[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 199 (Monday, October 15, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62435-62437]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25141]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 162

[Docket No. USCG-2011-1086]
RIN 1625-AB84

Inland Waterways Navigation Regulations

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rule redefines the geographical points described in our 
regulations, which demarcate an area of the Detroit River in which 
certain vessels are restricted to speeds not greater than 12 statute 
miles per hour.

DATES: This rule will be effective November 14, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket 
[USCG-2011-1086]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being 
available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the 
docket number in the ``SEARCH'' box, and click ``Search.'' You may 
visit the Docket Management Facility, Department of Transportation, 
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email LT Adrian Palomeque, Prevention Department, Sector 
Detroit, Coast Guard; telephone (313) 568-9508, email 
[email protected]. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Renee V.

[[Page 62436]]

Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.


Table of Acronyms

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

A. Regulatory History and Information

    On May 8, 2012, we published in the Federal Register a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPMR) entitled Inland Waterways Navigation 
Regulations (77 FR 27007). We received 1 comment. Specifically, Lake 
Carriers' Association (LCA) submitted a letter on May 15, 2012 in which 
LCA offered its full support for this rulemaking as proposed in the 
NPRM. No other comments were received. No public meeting was requested, 
and none was held.

B. Basis and Purpose

    As discussed in the aforesaid NPRM, representatives from LCA, the 
Lakes Pilots Association, the International Shipmasters Association, 
and the Canadian Shipowners Association previously made a request of 
the Coast Guard regarding 33 CFR Part 162. Particularly, these groups 
requested that the Coast Guard amend, via federal rulemaking, 33 CFR 
162.138(a)(1)(ii), which requires vessels on the Detroit River north of 
the Detroit River Light to operate at no more than 12 statute miles per 
hour. In response to that request, the Coast Guard's Ninth District 
Commander, in consultation with the Captain of the Port, Sector 
Detroit, Windsor Port Authority, Transport Canada, and the Canadian 
Coast Guard, assessed the necessity and utility of the aforementioned 
regulatory provision and determined that the southern point of the 
restricted speed area in 33 CFR 162.138(a)(1)(ii) should be relocated 
to a point approximately 2.5 statute miles to the north at the D33 
stationary light. The reasoning for the Ninth District Commander's 
decision is discussed in the following paragraph.
    The speed restriction in 33 CFR 162.138(a)(1)(ii) requires vessels 
on the Detroit River north of the Detroit River Light to operate at no 
more than 12 statute miles per hour. This restriction serves two 
purposes. First, it is intended to prevent collisions and groundings. 
(See 33 CFR 162.130(a)). Second, it is intended to limit wake damage to 
vessels and shore structures (See 60 FR 35701-01). Because the Detroit 
River Light is several miles into Lake Erie and because the channel 
between the Detroit River Light and the D33 stationary light is roughly 
twelve-hundred feet wide, the Ninth District Commander has determined 
that limiting speed south of the D33 stationary light is not necessary 
to prevent wake damage or to prevent collisions and groundings. Thus, 
33 CFR 162.138(a)(1)(ii), as currently written, serves as an 
unnecessary restriction on vessel operations. Moreover, this 
unnecessary restriction is exacerbated by the fact that upbound vessels 
must decelerate well in advance of the Detroit River Light in order to 
attain the maximum speed at the light itself.
    Pursuant to the authority contained in the Ports and Waterways 
Safety Act, (33 U.S.C. 1221 et seq.), as delegated to the Commandant of 
the Coast Guard via Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 
0170.1 and to Coast Guard District Commanders pursuant to 33 CFR 1.05-
1(e)(1)(vii), the Ninth District Commander is amending 33 CFR 
162.138(a)(1)(ii) to alleviate unnecessary restrictions on commercial 
vessel operations.

C. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Final Rule

    As mentioned above, only one comment was received in response to 
the NPRM published on May 8, 2012. In that comment, LCA offered its 
full support for the proposed rulemaking.
    This Final Rule is identical to the rule proposed in that NPRM. As 
stated in the NPRM, because 33 CFR 162.138, as currently written, 
unnecessarily restricts commercial vessel operations, the Ninth 
District Commander is amending 33 CFR 162.138 to reduce the size of the 
restricted speed area currently delineated in 33 CFR 162.138(a)(1)(ii). 
Particularly, this rule relocates the southern point of the restricted 
speed area from its current location at the Detroit River Light to a 
new location near the D33 stationary light.

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 these statutes or executive orders.

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.
    It is not ``significant'' under the regulatory policies and 
procedures of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We conclude 
that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action because 
relocating the southern point of the restricted speed area delineated 
in 33 CFR 162.138(a)(1)(ii) will lessen navigation restrictions on the 
public and on private industry. Thus, we anticipate that it will not 
adversely affect the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, 
will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, 
and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues.

2. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 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 
    The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business 
Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 
605(b) that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. This rule will affect the 
following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners 
and operators of vessels intending to transit between the Detroit River 
Light and the D33 stationary. However, the relocation of the southern 
point of the restricted speed area delineated in 33 CFR 
162.138(a)(1)(ii) will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities because it will lessen navigation 
restrictions on the public and private industry.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

    In keeping with 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 contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT, above.
    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

[[Page 62437]]

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.

4. Collection of Information

    This rule does 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 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 determined 
that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

6. 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.

7. Taking of Private Property

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

8. Civil Justice Reform

    This 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.

9. Protection of Children

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

10. Indian Tribal Governments

    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.

11. Energy Effects

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

12. Technical Standards

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

13. Environment

    We have analyzed this 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 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 amendments to navigation regulations 
and thus, is categorically excluded under paragraph 34(i) of the 
Commandant Instruction. A Categorical Exclusion Determination (CED) and 
a preliminary environmental analysis checklist are available in the 
docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or 
information that may lead to the discovery of a significant 
environmental impact from this proposed rule.

List of Subjects 33 CFR Part 162

    Navigation (water), Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 
33 CFR Part 162 as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 162 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation No. 0170.1.

Sec.  162.138  [Amended]

2. In Sec.  162.138(a)(1)(ii), remove the words ``Detroit River Light'' 
and in their place add the words ``D33 stationary light in the Detroit 
River entrance''.

    Dated: October 1, 2012.
M.N. Parks,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2012-25141 Filed 10-12-12; 8:45 am]