Definitions. In this section:

CBBT means the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Coast Guard Patrol Commander is a Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Group Hampton Roads.

Designated representative of the Captain of the Port means a person, including the duty officer at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads, the Joint Harbor Operations Center watchstander, or the Coast Guard or Navy Patrol Commander who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port to act on his or her behalf and at his or her request to carry out such orders and directions as needed. All patrol vessels shall display the Coast Guard Ensign at all times when underway.

I-664 Bridge Tunnel means the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel.

Inland waters means waters within the COLREGS Line of Demarcation.

Thimble Shoal Channel consists of the waters bounded by a line connecting Thimble Shoal Channel Lighted Bell Buoy 1TS, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Gong Buoy 17, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 19, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 21, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 22, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 18, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 2, thence to the beginning.

Thimble Shoal North Auxiliary Channel consists of the waters in a rectangular area 450 feet wide adjacent to the north side of Thimble Shoal Channel, the southern boundary of which extends from Thimble Shoal Channel Lighted Buoy 2 to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 18.

Thimble Shoal South Auxiliary Channel consists of the waters in a rectangular area 450 feet wide adjacent to the south side of Thimble Shoal Channel, the northern boundary of which extends from Thimble Shoal Channel Lighted Bell Buoy 1TS, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Gong Buoy 17, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 19, thence to Thimble Shoal Lighted Buoy 21.

(c) Applicability. This section applies to all vessels operating within the Regulated Navigation Area, including naval and public vessels, except vessels that are engaged in the following operations:

(1) Law enforcement.

(2) Servicing aids to navigation.

(3) Surveying, maintenance, or improvement of waters in the Regulated Navigation Area.

(d) Regulations.

(1) Anchoring restrictions. No vessel over 65 feet long may anchor or moor in the inland waters of the Regulated Navigation Area outside an anchorage designated in § 110.168 of this title, with these exceptions:

(i) The vessel has the permission of the Captain of the Port.

(ii) Only in an emergency, when unable to proceed without endangering the safety of persons, property, or the environment, may a vessel anchor in a channel.

(iii) A vessel may not anchor within the confines of Little Creek Harbor, Desert Cove, or Little Creek Cove without the permission of the Captain of the Port. The Captain of the Port shall consult with the Commander, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, before granting permission to anchor within this area.

(2) Anchoring detail requirements. A self-propelled vessel over 100 gross tons, which is equipped with an anchor or anchors (other than a tugboat equipped with bow fenderwork of a type of construction that prevents an anchor being rigged for quick release), that is underway within two nautical miles of the CBBT or the I-664 Bridge Tunnel shall station its personnel at locations on the vessel from which they can anchor the vessel without delay in an emergency.

(3) Secondary towing rig requirements on inland waters.

(i) A vessel over 100 gross tons may not be towed in the inland waters of the Regulated Navigation Area unless it is equipped with a secondary towing rig, in addition to its primary towing rig, that:

(A) Is of sufficient strength for towing the vessel.

(B) Has a connecting device that can receive a shackle pin of at least two inches in diameter.

(C) Is fitted with a recovery pickup line led outboard of the vessel's hull.

(ii) A tow consisting of two or more vessels, each of which is less than 100 gross tons, that has a total gross tonnage that is over 100 gross tons, shall be equipped with a secondary towing rig between each vessel in the tow, in addition to its primary towing rigs, while the tow is operating within this Regulated Navigation Area. The secondary towing rig must:

(A) Be of sufficient strength for towing the vessels.

(B) Have connecting devices that can receive a shackle pin of at least two inches in diameter.

(C) Be fitted with recovery pickup lines led outboard of the vessel's hull.

(4) Thimble Shoals Channel controls.

(i) A vessel drawing less than 25 feet may not enter the Thimble Shoal Channel, unless the vessel is crossing the channel. Masters should consider the squat of their vessel based upon vessel design and environmental conditions. Channel crossings shall be made as perpendicular to the channel axis as possible.

(ii) Except when crossing the channel, a vessel in the Thimble Shoal North Auxiliary Channel shall proceed in a westbound direction.

(iii) Except when crossing the channel, a vessel in the Thimble Shoal South Auxiliary Channel shall proceed in an eastbound direction.

(5) Restrictions on vessels with impaired maneuverability.

(i) Before entry. A vessel over 100 gross tons, whose ability to maneuver is Start Printed Page 35177impaired by heavy weather, defective steering equipment, defective main propulsion machinery, or other damage, may not enter the Regulated Navigation Area without the permission of the Captain of the Port.

(ii) After entry. A vessel over 100 gross tons, which is underway in the Regulated Navigation Area, that has its ability to maneuver become impaired for any reason, shall, as soon as possible, report the impairment to the Captain of the Port.

(6) Requirements for navigation charts, radars, and pilots. No vessel over 100 gross tons may enter the Regulated Navigation Area, unless it has on board:

(i) Corrected charts of the Regulated Navigation Area. Instead of corrected paper charts, warships or other vessels owned, leased, or operated by the United States Government and used only in government noncommercial service may carry electronic charting and navigation systems that have met the applicable agency regulations regarding navigation safety.

(ii) An operative radar during periods of reduced visibility;

(iii) When in inland waters, a pilot or other person on board with previous experience navigating vessels on the waters of the Regulated Navigation Area.

(7) Emergency procedures.

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of this section, in an emergency any vessel may deviate from the regulations in this section to the extent necessary to avoid endangering the safety of persons, property, or the environment.

(ii) A vessel over 100 gross tons with an emergency that is located within two nautical miles of the CBBT or I-664 Bridge Tunnel shall notify the Captain of the Port of its location and the nature of the emergency, as soon as possible.

(8) Vessel speed limits.

(i) Little Creek. A vessel may not proceed at a speed over five knots between the Route 60 bridge and the mouth of Fishermans Cove (Northwest Branch of Little Creek).

(ii) Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. A vessel may not proceed at a speed over six knots between the junction of the Southern and Eastern Branches of the Elizabeth River and the Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad Bridge between Chesapeake and Portsmouth, Virginia.

(iii) Norfolk Harbor Reach. Nonpublic vessels of 300 gross tons or more may not proceed at a speed over 10 knots between the Elizabeth River Channel Lighted Gong Buoy 5 of Norfolk Harbor Reach (southwest of Sewells Point) at approximately 36°58′00″ N, 076°20′00″ W, and gated Elizabeth River Channel Lighted Buoys 17 and 18 of Craney Island Reach (southwest of Norfolk International Terminal at approximately 36°54′17″ N, and 076°20′11″ W.

(9) Port security requirements. Vessels in excess of 300 gross tons, including tug and barge combinations in excess of 300 gross tons (combined), shall not enter the Regulated Navigation Area, move within the Regulated Navigation Area, or be present within the Regulated Navigation Area, unless they comply with the following requirements:

(i) Obtain authorization to enter the Regulated Navigation Area from the designated representative of the Captain of the Port prior to entry. All vessels entering or remaining in the Regulated Navigation Area may be subject to a Coast Guard boarding.

(ii) Ensure that no person who is not a permanent member of the vessel's crew, or a member of a Coast Guard boarding team, boards the vessel without a valid purpose and photo identification.

(iii) Report any departure from or movement within the Regulated Navigation Area to the designated representative of the Captain of the Port prior to getting underway.

(iv) The designated representative of the Captain of the Port shall be contacted on VHF-FM channel 12, or by calling (757) 444-5209, (757) 444-5210, or (757) 668-5555.

(v) In addition to the authorities listed in this part, this paragraph is promulgated under the authority under 33 U.S.C. 1226.

(e) Waivers.

(1) The Captain of the Port may, upon request, waive any regulation in this section.

(2) An application for a waiver must state the need for the waiver and describe the proposed vessel operations.

(f) Control of vessels within the regulated navigation area.

(1) When necessary to prevent damage, destruction or loss of any vessel, facility or port infrastructure, the Captain of the Port may direct the movement of vessels or issue orders requiring vessels to anchor or moor in specific locations.

(2) If needed for the maritime, commercial or security interests of the United States, the Captain of the Port may order a vessel to move from the location in which it is anchored to another location within the Regulated Navigation Area.

(3) The master of a vessel within the Regulated Navigation Area shall comply with any orders or directions issued to the master's vessel by the Captain of the Port.

Start Signature

Dated: June 5, 2003.

Sally Brice-O'Hara,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-14866 Filed 6-11-03; 8:45 am]

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