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Special Local Regulation; Upper Potomac River, National Harbor, MD

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing special local regulations for certain waters of the Upper Potomac River. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on the navigable waters located at National Harbor, MD, during a swim event on the morning of June 23, 2019. This regulation prohibits persons and vessels from entering the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or the Coast Guard Patrol Commander.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 23, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2019-0203 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. Ron Houck, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region; telephone 410-576-2674, email Ronald.L.Houck@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

PATCOM Coast Guard Patrol Commander

§ Section

U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

Enviro-Sports Productions, Inc. of Stinson Beach, CA, notified the Coast Guard that it will be conducting the Washington DC Sharkfest Swim between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on June 23, 2019, along a course that starts and finishes at the end of the commercial pier at National Harbor, MD. In response, on April 9, 2019, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Special Local Regulation; Upper Potomac River, National Harbor, MD” (84 FR 14061). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this open water swim event. During the comment period that ended May 9, 2019, we received no comments.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 46 U.S.C. 70041. The Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the power boat racing event will be a safety concern for anyone intending to operate in or near the event area. The purpose of this rule is to protect event participants, spectators, and transiting vessels on specified waters of the Upper Potomac River before, during, and after the scheduled event.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

As noted above, we received no comments on our NPRM published April 9, 2019. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

This rule establishes a special local regulation to be enforced from 7 a.m. through 11 a.m. on June 23, 2019. There is no alternate date planned for this event. The regulated area will cover all navigable waters of the Upper Potomac River, within an area bounded by a line connecting the following points: From the shoreline at latitude 38°47′30.30″ N, longitude 077°01′26.70″ W, thence west to latitude 38°47′30.00″ N, longitude 077°01′37.30″ W, thence south to latitude 38°47′08.20″ N, longitude 077°01′37.30″ W, thence east to latitude 38°47′09.00″ N, longitude 077°01′09.20″ W, located at National Harbor, MD. The duration of the special local regulations and size of the regulated area are intended to ensure the safety of life on these navigable waters before, during, and after the open water swim, scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on June 23, 2019.

Except for participants and vessels already at berth, a person or vessel within the regulated area at the start of enforcement of this regulation must immediately depart the regulated area. A person or vessel that desires to transit, moor, or anchor within the regulated area must obtain authorization from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or PATCOM. A person or vessel seeking such permission can contact the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on VHF-FM channel 16, or the PATCOM on VHF-FM channel 16 and channel 22A. A vessel within the regulated area must operate at a safe speed that minimizes wake. Official Patrols are any vessel assigned or approved by Commander, Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region with a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer on board and displaying a Coast Guard ensign. If permission is granted, the person or vessel must pass directly through the regulated area as instructed by PATCOM. Official Patrols enforcing this regulated area can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 16 and channel 22A. A person or vessel not registered with the event sponsor as a participant or assigned as official patrols would be considered a spectator. Official Patrols will direct spectator vessels while within the regulated area. A spectator vessel must not loiter within the navigable channel while within the regulated area. The Coast Guard will publish a notice in the Fifth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners and issue a marine information broadcast on VHF-FM marine band radio announcing specific event date and times.

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.Start Printed Page 22970

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 size, time of day and duration of the regulated area, which will impact a small designated area of the Upper Potomac River for 4 hours. The Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM channel 16 about the status of the regulated area. Moreover, the rule would allow vessels to seek permission to enter the regulated area, and vessel traffic would be able to safely transit the regulated area once the PATCOM deems it safe to do so.

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 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.

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 implementation of regulations within 33 CFR part 100 applicable to organized marine events on the navigable waters of the United States. The temporary regulated area will be in effect for 4 hours. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L61 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 100

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

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

Start Part

PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 46 U.S.C. 70041; 33 CFR 1.05-1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Add § 100.501T05-0203 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Special Local Regulation; Upper Potomac River, National Harbor, MD.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section:

Captain of the Port (COTP) Maryland-National Capital Region means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Start Printed Page 22971Maryland-National Capital Region or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized by the COTP to act on his behalf.

Coast Guard Patrol Commander (PATCOM) means a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the Commander, Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region.

Official Patrol means any vessel assigned or approved by Commander, Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region with a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer on board and displaying a Coast Guard ensign.

Participant means a person or vessel registered with the event sponsor as participating in the Washington DC Sharkfest Swim or otherwise designated by the event sponsor as having a function tied to the event.

Spectator means a person or vessel not registered with the event sponsor as participants or assigned as official patrols.

(b) Location. The following location is a regulated area. All navigable waters of the Upper Potomac River, within an area bounded by a line connecting the following points: From the Rosilie Island shoreline at latitude 38°47′30.30″ N, longitude 077°01′26.70″ W, thence west to latitude 38°47′30.00″ N, longitude 077°01′37.30″ W, thence south to latitude 38°47′08.20″ N, longitude 077°01′37.30″ W, thence east to latitude 38°47′09.00″ N, longitude 077°01′09.20″ W, thence southeast along the pier to latitude 38°47′06.30″ N, longitude 077°01′02.50″ W, thence north along the shoreline and west along the southern extent of the Woodrow Wilson (I-95/I-495) Memorial Bridge and south and west along the shoreline to the point of origin, located at National Harbor, MD. All coordinates reference Datum NAD 1983.

(c) Special local regulations. (1) The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or PATCOM may forbid and control the movement of all vessels and persons, including event participants, in the regulated area. When hailed or signaled by an official patrol, a vessel or person in the regulated area shall immediately comply with the directions given by the patrol. Failure to do so may result in the Coast Guard expelling the person or vessel from the area, issuing a citation for failure to comply, or both. The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or PATCOM may terminate the event, or a participant's operations at any time the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or PATCOM believes it necessary to do so for the protection of life or property.

(2) Except for participants and vessels already at berth, a person or vessel within the regulated area at the start of enforcement of this section must immediately depart the regulated area.

(3) A spectator must contact the PATCOM to request permission to either enter or pass through the regulated area. The PATCOM, and official patrol vessels enforcing this regulated area, can be contacted on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz) and channel 22A (157.1 MHz). If permission is granted, the spectator must pass directly through the regulated area as instructed by PATCOM. A vessel within the regulated area must operate at safe speed that minimizes wake. A spectator vessel must not loiter within the navigable channel while within the regulated area.

(4) A person or vessel that desires to transit, moor, or anchor within the regulated area must obtain authorization from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or PATCOM. A person or vessel seeking such permission can contact the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz) or the PATCOM on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz).

(5) The Coast Guard will publish a notice in the Fifth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners and issue a marine information broadcast on VHF-FM marine band radio announcing specific event date and times.

(d) Enforcement officials. The Coast Guard may be assisted with marine event patrol and enforcement of the regulated area by other Federal, State, and local agencies.

(e) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 23, 2019.

Start Signature

Dated: May 16, 2019.

Joseph B. Loring,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-10584 Filed 5-20-19; 8:45 am]

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