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Safety Zone for Fifth Coast Guard District Fireworks Display Pasquotank River; Elizabeth City, NC

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Temporary final rule.


The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the enforcement location of a safety zone for one specific recurring fireworks display in the Fifth Coast Guard District. This regulation applies to only one recurring fireworks event, held adjacent to the Pasquotank River, Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The fireworks display ordinarily originated from a location on land but will this year originate from a barge; the safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the event. This action is intended to restrict vessel traffic in a portion of the Pasquotank River, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, during the event.


This rule will be effective from July 4, 2012 through July 5, 2012.


Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2012-0543]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. 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.


If you have questions on this rule, call or email CWO4 Joseph M. Edge, U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina; telephone 252-247-4525, email If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.


Table of Acronyms

DHS Department of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. Regulatory History and Information

This fireworks display event is regulated at 33 CFR 165.506, Table to § 165.506, section (d.) line 4. The Coast Guard plans to permanently amend the regulation at 33 CFR 165.506 at a later date to reflect this change.

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 a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because immediate action is needed to minimize potential danger to the public during the event. For this reason, it would be impracticable to publish an NPRM for this rule.

B. Basis and Purpose

Recurring fireworks displays are frequently held on or adjacent to the navigable waters within the boundary of the Fifth Coast Guard District. For a description of the geographical area of each Coast Guard Sector—Captain of the Port Zone, please see 33 CFR 3.25.

The regulation listing annual fireworks displays within the Fifth Coast Guard District and safety zones locations is 33 CFR 165.506. The Table to § 165.506 identifies fireworks displays by COTP zone, with the COTP North Carolina zone listed in section “(d.)” of the Table.

The township of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, sponsors an annual fireworks display held on July 4th over the waters of Pasquotank River at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The Table to § 165.506, at section (d.) event Number “4”, describes the enforcement date and regulated location for this fireworks event.

The location listed in the Table has the fireworks display originating from position latitude 36°18′00″ N, longitude 076°13′00″ W, a location on land on the southwest corner of Machelhe Island at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. However, this event changes the fireworks launch location on July 4, 2012, to a position on the Pasquotank River at latitude 36°17′47″ N, longitude 076°12′17″ W.

A fleet of spectator vessels is anticipated to gather nearby to view the fireworks display. Due to the need for vessel control during the fireworks display vessel traffic will be temporarily restricted to provide for the safety of participants, spectators and transiting vessels. Under provisions of 33 CFR 165.506, during the enforcement period, vessels may not enter the regulated area unless they receive permission from the Coast Guard Patrol Commander.

C. Discussion of the Final Rule

The Coast Guard will temporarily suspend the regulation listed in Table to § 165.506, section (d.) event Number 4, and insert this temporary regulation at Table to § 165.506, at section (d.) as event Number “15”, in order to reflect that the fireworks display will originate from a barge in the Pasquotank River and therefore the regulated area is changed. This change is needed to accommodate the sponsor's event plan. No other portion of the Table to § 165.506 or other provisions in § 165.506 shall be affected by this regulation.

The regulated area of this safety zone includes all water of the Currituck Sound within a 300 yards radius of latitude 36°17′47″ N, longitude 076°12′17″ W.

This safety zone will restrict general navigation in the regulated area during the fireworks event. Except for persons or vessels authorized by the Coast Guard Patrol Commander, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the regulated area during the effective period. The regulated area is needed to control vessel traffic during the event for the safety of participants and transiting vessels.

The enforcement period for this safety zone does not change from that enforcement period listed in § 165.506(d) line 4. Therefore, this safety zone will be enforced from 5:30 p.m. on July 4, 2012 through 1 a.m. on July 5, 2012.

In addition to notice in the Federal Register, the maritime community will be provided extensive advance notification via the Local Notice to Mariners, and marine information broadcasts so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

D. 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.

1. 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.

This rule prevents traffic from transiting a portion of the Pasquotank River during the specified 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 marine information broadcasts, local radio stations and area newspapers so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly. Additionally, this rulemaking changes the regulated area for the Pasquotank River fireworks demonstration for July 4, 2011 only and does not change the permanent regulated area that has been published in 33 CFR 165.506, Table to § 165.506 at portion “d” event Number “4”. In some cases vessel traffic may be able to transit the regulated area when the Coast Guard Patrol Commander deems it is safe to do so.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. 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 Pasquotank River where fireworks events are being held. This regulation will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because it will be enforced only during the fireworks display event that has been permitted by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port. The Captain of the Port will ensure that small entities are able to operate in the regulated area when it is safe to do so. In some cases, vessels will be able to safely transit around the regulated area at various times, and, with the permission of the Patrol Commander, vessels may transit through the regulated area. Before the enforcement period, the Coast Guard will issue maritime advisories so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

3. 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 rule. 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 the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

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.

4. Collection of Information

This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

5. 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.

6. Protest Activities

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

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Technical Standards

This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

14. 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 determined 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 involves the establishment of safety zones. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 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. Amend the Table to § 165.506 as follows:

a. Under “(d) Coast Guard Sector North Carolina—COTP Zone,” suspend entry 4.

b. Under, “(d) Coast Guard Sector North Carolina—COTP Zone,” add entry 15, to read as follows:

Safety Zones; Fifth Coast Guard District Fireworks Displays.
* * * * *

NumberDateLocationRegulated area
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
(d) Coast Guard Sector North Carolina—COTP Zone
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
15July 4-5, 2012Pasquotank River, Elizabeth City, NC, Safety ZoneAll waters of the Pasquotank River within a 300 yard radius of the fireworks launch barge in approximate position latitude 36°17′47″ N, longitude 076°12′17″, located near Machelhe Island.

Dated: June 11, 2012.

A. Popiel,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector North Carolina.

[FR Doc. 2012-15107 Filed 6-20-12; 8:45 am]