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Rule

Safety Zone; Grain-Shipment Vessels, Columbia and Willamette Rivers

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ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone around all inbound and outbound grain-shipment vessels involved in commerce with the Columbia Grain facility on the Willamette River in Portland, OR, and the United Grain Corporation facility on the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA while they are located on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. This safety zone extends to waters 500 yards ahead of the vessel and 200 yards abeam and astern of the vessel. This safety zone is being established to ensure that protest activities relating to a labor dispute do not create hazardous navigation conditions for any vessel or other river user in the vicinity of the safety zone.

DATES:

This rule is effective with actual notice beginning November 16, 2012 until December 17, 2012. This rule is effective in the Code of Federal Regulations from December 17, 2012 until January 16, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2012-1028]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Ensign Ian P. McPhillips, Waterways Management Division, Marine Safety Unit Portland, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (503) 240-9319, email MSUPDXWWM@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Acronyms

DHS Department of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. Regulatory History and Information

The Coast Guard is issuing this 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 to do so would be impracticable due to the lack of advance notice of the underlying dispute. Delayed promulgation may result in injury or damage to the maritime public, vessel crews, the vessels themselves, the facilities, and law enforcement personnel from protest activities that could occur prior to conclusion of a notice and comment period.

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 because to do otherwise would be impracticable since the arrival of grain-shipment vessels cannot be delayed by the Coast Guard and protest activities are unpredictable and potentially volatile and may result in injury to persons, property, or the environment. Delaying the effective date until 30 days after publication may mean that grain-shipment vessels will have arrived or departed the Columbia and Willamette Rivers before the end of the 30 day period. This delay would eliminate the safety zone's effectiveness and usefulness in protecting persons, property, and the safe navigation of maritime traffic before 30 days have elapsed.

B. Basis and Purpose

Due to a labor dispute regarding grain-shipment vessels involved in commerce with the Columbia Grain facility, a safety zone is needed to help ensure the safe navigation of maritime traffic on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers while grain-shipment vessels transit to and from grain export facilities in the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone. There is the potential for injury and damage to both protestors and shipping due to the labor dispute. The Coast Guard believes that a safety zone is needed to allow maximal use of the waterway consistent with safe navigation and to ensure that protestors and other river users are not injured by deep-draft vessels with maneuvering characteristics with which they may be unfamiliar.

C. Discussion of the Final Rule

This rule establishes a temporary safety zone around grain-shipment vessels involved in commerce with the Columbia Grain facility on the Willamette River in Portland, OR, and the United Grain Corporation facility on the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA while they are located on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. This safety zone extends to waters 500 yards ahead of the vessel and 200 yards abeam and astern of the vessel. No person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone without authorization from the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port or his designated representatives.

This rule has been enforced with actual notice since November 16, 2012 and it will be enforced until 30 days from date of publication in the Federal Register. If unsafe conditions continue beyond that date, the Coast Guard will consider extending the duration of the safety zone.

D. 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 and 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. Although this rule will restrict access to the regulated area, the effect of this rule will not be significant because: (i) The safety zone is limited in size; (ii) the official on-scene patrol may authorize access to the safety zone; (iii) the safety zone will effect a limited geographical location for a limited time; and (iv) the Coast Guard will make notifications via maritime advisories so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

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 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 may be small entities: the owners and operators of vessels intending to operate in the area covered by the safety zone created in this rule.

This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: (i) The safety zone is limited in size; (ii) the official on-scene patrol may authorize access to the safety zone; (iii) the safety zone will effect a limited geographical location for a limited time; and (iv) the Coast Guard will make notifications via 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 (Public Law 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 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.

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 a temporary safety zone around grain-shipment vessels involved in commerce with the Columbia Grain facility on the Willamette River in Portland, OR, and the United Grain Corporation facility on the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA while they are located on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. 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:

PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

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

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1226, 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, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Add § 165.T13-234 to read as follows:

Safety Zone; Grain-Shipment Vessels, Columbia and Willamette Rivers.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section:

(1) Federal Law Enforcement Officer means any employee or agent of the United States government who has the authority to carry firearms and make warrantless arrests and whose duties involve the enforcement of criminal laws of the United States.

(2) Navigable waters of the United States means those waters defined as such in 33 CFR part 2.

(3) Navigation Rules means the Navigation Rules, International-Inland.

(4) Official Patrol means those persons designated by the Captain of the Port to monitor a vessel safety zone, permit entry into the zone, give legally enforceable orders to persons or vessels within the zone and take other actions authorized by the Captain of the Port. Federal Law Enforcement Officers authorized to enforce this section are designated as the Official Patrol.

(5) Public vessel means vessels owned, chartered, or operated by the United States, or by a State or political subdivision thereof.

(6) Oregon Law Enforcement Officer means any Oregon Peace Officer as defined in Oregon Revised Statutes section 161.015.

(7) Washington Law Enforcement Officer means any General Authority Washington Peace Officer, Limited Authority Washington Peace Officer, or Specially Commissioned Washington Peace Officer as defined in Revised Code of Washington section 10.93.020.

(b) Location. The following areas are safety zones: All navigable waters of the United States within the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone, extending from the surface to the sea floor, that are:

(1) Not more than 500 yards ahead of grain-shipment vessels and 200 yards abeam and astern of grain-shipment vessels underway on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers and involved in commerce with the Columbia Grain facility on the Willamette River in Portland, OR, and the United Grain Corporation facility on the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA.

(2) Within a maximum 200-yard radius of grain-shipment vessels when anchored, at any berth, moored, or in the process of mooring on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers and involved in commerce with the Columbia Grain facility on the Willamette River in Portland, OR, and the United Grain Corporation facility on the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA.

(c) Effective Period. The safety zones created in this section will be in effect from November 16, 2012 and will be enforced until January 16, 2013. They will be activated for enforcement as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) Enforcement Periods. The Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port will cause notice of the enforcement of the grain-shipment vessels safety zone to be made by all appropriate means to effect the widest publicity among the affected segments of the public as practicable, in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7. Such means of notification may include, but are not limited to, Broadcast Notices to Mariners or Local Notices to Mariners. The Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Local Notice to Mariners notifying the public when enforcement of the safety zone is suspended.

Upon notice of enforcement by the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port, the Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone in accordance with rules set out in this section. Upon notice of suspension of enforcement by the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port, all persons and vessels are authorized to enter, transit, and exit the safety zone, consistent with the Navigation Rules.

(e) Regulation. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into or movement within these zones is prohibited unless authorized by the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port, the official patrol, or other designated representatives of the Captain of the Port.

(2) To request authorization to enter or operate within the safety zone contact the on-scene official patrol on VHF-FM channel 16 or 13, or the Sector Columbia River Command Center at phone number (503) 861-6211. Authorization will be granted based on the necessity of access and consistent with safe navigation.

(3) Vessels authorized to enter or operate within the safety zone shall operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course and shall proceed as directed by the on-scene official patrol. The Navigation Rules shall apply at all times within the safety zone.

(4) Maneuver-restricted vessels. When conditions permit, the on-scene official patrol, or a designated representative of the Captain of the Port at the Sector Columbia River Command Center, should:

(i) Permit vessels constrained by their navigational draft or restricted in their ability to maneuver to enter or operate within the safety zone in order to ensure a safe passage in accordance with the Navigation Rules; and

(ii) Permit commercial vessels anchored in a designated anchorage area to remain at anchor within the safety zone; and

(iii) Permit vessels that must transit via a navigable channel or waterway to enter or operate within the safety zone in order to do so.

(f) Exemption. Public vessels as defined in paragraph (a) of this section are exempt from complying with paragraph (e) of this section.

(g) Enforcement. Any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer may enforce the rules in this section. In the navigable waters of the United States to which this section applies, when immediate action is required and representatives of the Coast Guard are not present or are not present in sufficient force to provide effective enforcement of this section, any Federal Law Enforcement Officer, Oregon Law Enforcement Officer, or Washington Law Enforcement Officer may enforce the rules contained in this section pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 70118. In addition, the Captain of the Port may be assisted by other federal, state, or local agencies in enforcing this section.

(h) Waiver. The Captain of the Port Columbia River may waive any of the requirements of this section for any vessel or class of vessels upon finding that operational conditions or other circumstances are such that application of this section is unnecessary or impractical for the purpose of port safety or environmental safety.

Dated: November 30, 2012.

B.C. Jones,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.

[FR Doc. 2012-30298 Filed 12-14-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P