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Rule

Security Zones; San Francisco Bay, CA

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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.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing 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 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.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 9, 2004.

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 03-029 and are 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, (510) 437-3073. Start Printed Page 11315

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On March 19, 2003, we published a rule in the Federal Register (68 FR 13228) 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. P.d.t. 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 25, 2003, a change in effective period temporary rule was published in the Federal Register (68 FR 55312) under the same previous temporary section 165.T11-078, extending the rule to 11:59 p.m. P.s.t. on March 31, 2004.

On November 25, 2003, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (68 FR 66064), proposing to establish permanent, 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, San Francisco Bay, California. We received no letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public hearing was requested, and none was held.

Penalties for Violating Security Zone

Vessels or persons violating this section will 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 zones 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 will 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.

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 conflict in 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 rulemaking, to address the aforementioned security concerns and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against the Golden Gate Bridge or San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge would have on the public, the Coast Guard is establishing fixed security zones extending 25 yards in the U.S. navigable waters around all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings. These security zones help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from engaging in terrorist actions against these two bridges. In addition to restricting access to critical parts of bridge structures, these security zones provide necessary standoff distance for blast and collision, a surveillance and detection perimeter, and a margin of response time for security personnel.

This rule prohibits entry of any vessel or person inside the security zone without specific authorization from the Captain of the Port or his designated representative. Due to 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.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

We received no letters commenting on this rule. No public hearing was requested, and none was held. Accordingly, we have not changed our final rule from the rule we proposed in November 2003.

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 unnecessary. Although this rule restricts access to the waters encompassed by the security zones, the effect of this rule is not significant because: (i) the zones encompass only a small portion of the waterway; (ii) vessels are 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 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, fishing vessels, 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. We Start Printed Page 11316expect this 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 security zones will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for several reasons: small vessel traffic will be able to pass safely around the area 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 (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.

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 require 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 we are establishing a security zone. An “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a “Categorical Exclusion Determination” (CED) are 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 § 165.1187, to read as follows:

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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.

(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 shall comply with the Start Printed Page 11317instructions 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 shall proceed as directed.

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Dated: February 25, 2004.

Gerald M. Swanson,

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

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[FR Doc. 04-5349 Filed 3-9-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P