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Proposed Rule

Security Zones; San Francisco Bay, CA

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to establish fixed security zones extending 25 yards in the U.S. navigable waters around all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, in San Francisco Bay, California. These security zones are needed for national security reasons to protect the public and ports from potential subversive acts. Entry into these security zones would be prohibited, unless doing so is necessary for safe navigation, to conduct official business such as scheduled maintenance or retrofit operations, or unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port San Francisco Bay or his designated representative.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 26, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to the Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California 94501. The Waterways Management Branch 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 the Waterways Management Branch between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant Doug Ebbers, Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, at (510) 437-3073.

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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 (COTP San Francisco Bay 03-029), 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 81/2 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 the Waterways Management Branch 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.Start Printed Page 66065

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 Iraq have made it prudent for U.S. ports to be on a higher state of alert because Al-Qaeda and other 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.

The Coast Guard also has authority to establish security zones pursuant to the Act of June 15, 1917, as amended by the Magnuson Act of August 9, 1950 (50 U.S.C. 191 et seq.), and 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.

In this particular proposed rulemaking, to address the aforementioned security concerns and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against the Golden Gate or San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge would have on the public, the Coast Guard is proposing to establish fixed security zones extending 25 yards in the U.S. navigable waters around all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings. Theses security zones would help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from engaging in terrorist actions against these two bridges. Due to these heightened security concerns, and the catastrophic impact a terrorist attack on one of these bridges would have on the public, the transportation system, and surrounding areas and communities, security zones are prudent for these structures.

On February 13, 2003, we issued a rule under docket COTP San Francisco Bay 03-003 and published that rule in the Federal Register (68 FR 13228, March 19, 2003) creating temporary § 165.T11-078 of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Under temporary § 165.T11-078, which expired at 11:59 p.m. PDT on September 30, 2003, the Coast Guard established 25-yard fixed security zones around all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, San Francisco Bay, California.

On September 8, 2003, a change in effective period temporary rule was issued, under docket COTP San Francisco Bay 03-003 and was published in the Federal Register (68 FR 55312, September 25, 2003), under the same previous temporary section 165.T11-078, extending the rule to 11:59 p.m. PST on March 31, 2004. The Captain of the Port has determined there is a need for continued security regulations.

We propose to create permanent security zones in the same areas currently protected by temporary security zones under § 165.T11-078. Our proposed rule would add § 165.1185, Security Zones; Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, San Francisco Bay, California. The Coast Guard will utilize the extended effective period of the § 165.T11-078 to engage in notice and comment rulemaking to develop permanent regulations tailored to the present and foreseeable security environment with the Captain of the Port (COTP) San Francisco Bay.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to establish fixed security zones extending 25 yards in the U.S. navigable waters around all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings of the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges. In addition to restricting access to critical parts of bridge structures, these security zones would provide necessary standoff distance for blast and collision, a surveillance and detection perimeter, and a margin of response time for security personnel. This proposed rule, for security reasons, would prohibit entry of any vessel or person inside the security zone without specific authorization from the Captain of the Port or his designated representative.

Vessels or persons violating this section would be subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232 and 50 U.S.C. 192. 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. Vessels or persons violating this section are also subject to the penalties set forth in 50 U.S.C. 192: Seizure and forfeiture of the vessel to the United States, a maximum criminal fine of $10,000, and imprisonment up to 10 years.

The Captain of the Port would enforce these zones and may enlist the aid and cooperation of any Federal, State, county, municipal, and private agency to assist in the enforcement of the regulation. This regulation is proposed under the authority of 33 U.S.C. 1226 in addition to the authority contained in 50 U.S.C. 191 and 33 U.S.C. 1231.

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

The size of the proposed zones is the minimum necessary to provide adequate protection for the bridges. The entities most likely to be affected are commercial vessels transiting the main ship channel en route to the San Francisco Bay and Delta 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 proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Start Printed Page 66066The 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. We expect this proposed rule may affect owners and operators of private vessels, some of which may be small entities, intending to fish or sightsee near bridge pilings or abutments affected by these security zones. The proposed security zones would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for several reasons: small vessel traffic would be able to pass safely around the area and vessels engaged in recreational activities, sightseeing and commercial fishing would have ample space outside of the security zones to engage in these activities. Small entities and the maritime public would be advised of these security zones via public notice to mariners.

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 (Public Law 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 Doug Ebbers, Waterways Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, at (510) 437-3073.

Collection of Information

This proposed 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 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 proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule would 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 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.

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.

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. 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.

Environment

We have analyzed this proposed 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 we are establishing a security zone.

A draft “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a draft “Categorical Exclusion Determination” (CED) are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. Comments on this section will be considered before we make the final decision on whether the rule should be categorically excluded from further environmental review.

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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. 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 N

End Authority o. 0170.1.

2. Add § 165.1185, to read as follows:

Security Zones; Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, San Francisco Bay, California.

(a) Location. All waters, extending from the surface to the sea floor, within 25 yards of all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, in San Francisco Bay, California.Start Printed Page 66067

(b) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.33 of this part, entry into these security zones is prohibited, unless doing so is necessary for safe navigation, to conduct official business such as scheduled maintenance or retrofit operations, or unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port San Francisco Bay or his designated representative.

(2) Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone may contact the Captain of the Port at telephone number 415-399-3547 or on VHF-FM 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 or her designated representative.

(c) Enforcement. All persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port or the designated on-scene patrol personnel. Patrol personnel comprise commissioned, warrant, and petty officers of the Coast Guard onboard Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, local, state, and federal law enforcement vessels. Upon being hailed by U.S. Coast Guard patrol personnel by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel must proceed as directed.

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Dated: November 4, 2003.

Gerald M. Swanson,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco Bay, California.

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[FR Doc. 03-29387 Filed 11-24-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P