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Safety Zone; Ohio River, Letart, WV

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 11644

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for all navigable waters of the Ohio River from mile marker (MM) 236 to MM 239. The safety zone is needed to provide for the safety of life and property due to severe out draft from high water that have rendered the Ohio River conditions to be hazardous to navigation. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) or designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from March 16, 2018 until March 30, 2018. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from February 23, 2018 until March 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0075 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 Petty Officer Caitlin Furman, Marine Safety Unit Huntington, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 304-733-0198, email STL-SMB-MSUHuntington-WWM@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 Sector Ohio Valley

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 it is impracticable. On February 22, 2018, the United States Coast Guard was informed that the severe out draft on the Ohio River by Racine Lock and Dam is expected to rise significantly over the next couple of days and will continue to result in hazardous river conditions near the Letart, WV area. This severe out draft has resulted in commercial mariners not being able to maintain safe control of their tow as they begin their northbound or southbound approach into the Letart, WV area between mile marker (MM) 236 and MM 239 on the Ohio River. We must establish this safety zone by February 23, 2018 and lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing this rule.

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. It would be contrary to the public interest to delay this rule to provide a full 30 days' notice as the hazardous river conditions are expected to take place daily from February 23, 2018 through March 30, 2018.

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 Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the current river conditions starting immediately 24 hours daily from February 23, 2018 through March 30, 2018, there will be a safety concern for anyone within mile marker (MM) 236 to MM 239 on the Ohio River, near Letart, West Virginia. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the power line crossing is being conducted.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone for 24 hours daily on February 23, 2018 through March 30, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters of the Ohio River from mile marker (MM) 236 to MM 239. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in these navigable waters while the power line crossing is being conducted. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. A designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley(COTP) in the enforcement of the safety zone.

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 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 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will not be able to safely transit around this safety zone which will impact a small designated area of the Ohio River from mile marker (MM) 236 to MM 239 for twenty-four hours daily for 36 days a time of year when vessel traffic is normally low. 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 Start Printed Page 11645with 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 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, which guides 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 only nine and a half hours that will prohibit entry within mile marker (MM) 236 to MM 239 on the Ohio River. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. A Record of Environmental Consideration (REC) will be made available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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.T08-0075 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety zone; Ohio River, mile marker 236 to mile marker 239, Letart, WV.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Ohio River from mile marker 236 to mile marker 239 near Letart, West Virginia.

(b) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced 24 hours daily from February 23, 2018 through March 30, 2018.

(c) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) in the enforcement of the safety zone.

(d) Regulations. (1) Under the general safety zone regulations in subpart C of this part, you may not enter the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the COTP or a designated representative.

(2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or designated representative via radio on channel 16.

(3) All persons and vessels shall comply with the instruction of the COTP and designated on-scene personnel.

(e) Information broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through Broadcast Notices to Mariners, Local Notices to Mariners, and/or Safety Marine Information Broadcasts as appropriate of the enforcement period for each safety zone as well as any changes in the planned and published dates and times of enforcement.

Start Signature

Dated: February 22, 2018.

M.B. Zamperini,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-05385 Filed 3-15-18; 8:45 am]

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