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Rule

Security Zone; Anacostia River, Washington, DC

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 a temporary security zone encompassing certain waters of the Anacostia River in order to safeguard high-ranking public officials from terrorist acts and incidents. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of persons and property, and prevent terrorist acts or incidents. This rule prohibits vessels and people from entering the security zone and requires vessels and persons in the security zone to depart the security 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 from 7:30 a.m. through 2 p.m. on April 17, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket USCG-2008-0114 and are available online at http://www.regulations.gov. This material is 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 Commander, U.S. 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:

If you have questions on this rule, call Mr. Ronald Houck, at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Waterways Management Division, at telephone number (410) 576-2674 or (410) 576-2693. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On March 7, 2008, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Security Zone; Anacostia River, Washington, DC” in the Federal Register (73 FR 12318). We received one letter, with an attached photo, commenting on the proposed rule. Based on this comment, no changes were made to 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 would be contrary to public interest to delay the effective date of this rule.

The Department of Homeland Security designated the 2008 Papal Visits in the United States as Special Events Awareness Report (SEAR) Level II. The Coast Guard is establishing this security zone to support the United States Secret Service, the designated lead federal agency for the events, in their efforts to coordinate security operations and establish a secure environment for this highly visible and publicized event.

The measures contemplated by the rule are intended to protect the public and high-ranking public officials by preventing waterborne acts of terrorism, which terrorists have demonstrated a capability to carry out. Immediate action is needed to defend against and deter these terrorist acts.

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 Coast Guard Captain of the Port 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.

The Captain of the Port Baltimore is establishing a security zone to address the aforementioned security concerns and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact of a terrorist attack against a large number of participants, and the surrounding waterfront area and communities, in Washington, DC. This temporary security zone applies to all waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, from a line connecting the following points, beginning at 38°51′50″ N, 077°00′41″ W thence to 38°51′44″ N, 077°00′26″ W, upstream to the Officer Kevin J. Welsh Memorial (11th Street) Bridge. Although interference with normal port operations will be kept to the minimum considered necessary to ensure the security of life and property on the navigable waters immediately before, during, and after the scheduled event, this zone will help the Coast Guard to prevent vessels or persons from bypassing security measures for the event established and engaging in terrorist actions against a large number of participants during the highly-publicized event.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received one comment in response to the NPRM. No Start Printed Page 20798public meeting was requested and none was held.

The commenter, the developer of a piece of equipment that can be pre-attached to any standard fire hydrant, stated that such an item could quickly be activated to decontaminate or cool many people by providing “a ring of potential showers around the stadium while the Pope is there.”

We did not make any changes from the proposed rule which involves a security zone on the Anacostia River based on this comment. We did, however, revise paragraph (b)(1) of the regulatory text to reflect what we stated in the preamble of the NPRM, that except for Public vessels and vessels at berth, mooring or at anchor, all vessels in this zone must depart the security zone.

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.

There is little seasonal vessel traffic associated with recreational boating and commercial fishing during the effective period, and vessels may seek permission from the Captain of the Port Baltimore to enter and transit the zone.

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, operate or anchor in a portion of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, from a line connecting the following points, beginning at 38°51′50″ N, 077°00′41″ W thence to 38°51′44″ N, 077°00′26″ W, upstream to the Officer Kevin J. Welsh Memorial (11th Street) Bridge, from 7:30 a.m. through 2 p.m. on April 17, 2008. Although the security zone applies to the entire width of the river, this zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities due to a lack of seasonal vessel traffic associated with recreational boating and commercial fishing during the effective period. Also, before the effective period, we would issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the Anacostia River, and vessels may seek permission from the Captain of the Port Baltimore to enter and transit the security zone.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), in the NPRM 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). 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 Start Printed Page 20799provides 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)(g.), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. This rule establishes a security zone.

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.T08-012 to read as follows:

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Security Zone; Anacostia River, Washington, DC.

(a) Location. The following area is a security zone: All waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, from a line connecting the following points, beginning at 38°51′50″ N, 077°00′41″ W thence to 38°51′44″ N, 077°00′26″ W, upstream to the Officer Kevin J. Welsh Memorial (11th Street) Bridge. These coordinates are based upon North American Datum 1983.

(b) Regulations. (1) Entry into the security zone described in paragraph (a) of this section is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Baltimore. Except for Public vessels and vessels at berth, mooring or at anchor, all vessels in this zone must depart the security zone.

(2) Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone may contact the Captain of the Port at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on VHF channel 16 (156.8 MHz) to seek permission to transit the area. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port or his or her designated representative.

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

(c) Effective period. This section is effective from 7:30 a.m. through 2 p.m. on April 17, 2008.

Start Signature

Dated: April 10, 2008.

Brian D. Kelley,

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

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[FR Doc. 08-1146 Filed 4-15-08; 9:31 am]

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