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Proposed Rule

Security Zone; Potomac River, Washington Channel, 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 in certain waters of Washington Channel on the Potomac River off Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC during the May 25, 2006, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant's Change of Command ceremony. The security zone is necessary to provide for the security and safety of life and property of event participants, spectators and mariners on U.S. navigable waters during the event. Entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland, or designated representative.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 15, 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.

Start Further Info

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 (CGD05-06-034), 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 they 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 later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

The ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as continued threats by al Qaeda and other similar organizations to conduct armed attacks on U.S. interests worldwide, have made it prudent for U.S. ports and waterways to be on a higher state of alert. 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, Start Printed Page 19153Maryland 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 Coast Guard will conduct a Change of Command ceremony at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. To address the aforementioned security concerns during the event, the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland proposes to establish a security zone upon certain waters of the Washington Channel. This proposed security zone will help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from engaging in waterborne terrorist actions during the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant's Change of Command ceremony. Due to the catastrophic impact a terrorist attack during the ceremony would have against the large number of dignitaries, and the surrounding area and communities, a security zone is prudent for this type of event.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

On Thursday, May 25, 2006, The U.S. Coast Guard Commandant's Change of Command ceremony will be held at Fort Lesley J. McNair, in Washington, DC. The event will consist of several high-ranking dignitaries and a background comprised of U.S. Coast Guard vessels anchored adjacent to Fort McNair on the confined waters of the Washington Channel on the Potomac River. A security zone is needed from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. on May 25, 2006 to safeguard event participants and prevent vessels or persons on certain waters of the Washington Channel of the Potomac River from approaching Fort McNair and thereby bypassing the security measures established on shore during the event. U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessels will be provided to prevent the movement of persons and vessels in an area approximately 200 yards wide and 450 yards long within Washington Channel. Vessels underway at the time this security zone is implemented will immediately proceed out of the zone. Entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative. The Captain of the Port will issue Broadcast Notices to Mariners to publicize the security zone and notify the public of changes in the status of the zone. Such notices will continue until the ceremony is complete.

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. This temporary rule affects a limited area of the Washington Channel, approximately 200 yards wide and 450 yards long, for approximately five hours. The operational restrictions of the security zone are tailored to provide the minimal disruption of vessel operations necessary to provide immediate, improved security for persons and vessels on certain waters of the Washington Channel. Additionally, this security zone is temporary in nature any hardships experienced by persons or vessels are outweighed by the national interest in protecting high-ranking dignitaries from the devastating consequences of acts of terrorism, and from sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or other causes of a similar nature.

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: the owners or operators of vessels intending to operate, remain or anchor within certain waters of the Washington Channel, in an area approximately 200 yards wide and 450 yards long, encompassed by lines connecting the following points, beginning at 38°52′03″ N, 077°01′07″ W, thence to 38°52′03″ N, 077°01′14″ W, thence to 38°51′50″ N, 077°01′14″ W, thence to 38°51′50″ N, 077°01′07″ W, thence to 38°52′03″ N, 077°01′07″ W. This security zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because of the limited size and duration of the zone. Before the effective period, we would issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the Washington Channel.

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 rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact Mr. Ronald L. Houck, at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Waterways Management Branch, at telephone number (410) 576-2674. 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 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 Start Printed Page 19154result 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.

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 made a preliminary determination 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, we believe that this rule should be 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

End List of Subjects

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.T05-034 to read as follows:

Security Zone; Potomac River, Washington Channel, 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 Washington Channel, from surface to bottom, encompassed by lines connecting the following points, beginning at 38°52′03″ N, 077°01′07″ W, thence to 38°52′03″ N, 077°01′14″ W, thence to 38°51′50″ N, 077°01′14″ W, thence to 38°51′50″ N, 077°01′07″ W, thence to 38°52′03″ N, 077°01′07″ W. These coordinates are based upon NAD 1983.

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

(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 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. on May 25, 2006.

Start Signature

Dated: April 4, 2006.

Jonathan C. Burton,

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

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-5522 Filed 4-12-06; 8:45 am]

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