[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 10 (Friday, January 14, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2347-2349]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-00705]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 165

[Docket Number USCG-2022-0021]
RIN 1625-AA00


Safety Zone; Potomac River, Between Charles County, MD and King 
George County, VA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Temporary final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for 
certain waters of the Potomac River. This action is necessary to 
provide for the safety of persons, and the marine environment from the 
potential safety hazards associated with construction operations at the 
new Governor Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial 
(US-301) Bridge, which will occur from 8 p.m. on January 15, 2022 
through 8 p.m. on January 22, 2022. This rule will prohibit persons and 
vessels from being in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain 
of the Port, Maryland-National Capital Region or a designated 
representative.

DATES: This rule is effective from 8 p.m. on January 15, 2022 until 8 
p.m. on January 22, 2022 .

ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being 
available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-
2022-0021 in the search box and click ``Search.'' Next, in the Document 
Type column, select ``Supporting & Related Material.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Mr. Ron Houck, Sector Maryland-NCR, Waterways Management 
Division, U.S. Coast Guard: telephone 410-576-2674, 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
Sec.  Section
TFR Temporary Final Rule
U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On January 5, 2022, Skanska-Corman-McLean, Joint Venture, notified 
the Coast Guard that the company will be setting structural steel 
sections across the federal navigation channel at the new Governor 
Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) 
Bridge. The bridge contractor stated the work required to set 
structural steel across the channel, originally scheduled to occur in 
November 2021, and rescheduled to December 2021, was scheduled to occur 
from January 3, 2022, through January 15, 2022. However, the unexpected 
and unprecedented impacts to the southern Maryland and northern 
Virginia region from the major snow storm on January 3, 2022 halted 
operations and caused additional delays. The work is now scheduled to 
occur from January 11, 2022, through January 22, 2022. The work 
described by the contractor requires the movement in and anchoring at 
multiple points of a large crane barge within the federal navigation 
channel. This crane can accommodate all of the steel to be hoisted and 
placed, which will streamline the operation by avoiding multiple 
reloads of steel and reducing the time in the channel by multiple days. 
This operation will impede vessels requiring the use of the channel. 
Note, the Coast Guard has previously issued other temporary safety 
zones at this location for placement of fender ring elements in 
association with construction of the new bridge (USCG-2021-0127; USCG-
2021-0650; USCG-2021-0745; and USCG-2021-0906).
    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice 
and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of 
the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This 
provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and 
opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those 
procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public 
interest.'' Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good 
cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and 
contrary to the public interest. Construction operations involving 
large crane heavy lifts at the new Governor Harry W. Nice/Senator 
Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) Bridge must occur within the 
federal navigation channel. Immediate action is needed to respond to 
the potential safety hazards associated with bridge construction. 
Hazards from the construction operations include low-hanging or falling 
ropes, cables, large piles and cement cast portions, dangerous 
projectiles, and or other debris. We must establish this safety zone by 
January 15, 2022 to guard against these hazards.
    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause 
exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of 
this rule would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest 
because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety 
hazards associated with construction operations at the new Governor 
Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) Bridge 
to be conducted within the federal navigation channel.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 46 U.S.C. 
70034 (previously 33 U.S.C. 1231). The COTP has determined that 
potential hazards associated with bridge construction starting January 
15, 2022, will be a safety concern for anyone within the federal 
navigation channel at the new Governor Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas 
``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) Bridge construction site. This rule 
is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in 
the navigable waters within the safety zone while the bridge is being 
constructed.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone from 8 p.m. on 
January 15, 2022, through 8 p.m. on January 22, 2022. The safety zone 
will cover all navigable waters of the Potomac River encompassed by a 
line connecting the following points beginning at 38[deg]21'50.96'' N, 
076[deg]59'22.04'' W, thence south to 38[deg]21'43.08'' N, 
076[deg]59'20.55'' W, thence west to 38[deg]21'41.00'' N, 
076[deg]59'34.90'' W, thence north to 38[deg]21'48.90'' N, 
076[deg]59'36.80'' W, and east back to the beginning point, located 
between Charles County, MD and King George County, VA.
    The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel and the 
marine environment in these navigable waters while structural steel is 
being set across the federal navigation channel at the new Governor 
Harry W. Nice/Senator Thomas ``Mac'' Middleton Memorial (US-301) 
Bridge.
    Except for marine equipment and vessels operated by Skanska-Corman-
McLean, Joint Venture, or its

[[Page 2348]]

subcontractors, no vessel or person will be permitted to enter the 
safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP Maryland-
National Capital Region or a designated representative.
    The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region will notify the public 
that the safety zone will be enforced by all appropriate means to the 
affected segments of the public, as practicable, in accordance with 33 
CFR 165.7(a).

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 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. This rule has not been designated a ``significant 
regulatory action,'' under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this 
rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB).
    This regulatory action determination is based on size and duration 
of the safety zone. The temporary safety zone is approximately 450 
yards in width and 270 yards in length. We anticipate that there will 
be no vessels that are unable to conduct business. Excursion vessels 
and commercial fishing vessels are not impacted by this rulemaking. 
Excursion vessels do not operate in this area, and commercial fishing 
vessels are not impacted because of their draft. Some towing vessels 
may be impacted, but bridge project personnel have been conducting 
outreach throughout the project in order to coordinate with those 
vessels. Vessel traffic not required to use the navigation channel will 
be able to safely transit around the safety zone. Such vessels may be 
able to transit to the east or the west of the federal navigation 
channel, as similar vertical clearance and water depth exist under the 
next bridge span to the east and west. This safety zone will impact a 
small designated area of the Potomac River for 8 days, but coincides 
with the non-peak season for recreational boating.

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 received no comments from the Small Business 
Administration on this rulemaking. 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 transit the 
temporary safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in 
section V.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 
call or email the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section.
    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.
    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.

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 will 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 
Directive 023-01, Rev. 1, associated implementing instructions, and 
Environmental Planning COMDTINST 5090.1 (series), 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 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 a 
temporary safety zone lasting 7 total days that will prohibit entry 
within a portion of the Potomac River. It is categorically excluded 
from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of 
DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 1. A Record of Environmental 
Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket. 
For instructions on locating the docket, see the ADDRESSES section of 
this preamble.

G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. 
Protesters are asked to call or email 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.

[[Page 2349]]

List of Subjects in 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 amends 
33 CFR part 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: 46 U.S.C. 70034, 70051; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-
6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 
00170.1, Revision No. 01.2.


0
2. Add Sec.  165.T05-0021 to read as follows:


Sec.  165.T05-0021  Safety Zone; Potomac River, Between Charles County, 
MD and King George County, VA.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable 
waters of the Potomac River, encompassed by a line connecting the 
following points beginning at 38[deg]21'50.96'' N, 076[deg]59'22.04'' 
W, thence south to 38[deg]21'43.08'' N, 076[deg]59'20.55'' W, thence 
west to 38[deg]21'41.00'' N, 076[deg]59'34.90'' W, thence north to 
38[deg]21'48.90'' N, 076[deg]59'36.80'' W, and east back to the 
beginning point, located between Charles County, MD and King George 
County, VA. These coordinates are based on datum NAD 83.
    (b) Definitions. As used in this section--
    Captain of the Port (COTP) means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard 
Sector Maryland-National Capital Region.
    Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, 
warrant, or petty officer, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty 
officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, 
State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the 
Port Maryland-National Capital Region (COTP) in the enforcement of the 
safety zone.
    Marine equipment means any vessel, barge or other equipment 
operated by Skanska-Corman-McLean, Joint Venture, or its 
subcontractors.
    (c) Regulations. (1) Under the general safety zone regulations in 
subpart C of this part, except for marine equipment, you may not enter 
the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless 
authorized by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.
    (2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or the COTP's 
representative by telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio 
VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Those in the safety zone must comply 
with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the 
COTP's designated representative.
    (d) Enforcement officials. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in 
the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and 
local agencies.
    (e) Enforcement period. The section will be enforced from 8 p.m. on 
January 15, 2022, through 8 p.m. on January 22, 2022.

    Dated: January 10, 2022.
David E. O'Connell,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Maryland-National 
Capital Region.
[FR Doc. 2022-00705 Filed 1-13-22; 8:45 am]
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