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Rule

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

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

United States Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Corps of Engineers is amending its regulations to modify an existing danger zone, in waters of the United States in the vicinity of Bloodsworth Island, Maryland. The amendment reflects the current operational and safety procedures at the Bloodsworth Island Range and highlights 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.

DATES:

Effective Date: December 24, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 is amending 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 amendment provides more detailed times, dates, and extents of restrictions.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on February 26, 2007 (72 FR 8325). No comments were received in response to the proposed rule.

Procedural Requirements

a. Review under Executive Order 12866. This 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. This rule has been reviewed under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 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). The Corps determined that the modification of this danger zone would have practically no economic impact on the public, or result in no anticipated navigational hazard or interference with existing waterway traffic. This rule 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 determined that this rule will not have a significant impact to the quality of the human environment and, therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required. An environmental assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact has been prepared for this action in accordance with applicable regulations. It may be reviewed at the District office listed at the end of FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

d. Unfunded Mandates Act. This 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.

e. Submission to Congress and the General Accountability Office. Pursuant to Section 801(a)(1)(A) of the Administrative Procedure Act, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, the Corps has submitted a report containing this rule to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the General Accountability Office. This rule is not a major rule within the meaning of Section 804(2) of the Administrative Procedure Act, as amended.

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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 amends

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PART 334—DANGER ZONE AND RESTRICTED AREA REGULATIONS

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 40 Stat. 266 (33 U.S.C. 1) and 40 Stat. 892 (33 U.S.C. 3).

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2. Section 334.190 is revised to read as follows:

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Chesapeake Bay, in vicinity of Bloodsworth Island, MD, 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 Island, 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 event 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 Start Printed Page 65669approved 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 noted 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: November 16, 2007.

Lawrence A. Lang,

Deputy, Operations, Directorate of Civil Works.

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[FR Doc. E7-22845 Filed 11-21-07; 8:45 am]

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