Skip to Content

Rule

Security Zone; Potomac River, Washington, DC and Arlington and Fairfax Counties, VA

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:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary security zone for all waters of the Potomac River, from the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge upstream to the Francis Scott Key Bridge, including the water of the Anacostia River downstream from the Highway 50 Bridge to the confluence of the Potomac River. This security zone is needed to protect vessels, waterfront Start Printed Page 49814facilities, the public, and other surrounding areas from destruction, loss, or injury caused by sabotage, subversive acts, accidents, or other actions of a similar nature performed by individuals or groups reacting to current world events. All vessels engaged in commercial service are prohibited from entering this security zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 8 a.m. EDT August 3, 2004, through 8 a.m. EDT November 30, 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 [CGD05-04-148] and are available for inspection or copying at Commander, Coast Guard Activities Baltimore, 2401 Hawkins Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21226-1791 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Ronald Houck, Waterways Management Branch, at Commander, Coast Guard Activities Baltimore, 2401 Hawkins Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21226-1791, telephone number (410) 576-2674.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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. The Coast Guard operates under a three-tiered system of Maritime Security (MARSEC) conditions that are aligned with the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System Conditions (HSAS). The Department of Homeland Security has recently raised the HSAS to color Orange based in part on threats to specific targets within the Washington D. C. metro area and, as a result, portions of the surrounding maritime environment has been elevated to the second highest level of alert, MARSEC II. Vessel control measures for the Coast Guard to establish heightened deterrence and detection of terrorist activities in the port are necessary.

Additionally, the Maritime Administration recently issued MARAD Advisory 03-06 (221500ZDEC 03) 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. Further, the heightened security posture of the country and U.S. maritime interests, described below, continues. The publication of an NPRM is contrary to the public interest insofar as urgent action is required to address the ongoing threat to U.S. maritime transportation interests.

For the same reasons, 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 measures contemplated by the rule are intended to prevent waterborne acts of sabotage or terrorism, which terrorists have demonstrated a capability to carry out. Immediate action is needed to defend against and deter these terrorist acts. Any delay in the effective date of this rule is impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

Background and Purpose

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) in Advisory 02-07 advised U.S. shipping interests to maintain a heightened state of alert against possible terrorist attacks. MARAD more recently issued Advisory 03-06 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 hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq 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 an ongoing intention to conduct armed attacks on U.S. interests worldwide.

Due to increased awareness that future terrorist attacks are possible, the Coast Guard, as lead federal agency for maritime homeland security, has determined that the Captain of the Port Baltimore must have the means to be aware of, deter, detect, intercept, and respond to asymmetric threats, acts of aggression, and attacks by terrorists on the American homeland while still maintaining our freedoms and sustaining the flow of commerce. This security zone is part of a comprehensive port security regime designed to safeguard human life, vessels, and waterfront facilities against sabotage or terrorist attacks.

The Captain of the Port Baltimore is establishing a temporary security zone for all waters of the Potomac River, from the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge upstream to the Francis Scott Key Bridge, including the water of the Anacostia River downstream from the Highway 50 Bridge to the confluence of the Potomac River.

All vessels engaged in commercial service are prohibited from entering, moving within, or remaining in this security zone unless authorized by the COTP Baltimore or designated representative. Vessels engaged in commercial service desiring to enter the security zone may request COTP authorization to enter the security zone by contacting the COTP Baltimore or COTP representative by telephone at (202) 767-1194, or U.S. Coast Guard Station Washington, DC on VHF-FM channels 16 or 23A. To allow adequate time to review each request, we recommend that these vessels contact the COTP Activities Baltimore or designated representative prior to the desired entry into the security zone.

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).

Although this rule restricts the access of vessels engaged in commercial service within the regulated area, the effect of this rule will not be significant because: (i) The COTP Activities Baltimore may authorize access to the security zone on a case by case basis; (ii) the security zone will be in effect for a limited duration; and (iii) the Coast Guard will make notifications via maritime advisories so vessels engaged in commercial service can adjust their plans accordingly.

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 may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels engaged in commercial service intending to transit the waters of the Potomac River, from the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge upstream to the Francis Scott Key Bridge, including the water of the Anacostia River Start Printed Page 49815downstream from the Highway 50 Bridge to the confluence of the Potomac River from 8 a.m. EDT August 3, 2004, through 8 a.m. EDT November 30, 2004. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons enumerated under the Regulatory Evaluation above.

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 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.

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.

Technical Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, 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 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 is not expected to result in any significant environmental impact as described in NEPA. A final “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a final “Categorical Exclusion Determination” will be available where indicated under ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends

End Amendment Part Start Part

PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. From 8 a.m. EDT August 3, 2004, through 8 a.m. EDT November 30, 2004, add temporary § 165.T05-148 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Security Zone; Potomac River, Washington, DC and Arlington and Fairfax Counties, VA.

(a) Location. The following area is a security zone: All waters of the Potomac Start Printed Page 49816River, from the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge upstream to the Francis Scott Key Bridge, including the water of the Anacostia River downstream from the Highway 50 Bridge to the confluence of the Potomac River, extending the entire width of the river.

(b) Definitions. (1) For the purposes of this section, Captain of the Port means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Activities Baltimore, and any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Activities Baltimore to act as a designated representative on his or her behalf.

(2) Commercial service includes any type of trade or business involving the carriage of goods or persons for hire, except services performed by a vessel on U.S. government service.

(c) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.33 apply to all persons and vessels in the security zone, or approaching the security zone.

(2) All persons and vessels in the security zone, or approaching the security zone, shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port. Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed.

(3) All vessels engaged in commercial service are prohibited from entering this security zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his or her designated representative. Vessels engaged in commercial service seeking authorization to enter the security zone should contact the Captain of the Port or designated representative by telephone at 202-767-1194, or U.S. Coast Guard Station Washington, DC on VHF channels 16 or 23A.

Start Signature

Dated: August 3, 2004.

Curtis A. Springer,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-18473 Filed 8-11-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P