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Proposed Rule

Security Zone; Georgetown Channel, Potomac River, Washington, DC

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 proposes to establish a temporary security zone on the waters of the upper Potomac River. This action is necessary to provide for the security of a large number of visitors to the annual July 4th celebration on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The security zone will allow for control of a designated area of the river and safeguard spectators and high-ranking officials.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before June 2, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, 2401 Hawkins Point Road, Building 70, Waterways Management Division, Baltimore, Maryland 21226-1791. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Waterways Management Division, 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 Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Waterways Management Division, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Ronald Houck, at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Waterways Management Division, at telephone number (410) 576-2674 or (410) 576-2693.

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 (CGD05-06-014), 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 Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Waterways Management Division, 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

Due to increased awareness that future terrorist attacks are possible, including continued threats against U.S. interests by Al-Queda and other terrorist organizations, 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. Start Printed Page 16532This security zone is part of a comprehensive port security regime designed to safeguard human life, vessels, and waterfront facilities against sabotage or terrorist attacks.

In this particular rulemaking, to address the aforementioned security concerns, and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against a large number of spectators and high-ranking officials during the annual July 4th celebration would have on the public interest, the Coast Guard is proposing to establish a security zone upon all waters of the Georgetown Channel of the Potomac River, from the surface to the bottom, 75 yards from the eastern shore measured perpendicularly to the shore, between the Long Railroad Bridge (the most eastern bridge of the 5-span, Fourteenth Street Bridge Complex) to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and all waters in between, totally including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin. This security zone will help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from engaging in terrorist actions against a large number of spectators and high-ranking officials during the annual July 4th celebration. Due to these heightened security concerns, and the catastrophic impact a terrorist attack on the National Mall in Washington, DC during the annual July 4th celebration would have on the large number of spectators and high-ranking officials, and the surrounding area and communities, a security zone is prudent for this type of event.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

It is very likely that hundreds of thousands of visitors will attend the July 4th celebration on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland proposes to establish a security zone for the highly-publicized public event in Washington, DC to address the aforementioned security concerns and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against a large gathering of spectators and high-ranking officials at or near the July 4th celebration on the National Mall in Washington, DC, would have. This security zone applies to all waters of the Georgetown Channel of the Potomac River, from the surface to the bottom, 75 yards from the eastern shore measured perpendicularly to the shore, between the Long Railroad Bridge (the most eastern bridge of the 5-span, Fourteenth Street Bridge Complex) to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and all waters in between, totally including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin from 12:01 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. local time on July 4, 2006. Vessels underway at the time this security zone is implemented will immediately proceed out of the zone. We will issue Broadcast Notices to Mariners to further publicize the security zone. This security zone is necessary to prevent vessels or persons on designated waters of the Potomac River (including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin) from going ashore and thereby bypassing the security perimeter established by the U. S. Park Police of the National Park Service for the event.

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.

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 would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in a portion of the Potomac River (including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin) from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4, 2006.

This security zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. This rule will be in effect for less than twenty-four hours. Although the security zone will apply to the entire width of the river, traffic may be allowed to pass through the zone at the direction of the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally, before the effective period, the Coast Guard will issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the river to allow mariners to make alternative plans for transiting the affected areas. Because the zone is of limited size, it is expected that there will be minimal disruption to the maritime community. Smaller vessels not constrained by their draft, which are more likely to be small entities, may request permission from the Captain of the Port Baltimore, Maryland on a case-by-case basis to enter the zone.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this 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 the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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 would call 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 Start Printed Page 16533that 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 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 invite your comments on how this proposed rule might impact tribal governments, even if that impact may not constitute a “tribal implication” under the Order.

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.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 this rulemaking is a security zone less than one week in duration. A draft “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a draft “Categorical Exclusion Determination” (CED) are 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. Add § 165.T05-014 to read as follows:

Security Zone; Georgetown Channel, Potomac River, Washington, DC

(a) Definitions. (1) The Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland means the Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Maryland or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland to act on his or her behalf.

(b) Location. The following area is a security zone: All waters of the Georgetown Channel of the Potomac River, from the surface to the bottom, 75 yards from the eastern shore measured perpendicularly to the shore, between the Long Railroad Bridge (the most eastern bridge of the 5-span, Fourteenth Street Bridge Complex) to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and all waters in between, totally including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin.

(c) Regulations. (1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing security zones found in § 165.33 of this part.

(2) Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland.

(3) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage through the security zone must first request authorization from the Captain of the Port, Baltimore to seek permission to transit the area. The Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland can be contacted at telephone number (410) 576-2693. The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on VHF Marine Band Radio, VHF channel 16 (156.8 MHz). 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. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone.

(4) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

(d) Effective period. This section will be effective from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time on July 4, 2006.

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Start Printed Page 16534

Dated: March 24, 2006.

Curtis A. Springer,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-4789 Filed 3-31-06; 8:45 am]

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