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Proposed Rule

Security Zone; Escorted Vessels, Charleston, SC, Captain of the Port Zone

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 Start Printed Page 30560

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a security zone around any vessel being escorted by one or more Coast Guard, State, or local law enforcement assets on the navigable waters of the Captain of the Port Zone, Charleston, South Carolina. This action is necessary to ensure the safe transit of escorted vessels as well as the safety and security of personnel and port facilities. No vessel or person is allowed inside the security zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or a designated representative.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective May 28, 2008. Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before June 27, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2007-0115 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. Department of Transportation. To avoid duplication, please use only one of the following methods:

(1) Online: http://www.regulations.gov.

(2) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

(3) Hand delivery: Room W12-140 on the Ground Floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

(4) Fax: 202-493-2251.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call LT Calvin Summers at Sector Charleston (843) 720-3273. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Participation and Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to use the Docket Management Facility. Please see DOT's “Privacy Act” paragraph below.

Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2007-0115), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. For example, we may ask you to resubmit your comment if we are not able to read your original submission. You may submit your comments and material by electronic means, mail, fax, or delivery to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES; but please submit your comments and material by only one means. If you submit them by mail or delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this rule in view of them.

Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Enter the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2007-0115) in the Search box, and click “Go >>.”. You may also visit either the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays or the Coast Guard Sector Charleston (WWM), 196 Tradd Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Privacy Act

Anyone can search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the Department of Transportation's Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

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 a NPRM and delaying the effective date would be contrary to public interest since the security zones around escorted vessels are necessary to ensure the safe transit of the escorted vessels as well as the public. Certain vessel movements are more vulnerable to terrorist acts and it would be contrary to the public interest to publish an NPRM that would delay the effective date of this rule. The Coast Guard coordinates escorts for vessels in the Captain of the Port Zone Charleston, South Carolina for the port's safety and security. Recently, recreational boaters have endangered themselves and others by not following the verbal guidance of on-scene law enforcement officials. To ensure safe boating, it is imperative that a standard exclusionary zone be broadcast and safe speeds be followed for all escorted vessels.

For the same reasons above, 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.

Background and Purpose

The terrorist attacks of September 2001 heightened the need for development of various security measures throughout the seaports of the United States, particularly around vessels and facilities whose presence or Start Printed Page 30561movement creates a heightened vulnerability to terrorist acts; or those for which the consequences of terrorist acts represent a threat to national security. The President of the United States has found that the security of the United States is and continues to be endangered following the attacks of September 11 (E.O. 13,273, 67 FR 56215, Sep. 3, 2002 and 72 FR 54205, Sep. 21, 2007). Additionally, national security and intelligence officials continue to warn that future terrorist attacks are likely.

The ports within the Captain of the Port (COTP) Charleston frequently receive vessels that require additional security, including, but not limited to, vessels carrying sensitive Department of Defense cargoes, vessels carrying dangerous cargoes, and foreign naval vessels. The COTP has determined that these vessels have a significant vulnerability to subversive activity by other vessels or persons, or, in some cases, themselves pose a risk to a port and the public within the COTP Zone, as described in 33 CFR 3.35-15. This rule enables the COTP Charleston to provide effective port security, while minimizing the public's confusion and easing the administrative burden of implementing separate temporary security zone rules for each escorted vessel.

Discussion of Rule

This rule establishes a security zone that prohibits persons and vessels from coming within 300 yards of all escorted vessels within the navigable waters of the COTP Charleston unless authorized by the Coast Guard COTP, or a COTP designated representative.

Persons or vessels that receive permission to enter the security zone must proceed at a minimum safe speed and must comply with all orders issued by the COTP or a designated representative. No vessel or person may come within 50 yards of any escorted vessel. An escorted vessel will be defined as a vessel, other than a large U.S. naval vessel as defined in 33 CFR 165.2015, that is accompanied by one or more Coast Guard assets or other Federal, State or local law enforcement agency assets clearly identifiable by lights, vessel markings, or with agency insignia as listed below:

Coast Guard surface or air asset displaying the Coast Guard insignia.

State and/or local law enforcement asset displaying the applicable agency markings and/or equipment associated with the agency.

When escorted vessels are moored, dayboards or other visual indications such as lights or buoys may be used. In all cases, broadcast notice to mariners will be issued to advise mariners of these restrictions.

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. The limited geographic area impacted by the security zone will not restrict the movement or routine operation of commercial or recreational vessels through the Ports within the Captain of the Port Zone Charleston.

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 may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit in the vicinity of escorted vessels. This rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because the zones are limited in size, in most cases leaving ample space for vessels to navigate around them. The zones will not significantly impact commercial and passenger vessel traffic patterns, and mariners will be notified of the zones via Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Where such space is not available and security conditions permit, the COTP will attempt to provide flexibility for individual vessels to transit through the zones as needed.

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. Start Printed Page 30562

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 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. A final “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a final “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR part 165

End List of Subjects

Words of Issuance and Regulatory Text

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

Start Part

PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

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.

End Authority

2. Add 165.769 to read as follows:

Security Zone; Escorted Vessels, Charleston, South Carolina, Captain of the Port.

(a) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

COTP means Captain of the Port Charleston, SC.

Designated representatives means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the COTP, in the enforcement of the security zone.

Escorted vessel means a vessel, other than a large U.S. naval vessel as defined in 33 CFR 165.2015, that is accompanied by one or more Coast Guard assets or other Federal, State or local law enforcement agency assets clearly identifiable by lights, vessel markings, or with agency insignia as listed below:

Coast Guard surface or air asset displaying the Coast Guard insignia.

State and/or local law enforcement asset displaying the applicable agency markings and/or equipment associated with the agency.

When escorted vessels are moored, dayboards or other visual indications such as lights or buoys may be used. In all cases, broadcast notice to mariners will be issued to advise mariners of these restrictions.

Minimum safe speed means the speed at which a vessel proceeds when it is fully off plane, completely settled in the water and not creating excessive wake. Due to the different speeds at which vessels of different sizes and configurations may travel while in compliance with this definition, no specific speed is assigned to minimum safe speed. In no instance should minimum safe speed be interpreted as a speed less than that required for a particular vessel to maintain steerageway. A vessel is not proceeding at minimum safe speed if it is:

(1) On a plane;

(2) In the process of coming up onto or coming off a plane; or

(3) Creating an excessive wake.

(b) Regulated Area. All navigable waters, as defined in 33 CFR 2.36, within the Captain of the Port Zone, Charleston, South Carolina 33 CFR 3.35-15.

(c) Security Zone. A 300-yard security zone is established around each escorted vessel within the regulated area described in paragraph (b) of this section. This is a moving security zone when the escorted vessel is in transit and becomes a fixed zone when the escorted vessel is anchored or moored. A security zone will not extend beyond the boundary of the regulated area in this section.

(d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations for security zones contained in § 165.33 of this part applies to this section.

(2) A vessel may request the permission of the COTP Charleston or a designated representative to enter the security zone described in paragraph (c) of this section. If permitted to enter the security zone, a vessel must proceed at the minimum safe speed and must comply with the orders of the COTP or a designated representative. No vessel or person may enter the inner 50-yard portion of the security zone closest to the vessel.

(e) Notice of Security Zone. The COTP will inform the public of the existence or status of the security zones around escorted vessels in the regulated area by Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Coast Guard assets or other Federal, State or local law enforcement agency assets will be clearly identified by lights, vessel markings, or with agency insignia. When escorted vessels are moored, dayboards or other visual indications such as lights or buoys may be used. Start Printed Page 30563

(f) Contact Information. The COTP Charleston may be reached via phone at (843) 724-7616. Any on scene Coast Guard or designated representative assets may be reached via VHF-FM channel 16.

Start Signature

Dated: May 15, 2008.

M. F. McAllister,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Charleston, South Carolina.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-11863 Filed 5-27-08; 8:45 am]

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