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Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Potomac River, Charles County, MD

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Temporary Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing special local regulations during the “Potomac River Sharkfest Swim” amateur swim, a marine event to be held on the waters of the Potomac River on June 2, 2012. These special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the event. This action is intended to temporarily restrict vessel traffic in a portion of the Potomac River during the event.

DATES:

This rule is effective and will be enforced from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on June 2, 2012.

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-2011-1176 and are available online by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG-2011-1176 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary rule, call or email Mr. Ronald Houck, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, MD; telephone 410-576-2674, email Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On February 9, 2012, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Potomac River, Charles County, MD” in the Federal Register (77 FR 27). We received one comment on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

On June 2, 2012, Enviro-Sports Productions, Inc. of Stinson Beach, California, will sponsor an amateur swim across the Potomac River between Newburg, Maryland and King George, VA. The event consists of up to 500 swimmers on a course located upriver and parallel to the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial (US-301) Bridge. The swimmers will be supported by sponsor-provided watercraft. The start will be located along the shore at the Aqua-Land Marina and the finish will be located along the shore at Dahlgren Wayside Park. A portion of the swim course will cross the federal navigation channel. Due to the need for vessel control during the event, the Coast Guard will temporarily restrict vessel traffic in the event area to provide for the safety of participants, spectators and other transiting vessels.

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 issue that was presented by the commenter concerning the proposed regulations.

The commenter, Mr. David R. Horning of EnviroSports, who is the event organizer, stated that after further review of the tidal currents for June 2, 2012, it has been determined that the best time to start the swim event would be between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. (Noon) to get all participants across the Potomac River safely. Furthermore, the timeline in the proposed regulation closing this portion of the Potomac River should be adjusted to a time from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

We feel that adjusting the effective period in the proposed rule as suggested by the commenter will not adversely affect waterway users in this portion of the Potomac River on June 2, 2012.

Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 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, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. We expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. Although this regulation will prevent traffic from transiting a portion of the Potomac River during the event, the effect of this regulation will not be significant due to the limited duration that the regulated area will be in effect and the extensive advance notifications that will be made to the maritime community via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts, so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

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 transit or anchor in the effected portions of the Potomac River during the event.

Although this regulation prevents traffic from transiting a portion of the Potomac River near the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial (US-301) Bridge during the event, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. This rule will be in effect for only a limited period. Though the regulated area extends across the entire width of the river, vessel traffic may be permitted to safely transit a portion of the regulated area, but only after all participants have safely cleared that portion of the regulated area and when the Coast Guard Patrol Commander deems it safe for vessel traffic to do so. All Coast Guard vessels enforcing this regulated area can be contacted on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Before the enforcement period, we will issue maritime advisories so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

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 the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

Protest Activities

The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

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

This action is not a “significant energy action” under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

Technical Standards

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 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)(h), of the Instruction. This rule involves implementation of regulations within 33 CFR part 100 applicable to organized marine events on the navigable waters of the United States that could negatively impact the safety of waterway users and shore side activities in the event area. The category of water activities includes but is not limited to sail boat regattas, boat parades, power boat racing, swimming events, crew racing, canoe and sail board racing. An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard temporarily amends 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS

1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1233.

2. Add temporary § 100.35T05-1176 to read as follows:

Special Local Regulations for Marine Events; Potomac River, Charles County, MD.

(a) Regulated area. The following location is a regulated area: All waters of the Potomac River, within lines connecting the following positions: From latitude 38°22′05″ N, longitude 076°59′03″ W, thence to latitude 38°21′50″ N, longitude 077°00′54″ W, and from latitude 38°21′29″ N, longitude 077°00′54″ W to latitude 38°21′45″ N, longitude 076°58′59″ W. All coordinates reference Datum NAD 1983.

(b) Definitions. (1) Coast Guard Patrol Commander means a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore.

(2) Official Patrol means any vessel assigned or approved by Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore with a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer on board and displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

(c) Special local regulations. (1) The Coast Guard Patrol Commander may forbid and control the movement of all vessels and persons in the regulated area. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol vessel, a vessel or person in the regulated area shall immediately comply with the directions given. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the area, citation for failure to comply, or both.

(2) All Coast Guard vessels enforcing this regulated area can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

(3) The Coast Guard will publish a notice in the Fifth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners and issue a marine information broadcast on VHF-FM marine band radio announcing specific event date and times.

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on June 2, 2012.

Dated: March 30, 2012.

Mark P. O'Malley,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Baltimore.

[FR Doc. 2012-9518 Filed 4-19-12; 8:45 am]

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