Regulated Navigation Area: Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope Bay, MA, Including the Providence River and Taunton River, 30108-30112 [E6-8075]

Download as PDF 30108 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 101 / Thursday, May 25, 2006 / Proposed Rules within this exclusion. A ‘‘Categorical Exclusion Determination’’ is available in the docket for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117 33 CFR Part 165 Coast Guard Bridges. [CGD01–06–052] Regulations RIN 1625–AA11 For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows: Regulated Navigation Area: Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope Bay, MA, Including the Providence River and Taunton River PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS AGENCY: ACTION: 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; 33 CFR 1.05–1(g); section 117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102–587, 106 Stat. 5039. 2. Revise § 117.407 to read as follows: § 117.407 Missouri River. See § 117.691, Missouri River listed under Nebraska. 3. Revise § 117.411 to read as follows: § 117.411 Missouri River. The draws of the bridges across the Missouri River shall open on signal; except during the winter season between the date of closure and the date of opening of the commercial navigation season as published by the Army Corps of Engineers, the draws need not open unless at least 24 hours advance notice is given. 4. Revise § 117.687 to read as follows: § 117.687 Missouri River. The draws of the bridges across the Missouri River shall open on signal; except during the winter season between the date of closure and date of opening of the commercial navigation season as published by the Army Corps of Engineers, the draws need not open unless at least 24 hours advance notice is given. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL Dated: April 25, 2006. R.F. Duncan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 06–4877 Filed 5–24–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:43 May 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to revise some provisions of the existing Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) in the Providence River, Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope Bay, MA. Specifically, the purposes of this proposed rulemaking are to: First, modify provisions in the current RNA that were originally implemented to address severe shoaling in the Providence River; second, address navigational challenges associated with the two Brightman Street bridges; and third, introduce new measures to improve navigation safety in all of Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay, including the Providence and Taunton Rivers, respectively. DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 23, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may mail comments and related material to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, Prevention Department, 20 Risho Avenue, East Providence, RI, 02914– 1208. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and documents will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection and copying at the same address between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, 401– 435–2351. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Request for Comments We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01–06–052), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like to know they reached us, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them. Public Meeting We do not plan to hold a public meeting but you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that a public meeting would aid the Coast Guard in determining what type of rulemaking (if any) is appropriate, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register. Background and Purpose On May 1, 1994, the Coast Guard established a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) in the Providence River, Providence, Rhode Island, described at 33 CFR 165.122 (59 FR 18487, April 19, 1994). It was designed to protect the maritime community from hazards to navigation resulting from the extreme shoaling that occurred in the northern section of the Providence River Channel. Generally, the current RNA imposes certain navigation restrictions in various segments of the Providence River including, among other requirements, a maximum draft of 35 feet for most vessels, one-way vessel traffic, and a requirement that vessels over 65 feet in length make periodic SECURITE calls via VHF radio. In September 2005 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (‘‘USACE’’) completed a major maintenance dredging of the Providence River to remove most shoaling and restore the channel to a depth of 40 feet at Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW), and a minimum channel width of 600 feet. (The USACE ‘‘Results of Survey’’ dated September 16, 2005, is available for review in the docket, CGD01–06–052.) The restoration of the Providence River Channel to the above described dimensions should permit sufficient depth and width for most commercial and recreational vessels to navigate safely within the channel. Consequently, because the primary conditions that warranted the RNA no longer exist, the Coast Guard is considering making modifications to it. Construction of a new Brightman Street bridge (‘‘The New Brightman Street Bridge’’) approximately 1100 feet north of the existing Brightman Street E:\FR\FM\25MYP1.SGM 25MYP1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 101 / Thursday, May 25, 2006 / Proposed Rules Bridge (‘‘The Old Brightman Street Bridge’’) presents navigational challenges, particularly for larger selfpropelled tank vessels. The opening of the Old Brightman Street Bridge is only 98 feet while the opening of the New Brightman Street Bridge is 200 feet. There is an approximate centerline offset of 100 feet between the two bridges. This configuration requires larger commercial vessels to transit through one opening, stop, be pushed transversely (sideways) by tugs for approximately 100 feet to align with the next bridge opening, and then proceed forward. The Coast Guard proposes to address the challenges in transiting between the bridges by codifying some navigational safety measures already practiced by local marine pilots. The Coast Guard elaborates on those navigational challenges in the Discussion of Proposed Rule section below. On August 10, 2005, President Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) (Pub. L. 109–59). Section 1948 of that law prohibits the expenditure of Federal funds for the demolition of the Old Brightman Street Bridge. Specifically, that Section states: ‘‘Notwithstanding any Federal law, regulation, or policy to the contrary, no Federal funds shall be obligated or expended for the demolition of the existing Brightman Street Bridge connecting Fall River and Somerset, Massachusetts, and the existing Brightman Street Bridge shall be maintained for pedestrian and bicycle access, and as an emergency service route.’’ The unique maneuvers required to navigate safely between these two bridges concern the Coast Guard and consequently, certain measures to mitigate those navigation challenges are suggested in this proposed rule. The safety measures suggested are currently being practiced voluntarily by the maritime community. Given that the configuration of the two bridges now appears to be the status quo, the Coast Guard proposes that modifying the existing RNA in the Providence River, Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope Bay, MA, is an appropriate method to address the respective navigation safety issues. Concurrently, the Coast Guard proposes to implement certain navigation safety measures applicable to the waterways that encompass Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bays (‘‘The Bays’’) in their entirety, including the Providence River and Taunton River. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:43 May 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 On September 7, 2004 and September 8, 2004, the Coast Guard sponsored a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA) of Narragansett Bay, which was conducted by a cross-section of waterways users and stakeholders. The report produced by the PAWSA participants identified several issues and areas within the Bays where navigational safety was of particular concern. (A copy of the PAWSA report is available in the docket, CGD01–06– 052.) Although the Coast Guard has taken several non-regulatory actions to improve navigational safety, such as public outreach, education and improved aids to navigation, the Coast Guard is considering additional navigational safety regulations within the Bays. On November 21, 2005, the Coast Guard published a notice requesting public comments on ‘‘Navigation and Waterways Management Improvements, Providence River Regulated Navigation Area; Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island and Mount Hope Bay, MA’’ (See 70 FR 70052). The Coast Guard invited comments on several specific questions regarding navigational safety within the Bays, and solicited any other comments regarding navigational safety concerns and potential impacts of any new navigational safety measures. Three comments were submitted. Two of the three comments addressed navigational concerns related to the waterway configuration resulting from the proximity of the Old Brightman Street Bridge to the New Brightman Street Bridge that span the Taunton River between Somerset and Fall River, Massachusetts. Specifically, there is only 1100 feet between the bridges, the opening of the Old Brightman Street Bridge is only 98 feet while the opening of the New Brightman Street Bridge is 200 feet, and the openings of the two bridges are not aligned with each other. As noted previously, this configuration requires a vessel to transit through one opening, stop, be pushed transversely (sideways) by tugs for approximately 100 feet to align with the next bridge opening, and then proceed forward. Local marine pilots, working with vessel operators, have devised a method of transiting the two bridges that involves the use of a marine pilot, three tugs (in most cases), and navigating only within certain weather parameters. The Coast Guard proposes to codify those voluntary practices in this NPRM. The first two comments are more aptly addressed via the mechanisms contemplated by 33 CFR part 116, ‘‘Alterations of Unreasonably Obstructive Bridges.’’ That part describes the procedures by which the PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 30109 Coast Guard determines a bridge to be an unreasonable obstruction to navigation. Consequently, the Commander, First Guard District (dpb) forwarded a letter on April 3, 2006, to Commandant (G–PWB), Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC, to begin the 33 CFR part 116 process regarding the Old Brightman Street Bridge. The third comment pertained specifically to the current RNA described at 33 CFR 165.122 and recommended: • A reduction in several voice reporting requirements via VHF radio in Narragansett Bay and the Providence River; • Removal of the one-way traffic restriction in the Providence River; • Addition of a voice reporting requirement via VHF radio in Mount Hope Bay; • Addition of an under-keel clearance requirement for deep draft vessels in both Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay. The recently-completed major dredging project by the USACE has reduced the need for voice reporting requirements in Narragansett Bay and the Providence River, and obviated the need for one-way traffic restrictions in the river. Consequently, the recommendations made with respect to a reduction in several voice reporting requirements via VHF radio in Narragansett Bay and the Providence River and a removal of the one-way traffic restriction in the Providence River, as described above, have already been incorporated and addressed in this proposed rule. Given the type and frequency of marine traffic in Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River, combined with the location of three bridges in close proximity to each other (the Braga Bridge, the Old Brightman Street bridge, and the New Brightman Street Bridge (under construction)), the Coast Guard believes that voice reporting requirements are prudent and should enhance navigation safety, and those reporting requirements are also included in this proposed rule. The recommendation for an underkeel clearance requirement was considered, but is not included as part of the proposed rule in this NPRM. The under-keel clearance is subject to many variables, such as wave height, squat, accuracy of tidal predictions, water density, etc., and is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. Rather, we propose to revise the existing maximum draft restriction for the Providence River as described below in our proposed regulatory text. E:\FR\FM\25MYP1.SGM 25MYP1 30110 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 101 / Thursday, May 25, 2006 / Proposed Rules Discussion of Proposed Rule The proposed modifications to the current RNA at 33 CFR 165.122 would: • Remove certain navigation restrictions and minimum visibility requirements in the Providence River, especially for vessels with drafts of 35 feet or greater; • Remove the one-way-traffic restriction for vessels over 65 feet in length that currently exists in certain areas of the Providence River; • Reduce the number of required Safety Signal (SECURITE) calls while transiting Narragansett Bay and the Providence River; • Require a SECURITE call for certain vessels transiting Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River; • Define maximum draft allowances for vessels transiting within the RNA; • Define certain weather parameters, and require a federally licensed pilot and assist tugs, for commercial vessels transiting through the Old and New Brightman Street bridges. This proposed rule was prompted by the completion of a major dredging project in the Providence River. Navigation safety measures implemented to address the shoaling in that river are no longer required. Based upon the 2004 PAWSA report, however, the public response to the Coast Guard November 21, 2005 notice requesting comments (See 70 FR 70052), and recent Federal legislation that will result in both the Old and New Brightman Street bridges being retained, (Pub. L. 109–59, described above) there is a need for certain navigation safety measures to be implemented in order to better protect people, property, waterways users, the environment, and the economy from the adverse affects of a marine accident or incident. Vessels or persons violating this section would be subject to the civil or criminal penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL Regulatory Evaluation This proposed 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). The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:43 May 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. The effect of this proposed rule would not be significant as it removes some previously imposed and more restrictive navigation safety measures, and modifies already-existing voice reporting requirements in the affected waterways. Navigating within certain weather parameters and requiring federally licensed pilots and assist tugs for commercial vessels transiting the Old and New Brightman Street bridges are already standard practices and will not be an additional economic burden. Should this proposed rule become final, it would be entered into the local notice to mariners, and maritime advisories will be broadcast. Assistance for Small Entities 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 so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. 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 Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at 401–435– 2351. 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 Entities Collection of Information This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520.). Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612), we have considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 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. This proposed rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels 65 feet in length or greater transiting the waterways of Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay, including the Providence and Taunton rivers, respectively. This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. This proposed rule only modifies current regulations and/or codifies current navigation practices. It does not impose new requirements which would affect vessels’ schedules or their ability to transit the RNA, nor does it require the purchase of any new equipment or the hiring of any additional crew. 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 above) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Federalism A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism. 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 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. Taking of Private Property This proposed rule would not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights. Civil Justice Reform This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. E:\FR\FM\25MYP1.SGM 25MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 101 / Thursday, May 25, 2006 / Proposed Rules Protection of Children We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children. Indian Tribal Governments 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. Energy Effects We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under that order because it is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL Technical Standards The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:43 May 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 Environment We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD and Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321– 4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, we believe that this rule should be categorically excluded, under figure 2– 1, paragraph (34)(g) of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. This rule fits the category selected from paragraph (34)(g), as it would change a Regulated Navigation Area. A preliminary ‘‘Environmental Analysis Check List’’ is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. Comments on this section will be considered before we make the final decision on whether this rule should be categorically excluded from further environmental review. 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 proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows: PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1226, 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195, 33 CFR 1.05–1(g), 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107–295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 2. Revise § 165.122 to read as follows: § 165.122 Regulated Navigation Area: Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope Bay, MA, Including the Providence River and Taunton River. (a) Description of the regulated navigation area. The Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) encompasses all of the navigable waters of Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay north of the COLREGS demarcation line defined in 33 CFR 80.155, and all of the navigable waters of the Providence River from Conimicut Point to the Providence hurricane barrier, and the Taunton River from Brayton Point northeast to Breeds Cove north of the New Brightman Street Bridge. (b) Regulations. (1) The following restrictions apply: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 30111 (i) No vessel may transit the Providence River (the entire channel from Sandy Point to Fox Point Reach): (A) With a draft greater than 37 feet, 6 inches (37′6″) when water depth is below mean low water. (B) With a draft greater than 41 feet (41′) when water depth is below mean high water. (ii) For the purposes of this section, water depth for the Providence River is the water depth at the time a vessel enters the river as recorded at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Physical Ocean Real Time System (PORTS) depth recording device located at Conimicut Point. If this device is not operating properly or its information cannot be obtained, water depth will be determined using NOAA-published tide tables. (iii) No vessel may transit the Mount Hope Bay/Taunton River channel (the entire channel from Sandy Point to Breeds Cove north of the New Brightman Street Bridge): (A) With a draft greater than 31 feet, 6 inches (32′6″) when water depth is below mean low water. (B) With a draft greater than 34 feet, 6 inches (34′6″) when water depth is below mean high water. (iv) For the purposes of this section, water depth for the Taunton River is the water depth at the time a vessel enters the river as recorded at the NOAA’s Physical Ocean Real Time System (PORTS) depth recording device located at Borden Flats, Fall River. If this device is not operating properly or its information cannot be obtained, water depth will be determined using NOAApublished tide tables. (v) No vessel may transit the Quonset Point/Davisville Channel (the entire channel from Sandy Point to Davisville): (A) With a draft greater than 28 feet, 6 inches (28′6″) when water depth is below mean low water. (B) With a draft greater than 30 feet (30′) when water depth is below mean high water. (vi) For the purposes of this section, water depth for the Quonset Point/ Davisville channel is the water depth at the time a vessel enters the channel as recorded at the NOAA’s Physical Ocean Real Time System (PORTS) depth recording device located at Quonset Point. If this device is not operating properly or its information cannot be obtained, water depth will be determined using NOAA-published tide tables. (2) All commercial vessels greater than 200 gross tons must: (i) Have at least 1 mile of visibility to transit the Providence River between E:\FR\FM\25MYP1.SGM 25MYP1 30112 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 101 / Thursday, May 25, 2006 / Proposed Rules jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL Conimicut Light (LLNR 18305) and Channel Light 42 (LLNR 18580, Fuller Rock Light); and (ii) Transit through the Old and New Brightman Street bridges only: (A) During daylight; (B) On a flood tide when outbound; (C) When a federally licensed pilot is aboard; (D) When winds are no greater than 15 knots; and (E) Accompanied by at least three assist tugs, each of sufficient capability to push, tow, or stop the commercial vessel to avoid grounding, collision, or allision, except that: (i) Only two assist tugs are required when the commercial vessel is equipped with a properly operating bow thruster of at least 1000 horsepower. (ii) Only one assist tug is required when a barge is being pushed by a primary towing vessel. For the purposes of this regulation, ‘‘primary towing vessel’’ is as defined in 33 CFR 157.03. (3) Vessels over 65 feet in length inbound for berths in the Providence River, are required to make Safety Signal (SECURITE) calls on both VHF channels 13 and 16 at the following geographic locations: Pilot Boarding Area, abeam of Castle Hill, abeam of VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:43 May 24, 2006 Jkt 208001 Sandy Point, abeam of Conimicut Point Light (LLNR 18305), abeam of Sabin Point and upon mooring. (4) Vessels over 65 feet in length inbound for berths in Mount Hope Bay or in the Taunton River, are required to make Safety Signal (SECURITE) calls on both VHF channels 13 and 16 at the Mount Hope Bay Junction Lighted Gong Buoy ‘‘MH’’ (LLNR 18790). (5) Vessels over 65 feet in length outbound for sea down the Providence River Channel shall make SECURITE calls on VHF channels 13 and 16 at the following geographic locations: (i) One-half hour prior to departure from the berth; (ii) At departure from the berth; (iii) Abeam of Sabin Point; (iv) Abeam of Gaspee Point; and (v) Abeam of Conimicut Light (LLNR 18305). (6) Vessels over 65 feet in length outbound for sea down the Taunton River or Mount Hope Bay are required to make SECURITE calls on VHF channels 13 and 16 at the following geographic locations: (i) One-half hour prior to departure from the berth; (ii) At departure from the berth; and PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (iii) At the Mount Hope Bay Junction Lighted Gong Buoy ‘‘MH’’ (LLNR 18790). (7) Vessels 65 feet and under in length and all recreational vessels when meeting deep draft commercial vessel traffic in all locations within this RNA shall keep out of the way of the oncoming deep draft commercial vessel. (8) The Captain of the Port, Southeastern New England, may authorize a deviation from these regulations. (c) Enforcement. As stated in § 165.13(b), no person may cause or authorize the operation of a vessel in an RNA contrary to the regulations in this part. Violations of regulations in this section should be reported to the Captain of the Port, Southeastern New England, at 508–457–3211. Persons in violation of regulations in this section will be subject to civil or criminal penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232. Dated: May 16, 2006. David P. Pekoske, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. E6–8075 Filed 5–24–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P E:\FR\FM\25MYP1.SGM 25MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 101 (Thursday, May 25, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 30108-30112]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-8075]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 165

[CGD01-06-052]
RIN 1625-AA11


Regulated Navigation Area: Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope 
Bay, MA, Including the Providence River and Taunton River

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to revise some provisions of the 
existing Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) in the Providence River, 
Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope Bay, MA. Specifically, the purposes 
of this proposed rulemaking are to: First, modify provisions in the 
current RNA that were originally implemented to address severe shoaling 
in the Providence River; second, address navigational challenges 
associated with the two Brightman Street bridges; and third, introduce 
new measures to improve navigation safety in all of Narragansett Bay 
and Mount Hope Bay, including the Providence and Taunton Rivers, 
respectively.

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or 
before August 23, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may mail comments and related material to U.S. Coast 
Guard Sector Southeastern New England, Prevention Department, 20 Risho 
Avenue, East Providence, RI, 02914-1208. U.S. Coast Guard Sector 
Southeastern New England maintains the public docket for this 
rulemaking. Comments and documents will become part of this docket and 
will be available for inspection and copying at the same address 
between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal 
holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc at U.S. Coast 
Guard Sector Southeastern New England, 401-435-2351.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
comments and related material. If you do so, please include your name 
and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-06-
052), indicate the specific section of this document to which each 
comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit 
all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 
8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like to know 
they reached us, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or 
envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during 
the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them.

Public Meeting

    We do not plan to hold a public meeting but you may submit a 
request for a meeting by writing to U.S. Coast Guard Sector 
Southeastern New England at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why 
one would be beneficial. If we determine that a public meeting would 
aid the Coast Guard in determining what type of rulemaking (if any) is 
appropriate, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later 
notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

    On May 1, 1994, the Coast Guard established a Regulated Navigation 
Area (RNA) in the Providence River, Providence, Rhode Island, described 
at 33 CFR 165.122 (59 FR 18487, April 19, 1994). It was designed to 
protect the maritime community from hazards to navigation resulting 
from the extreme shoaling that occurred in the northern section of the 
Providence River Channel.
    Generally, the current RNA imposes certain navigation restrictions 
in various segments of the Providence River including, among other 
requirements, a maximum draft of 35 feet for most vessels, one-way 
vessel traffic, and a requirement that vessels over 65 feet in length 
make periodic SECURITE calls via VHF radio. In September 2005 the U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers (``USACE'') completed a major maintenance 
dredging of the Providence River to remove most shoaling and restore 
the channel to a depth of 40 feet at Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW), and a 
minimum channel width of 600 feet. (The USACE ``Results of Survey'' 
dated September 16, 2005, is available for review in the docket, CGD01-
06-052.)
    The restoration of the Providence River Channel to the above 
described dimensions should permit sufficient depth and width for most 
commercial and recreational vessels to navigate safely within the 
channel. Consequently, because the primary conditions that warranted 
the RNA no longer exist, the Coast Guard is considering making 
modifications to it.
    Construction of a new Brightman Street bridge (``The New Brightman 
Street Bridge'') approximately 1100 feet north of the existing 
Brightman Street

[[Page 30109]]

Bridge (``The Old Brightman Street Bridge'') presents navigational 
challenges, particularly for larger self-propelled tank vessels. The 
opening of the Old Brightman Street Bridge is only 98 feet while the 
opening of the New Brightman Street Bridge is 200 feet. There is an 
approximate centerline offset of 100 feet between the two bridges.
    This configuration requires larger commercial vessels to transit 
through one opening, stop, be pushed transversely (sideways) by tugs 
for approximately 100 feet to align with the next bridge opening, and 
then proceed forward. The Coast Guard proposes to address the 
challenges in transiting between the bridges by codifying some 
navigational safety measures already practiced by local marine pilots. 
The Coast Guard elaborates on those navigational challenges in the 
Discussion of Proposed Rule section below.
    On August 10, 2005, President Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, 
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users 
(SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 109-59). Section 1948 of that law prohibits the 
expenditure of Federal funds for the demolition of the Old Brightman 
Street Bridge. Specifically, that Section states: ``Notwithstanding any 
Federal law, regulation, or policy to the contrary, no Federal funds 
shall be obligated or expended for the demolition of the existing 
Brightman Street Bridge connecting Fall River and Somerset, 
Massachusetts, and the existing Brightman Street Bridge shall be 
maintained for pedestrian and bicycle access, and as an emergency 
service route.''
    The unique maneuvers required to navigate safely between these two 
bridges concern the Coast Guard and consequently, certain measures to 
mitigate those navigation challenges are suggested in this proposed 
rule. The safety measures suggested are currently being practiced 
voluntarily by the maritime community. Given that the configuration of 
the two bridges now appears to be the status quo, the Coast Guard 
proposes that modifying the existing RNA in the Providence River, 
Narragansett Bay, RI and Mount Hope Bay, MA, is an appropriate method 
to address the respective navigation safety issues.
    Concurrently, the Coast Guard proposes to implement certain 
navigation safety measures applicable to the waterways that encompass 
Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bays (``The Bays'') in their entirety, 
including the Providence River and Taunton River.
    On September 7, 2004 and September 8, 2004, the Coast Guard 
sponsored a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA) of 
Narragansett Bay, which was conducted by a cross-section of waterways 
users and stakeholders. The report produced by the PAWSA participants 
identified several issues and areas within the Bays where navigational 
safety was of particular concern. (A copy of the PAWSA report is 
available in the docket, CGD01-06-052.) Although the Coast Guard has 
taken several non-regulatory actions to improve navigational safety, 
such as public outreach, education and improved aids to navigation, the 
Coast Guard is considering additional navigational safety regulations 
within the Bays.
    On November 21, 2005, the Coast Guard published a notice requesting 
public comments on ``Navigation and Waterways Management Improvements, 
Providence River Regulated Navigation Area; Narragansett Bay, Rhode 
Island and Mount Hope Bay, MA'' (See 70 FR 70052). The Coast Guard 
invited comments on several specific questions regarding navigational 
safety within the Bays, and solicited any other comments regarding 
navigational safety concerns and potential impacts of any new 
navigational safety measures. Three comments were submitted.
    Two of the three comments addressed navigational concerns related 
to the waterway configuration resulting from the proximity of the Old 
Brightman Street Bridge to the New Brightman Street Bridge that span 
the Taunton River between Somerset and Fall River, Massachusetts. 
Specifically, there is only 1100 feet between the bridges, the opening 
of the Old Brightman Street Bridge is only 98 feet while the opening of 
the New Brightman Street Bridge is 200 feet, and the openings of the 
two bridges are not aligned with each other. As noted previously, this 
configuration requires a vessel to transit through one opening, stop, 
be pushed transversely (sideways) by tugs for approximately 100 feet to 
align with the next bridge opening, and then proceed forward. Local 
marine pilots, working with vessel operators, have devised a method of 
transiting the two bridges that involves the use of a marine pilot, 
three tugs (in most cases), and navigating only within certain weather 
parameters. The Coast Guard proposes to codify those voluntary 
practices in this NPRM.
    The first two comments are more aptly addressed via the mechanisms 
contemplated by 33 CFR part 116, ``Alterations of Unreasonably 
Obstructive Bridges.'' That part describes the procedures by which the 
Coast Guard determines a bridge to be an unreasonable obstruction to 
navigation. Consequently, the Commander, First Guard District (dpb) 
forwarded a letter on April 3, 2006, to Commandant (G-PWB), Coast Guard 
Headquarters, Washington, DC, to begin the 33 CFR part 116 process 
regarding the Old Brightman Street Bridge.
    The third comment pertained specifically to the current RNA 
described at 33 CFR 165.122 and recommended:
     A reduction in several voice reporting requirements via 
VHF radio in Narragansett Bay and the Providence River;
     Removal of the one-way traffic restriction in the 
Providence River;
     Addition of a voice reporting requirement via VHF radio in 
Mount Hope Bay;
     Addition of an under-keel clearance requirement for deep 
draft vessels in both Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay.
    The recently-completed major dredging project by the USACE has 
reduced the need for voice reporting requirements in Narragansett Bay 
and the Providence River, and obviated the need for one-way traffic 
restrictions in the river. Consequently, the recommendations made with 
respect to a reduction in several voice reporting requirements via VHF 
radio in Narragansett Bay and the Providence River and a removal of the 
one-way traffic restriction in the Providence River, as described 
above, have already been incorporated and addressed in this proposed 
rule. Given the type and frequency of marine traffic in Mount Hope Bay 
and the Taunton River, combined with the location of three bridges in 
close proximity to each other (the Braga Bridge, the Old Brightman 
Street bridge, and the New Brightman Street Bridge (under 
construction)), the Coast Guard believes that voice reporting 
requirements are prudent and should enhance navigation safety, and 
those reporting requirements are also included in this proposed rule.
    The recommendation for an under-keel clearance requirement was 
considered, but is not included as part of the proposed rule in this 
NPRM. The under-keel clearance is subject to many variables, such as 
wave height, squat, accuracy of tidal predictions, water density, etc., 
and is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. Rather, we propose to 
revise the existing maximum draft restriction for the Providence River 
as described below in our proposed regulatory text.

[[Page 30110]]

Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The proposed modifications to the current RNA at 33 CFR 165.122 
would:
     Remove certain navigation restrictions and minimum 
visibility requirements in the Providence River, especially for vessels 
with drafts of 35 feet or greater;
     Remove the one-way-traffic restriction for vessels over 65 
feet in length that currently exists in certain areas of the Providence 
River;
     Reduce the number of required Safety Signal (SECURITE) 
calls while transiting Narragansett Bay and the Providence River;
     Require a SECURITE call for certain vessels transiting 
Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River;
     Define maximum draft allowances for vessels transiting 
within the RNA;
     Define certain weather parameters, and require a federally 
licensed pilot and assist tugs, for commercial vessels transiting 
through the Old and New Brightman Street bridges.
    This proposed rule was prompted by the completion of a major 
dredging project in the Providence River. Navigation safety measures 
implemented to address the shoaling in that river are no longer 
required. Based upon the 2004 PAWSA report, however, the public 
response to the Coast Guard November 21, 2005 notice requesting 
comments (See 70 FR 70052), and recent Federal legislation that will 
result in both the Old and New Brightman Street bridges being retained, 
(Pub. L. 109-59, described above) there is a need for certain 
navigation safety measures to be implemented in order to better protect 
people, property, waterways users, the environment, and the economy 
from the adverse affects of a marine accident or incident.
    Vessels or persons violating this section would be subject to the 
civil or criminal penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232.

Regulatory Evaluation

    This proposed 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).
    The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposed rule 
to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory 
policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. The effect of this 
proposed rule would not be significant as it removes some previously 
imposed and more restrictive navigation safety measures, and modifies 
already-existing voice reporting requirements in the affected 
waterways. Navigating within certain weather parameters and requiring 
federally licensed pilots and assist tugs for commercial vessels 
transiting the Old and New Brightman Street bridges are already 
standard practices and will not be an additional economic burden. 
Should this proposed rule become final, it would be entered into the 
local notice to mariners, and maritime advisories will be broadcast.

Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 
considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. 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.
    This proposed rule would affect the following entities, some of 
which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels 65 
feet in length or greater transiting the waterways of Narragansett Bay 
and Mount Hope Bay, including the Providence and Taunton rivers, 
respectively.
    This proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. This 
proposed rule only modifies current regulations and/or codifies current 
navigation practices. It does not impose new requirements which would 
affect vessels' schedules or their ability to transit the RNA, nor does 
it require the purchase of any new equipment or the hiring of any 
additional crew.
    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 above) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to 
what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Assistance for Small Entities

    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 so that they can better 
evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. 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 Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc of U.S. 
Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at 401-435-2351. 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.

Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local 
governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial 
direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this rule under 
that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for 
federalism.

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 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.

Taking of Private Property

    This proposed rule would not effect a taking of private property or 
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

[[Page 30111]]

Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not 
create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 
disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

    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.

Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a ``significant 
energy action'' under that order because it is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy 
action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects 
under Executive Order 13211.

Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 
U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards 
in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, 
through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why 
using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or 
operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management 
systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus 
standards bodies.
    This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we 
did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD 
and Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1, which 
guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a 
preliminary determination that there are no factors in this case that 
would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of 
the Instruction. Therefore, we believe that this rule should be 
categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g) of the 
Instruction, from further environmental documentation. This rule fits 
the category selected from paragraph (34)(g), as it would change a 
Regulated Navigation Area. A preliminary ``Environmental Analysis Check 
List'' is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. 
Comments on this section will be considered before we make the final 
decision on whether this rule should be categorically excluded from 
further environmental review.

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 proposes 
to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

PART 165--REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

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

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1226, 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; 50 
U.S.C. 191, 195, 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. 
L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise Sec.  165.122 to read as follows:


Sec.  165.122  Regulated Navigation Area: Narragansett Bay, RI and 
Mount Hope Bay, MA, Including the Providence River and Taunton River.

    (a) Description of the regulated navigation area. The Regulated 
Navigation Area (RNA) encompasses all of the navigable waters of 
Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay north of the COLREGS demarcation 
line defined in 33 CFR 80.155, and all of the navigable waters of the 
Providence River from Conimicut Point to the Providence hurricane 
barrier, and the Taunton River from Brayton Point northeast to Breeds 
Cove north of the New Brightman Street Bridge.
    (b) Regulations. (1) The following restrictions apply:
    (i) No vessel may transit the Providence River (the entire channel 
from Sandy Point to Fox Point Reach):
    (A) With a draft greater than 37 feet, 6 inches (37'6'') when water 
depth is below mean low water.
    (B) With a draft greater than 41 feet (41') when water depth is 
below mean high water.
    (ii) For the purposes of this section, water depth for the 
Providence River is the water depth at the time a vessel enters the 
river as recorded at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration's (NOAA's) Physical Ocean Real Time System (PORTS) depth 
recording device located at Conimicut Point. If this device is not 
operating properly or its information cannot be obtained, water depth 
will be determined using NOAA-published tide tables.
    (iii) No vessel may transit the Mount Hope Bay/Taunton River 
channel (the entire channel from Sandy Point to Breeds Cove north of 
the New Brightman Street Bridge):
    (A) With a draft greater than 31 feet, 6 inches (32'6'') when water 
depth is below mean low water.
    (B) With a draft greater than 34 feet, 6 inches (34'6'') when water 
depth is below mean high water.
    (iv) For the purposes of this section, water depth for the Taunton 
River is the water depth at the time a vessel enters the river as 
recorded at the NOAA's Physical Ocean Real Time System (PORTS) depth 
recording device located at Borden Flats, Fall River. If this device is 
not operating properly or its information cannot be obtained, water 
depth will be determined using NOAA-published tide tables.
    (v) No vessel may transit the Quonset Point/Davisville Channel (the 
entire channel from Sandy Point to Davisville):
    (A) With a draft greater than 28 feet, 6 inches (28'6'') when water 
depth is below mean low water.
    (B) With a draft greater than 30 feet (30') when water depth is 
below mean high water.
    (vi) For the purposes of this section, water depth for the Quonset 
Point/Davisville channel is the water depth at the time a vessel enters 
the channel as recorded at the NOAA's Physical Ocean Real Time System 
(PORTS) depth recording device located at Quonset Point. If this device 
is not operating properly or its information cannot be obtained, water 
depth will be determined using NOAA-published tide tables.
    (2) All commercial vessels greater than 200 gross tons must:
    (i) Have at least 1 mile of visibility to transit the Providence 
River between

[[Page 30112]]

Conimicut Light (LLNR 18305) and Channel Light 42 (LLNR 18580, Fuller 
Rock Light); and
    (ii) Transit through the Old and New Brightman Street bridges only:
    (A) During daylight;
    (B) On a flood tide when outbound;
    (C) When a federally licensed pilot is aboard;
    (D) When winds are no greater than 15 knots; and
    (E) Accompanied by at least three assist tugs, each of sufficient 
capability to push, tow, or stop the commercial vessel to avoid 
grounding, collision, or allision, except that:
    (i) Only two assist tugs are required when the commercial vessel is 
equipped with a properly operating bow thruster of at least 1000 
horsepower.
    (ii) Only one assist tug is required when a barge is being pushed 
by a primary towing vessel. For the purposes of this regulation, 
``primary towing vessel'' is as defined in 33 CFR 157.03.
    (3) Vessels over 65 feet in length inbound for berths in the 
Providence River, are required to make Safety Signal (SECURITE) calls 
on both VHF channels 13 and 16 at the following geographic locations: 
Pilot Boarding Area, abeam of Castle Hill, abeam of Sandy Point, abeam 
of Conimicut Point Light (LLNR 18305), abeam of Sabin Point and upon 
mooring.
    (4) Vessels over 65 feet in length inbound for berths in Mount Hope 
Bay or in the Taunton River, are required to make Safety Signal 
(SECURITE) calls on both VHF channels 13 and 16 at the Mount Hope Bay 
Junction Lighted Gong Buoy ``MH'' (LLNR 18790).
    (5) Vessels over 65 feet in length outbound for sea down the 
Providence River Channel shall make SECURITE calls on VHF channels 13 
and 16 at the following geographic locations:
    (i) One-half hour prior to departure from the berth;
    (ii) At departure from the berth;
    (iii) Abeam of Sabin Point;
    (iv) Abeam of Gaspee Point; and
    (v) Abeam of Conimicut Light (LLNR 18305).
    (6) Vessels over 65 feet in length outbound for sea down the 
Taunton River or Mount Hope Bay are required to make SECURITE calls on 
VHF channels 13 and 16 at the following geographic locations:
    (i) One-half hour prior to departure from the berth;
    (ii) At departure from the berth; and
    (iii) At the Mount Hope Bay Junction Lighted Gong Buoy ``MH'' (LLNR 
18790).
    (7) Vessels 65 feet and under in length and all recreational 
vessels when meeting deep draft commercial vessel traffic in all 
locations within this RNA shall keep out of the way of the oncoming 
deep draft commercial vessel.
    (8) The Captain of the Port, Southeastern New England, may 
authorize a deviation from these regulations.
    (c) Enforcement. As stated in Sec.  165.13(b), no person may cause 
or authorize the operation of a vessel in an RNA contrary to the 
regulations in this part. Violations of regulations in this section 
should be reported to the Captain of the Port, Southeastern New 
England, at 508-457-3211. Persons in violation of regulations in this 
section will be subject to civil or criminal penalties set forth in 33 
U.S.C. 1232.

    Dated: May 16, 2006.
David P. Pekoske,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
 [FR Doc. E6-8075 Filed 5-24-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P