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Regulated Navigation Area; Arthur Kill, NY and NJ

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Coast Guard, DHS.

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Temporary interim rule with request for comments.


The Coast Guard is extending the Regulated Navigation Area promulgated for the navigable waters of the Arthur Kill in New York and New Jersey. This rule extends the Regulated Navigation Area until June 1, 2014, due to project delays.


This rule is effective without actual notice from April 14, 2014 until June 1, 2014. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from the date the rule was signed, March 31, 2014, until June 1, 2014. Public comments will be accepted and reviewed by the Coast Guard through June 1, 2014.


Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of Docket Number USCG-2011-0727. 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. You may submit comments, identified by docket number, using any one of the following methods:

(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal:

(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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If you have questions on this rule, call or email Chief Craig D. Lapiejko, Coast Guard First District Waterways Management Branch, telephone 617-223-8385, email or, Mr. Jeff Yunker, U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4195, email If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

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Table of Acronyms

COTP Captain of the Port

DHS Department of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

RNA Regulated Navigation Area

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 and will include any personal information you have provided.

The Coast Guard will evaluate and revise this rule as necessary to address significant public comments. Alternatively, if the dredging project necessitating the interim rule is completed before June 1, 2014, and we receive no public comments that indicate a substantive need to revise the rule, we may allow it to expire on that date without further regulatory action.

1. Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2011-0727), 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 (via or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online via, 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, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking. If you submit 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 change 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, type the docket number (USCG-2013-0329) 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 currently do not plan to hold a public meeting. You may, however, 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 in 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

This temporary interim rule (TIR) is the third to address the RNA in the Arthur Kill. We first published this regulated navigation area on August 23, 2011 (75 FR 52569) and amended it amended it on January 9, 2012 (76 FR 1023). No comments have been received on the rules that have addressed this topic.

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary interim rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment Start Printed Page 20788pursuant 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 publishing an NPRM would be impracticable, as it is necessary to protect the safety of both the construction crew and the waterway users operating in the vicinity of the Arthur Kill. A delay or cancellation of the currently ongoing project in order to accommodate a full notice and comment period would delay necessary operations, result in increased costs, and delay the date when the channel is expected to reopen for normal operations. The Coast Guard will consider comments in issuing a subsequent temporary interim rule or temporary final rule which allows further time to complete channel work needed in the RNA without interruption.

For the same reasons mentioned above, 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.

C. Basis and Purpose

Under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, the Coast Guard has the authority to establish RNAs in defined water areas that are determined to have hazardous conditions and in which vessel traffic can be regulated in the interest of safety. See 33 U.S.C. 1231 and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

The purpose of this rule is to ensure the safe transit of vessels in the area and to protect all persons, vessels, and the marine environment during the ongoing channel deepening project by extending the effective date of this rule.

D. Discussion of Comments and Changes

The completion date for this project needs to be extended due to additional work being conducted near the center of the channel. As such we are extending the effective from April until June to allow adequate time for the completion of the project.

E. 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.

The Coast Guard determined that this rulemaking will not be a significant regulatory action for the following reasons: Vessel traffic will only be restricted from the RNA for limited durations and the RNA covers only a small portion of the navigable waterway. Advanced public notifications will also be made to local mariners through appropriate means, which could include, but would not be limited to, Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

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 will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to enter or transit within the RNA during a vessel restriction period.

The RNA would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: The RNA would be of limited size and any waterway closure of short duration. Additionally before the effective period of a waterway closure, advanced public notifications will be made to local mariners through appropriate means, which could include, but would not be limited to, Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

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 (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 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.

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 Start Printed Page 20789particular, 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 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 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 restricting vessel movement within a regulated navigation area. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination supporting this 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.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

  • Harbors
  • Marine Safety
  • Navigation (water)
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Security measures
  • Waterways
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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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1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

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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, 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

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2. Add § 165.T01-0727 to read as follows:

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Regulated Navigation Area; Arthur Kill, NY and NJ.

(a) Regulated Area. The following area is a regulated navigation area: All waters of the North of Shooters Island Reach, Elizabethport Reach, and Gulfport Reach in the Arthur Kill; bounded in the northeast by a line drawn from position 40°38′48.637″ N, 074°09′18.204″ W; to a point in position 40°38′37.815″ N, 074°09′20.245″ W; and bounded in the southwest by a line drawn from position 40°37′15.643″ N, 074°12′15.927″ W; to a point in position 40°37′15.779″ N, 074°12′08.0622″ W. All geographic coordinates are North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).

(b) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.13 apply.

(2) All vessels must remain at least 150 feet from all drilling and blasting equipment; if a vessel must pass within 150 feet of drilling and blasting equipment for reasons of safety, they shall contact the dredge and/or blasting barge on Channel 13.

(3) No vessel shall enter or transit any work area where drill barges and/or dredges are located without the permission of Vessel Traffic Service New York (VTSNY) Director.

(4) No vessel may be underway within 1,500 feet of the blasting area during blasting operations.

(5) No vessel shall enter an area of drilling or blasting when they are advised by the drilling barge or VTSNY that a misfire or hang fire has occurred.

(6) Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS) users are prohibited from meeting or overtaking other vessels when transiting alongside an active work area where dredging and drilling equipment are being operated.

(7) Each vessel transiting in the vicinity of a work area where dredges are located is required to do so at reduced speed to maintain maneuverability while minimizing the effects of wake and surge.

(8) The VTSNY Director may impose additional requirements through VTS measures, as per 33 CFR 161.11.

(c) Effective Period. This rule is effective from 8 a.m. on March 31, 2014 until 5 p.m. on June 1, 2014.

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Dated: March 31, 2014.

D.B. Abel,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 2014-08218 Filed 4-11-14; 8:45 am]