Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Coast Guard proposes to establish fixed security zones in the navigable waters of the United States around each of the three piers at the Military Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO), California (formerly United States Naval Weapons Center Concord, California), any combination of which would be enforced by the Captain of the Port (COTP) San Francisco Bay during the onloading or offloading of military equipment and ordnance, depending on which pier, or piers, are being used. In light of recent terrorist actions against the United States, these proposed security zones are necessary to ensure the safe onloading and offloading of military equipment and to ensure the safety of the public from potential subversive acts. The proposed security zones would prohibit all persons and vessels from entering, transiting through or anchoring within portions of the Suisun Bay within 500 yards of any MOTCO pier, or piers, where military onload or offload operations are taking place, unless authorized by the COTP or his designated representative.
Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before September 17, 2004.
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.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lieutenant Doug Ebbers, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, at (510) 437-3073. Start Printed Page 42951End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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 (04-007), 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.
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.
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.
The threat of maritime attacks is real as evidenced by the attack on the USS Cole and the subsequent attack in October 2002 against a tank vessel off the coast of Yemen. These threats 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 aggression continues 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), and 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 status 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 foreign hostilities 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 and 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 MOTCO facility would have on the public, we propose to establish three security zones in the navigable waters of the United States within 500 yards of any MOTCO pier, or piers, where military onload or offload operations are taking place to safeguard vessels, cargo and crew. These proposed security zones are necessary to safeguard the MOTCO terminal and the surrounding property from sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents or criminal acts. These zones are also necessary to protect military operations from compromise and interference and to specifically protect the people, ports, waterways, and properties of the Port Chicago and Suisun Bay areas. Due to heightened security concerns and the catastrophic impact a terrorist attack on this facility would have on the public, environment, transportation system, surrounding areas, and nearby communities, establishing security zones is a prudent and necessary action for this facility.
Previously, for each military operation at MOTCO, a temporary final rule would be written and published to establish a temporary security zone around the entire MOTCO facility, and the maritime public would be advised of the security zone using a Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM). In this rulemaking, we propose to create three smaller security zones that would surround only the pier, or piers, being used for a military onload or offload. This would accomplish the same goal of providing additional security for the facility during military operations, and would continue the practice of notifying mariners of the security zone(s), but would remove the need to publish a temporary final rule in the Federal Register each time an operation occurs. This proposed rule would add § 165.1199, Security Zones; Suisun Bay, Concord, California, to Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Discussion of Proposed Rule
The Coast Guard proposes to establish fixed security zones encompassing the navigable waters, extending from the surface to the sea floor, within 500 yards around each of the three MOTCO piers, any combination of which would be enforced by the COTP during the onloading or offloading of military equipment and ordnance, depending on which pier, or piers, are being used. There are three existing piers at the MOTCO facility. Originally there were four piers, numbered One through Four from east to west, but Pier One was destroyed in an explosion in 1944. Therefore, Pier Two is now the easternmost pier. The proposed 500-yard security zone around Pier Two would encompass portions of both the Roe Island Channel and the Port Chicago Reach sections of the deepwater channel. The proposed 500-yard security zone around Pier Three would encompass a small portion of the Roe Island Channel and most of the Port Chicago Reach section of the deepwater channel. The proposed 500-yard security zone around Pier Four would encompass portions of both the Port Chicago Reach and the Middle Ground West Reach sections of the deepwater channel. If more than one pier is involved in onload or offload operations at the same time, the proposed security zone for each of the piers being used would be enforced. Start Printed Page 42952
Prior to the commencement of a military onload or offload, the COTP San Francisco Bay will cause notification of enforcement of the security zone(s) to be made by all appropriate means to effect the widest publicity among the affected segments of the public, including, but not limited to, issuing a Local Notice to Mariners and a Broadcast Notice to Mariners. In addition, Coast Guard Group San Francisco Bay maintains a telephone line that is maintained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The public can contact Group San Francisco Bay at (415) 399-3530 to obtain information concerning enforcement of this rule. By the same means, the COTP will also cause notice of the suspension of enforcement of the security zone(s) in this rule to be made. Upon notice of suspension of enforcement, all persons and vessels are granted general permissions to enter, move within and exit the security zone(s).
In addition to restricting access to the pier, or piers, where military operations are taking place, each of these proposed security zones would provide necessary standoff distance for blast and collision, 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 any of the security zones 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 zones described herein, is punishable by civil penalties (not to exceed $32,500 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 proposed 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.
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 small portions of the waterway; (ii) smaller vessels would be able to pass safely around the zones; and (iii) larger 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 sizes of the proposed zones are the minimum necessary to provide adequate protection for MOTCO, vessels engaged in operations at MOTCO, their crews, other vessels operating in the vicinity, and the public. The entities most likely to be affected are commercial vessels transiting to or from Suisun Bay via the Port Chicago Reach section of the channel and pleasure craft engaged in recreational activities and sightseeing.
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. 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 proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners and operators of vessels intending to anchor or transit to or from Suisun Bay via the Port Chicago Reach section of the channel, and owners and operators of private vessels intending to fish or sightsee near the MOTCO facility.
The proposed security zones would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for several reasons: (i) Although the security zones would occupy sections of the navigable channel adjacent to the Marine Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO), vessels may receive authorization to transit through the zones by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative on a case-by-case basis, (ii) small vessel traffic would be able to pass safely around the area, and (iii) 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 proposed 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 (Pub. L. 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).
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 Start Printed Page 42953this 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.
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.
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 proposed rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation because it would establish security zones.
A draft “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a draft “Categorical Exclusion Determination” (CED) will be 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.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165
- Marine safety
- Navigation (water)
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
- Security measures
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:Start Part
PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS
1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:
2. Add § 165.1199, to read as follows:
(a) Location. The security zones encompass the navigable waters of Suisun Bay, California, extending from the surface to the sea floor, within 500 yards of the three Military Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO) piers in Concord, California. When enforced, the zones will be marked by lighted buoys.
(b) Regulations. (1) The Captain of the Port (COTP) San Francisco Bay will enforce the security zone(s) established by this section during military onload or offload operations only upon notice. Upon notice of enforcement by the COTP, entering, transiting through or anchoring in the zone(s) is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or his designated representative. Upon notice of suspension of enforcement by the COTP, all persons and vessels are granted general permissions to enter, transit, and exit the security zone(s).
(2) If more than 1 pier is involved in onload or offload operations at the same time, the 500-yard security zone for each involved pier will be enforced.
(3) Persons desiring to transit the area of a security zone may contact the Patrol Commander on scene on VHF-FM channel 13 or 16 or the COTP at telephone number 415-399-3547 to seek permission to transit the area. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP or his 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. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the security zones by local law enforcement and the MOTCO police as necessary. 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.
(d) Notice of enforcement or suspension of enforcement of security zone(s). The COTP will cause notice of the enforcement of the security zone(s) to be made by all appropriate means to effect the widest publicity among the affected segments of the public including, but not limited to, issuing a Local Notice to Mariners and a Broadcast Notice to Mariners. The COTP will also issue a Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners to notify the public when enforcement of the security zone(s) is suspended.
Dated: July 6, 2004.
Gerald M. Swanson,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Francisco Bay, California.
[FR Doc. 04-16247 Filed 7-16-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P