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Rule

Security Zone; Suisun Bay, Concord, 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 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 can 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 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 security zones 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.

DATES:

This rule is effective February 23, 2005.

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 COTP 04-007 and are available for inspection or copying at the Waterways Branch of the Marine Safety Office San Francisco Bay, Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California, 94501, 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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On July 19, 2004, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (69 FR 42950) proposing to establish permanent security zones around the three piers at the MOTCO facility. This NPRM incorrectly stated that lighted buoys would be used to mark the perimeter of the proposed security zones and that the MOTCO Piers were numbered from east to west instead of west to east. Because of these errors, a supplemental NPRM was published in the Federal Register (69 FR 55125) on September 13, 2004 to correct the errors in the initial NPRM and provide 60 more days for the public to comment. 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 security zone 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 zone described herein, is punishable by civil penalties (not to exceed $32,500 per Start Printed Page 3300violation, 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

In its effort to thwart potential 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 (Public Law 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 take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against the MOTCO facility would have on the people, ports, waterways, and properties of the Port Chicago and Suisun Bay areas, the Coast Guard is establishing 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. These security zones are necessary to safeguard vessels, cargo, crew, 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.

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 are creating three smaller security zones that surround only the pier, or piers, being used for a military onload or offload, and the security zone(s) will only be enforced during an onload or offload operation. This allows the Coast Guard to provide additional security for the facility during military operations without having to publish a temporary final rule each time an operation occurs, while minimizing the negative impacts to vessel traffic, fishing, and other activities in Suisun Bay. Five hundred yards around the pier(s) is estimated to be an adequate zone size to provide increased security for military operations by providing a standoff distance for blast and collision, a surveillance and detection perimeter, and a margin of response time for security personnel.

This rule, for security reasons, prohibits the 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 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.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

We received no letters commenting on either the initial proposed rule or the revised rule we proposed in our September 2004 supplemental NPRM (69 FR 55125). No public hearing was requested, and none was held. Therefore, we made no change from the rule we proposed in our supplemental NPRM.

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 regulation is not significant because: (i) The zones only encompass small portions of the waterway; (ii) smaller vessels are 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 size of the security 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.

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 for several reasons: (i) Small vessel traffic is able to pass safely around the area, (ii) vessels engaged in recreational activities, sightseeing and commercial fishing have ample space outside of the security zones to engage in these activities, and (iii) 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. In addition, small entities and the maritime public will be advised of these security zones via public notice to mariners and by Coast Guard patrol personnel.

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 Start Printed Page 3301could 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 Cast Guard, call 1-800-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 does 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 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 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.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 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.

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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 § 165.1199, to read as follows:

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Security Zones; Military Ocean Terminal Concord (MOTCO), Concord, California.

(a) Location. The security zone(s) 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.

(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 Start Printed Page 3302telephone 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 San Francisco Bay will cause notification of enforcement of the security zone(s) to be made by issuing a Local Notice to Mariners and a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to inform the affected segments of the public. During periods that the security zone(s) are being enforced, Coast Guard patrol personnel will notify mariners to keep out of the security zone(s) as they approach the area. 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. When the security zone(s) are no longer needed, the COTP will cease enforcement of the security zone(s) and issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to notify the public. Upon notice of suspension of enforcement, all persons and vessels are granted general permissions to enter, move within and exit the security zone(s).

Start Signature

Dated: January 12, 2005.

Gerald M. Swanson,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-1232 Filed 1-21-05; 8:45 am]

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