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Security Zone; Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, Washington, DC, Arlington and Fairfax Counties, VA, and Prince George's County, MD

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 a temporary security zone encompassing certain waters of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. This action is necessary to ensure the security of persons and property, and to prevent terrorist acts or incidents before, during, and after scheduled activities associated with the 2009 U.S. Presidential Inauguration. This rule prohibits vessels and persons from entering the security zone and requires vessels and persons in the security zone to depart the security zone during the effective time frame, and to immediately depart the security zone when requested to do so by government authorities.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 4 a.m. on January 14, 2009, through 10 p.m. on January 25, 2009.

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-2008-1001 and are available online by going to http://www.regulations.gov, selecting the Advanced Docket Search option on the right side of the screen, inserting USCG-2008-1001 in the Docket ID box, pressing Enter, and then clicking on the item in the Docket ID column. 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, Start Printed Page 76537Baltimore, Maryland 21226-1791, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary rule, call Ronald L. Houck, Waterways Management Division, at 410-576-2674 or 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 October 27, 2008, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Security Zone; Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, Washington, DC, Arlington and Fairfax Counties, VA, and Prince George's County, MD” in the Federal Register (73 FR 63663). We received one letter commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

The Coast Guard 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 proposed 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 proposing to establish a security zone to address the aforementioned security concerns and to take steps to prevent the catastrophic impact that a terrorist attack against the large gatherings of high-ranking United States officials, the public at large, and surrounding waterfront areas and communities would have. The proposed security zone is necessary to safeguard life and property on the navigable waters before, during, and after scheduled activities associated with the 2009 U.S. Presidential Inauguration and will help the Coast Guard prevent vessels or persons from bypassing the security measures established on shore for the events and engaging in waterborne terrorist actions during the highly-publicized events.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received one comment in response to the NPRM. No public meeting was requested and none was held. What follows is a review of, and the Coast Guard's response to, the issues that were presented by the commenter concerning the proposed regulations.

The commenter, who was anonymous, stated that although they agree a secure perimeter is needed for the U.S. Presidential Inauguration, they do not agree that certain details of the security zone, such as the enforcement period and boundaries, should be provided to the general public beforehand. The commentor believes such information could be used by an adversary to devise a plan to circumvent the government's security efforts.

The Administrative Procedures Act directs Federal agencies to ensure that adequate notice is provided to the public concerning actions that the Federal Government is considering for implementation. In addition, we do not feel that issuing the proposed rule adversely affects the patrol and enforcement of the security zone.

Regulatory Analyses

We developed this 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 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 no 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 operate or transit on (1) all waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the Francis Scott Key (U.S. Route 29) Bridge, downstream to and bounded on the south from a position at latitude 38°46′42″ N, longitude 077°02′55″ W on the Virginia shoreline to a position at latitude 38°46′42″ N, longitude 077°01′33″ W on the Maryland shoreline, including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin; and (2) all waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the New York Avenue (U.S. Route 50) Bridge, downstream to and bounded on the south by its confluence with the Potomac River. This security zone would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because vessels with compelling interests that outweigh the port's security needs may be granted waivers from the requirements of 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 Start Printed Page 76538determined 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 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 Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded under the Instruction 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.

An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination will be 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.T05-1001 to read as follows:

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Security Zone; Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, Washington, DC, Arlington and Fairfax Counties, VA, and Prince George's County, MD.

(a) Location. The following area is a security zone: (1) All waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the Francis Scott Key (U.S. Route 29) Bridge, downstream to and bounded on the south from a position at latitude 38°46′42″ N, longitude 077°02′55″ W on the Virginia shoreline to a position at latitude 38°46′42″ N, longitude 077°01′33″ W on the Maryland shoreline, including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin; and

(2) All waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the New York Avenue (U.S. Route 50) Bridge, downstream to and bounded on the south by its confluence with the Potomac River.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section:

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

Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Baltimore to assist in enforcing the security zone described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Regulations. (1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing security zones found in 33 CFR 165.33.

(2) Entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Baltimore. Vessels already at berth, mooring, or anchor at the time the security zone is implemented do not have to depart the security zone. All vessels underway within this security zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone. The Captain of the Port Baltimore may, in his discretion, grant waivers or exemptions to this rule, either on a case-by-case basis or categorically to a particular class of vessel that otherwise is subject to adequate control measures.

(3) Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone must first obtain authorization from the Captain of the Port Baltimore or his designated representative. To seek permission to transit the area, the Captain of the Port Start Printed Page 76539Baltimore and his designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Baltimore or his designated representative and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone.

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

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 4 a.m. on January 14, 2009, through 10 p.m. on January 25, 2009.

Start Signature

Dated: December 5, 2008.

Austin J. Gould,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-29726 Filed 12-16-08; 8:45 am]

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