[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 150 (Friday, August 5, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47935-47937]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-16802]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 165

[Docket Number USCG-2022-0530]
RIN 1625-AA00


Safety Zone; Port Huron Float Down, St. Clair River, Port Huron, 
MI

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Temporary final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for 
navigable waters of the St. Clair River in the vicinity of Port Huron, 
MI. This zone is intended to restrict and control movement of vessels 
in a portion of the St. Clair River. Though this is an unsanctioned, 
non-permitted marine event, this zone is necessary to provide for the 
safety of life on the navigable waters during a float down event near 
Port Huron, MI.

DATES: This rule is effective from 12 p.m. through 8 p.m. on August 21, 
2022.

ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being 
available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-
2022-0530 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 Ms. Tracy Girard, U.S. Coast Guard; (313) 568-9564, 
[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

    During the afternoon of August 21, 2022, a non-sanctioned public 
event is scheduled to take place. The event is advertised over various 
social-media sites, in which a large number of persons float down a 
segment of the St. Clair River, using inner tubes and other similar 
floatation devices. The 2022 float down event will occur from 
approximately 12 noon through 8 p.m. on August 21, 2022. This non-
sanctioned event has taken place on the third Sunday in August annually 
since 2009.
    No private or municipal entity requested a marine event permit from 
the Coast Guard for this event, and it has not received state or 
federal permits since its inception. The event has drawn over 5,000 
participants of various ages annually. Despite plans put together by 
federal, state and local officials, emergency responders and law 
enforcement officials have been overburdened pursuing safety during 
this event. Medical emergencies, people drifting across the 
international border, and people trespassing on residential property 
when trying to get out of the water before the designated finish line 
are some of the numerous difficulties encountered during the float down 
event.
    During the 2014 float-down event, a 19-year-old participant died. 
During the 2016 float down, a wind shift caused thousands of U.S. 
citizen rafters with no passports to drift into Canadian waters. The 
current and wind made it impossible for the rafters to paddle back into 
U.S. waters, necessitating significant coordination with the Canadian 
authorities. Despite these events, promotional information for the 
event continues to be published. More than 5,000 people are again 
anticipated to float down the river this year. No public or private 
organization holds themselves responsible as the event sponsor.
    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 is impracticable. The 
organizers of this event are very secretive, and careful not to be 
found out as the event has ``no sponsor.'' The Coast Guard could not 
receive notice of the float down with sufficient time to undergo notice 
and comment because the date of the event varies from year to year. The 
Coast Guard was not made aware the float down would occur in 2022 until 
there was insufficient time to allow for a comment period to run. We 
must establish this safety zone by August 21, 2022 in order to protect 
the public form the hazards listed above associated with the float 
down.

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 Captain of the Port Detroit 
(COTP) has determined the float down poses significant risk to public 
safety and property from 12 noon through 8 p.m. on August 21, 2022. The 
likely combination of large numbers of participants, strong river 
currents, limited rescue resources, and difficult emergency response 
scenarios could easily result in serious injuries or fatalities to 
float down participants and spectators. Therefore, the COTP is 
establishing a safety zone around the event location to help minimize 
risks to safety of life and property during this event.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 12 noon through 8 p.m. on 
August 21, 2022. The safety zone will begin at Lighthouse Beach and 
encompass all U.S. waters of the St. Clair River bound by a line 
starting at a point on land north of Coast Guard Station Port Huron at 
position 43[deg]00.416' N; 082[deg]25.333' W, extending east to the 
international boundary to a point at position 43[deg]00.416' N; 
082[deg]25.033' W, following south along the international boundary to 
a point at position 42[deg]54.500' N; 082[deg]27.683' W, extending west 
to a point on land just north of Stag Island at position 42[deg]54.500' 
N; 082[deg]27.966' W, and following north along the U.S. shoreline to 
the point of origin (WGS 84). No vessel or person will be permitted to 
enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a 
designated representative. Vessel operators must contact the COTP or 
his or her on-scene representative to obtain permission to transit 
through this safety zone. Additionally, no one under the age of 18 will 
be permitted to enter the safety zone if they are not wearing a Coast 
Guard approved personal floatation device. The COTP or his or her on-
scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

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

[[Page 47936]]

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 the size, 
location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic 
will not able to safely transit around this safety zone which will 
impact a designated area of the St. Clair River for 8 hours. Moreover, 
the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM 
marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow vessels to 
seek permission to enter the zone.

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 transit the 
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 
safety zone lasting 8 hours that will prohibit entry to a designated 
portion of the St. Clair River is categorically excluded from further 
review under paragraph L[60] 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.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and record 
keeping 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. 0170.1, 
Revision No. 01.2.


0
2. Add Sec.  165.T09-0530 to read as follows:


Sec.  165.T09-0530  Safety Zones; Port Huron Float Down, St. Clair 
River, Port Huron, MI.

    (a) Location. A safety zone is established to include all U.S. 
navigable waters of southern Lake Huron and the St. Clair River 
adjacent to Port Huron, MI, beginning at Lighthouse Beach and 
encompassing all U.S. waters of the St. Clair River bound by a line 
starting at a point on land north of Coast Guard Station Port Huron at 
position 43[deg]00.416' N; 082[deg]25.333' W, extending east to the 
international boundary to a point at position 43[deg]00.416' N; 
082[deg]25.033' W, following south along the international boundary to 
a point at

[[Page 47937]]

position 42[deg]54.500' N; 082[deg]27.683' W, extending west to a point 
on land just north of Stag Island at position 42[deg]54.500' N; 
082[deg]27.966' W, and following north along the U.S. shoreline to the 
point of origin (NAD 83). (WGS 84).
    (b) Enforcement period. The safety zone described in paragraph (a) 
will be enforced from 12 p.m. through 8 p.m. on August 21, 2022.
    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in 
Sec.  165.23, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within these safety 
zones is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP Detroit or a 
designated on-scene representative.
    (2) The safety zones are closed to all vessel traffic, except as 
may be permitted by the COTP Detroit or a designated on-scene 
representative.
    (3) The ``on-scene representative'' of the COTP Detroit is any 
Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer or a federal, state, 
or local law enforcement officer designated by the COTP Detroit to act 
on his behalf.
    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety 
zones must contact the COTP Detroit or an on-scene representative to 
obtain permission to do so. The COTP Detroit or an on-scene 
representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators 
given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply 
with all directions given to them by the COTP Detroit or an on-scene 
representative.

    Dated: August 1, 2022.
Brad W. Kelly,
Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Detroit.
[FR Doc. 2022-16802 Filed 8-4-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P