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Proposed Rule

Anchorage Regulations; Sabine Pass Channel, Sabine Pass, TX

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 amend the anchorage regulations for the Sabine Pass Channel, Sabine Pass, TX anchorage in order to improve navigation safety for vessels entering and exiting Cheniere Energy's Liquefied Natural Gas terminal. This proposed rule would reduce the overall size of the existing anchorage.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before December 4, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District (dpw), Hale Boggs Federal Bldg., 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70130-3396, Attn: Doug Blakemore. The Eighth Coast Guard District Commander 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 Eighth Coast Guard District (dpw), Hale Boggs Federal Bldg., 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Doug Blakemore, Waterways Management Branch for the Eighth Coast Guard District Commander, Hale Boggs Federal Bldg., 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, telephone (504) 671-2109.

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 [CGD08-06-026], 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, Start Printed Page 58331suitable 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 plan to hold a public meeting. You may submit a request for a meeting by writing to Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District (dpw), 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

Cheniere Energy is constructing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the eastern waterfront of the Sabine Pass Channel. This facility is located immediately north and adjacent to the Sabine Pass Channel anchorage. Due to the angle that the terminal berth lays relative to the channel, vessels intending to berth at or depart the LNG terminal would have to follow a path that passes through the existing anchorage. Vessels anchored in the existing anchorage would be at an increased risk for being struck by an arriving or departing vessel.

In order to reduce this risk, the Coast Guard proposes to make the overall size of the anchorage area smaller. This action would reduce the possible conflict associated with vessels that may anchor too close to the entrance of the LNG terminal. It would also provide a larger maneuvering area for vessels arriving to or departing from the LNG terminal, which consequently will reduce the possibility of a grounding or collision with another vessel in the area.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to amend the anchorage regulations for the Sabine Pass Channel, Sabine Pass, TX anchorage in order to improve navigation safety for vessels entering and exiting Cheniere Energy's Liquefied Natural Gas terminal. This proposed rule would reduce the overall size of the existing anchorage.

The current description of the anchorage is found in 33 CFR 110.196 and is listed as follows: “The navigable waters of Sabine Pass within a trapezoidal area 1,500 feet wide and varying uniformly in length from 5,800 feet to 3,000 feet with the long side adjacent to the northeasterly edge of Sabine Pass Channel at a location opposite the town of Sabine Pass.”

This proposed rule would shorten the “long side”, also referred to as the channel side, from 5,800 feet to approximately 5,000 feet. This would be accomplished by shortening the northern portion of this side by 800 feet. No other changes to the anchorage would be made.

In order to eliminate confusion regarding the geographic boundary of the proposed anchorage, the current description would be replaced with geographic coordinates that would define the boundary of the anchorage. The proposed coordinates of the anchorage would be:

LatitudeLongitude
29°44′14″ N93°52′24″ W
29°44′18″ N93°52′06″ W
29°43′53″ N93°51′47″ W
29°43′32″ N93°51′52″ W

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. Current information indicates that this anchorage area is rarely used, and the overall reduction in anchorage area would not significantly impact those vessels desiring to use the anchorage.

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 may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to anchor in the Sabine Pass Channel, Sabine Pass, TX anchorage. This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because this anchorage area is believed to be rarely used.

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 rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact Doug Blakemore at (504) 671-2109.

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 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 Start Printed Page 58332Constitutionally 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 would 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)(f), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation because this rule is not expected to result in any significant adverse environmental impact as described in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

Under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(f), of the Instruction, an Environmental Analysis Check List and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are not required because this proposed rule would reduce the size of the existing anchorage. 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 110

End List of Subjects

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 110 as follows:

Start Part

PART 110—ANCHORAGE REGULATIONS

1. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 33 U.S.C. 471, 1221 through 1236, 2030, 2035 and 2071; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority

2. In § 110.196, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:

Sabine Pass Channel, Sabine Pass, Tex.

(a) The anchorage area. The waters bounded by a line connecting the following coordinates:

LatitudeLongitude
29°44′14″ N93°52′24″ W
29°44′18″ N93°52′06″ W
29°43′53″ N93°51′47″ W
29°43′32″ N93°51′52″ W
* * * * *
Start Signature

Dated: August 28, 2006.

Joel R. Whitehead,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-16315 Filed 10-2-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P