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Rule

Safety Zone; Tugs Champion, Valerie B, Nancy Anne and Barges Kokosing I, Kokosing II, Kokosing IV Operating in the Straits of Mackinac, MI

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

ACTION:

Temporary interim rule with request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the navigable water within a 500-yard radius of several tugs and barges in the Straits of Mackinac. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from the potential hazards created by the work, inspection, surveying and the removal and replacement of cables for the Straits of Mackinac. Entry of vessels or persons into the zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Sault Sainte Marie or their designated representative. Due to the lengthy duration of this safety zone, the Coast Guard is accepting and reviewing public comments until May 7, 2021. While this rule is being enforced Start Printed Page 20634beginning April 20, 2021, the Coast Guard reserves the right to modify the safety zone if an issue is raised by the public comments that requires such a modification.

DATES:

This rule is effective without actual notice from April 21, 2021 through September 30, 2021. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be issued from April 20, 2021 through April 21, 2021. Comments and related materials will be accepted and reviewed by the Coast Guard through May 7, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments and material online at http://www.regulations.gov (see section II of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for additional details). To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2021-0204 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 CWO4 Robert A. Gruschow or LT Deaven S. Palenzuela, Sector Sault Sainte Marie Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard at (906) 253-2462/(906) 635-3223 or email ssmprevention@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

II. Public Participation and Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

1. Submitting Comments

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. You may submit your comments and material online at http://www.regulations.gov by typing the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

2. Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

III. Background Information and Regulatory History

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary interim rule with an abridged 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 doing so would be impracticable. The final details of the specific dates, vessels names, and safety zone distances concerning the safety zones were not finalized within a sufficient time to allow for notice and a subsequent 30-day comment period before work, inspection, surveying and the replacement and the removal of multiple cables. Delaying this rule to allow for a notice and full comment period would be impracticable because it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect the public from the potential hazards associated with aforementioned operation commencing on April 20, 2021.

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 in the preceding paragraph, delaying the effective date of this rule would be impracticable because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with the work, inspections, and surveying of underwater infrastructure.

IV. 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 Sault Sainte Marie (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the work, inspection, and surveying of underwater infrastructure in the Straits of Mackinac starting April 20, 2021 will be a safety concern for anyone within a 500-yard radius of the tugs and barges. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone while the operation is conducted.

V. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a safety zone from April 20, 2021 to September 30, 2021. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 500 yards of the tugs and barges being used to work, inspect, survey and remove/replace 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 the operation is conducted. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

VI. 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. 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).

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. Moreover, the Coast Guard will 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 Start Printed Page 20635fields, 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 VI.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.

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.

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, 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 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 tugs and barges used to work, inspect, survey and remove/replace cables in the Straits of Mackinac. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L[60(a)] of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 1. A 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.

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 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: 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.T09-0274 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Safety Zone; Tugs Champion, Valerie B, Nanacy Anne and Barges Kokosing I, Kokosing II, Kokosing IV operating in the Straits of Mackinac, MI.

(a) Location. The following areas are safety zones: All navigable water within 500 yards of the Tugs Valerie B, Nancy Anne, Champion and Barges Kokosing I, III, and IV while conducting work, inspection, surveying and removing/replacing cables in the Straits of Mackinac.

(b) 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 Sault Sainte Marie (COTP) in the enforcement of the safety zone.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Sault Sainte Marie, or his designated representative.

(2) Before a vessel operator may enter or operate within the safety zones, they must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port, Sault Sainte Marie, or his designated representative via VHF Channel 16 or telephone at (906) 635-3233. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all orders given to them by the Captain of the Port, Sault Sainte Marie, or his designated representative.

(d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from April 20, 2021 to September 30, 2021.

Start Signature

Dated: April 15, 2021.

A.R. Jones,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-08196 Filed 4-20-21; 8:45 am]

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