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Safety Zone; Barge Launches; Gulfport Lake; Gulfport, MS

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone for Gulfport Lake, Gulfport, MS. This action is necessary for the protection of persons and vessels on navigable waters during the launching of barges in Gulfport Lake, Gulfport, MS, particularly small craft in the area that risk being swamped. Entry into, transiting or anchoring in the zone during the launching of barges is prohibited for all vessels, mariners, and persons unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative. The Coast Guard also requests comments on this interim rule before establishing a final rule.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from December 24, 2013 through December 31, 2016. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from November 8, 2013, until December 24, 2013.

Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before January 23, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of Docket Number USCG-2013-0837. 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.

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2013-0837, using any one of the following methods:

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

(2) Fax: (202) 493-2251.

(3) Mail or Delivery: 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. Deliveries accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 366-9329.

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email LT Stanley A. Tarrant, Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Waterways Management Division; telephone (251) 441-5940, email Stanley.A.Tarrant@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Acronyms

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

COTP Captain of the Port

DHS Department of Homeland Security

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. 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.

1. Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number (USCG-2013-0837) for this rulemaking, 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 at http://www.regulations.gov, or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone 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, type the docket number (USCG-2013-0837) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments 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 Start Printed Page 77595change the rule based on your comments.

2. 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, type the docket number (USCG-2013-0837) 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.

3. Privacy Act

Anyone can search the electronic form of 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).

4. Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one, using one of the 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.

B. Regulatory History and Information

Through this interim rule, the Coast Guard is establishing a recurring safety zone for the protection of mariners and vessels during monthly barge launching operations on Gulfport Lake, Gulfport, MS. The Coast Guard has previously established six (6) individual safety zones as temporary final rules for the launching of barges in Gulfport Lake, Gulfport, MS during 2013. These individual safety zones were issued as temporary final rules that were enforced with actual notice and are accessible in the docket as explained above under ADDRESSES. These temporary safety zones have enabled the Coast Guard to maintain safe navigation for all in the area during the barge launches without issue. Rather than continuing to establish individual safety zones on a monthly basis, the Coast Guard is establishing one recurring safety zone through this interim rule to be in effect approximately one day each month during the barge launching operations. Once established, the specific dates and times for launches will be noticed each month through broadcast notices to mariners providing at least 24 hours notice of when the safety zone will be enforced. The requirements of this interim rule are the same as those in the temporary rules available in the docket.

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. This interim rule establishes a recurring safety zone to replace the temporary safety zones occurring monthly and the safety zone requirements are and have been noticed to vessels and mariners transiting the regulated area. Delaying the effective date to provide a full 30 days' notice is unnecessary and would be contrary to public interest by delaying the safety measures needed to protect persons and vessels from safety hazards associated with launching the barges. Additionally, delaying the safety zone would unnecessarily interfere with launching the barges and possible commercial and contractual obligations.

C. Basis and Purpose

The legal basis and authorities for this rule are found in 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, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to propose, establish, and define regulatory safety zones. Trinity Offshore, LLC is a ship yard and repair facility located on Gulfport Lake in Gulfport, MS. Trinity Offshore, LLC provided the Coast Guard with a schedule of barge launches, indicating one barge launch a month over the course of the next three years. The launching of barges from this facility creates a 3 to 6 foot launch wave that will propagate southward across Gulfport Lake. This wave poses significant safety hazards to vessels, particularly small craft in the area that could potentially be swamped. The COTP Mobile is establishing a safety zone for Gulfport Lake, Gulfport, MS, to protect persons and vessels during the launching of barges. The COTP anticipates minimal impact on vessel traffic due to this regulation. However, this safety zone is deemed necessary for the protection of life and property within the COTP Mobile zone.

D. Discussion of the Interim Rule

The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone for Gulfport Lake, to include all waters between an eastern boundary represented by positions 30° 25′ 37.2″ N, 089° 03′ 09.7″ W to 30° 25′ 27.0″ N, 089° 03′ 09.7″ W and a western boundary represented by positions 30° 25′ 35.4″ N, 089° 03′ 45.7″ W to 30° 25′ 28.8″ N, 089° 03′ 45.7″ W. This rule will protect the safety of life and property in this area. Entry into, transiting or anchoring in this zone during the launching of barges will be prohibited to all vessels, mariners, and persons unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative. The COTP may be contacted by telephone at 251-441-5976.

The COTP Mobile or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notice to mariners of enforcement periods for the safety zone. This rule will only be enforced during the launching of barges occurring once a month.

E. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number 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.

The safety zone listed in this rule will only restrict vessel traffic from entering, transiting or anchoring in Gulfport Lake, Gulfport, MS during the launching of barges. The effect of this regulation will not be significant for several reasons: (1) This rule will only affect vessel traffic for a short duration; (2) vessels may request permission from the COTP to transit through the safety zone; and (3) impacts on routine navigation are expected to be minimal. Notifications to the marine community will be made through broadcast notice to mariners. These notifications will allow the public to plan operations around the affected area.Start Printed Page 77596

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 will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in Gulfport Lake during the launching of barges. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. The zone is limited in size, is of short duration and vessel traffic may request permission from the COTP Mobile or a designated representative to enter or transit through the zone.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

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 have determined that it 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 would 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 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.

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 From Environmental Health Risks

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 would 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 rule 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 which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone on a waterway during the launching of barges and is not expected to result in any significant adverse environmental impact as described in NEPA. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. Environmental analysis checklists supporting this determination and Categorical Exclusion Determinations are available for each of the preceding individual safety zones and will be done for this recurring safety zone and made 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.

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List of Subjects 33 CFR Part 165

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

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PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

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

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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.

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2. Add § 165.841 to read as follows:

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Safety Zone; Barge Launches; Gulfport Lake; Gulfport, MS.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: Gulfport Lake, to include all waters between an eastern boundary represented by positions 30° 25′ 37.2″ N, 089° 03′ 09.7″ W to 30° 25′ 27.0″ N, 089° 03′ 09.7″ W and a western boundary represented by positions 30° 25′ 35.4″ N, 089° 03′ 45.7″ W to 30° 25′ 28.8″ N, 089° 03′ 45.7″ W.

(b) Effective period and enforcement dates. This safety zone is effective immediately on December 24, 2013 and enforceable through actual notice beginning November 8, 2013. The COTP Mobile or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notice to mariners of enforcement periods for the safety zone, giving at least 24 hour notice before enforcement begins. Enforcement periods are expected to occur once a month for approximately two (2) hours.

(c) Regulations.

(1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative.

(2) Persons or vessels desiring to enter into or passage through the zone must request permission from the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF-FM channels 16 or by telephone at 251-441-5976.

(3) If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port or designated representative.

(d) Informational broadcasts. The Captain of the Port or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes that may occur.

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Dated: November 7, 2013.

S. Walker,

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

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[FR Doc. 2013-30648 Filed 12-23-13; 8:45 am]

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