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Proposed Rule

Department of the Navy, Chesapeake Bay, in Vicinity of Bloodsworth Island, MD

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Department of the Army, United States Army Corps of Engineers, DOD.


Notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments.


The Corps of Engineers is proposing to amend the regulations in 33 CFR 334.190 which establishes a danger zone, in waters of the United States in the vicinity of Bloodsworth Island, Maryland. The proposed amendment will reflect the current operational and safety procedures at the Bloodsworth Island Range and highlight a change in the enforcement authority from the Commander, Naval Base Norfolk, Virginia to the Commander, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The regulations are necessary to safeguard United States Navy vessels and United States Government facilities/installations from sabotage and other subversive acts, accidents, or incidents of a similar nature. These regulations are also necessary to protect the public from potentially hazardous conditions which may exist as a result from use of the areas by the United States Navy.


Written comments must be submitted on or before March 28, 2007.


You may submit comments, identified by docket number COE-2006-0040, by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

E-mail: Include the docket number, COE-2006-0040, in the subject line of the message.

Fax: 202-761-0140.

Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-OR/MVD (David B. Olson), 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314-1000.

Hand Delivery/Courier: Due to security requirements, we cannot receive comments by hand delivery or courier.

Instructions: Direct your comments to docket number COE-2006-0040. All comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available on-line fnl;at, including Start Printed Page 8326any personal information provided, unless the commenter indicates that the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through or e-mail. The web site is an anonymous access system, which means we will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail directly to the Corps without going through, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, we recommend that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If we cannot read your comment because of technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, we may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic comments should avoid the use of any special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to All documents in the docket are listed. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, such as CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form.

Consideration will be given to all comments received within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice.

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Mr. David Olson, Headquarters, Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice, Washington, DC at 202-761-4922, or Mr. Steve Elinsky, Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, Regulatory Branch, at 410-962-4503.

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Pursuant to its authorities in Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat. 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat. 892; 33 U.S.C. 3), the Corps proposes to amend the danger zone regulations at 33 CFR 334.190 to reflect current operational and safety procedures at the Bloodsworth Island Range and highlight a change in the enforcement authority from the Commander, Naval Base Norfolk, Virginia to the Commander, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The proposed amendment will also provide more detailed times, dates, and extents of restrictions.

Procedural Requirements

a. Review Under Executive Order 12866

This proposed rule is issued with respect to a military function of the Defense Department and the provisions of Executive Order 12866 do not apply.

b. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

These proposed rules have been reviewed under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Public Law 96-354) which requires the preparation of a regulatory flexibility analysis for any regulation that will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (i.e., small businesses and small governments). Unless information is obtained to the contrary during the public notice comment period, the Corps expects that the economic impact of the amendment of this danger zone would have practically no impact on the public, no anticipated navigational hazard or interference with existing waterway traffic. This proposed rule if adopted, will have no significant economic impact on small entities.

c. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act

Due to the administrative nature of this action and because there is no intended change in the use of the area, the Corps expects that this regulation, if adopted, will not have a significant impact to the quality of the human environment and, therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement will not be required. An environmental assessment will be prepared after the public notice period is closed and all comments have been received and considered. It may be reviewed at the District office listed at the end of FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

d. Unfunded Mandates Act

This proposed rule does not impose an enforceable duty among the private sector and, therefore, it is not a Federal private sector mandate and it is not subject to the requirements of either Section 202 or Section 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Act. We have also found under Section 203 of the Act, that small governments will not be significantly and uniquely affected by this rulemaking.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 334

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For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Corps proposes to amend 33 CFR part 334, as follows:

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1. The authority citation for 33 CFR 334 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 40 Stat. 266 (33 U.S.C. 1) and 40 Stat. 892 (33 U.S.C. 3). 2. Section 334.190 would be revised to read as follows:

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Chesapeake Bay, in vicinity of Bloodsworth Island, MD; shore bombardment, air bombing, air strafing, and rocket firing area, U.S. Navy.

(a) The areas—(1) Prohibited area. All waters within a circle 0.5 miles in radius with its center at latitude 38°10′00″, longitude 76°06′00″; Bloodsworth Island, Pone Island, Northeast Island, and Adams Island.

(2) The danger zone. All waters of Chesapeake Bay and Tangier Sound within an area bounded as follows: Beginning at latitude 38°08′15″, longitude 76°10′00″ thence to latitude 38°12′00″, longitude 76°10′00″; thence to latitude 38°12′00″, longitude 76°07′00″; thence to latitude 38°13′00″, longitude 76°06′00″; thence to latitude 38°13′00″, longitude 76°04′00″; thence to latitude 38°12′00″, longitude 76°02′00″; thence to latitude 38°12′00″, longitude 76°00′00″; thence to latitude 38°08′15″, longitude 76°00′00″; thence to the point of beginning, excluding the prohibited area described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) The regulations. (1) No person, vessel or other craft shall approach closer than 75 yards to the beaches, shoreline, or piers of Bloodsworth, Pone Island, Northeast Island, Adams Island, or any Patuxent River Naval Air Station property at any time unless authorized to do so by the enforcing agency. No person, vessel or other craft shall approach rafts, barges, or platforms closer than 100 yards.

(2) No person, vessel, or other craft shall enter or remain in the danger zone when notified by the enforcing authority to keep clear. Any watercraft under way or at anchor, upon being so warned, shall immediately vacate the area and shall remain outside the area until conclusion of potentially hazardous test or training events.

(3) The area will be in use intermittently throughout the year.

(4) Prior to the commencement of any potentially hazardous test or training Start Printed Page 8327event that requires clearing of non participant boats from the danger zone, surface or air search of the entire area will be made for the purpose of locating and warning all craft and persons not connected with the test or training event, and a patrol will be maintained throughout the duration of the event.

(5) All persons, vessels, or other craft shall clear the area when warned by patrol vessels.

(6) Patrol vessels will provide warning that a potentially hazardous test or training event is in progress or is about to commence; when so warned, fishing or oystering vessels or other craft not directly connected with the event shall not navigate within the danger zone. Deep-draft vessels proceeding in established navigation channels normally will be permitted to traverse the area upon coordination with range patrol vessels. The patrol vessels will ensure safe separation between all non-participant vessels and potentially hazardous operations.

(7) When potentially hazardous testing or training is not in progress or is not about to commence, oystering and fishing boats and other craft may operate within the danger zone.

(8) All potentially hazardous test or training events will be performed in such a way as to contain the hazard footprint to the established danger zone described in paragraph (a) of this section. Naval authorities will not be responsible for damage to nets, traps, buoys, pots, fish pounds, stakes, or other equipment that may be located within the danger zone.

(9) Nothing in this regulation shall be intended to prevent the lawful use of approved waterfowl hunting blinds along the shorelines of Bloodsworth Island range complex, provided that all necessary licenses and permits have been obtained from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the completed copy of the permit has been submitted to the Conservation Division Director at NAS Patuxent River. Waterfowl hunters must observe all warnings and range clearances, as note herein.

(10) The regulations in this section shall be enforced by the Commander, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and such agencies as he/she may designate.

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Dated: February 14, 2007.

Lawrence A. Lang,

Acting Chief, Operations, Directorate of Civil Works.

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[FR Doc. E7-2875 Filed 2-23-07; 8:45 am]