[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 226 (Friday, November 22, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70005-70007]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28126]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

33 CFR Part 334


Naval Base Ventura County, San Nicolas Island, California; 
Restricted Area

AGENCY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to amend its 
regulations to modify an existing permanent restricted area in the 
waters of the Pacific Ocean surrounding San Nicolas Island, California. 
Naval Base Ventura County is requesting the Corps modify the existing 
restricted area to realign subsections (designated Alpha, Bravo and 
Charlie) within the restricted area to better match current operational 
requirements. In addition, the proposed rule would correct a mapping 
error in the original rule. The perimeter and overall size of the 
existing restricted area would remain unchanged. San Nicolas Island is 
wholly owned by the United States and operated by the U.S. Navy as part 
of Naval Base Ventura County.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before December 23, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number COE-
2013-0014, by any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Email: david.b.olson@usace.army.mil. Include the docket number, 
COE-2013-0014, in the subject line of the message.
    Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO-R (David B. 
Olson), 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20314-1000.
    Hand Delivery/Courier: Due to security requirements, we cannot 
receive comments by hand delivery or courier.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to docket number COE-2013-0014. 
All comments received will be included in the public docket without 
change and may be made available on-line at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the commenter indicates that the comment includes information 
claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other 
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit 
information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, 
through regulations.gov or email. The regulations.gov Web site is an 
anonymous access system, which means we will not know your identity or 
contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. 
If you send an email directly to the Corps without going through 
regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and 
included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and 
made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, we 
recommend that you include your name and other contact information in 
the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If we 
cannot read your comment because of technical difficulties and cannot 
contact you for clarification, we may not be able to consider your 
comment. Electronic comments should avoid the use of any special 
characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or 
viruses.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to www.regulations.gov. All documents in the 
docket are listed. Although listed in the index, some information is 
not publicly available, such as CBI or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as 
copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be 
publicly available only in hard copy form.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Olson, Headquarters, 
Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice, Washington, DC at 202-
761-4922, or Mr. Antal Szijj, Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, 
Regulatory Division, at 805-585-2147.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

    The purpose of this regulatory action is to amend an existing 
restricted area to realign subsections in a manner that better matches 
the U.S. Navy's current operational needs. Vessels would only be 
prohibited from entering the restricted area during closure periods. 
The amendment would also update various titles and contact references 
to current command structure and names, and correct a mapping error in 
the original rule.
    The Corps authority to amend this restricted area is Section 7 of 
the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and 
Chapter XIX of the

[[Page 70006]]

Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat 892; 33 U.S.C. 3).

Background

    The restricted area around San Nicolas Island was established by 
regulation in 1965. The original and later revised regulations 
specifically allow fishing in the other two sections, except when 
closed by the Commander, Pacific Missile Range. The restricted area 
regulations also establish a 300 yard no-access buffer around the 
island and specifically prohibit landing on the island.
    As presently designed, the restricted area does not match Naval 
Base Ventura County's current operational needs. While the existing 
focus of the restricted area is section Alpha, current operations are 
primarily focused to the west, over section Bravo. The boundaries of 
the three areas also bisect the north side of the island and would be 
better defined by a separation at the east end between sections Alpha 
and Charlie. There is also an error in the current regulation, which 
incorrectly designates one point of section Alpha's boundary.
    Section Alpha regulations restrict commercial trawl fishing and 
other ``fishing operations.'' Commercial fishing is now common within 
section Alpha and most of the fishing at and around the island occurs 
in section Alpha.
    Additionally, current regulations (see 33 CFR 334.980(d)(2) and 
(d)(4)), restrict all vessels except fishing vessels, range craft, and 
vessels cleared for entry, from sections Bravo or Charlie at any time, 
except in emergency. This is also not enforced.
    The proposed change would modify 33 CFR 334.980 to update the 
regulations and more adequately support the present operational needs. 
The proposal would change the boundaries of the restricted area 
sections into western, eastern and northern areas. This change would 
make the areas more aligned with visible features on the island. The 
U.S. Navy could still open and close these sections in part or in whole 
depending on operational needs. The proposed change would remove 
references to range marker poles, given that the majority of boaters 
use Global Positioning Systems to determine location and the need for 
markers (and subsequent maintenance of markers) no longer exists.
    The proposal would remove references to fishing restrictions to 
clarify that the Navy does not regulate fishing, but rather closes 
areas to all access when necessary for operations. The proposal would 
update titles and contact references to match current command 
structure.

Procedural Requirements

a. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule is issued with respect to a military function of 
the Defense Department and the provisions of Executive Order 12866 do 
not apply.

b. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354) which requires the preparation of a 
regulatory flexibility analysis for any regulation that will have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
(i.e., small businesses and small governments). Unless information is 
obtained to the contrary during the public notice comment period, the 
Corps expects that the amendment of this restricted area would have 
practically no economic impact on the public, no anticipated 
navigational hazard, or interference with existing waterway traffic. 
This proposed rule if adopted, will have no significant economic impact 
on 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 will be prepared after the public notice period is closed 
and all comments have been received and considered. After it is 
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 proposed 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. We have also found under 
Section 203 of the Act, that small governments will not be 
significantly and uniquely affected by this rulemaking.

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 proposes to 
amend 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.  334.980 to read as follows:


Sec.  334.980  Pacific Ocean, around San Nicholas Island, Calif., naval 
restricted area.

    (a) The area. (1) perimeter (restricted). The waters of the Pacific 
Ocean around San Nicholas Island, Calif., extending about 3 miles 
seaward from the shoreline, described as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Latitude            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point A.......................  33[deg]10'10''       119[deg]24'20''
Point C.......................  33[deg]10'10''       119[deg]31'10''
Point D.......................  33[deg]12'00''       119[deg]35'30''
Point E.......................  33[deg]14'20''       119[deg]37'40''
Point F.......................  33[deg]16'40''       119[deg]38'10''
Point G.......................  33[deg]19'10''       119[deg]37'10''
Point I.......................  33[deg]20'10''       119[deg]31'10''
Point K.......................  33[deg]17'40''       119[deg]24'50''
Point L.......................  33[deg]13'50''       119[deg]21'50''
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Sections of Area.
    ALPHA section is the northerly section of the area, and is 
described as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Latitude            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point H.......................  33[deg]20'01''       119[deg]32'02''
Point I.......................  33[deg]20'10''       119[deg]31'10''
Point K.......................  33[deg]17'40''       119[deg]24'50''
Point L.......................  33[deg]13'50''       119[deg]21'50''
Point O.......................  33[deg]13'50''       119[deg]26'02''
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Thence northwesterly along shoreline to Point N
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point N.......................  33[deg]17'04''       119[deg]32'02''
Point H.......................  33[deg]20'01''       119[deg]32'02''
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    BRAVO section is the westerly section of the area, and is described 
as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Latitude            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point N.......................  33[deg]17'04''       119[deg]32'02''
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Thence westerly, southerly and easterly along the shoreline to Point M
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point M.......................  33[deg]13'10''       119[deg]29'40''
Point B.......................  33[deg]10'10''       119[deg]29'40''
Point C.......................  33[deg]10'10''       119[deg]31'10''
Point D.......................  33[deg]12'00''       119[deg]35'30''
Point E.......................  33[deg]14'20''       119[deg]37'40''
Point F.......................  33[deg]16'40''       119[deg]38'10''
Point G.......................  33[deg]19'10''       119[deg]37'10''
Point H.......................  33[deg]20'01''       119[deg]32'02''
Point N.......................  33[deg]17'04''       119[deg]32'02''
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 70007]]

    CHARLIE section is the southerly section of the area, and is 
described as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Latitude            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point L.......................  33[deg]13'50''       119[deg]21'50''
Point O.......................  33[deg]13'50''       119[deg]26'02''
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Thence southerly and westerly along the shoreline to Point M
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point M.......................  33[deg]13'10''       119[deg]29'40''
Point B.......................  33[deg]10'10''       119[deg]29'40''
Point A.......................  33[deg]10'10''       119[deg]24'20''
Point L.......................  33[deg]13'50''       119[deg]21'50''
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) The regulations. (1) Except during closure periods or as 
otherwise provided in this section, the restricted area will be open to 
all vessels.
    (2) Boats must remain at least 300 yards from the shoreline of San 
Nicolas Island at all times. Nothing in this provision shall be 
construed as authorization to anchor within 300 yards or to land on San 
Nicolas Island, except in an emergency.
    (3) No person, vessel or other craft shall enter the restricted 
area or designated section(s) during closure periods unless authorized 
to do so by the Commanding Officer, Naval Base Ventura County or the 
Officer in Charge, San Nicolas Island.
    (4) Submarine cables within the restricted area pose a risk to the 
equipment of vessels engaged in dredging, dragging, seining, anchoring 
and other bottom contact operations. Appropriate care must be taken to 
avoid damage.
    (5) Closure Periods. Notice that the restricted area or section(s) 
ALPHA, BRAVO, or CHARLIE are closed to entry shall be given by radio 
broadcast Monday through Friday at 0900 and 1200 on 2638 kHz and 2738 
kHz or by contacting ``PLEAD CONTROL'' on VHF-FM radio channel 11 or 
16. Closure information may also be requested by telephone between 0600 
and 1800 Monday through Friday at (805) 989-8841 or via recorded 
message at (805) 989-1470.
    (6) The regulations in this section shall be enforced by personnel 
attached to Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, Calif., and by such 
agencies as may be designated by the Commandant, 11th Naval District, 
San Diego, Calif.

    Dated: November 19, 2013.
James R. Hannon,
Chief, Operations and Regulatory, Directorate of Civil Works.
[FR Doc. 2013-28126 Filed 11-21-13; 8:45 am]
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