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Safety Zone; DEEPWATER HORIZON at Mississippi Canyon 252 Outer Continental Shelf MODU in the Gulf of Mexico

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Temporary final rule; change of effective period.


The Coast Guard is extending the effective period for the temporary safety zone around the riser for the DEEPWATER HORIZON, a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), at Mississippi Canyon 252, in the Outer Continental Shelf. The safety zone in place at 33 CFR 147.T08-849 terminates on August 26, 2010. Extending the effective period for this safety zone provides continued and uninterrupted protection of personnel involved in ongoing response efforts. Continuing the safety zone around the riser will significantly reduce the threat of collisions, oil spills, and releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment. Response efforts continue at the water's surface and subsurface.


33 CFR 147.T08-849 temporarily added at 75 FR 32273, June 8, 2010, effective from June 8, 2010 to August 26, 2010, will continue in effect through November 26, 2010.


Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG-2010-0448 and are available online by going to, inserting USCG-2010-0448 in the “Keyword” box, and then clicking “Search.” They are 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 about this notice, call or e-mail Dr. Madeleine McNamara, U.S. Coast Guard, District Eight Waterways Management Coordinator; telephone 504-671-2103, 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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM. This rule extends the existing temporary safety zone around the riser for the DEEPWATER HORIZON, a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), which is currently set to expire on August 26, 2010. This extension is necessary to continue protecting the responders and to prevent entry into the area where both response and relief efforts are still ongoing and are expected to continue after the spill is stopped. Failing to delay the effective day of this extension pending completion of notice and comment rulemaking is impracticable and contrary to the public interest because it would cause a gap in the ability to enforce the needed safety zone for protection of all responders, the response efforts, and the environment.

For the same reasons, 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.

Basis and Purpose

The safety zone in place pursuant to the Temporary Final Rule at docket USCG-2010-0448 extended the safety zone initially enforced for the DEEPWATER HORIZON riser from April 26, 2010 through May 26, 2010. The safety zone was enforced through actual notice from May 26, 2010 until June 8, 2010 to ensure seamless protection of those involved in the response efforts. On June 8, 2010, the Coast Guard established a safety zone in the deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico in response to the sinking of the DEEPWATER HORIZON, a Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), near Mississippi Canyon 252 with a center point at 28-44-18N and 088-21-54W. See 75 FR 32273. This temporary safety zone is set to expire on August 26, 2010. The temporary safety zone created by this rule ensures that there is no gap in authority to protect all responders, the response efforts, and the environment.

Discussion of Rule

The Coast Guard is extending the effective date of a safety zone encompassing all areas within 500 meters around the position 28-44-18N latitude and 088-21-54W longitude.

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.

This rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the location of the riser for the MODU DEEPWATER HORIZON—on the Outer Continental Shelf—and its distance from both land and safety fairways. Vessels traversing waters near the proposed safety zone will be able to safely travel around the zone without incurring additional costs.

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 Start Printed Page 51944organizations 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 will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in Mississippi Canyon block 252.

This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact or a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: This rule will enforce a safety zone around a MODU that is in an area of the Gulf of Mexico not frequented by vessel traffic and is not in close proximity to a safety fairway. Further, vessel traffic can pass safely around the safety zone without incurring additional costs.

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).


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 (adjusted for inflation) 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 cause 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 that 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, from further environmental documentation since implementation of this action will not result in any significant cumulative impacts on the human environment; does not involve a substantial change to existing environmental conditions; and is consistent with Federal, State, and/or local laws or administrative determinations relating to the environment. This rule involves establishing a safety zone.

Pursuant to paragraph (34)(g) of the Instruction, an environmental checklist and a categorical exclusion checklist are available in the docket indicated under ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 147

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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 147 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

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2. Section 147.T08-849 temporarily added at

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Dated: August 16, 2010.

M.E. Landry,

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

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[FR Doc. 2010-20921 Filed 8-23-10; 8:45 am]