[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 218 (Tuesday, November 14, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 52680-52682]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-24554]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 165

[Docket Number USCG-2017-0935]
RIN 1625-AA00


Safety Zone; Delaware River; Marcus Hook, NJ

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone 
on the waters of the Delaware River between Marcus Hook Range and 
Tinicum Range. The safety zone will temporarily restrict vessel traffic 
from transiting or anchoring in portions of the Delaware River while 
rock blasting, dredging, and rock removal operations are being 
conducted to facilitate the Main Channel Deepening project for the 
Delaware River. The safety zone is needed to protect personnel, 
vessels, and the marine environment from hazards created by rock 
blasting, dredging, and rock removal operations. Entry of vessels or 
persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by 
the Captain of the Port (COTP) or his designated representatives. We 
invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast 
Guard on or before November 21, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2017-0935 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the ``Public Participation and Request for 
Comments'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further 
instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this 
rulemaking, call or email Petty Officer Amanda Boone, Waterways 
Management Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay; telephone 
(215) 271-4889, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Table of Abbreviations

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

II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    The Army Corps of Engineers notified the Coast Guard that Great 
Lakes Dredging and Dock Company will be conducting rock blasting, 
dredging, and rock removal operations, beginning November 30, 2017 
through March 15, 2018, to facilitate the deepening of the main 
navigational channel to the new project depth of 45 feet. The COTP has 
determined that potential hazards associated with rock blasting, 
dredging, and rock removal operations will be a safety concern for 
anyone within 500 yards of the drill boat APACHE or dredges TEXAS and 
NEW YORK.
    The purpose of this proposed rulemaking is to ensure the safety of 
personnel, vessels, and the marine environment within a 500-yard radius 
of rock blasting, dredging, and rock removal operations. The Coast 
Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would establish a safety zone from November 30, 
2017 through March 15, 2018. The safety zone will cover all navigable 
waters in the Delaware River within 500 yards of vessels and machinery 
being used by personnel to conduct rock blasting, dredging, and rock 
removal operations between Marcus Hook Range and Tinicum Range. The 
safety zone will be enforced in an area and in a manner that does not 
conflict with transiting commercial and recreational traffic, except 
for the short periods of time when explosive detonation are being 
conducted. The explosive detonation will not occur more than three 
times a day. At all other times, at least one side of the main 
navigational channel will be open for vessels to transit.
    The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, 
and the marine environment in these navigable waters while operations 
are being conducted. For the duration of the project, in the vicinity 
of the rock blasting, rock removal, and dredging operation, one side of 
the main navigational channel will be closed. Vessels wishing to 
transit the safety zone in the main navigational channel may do so if 
they can make satisfactory passing arrangements with drill boat APACHE 
or the dredges TEXAS and NEW YORK in accordance with the Navigational 
Rules in 33 CFR subchapter E via VHF-FM channel 13 at least 30 minutes 
prior to arrival. If vessels are unable to make satisfactory passing 
arrangements with the drill boat APACHE or the dredges TEXAS and NEW 
YORK, they may request permission from the COTP, or his designated 
representative, on VHF-FM channel 16. All vessels must operate at the 
minimum safe speed necessary to maintain steerage and reduce wake.
    No vessels may transit through the safety zone during times of 
explosive detonation. During explosive detonation, vessels will be 
required to maintain a 500 yard distance from the drill boat APACHE. 
The drill boat APACHE will make broadcasts via VHF-FM channels 13 and 
16, at 15 minutes, 5 minutes, and 1 minute prior to detonation, as well 
as a countdown to detonation on VHF-FM channel 16. Sector Delaware Bay 
will ensure notice is given to the maritime community of dates and 
times of blasting via broadcast notice to mariners on VHF-FM channel 
16. After every explosive detonation, a survey will be conducted to 
ensure the navigational channel is clear for vessels to transit. The 
drill boat APACHE will broadcast via VHF-FM channel 13 and 16, when the 
survey has been completed and the channel is clear to transit. Vessels 
wishing to transit the safety zone in the main navigational channel may 
do so if they can make satisfactory passing arrangements with drill 
boat APACHE or the dredges TEXAS and NEW YORK in accordance with the 
Navigational Rules in 33 CFR subchapter E via VHF-FM channel 13 at 
least 30 minutes prior to arrival. If vessels are unable to make 
satisfactory passing arrangements with the drill boat APACHE or the 
dredge TEXAS and NEW YORK, they may request permission from the COTP, 
or his designated representative, on VHF-FM channel 16.

[[Page 52681]]

IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed 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 and 13563 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. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control 
regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This NPRM has not been 
designated a ``significant regulatory action,'' under Executive Order 
12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt 
from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.
    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, 
location, duration, and traffic management of the safety zone. The 
Coast Guard does not anticipate a significant economic impact because 
the safety zone will be enforced in an area and in a manner that does 
not conflict with transiting commercial and recreational traffic, 
except for the short periods of time when explosive detonations are 
being conducted. The blasting detonations will not occur more than 
three times a day. At all other times, at least one side of the main 
navigational channel will be open for vessels to transit. Moreover, the 
Coast Guard will work in coordination with the pilots to ensure vessel 
traffic is limited during the times of detonation and Broadcast Notice 
to Mariners are made via VHF-FM marine channel 13 and 16 when blasting 
operations will occur.

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 
proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to anchor in or 
transit the safety zone 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.
    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental 
jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have 
a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see 
ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what 
degree this rule would economically affect it.
    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 proposed 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 proposed rule or any policy or action 
of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would 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 proposed rule under that Order and 
have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism 
principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 
13132.
    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under 
Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments, because it would 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 proposed 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 proposed 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 proposed 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 made 
a preliminary determination 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 proposed rule involves a safety 
zone that would prohibit entry within 500 yards of rock blasting, 
dredging, and rock removal. Normally such actions are categorically 
excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of 
Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary Record of Environmental 
Consideration supporting this determination is 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.

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.

V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, 
and will consider all comments and material received during the comment 
period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If 
you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which 
each comment

[[Page 52682]]

applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.
    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be 
submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate 
instructions.
    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any 
personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the 
docket, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.
    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, 
and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's 
instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up 
for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a 
final rule is published.

List of Subjects 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes 
to amend 33 CFR 165 as follows:

PART 165--REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

0
1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  33 U.S.C 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 
6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 
0170.1.

0
2. Add Sec.  165.T05-0935, to read as follows:


Sec.  165.T05-0935   Safety Zone, Delaware River; Marcus Hook, PA

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all the 
navigable waters of the Delaware River within 500 yards of vessels and 
machinery performing rock blasting, rock removal, and dredging 
operations, between Marcus Hook Range and Tinicum Range.
    (b) Definitions. As used in this section:
    (1) Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, 
warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the 
Port to assist with enforcement of the safety zone described in 
paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) Regulations. (1) Vessels wishing to transit the safety zone in 
the main navigational channel may do so if they can make satisfactory 
passing arrangements with the drill boat APACHE or the dredges TEXAS 
and NEW YORK, as applicable, in accordance with the Navigational Rules 
in 33 CFR subchapter E via VHF-FM channel 13 at least 30 minutes prior 
to arrival. If vessels are unable to make satisfactory passing 
arrangements with the drill boat APACHE or the dredges TEXAS and NEW 
YORK, they may request permission from the Captain of the Port, or his 
designated representative, on VHF-FM channel 16.
    (2) The operator of any vessel requesting to transit through the 
safety zone shall proceed as directed by the drill boat APACHE, the 
dredges TEXAS and NEW YORK, or the designated representative of the 
Captain of the Port and must operate at the minimum safe speed 
necessary to maintain steerage and reduce wake.
    (3) No vessels may transit through the safety zone during times of 
explosive detonation. During explosive detonation, vessels will be 
required to maintain a 500 yard distance from the drill boat APACHE. 
The drill boat APACHE will make broadcasts, via VHF-FM Channel 13 and 
16, at 15 minutes, 5 minutes, and 1 minute prior to detonation, as well 
as a countdown to detonation on VHF-FM Channel 16.
    (4) After every explosive detonation a survey will be conducted by 
the dredging contractor to ensure the navigational channel is clear for 
vessels to transit. The drill boat APACHE will broadcast, via VHF-FM 
channel 13 and 16, when the survey has been completed and the channel 
is clear to transit. Vessels requesting to transit through the safety 
zone shall proceed as directed by the Captain of the Port and contact 
the drill boat APACHE on VHF-FM channel 13 to make safe passing 
arrangements.
    (d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted by federal, 
state and local agencies in the patrol and enforcement of the zone.
    (e) Enforcement period. This rule will be enforced from December 
01, 2017, through March 15, 2018, unless cancelled earlier by the 
Captain of the Port.

    Dated: November 7, 2017.
Scott E. Anderson,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay.
[FR Doc. 2017-24554 Filed 11-13-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9110-04-P