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Safety Zone; Newtown Creek, Queens, NY

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters of Newtown Creek between the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge (mile 1.3) and the entrance to Dutch Kills. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by a sunken vessel adjacent to the Federal navigation channel. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New York.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from March 2, 2016 through March 5, 2016. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from February 3, 2016 through March 2, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0100 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Jeff Yunker, Coast Guard Sector New York Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4195, email jeff.m.yunker@uscg.mil.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

COTP Captain of the Port New York

DHS Department of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

§ Section

U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary 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 a vessel sank adjacent to the Federal navigation channel at the Sims Hugo Neu facility on Newtown Creek and immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with removing cargo from the vessel and refloating the vessel. It is impracticable to publish an NPRM because we must establish this safety zone by February 3, 2016.

We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with removing cargo from the vessel and refloating the vessel.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP has determined that potential hazards associated with refloating a sunken barge adjacent to the Federal navigation channel starting February 4, 2016 will be a safety concern for anyone between the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge (mile 1.3) and the confluence of Newtown Creek and Dutch Kills during this process. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while cargo is removed from the vessel and the vessel is refloated. Therefore, this rule will remain in effect for the time stated herein but will be cancelled if response activities are finished cease before March 5, 2016. The preliminary estimate for completion of the cargo removal and refloating the vessel is February 6, 2016. This TFR provides for an extended enforcement period in case of unforeseen circumstances that prevent the contractors from completing the work within their initial estimated timeline.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from 7 a.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2016. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters between the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge (mile 1.3) and the confluence of Newtown Creek and Dutch Kills. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in these navigable waters while the vessel is being refloated. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

V. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive order related to rulemaking. Start Printed Page 10763Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit through this safety zone which will impact a small designated area of Newtown Creek in Queens, NY after making passing arrangements with the work vessels while cargo is being removed from the sunken barge during daylight hours on February 3, 2016. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

B. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 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.

While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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 section.

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.

C. 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).

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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 is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

Also, 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. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

E. 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.

F. 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 (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 a safety zone lasting less than 31 days that will prohibit entry between the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge (mile 1.3) and the entrance to Dutch Kills on Newtown Creek being used by personnel to remove cargo from a sunken vessel and to refloat the vessel. It 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 will be 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.

G. 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

  • Harbors
  • Marine safety
  • Navigation (water)
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Security measures
  • Waterways
End List of Subjects

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

Start Part

PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

End Part Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Start Printed Page 10764Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Add § 165.T01-0100 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety Zone: Newtown Creek, Queens, NY

(a) Location. The following area is a temporary safety zone: All U.S. navigable waters of Newtown Creek between the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge (mile 1.3) and the entrance to Dutch Kills

(b) Enforcement period. The safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section will be enforced from February 3, 2016 until March 5, 2016, unless terminated sooner by the COTP.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or a designated on scene representative.

(3) A “on-scene representative” of the COTP is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer or a Federal, State or local law enforcement officer designated by or assisting the COTP to act on his behalf.

(4) Vessel operators must contact the COTP via the Command Center to obtain permission to enter or operate within the safety zone. The COTP may be contacted via VHF Channel 16 or at (718) 354-4353. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate within the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP, via the Command Center or an on-scene representative.

Start Signature

Dated: Februrary 3, 2016.

M.H. Day,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-04474 Filed 3-1-16; 8:45 am]

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