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Proposed Rule

Security Zone: Electric Boat Shipyard, Groton, CT

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Start Preamble


Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of proposed rulemaking.


The Coast Guard is proposing to modify the security zone boundaries surrounding the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. The proposed amendment to the Security Zone is due to the expanding operations at Electric Boat Shipyard. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.


Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 13, 2021.


You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2021-0062 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

Start Further Info


If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Marine Science Technician 3rd Class Ashley Dodd, Waterways Management Division, Sector Long Island Sound; Tel: (203) 468-4469; Email:

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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

Electric Boat Shipyard has a history of constructing vessels for the United States Navy. For this reason a security zone is established to safeguard from destruction, loss, or injury from sabotage or other submersive acts, or other causes of a similar nature to its waterfront facility and its vessels that they construct. In order for Electric Boat Shipyard to assemble and launch the Columbia Class Submarine for the U.S. Navy they are building a new submarine construction facility and floating dry dock. Therefore, Electric Boat is requesting a modification to expand the currently existing security zone.

The purpose of this rulemaking is to modify the location of the existing security zone listed in 33 CFR 165.154(a)(2). Captain of the Port Long Island Sound proposes to add a new point in the definition of the security zone and replace two turning points. This would allow the zone to encompass the new building for construction of submarines and floating dry dock.

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

Part 165 of 33 CFR contains specific regulated navigation areas and limited access areas to prescribe general regulations for different types of limited or controlled access areas and regulated navigation areas and list specific areas and their boundaries. Section 165.154 establishes Safety and Security Zones: Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone Safety and Security Zones.

The Coast Guard proposes to modify the location of the existing security zone listed in 33 CFR 165.154(a)(2)(i) Safety and Security Zones: Captain of the Port Zone Safety and Security Zones, to expand the zone, as indicate in the illustration below, to protect a new submarine construction facility and floating dry dock being built adjacent to the current facility.

Start Printed Page 19172

IV. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this proposed 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. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, and duration of the security zone. Vessel traffic would be able to safely transit around the security zone which would impact a small designated area of the Thames River.

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 proposed 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 security zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

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 proposed 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. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

This proposed rule would 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 Start Printed Page 19173relationship 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 proposed 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 proposed 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 proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please call or email 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 proposed 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 proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01, Rev. 1, associated implementing instructions, 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 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 proposed rule involves a security zone to limit access near Electric Boat Shipyard. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60a of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 1. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket. For instructions on locating the docket, see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

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.

V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at If your material cannot be submitted using, call or email the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

We accept anonymous comments. Comments we post to will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions in response to this document, see DHS's eRulemaking System of Records notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020).

Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and public comments, will be in our online docket at and can be viewed by following that website's instructions. We review all comments received, but we will only post comments that address the topic of the proposed rule. We may choose not to post off-topic, inappropriate, or duplicate comments that we receive. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

  • Marine safety
  • Navigation (water)
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • 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:

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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; Departmemt of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. In § 165.154, revise paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety and Security Zones; Captain of the Port Long Island Sound Zone Safety and Security Zones.
* * * * *

(a) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) Location. All navigable waters of the Thames River, from surface to bottom, West of the Electric Boat Corportation Shipyard enclosed by a line beginning at a point on the shoreline 41°20′16″ N, 72°04′47″ W; then running West to 41°20′16.2″ N, 72°04′58.0″ W; then running North to 41°20′28.7″ N, 72°05′01.7″ W; then North-Northwest to 41°20′53.3″ N, 72°05′04.8″ W; then North-Northeast to 41°21′02.9″ N, 72°05′04.9″ W; then running to shoreline at 41°21′02.9″ N, 72°04′58.2″ W (NAD 83).

(ii) Application. Paragraphs (a), (e), (f) of § 165.33 do not apply to public vessels or to vessels owned by, under hire to, or performing work for the Electric Boat Division when operating in the security zone.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Dated: April 8, 2021

E.J. Van Vamp,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Long Island Sound.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-07651 Filed 4-12-21; 8:45 am]