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Proposed Rule

Safety Zone; Live-Fire Gun Exercise, Southeast of Ocean City, MD, Atlantic Ocean

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a safety zone on June 19, 20 and 21, 2006 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a live-fire gun exercise approximately 9 nautical miles southeast of Ocean City, MD. This action is intended to restrict vessel traffic on the Atlantic Ocean as necessary to protect mariners from the hazards associated with gunnery exercise. Entry into this Coast Guard safety zone would be prohibited, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or a designated representative.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before June 12, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to the Norfolk Federal Building, 200 Granby Street, Suite 700, Norfolk, Virginia 23510. Sector Hampton Roads 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 Sector Field Office Eastern Shore between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

LT Bill Clark, Waterways Division, Sector Hampton Roads, (757) 668-5581.

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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 CGD05-06-046, 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 Sector Hampton Roads 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.

Regulatory Information

The Coast Guard is proposing to establish this safety zone to conduct training essential to carrying out Coast Guard missions relating to military operations and national security. Accordingly, this proposed safety zone falls within the military function exception to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1). Notice and comment rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and an effective date of 30 days after publication under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) are not required for this rulemaking.

However, we have determined that it would be beneficial to accept public comments on this proposed rule. Therefore, we will be accepting comments until June 12, 2006. By issuing this notice of proposed rulemaking and accepting public comments, the Coast Guard does not waive its use of the military-function exception to notice and comment rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

Background and Purpose

This rule is necessary to protect the public from the hazards associated with gunnery exercises. When established, this zone will provide the Coast Guard adequate coverage of the area affected by small arms fire. No other related rules have been issued in relation this proposed rule.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone on June 19, 20 and 21, 2006 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on specified waters of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 9 nautical miles southeast of Ocean City, MD. The regulated area will consist of a circular zone, four nautical miles in radius, centered on position 38-13.0 N/074-58.0 W. This safety zone will be enforced when gunnery exercises are being conducted by Coast Guard vessels. All vessel traffic will be temporarily restricted from transiting through this area while the safety zone is in effect unless otherwise authorized by the Captain of the Port's designated representative.

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.

We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary. Although this regulation restricts access to the regulated area, the effect of this rule will not be significant as the safety zone will be in effect for a limited duration of time and the Coast Guard will provide the public adequate notification via maritime advisories and local notice to mariners in order for mariners to adjust their plans accordingly.

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 will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners and operators of vessels intending to transit in that portion of the Atlantic Ocean while the regulated area is in affect. The safety zone will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because: (i) The zone will only be in place for a limited duration of time; (ii) mariners will be allowed to transit through at the discretion of the Captain of the Port's designated representative; and (iii) maritime advisories will be issued allowing mariners to adjust their plans accordingly.

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 Start Printed Page 27433small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact LTJG Brian Sullivan, Sector Field Office Eastern Shore, (757) 336-2859. 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 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 affect 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 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.

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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.T06-046 to read as follows:

Safety zone; live-fire gun exercise Southeast of Ocean City, MD, Atlantic Ocean.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of the Atlantic Ocean, from surface to bottom, within a 4 nautical mile radius of position 38-13.0 N/074-58.0 W, approximately 9 nautical miles southeast of Ocean City, MD., which lies within the Captain of the Port, Hampton Roads zone as defined in 33 CFR 3.25-10.

(b) Definitions. (1) “Designated representative” means a U.S. Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port, Hampton Roads, Virginia to act on his behalf and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port (COTP), Hampton Roads, in the enforcement of the safety zone.

(2) [Reserved]

(c) Regulations. (1) Under the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP, Hampton Roads, or the COTP's designated representative.

(2) The safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

(3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must Start Printed Page 27434contact the COTP or the COTP's representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

(d) Enforcement and suspension of enforcement of certain safety zones. (1) The safety zone in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced only when a Coast Guard vessel is operating in the safety zone for the purpose of conducting gunnery exercises.

(2) The Captain of the Port, Hampton Roads, will provide notice of the enforcement of the safety zones listed in paragraph (a) of this section and notice of suspension of enforcement by the means appropriate to affect the widest publicity, including broadcast notice to mariners and publication in the local notice to mariners.

(e) Effective period. This section is effective from 7 a.m. on June 19, 2006 until 3 p.m. on June 21, 2006.

Start Signature

Dated: April 26, 2006.

Patrick B. Trapp,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Hampton Roads.

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[FR Doc. E6-7205 Filed 5-10-06; 8:45 am]

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