[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 116 (Monday, June 19, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 27773-27775]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-12573]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 110

[Docket Number USCG-2015-0729]
RIN 1625-AA01


Port of Miami Anchorage Area; Atlantic Ocean, Miami Beach, FL

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is dividing its Miami anchorage ground into 
two separate anchorage areas. This action is necessary to reduce 
potential damage to threatened coral posed by anchoring vessels. The 
area for vessels to anchor will be reduced by approximately 3 square 
nautical miles, but this rule still leaves vessels with approximately 
1.5 square miles of anchorage areas.

DATES: This rule is effective from July 19, 2017.

ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being 
available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-
2015-0729 in the ``SEARCH'' box and click ``SEARCH.'' Click on Open 
Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Mr. Paul Lehmann, Coast Guard Seventh District Prevention 
Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (305) 415-
6796, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking
Sec.  Section
U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On December 1, 2015, the Coast Guard published a notice of study 
that indicated we were evaluating amending the Miami Anchorage, based 
on the location of coral reefs off the coast of Florida. The Coast 
Guard received four comments in response to the notice of study during 
the period that ended on February 1, 2016. In coordination with several 
interested parties, the Coast Guard published a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) on May 10, 2016 (81 FR 28788). Four additional 
comments were received in response to the NPRM. The comment period for 
the NPRM closed on July 11, 2016.
    Through continued cooperation and research with stakeholders, the 
Coast Guard amended the original locations and requirements stated in 
the NPRM, and published these changes in a Supplemental Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), on February 22, 2017 (82 FR 11329). We 
received five written submissions on the SNPRM during the comment 
period that ended on March 24, 2017. We did not receive any oral 
comments.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 
471. The Seventh District Commander has determined that the new 
locations of the anchorage provide both a safe anchorage ground for 
vessels, as well as provide for protection of the coral reef and uphold 
the environmental protection mission of the Coast Guard.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    On December 1, 2015, the Coast Guard published a notice of study 
that indicated we were evaluating amending the Miami Anchorage to 
divide the anchorage into two smaller anchorage areas. The proposed 
amendment was designed in coordination with a variety of local 
stakeholders, including the South East Florida Coral Reef Initiative 
(SEFCRI). Comment provided by these stakeholders, academic research, 
and environmental reports have raised concerns with the Coast Guard 
about the potential for damage to the Florida Reef in the Miami 
Anchorage. Examples of the body of work that influenced the Coast Guard 
in proposing this amendment may be found in the docket.
    In response to the notice of study, the Coast Guard received four 
comments. These comments were addressed in an NPRM published on May 10, 
2016. In response to the NPRM, we received four additional comments. 
Two of the comments, one by the local non-profit Miami Waterkeeper and 
the other by a private citizen, supported our planned modification of 
the Miami Anchorage. The third and fourth comments were submitted by 
the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association.
    The Biscayne Bay Pilots Association (pilots) submitted a comment, 
through Becky Hope of the Port of Miami, on May 17, 2016. This comment 
requested the Coast Guard evaluate changes in the proposed anchorage, 
including shifting the outer anchorage west and shifting the southern 
boundary of the outer anchorage north. In response to these comments, 
the Coast Guard met with the Pilots to discuss the requests and the 
basis at which we arrived at the current anchorage configuration. 
During the meeting the Coast Guard agreed to shift the western boundary 
of the outer anchorage approximately 300 feet to the west to provide 
more room for large anchoring vessels. This change does not have any 
effect on coral or hard bottom as the sea floor in that area is sand.
    On June 11, 2016, the Pilots submitted a follow up comment to the 
public docket expressing concern that the outer anchorage would expose 
vessels to increased current and waves and, they claim, could increase 
the chance a vessel would drag anchor. In order to properly assess 
environmental conditions and risk of an anchor drag, the Coast Guard 
consulted with the National Weather Service and Maersk training center. 
The National Weather Service conducted a study, analyzing the previous 
year's current in the vicinity of the anchorage. The Weather Service 
found that the average current in the area of the outer anchorage over 
the previous year was approximately 1.2 knots, with currents ranging 
plus or minus half a knot from the mean current seventy percent of the 
time. This information was provided to the Maersk training center in 
Svendborg, Denmark. Subject matter experts at the training school 
indicated that the conditions posed no significant hazard and that 
captains would have the training and experience to set an anchor in the 
deeper waters of the outer anchorage.
    Due to the additional changes requested by the various parties 
involved, we published a Supplemental Notice to Proposed Rulemaking on 
February 22, 2017. The Coast Guard received five comments in response 
to this SNPRM. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection 
supports this project as a means to reduce coral reef and hardbottom 
impacts. The additional comments were in support of the rule, citing 
the desire to protect natural resources while acknowledging

[[Page 27774]]

perceived minimal impact to industry and commerce.
    The District Commander is amending the Miami Anchorage by dividing 
the anchorage into two smaller anchorage areas. The coordinates will 
establish two anchorage areas with a combined area of approximately 1.5 
square miles and reduce the total anchorage area by approximately 3 
square nautical miles. The anchorage areas will be established with the 
following coordinates:

                      Small Inner Western Anchorage
                    [Approximate water depths: 45 ft]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Latitude                 Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NW Corner.............  25[deg]47'57.687'' N.   080[deg]05'37.225'' W.
NE Corner.............  25[deg]47'57.341'' N.   080[deg]05'26.466'' W.
SE Corner.............  25[deg]46'31.443'' N.   080[deg]05'27.069'' W.
SW Corner.............  25[deg]46'31.557'' N.   080[deg]05'37.868'' W.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Large Outer Eastern Anchorage
                   [Approximate water depths: 120 ft]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Latitude                 Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NW Corner.............  25[deg]48'13.841'' N.   080[deg]04'59.155'' W.
NE Corner.............  25[deg]48'04.617'' N.   080[deg]04'04.582'' W.
SE Corner.............  25[deg]46'32.712'' N.   080[deg]04'28.387'' W.
SW Corner.............  25[deg]46'43.770'' N.   080[deg]05'02.360'' W.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We made minor changes to the anchorage regulations in response to 
comments received from the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association and others 
during the NPRM stage. Those changes were incorporated into the 
language of the SNPRM. For example, vessels anchored in the Miami 
Anchorage are required to maintain a 24-hour bridge watch with a 
licensed or credentialed deck officer proficient in English, vessels 
are prohibited from anchoring with engines off or in a ``dead ship'' 
status, and vessels are required to seek permission of the Captain of 
the Port Miami prior to anchoring for longer than 72 hours. Also, we 
amended the language that utilized the Biscayne Bay Pilots via VHF-FM 
channel 12 or 16 to contact the Captain of the Port Miami in order to 
simplify the process and improve consistency. Now mariners may contact 
the Captain of the Port Miami directly via VHF-FM channel 16. In 
addition to the above changes, the anchoring regulations have been 
reordered and reworded. Finally, the Coast Guard will be submitting 
amendments to the local Coast Pilot that provides improved guidance to 
vessels planning to anchor in the outer anchorage.

V. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and 
Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses 
based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders and we discuss 
First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and 13563 
(Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) direct agencies to assess 
the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory 
Costs) directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory 
costs and provides that ``for every one new regulation issued, at least 
two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost 
of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a 
budgeting process.''
    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this 
rule a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive 
Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it. As this rule is not 
a significant regulatory action, this rule is exempt from the 
requirements of Executive Order 13771. See the OMB Memorandum titled 
``Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of 
January 30, 2017 titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory 
Costs' '' (February 2, 2017).
    This regulatory action determination is based on the relatively 
minor change being made to the regulation. This regulatory action 
determination is based on the relatively minor changes being proposed 
to the regulation such as notice and watch keeping requirements.
    The regulation will however ensure 1.5 square miles of anchorage 
areas continue to exist. Some other changes are that vessels will be 
prohibited from anchoring with engines off or in a ``dead ship'' status 
and vessels will be required to seek permission of the Captain of the 
Port Miami prior to anchoring for longer than 72 hours.

B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 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 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.
    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to use the 
anchorage may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A 
above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any 
vessel owner or operator.
    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 
section. 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.
    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.

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    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 have 
determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism 
principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 
13132.

[[Page 27775]]

    Also, 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. If 
you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, 
please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section.

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

F. 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 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that it 
is one of a category of actions that do not individually or 
cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This 
rule reduces the size of an existing anchorage area. It is 
categorically excluded under section 2.B.2, figure 2-1, paragraph 34(f) 
of the Instruction, which pertains to minor regulatory changes that are 
editorial or procedural in nature. A Record of Environmental 
Consideration (REC) supporting this determination is available in the 
docket where indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble.

G. 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.

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:

PART 110--ANCHORAGE REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Revise Sec.  110.188 to read as follows:


Sec.  110.188  Atlantic Ocean off Miami and Miami Beach, Fla.

    (a) The anchorage areas. (1) Anchorage A. All area of the Atlantic 
Ocean, encompassed by a line connecting the points of the following 
North America Datum 83 coordinates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Latitude                            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
25[deg]47'57.687'' N.                080[deg]05'37.225'' W.
25[deg]47'57.341'' N.                080[deg]05'26.466'' W.
25[deg]46'31.443'' N.                080[deg]05'27.069'' W.
25[deg]46'31.557'' N.                080[deg]05'37.868'' W.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Anchorage B. All area of the Atlantic Ocean, encompassed by a 
line connecting the points of the following North America Datum 83 
coordinates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Latitude                            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
25[deg]48'13.841'' N.                080[deg]04'59.155'' W.
25[deg]48'04.617'' N.                080[deg]04'04.582'' W.
25[deg]46'32.712'' N.                080[deg]04'28.387'' W.
25[deg]46'43.770'' N.                080[deg]05'02.360'' W.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) The regulations. (1) Vessels in the Atlantic Ocean in the 
vicinity of Port of Miami must anchor only within the anchorage areas 
hereby defined and established, except in cases of emergency.
    (2) Prior to entering the anchorage areas, all vessels must notify 
the Coast Guard Captain of the Port via VHF-FM channel 16.
    (3) All vessels within the designated anchorages must maintain a 
24-hour bridge watch by a licensed or credentialed deck officer 
proficient in English, monitoring VHF-FM channel 16. This individual 
must confirm that the ship's crew performs frequent checks of the 
vessel's position to ensure the vessel is not dragging anchor.
    (4) Vessels may anchor anywhere within the designated anchorage 
areas provided that: Such anchoring does not interfere with the 
operations of any other vessels currently at anchorage; and all anchor 
and chain or cable is positioned in such a manner to preclude dragging 
over reefs.
    (5) No vessel may anchor in a ``dead ship'' status (that is, 
propulsion or control unavailable for normal operations) without the 
prior approval of the Captain of the Port. Vessels experiencing 
casualties, such as main propulsion, main steering, or anchoring 
equipment malfunction, or which are planning to perform main propulsion 
engine repairs or maintenance, must immediately notify the Coast Guard 
Captain of the Port via Coast Guard Sector Miami on VHF-FM channel 16.
    (6) No vessel may anchor within the designated anchorages for more 
than 72 hours without the prior approval of the Captain of the Port. To 
obtain this approval, contact the Coast Guard Captain of the Port via 
VHF-FM channel 16.
    (7) The Coast Guard Captain of the Port may close the anchorage 
areas and direct vessels to depart the anchorage during periods of 
adverse weather or at other times as deemed necessary in the interest 
of port safety or security.
    (8) Commercial vessels anchoring under emergency circumstances 
outside the anchorage areas must shift to new positions within the 
anchorage areas immediately after the emergency ceases.
    (9) Whenever the maritime or commercial interests of the United 
States so require, the Captain of the Port, U.S. Coast Guard, Miami, 
Florida, may direct relocation of any vessel anchored within the 
anchorage areas. Once directed, such vessel must get underway at once 
or signal for a tug, and must change position as directed.

    Dated: June 12, 2017.
S.A. Buschman,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard 
District.
[FR Doc. 2017-12573 Filed 6-16-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P