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

CourtCoast Guard
Citation84 FR 69348
Published date18 December 2019
SectionProposed rules
Record Number2019-27175
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.
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                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]
                BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
                

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