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Safety Zone; Navy UNDET, Apra Outer Harbor and Piti, GU

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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 underwater detonation operations in the waters of Apra Outer Harbor and Piti, Guam. This rule is effective from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 27th through April 28th, 2017. The Coast Guard believes this safety zone regulation is necessary to protect all persons and vessels that would otherwise transit or be within the affected areas from possible safety hazards associated with underwater detonation operations. Entry of vessels or persons into these zones is prohibited, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Guam.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 27 through April 28, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0214 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 Start Printed Page 18697email Chief Kristina Gauthier, Sector Guam, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (671) 355-4866, email Kristina.M.Gauthier@uscg.mil.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

DHS Department of Homeland Security

E.O. Executive order

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

Pub. L. Public Law

§ Section

UNDET Underwater detonation

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 doing so would be impracticable and contrary to public interest. The Coast Guard received notice of this operation on March 9, 2017, only 49 days before the operation is scheduled. As a result, the Coast Guard did not have time to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking. Thus, delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be impracticable because it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect vessels and waterway users from the hazards associated with this operation.

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. Due to the late notice and inherent danger in underwater exercises, delaying the effective period of this safety zone would be contrary to the public interest.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Guam (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the U.S. Navy training exercise, which include detonation of underwater explosives, will be a safety concern for anyone within a 700-yard radius above and below the surface on April 27, 2017 and a 1400-yard radius above and below the surface on April 28, 2017. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone during the exercise. Mariners and divers approaching too close to such exercises could potentially expose the mariner to flying debris or other hazardous conditions.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes safety zones from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. on April 27th through April 28th, 2017. The safety zones will cover all navigable waters within a 700-yard radius above and below the surface on April 27, 2017 and a 1400-yard radius above and below the surface on April 28, 2017 of vessels and machinery being used by Navy. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in these navigable waters during the underwater detonation exercise. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zones without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

V. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

E.O.s 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. E.O. 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 E.O. 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around theses safety zones, which will impact a small designated area of waters off of Piti, Guam, for eight hours for one day and in Apra Outer Harbor for eight hours for one day. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zones 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 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 E.O. 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 Start Printed Page 18698responsibilities 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 E.O. 13132.

Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 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 8 hours a day for 2 days that will prohibit entry within a 700-yard radius above and below the surface on April 27, 2017 and a 1400-yard radius above and below the surface on April 28, 2017 of vessels and machinery being used by Navy personnel. 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 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.

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 record-keeping 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Add § 165.T14-0214 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety Zone; Navy UNDET, Apra Outer Harbor and Piti, GU.

(a) Location. The following areas, within the Guam Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone (See 33 CFR 3.70-15), from the surface of the water to the ocean floor, are safety zones:

(1) Apra Outer Harbor, Guam April 27, 2017. All waters above and below the surface bounded by a circle with a 700-yard radius centered at 13 degrees 27 minutes 71 seconds North Latitude and 144 degrees 38 minutes 50 seconds East Longitude, (NAD 1983).

(2) Piti Guam April 28, 2017. All waters above and below the surface bounded by a circle with a 1400-yard radius centered at 13 degrees 29 minutes 05 seconds North Latitude and 144 degrees 40 minutes 06 seconds East Longitude, (NAD 1983).

(b) Effective period. This section is effective from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. April 27 through April 28, 2017.

(c) Regulations. The general regulations governing safety zones contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply. Entry into or movement within these zones are prohibited unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative thereof.

(d) Enforcement. Any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer, and any other COTP representative permitted by law, may enforce these temporary safety zones.

(e) Waiver. The COTP may waive any of the requirements of this section for any person, vessel, or class of vessel upon finding that application of the safety zone is unnecessary or impractical for the purpose of maritime security.

(f) Penalties. Vessels or persons violating this rule are subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232 and 50 U.S.C. 192.

Start Signature

Dated: March 30, 2017.

James B. Pruett,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-08125 Filed 4-20-17; 8:45 am]

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