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Safety Zone; San Juan Harbor, San Juan, PR

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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 an area of one half mile around each Liquefied Gas carrier entering and departing San Juan Harbor and a 50-yard radius around each vessel when moored at the Puma Energy dock, Cataño Oil dock, or Wharf B. This safety zone is needed to protect personnel, transiting vessels, and Liquefied Gas carriers. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port San Juan or his designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from September 13, 2019 until 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2019. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 12:01 a.m. on August 25, 2019 September 13, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2019-0686 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Lieutenant Commander Pedro Mendoza, Sector San Juan Prevention Department, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 787-729-2374, email Pedro.L.Mendoza@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

LNG Liquefied Natural Gas

NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

§ Section

U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

The existing regulation in 33 CFR 165.754, contains a moving safety zone around transiting Liquefied Petroleum (LPG) carriers en route to, or departing from, the Gulf Refinery Oil dock or the Cataño Oil dock. On December 12, 2017, the Coast Guard received a request to assess the waterway suitability of transiting and semi-permanently moored liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers within the San Juan Harbor. On September 26, 2018, the Coast Guard determined the Port of San Juan could accommodate the safe navigation and mooring of LNG carriers within the San Juan Harbor. On July 26, 2019, U.S Coast Guard Sector San Juan and New Fortress Energy held two public meetings in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There were approximately 50 attendees and 20 comments received. The public meetings' summary and comments have been added to this docket number.

Due to their highly volatile cargoes, size, draft, and the local channel restrictions, LPG carrier require use of the center of these channels for safe navigation. The COTP San Juan has determined that potential hazards associated with LNG carriers would be a safety concern for anyone within 50-yards of these carriers. The purpose of this rule is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters within a 50-yard radius of LNG and LPG carriers transiting San Juan Harbor. The temporary final rule would safeguard vessels at an adjacent berthing location, Puerto Nuevo Berth B, which supplies LNG to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and other industrial sectors.

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Start Printed Page 48279Administrative 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) because immediate action is needed to safeguard incoming, moored, and outgoing LNG carriers within San Juan Harbor, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Under 33 CFR 165.754, the Coast Guard has an existing safety zone in effect for this area but for only LPG carriers. The Coast Guard did not receive sufficient information regarding the transit of LNG with sufficient time to publish an additional NPRM and receive public comment in order to complete the rulemaking process. Delay in promulgating this rule would be impracticable and contrary to public interest because a safety zone is required to safeguard the first LNG carrier expected to arrive in San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 25, 2019.

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 for the same reasons discussed above.

We note that the Coast Guard is in the process of publishing an NPRM proposing to revise the existing safety zone for LPG carriers in § 165.754 to include LNG carriers.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 46 U.S.C. 70034 (previously 33 U.S.C. 1231). The Captain of the Port (COTP) San Juan has determined that the LNG carrier expected to arrive on August 25, 2019 will be a safety concern for anyone within a one-half mile during its transit entering and departing San Juan Harbor and within a 50-yard radius when the vessel is moored. This rule is needed to ensure the safety of personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from 12:01 a.m. on August 25, 2019 until 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2019. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters one half mile around each Liquefied Gas carrier entering and departing San Juan Harbor and a 50-yard radius around each vessel when moored. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone is granted by the COTP San Juan or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the COTP San Juan or a designated representative. The Coast Guard will provide notice of the safety zone through Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16, and designated on-scene representatives.

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, available exceptions to the enforcement of the safety zone, and notice to mariners. The regulated area will impact small designated areas of navigable channels within San Juan Harbor. The rule will allow vessels to seek permission to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone. Additionally, notifications to the marine community will be made through Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16, and on-scene representatives. The notifications will allow the public to plan operations around the affected areas.

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 call or email 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.Start Printed Page 48280

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 call or email 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 Environmental Planning COMDTINST 5090.1 (series), 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 36 days that will prohibit entry within one half mile around each Liquefied Gas carrier entering and departing San Juan Harbor and a 50-yard radius around each vessel when moored. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in these navigable waters while the NPRM to modify the San Juan Harbor, San Juan, Puerto Rico safety zone is properly proposed and implemented. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) in Table 3-1 of U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Planning Implementing Procedures. 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 call or email 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 is proposing to amend 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: 46 U.S.C. 70034, 70051; 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.T07-0686 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety Zone; San Juan Harbor, San Juan, PR.

(a) Location. A moving safety zone is established in the following area:

(1) The waters around Liquefied Gas carriers entering San Juan Harbor in an area one half mile around each vessel, beginning one mile north of the San Juan Harbor #1 Sea Buoy, in approximate position 18-29.3N, 66-07.6W and continuing until the vessel is moored at the Puma Energy dock, Cataño Oil dock, or Wharf B in approximate position 18-25.8N, 66-06.5W. All coordinates are North American Datum 1983.

(2) The waters around Liquefied Gas carriers in a 50-yard radius around each vessel when moored at the Puma Energy dock, Cataño Oil dock, or Wharf B.

(3) The waters around Liquefied Gas carriers departing San Juan Harbor in an area one half mile around each vessel beginning at the Puma Energy Dock, Cataño Oil dock, or Wharf B in approximate position 18-25.8N, 66-06.5W when the vessel gets underway, and continuing until the stern passes the San Juan Harbor #1 Sea Buoy, in approximate position 18-28.3N, 66-07.6W. All coordinates referenced use datum: NAD 83.

(b) Definition. As used in this section, the term “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 (COTP) San Juan in the enforcement of the safety zone.

(c) Regulations. (1) No person or vessel may enter, transit, or remain in the safety zone unless authorized by the COTP San Juan, Puerto Rico, or a designated Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the designated Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer.

(2) Persons desiring to transit the area of the safety zones may contact the COTP San Juan or his designated representative to seek permission to transit the area. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the COTP or his designated representative.

(3) Vessels encountering emergencies, which require transit through the moving safety zone, should contact the Coast Guard patrol craft or Duty Officer on VHF Channel 16. In the event of an emergency, the Coast Guard patrol craft may authorize a vessel to transit through the safety zone with a Coast Guard designated escort.

(4) The COTP and the Duty Officer at Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, can be contacted at telephone number 787-289-2041. The Coast Guard Patrol Commander enforcing the safety zone can be contacted on VHF-FM channels 16 and 22A.

(5) All persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of on-scene patrol personnel. On-scene patrol personnel include commissioned, warrant, or petty officers of the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard Auxiliary and local or state officials may be present to inform vessel operators of the requirements of this section, and other applicable laws.

(d) Notification. The zone described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section will be activated upon entry of an LNG carrier into the navigable waters of the United States in the San Juan Captain of the Port Zone. An LNG carrier will be identifiable by the requirement to fly the Bravo flag (red international signal flag under Pub. 102, International Code of Signals) from the outermost halyard (above the pilot house) where it can most easily be seen. In addition to visual identification of an LNG carrier, Coast Guard Sector San Juan will give notice through Mariners Broadcast Notice to Mariners for the purpose of enforcement of the temporary safety zone.

(e) Effective period. This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m. on August 25, Start Printed Page 482812019 through 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2019.

Start Signature

Dated: August 23, 2019.

E. P. King,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Juan.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-19851 Filed 9-12-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P