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Security Zones; Brazos River, Freeport, TX

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.

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Final rule.


The Coast Guard has established four permanent security zones in the Brazos River in Freeport, Texas. These security zones are being put in place to protect vessels, waterfront facilities, and surrounding areas from destruction, loss, or injury caused by terrorism, sabotage, subversive acts, accidents, or incidents of a similar nature. Entry into these zones is prohibited except by permission of the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston.


This rule is effective March 29, 2010.


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-2009-0501 and are available online by going to, inserting USCG-2009-0501 in the “Keyword” box, and then clicking “Search.” This material is also available for inspection or copying at 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.

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If you have questions on this rule, call or e-mail Lieutenant junior grade Margaret Brown, Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston; telephone (713) 678-9001, e-mail If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

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Regulatory Information

On November 24, 2009 we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Security Zones; Brazos River, Freeport, TX in the Federal Register (74 FR 61305). We received no comments on the proposed rule.

Background and Purpose

Heightened awareness of potential terrorist acts requires enhanced security of our ports, harbors, and vessels. To enhance security, the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston has established four permanent security zones within the port of Freeport, TX.

These zones protect waterfront facilities, persons, and vessels from subversive or terrorist acts. Vessels operating within the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston Zone are potential targets of terrorist attacks, or potential launch platforms for terrorist attacks on other vessels, waterfront facilities, and adjacent population centers. The zones are in areas with a high concentration of commercial facilities that are considered critical to national security.

All vessels not exempted under 33 CFR 165.814(c) desiring to enter this zone are required to obtain express permission from the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston or his designated representative prior to entry. This rule is not designed to restrict access to vessels engaged, or assisting in commerce with waterfront facilities within the security zones, vessels operated by port authorities, vessels operated by waterfront facilities within the security zones, and vessels operated by Federal, State, county or municipal agencies. By limiting access to this area the Coast Guard reduces potential methods of attack on vessels, waterfront facilities, and adjacent population centers located within the zones.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

We received no comments on the proposed rule, published November 24, 2009. No public meeting was requested and none was held. The Coast Guard is implementing the rule as proposed, without change.

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 Start Printed Page 8492Executive 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. The economic impact of this rule is so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation was unnecessary. The basis of this finding is that the security zones are not part of the Federal Channel. The zones do not impede commercial traffic to, from, or within the Port of Freeport. Recreational and commercial fishing vessels are to transit the Brazos River within the Federal Channel.

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 does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reason: This rule does not interfere with any commercial vessel traffic within the Old Brazos River.

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.

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).


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 does 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.


We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 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 this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction. This rule involves establishing security zones.

An environmental analysis checklist and a 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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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, 3306, 3703; 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. Revise § 165.814(a)(5) to read as follows: § 165.814 Security Zones; Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston Zone.

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(a) * * *

(5) Freeport, Texas. (i) The Dow Barge Canal, containing all waters of the Dow Barge Canal north of a line drawn between 28°56.81′ N/095°18.33′ W and 28°56.63′ N/095°18.54′ W (NAD 1983).

(ii) The Brazos Harbor, containing all waters west of a line drawn between 28°56.45′ N, 095°20.00′ W, and 28°56.15′ N, 095°20.00′ W (NAD 1983) at its junction with the Old Brazos River.

(iii) The Dow Chemical plant, containing all waters of the Brazos Point Turning Basin within 100′ of the north shore and bounded on the east by the longitude line drawn through 28°56.58′ N/095°18.64′ W and on the west by the longitude line drawn through 28°56.64′ N/095°19.13′ W (NAD 1983).

(iv) The Seaway Teppco Facility, containing all waters of the Brazos Port Turning Basin bounded on the south by the shore, the north by the Federal Channel, on the east by the longitude line running through 28°56.44′ N, 095°18.83′ W and 28°56.48′ N 095°18.83′ W and on the West by the longitude line running through 28°56.12′ N, 095°19.27′ W and 28°56.11′ N, 095°19.34′ W (NAD 1983).

(v) The Conoco Phillips Facility docks, containing all waters within 100′ of a line drawn from a point on shore at Latitude 28°55.96′ N, Longitude 095°19.77′ W, extending west to a point on shore at Latitude 28°56.19′ N, Longitude 095°20.07′ W (NAD 1983).

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Dated: January 7, 2010.

M.E. Woodring,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston.

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[FR Doc. 2010-3814 Filed 2-24-10; 8:45 am]