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Proposed Rule

Safety Zone; Mission Creek Waterway, China Basin, 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 is proposing to establish a temporary safety zone in the navigable waters of the Mission Creek Waterway in China Basin surrounding the construction site of the Fourth Street Bridge, San Francisco, California. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect persons and vessels from hazards associated with bridge construction activities scheduled to last from February 15, 2005 to December 31, 2005. The safety zone will temporarily prohibit use of the Mission Creek Waterway surrounding the Fourth Street Bridge; specifically, no persons or vessels will be permitted to come within 100 yards of either side of the bridge or pass beneath the bridge during construction, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 4, 2005.

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, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, at (510) 437-3073.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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 04-023), 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.

Background and Purpose

The San Francisco Department of Public Works is requesting a waterway closure on Mission Creek for the purpose of performing significant work to the Fourth Street Bridge. The Fourth Street Bridge was erected across the Mission Creek Waterway at the China Basin in 1917, and was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 as part of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Historic Bridge Inventory. Caltrans, Division of Structures, evaluated the Fourth Street Bridge and recommended that the bridge be brought up to current seismic safety standards. The three objectives of the rehabilitation project are to: (1) Seismically retrofit the structure while not significantly altering the historical appearance of the bridge; (2) repair the damage to the concrete approaches and several steel and concrete members of the movable span, and (3) reinitiate light rail service across the bridge. The Federal Highway Administration, the State of California and the City of San Francisco are funding the Fourth Street Bridge Retrofit Project.

The first phase of this project included the removal of the lift span, which took place between May 1 and July 28, 2003. During that period, the channel was closed at the Fourth Street Bridge to boating traffic by a temporary final rule that was published in the Federal Register on May 13, 2003 (68 FR 25500) and a subsequent change in effective period temporary final rule that was published on July 9, 2003 (68 FR 40772). Those two rules established a safety zone that extended 100 yards on either side of the Fourth Street Bridge. The second phase of the construction project includes rebuilding the north and south approaches and the new counterweight and its enclosing pit; but does not require that the waterway be closed to boating traffic. The safety zone being proposed in this rule is for the last phase of construction, which includes replacing the lift span and aligning the bridge to accept the light rail track system. This final phase is scheduled to begin on February 15, 2005, and end on December 31, 2005. The proposed safety zone of 100 yards on either side of the Fourth Street Bridge is needed during this period to protect boating traffic public from the dangers posed by the construction operations and to allow the construction operations to be completed.Start Printed Page 64556

There are two major environmental issues that affect the scheduling of construction in the channel, namely the annual pacific herring spawning season that runs from December 1st to March 31st, and noise constraints for steelhead from December 1st to June 1st. Any demolition, pile driving and excavation in the water during those time periods will be monitored and restricted for possible impacts on these species.

The Fourth Street Bridge Project is related to the larger Third Street Light Rail Project, and many public presentations on the project?s components, channel closure schedules, impacts to surrounding uses and project duration have been made by the City and Port of San Francisco. The Third Street Light Rail Advisory Group was created as a forum to keep the public informed on the progress being made on the Third Street Light Rail Project. Also, this project has been presented at many Mission Bay Citizen Advisory Committee meetings. At these meetings, the public was notified of the project components, impacts and the need to temporarily close the waterway. Specific to the Fourth Street Bridge project, an Environmental Assessment, required by the Federal Highway Administration and Caltrans, (under the National Environmental Protection Act) was conducted by the City of San Francisco. A public hearing regarding the Environmental Assessment was held on January 17, 2002 at San Francisco Arts College, Timken Lecture Hall, 1111 8th Street in San Francisco California, and was well attended.

In addition, the City of San Francisco advised the Coast Guard Captain of the Port in January of 2003 that two channel closures would be necessary in order to accomplish the Fourth Street Bridge project. The Coast Guard met with various City and Port officials to ensure that there would be minimal impacts on area boaters and other involved entities.

This proposed temporary safety zone in the navigable waters of Mission Creek surrounding the construction site of the Fourth Street Bridge would be in effect 24 hours a day from February 15, 2005 to December 31, 2005.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a safety zone in a portion of the navigable waters located near the Fourth Street Bridge in the Mission Creek Waterway in China Basin, San Francisco, California. The proposed safety zone would encompass the navigable waters, from the surface to the sea floor, bounded by two lines; one line drawn from a point on the north shore of Mission Creek extending southeast to a point on the opposite shore, 100 yards west of the bridge, and the other line drawn from a point on the north shore of Mission Creek extending southeast to a point on the opposite shore, 100 yards east of the bridge.

The intent of the proposed safety zone is to affect a waterway closure during reconstruction of the Fourth Street Bridge and would be effective 24 hours a day between February 15, 2005 and December 31, 2005. The proposed safety zone is necessary to protect persons and vessels from hazards, injury and damage associated with bridge construction activities. No vessel or person may come within 100 yards of either side of the bridge, or pass beneath the bridge during construction.

Vessels and people may be allowed to enter an established safety zone on a case-by-case basis with authorization from the Captain of the Port or his designated representative. Section 165.23 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, prohibits any unauthorized person or vessel from entering or remaining in an established safety zone.

U.S. Coast Guard personnel will enforce this safety zone and may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local agencies, including the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Section 165.23 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, prohibits any unauthorized person or vessel from entering or remaining in a safety zone. Vessels or persons violating this section will be subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232. Pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 1232, any violation of the safety zone described herein, will be 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.

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 safety zone, the effect of this proposed rule would not be significant because the zone is temporary in nature, and owners of boats located within Mission Creek have been advised of the planned waterway closures at several Mission Bay Citizen Advisory Committee meetings.

The size of the proposed zone is the minimum necessary to provide adequate protection for the boating public and an adequate distance to ensure vessel wakes to not interfere with construction operations. The entities most likely to be affected are 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. 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: owners and operators of private vessels intending to transit the area of the 4th Street Bridge. The proposed safety zone would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the same reasons set forth in the above Regulatory Evaluation. In addition, the Mission Creek Harbor Association has a lease agreement with the Port of San Francisco for both houseboats and pleasure boats to moor at the head of the channel, and the channel closure will not impact land access to the houseboats during the proposed waterway closures. However, a small number of sailboats that moor in the harbor may be impacted. The Department of Public Works and the Port of San Francisco are in consultation with the Mission Creek Harbor Association to assess the temporary impacts to the boaters on closing the channel for this needed work. Small entities and the maritime public would Start Printed Page 64557be advised of this safety zone 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. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

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.

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

Environment

We have analyzed this proposed 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 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 a safety zone.

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.

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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 No. 0170.1.

End Authority

2. Temporarily add § 165.T11-048 to read as follows:

Safety Zone; Mission Creek Waterway, China Basin, San Francisco Bay, California.

(a) Location. One hundred yards to either water-side of the Fourth Street Bridge, encompassing the navigable waters, from the surface to the sea floor, bounded by two lines; one line drawn from a point on the north shore of Mission Creek [37°46′29″ N, 122°23′36″ Start Printed Page 64558W] extending southeast to a point on the opposite shore [37°46′28″ N, 122°23′34″ W], and the other line drawn from a point on the north shore of Mission Creek [37°46′34″ N, 122°23′30″ W] extending southeast to a point on the opposite shore [37°46′33″ N, 122°23′28″ [Datum: NAD 83]

(b) Effective Period. The safety zone will be in effect from February 15, 2005 through December 31, 2005. If the need for this safety zone ends before the scheduled termination time, the Captain of the Port will cease enforcement of the safety zone and will announce that fact via Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transit through, or anchoring within this zone by all vessels is prohibited, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port San Francisco Bay, or his designated representative.

(2) All persons and vessels shall 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 shall proceed as directed.

Start Signature

Dated: October 27, 2004.

Gordon A. Loebl,

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

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-24684 Filed 11-4-04; 8:45 am]

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