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Security Zone: Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego, CA

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Final rule.


The Coast Guard is establishing permanent security zones extending 25 yards in and under the navigable waters around all piers, Start Printed Page 43914abutments, fenders and pilings of the Coronado Bay Bridge. This action is required for national security reasons to protect the bridge from potential subversive actions. Persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, loitering, or anchoring within these security zones unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.


This rule is effective August 23, 2004.


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 SD 04-015 and are available for inspection or copying at Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Diego, Port Operations Department, 2716 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California, 92101, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Chief Petty Officer Todd Taylor, USCG, c/o U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port, telephone (619) 683-6495.

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Regulatory Information

On January 16, 2004, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Security Zone: Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego, CA” in the Federal Register (69 FR 2554). We received no letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held. COTP San Diego issued a temporary final rule (TFR) for this security zone that was effective November 7, 2003, to May 1, 2004 (68 FR 67946, December 5, 2003). No comments or letters were received as a result of the TFR.

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.

The threat of maritime attacks is real as evidenced by the October 2002 attack of a tank vessel off the coast of Yemen and the 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 as evidenced 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). Additionally, a Maritime Advisory was issued to: Operators of U.S. Flag and Effective U.S. controlled Vessels and other Maritime Interests, detailing the current threat of attack, MARAD 02-07 (October 10, 2002).

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 Coronado Bridge would have on the public interest, the Coast Guard proposes to establish security zones around the Coronado Bridge. These security zones would help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from engaging in terrorist actions against these bridges. Due to these heightened security concerns and the catastrophic impact a terrorist attack on these bridges would have on the public transportation system and surrounding areas and communities, security zones are prudent for these structures.

U.S. Coast Guard personnel will enforce this security zone. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, county, municipal or private agencies, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary. 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 $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, will also face 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, and a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day of a continuing violation.

This regulation is promulgated under the authority of 33 U.S.C. 1225 in addition to the authority contained in 50 U.S.C. 191 and 33 U.S.C. 1231.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

We received no comments on our proposed rule. Therefore, our final rule remains the same as our proposed rule.

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).

The anticipated economic impact of this rule is so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is deemed unnecessary. Although the rule restricts access to portions of the navigable waterways around the bridge, the effect of this regulation will 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 would 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 security zones are the minimum necessary to provide adequate protection for the bridges, vessels operating in the vicinity, their crew and Start Printed Page 43915passengers, adjoining areas and the public. The entities most likely to be affected are commercial vessels transiting the main ship channel en route the southern San Diego Bay and Chula Vista 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 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 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The security zones would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for several reasons: small vessel traffic could pass safely around the security zones and vessels engaged in recreational activities, sightseeing and commercial fishing would have ample transit area 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.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offer 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 will affect your small business, organization, or government jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT for assistance in understanding this rule.

Collection of Information

This rule would call 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 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 would not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This 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 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. 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 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.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

  • Harbors
  • Marine safety
  • Navigation (water)
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Security measures
  • Waterways
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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

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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 § 165.1110 to read as follows:

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Security Zone: Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego, CA.

(a) Location. All navigable waters of San Diego Bay, from the surface to the sea floor, within 25 yards of all piers, abutments, fenders and pilings of the Coronado Bay Bridge. These security zones will not restrict the main navigational channel nor will it restrict vessels from transiting through the channel.

(b) Regulations. (1) Under § 165.33, entry into, transit through, loitering, or anchoring within any of these security zones by all persons and vessels is prohibited, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative. Mariners seeking permission to transit through a security zone may request authorization to do so from Captain of the Port or his designated representative. The Coast Start Printed Page 43916Guard can be contacted on San Diego Bay via VHF-FM channel 16.

(2) Vessels may enter a security zone if it is necessary for safe navigation and circumstances do not allow sufficient time to obtain permission from the Captain of the Port.

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Dated: July 9, 2004.

Stephen P. Metruck,

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, San Diego.

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[FR Doc. 04-16836 Filed 7-22-04; 8:45 am]