Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Special Anchorage Area “A”, Boston Harbor, MA

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


Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of proposed rulemaking.


The Coast Guard proposes to increase the size of the Boston Inner Harbor Special Anchorage Area “A” at the entrance to Fort Point Channel in Boston Harbor, Boston, MA at the request of the Boston Harbormaster and the Boston Harbor Yacht Club. This action will provide additional anchorage space and provide a safe and secure anchorage for vessels of not more than 65 feet in length.


Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before October 20, 2008.


You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2008-0497 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:

(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


If you have questions on this proposed rule, call Mr. John J. Mauro, Commander (dpw), First Coast Guard District, 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02110, Telephone (617) 223-8355 or e-mail

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


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 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-2008-0497), 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. 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 proposed 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 at any time. Enter the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2008-0497) 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, Commander (dpw), First Coast Guard District, 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02110, between 8 a.m. and 3 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

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.

Background and Purpose

In 1982, three anchorages were established in response to a request by the Boston Harbormaster. These three anchorages were designated Boston Start Printed Page 49132Inner Harbor A, Boston Inner Harbor B, and Boston Inner Harbor C. When they were created, 39 of 43 comments were in favor of the anchorage establishments. Many of the initial commenters identified themselves as members of the Boston Harbor Sailing Club, a sailing club located in close proximity to the proposed anchorage area at that time. Of the disfavoring groups, the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers expressed some concern about Anchorage Area “C” encroaching on the Fort Point Channel approach. Another commenter complained that Anchorage Area “A”, extended southward, interfering with the approach to Rowes Wharf. The two remaining commenters represented commercial interests opposed to the Anchorage Areas, especially Anchorage Area “C”.

A public hearing was held thereafter in which six commenters voiced their support for the Anchorage Area. One commenter, however, expressed concern about the proximity of Anchorage Area “C” to the main shipping channel for Boston Harbor. With an average speed of six (6) knots, a large vessel transiting the area could damage closely anchored sailboats. The same commenter also disapproved of the way Anchorage Area “C” encroached on the Fort Point Channel. Another commenter complained about Anchorage Area “A” and the difficult approach that would be required by a vessel attempting to moor on Rowes Wharf. The final commenter was concerned about the navigational safety of the Fort Point Channel approach, which was reduced by Anchorage Area “C”, and also agreed with the concerns about the approach to Rowes Wharf.

At that time, in response to the comments received, the Anchorage Areas “A” and “C” were modified in response to reasonable complaints that were raised by commercial parties. Each of the areas was plotted on a large scale chart providing for greater accuracy. The southern boundary of Anchorage Area “A” was moved northward to allow a more favorable approach to Rowes Wharf and the southern boundary of Anchorage Area “C” was relocated northward to open up the approach to Fort Point Channel. The eastern boundary of Anchorage Area “C” was moved away from the main shipping channel.

At the same time, administration of the anchorage area was given to the Harbormaster of the City of Boston pursuant to local ordinances. The City of Boston was also given charge of installing and maintaining suitable navigational aids to mark the limits of the anchorage area.

In 1985, in response to a request by the Boston Harbormaster, Boston Police Department and the developer of the Rowes Wharf reconstruction project, a modification to the anchorages was deemed to be required because redevelopment of the Rowes Wharf area in Boston would change recreational and commercial vessel traffic patterns in the Rowes Wharf waterfront area. The presence of the existing Anchorage Area B would impede the passage of vessels in and out of Rowes Wharf and would create a navigation safety hazard if vessels were anchored there. Therefore, this modification removed Anchorages A, B and C and established Boston Inner Harbor Anchorage Area “A”.

Since this time, Boston Harbormasters have permitted the Boston Harbor Sailing Club to establish moorings in Anchorage Area A. The Boston Harbor Sailing Club rents the moorings to customers who then apply to the City of Boston for a permit allowing the mooring. Although the moorings are relatively small, the associated anchoring systems range from 1000 to 4000 pounds.

In addition, when the anchorage was established, the Coast Guard used the North American Datum 1927 (NAD27) as a plotting system. Since then, however, the Coast Guard adopted the North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) for its plotting system. This new system changed the coordinate positions of the anchorages on the charts. In this rulemaking, the Coast Guard intends to update the position of this anchorage using NAD83 coordinates.

When Rowes Wharf was finished, the new wharf had a set of docks attached to it. The current placement of these docks does not allow enough of a fairway for vessels to transit between the anchorage area and the pier facings. Changing the size of the anchorage area will allow this to occur by changing the positions of the buoys.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard is proposing to increase the size of the Boston Inner Harbor Anchorage Area “A”. By enlarging Anchorage Area “A” and shifting the positions of the buoys, it will correct what is currently an unsafe condition, and allow for the safe passage of vessels between the wharf and the anchorage. This regulation will also allow for the creation of a slightly larger anchorage area. By enlarging the anchorage area, the current problem with boats maintaining a mooring and swinging out into the channel will be alleviated.

Regulatory Analyses

We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 13 of these statutes or executive orders.

Regulatory Planning and Review

This proposed 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 proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary, as the creation of the anchorage modifies the buoys which will align more efficiently with current traffic patterns.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this proposed 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 proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of recreational vessels transiting in the vicinity of the anchorage, the Boston Aquarium, Boston Harbor ferry vessels transiting the local area as well as those vessels transiting into Anchorage Area “A”.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on Start Printed Page 49133them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact Chief Petty Officer Eldridge McFadden by mail at United States Coast Guard Sector Boston, 47 Commercial Street, Boston, MA 02109. 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 proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).


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 proposed 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 proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This proposed rule would 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 proposed 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 proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would 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 proposed 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 proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.


We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1 and 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 made a preliminary determination under the instruction that this action is not likely to have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary “Environmental Analysis Check List” supporting this preliminary determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 110

End List of Subjects

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 110 as follows:

Start Part


1. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 471, 1221 through 1236, 2030, 2035, 2071; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.

End Authority

2. Amend § 110.30 by revising (m) to read as follows:

Boston Harbor, Mass., and adjacent waters.
* * * * *

(m) Boston Inner Harbor A. The waters of the western side of Boston Inner Harbor north of the entrance to the Fort Point Channel bounded by the following points beginning at latitude 42°21′32″ N, longitude 071°02′50″ W; thence to latitude 42°21′33″ N, longitude 071°02′44″ W; thence to latitude 42°21′26″ N, longitude 071°02′36″ W; thence to latitude 42°21′26″ N, longitude 071°02′53″ W; thence to point of origin. Datum NAD83.


The area is principally for use by yachts and other recreational craft. Temporary floats or buoys for marking anchors will be allowed. Fixed mooring piles or stakes are prohibited. The anchoring of vessels and placing of temporary moorings will be under the jurisdiction, and at the discretion of the Harbormaster, City of Boston. All moorings shall be so placed that no vessel, when moored, will at any time extend beyond the limits of the area.

Start Signature

Dated: August 5, 2008.

Dale G. Gabel,

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

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-19267 Filed 8-19-08; 8:45 am]