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Safety Zone; Patapsco River, Northwest and Inner Harbors, Baltimore, MD

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Temporary final rule.


The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone upon certain waters of the Patapsco River, Northwest Harbor and Inner Harbor during the movement of the historic sloop-of-war USS CONSTELLATION on May 24, 2012. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the tow of the vessel from its berth at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, to a point on the Patapsco River near the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, and its return. This action will restrict vessel traffic in portions of the Patapsco River, Northwest Harbor, and Inner Harbor during the event.


This rule is effective from May 24, 2012 through May 31, 2012.


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-2012-0101 and are available online by going to, inserting USCG-2012-0101 in the “Keyword” box, and then clicking “Search.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. 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.


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 If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.


Regulatory Information

On February 27, 2012, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Safety Zone; Patapsco River, Northwest and Inner Harbors, Baltimore, MD” in the Federal Register (77 FR 11434). We received one comment on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

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. Due to the need for immediate action, the restriction of vessel traffic is necessary to protect life, property and the environment; therefore, a 30-day notice is impracticable. Delaying the effective date would be contrary to the safety zone's intended objectives of protecting persons and vessels, and enhancing public and maritime safety.

Background and Purpose

Historic Ships in Baltimore is planning to conduct a “turn-around” ceremony involving the sloop-of-war USS CONSTELLATION in Baltimore, Maryland on May 24, 2012. Planned events include a three-hour, round-trip tow of the USS CONSTELLATION in the Port of Baltimore, consisting of an onboard salute with navy pattern cannon while the historic vessel is positioned off the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Site. Beginning at 3 p.m., the historic Sloop-of-War USS CONSTELLATION will be towed “dead ship,” which means that the vessel will be underway without the benefit of mechanical or sail propulsion. The return dead ship tow of the USS CONSTELLATION to its berth in the Inner Harbor is expected to occur immediately upon execution of a tug-assisted turn-around of the USS CONSTELLATION on the Patapsco River near Fort McHenry. The Coast Guard anticipates a large recreational boating fleet during this event, scheduled on a late Thursday afternoon before the Memorial Day Holiday weekend in Baltimore, Maryland. Operators should expect significant vessel congestion along the planned route. In the event of inclement weather, the “turn-around” will be rescheduled for May 31, 2012.

To address safety concerns during the event, the Captain of the Port Baltimore will establish a safety zone upon certain waters of the Patapsco River, Northwest Harbor and Inner Harbor. The safety zone will help the Coast Guard provide a clear transit route for the participating vessels, and provide a safety buffer around the participating vessels while they are in transit. Due to the need to promote maritime safety and protect participants and the boating public in the Port of Baltimore immediately prior to, during, and after the scheduled event, a safety zone is prudent.

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. Christopher Rowsom of Historic Ships in Baltimore, who is the event organizer, stated that the date for the USS Constellation Turn-around Cruise was posted incorrectly as May 25, the actual date for the event is Thursday, May 24, 2012, and all event times remain the same.

We are adjusting the timing accordingly. We believe that changing the effective date in the rule as suggested by the commenter, from May 25 to May 24, will not adversely affect waterway users in the Patapsco River, Northwest Harbor and Inner Harbor on May 24, 2012.

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. Although this safety zone restricts vessel traffic through the affected area, the effect of this regulation will not be significant due to the limited size and duration that the regulated area will be in effect. In addition, notifications will be made to the maritime community via marine information broadcasts so mariners may 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 may affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to operate or transit through or within the safety zone during the enforcement period. The safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. The safety zone is of limited size and duration. Smaller vessels not constrained by their draft, which are more likely to be small entities, may transit around the safety zone. Maritime advisories will be widely available to the maritime community before the effective period.

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).


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 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 a temporary safety zone. 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 165

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard is amending 33 CFR part 165 as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 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, 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Add temporary § 165.T05-0101 to read as follows:

Safety Zone; Patapsco River, Northwest and Inner Harbors, Baltimore, MD.

(a) Regulated area. The following location is a safety zone:

(1) All waters within 200 yards ahead of and 100 yards outboard or aft of the historic Sloop-of-War USS CONSTELLATION while operating in the Inner Harbor, the Northwest Harbor and the Patapsco River.

(2) [Reserved]

(b) Definitions. As used in this section:

(1) “Captain of the Port Baltimore” means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Maryland.

(2) “Designated representative” means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Baltimore to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(3) “USS CONSTELLATION “turn-around” participants” means the USS CONSTELLATION, its support craft and the accompanying towing vessels.

(c) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in 33 CFR 165.23 apply to the safety zone created by this temporary section, § 165.T05-0101.

(1) All persons are required to comply with the general regulations governing safety zones found in 33 CFR 165.23.

(2) With the exception of USS CONSTELLATION “turn-around” participants, entry into or remaining in this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Baltimore. Vessels already at berth, mooring, or anchor at the time the safety zone is implemented do not have to depart the safety zone. All vessels underway within this safety zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone.

(3) Persons desiring to transit the area of the safety zone must first request authorization from the Captain of the Port Baltimore or his designated representative. To seek permission to transit the area, the Captain of the Port Baltimore and his designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing lights, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Baltimore or his designated representative and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone.

(4) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the zone by Federal, State, and local agencies.

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 2 p.m. through 7 p.m. on May 24, 2012, and, if necessary due to inclement weather, from 2 p.m. through 7 p.m. on May 31, 2012.

Dated: April 11, 2012.

Mark P. O'Malley,

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

[FR Doc. 2012-10484 Filed 4-30-12; 8:45 am]