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Rule

Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Western Branch, Elizabeth River, Portsmouth, VA

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing temporary special local regulations during the “Virginia State Hydroplane Championship” power boat races, a marine event to be held on the waters of the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River at Portsmouth, Virginia on April 19 and 20, 2008. These special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the event. This action is intended to restrict vessel traffic in the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River during the event.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 8 a.m. on April 19, 2008 through 6 p.m. on April 20, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG-2008-0074 and are available online at www.regulations.gov. They are also available for inspection or copying at two locations: The Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and the Fifth Coast Guard District, Inspections and Investigations Branch, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dennis Sens, Project Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District, Inspections and Investigations Branch, at (757) 398-6204.

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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 would be impracticable and contrary to public interest since immediate action is needed to minimize potential danger to the public during the event. The danger posed by high speed power boat races makes special local regulations necessary to provide for the safety of event participants, support vessels, spectator craft and other vessels transiting the event area. For the safety concerns noted, it is in the public interest to have these regulations in effect during the event. The Coast Guard will issue broadcast notice to mariners to advise vessel operators of navigational restrictions. On scene Coast Guard and local law enforcement vessels will also provide actual notice to mariners. Start Printed Page 15899

Background and Purpose

On April 19 and 20, 2008, Virginia Boat Racing Association will sponsor the “Virginia State Hydroplane Championship” hydroplane races on the waters of the Western Branch, Elizabeth River at Portsmouth, Virginia. The event will consist of approximately 60 hydroplane powerboats conducting high-speed competitive races on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River in the vicinity of Portsmouth City Park, Portsmouth, Virginia. A fleet of spectator vessels is expected to gather near the event site to view the competition. To provide for the safety of participants, spectators, support and transiting vessels, the Coast Guard will temporarily restrict vessel traffic in the event area during the hydroplane races.

Discussion of Rule

The special local regulations will be enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 19 and 20, 2008, and will restrict navigation in the regulated area during the hydroplane races. Except for persons or vessels authorized by the Coast Guard Patrol Commander, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the regulated area during the effective period. The regulated area is needed to control vessel traffic during the event to enhance the safety of participants and transiting vessels.

In addition to notice in the Federal Register, the maritime community will be provided extensive advance notification via the Local Notice to Mariners, marine information broadcasts, local newspapers and radio stations so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

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).

We expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. Although this regulation will prevent traffic from transiting a portion of the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River during the event, the effect of this regulation will not be significant due to the limited duration that the regulated area will be in effect and the extensive advance notifications that will be made to the maritime community via the Local Notice to Mariners, marine information broadcasts, and area newspapers, so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly. Additionally, the regulated area has been narrowly tailored to impose the least impact on general navigation yet provide the level of safety deemed necessary. Vessel traffic will be able to transit the regulated area between heats, when the Coast Guard Patrol Commander deems it is safe to do so.

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 would 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 Western Branch, Elizabeth River during the event.

This rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. This rule would be in effect for only a limited period. Vessel traffic will be able to transit the regulated area between heats, when the Coast Guard Patrol Commander deems it is safe to do so. Before the enforcement period, we will issue maritime advisories so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offer to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they can 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). 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. Start Printed Page 15900

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 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)(h), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. Special local regulations issued in conjunction with a regatta or marine event permit are specifically excluded from further analysis and documentation under that section.

Under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(h), of the Instruction, an “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are not required for this rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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Words of Issuance and Regulatory Text

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends

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PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS

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1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1233.

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2. Add a temporary § 100.35-T05-018 to read as follows:

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Western Branch, Elizabeth River, Portsmouth, VA.

(a) Regulated area includes all waters of the Western Branch, Elizabeth River bounded by a line connecting the following points: latitude 36°50′06″ N, longitude 076°22′27″ W, thence to latitude 36°50′06″ N, longitude 076°21′57″ W, thence to latitude 36°50′15″ N, longitude 076° 21′55.8″ W, thence to latitude 36°50′15″ N, longitude 076°22′27″ W, thence to point of origin. All coordinates reference Datum: NAD 1983.

(b) Definitions: (1) Coast Guard Patrol Commander means a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the Coast Guard who has been designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads.

(2) Official Patrol means any vessel assigned or approved by Commander, Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads with a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer on board and displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

(3) Participant includes all vessels participating in the Virginia State Hydroplane Championship under the auspices of the Marine Event Permit issued to the event sponsor and approved by Commander, Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads.

(c) Special local regulations: (1) Except for event participants and persons or vessels authorized by the Coast Guard Patrol Commander, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the regulated area.

(2) The operator of any vessel in the regulated area must:

(i) Stop the vessel immediately when directed to do so by any Official Patrol.

(ii) Proceed as directed by any Official Patrol.

(iii) When authorized to transit the regulated area, all vessels shall proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course that minimizes wake near the race course.

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 19 and 20, 2008. A notice of enforcement of this section will be disseminated through the Fifth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners announcing the specific event date and times. Notice will also be made via broadcast notice to mariners on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 22 (157.1 MHz).

Start Signature

Dated: March 17, 2008.

Fred M. Rosa, Jr.,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-6154 Filed 3-25-08; 8:45 am]

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