Safety Zone; Potomac River, Between Charles County, MD and King George County, VA

CourtCoast Guard
Citation86 FR 71570
Publication Date17 December 2021
Record Number2021-27349
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 240 (Friday, December 17, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 240 (Friday, December 17, 2021)]
                [Rules and Regulations]
                [Pages 71570-71573]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-27349]
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                DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
                Coast Guard
                33 CFR Part 165
                [Docket Number USCG-2021-0906]
                RIN 1625-AA00
                Safety Zone; Potomac River, Between Charles County, MD and King
                George County, VA
                AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.
                ACTION: Temporary final rule.
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                SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for
                certain waters of the Potomac River. This action is necessary to
                provide for the safety of persons, and the marine environment from the
                potential safety hazards associated with construction operations at the
                new Governor Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial
                (US-301) Bridge, which will occur from 7 a.m. on January 3, 2022,
                through 8 p.m. on January 15, 2022. This rule will prohibit persons and
                vessels from being in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain
                of the Port, Maryland-National Capital Region or a designated
                representative.
                DATES: This rule is effective without actual notice from December 17,
                2021 through January 15, 2022. For the purposes of enforcement, actual
                notice will be issued from December 13, 2021 until December 17, 2021.
                ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being
                available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-
                2021-0906 in the search box and click ``Search.'' Next, in the Document
                Type column, select ``Supporting & Related Material.''
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule,
                call or email Mr. Ron Houck, Sector Maryland-NCR, Waterways Management
                Division, U.S. Coast Guard: telephone 410-576-2674, email
                [email protected].
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                I. Table of Abbreviations
                CFR Code of Federal Regulations
                COTP Captain of the Port
                DHS Department of Homeland Security
                FR Federal Register
                Sec. Section
                TFR Temporary Final Rule
                U.S.C. United States Code
                II. Background Information and Regulatory History
                 On December 9, 2021, Skanska-Corman-McLean, Joint Venture, notified
                [[Page 71571]]
                the Coast Guard that the company will be setting structural steel
                sections across the federal navigation channel at the new Governor
                Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301)
                Bridge. The bridge contractor stated the work required to set
                structural steel across the channel, originally scheduled to occur in
                November 2021, and rescheduled to December 2021, is now scheduled to
                occur from January 3, 2022, through January 15, 2022. The work
                described by the contractor requires the movement in and anchoring at
                multiple points of a large crane barge within the federal navigation
                channel. This crane can accommodate all of the steel to be hoisted and
                placed, which will streamline the operation by avoiding multiple
                reloads of steel and reducing the time in the channel by multiple days.
                This operation will impede vessels requiring the use of the channel.
                Note, the Coast Guard has previously issued other temporary safety
                zones at this location for placement of fender ring elements in
                association with construction of the new bridge (USCG-2021-0127; USCG-
                2021-0650; and USCG-2021-0745).
                 The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice
                and 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 and
                contrary to the public interest. Construction operations involving
                large crane heavy lifts at the new Governor Harry W. Nice/Senator
                Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) Bridge must occur within the
                federal navigation channel. Immediate action is needed to respond to
                the potential safety hazards associated with bridge construction.
                Hazards from the construction operations include low-hanging or falling
                ropes, cables, large piles and cement cast portions, dangerous
                projectiles, and or other debris. We must establish this safety zone by
                January 3, 2022, to guard against these hazards.
                 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. Delaying the effective date of
                this rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest
                because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety
                hazards associated with construction operations at the new Governor
                Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) Bridge
                to be conducted within the federal navigation channel.
                III. 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 COTP has determined that
                potential hazards associated with bridge construction starting January
                3, 2022, will be a safety concern for anyone within the federal
                navigation channel at the new Governor Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas
                ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) Bridge construction site. This rule
                is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in
                the navigable waters within the safety zone while the bridge is being
                constructed.
                IV. Discussion of the Rule
                 This rule establishes a temporary safety zone from 7 a.m. on
                January 3, 2022, until 8 p.m. on January 15, 2022. The safety zone will
                cover all navigable waters of the Potomac River encompassed by a line
                connecting the following points beginning at 38[deg]21'50.96'' N,
                076[deg]59'22.04'' W, thence south to 38[deg]21'43.08'' N,
                076[deg]59'20.55'' W, thence west to 38[deg]21'41.00'' N,
                076[deg]59'34.90'' W, thence north to 38[deg]21'48.90'' N,
                076[deg]59'36.80'' W, and east back to the beginning point, located
                between Charles County, MD and King George County, VA.
                 The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel and the
                marine environment in these navigable waters while structural steel is
                being set across the federal navigation channel at the new Governor
                Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301)
                Bridge.
                 Except for marine equipment and vessels operated by Skanska-Corman-
                McLean, Joint Venture, or its subcontractors, no vessel or person will
                be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from
                the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or a designated
                representative.
                 The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region will notify the public
                that the safety zone will be enforced by all appropriate means to the
                affected segments of the public, as practicable, in accordance with 33
                CFR 165.7(a).
                V. 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 size and duration
                of the safety zone. The temporary safety zone is approximately 450
                yards in width and 270 yards in length. We anticipate that there will
                be no vessels that are unable to conduct business. Excursion vessels
                and commercial fishing vessels are not impacted by this rulemaking.
                Excursion vessels do not operate in this area, and commercial fishing
                vessels are not impacted because of their draft. Some towing vessels
                may be impacted, but bridge project personnel have been conducting
                outreach throughout the project in order to coordinate with those
                vessels. Vessel traffic not required to use the navigation channel will
                be able to safely transit around the safety zone. Such vessels may be
                able to transit to the east or the west of the federal navigation
                channel, as similar vertical clearance and water depth exist under the
                next bridge span to the east and west. This safety zone will impact a
                small designated area of the Potomac River for 13 days, but coincides
                with the non-peak season for recreational boating.
                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 received no comments from the Small Business
                Administration on this rulemaking. 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.
                [[Page 71572]]
                 While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the
                temporary safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in
                section V.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
                temporary safety zone lasting 13 total days that will prohibit entry
                within a portion of the Potomac River. It is categorically excluded
                from further review under paragraph L60(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.
                List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165
                 Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and
                recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.
                 For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends
                33 CFR part 165 as follows:
                PART 165--REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS
                0
                1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:
                 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.
                00170.1, Revision No. 01.2.
                0
                2. Add Sec. 165.T05-0906 to read as follows:
                Sec. 165.T05-0906 Safety Zone; Potomac River, Between Charles County,
                MD and King George County, VA.
                 (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable
                waters of the Potomac River, encompassed by a line connecting the
                following points beginning at 38[deg]21'50.96'' N, 076[deg]59'22.04''
                W, thence south to 38[deg]21'43.08'' N, 076[deg]59'20.55'' W, thence
                west to 38[deg]21'41.00'' N, 076[deg]59'34.90'' W, thence north to
                38[deg]21'48.90'' N, 076[deg]59'36.80'' W, and east back to the
                beginning point, located between Charles County, MD and King George
                County, VA. These coordinates are based on datum NAD 83.
                 (b) Definitions. As used in this section--
                 Captain of the Port (COTP) means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard
                Sector Maryland-National Capital Region.
                 Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned,
                warrant, or petty officer, 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 Maryland-National Capital Region (COTP) in the enforcement of the
                safety zone.
                 Marine equipment means any vessel, barge or other equipment
                operated by Skanska-Corman-McLean, Joint Venture, or its
                subcontractors.
                 (c) Regulations. (1) Under the general safety zone regulations in
                subpart C of this part, you may not enter the safety zone described in
                paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the COTP or the
                COTP's designated representative.
                 (2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or the COTP's
                representative by telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio
                VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Those in the safety zone must comply
                with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the
                COTP's designated representative.
                 (d) Enforcement officials. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in
                the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and
                local agencies.
                [[Page 71573]]
                 (e) Enforcement period. The section will be enforced from 7 a.m. on
                January 3, 2022, through 8 p.m. on January 15, 2022.
                 Dated: December 13, 2021.
                David E. O'Connell,
                Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Maryland-National
                Capital Region.
                [FR Doc. 2021-27349 Filed 12-16-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
                

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