DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard33 CFR Part 165[COTP Southeast Alaska–03–001]RIN 1625–AA00 Security Zone: Protection of Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS)
Vessels M/V Columbia, M/V Kennicott, M/V Malaspina, and M/V Matanuska, in Southeast Alaska Waters

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY: Increases in the Coast Guard’s maritime security posture necessitate establishing temporary regulations for the security of AMHS vessels in the navigable waters of Southeast Alaska. This security zone will provide for the regulation of vessel traffic in the vicinity of AMHS vessels in the navigable waters of Southeast Alaska.

DATES: This temporary rule is effective March 19, 2003, until September 19,2003.

ADDRESSES: Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket COTP Southeast Alaska–03–001 and are available for inspection or copying at Marine Safety Office Juneau, 2760 Sherwood Lane, Suite 2A, Juneau, Alaska 99801, between 8 a.m. and 4p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:LTJG Darwin A. Jensen, Marine Safety Office Juneau, 2760 Sherwood Lane, Suite 2A, Juneau, Alaska 99801, (907)463–2450.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulatory Information We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM and for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Publishing a NPRM would be contrary to public interest since immediate action is necessary to safeguard AMHS vessels from sabotage, other subversive acts, or accidents. If normal notice and comment procedures were followed, this rule would not become effective soon enough to provide immediate protection to AMHS vessels from the threats posed by hostile entities and would compromise the vital national interest in protecting maritime transportation and commerce. The security zone in this regulation has been carefully designed to minimally impact the public while providing a reasonable level of protection for AMHS vessels. For these reasons, following normal rulemaking procedures in this case would be impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest.

Background and Purpose The Coast Guard, through this action, intends to assist AMHS vessels by establishing a security zone to exclude persons and vessels from the immediate vicinity. Recent events highlight the fact that there are hostile entities operating with the intent to harm U.S. National Security. The President has continued the national emergencies he declared following the September 11, 2001,terrorist attacks (67 FR 58317 (Sept. 13,2002) (Continuing national emergency with respect to terrorist attacks), 67 FR59447 (Sept. 20, 2002) (Continuing national emergency with respect to persons who commit, threaten to commit or support terrorism)). The President also has found pursuant to law, including the Act of June 15, 1917,as amended August 9, 1950, by the Magnuson Act (50 U.S.C. 191 et seq.), that the security of the United States is and continues to be endangered following the attacks (E.O. 13,273, 67 FR56215 (Sept. 3, 2002) (Security endangered by disturbances in international relations of U.S. and such disturbances continue to endanger such relations)). Entry into this zone will be prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designee. Other Federal, State, or local agencies may assist the Captain of the Port.

Discussion of Rule This rule controls vessel movement in a regulated area surrounding AMHS high capacity passenger vessels that are in service. For the purpose of this regulation, AMHS high capacity passenger vessels are M/V Columbia, M/V Kennecott, M/V Malaspina and M/V Matanuska (‘‘AHMS vessels’’). All vessels authorized to be within 100yards of these AMHS vessels shall operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course, and shall proceed as directed by the on scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master. No vessel, except a public vessel (defined below), is allowed within 100yards of the AHMS vessels, unless authorized by the on-scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master. Vessels requesting to pass within 100 yards of these vessels shall contact the official patrol or AMHS vessel master on VHF–FM channel 16 or 13. The on-scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master may permit vessels that can only operate safely in a navigable channel to pass within 100 yards of the subject AMHS vessels in order to ensure a safe passage in accordance with the Navigation Rules. Similarly, commercial vessels anchored in a designated anchorage area may be permitted to remain at anchor within 100 yards of a passing AMHS vessel. Public vessels for the purpose of this Temporary Final Rule are vessels owned, chartered, or operated by the United States, or by a State or political subdivision thereof.

Regulatory Evaluation This rule is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It is not ‘‘significant’’ under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal theta full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. Although this regulation restricts access to the regulated area, the effect of this regulation will not be significant because: (i) Individual AMHS vessel security zones are limited in size; (ii)the on-scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master may authorize access tithe AMHS vessel security zone; (iii) the AMHS vessel security zone for any given transiting AMHS vessel will effect given geographical location for a limited time; and (iv) the Coast Guard will make notifications via maritime advisories so mariners can adjust their plans accordingly.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165Harbors, 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 NAVIGATIONAREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

_ 1. The authority citation for Part 165continues to read as follows: Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191;33 CFR 1.05–1(g), 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5;Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.

_ 2. From March 19, 2003, until September19, 2003, temporary § 165.T17–014 is added to read as follows:

§ 165.T17–014 Security Zone Regulations, Alaska Marine Highway System High Capacity Passenger Vessel Security Zone, Southeast Alaska, Captain of the Port Zone.

(a) The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) Alaska Law Enforcement Officer means any General Authority Alaska Peace Officer, Limited Authority Alaska Peace Officer, or Specially Commissioned Alaska Peace Officer, as defined by Alaska State laws.

(2) Alaska Marine Highway System high capacity passenger vessel (‘‘AMHS vessel’’) includes the following vessels/V Columbia, M/V Kennicott, M/V Malaspina and M/V Matanuska.

(3) AMHS vessel security zone is a regulated area of water, established by this section, surrounding an AMHS vessel for a 100-yard radius that is necessary to provide for the security of these vessels.

(4) Federal Law Enforcement Officer means any employee or agent of the United States government who has the authority to carry firearms and make warrant less arrests and whose duties involve the enforcement of criminal laws of the United States.

(5) Navigable waters of the United States means those waters defined as such in 33 CFR part 2.05–25.

(6) Navigation Rules means the Navigation Rules, International-Inland.

(7) Official Patrol means those persons designated by the Captain of the Port to monitor an AMHS vessel security zone, permit entry into the zone, give legally enforceable orders to persons or vessels within the zone and take other actions authorized by the Captain of the Port. Persons authorized to enforce this section are designated as the Official Patrol.

(8) Public vessel means vessels owned, chartered, or operated by the United States, or by a State or political subdivision thereof.

(b) Location. The following is the Alaska Marine Highway System high capacity passenger vessel (‘‘AMHS vessel’’) security zone: All water and land areas within a 100-yard radius of an AMHS vessel when that vessel is located within the navigable waters of the United States, starting at 60 01.32 N.latitude, 142 002 W. longitude; thence northeasterly to the Canadian border at60 18.72 N. latitude, 141 002 W.longitude; thence southerly and easterly along the United States-Canadian shore side boundary to 54 402 N. latitude; thence westerly along the United States-Canadian maritime boundary to the outermost extent of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); thence northerly along the outer boundary of the EEZ to 142 002 W longitude; thence due north to the point of origin. [Datum: NAD 1983]

(c) An AMHS vessel security zone exists around the subject AMHS vessels at all times, whether the AMHS vessel is underway, anchored, or moored.

(d) The Navigation Rules shall apply at all times within an AMHS vessel security zone.

(e) All vessels authorized to be within an AMHS vessel security zone shall operate at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course and shall proceed as directed by the on scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master. No vessel or person is allowed within 100 yards of an AMHS vessel, unless authorized by the on-scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master. (f) To request authorization to operate within an AMHS vessel security zone, contact the on-scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master on VHF–FM channel 16 or 13. (g) When conditions permit, the on scene official patrol or AMHS vessel master should:(1) Permit vessels constrained by their navigational draft or restricted in their ability to maneuver to pass within 100yards of an AMHS vessel in order to ensure a safe passage in accordance with the Navigation Rules; and (2) Permit commercial vessels anchored in a designated anchorage area to remain at anchor within 100 yards of a passing AMHS vessel; and (3) Permit vessels that must transit via a navigable channel or waterway to pass within 100 yards of a moored or anchored AMHS vessel with minimal delay consistent with security.

(h) Exemption. Public vessels as defined in paragraph (a) above are exempt from complying with paragraphs (b), (c), (e), (f), (g), (i), and (j),of this section.

(i) Enforcement. Any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer may enforce the rules in this section. When immediate action is required and representatives of the Coast Guard are not present or not present in sufficient force to exercise effective control in the vicinity of an AMHS vessel, any Federal Law Enforcement Officer or Alaska State Law Enforcement Officer may enforce the rules contained in this section pursuant to 33 CFR § 6.04–11. In addition, the Captain of the Port may be assisted by other federal, state or local agencies in enforcing this section.

(j) Waiver. The Captain of the Port Southeast Alaska may waive any of the requirements of this section for any vessel upon finding that a vessel or class of vessels, operational conditions or other circumstances are such that application of this section is unnecessary or impractical for the purpose of port security, safety or environmental safety. Dated: March 18, 2003.

S. J. Ohnstad, Commander, Coast Guard, Captain of thePort, Southeast Alaska. [FR Doc. 03–10292 Filed 4–25–03; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P