[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 217 (Thursday, November 8, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66942-66945]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27270]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 110

[Docket No. USCG-2012-0103]
RIN 1625-AA01


Anchorages; Lower Mississippi River, Above Head of Passes, 
Convent, LA and Point Pleasant, LA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to establish two anchorage areas on 
the Lower Mississippi River, above the Head of Passes (AHP). The first 
would be located at the Belmont Light extending from Mile Marker (MM) 
152.9 to 154 on the Left Descending Bank (LDB) of the river, the second 
at Bayou Goula, extending from MM 197.7 to 198.7 on the Right 
Descending Bank (RDB) of the river. These proposed anchorages would 
double the available anchorage area in these sections of the river, 
which is necessary to help accommodate increased vessel volume and 
improve navigational safety for vessels transiting these river 
sections.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast 
Guard on or before December 10, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2012-0103 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail or Delivery: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. 
Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Deliveries 
accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.
    See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion 
of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these 
three methods.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Brandon Sullivan, Sector New 
Orleans, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (504) 365-2280, email 
Brandon.J.Sullivan@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Acronyms

DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. 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 (USCG-2012-0103), 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, or by fax, mail, or hand 
delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a 
comment online via www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received 
by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you 
fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as 
having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the 
Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and 
a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body 
of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
type the docket number (USCG-2012-0103) in the ``SEARCH'' box and click 
``SEARCH.'' Click on ``Submit a Comment'' on the line associated with 
this rulemaking.
    If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them 
in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for 
copying and electronic filing. If you submit

[[Page 66943]]

comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will 
consider all comments and material received during the comment period 
and may change the rule based on your comments.
    The comment period for this NPRM is 30 days from the date of 
publication in the Federal Register. The Lower Mississippi River 
Waterway Safety Advisory Committee, a Federal Advisory Committee, 
formally recommended creation of these anchorages at the committee 
meeting in December 2011. A comment period greater than 30 days is 
unnecessary in this case due to extensive discussion regarding these 
proposed anchorages that has occurred since that time. However, we will 
consider requests to extend the comment period.

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 (USCG-2012-0103) in the ``SEARCH'' box and click 
``SEARCH.'' Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with 
this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in 
Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation, 
West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.

3. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

4. Public Meeting

    We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a 
request for one using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. 
Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If 
we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a 
time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

B. Basis and Purpose

    The Coast Guard is authorized under section 7 of the Rivers and 
Harbors Act of 1915 (33 U.S.C. 471) to establish anchorages in the 
navigable waters of the United States through the regulations found in 
33 CFR parts 109 and 110. At its December 2011 meeting, the Lower 
Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Council (LMRWSAC) 
recommended the establishment of two anchorage areas in the Lower 
Mississippi River (LMR), AHP. LMRWSAC, a Congressionally-chartered 
Federal advisory committee, is responsible for advising, consulting 
with, and making recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security 
on navigational safety matters relating to the Lower Mississippi River. 
Participants at the December 2011 LMRWSAC meeting noted that the 
anchorages are necessary to address navigation safety concerns arising 
from the increased volume of vessels in the proposed areas. After 
extensive discussions, including observations of and comments from 
members of the public in attendance, LMRWSAC recommended that the Coast 
Guard establish the two anchorages.
    Based on the recommendation of LMRWSAC, the Coast Guard proposes 
the two anchorage areas. The designated anchorage areas would relieve 
congestion and provide anchorage space to accommodate the increasing 
volumes of traffic in these areas of the LMR. The grain facility Zen-
Noh predicts a steady 10 percent increase of vessels annually over the 
next 5 years. The recent addition of the Nucor Steel Louisiana iron 
making facility will further increase traffic; they are predicting the 
facility will serve 4-5 Panamax sized vessels a month.
    In addition, the establishment of the Bayou Goula Anchorage would 
not only double the anchorage space available between Burnside, LA and 
Baton Rouge, LA, it would also provide a much needed alternative to 
anchor vessels during dredging operations at the White Castle 
Anchorage.

C. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The proposed amendment would create two new anchorage areas to be 
known as the Belmont Anchorage and Bayou Goula Anchorage. The Belmont 
Anchorage includes the area 1.1 miles in length along the left 
descending bank of the river extending from mile 152.9 (Belmont Light) 
to mile 154.0 above Head of Passes. The width of the anchorage is 300 
feet. The inner boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel to the 
nearest bank 400 feet from the water's edge into the river as measured 
from the LWRP. The outer boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel 
to the nearest bank 700 feet from the water's edge into the river as 
measured from the LWRP. The anchorage may also be viewed by drawing 
rhumb lines joining points at:

Latitude                             Longitude
 
30[deg]00'51.494''                   90[deg]46'35.574''
30[deg]00'52.881''                   90[deg]46'36.609''
30[deg]00'52.074''                   90[deg]46'40.399''
30[deg]00'48.973''                   90[deg]46'51.478''
30[deg]00'47.038''                   90[deg]46'59.290''
30[deg]00'43.370''                   90[deg]47'8.183''
30[deg]00'40.939''                   90[deg]47'13.687''
30[deg]00'36.914''                   90[deg]47'20.258''
30[deg]00'30.675''                   90[deg]47'29.094''
30[deg]00'25.657''                   90[deg]47'35.682''
30[deg]00'18.677''                   90[deg]47'43.214''
30[deg]00'15.448''                   90[deg]47'39.349''
 

    The Bayou Goula anchorage includes the area 1.0 mile in length 
along the right descending bank of the river extending from mile 197.7 
to mile 198.7 above the Head of Passes. The width of the anchorage is 
500 feet. The inner boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel to the 
nearest bank 200 feet from the water's edge in the river as measured 
from the LWRP. The outer boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel 
to the nearest bank 700 feet from the water's edge into the river as 
measured from the LWRP. The anchorage may also be viewed by drawing 
rhumb lines joining points at:

Latitude                             Longitude
 
30[deg]14'18.387''                   91[deg]07'31.710''
30[deg]14'20.749''                   91[deg]07'34.063''
30[deg]14'15.236''                   91[deg]07'49.009''
30[deg]14'11.122''                   91[deg]07'56.033''
30[deg]14'7.648''                    91[deg]08'1.368''
30[deg]14'1.284''                    91[deg]08'10.983''
30[deg]13'56.444''                   91[deg]08'19.028''
30[deg]13'51.207''                   91[deg]08'23.955''
30[deg]13'47.977''                   91[deg]08'20.737''
 

    The anchorage areas would be for temporary use by vessels of all 
types. Vessels may occupy the anchorage areas during a wide range of 
conditions and for a broad variety of purposes. For example, vessels 
would be allowed to anchor temporarily while taking on stores, 
transferring personnel, or engaging in bunkering operations. Vessels 
would also be allowed to use anchorage areas while awaiting weather and 
other conditions favorable to resuming their voyage. The Captain of the 
Port New Orleans or his designated representative may direct the 
movement of any vessel anchored or moored within the anchorage areas.

D. 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 or executive orders.

[[Page 66944]]

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) 
of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential 
costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or 
under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and 
Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. The impacts on routine 
navigation are expected to be minimal because the proposed anchorage 
areas would not unnecessarily restrict traffic as they are located 
outside of the established navigation channel. Vessels would be able to 
maneuver in, around, and through the anchorages. Operators who choose 
to maneuver their vessels around a proposed anchorage area would not be 
significantly impacted because the total distance to transit around 
each anchorage perimeter to the other side does not exceed more than 
1.1 nautical miles.

2. Impact on Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 
considered the impact of this proposed rule on small entities. The 
Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. This proposed rule would affect the following entities, 
some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels 
intending to transit through the proposed anchorage areas at both 
Belmont and Bayou Goula. These anchorages would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the 
following reasons: The anchorages would double the anchorage areas in 
both proposed locations, thus allowing greater vessel volume in order 
to meet the growing economic needs of facilities along the river, and 
vessel traffic could pass safely around the anchorages.
    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental 
jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have 
a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see 
ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what 
degree this rule would economically affect it.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

    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 so that they can better 
evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. 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, above. 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.

4. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would not call for a new collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3520.).

5. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local 
governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial 
direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule 
under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications 
for federalism.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Taking of Private Property

    This proposed rule would not cause a taking of private property or 
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights.

9. Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not 
create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 
disproportionately affect children.

11. Indian Tribal Governments

    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.

12. Energy Effects

    This proposed rule is not a ``significant energy action'' under 
Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

13. Technical Standards

    This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we 
did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

14. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland 
Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction 
M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (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 establishing anchorages and as such is categorically excluded, 
under figure 2-1, paragraph (34) (f) of the Instruction. A preliminary 
``Environmental Analysis Check List'' supporting this determination is 
available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any

[[Page 66945]]

comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant 
environmental impact from this proposed rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 110

    Anchorage Regulations.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes 
to amend 33 CFR part 110 as follows:

PART 110--ANCHORAGE REGULATIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  33 U.S.C. 471, 1221 through 1236, 2030, 2035, 2071; 
33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 
0170.1.

    2. In Sec.  110.195(a), add new paragraphs (34) and (35) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  110.195  Mississippi River below Baton Rouge, LA, including South 
and Southwest Passes.

    (a) * * *
    (34) Belmont Anchorage. An area 1.1 miles in length along the left 
descending bank of the river extending from mile 152.9 (Belmont Light) 
to mile 154.0 above Head of Passes. The width of the anchorage is 300 
feet. The inner boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel to the 
nearest bank 400 feet from the water's edge into the river as measured 
from the LWRP. The outer boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel 
to the nearest bank 700 feet from the water's edge into the river as 
measured from the LWRP.
    (35) Bayou Goula Anchorage. An area 1.0 mile in length along the 
right descending bank of the river extending from mile 197.7 to mile 
198.7 above the Head of Passes. The width of the anchorage is 500 feet. 
The inner boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel to the nearest 
bank 200 feet from the water's edge in the river as measured from the 
LWRP. The outer boundary of the anchorage is a line parallel to the 
nearest bank 700 feet from the water's edge into the river as measured 
from the LWRP.
* * * * *

    Dated: October 30, 2012.
Roy A. Nash,
Rear Admiral, U. S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard 
District.
[FR Doc. 2012-27270 Filed 11-7-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P