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Rule

Safety Zone; Patapsco River, Northwest and Inner Harbors, Baltimore, MD

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland for the USS CONSTELLATION. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the dead ship tow of the vessel from its mooring, to the Patapsco River, and return. This action will restrict vessel traffic in portions of the Inner Harbor, the Northwest Harbor, and the Patapsco River.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. local time on September 5, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket CGD05-03-122 and are 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:

Mr. Ron Houck, at Coast Guard Activities Baltimore, Port Safety, Security and Waterways Management Branch, at telephone number (410) 576-2674 or (410) 576-2693.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM. Publishing an NPRM is impracticable due to the unique nature of the rule and its short duration. The USS CONSTELLATION will be towed “dead ship,” which means that the vessel will be underway without the benefit of mechanical or sail propulsion. However, it is imperative that there be a clear transit route and a safe buffer zone around the USS CONSTELLATION and the vessels towing her. 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. The Coast Guard expects a large spectator fleet. For safety concerns, it is in the public interest to have a safety zone in place for the event, since immediate action is needed to protect mariners against potential hazards associated with the turn-around of the USS CONSTELLATION.

Background and Purpose

The USS CONSTELLATION Foundation, Inc. is sponsoring its “turn-around” of the historic sloop-of-war USS CONSTELLATION in Baltimore, Maryland. The event is part of the ongoing maintenance and care of the ship, making sure that it weathers evenly on both sides. Planned events include the “dead ship” tow of the USS CONSTELLATION and an onboard salute with navy pattern cannon while off Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Site.

The Coast Guard anticipates a large recreational boating fleet during this event. Operators should expect significant vessel congestion along the planned route.

The purpose of this rule is to promote maritime safety and protect participants and the boating public in the Port of Baltimore immediately prior to, during, and after the scheduled event. The rule will provide for a clear transit route for the participating vessels, and provide a safety buffer around the participating vessels while they are in transit. The rule will impact the movement of all vessels operating in the specified areas of the Port of Baltimore.

Interference with normal port operations will be kept to the minimum considered necessary to ensure the safety of life on the navigable waters immediately before, during, and after the scheduled event.

Discussion of Rule

The historic sloop-of-war USS CONSTELLATION is scheduled to conduct a “turn-around” on September 5, 2003. The USS CONSTELLATION is Start Printed Page 52099scheduled to be towed from its berth, to Fort McHenry, and return, along a route of approximately 2.5 nautical miles (5 nautical miles total) that includes specified waters of the Inner Harbor, Northwest Harbor and Patapsco River.

The safety of dead ship tow participants requires that spectator craft be kept at a safe distance from the intended route during this evolution. The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary moving safety zone around the USS CONSTELLATION “turn-around” participants on September 5, 2003, to ensure the safety of participants and spectators immediately prior to, during, and following the dead ship tow.

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 proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. This finding is based on the limited size of the zone, the minimal time that vessels will be restricted from the zone, vessels may transit a portion of the Inner Harbor, Northwest Harbor, and Patapsco River around the zone, and the zone will be well publicized to allow mariners to make alternative plans for transiting the affected area. In addition, vessels that may need to enter the zone 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 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. This rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to operate or anchor in portions of the Inner Harbor, the Northwest Harbor, and the Patapsco River in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland. Because the zone is of limited size and duration, it is expected that there will be minimal disruption to the maritime community. Before the effective period, the Coast Guard will issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the river to allow mariners to make alternative plans for transiting the affected areas. In addition, smaller vessels, which are more likely to be small entities, may transit around the zones and request permission from the COTP Baltimore on a case-by-case basis to enter the zones.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we offered 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 would affect your small business and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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).

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. Though this rule will not result in such an 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 Start Printed Page 52100require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, 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 because this rule establishes a safety zone. A final “Categorical Exclusion Determination” will be 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 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. 1226, 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1

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2. Add § 165.T05-122 to read as follows:

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Safety Zone; Patapsco River, Northwest and Inner Harbors, Baltimore, MD.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section—

Captain of the Port means the Commander, Coast Guard Activities Baltimore or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port to act on his behalf.

USS CONSTELLATION “turn-around” participants means the USS CONSTELLATION and its accompanying towing vessels.

(b) Location. The following area is a moving safety zone: all waters within 200 yards ahead of or 100 yards outboard or aft of the historic sloop-of-war USS CONSTELLATION, while operating on the Inner Harbor, Northwest Harbor and Patapsco River, Baltimore, Maryland.

(c) Regulations. (1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones found in § 165.23 of this part.

(2) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage through a safety zone must first request authorization from the Captain of the Port or his designated representative. The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on VHF Marine Band Radio, channels 13 and 16. The Captain of the Port can be contacted at (410) 576-2693.

(3) No vessel movement is allowed within the safety zone unless expressly authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative.

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. local time on September 5, 2003.

Start Signature

Dated: August 15, 2003.

Curtis A. Springer,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-22206 Filed 8-29-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P