Safety Zone; Big Foot Tension Leg Platform, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 243 (Wednesday, December 18, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 243 (Wednesday, December 18, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 69348-69349]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27175]
[[Page 69348]]
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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Coast Guard
33 CFR Part 147
[Docket Number USCG-2019-0402]
RIN 1625-AA00
Safety Zone; Big Foot Tension Leg Platform, Outer Continental
Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico
AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.
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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a permanent safety
zone around the Big Foot Tension Leg Platform (TLP), located in Walker
Ridge 29 on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico.
The purpose of this proposed rule is to protect the facility from any
dangers associated with vessels operating outside the normal shipping
channels and fairways that are not providing service to or working with
the facility. Placing a permanent safety zone around the facility will
significantly reduce the threat of allisions, collisions, security
breaches, oil spills, releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the
safety of life, property, and the environment. We invite your comments
on this proposed rulemaking.
DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast
Guard on or before February 18, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2019-0402 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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this
proposed rulemaking, call or email LCDR Michael Dougherty, District
Eight OCS, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 504-671-2106,
[email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Table of Abbreviations
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking
Sec.  Section
U.S.C. United States Code
II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis
    Under the authority provided in 43 U.S.C. 1333, 46 U.S.C. 70034,
and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1(90), Title
33, CFR 147.1, 147.5, and 147.10 permit the establishment of safety
zones for facilities located on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for
the purpose of protecting life and property on the facilities, their
appurtenances and attending vessels, and on the adjacent waters within
the safety zones.
    On July 17, 2015, the Coast Guard published an interim rule and
request for comments titled Safety Zone; Big Foot TLP, Walker Ridge 29,
Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico (80 FR 42385). In
response to the rule, we received no comments. The rule established a
temporary safety zone for the Big Foot TLP. On May 1, 2019, the Coast
Guard received a request from the owner to make the safety zone
permanent. This proposed 500-meter safety zone is necessary to protect
the platform from inherent hazards associated with maritime traffic and
to protect vessel traffic, the facility, and the marine environment.
III. Discussion of Proposed Rule
    The Coast Guard proposes to establish an permanent OCS safety zone
extending 500 meters (1,640.4 feet) from the coordinates: Latitude N
26-55 longitude W 90-31-14.952.
    Transit into and through this area would be prohibited for any
vessels not providing service to or working with the Big Foot Tension
Leg Platform at Walker Ridge 29 (TLP) on the Outer Continental Shelf
(OCS). Entry into this OCS safety zone would be prohibited unless
specifically authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District
(District Commander) or a designated representative. Requests for entry
would be considered and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
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. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control
regulatory costs through a budgeting process. 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), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt
from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.
    This proposed regulatory action determination is based on safety
zone's location and its distance from both land and safety fairways.
This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the
location of the TLP on the Outer Continental Shelf, and its distance
from both land and safety fairways. Vessels traversing waters near the
proposed safety zone would be able to safely travel around the zone
using alternate routes. An exception to this proposed rule would
include attending vessels, as defined by 33 CFR 147.20. The District
Commander, or a designated representative, would consider requests to
transit through the proposed safety zone on a case-by-case basis.
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
permanent safety zone might be small entities, for the reasons stated
in section IV.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 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 contact 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
[[Page 69349]]
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 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 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 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 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 the
establishment of a safety zone around an OCS facility to protect life,
property and the marine environment. Normally such actions are
categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) in
Table 3-1 of U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Planning Implementing
Procedures 5090.1. 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 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.
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 https://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be
submitted using https://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate
instructions.
    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted
without change to https://www.regulations.gov and will include any
personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the
docket, visit https://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.
    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket,
and all public comments, will be in our online docket at https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website's
instructions. 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.
List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 147
    Continental shelf, Marine safety, Navigation (water).
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes
to amend 33 CFR part 147 as follows:
PART 147--SAFETY ZONES
0
1. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows:
    Authority: 14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; and Department of
Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.
0
2. Amend 33 CFR 147.861 to read as follows:
Sec.  147.861   Safety Zone; Big Foot Tension Leg Platform, Outer
Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico.
    (a) Description. The Big Foot Tension Leg Platform (TLP) is in the
deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico at Walker Ridge 29. The Big Foot
TLP is located at latitude N 26-55.308 and longitude W 90-31-14.952,
and the area within 500 meters of the Big Foot TLP, is a permanent
safety zone.
    (b) Regulation. No vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone
except for the following:
    (1) An attending vessel, as defined by 33 CFR 147.20, or
    (2) A vessel authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard
District or a designated representative.
    Dated: December 10, 2019.
John P. Nadeau,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2019-27175 Filed 12-17-19; 8:45 am]
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