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Security Zone; Freeport LNG Basin, 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 a permanent security zone in the Freeport LNG Basin. This security zone is needed to protect vessels, waterfront facilities, the public, and other surrounding areas from destruction, loss, or injury caused by sabotage, subversive acts, accidents, or other actions of a similar nature. Entry into this zone is prohibited, except for vessels that have obtained the express Start Printed Page 11001permission from the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston or his designated representative.


This rule is effective April 9, 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-2008-0124 and are available online by going to, inserting USCG-2008-0124 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 Commander Kevin Ivey, Marine Safety Unit Galveston, Coast Guard; telephone 409-978-2704, 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 April 30, 2009 we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Security Zone; Freeport LNG Basin, Freeport, TX in the Federal Register (33 FR 19926). 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 a permanent security zone.

This rule establishes a new distinct security zone within the port of Freeport, TX. This zone protects 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 platforms from which terrorist attacks may be launched upon from other vessels, waterfront facilities, and adjacent population centers.

This zone is for an area concentrated with commercial facilities considered critical to national security. 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. All vessels not exempted under § 165.814 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.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

No comments were received regarding this rule. 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 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. The economic impact of this rule is so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation was unnecessary. The basis of this finding is that this security zone does not interfere with regular vessel traffic within the Freeport Ship Channel or the Intracoastal Waterway.

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 regular vessel traffic within the Freeport Ship Channel and/or the Intracoastal Waterway.

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 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.Start Printed Page 11002

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 because this rule involves a regulation establishing, disestablishing, or changing Regulated Navigation Areas and security or safety 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; 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. In § 165.814—

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a. Remove paragraph (b);

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b. Redesignate paragraph (c) as (b); and

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c. Add paragraph (a)(5)(vi) and revise redesignated paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:

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Security Zone; Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston Zone.

(a) * * *

(5) * * *

(vi) The Freeport LNG Basin containing all waters shoreward of a line drawn between the eastern point at latitude 28°56′25″ N, 095°18′13″ W, and the western point at 28°56′28″ N, 095°18′31″ W, east towards the jetties.

(b) * * *

(2) Other persons or vessels requiring entry into a zone described in this section must request express permission to enter from the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston, or designated representative. The Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston's designated representatives are any personnel granted authority by the Captain of the Port Houston-Galveston to receive, evaluate, and issue written security zone entry permits, or the designated on-scene U.S. Coast Guard patrol personnel described in paragraph (b)(4).

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Dated: December 28, 2009.

M.E. Woodring,

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

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[FR Doc. 2010-5056 Filed 3-9-10; 8:45 am]