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Rule

Safety Zone; Cocheco River Dredging Project, Cocheco River, NH

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone around a blasting project between the Upper and Lower Narrows of the Cocheco River near Dover, NH. This safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of persons and vessels in the maritime community from the hazards associated with a blasting project. Entry into this zone by any vessel is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Northern New England.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 15, 2006 until 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on December 30, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket CGD01-06-131 and are available for inspection or copying at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, 259 High Street, South Portland, ME 04106 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lieutenant Junior Grade J. B. Bleacher, Prevention Department, Sector Northern New England at (207) 742-5421.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM. The final details of the project were not determined until October 23, 2006 making it impossible to publish a NPRM or a final rule 30 days in advance of the desired effective dates. Further, postponing the blasting project is impractical as ice conditions in the river will increase the difficulty of completing this project on schedule. The Coast Guard finds that immediate action is needed to protect mariners against the potential hazards associated with these blasting operations. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard also finds, for the same reasons, that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

On November 1, 2006, Charter Environmental, Inc. began dredging operations on the Cocheco River between the Upper and Lower Narrows in order to both widen and deepen the river channel. Ledge areas in the river will be removed by drilling and blasting methods. Blasting operations are scheduled to begin November 15, 2006 and end on December 30, 2006. Charter Environmental, Inc. will notify the USCG at least 24 hours prior to any blasting operation and all blasting will be conducted only at high tide. Public notifications will be made during the effective period via marine safety information broadcasts. This regulation establishes a 100 yard safety zone around all blasting areas. Entry into this Start Printed Page 67056zone will be prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port.

Discussion of Rule

This rule is effective from 8 a.m. EST on November 15, 2006 until 4 p.m. EST on December 30, 2006. This safety zone is needed to safeguard mariners from the hazards associated with blasting operations on the designated waters in the Cocheco River. During the effective period of the safety zone, vessel traffic will be restricted in various portions of the river, depending on where blasting operations are taking place. Although the safety zone will be in effect for six weeks, it will only be enforced during actual blasting times. Entry into those zones by any vessel is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Northern New England.

The Captain of the Port anticipates negligible negative impact on vessel traffic from this temporary safety zone as it will be in effect only during blasting operations. Blasting will only be scheduled for times of high tide and it is anticipated that if the occasional vessel needs to transit with high tide depths it is unlikely that blasting will prevent passage during the entire high tide cycle. Further, vessel traffic is extremely light at this time of year. It has been determined that the enhanced safety to life and property provided by this rule greatly outweighs any potential negative impacts. Public notifications will be made during the entire effective period of this safety zone via marine information broadcasts.

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.

The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary. The effect of this rule will not be significant for the following reasons: the safety zone will be enforced only during blasting operations. Vessels will be permitted to transit and navigate in the effected waters when no blasting is taking place, minimizing any adverse impact. The blasting operations are being conducted in winter months when vessel traffic is extremely light. Additionally, extensive maritime advisories will be broadcast during the duration of the effective period.

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.

This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners and operators of vessels intending to transit in the vicinity of the Upper and Lower Narrows on the Cocheco River. The safety zone will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons described under the Regulatory Evaluation section.

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 rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. If this rule will affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please call Lieutenant Junior Grade J. B. Bleacher, Prevention Department, Sector Northern New England at (207) 742-5421.

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 Coast Guard, call 1-888-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 will 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 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 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 may 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 Start Printed Page 67057it 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. A final “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a final “Categorical Exclusion Determination” 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 temporary § 165.T01-131 to read as follows:

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Safety Zone; Cocheco River Dredging Project, Cocheco River, NH.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all waters in the Cocheco River, from surface to bottom, between the Upper and Lower Narrows within 100 yards of any and all blasting operations. All vessels are restricted from entering this area.

(b) Effective Period. This section is effective from 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 15, 2006 until 4 p.m. EST on December 30, 2006.

(c) Definitions. (1) Designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port (COTP).

(2) [Reserved]

(d) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into or movement within this zone by any person or vessel is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP, Northern New England 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 contact the COTP or the COTP's designated 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.

Start Signature

Dated: November 7, 2006.

Stephen P. Garrity,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Northern New England.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-19561 Filed 11-17-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P