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Safety Zone; City of Valdez July 4th Fireworks, Port Valdez; Valdez, AK

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a permanent safety zone on the navigable waters of Port Valdez, Valdez, Alaska, in the vicinity of the Valdez Spit. The safety zone is necessary to protect persons and vessels from the hazards associated with the annual City of Valdez July 4th Fireworks Display event. This rule is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of the navigable waters of Port Valdez, in the immediate vicinity of the fireworks launch platforms, before, during, and immediately after the fireworks event.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 3, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0092 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 Lieutenant Commander Walner W. Alvarez, Chief of Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez; telephone (907) 835-7223, email Walner.W.Alvarez@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

DHS Department of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

§ Section

U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

The Coast Guard began issuing temporary final rules establishing safety zones during the Valdez July 4th Fireworks Display. These temporary safety zones were established for each year's event beginning in 2014. The Coast Guard received no comments or Start Printed Page 25729concerns from the public when the temporary safety zones were in place. Due to the repeating nature of the event, on February 28, 2017, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled Safety Zone; City of Valdez July 4th Fireworks, Port Valdez; Valdez, AK (82 FR 12076). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this fireworks display. During the comment period that ended March 30, 2017 we received nine comments. The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish limited access areas: 33 U.S.C 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The purpose of this rule is to enhance the safety for spectators and mariners attending a community event that involves a relatively large fireworks display. The Coast Guard anticipates that a large number of spectators will congregate around the launch position during the display. The COTP, Prince William Sound has determined that the fireworks launched near a gathering of watercrafts may pose a significant risk to public safety and property. Such hazards include premature and accidental detonations, falling and burning debris, and vessels operating in close proximity to each other. The safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of persons and vessels attending the event in the navigable waters in the vicinity of the fireworks launch site.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

As noted above, we received nine comments on our NPRM published February 28, 2017. All of the commenters agreed that the fireworks display justified a safety zone, with several commenters highlighting the safety dangers that fireworks presented. Based on these comments, the Coast Guard is not making changes in the regulatory text of this rule. This rule establishes a permanent safety zone on the navigable waters of Port Valdez, within a 200 yard radius of the location where the fireworks will be launched on the Valdez Spit for the City of Valdez July 4th Fireworks Display. The safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of spectators and vessels from hazards associated with fireworks displays. The fireworks displays are expected to occur between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. In order to coordinate the safe movement of vessels within the area and to ensure that the area is clear of unauthorized persons and vessels before, during, and immediately after the fireworks launch, this zone will be enforced from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP, Prince William Sound or the designated representative. Vessels will be able to transit the surrounding area and may be authorized to transit through the safety zone with the permission of the COTP or the designated representative. Before activating the zone COTP, Prince William Sound will notify mariners by appropriate means including but not limited to Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

This rule is being established for the safety of life on the navigable waters during the fireworks display event.

V. 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 and Executive orders and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 (“Regulatory Planning and Review”) and 13563 (“Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”) 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 including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”), directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs and provides that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it.

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. The Coast Guard's enforcement of the safety zone will be of short duration, approximately two hours. Furthermore, vessels may be authorized to transit through the safety zones with the permission of the COTP, Prince William Sound, Alaska. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow 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 received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule would 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. B above, this rule would 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 would not call for a new collection of information under the Start Printed Page 25730Paperwork 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 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 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. If you believe this rule has implications for Federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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 would 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 made a preliminary determination 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 the establishment of a permanent safety zone on the navigable waters of Port Valdez, in the vicinity of the Valdez Spit. It is categorically excluded from further review in accordance with paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble.

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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Add § 165.1713 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety Zone; City of Valdez July 4th Fireworks, Port Valdez; Valdez, AK.

(a) Regulated area. The following area is a permanent safety zone: All navigable waters of Port Valdez within a 200-yard radius from a position of 61°07′22″ N. and 146°21′13″ W. This includes the entrance to the Valdez small boat harbor.

(b) Effective date. This rule will be effective from 9:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. on July 4th of each year, or during the same time frame on specified rain dates of July 5th through July 8th of each year.

(c) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) The term “designated representative” means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer of the U. S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the COTP, Prince William Sound, to act on his or her behalf.

(2) The term “official patrol vessel” may consist of any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessels assigned or approved by the COTP, Prince William Sound.

(d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.23, as well as the following regulations, apply.

(2) The safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the COTP or the designated representative during periods of enforcement.

(3) All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or the designated representative. Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel or other official patrol vessel by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of the vessel shall proceed as directed.

(4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the regulated area may request permission from the COTP via VHF Channel 16 or (907) 835-7205 (Prince William Sound Vessel Traffic Center) to request permission to do so.

(5) The Coast Guard will issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners to advise mariners of the safety zone before and during the event.

(6) The COTP may be aided by other Federal, state, borough and local law enforcement officials in the enforcement of this regulation.

Start Signature

Dated: May 16, 2017.

J.T. Lally,

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Prince William Sound, Alaska.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-11572 Filed 6-2-17; 8:45 am]

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