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Security Zone; Severn River and College Creek, Annapolis, MD

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a permanent security zone on certain waters of the Severn River and College Creek. This action is necessary to ensure the security of high-ranking public officials and safeguard Start Printed Page 24186the public at large against terrorist acts or incidents during activities associated with the U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony, held annually on the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday in May. This rule prohibits vessels and people from entering the security zone and requires vessels and persons in the security zone to depart the zone, unless specifically exempt under the provisions in this rule or granted specific permission from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Baltimore.

DATES:

This rule is effective May 25, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket CGD05-06-112 and are available for inspection or copying at Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, 2401 Hawkins Point Road, Building 70, Waterways Management Division, Baltimore, Maryland 21226-1791 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Ronald Houck, at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Waterways Management Division, at telephone number (410) 576-2674 or (410) 576-2693.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On February 12, 2007, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Security Zone; Severn River and College Creek, Annapolis, MD” in the Federal Register (72 FR 6512). We received four letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held. 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. It took longer to respond to comments than expected. While we did not change the rule, in response to comments we examined ways to ensure that enforcement of the rule would cause minimal disruption to local vessel operators.

Background and Purpose

The ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it prudent for U.S. ports and waterways to be on a higher state of alert because the al Qaeda organization and other similar organizations have declared an ongoing intention to conduct armed attacks on U.S. interests worldwide. Due to increased awareness that future terrorist attacks are possible the Coast Guard, as lead federal agency for maritime homeland security, has determined that the Captain of the Port Baltimore must have the means to be aware of, deter, detect, intercept, and respond to asymmetric threats, acts of aggression, and attacks by terrorists on the American homeland while still maintaining our freedoms and sustaining the flow of commerce. This security zone is part of a comprehensive port security regime designed to safeguard human life, vessels, and waterfront facilities against sabotage or terrorist attacks.

In this particular rulemaking, to address the aforementioned security concerns before, during and after the annual U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony, and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against high-ranking public officials and the public at large before, during and after this highly-publicized event would have on the public interest, the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland is establishing a security zone upon all waters of the Severn River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded by a line drawn from Horseshoe Point, at 38°59′47.6″ N, 076°29′33.2″ W; eastward across the Severn river to a point located at 39°00′01.5″ N, 076°29′08.5″ W; and a line drawn from Biemans Point, at 38°59′14.4″ N, 076°28′30.1″ W; westward across the Severn River to a point 38°59′03.5″ N, 076°28′50.0″ W, located on the Naval Academy waterfront. This security zone includes the waters of College Creek eastward of the King George Street Bridge.

This security zone will help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from engaging in terrorist actions against a large number of participants during the event. Due to these heightened security concerns, and the catastrophic impact a terrorist attack on the U.S. Naval Academy before, during and after its annual graduation ceremony would have on the large number of participants, and the surrounding area and communities, a security zone is prudent for this type of event.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received a total of four pieces of written correspondence in response to the NPRM. No public meeting was requested and none was held. What follows is a review of, and the Coast Guard's response to, the issues and questions that were presented by these commenters concerning the proposed regulations.

(1) All commenters indicated that the proposed rule would effectively cut off the Severn River to all waterway traffic, including commercial and recreational vessels.

We do not intend to restrict commercial and recreational vessels from transiting to or departing from areas outside the zone. Similar to past U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony activities, during the enforcement of the temporary security zone on the Severn River and College Creek in Annapolis, Maryland, the COTP will allow persons and vessels not deemed a security threat to be authorized by on-scene patrol vessels to enter, operate within, and depart the zone without loitering, anchoring, fishing and crabbing.

(2) Two commenters indicated that the proposed rule would be ineffective, since the U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony is held a considerable distance away from the Severn River and College Creek, at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Activities associated with the U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony require that security measures be taken at locations other than during the commencement address.

(3) Two commenters indicated that the proposed rule would be insuffient, since the zone does not encompass all of the U.S. Naval Academy grounds.

In an attempt to impose the least amount of adverse impact on waterway traffic, the security measures expected before, during, and after the U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony do not require further restrictions upon adjacent waterways.

After reviewing all comments, no changes to the proposed regulatory text were made. Our final rule remains the same as our proposed rule.

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.

We expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary. This security zone will encompass only a small portion of the waterway and vessels or persons may be allowed to enter this zone with permission of the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this rule would have a Start Printed Page 24187significant 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 might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in a portion of the Severn River and College Creek from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday annually. This security zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. This rule will be in effect for less than seven hours, on one day, annually. Although the security zone will apply to the entire width of the river, smaller vessels not constrained by their draft, which are more likely to be small entities, may request permission from the Captain of the Port Baltimore, Maryland to enter the zone at telephone number (410) 576-2693, or through Coast Guard vessels enforcing the zone via Marine Band Radio, VHF channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Additionally, before the effective period, the Coast Guard will issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the river to allow mariners to make alternative plans for transiting the affected areas. Because the zone is of limited size, it is expected that there will be minimal disruption to the maritime community.

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. However, we received no requests for assistance from any small entities.

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). 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 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 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 security zone. Start Printed Page 24188

A final “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a final “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are 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, 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 § 165.509 to read as follows:

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Security Zone; Severn River and College Creek, Annapolis, MD.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland means the Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Maryland or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland to act on his or her behalf.

(b) Location. The following area is a security zone: All waters of the Severn River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded by a line drawn from Horseshoe Point, at 38°59′47.6″ N, 076°29′33.2″ W; eastward across the Severn river to a point located at 39°00′01.5″ N, 076°29′08.5″ W; and a line drawn from Biemans Point, at 38°59′14.4″ N, 076°28′30.1″ W; westward across the Severn River to a point 38°59′03.5″ N, 076°28′50.0″ W, located on the Naval Academy waterfront. This security zone includes the waters of College Creek eastward of the King George Street Bridge (NAD 1983).

(c) Regulations. (1) The general regulations governing security zones found in § 165.33 apply to the security zone described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland.

(3) Persons or vessels requiring entry into or passage through the security zone must first request authorization from the Captain of the Port, Baltimore to seek permission to transit the area. The Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland can be contacted at telephone number (410) 576-2693. The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio VHF channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port, Baltimore, Maryland and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone.

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

(e) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced annually on the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday in May from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.

Start Signature

Dated: April 20, 2007.

Brian D. Kelley,

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

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[FR Doc. E7-8447 Filed 5-1-07; 8:45 am]

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