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Safety Zone; Mad Dog Truss Spar, Green Canyon 782, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2005, a final rule establishing a safety zone around the Mad Dog Truss Spar. The coordinates for the location of the Mad Dog Truss Spar were published incorrectly as 27°11′18″ N., 91°05′12″ W. This interim rule corrects the coordinates to reflect the actual location of the Mad Dog Truss Spar as 27°11′18.124″ N., 90°16′7.363″ W., therefore correctly publishing the area covered by the safety zone around the Mad Dog Truss Spar system, located in Green Canyon Block 782 on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective September 11, 2015. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before October 13, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-0512 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 instructions on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this interim rule, call or email Mr. Rusty Wright, U.S. Coast Guard, District Eight Waterways Management Branch; telephone 504-671-2138, rusty.h.wright@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Acronyms

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

DHS Department of Homeland Security

EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone

FR Federal Register

IMO International Maritime Organization

OCS Outer Continental Shelf

USCG United States Coast Guard

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 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.Start Printed Page 54719

To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number [USCG-2015-0512] 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 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 http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2015-0512) 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 by 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

The Coast Guard published in the Federal Register of July 29, 2005, a final rule establishing a safety zone around the Mad Dog Truss Spar facility located on the OCS, under 33 CFR 147.839 (see 70 FR 43768). However, that final rule published with the wrong latitude and longitude for the facility location. The July 29, 2005 final rule incorrectly published the location as 27°11′18″ N., 91°05′12″ W. Through this interim rule and request for comments, the Coast Guard is correcting the location as published in the Code of Federal Regulations. This interim rule establishes the safety zone around the corrected location and provides the opportunity for public comment but does so without prior notice 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 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 providing prior notice with respect to this rule. Delaying this correction to the location of the Mad Dog OCS safety zone would also delay necessary chart corrections. Additionally, it is impracticable and unnecessary to delay establishing and publishing the correct location to provide prior notice because the safety zone around the Mad Dog facility is known to those operating in the area and omitting the notice requirement will not result in a negative impact. Providing the opportunity to comment will allow for input on addressing such a correction while the correction is established but before it is made final.

For the same reasons, 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 authority provided in 14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. Title 33, CFR part 147 permits the establishment of safety zones for facilities located on the OCS for the purpose of protecting life, property and the marine environment. The purpose of this interim rule is to correct the coordinates, reflecting the actual location of the Mad Dog Truss Spar facility at 27°11′18.124″ N., 90°16′7.363″ W. By correcting the location, this interim rule also reflects the correct area covered by the safety zone in place around the Mad Dog Truss Spar. The purpose of the safety zone around the Mad Dog Truss Spar is to protect the facility from all vessels operating outside the normal shipping channels and fairways that are not providing services to or working with the facility. Safety zones established around such facilities significantly reduce the threat of allisions, collisions, security breaches, oil spills, releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment.

For the purpose of safety zones established under 33 CFR part 147, the deepwater area is considered to be waters of 304.8 meters (1,000 feet) or greater depth extending to the limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) contiguous to the territorial sea of the United States and extending to a distance up to 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the sea is measured. Navigation in the vicinity of the safety zone consists of large commercial shipping vessels, fishing vessels, cruise ships, tugs with tows and the occasional recreational vessel. The deepwater area also includes an extensive system of fairways.

D. Discussion of Interim Rule

On July 29, 2005, the Coast Guard established a safety zone under 33 CFR 147.839, around the Mad Dog Truss Spar facility through a final rule publishing an incorrect location for the facility as 27°11′18″ N., 91°05′12″ W. This interim rule corrects the coordinates in the CFR to reflect the actual location of 27°11′18.124″ N., 90°16′7.363″ W., while also requesting comments before being made final. The original OCS safety zone and this interim rule correcting the location are established to address safety concerns for both the personnel aboard the facility and the environment. It is highly likely that any allision with the facility would result in a catastrophic event. In evaluating the need for a safety zone, the Coast Guard explored relevant safety factors and considered several criteria, including but not limited to, (1) the level of shipping activity around the facility, (2) safety concerns for personnel aboard the facility, (3) concerns for the environment, (4) the likeliness that an allision would result in a catastrophic event based on proximity to shipping fairways, offloading operations, production levels, and size of the crew, (5) the volume of traffic in the vicinity of the area, (6) the types of vessels navigating in the vicinity of the area, and (7) the structural configuration of the facility.

Results from a thorough and comprehensive examination of the criteria, International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines, and existing regulations warranted establishment of the original safety zone and support this correction establishing Start Printed Page 54720the corrected location for the safety zone extending 500 meters (1640.4 feet) around the facility. This safety zone will reduce significantly the threat of allisions, oil spills, and releases of natural gas and increase the safety of life, property, and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico by prohibiting entry into the zone unless specifically authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

E. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this interim 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 interim 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 is not a significant regulatory action due to the location of the Mad Dog Truss Spar—on the Outer Continental Shelf—and its distance from both land and safety fairways. Vessels traversing waters near the interim safety zone will be able to safely travel around the zone using alternate routes. Exceptions to this interim rule include vessels measuring less than 100 feet in length overall and not engaged in towing. Deviation to transit through the interim safety zone may be requested. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

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 interim rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This interim rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor within the area extending 500 meters (1640.4 feet) from the outermost edges of the Mad Dog Truss Spar located in Green Canyon 782 on the OCS.

This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: Vessel traffic can pass safely around the safety zone using alternate routes. Based on the limited scope of the safety zone, any delay resulting from using an alternate route is expected to be minimal depending on vessel traffic and speed in the area. Deviation to transit through the interim safety zone may be requested. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

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 interim 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 submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this interim rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

4. Collection of Information

This interim rule would call for no 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 interim 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 interim 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 interim 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 interim 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 interim rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

11. Indian Tribal Governments

This interim 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 Start Printed Page 54721Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

12. Energy Effects

We have analyzed this interim rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

13. Technical Standards

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

14. Environment

We have analyzed this interim 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 made a preliminary determination 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 interim rule involves the establishment of a safety zone around an OCS facility to protect life, property and the marine environment. This interim rule is categorical excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Commandant Instruction. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and the 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 interim rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 147

  • Continental shelf
  • Marine safety
  • Navigation (water)
End List of Subjects

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 147 as follows:

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PART 147—SAFETY ZONES

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1. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Revise § 147.865 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Mad Dog Truss Spar Platform safety zone.

(a) Description. The Mad Dog Truss Spar system is in the deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico at Green Canyon 782. The facility is located at 27°11′18.124″ N., 90°16′7.363″ W. and the area within 500 meters (1640.4 feet) from each point on the facility structure's outer edge is a safety zone.

(b) Regulation. No vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone except the following:

(1) An attending vessel;

(2) A vessel under 100 feet in length overall not engaged in towing; or

(3) A vessel authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.

Start Signature

Dated: August 3, 2015.

David R. Callahan,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-22579 Filed 9-10-15; 8:45 am]

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