[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 34 (Wednesday, February 20, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11745-11747]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03827]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 110

[Docket Number 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: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a new anchorage area on the 
Lower Mississippi River, Above the Head of Passes (AHP), located at the 
Belmont Light extending from Mile Marker (MM) 152.9 to 154 on the Left 
Descending Bank (LDB) of the river. The anchorage will double the 
available anchorage areas in this section of the river, which is 
necessary to help accommodate increased vessel volume and improve 
navigational safety for vessels transiting this river section. As 
discussed below, the Coast Guard decided not to establish a second 
anchorage at Bayou Goula, as had been proposed.

DATES: This rule is effective March 22, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket 
USCG-2012-0103. 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.'' 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Brandon Sullivan, Sector New 
Orleans, 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.


Table of Acronyms

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

A. Regulatory History and Information

    On Thursday, November 8, 2012 the Coast Guard published a Notice of 
Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in the Federal Register (77 FR 66942). 
There were 3 comments received. There were no public meetings requested 
or held as a result of the NPRM; however the anchorage area was the 
subject of a public Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory 
Committee (LMRWSAC) meeting in December 2011, prior to the publication 
of the NPRM. LMRWSAC is a Federal Advisory Committee operating in 
accordance with 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and the minutes of the December 2011 
meeting are available in the docket.

[[Page 11746]]

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 LMRWSAC 
recommended the establishment of the anchorage area in the Lower 
Mississippi River (LMR), AHP. LMRWSAC is responsible for advising, 
consulting with, and making recommendations to the Secretary of 
Homeland Security on matters relating to the transit of vessels to and 
from the ports of New Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, South 
Louisiana, and Baton Rouge. Participants at the December 2011 meeting 
noted that the anchorage is necessary to address navigation safety 
concerns, in regards to the increased volume of vessels in the proposed 

C. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    Three issues were raised by comments submitted to the docket. The 
first comment received was from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service Office of Coast Survey. 
The two concerns raised were the encroachment of the anchorage areas on 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) revetments and pipeline 
crossings in the proposed areas.
    After collaboration with USACE and the Coast Guard, the NOAA 
National Ocean Service Office of Coast Survey was able to update its 
data on the exact locations of the revetments, which alleviated the 
encroachment concern. This is noted in a second comment submitted by 
the NOAA National Ocean Service Office of Coast Survey.
    Regarding the pipeline crossings noted in the NOAA comments, 
specifically in the proposed Bayou Goula anchorage area, the Coast 
Guard has determined the need for further investigation and will not be 
going forward with that anchorage area as proposed. At this time, the 
Coast Guard is establishing only the Belmont anchorage area, and not 
the Bayou Goula anchorage area that had been proposed in the NPRM.
    Finally, the last concern was raised in the comment submitted by 
the Department of Interior regarding the habitat of the Pallid 
Sturgeon. The focus of the concern revolved around ``entrainment issues 
associated with dredging operations in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya 
Rivers and through diversion structures off the Mississippi River.'' 
The establishment of the Belmont anchorage area will not require 
dredging and will not create a diversion. After consideration, 
therefore, the Coast Guard did not modify the proposed Belmont 
anchorage in response to this comment.

D. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and 
executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses 
based on these statutes and 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. The impacts on routine 
navigation are expected to be minimal because the anchorage area will 
not unnecessarily restrict traffic as it is located outside of the 
established navigation channel. Vessels will be able to maneuver in, 
around, and through the anchorage. Operators who choose to maneuver 
their vessels around the anchorage area would not be significantly 
impacted because the total distance to transit around the anchorage 
perimeter to the other side, does not exceed 1.1 miles.

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 
50,000. The Coast Guard received 0 comments from the Small Business 
Administration on this rule. 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. 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 Belmont 
anchorage area.
    This anchorage will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. The 
anchorage will double the anchorage area in this location thus allowing 
greater vessel volume in order to meet the growing economic needs of 
facilities along the river, and vessel traffic can pass safely around 
the anchorage.

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 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, 
    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.

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. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. 
Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INTFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that 
your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or 
security of people, places or vessels.

[[Page 11747]]

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 rule will not result in 
such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere 
in this preamble.

8. 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 

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Technical Standards

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

14. 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 establishing an anchorage area. This 
rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 
34(f) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental 
analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical 
Exclusion Determination 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 rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 110

    Anchorage grounds.

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


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. 

2. In Sec.  110.195, add paragraph (a)(34) 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.
* * * * *

    Dated: February 5, 2013.
Roy A. Nash,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2013-03827 Filed 2-19-13; 8:45 am]