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Rule

Safety Zone; Straits of Mackinac, Mackinaw City, MI

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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 within a 500-yard radius of construction equipment vessels conducting operations in the Straits of Mackinac. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by surveillance and repair work to electric utility cables that cross the Straits of Mackinac. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sault Sainte Marie or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective from May 3, 2018 until October 30, 2018. It will be enforced with actual notice from April 30, 2018, until May 3, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2018-0397 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 LTJG Sean V. Murphy, Sector Sault Sainte Marie Waterways Management Chief, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 906-635-3319, email sssmprevention@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

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

§  Section

U.S.C. United States Code

ROV Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle

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 visual imagery and repair of damage to the utility cables is imperative to further mitigate any risks to the environment and the public. Emergent conditions require immediate marine surveying of the area due to damage to utility cables in the Straits of Mackinac. It is impractical to publish an NPRM because of the urgent need to survey the utility cables damaged.

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. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable because immediate action is needed to obtain visual imagery of damage to the utility cables in order to successfully effect repairs and further mitigate any risks to the environment and the public.

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 Sault Sainte Marie (COTP) has determined that construction vessels operating in the Straits of Mackinac, will be a safety and navigation concern for any vessel within a 500-yard radius of the operations. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the operations are ongoing.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from April 30, 2018 until October 30, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 500 yards of construction equipment vessel working and surveying damaged utility cables in the Straits of Mackinac. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in these navigable waters while operations are ongoing. The zone will be enforced at various times throughout this period. Local Broadcast Notice to mariners, via VHF-FM marine channel 16, will notify mariners when the construction vessels are conducting operations and the zone is being enforced. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone Start Printed Page 19437without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

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, and location of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this safety zone which would impact a small designated area of the Straits of Mackinac during a time of year when vessel traffic is normally low. 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 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 Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, 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 that will prohibit entry within 500 yards of construction equipment vessels in the Straits of Mackinac surveying and conducting repairs to damaged utility cables. 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 supporting this determination is 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; Start Printed Page 19438Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Add § 165.T09-0397 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety Zone; Straits of Mackinac, Mackinaw City, MI.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Straits of Mackinac, from surface to bottom, within a 500 yard radius around construction equipment vessels.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means a Coast Guard petty officer, warrant officer, or commissioned officer and any Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Sault Sainte Marie (COTP) in the enforcement of the safety zone.

(c) 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 the COTP's designated representative.

(2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or the COTP's representative by VHF radio channel 16 or call 906-635-3319. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

(d) Enforcement periods. This section is effective from April 30, 2018, until October 30, 2018. It will be enforced while construction vessels operate within the designated location in paragraph (a) of this section. Local Broadcast Notice to mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 will notify mariners when vessels are conducting operations.

Start Signature

Dated: April 30, 2018.

Marko R. Broz,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Sault Sainte Marie.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-09407 Filed 5-2-18; 8:45 am]

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