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Proposed Rule

Anchorage Regulations; Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, RI

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to remove an obsolete Naval explosives Start Printed Page 15247anchorage in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, and to add an offshore anchorage in Rhode Island Sound south of Brenton Point, Rhode Island, for use by vessels waiting to enter Narragansett Bay.

DATES:

Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 20, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2009-1131 using any one of the following methods:

(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

(2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

(3) 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.

(4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these methods. For instructions on submitting comments, see the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this proposed rule, call Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, 401-435-2351. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, please call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY 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 http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2009-1131), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. 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.

To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, select the Advanced Docket Search option on the right side of the screen, insert “USCG-2009-1131” in the Docket ID box, press Enter, and then click on the balloon shape in the Actions column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8½ 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 and may change the rule based on your comments.

Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, select the Advanced Docket Search option on the right side of the screen, insert USCG-2009-1131 in the Docket ID box, press Enter, and then click on the item in the Docket ID column. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.

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 a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008 issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one using one of the four methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting 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.

Basis and Purpose

The Secretary of Homeland Security has delegated to the Coast Guard the authority to establish and regulate anchorage grounds in accordance with 33 U.S.C. 471; 1221 through 1236, 2030, 2035, 2071; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. This proposed rule would remove an obsolete and no longer used anchorage in Narragansett Bay from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and formalize and codify an area of Rhode Island Sound that under current informal practice is routinely used by mariners as an anchorage while waiting to enter Narragansett Bay.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

This proposed rule would remove the Naval explosives anchorage described in 33 CFR 110.145(a)(2)(ii). Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, had indicated to the Coast Guard that this anchorage is obsolete and no longer necessary for naval purposes. Leaving this obsolete anchorage in the CFR, and on navigation charts, leaves mariners with the mistaken impression that the area is reserved for a special purpose (i.e., explosives vessel anchoring) when in fact, it is no longer used or needed for that purpose.

The proposed rule also would add a new anchorage to formalize and codify the current practice of commercial vessels that anchor in an area south of Brenton Point, Newport, Rhode Island, while waiting to enter Narragansett Bay. Establishing this anchorage in the CFR, and placing it on navigation charts, will remove ambiguity and clarify for mariners the preferred and safest area in which to anchor offshore when waiting to enter Narragansett Bay.

This proposed anchorage area would encroach on a Navy Restricted Area (33 CFR 334.78) used as a naval practice minefield. We asked the Navy if this Restricted Area is still required and they have advised us that it is now considered obsolete and we can request that it be removed from the CFR and the charts. We have engaged the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) requesting that this Navy Restricted Area be removed from the CFR as well as the charts.

Prior to anchoring in the proposed anchorage area all vessels would be required to notify the COTP and unless otherwise approved by the COTP, all vessels must depart the anchorage area within 96 hours. This is necessary to ensure that an adequate anchorage area remains available close to the entrance to Narragansett Bay for vessels waiting Start Printed Page 15248to enter Narragansett Bay. This anchorage is not intended to be a longer term anchorage, but rather it is intended to be a short term anchorage available for vessels intending to enter Narragansett Bay within 96 hours and to facilitate their easy and safe entrance into Narragansett Bay. All vessels anchored in the proposed anchorage must be within the anchorage area at all times to ensure that they do not swing out into the nearby Traffic Lanes creating a high risk of collision with commercial vessels that transit past this Anchorage Area especially at night and during times of inclement weather. Additionally, to ensure completely open entrance to Narragansett Bay when necessary, as deemed by the COTP, all vessels anchored in the proposed anchorage must be able to get underway within two hours.

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 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 minimal additional cost impacts to the industry because this rule is not imposing fees, permits, or specialized requirements for the maritime industry to utilize this anchorage area. The effect of this rule would not be significant as it removes one obsolete anchorage that is no longer used by the U.S. Navy, and documents and codifies another area that is currently used by commercial vessels. This would represent an improvement on the safety of vessels using the anchorage grounds and would facilitate the transit of deep draft vessels through the area.

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 rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule may affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels that have a need to anchor in Narragansett Bay or Rhode Island Sound at the entrance to Narragansett Bay.

This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: this rule would only codify current navigation practices that are already in use by small entities in this area. The anchorage would not affect vessels' schedules or their ability to freely transit within these areas of Narragansett Bay or Rhode Island Sound. The anchorage would impose no monetary expenses on small entities because it does not require them to purchase any new equipment, hire additional crew, or make any other expenditures.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES above) 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 them 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 Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, 401-435-2351. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

Collection of Information

This proposed 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 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 (adjusted for inflation) 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 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 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 does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may 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 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 Start Printed Page 15249Concerning 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.

Environment

We have analyzed this proposed 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 made a preliminary determination that 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 removes one anchorage area and establishes one new anchorage area where commercial vessels already regularly anchor. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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

PART 110—ANCHORAGE REGULATIONS

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. 0170.1. 2. Remove and reserve § 110.145(a)(2)(ii), consisting of introductory text and paragraphs (a) through (e). 3. Add § 110.149 to subpart B to read as follows:

End Authority
Narragansett Bay, RI

(a) Brenton Point anchorage ground. An area bounded by the following coordinates: 41°22′37.1″ N, 71°14′40.3″ W; thence to 41°20′42.8″ N, 71°14′40.3″ W; thence to 41°18′24.1″ N, 71°20′32.5″ W; thence to 41°20′22.6″ N, 71°20′32.5″ W; thence back to point of origin.

(b) The following regulations apply in the Brenton Point anchorage ground.

(1) Prior to anchoring within the anchorage area, all vessels shall notify the Coast Guard Captain of the Port via VHF-FM Channel 16.

(2) Except as otherwise provided, no vessel may occupy this anchorage ground for a period of time in excess of 96 hours without prior approval of the Captain of the Port.

(3) If a request is made for the long-term layup of a vessel, the Captain of the Port may establish special conditions with which the vessel must comply in order for such a request to be approved.

(4) No vessel in such condition that it is likely to sink or otherwise become a menace or obstruction to navigation or anchorage of other vessels shall occupy an anchorage except in cases where unforeseen circumstances create conditions of imminent peril to personnel and then only for such period as may be authorized by the Captain of the Port.

(5) Anchors shall be placed well within the anchorage areas so that no portion of the hull or rigging will at any time extend outside of the anchorage area.

(6) The Coast Guard Captain of the Port may close the anchorage area and direct vessels to depart the anchorage during periods of adverse weather or at other times as deemed necessary in the interest of port safety and security.

(7) Any vessel anchored in these grounds must be capable of getting underway if ordered by the Captain of the Port and must be able to do so within two hours of notification by the Captain of the Port. If a vessel will not be able to get underway within two hours of notification, permission must be requested from the Captain of the Port to remain in the anchorage. No vessel shall anchor in a “dead ship” status (propulsion or control unavailable for normal operations) without prior approval of the Captain of the Port.

(8) Brenton Point anchorage ground is a general anchorage area reserved primarily for commercial vessels waiting to enter Narragansett Bay.

(9) Temporary floats or buoys for marking anchors or moorings in place will be allowed in this area. Fixed mooring piles or stakes will not be allowed.

(10) All coordinates referenced use datum: NAD 83.

Start Signature

Dated: March 3, 2011.

Daniel A. Neptun,

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

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[FR Doc. 2011-6498 Filed 3-18-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P