[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 63 (Wednesday, April 2, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18450-18452]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07359]


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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: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Corps of Engineers (Corps) is amending its regulations to 
modify an existing permanent restricted area in the waters of the 
Pacific Ocean surrounding San Nicolas Island, California. The 
modifications realign subsections (designated Alpha, Bravo and Charlie) 
within the restricted area to better match the U.S. Navy's current 
operational requirements. In addition, the rule corrects a mapping 
error in the original rule. The perimeter and overall size of the 
existing restricted area remains 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: Effective date: May 2, 2014.

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 or by email at 
antal.j.szijj@usace.army.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Pursuant to its authorities in Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors 
Act of 1917 (40 Stat 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army 
Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat 892; 33 U.S.C. 3), the Corps of 
Engineers is amending the regulations at 33 CFR 334.980 to realign 
subsections within the existing restricted area in the waters 
surrounding San Nicolas Island, Ventura County, California, in a manner 
that better

[[Page 18451]]

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 proposed rule was published in the November 22, 2013 issue of 
the Federal Register (78 FR 70005; docket number COE-2013-0014). 
Comments were received from four commenters in response to the Federal 
Register notice and the Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District's local 
public notice. Three commenters objected to the enforcement of the 300-
yard stand-off surrounding the shoreline of the island that was a 
provision of the original rule and was not proposed to be changed. The 
commenters stated that they had previously been allowed to trap lobster 
within this 300-yard stand-off with the agreement of the Navy and that 
the Navy's recent enforcement of this provision of the restricted area 
has substantially reduced their lobster catch resulting in economic 
harm.
    The 300-yard stand-off has been a provision of the restricted area 
since it was established in 1965. The amendment does not modify or 
eliminate this provision. The Navy has stated that any previous 
informal agreements between fishermen and Navy personnel to allow 
fishing did not follow protocol and are not valid. The Navy has 
determined through experience that a 300-yard stand-off from the 
shoreline is necessary to maintain the security of its facilities at 
San Nicolas Island. The changes to the restricted area that do affect 
commercial fishing include clarification that the entire restricted 
area excluding the 300-yard stand-off remains open to fishing unless 
one or more sections are specifically closed for naval operations.
    One commenter also stated that the waters surrounding San Nicolas 
Island are subject to rough seas that may develop quickly and 
unexpectedly, therefore having the ability find safe anchorage close to 
the island is important.
    The rule change does not affect the provision that allows 
encroachment into the 300-yard stand-off or landing in emergency 
situations.

Procedural Requirements

a. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    This final 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 final 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). The Corps determined that the 
amendment of this restricted area has practically no economic impact on 
the public, no anticipated navigational hazard, or interference with 
existing waterway traffic. This final rule 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 determined that 
this amendment to the regulation will not have a significant impact to 
the quality of the human environment and, therefore, preparation of an 
environmental impact statement is not required. An environmental 
assessment was prepared after the public notice period closed and all 
comments received from the public were considered. The environmental 
assessment may be viewed at the District office listed at the end of 
the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, above.

d. Unfunded Mandates Act

    This 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 amends 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.
    (i) 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''
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) 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''
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iii) 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''

[[Page 18452]]

 
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 post 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: March 27, 2014.
James R. Hannon,
Chief, Operations and Regulatory, Directorate of Civil Works.
[FR Doc. 2014-07359 Filed 4-1-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3720-58-P