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Rule

Safety Zone; Potomac River, Alexandria Channel, DC

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 covering certain waters of the Potomac River within a 500-foot radius of an explosives demolition site at the Virginia approach of the old Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, located near Alexandria, Virginia, in position latitude 38°47′36″ N, longitude 077°02′19″ W. This safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of life and property during the fracturing of the west counterweight box by the use of explosives. This safety zone is intended to restrict maritime traffic in order to Start Printed Page 67304protect mariners from the hazards associated with the demolition.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 2 a.m. on November 20, 2006 through 3 a.m. on November 21, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket CGD05-06-109 and are available for inspection or copying at Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, 2401 Hawkins Point Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21226-1791, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ronald L. Houck, Waterways Management Division, at (410) 576-2674.

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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. Publishing an NPRM and delaying its effective date would be contrary to the public interest, because there is not sufficient time to publish a proposed rule in advance of the event and immediate action is needed to protect persons and vessels against the hazards associated with a demolition with explosives, such as premature detonation or falling debris.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. This safety zone of short duration is needed to provide for the safety of persons and vessels on the Potomac River and the public at large. Advance notification of the safety zone and the demolition will be provided to the public via marine information broadcasts and by local media.

Background and Purpose

At 2:30 a.m. local time on November 20, 2006, Engineered Explosive Services will fracture via an explosion the west counterweight box (a large block of concrete which counterbalanced the original drawbridge leaves over the west side of the shipping channel) for the old Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, which is located within the bridge pier on the western side of the shipping channel and situated totally above the waterline near Alexandria, Virginia. Provisions will be in place to minimize flyrock and seismographs will be in place on the Virginia shoreline to measure predicted minimal vibration levels. The explosion will use approximately 100 pounds of explosives in the form of linear shape charges. Due to the need for vessel control during the explosion, maritime traffic will be temporarily restricted to provide for the safety of transiting vessels.

Discussion of Rule

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on certain waters of the Potomac River. The temporary safety zone will be enforced from 2 a.m. through 3 a.m. on November 20, 2006, and if necessary due to unexpected circumstances, from 2 a.m. through 3 a.m. on November 21, 2006. The effect will be to restrict general navigation in the area during the event. No person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone. Vessels will be allowed to transit the waters of the Potomac River outside the safety zone. This safety zone is needed to control vessel traffic during the event to enhance the safety of transiting vessels.

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. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Although this rule prevents traffic from transiting a portion of the Potomac River during the event, the effect of this rule will not be significant due to the limited duration of the regulation and limited size of the safety zone, and the extensive notifications that will be made to the maritime community via marine information broadcasts and local media, so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly. 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 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 or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in a portion of the Potomac River from 2 a.m. through 3 a.m. on November 20, 2006, and if necessary due to unexpected circumstances, from 2 a.m. through 3 a.m. on November 21, 2006. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. The fracturing via an explosion of the west counterweight box for the old Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge near Alexandria, Virginia will only take ten minutes and the area affected is small. The safety zone will only apply to the Virginia side of the Potomac River, including the entire width of the federal navigation channel at the old Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge. Vessel traffic not constrained by its draft, which small entities usually are, will be able to safely pass around the zone. Before the effective period, we will issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the harbor. Therefore, Coast Guard certifies under section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) that this temporary final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

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). Start Printed Page 67305

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 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 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 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 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 and Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1, which guide 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. This rule establishes a safety zone.

Under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction, an “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are available in the docket.

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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 NAVIATION 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.T05-109 to read as follows:

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Safety Zone; Potomac River, Alexandria Channel, DC.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters located in the Potomac River, within a 500-foot radius of an explosives demolition site at the Virginia approach of the old Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, located near Alexandria, Virginia, in position latitude 38°47′36″ N, longitude 077°02′19″ W (NAD 83).

(b) Regulations. All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones in 33 CFR 165.23 of this part.

(1) All vessels and persons are prohibited from entering this zone, except as authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland.

(2) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage within the zone must request authorization from the Captain of the Port or his designated representative by telephone at (410) 576-2693 or on marine band radio channel 16 VHF-FM.

(3) All Coast Guard assets enforcing this safety zone can be contacted on marine band radio channels 13 and 16 VHF-FM.

(4) The operator of any vessel within or in the immediate vicinity of this safety zone shall:

(i) Stop the vessel immediately upon being directed to do so by any commissioned, warrant or petty officer on board a vessel displaying a Coast Guard Ensign, and

(ii) proceed as directed by any commissioned, warrant or petty officer on board a vessel displaying a Coast Guard Ensign.

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

(d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the zones by Federal, State and local agencies. Start Printed Page 67306

(e) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 2 a.m. through 3 a.m. on November 20, 2006, and if necessary due to unexpected circumstances, from 2 a.m. through 3 a.m. on November 21, 2006.

Start Signature

Dated: November 6, 2006.

Jonathan C. Burton,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-19676 Filed 11-20-06; 8:45 am]

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