Atlantic Ocean South of Entrance to Chesapeake Bay; Firing Range

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 136 (Tuesday, July 16, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 136 (Tuesday, July 16, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33849-33850]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-15086]
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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
33 CFR Part 334
[COE-2018-0007]
Atlantic Ocean South of Entrance to Chesapeake Bay; Firing Range
AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.
ACTION: Final rule.
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SUMMARY: The Corps of Engineers is amending an existing permanent
danger zone in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean south of the entrance
to the Chesapeake Bay off of the coast of Virginia. For decades, the
Dam Neck Surface Danger Zone (SDZ) served as a firing range for gunnery
training at what is now Naval Air Station Oceana's Dam Neck Annex.
While the Navy continues to use the SDZ for training, fixed-mount
gunnery operations have not been conducted there for over 30 years.
This amendment is necessary to accurately identify the hazards
associated with training and mission operations to protect the public.
This amendment identifies the area within the current danger zone
boundary where live fire exercises are no longer conducted and no
restriction to surface navigation exists. In addition, the amendment
removes references to live fire range conditions and safety procedures
since shore-to-sea gunnery operations are no longer conducted.
DATES: Effective: August 15, 2019.
ADDRESSES: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO-R (David Olson),
441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20314-1000.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Olson, Headquarters,
Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice, Washington, DC at 202-
761-4922, or Ms. Nicole Woodward, Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District,
Regulatory Branch, at 757-201-7122.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed rule was published in the
February 13, 2019, edition of the Federal Register (84 FR 3739) and the
regulations.gov docket number was COE-2018-0007. No comments were
received in response to the proposed rule.
    In response to a request by the United States Navy, and pursuant to
its authorities in Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40
Stat. 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act
of 1919 (40 Stat. 892; 33 U.S.C. 3), the Corps of Engineers is amending
33 CFR 334.390 to amend this danger zone in the waters of the Atlantic
Ocean south of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay adjacent to Naval Air
Station Oceana's Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Procedural Requirements
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. For the reasons stated
below, this final rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under
Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this final 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.
    The Corps determined this final rule is not a significant
regulatory action because both the area of existing danger zone subject
to live firing exercises and the navigation restrictions are being
decreased. This final rule allows any vessel that needs to transit the
danger zone to expeditiously transit through the danger zone when the
small arms range is in use. When the small arms range is not in use,
the danger zone will be open to normal maritime traffic and to all
activities, include anchoring and loitering. This rule is issued with
respect to a military function of the Department of Defense and the
provisions of Executive Order 12866 do not apply.
b. Impact on Small Entities.
    This rule has been reviewed under the Regulatory Flexibility Act
(Pub. L. 96-354). The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an
agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject
to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative
Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial
number of small entities (i.e., small businesses and small
governments).
    The Corps certifies that this rule will not have a significant
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. While some
owners or operators of vessels that intend to transit the danger zone
may be small entities, this rule would not have a significant economic
impact on any vessel owner or operator because it identifies the
portion of the danger zone that is
[[Page 33850]]
subject to live firing exercises and navigation restrictions, and
allows any vessel that needs to transit the danger zone to
expeditiously transit through the danger zone when the small arms range
is in use. When the small arms range is not in use, the danger zone
will be open to normal maritime traffic and to all activities, include
anchoring and loitering. In addition, danger zone is necessary to
protect public from hazards associated with training and mission
operations. Small entities can also utilize navigable waters outside of
the danger zone when the small arms range is in use. The Corps has
determined that the modified danger zone will have practically no
economic impact on the public, including any anticipated navigational
hazard or interference with existing waterway traffic. After
considering the economic impacts of this amendment of the existing
danger zone regulation on small entities, I certify that this action
will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small
entities.
c. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act
    Due to the administrative nature of this action and because there
is no intended change in the use of the area, the Corps expects that
this regulation, if adopted, will not have a significant impact to the
quality of the human environment and, therefore, preparation of an
environmental impact statement will not be required. An environmental
assessment has been prepared. It may be reviewed at the District office
listed at the end of the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section,
above.
d. Unfunded Mandates Act
    This rule does not impose an enforceable duty among the private
sector and, therefore, it is not a Federal private sector mandate and
it is not subject to the requirements of either Section 202 or Section
205 of the Unfunded Mandates Act. I have also found under Section 203
of the Act, that small governments will not be significantly and
uniquely affected by this rulemaking.
e. Congressional Review Act
    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., generally
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule,
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the
United States. We will submit a report containing the final rule and
other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States. A
major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in
the Federal Register. This final rule is not a ``major rule'' as
defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).
List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 334
    Danger zones, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Restricted areas,
Waterways.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Corps amends 33 CFR
part 334 as follows:
PART 334--DANGER ZONE AND RESTRICTED AREA REGULATIONS
0
1. The authority citation for 33 CFR part 334 continues to read as
follows:
    Authority:  40 Stat. 266 (33 U.S.C. 1) and 40 Stat. 892 (33
U.S.C. 3).
0
2. Revise Sec.  334.390 to read as follows:
Sec.  334.390   Atlantic Ocean south of entrance to Chesapeake Bay;
firing range.
    (a) The danger zone. (1) A section extending seaward for a distance
of 12,000 yards between two radial lines bearing 030[deg] True and
083[deg] True, respectively, from a point on shore at latitude
36[deg]46'48'' N, longitude 75[deg]57'24'' W; and an adjacent sector
extending seaward for a distance of 15 nautical miles between two
radial lines bearing 083[deg] True and 150[deg] True, respectively,
from the same shore position. The datum for these coordinates is WGS-
1984.
    (b) The regulation. (1) To accommodate ingress and egress within
the southern approach to the Chesapeake Bay Federal navigation
channels, no live fire exercise will take place within the area
northeast of, and defined by a line intersecting points latitude
36[deg]47'59'' N, longitude 75[deg]46'05'' W and latitude
36[deg]44'25'' N, longitude 75[deg]38'57'' W, and this area is open to
unrestricted surface navigation.
    (2) Within the remainder of the danger zone vessels shall proceed
through the area with caution and shall remain therein no longer than
necessary for the purpose of transit.
    (3) When firing is in progress during daylight hours, red flags
will be displayed at conspicuous locations on the beach. When firing is
in progress during periods of darkness, red flashing lights will be
displayed from conspicuous locations on the beach which are visible
from the water a minimum distance of four (4) nautical miles.
    (4) Firing on the ranges will be suspended as long as any vessel is
within the danger zone.
    (5) Lookout posts will be manned by the activity or agency
operating the firing range at the Naval Air Station Oceana, Dam Neck
Annex, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After darkness, night vision
systems will be utilized by lookouts to aid in locating vessels
transiting the area.
    (6) There shall be no firing on the range during periods of low
visibility which would prevent the recognition of a vessel (to a
distance of 7,500 yards) which is properly displaying navigation
lights, or which would preclude a vessel from observing the red range
flags or lights.
    (7) Throughout the entire danger zone anchoring, dredging, trawling
and any bottom disturbing activities should be conducted with caution
due to the potential of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other munitions
and explosives of concern (MEC) on the bottom.
    (c) Enforcement. The regulation in this section shall be enforced
by the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, U.S. Fleet Forces Command,
Norfolk, Virginia, and such agencies as he or she may designate.
    Dated: July 11, 2019.
Thomas P. Smith, P.E.,
Chief, Operations and Regulatory Division, Directorate of Civil Works.
[FR Doc. 2019-15086 Filed 7-15-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3720-58-P