Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Regulations and Management Plan, 41879-41881 [2014-16632]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 138 / Friday, July 18, 2014 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface, at the Truth or Consequences VORTAC navigation aid, Truth or Consequences, NM, to accommodate IFR aircraft under control of Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) by vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. This action is necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations. The FAA has determined this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle 1, Section 106 discusses the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it establishes controlled airspace at the Truth or Consequences, NM VORTAC navigation aid, Truth or Consequences, NM. Environmental Review The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ paragraph 311a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air) VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Jul 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 41879 Adoption of the Amendment DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR Part 71 as follows: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR Part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E. O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959– 1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR Part 71.1 of the Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.9X, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 7, 2013, and effective September 15, 2013 is amended as follows: 15 CFR Part 922 [Docket No. 130813710–4485–02] RIN 0648–BD60 Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Regulations and Management Plan Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: ■ Paragraph 6006 Airspace Areas En Route Domestic * * * * ASW NM E6 [New] * Truth or Consequences, NM Truth or Consequences VORTAC, NM (Lat. 33°16′57″ N., long. 107°16′50″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by lat. 33°38′15″ N., long. 103°29′15″ W.; to lat. 33°24′10″ N., long. 103°41′30″ W.; to lat. 33°23′00″ N., long. 103°48′00″ W.; to lat. 33°00′00″ N., long. 103°48′00″ W.; to lat. 32°28′00″ N., long. 103°56′00″ W.; to lat. 32°02′00″ N., long. 103°48′00″ W.; to lat. 31°39′00″ N., long. 103°20′00″ W.; to lat. 31°35′00″ N., long. 103°07′00″ W.; to lat. 31°17′00″ N., long. 102°09′00″ W.; to lat. 30°57′08″ N., long. 102°58′33″ W.; to lat. 30°17′54″ N., long. 103°57′17″ W.; to lat. 30°42′00″ N., long. 105°00′00″ W.; to lat. 31°45′00″ N., long. 106°23′00″ W.; to lat. 31°48′00″ N., long. 106°32′00″ W.; to lat. 31°47′00″ N., long. 108°12′00″ W.; to lat. 32°25′00″ N., long. 108°12′00″ W.; to lat. 32°25′00″ N., long. 108°00′00″ W.; to lat. 33°35′00″ N., long. 107°28′00″ W.; to lat. 33°35′00″ N., long. 106°48′10″ W.; to lat. 33°49′45″ N., long. 106°45′20″ W.; to lat. 33°49′30″ N., long. 106°16′30″ W.; to lat. 33°44′45″ N., long. 106°04′00″ W.; to lat. 34°17′00″ N., long. 106°04′00″ W.; to lat. 34°17′00″ N., long. 105°51′00″ W.; to lat. 33°58′00″ N., long. 105°27′00″ W.; to lat. 34°08′45″ N., long. 105°09′00″ W., thence to the point of beginning. Issued in Seattle, Washington, on July 7, 2014. Clark Desing, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center. [FR Doc. 2014–16633 Filed 7–17–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 NOAA is updating the regulations and management plan for Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS or Sanctuary). The regulations are revised to clarify the prohibition on anchoring and add an exemption to allow the use of weighted marker buoys that are continuously tended by vessel operators during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities, not attached to a vessel, and not capable of holding a boat at anchor. An environmental assessment has been prepared that includes analysis of the consequences of this action. A revised management plan outlining management priorities for GRNMS for the next 5–10 years has also been prepared. No changes were made from the proposed to final rule. DATES: Effective August 18, 2014. ADDRESSES: Copies of the environmental assessment and final management plan described in this rule are available upon request to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, Attn: Becky Shortland, Resource Protection Coordinator. These documents can also be viewed on the Web and downloaded at http://graysreef.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Becky Shortland at (912) 598–2381 or becky.shortland@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background A. Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS or sanctuary) off the coast of Georgia contains one of the largest nearshore, live-bottom reefs of the southeastern United States. Located 16 miles offshore from Sapelo Island, GRNMS is currently the only protected natural reef on the continental shelf off the Georgia coast and one of only a few marine protected areas in the ocean E:\FR\FM\18JYR1.SGM 18JYR1 41880 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 138 / Friday, July 18, 2014 / Rules and Regulations mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida. NOAA designated GRNMS as the nation’s fourth national marine sanctuary in 1981 for the purposes of: Protecting the quality of this unique and fragile ecological community; promoting scientific understanding of this live bottom ecosystem; and enhancing public awareness and wise use of this significant regional resource. GRNMS protects 22 square miles of open ocean and submerged lands of particularly dense and nearshore patches of productive live bottom habitat. The sanctuary is influenced by complex ocean currents and serves as a mixing zone for temperate (colder water) and sub-tropical species. The series of rock ledges and sand expanses provide a solid base upon which temperate and tropical marine flora and fauna attach and flourish. B. Need for action The National Marine Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (NMSA; 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) section 304(e) requires that NOAA review and evaluate, among other things, the site-specific management techniques and strategies to ensure that each sanctuary continues to fulfill the purposes and policies of the NMSA. Emerging issues, such as the effects of invasive lionfish on sanctuary resources, were not adequately addressed in the 2006 GRNMS plan. The new management plan reflects some of these emerging issues and presents management priorities for GRNMS for the next 5–10 years. The regulatory changes will, in the case of the anchoring prohibition, clarify that attempting to anchor is also prohibited because deployment of anchors, even if the anchors do not set on the bottom, can result in negative impacts to the submerged lands. The regulatory changes will also allow the placement of weighted marker buoys used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities. The weighted marker buoys will be used for diving safety (markers provide a stationary point for divers to more accurately locate a site and for boat operators to find divers on their ascent), and to assist recreational fishers for marking and relocating a fishing spot as their boat drifts. Therefore, the purpose of deployment of a weight on the bottom is for safety or convenience while conducting diving and recreational fishing activities, since anchoring is not allowed. II. Summary of the Revisions to GRNMS Regulations The regulatory action will clarify a prohibition and add an exemption. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Jul 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 a. Clarification of anchoring prohibition: NOAA is clarifying the prohibition on anchoring in the sanctuary (15 CFR 922.92(a)(10)) by adding ‘‘. . . or attempting to anchor’’ to GRNMS’s existing anchoring regulation. This will facilitate law enforcement efforts and protect sanctuary resources by allowing authorized officers to enforce the anchoring prohibition even when an anchor has not yet been set in the submerged lands of the sanctuary. Enforcement officials have experienced occasions where sanctuary users were ‘‘attempting’’ to anchor in GRNMS despite the prohibition, but because the anchor had not yet been ‘‘set,’’ the prohibition did not apply. This amendment will better align the regulation with its original intent. b. Exemption for marker buoys: Current GRNMS regulations prohibit placing any material on the submerged lands of the sanctuary, including weights for marker buoys that sit on the seafloor to mark locations during recreational diving or fishing (15 CFR 922.92(a)(2)). NOAA is adding an exemption to this regulation for bottom placement of weighted marker buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities, are not attached to a vessel, and are not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker buoy must not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, must be attached with not greater than onefourth inch (1⁄4″) line and must be removed from the sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. NOAA (or any authorized officer) could remove any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended, without notice. By ‘‘continuously tended’’, NOAA means that the buoy is in use by fishers or divers at the time it is observed and that the fishers’ or divers’ boat is in some proximity to the buoy. The weighted marker buoys will be used for diving safety (markers provide a stationary point for divers to more accurately locate a site and for boat operators to find divers on their ascent), and to assist recreational fishers for marking and relocating a fishing spot as their boat drifts. Because anchoring in GRNMS is currently prohibited, recreational diving must be conducted by ‘‘live-boat’’ (non-anchored vessels), and recreational fishing by trolling or drifting with a vessel. Public comment and Sanctuary Advisory Council discussion during scoping for the management plan review indicated strong support for regulatory exemption of weighted marker buoys. Although the use of marker buoys for recreational PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 fishing is more a matter of convenience than safety, the impact of weighted marker buoys from diving or fishing on sanctuary resources is negligible and therefore, NOAA will allow this practice for both of these activities. III. Responses to Public Comments During the public comment period, four (4) written comments were received through the electronic rulemaking portal http://www.regulations.gov. Three (3) public hearings were also held to receive comment, but no members of the public attended any of the three. The written comments were grouped into two (2) general topics that are summarized below, followed by NOAA’s response. Comment 1: NOAA should move forward with the proposed rule, specifically the exemption for weighted marker buoys. Response: Comment noted. Comment 2: Although weighted marker buoys are proposed with certain limitations to reduce impacts to the submerged lands, impacts are still possible. Therefore, the exemption should be allowed only for a set, temporary period of time to benefit diving safety and to document actual effects, if any, on GRNMS resources. Once documented, a decision could be made to eliminate or continue the exemption to allow the use of weighted marker buoys in GRNMS. Response: NOAA agrees that the proposed rule to allow the use of weighted marker buoys will contribute to diving safety in GRNMS. NOAA also determined that the expected effects on sanctuary resources from weights of ten (10) pounds or less placed temporarily on the submerged lands will be minimal. In addition, NOAA is committed to managing the resources of GRNMS in an adaptive manner, as demonstrated by the deliberate and transparent management plan review process that takes place every 5–10 years. Any impacts of weighted markers on sanctuary resources would be brought to NOAA’s attention during the next management plan review, which is open to public participation. Instead of an automatic end date for the regulation on weighted marker buoys, the next management plan review would be the appropriate mechanism for modifying this regulation, if appropriate. IV. Changes From the Proposed Rule No changes were made from the proposed to final rule. E:\FR\FM\18JYR1.SGM 18JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 138 / Friday, July 18, 2014 / Rules and Regulations V. Classification A. National Environmental Policy Act NOAA has prepared an environmental assessment to evaluate the impacts of the rulemaking. Copies are available at the address and Web site listed in the ADDRESSES section of this final rule. B. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Impact This final rule has been determined to be not significant as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866. C. Executive Order 13132: Federalism Assessment NOAA has concluded this regulatory action does not have federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a federalism assessment under Executive Order 13132. D. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) at the proposed rule stage that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published with the proposed rule. No comments were received regarding this certification. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required and none has been prepared. E. Paperwork Reduction Act This proposed rule would not require any additional collection of information, and therefore no paperwork reduction act action is required. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. Dated: July 9, 2014. Christopher Cartwright, Chief Financial Officer, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, NOAA is amending part 922, title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 922—NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 922 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq. 2. In § 922.92, revise paragraphs (a)(2) and (10) to read as follows: ■ § 922.92 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities—Sanctuary-wide. (a) * * * (2) Constructing any structure other than a navigation aid, or constructing, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other matter on the submerged lands of the Sanctuary except weighted marker buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker buoy shall not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, shall be attached with not greater than onefourth inch (1⁄4″) line and shall be removed from the Sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. Any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended may be removed by the Assistant Administrator or designee or an authorized officer, without notice. * * * * * (10) Anchoring, or attempting to anchor, any vessel in the Sanctuary, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section when responding to an emergency threatening life, property, or the environment. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2014–16632 Filed 7–17–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–NK–P VI. References SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 922 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon request (see ADDRESSES section). [Docket No. SSA–2014–0034] Administrative practice and procedure, Coastal zone, Fishing gear, Marine resources, Natural resources, Penalties, Recreation and recreation areas, Wildlife. RIN 0960–AH67 (Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary Program) VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Jul 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 20 CFR Parts 404 and 416 Extension of Expiration Date for Temporary Pilot Program Setting the Time and Place for a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge AGENCY: PO 00000 Social Security Administration. Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ACTION: 41881 Final rule. We are extending for one year our pilot program that authorizes the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Extending the pilot program continues our commitment to improve the efficiency of our hearing process and provide accurate, high-quality decisions for claimants. The current pilot program will expire on August 9, 2014. In this final rule, we are extending the expiration date to August 10, 2015. We are making no other substantive changes. SUMMARY: This final rule is effective July 18, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rainbow Forbes, Social Security Administration, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3260, 703– 605–8100 for information about this final rule. For information on eligibility for filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1–800–772–1213 or TTY 1–800–325–0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Background Over the past several years, one of our highest priorities has been to improve the efficiency of our hearing process for the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) programs under title II of the Social Security Act (Act) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program under title XVI of the Act. Toward that end, we began a pilot program in July 2010 (75 FR 39154), under which the agency, rather than the ALJ, may set the time and place of the hearing under certain circumstances. Because we expect to continue to face significant challenges in dealing with the historically large number of hearing requests, we must maintain programs and policies that can provide us with the flexibility we need to improve the efficiency of our hearing process. On November 10, 2008, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend our rules to allow the agency to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ. (73 FR 66564). Following receipt of public comments, we issued a final rule on July 8, 2010. (75 FR 39154). Under the rule, the agency acquired the authority to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ. In the rule, we explained that we would implement our authority to set the time and place for a hearing before an ALJ as a temporary pilot program. Therefore, we included in sections 404.936(h) and 416.1436(h) of the final rule a provision E:\FR\FM\18JYR1.SGM 18JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 138 (Friday, July 18, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41879-41881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16632]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

15 CFR Part 922

[Docket No. 130813710-4485-02]
RIN 0648-BD60


Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Regulations and Management 
Plan

AGENCY: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean 
Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NOAA is updating the regulations and management plan for 
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS or Sanctuary). The 
regulations are revised to clarify the prohibition on anchoring and add 
an exemption to allow the use of weighted marker buoys that are 
continuously tended by vessel operators during otherwise lawful fishing 
or diving activities, not attached to a vessel, and not capable of 
holding a boat at anchor. An environmental assessment has been prepared 
that includes analysis of the consequences of this action. A revised 
management plan outlining management priorities for GRNMS for the next 
5-10 years has also been prepared. No changes were made from the 
proposed to final rule.

DATES: Effective August 18, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the environmental assessment and final management 
plan described in this rule are available upon request to Gray's Reef 
National Marine Sanctuary, 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, 
Attn: Becky Shortland, Resource Protection Coordinator. These documents 
can also be viewed on the Web and downloaded at http://graysreef.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Becky Shortland at (912) 598-2381 or 
becky.shortland@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

    Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS or sanctuary) off the 
coast of Georgia contains one of the largest nearshore, live-bottom 
reefs of the southeastern United States. Located 16 miles offshore from 
Sapelo Island, GRNMS is currently the only protected natural reef on 
the continental shelf off the Georgia coast and one of only a few 
marine protected areas in the ocean

[[Page 41880]]

between Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida. NOAA 
designated GRNMS as the nation's fourth national marine sanctuary in 
1981 for the purposes of: Protecting the quality of this unique and 
fragile ecological community; promoting scientific understanding of 
this live bottom ecosystem; and enhancing public awareness and wise use 
of this significant regional resource. GRNMS protects 22 square miles 
of open ocean and submerged lands of particularly dense and nearshore 
patches of productive live bottom habitat. The sanctuary is influenced 
by complex ocean currents and serves as a mixing zone for temperate 
(colder water) and sub-tropical species. The series of rock ledges and 
sand expanses provide a solid base upon which temperate and tropical 
marine flora and fauna attach and flourish.

B. Need for action

    The National Marine Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (NMSA; 16 U.S.C. 1431 
et seq.) section 304(e) requires that NOAA review and evaluate, among 
other things, the site-specific management techniques and strategies to 
ensure that each sanctuary continues to fulfill the purposes and 
policies of the NMSA. Emerging issues, such as the effects of invasive 
lionfish on sanctuary resources, were not adequately addressed in the 
2006 GRNMS plan. The new management plan reflects some of these 
emerging issues and presents management priorities for GRNMS for the 
next 5-10 years. The regulatory changes will, in the case of the 
anchoring prohibition, clarify that attempting to anchor is also 
prohibited because deployment of anchors, even if the anchors do not 
set on the bottom, can result in negative impacts to the submerged 
lands. The regulatory changes will also allow the placement of weighted 
marker buoys used during otherwise lawful fishing or diving activities. 
The weighted marker buoys will be used for diving safety (markers 
provide a stationary point for divers to more accurately locate a site 
and for boat operators to find divers on their ascent), and to assist 
recreational fishers for marking and relocating a fishing spot as their 
boat drifts. Therefore, the purpose of deployment of a weight on the 
bottom is for safety or convenience while conducting diving and 
recreational fishing activities, since anchoring is not allowed.

II. Summary of the Revisions to GRNMS Regulations

    The regulatory action will clarify a prohibition and add an 
exemption.
    a. Clarification of anchoring prohibition: NOAA is clarifying the 
prohibition on anchoring in the sanctuary (15 CFR 922.92(a)(10)) by 
adding ``. . . or attempting to anchor'' to GRNMS's existing anchoring 
regulation. This will facilitate law enforcement efforts and protect 
sanctuary resources by allowing authorized officers to enforce the 
anchoring prohibition even when an anchor has not yet been set in the 
submerged lands of the sanctuary. Enforcement officials have 
experienced occasions where sanctuary users were ``attempting'' to 
anchor in GRNMS despite the prohibition, but because the anchor had not 
yet been ``set,'' the prohibition did not apply. This amendment will 
better align the regulation with its original intent.
    b. Exemption for marker buoys: Current GRNMS regulations prohibit 
placing any material on the submerged lands of the sanctuary, including 
weights for marker buoys that sit on the seafloor to mark locations 
during recreational diving or fishing (15 CFR 922.92(a)(2)). NOAA is 
adding an exemption to this regulation for bottom placement of weighted 
marker buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise 
lawful fishing or diving activities, are not attached to a vessel, and 
are not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker 
buoy must not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, must be 
attached with not greater than one-fourth inch (\1/4\'') line and must 
be removed from the sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. 
NOAA (or any authorized officer) could remove any weighted marker buoy 
that is not continuously tended, without notice. By ``continuously 
tended'', NOAA means that the buoy is in use by fishers or divers at 
the time it is observed and that the fishers' or divers' boat is in 
some proximity to the buoy.
    The weighted marker buoys will be used for diving safety (markers 
provide a stationary point for divers to more accurately locate a site 
and for boat operators to find divers on their ascent), and to assist 
recreational fishers for marking and relocating a fishing spot as their 
boat drifts. Because anchoring in GRNMS is currently prohibited, 
recreational diving must be conducted by ``live-boat'' (non-anchored 
vessels), and recreational fishing by trolling or drifting with a 
vessel. Public comment and Sanctuary Advisory Council discussion during 
scoping for the management plan review indicated strong support for 
regulatory exemption of weighted marker buoys. Although the use of 
marker buoys for recreational fishing is more a matter of convenience 
than safety, the impact of weighted marker buoys from diving or fishing 
on sanctuary resources is negligible and therefore, NOAA will allow 
this practice for both of these activities.

III. Responses to Public Comments

    During the public comment period, four (4) written comments were 
received through the electronic rulemaking portal http://www.regulations.gov. Three (3) public hearings were also held to 
receive comment, but no members of the public attended any of the 
three. The written comments were grouped into two (2) general topics 
that are summarized below, followed by NOAA's response.
    Comment 1: NOAA should move forward with the proposed rule, 
specifically the exemption for weighted marker buoys.
    Response: Comment noted.
    Comment 2: Although weighted marker buoys are proposed with certain 
limitations to reduce impacts to the submerged lands, impacts are still 
possible. Therefore, the exemption should be allowed only for a set, 
temporary period of time to benefit diving safety and to document 
actual effects, if any, on GRNMS resources. Once documented, a decision 
could be made to eliminate or continue the exemption to allow the use 
of weighted marker buoys in GRNMS.
    Response: NOAA agrees that the proposed rule to allow the use of 
weighted marker buoys will contribute to diving safety in GRNMS. NOAA 
also determined that the expected effects on sanctuary resources from 
weights of ten (10) pounds or less placed temporarily on the submerged 
lands will be minimal.
    In addition, NOAA is committed to managing the resources of GRNMS 
in an adaptive manner, as demonstrated by the deliberate and 
transparent management plan review process that takes place every 5-10 
years. Any impacts of weighted markers on sanctuary resources would be 
brought to NOAA's attention during the next management plan review, 
which is open to public participation. Instead of an automatic end date 
for the regulation on weighted marker buoys, the next management plan 
review would be the appropriate mechanism for modifying this 
regulation, if appropriate.

IV. Changes From the Proposed Rule

    No changes were made from the proposed to final rule.

[[Page 41881]]

V. Classification

A. National Environmental Policy Act

    NOAA has prepared an environmental assessment to evaluate the 
impacts of the rulemaking. Copies are available at the address and Web 
site listed in the ADDRESSES section of this final rule.

B. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Impact

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant as that 
term is defined in Executive Order 12866.

C. Executive Order 13132: Federalism Assessment

    NOAA has concluded this regulatory action does not have federalism 
implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a federalism 
assessment under Executive Order 13132.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) at the proposed rule stage that this final rule 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published 
with the proposed rule. No comments were received regarding this 
certification. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is 
required and none has been prepared.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule would not require any additional collection of 
information, and therefore no paperwork reduction act action is 
required. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB Control Number.

VI. References

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 922

    Administrative practice and procedure, Coastal zone, Fishing gear, 
Marine resources, Natural resources, Penalties, Recreation and 
recreation areas, Wildlife.

(Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog Number 11.429 Marine Sanctuary 
Program)


    Dated: July 9, 2014.
Christopher Cartwright,
Chief Financial Officer, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration.
    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, NOAA is amending part 
922, title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 922--NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 922 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.

0
2. In Sec.  922.92, revise paragraphs (a)(2) and (10) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  922.92  Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities--Sanctuary-
wide.

    (a) * * *
    (2) Constructing any structure other than a navigation aid, or 
constructing, placing, or abandoning any structure, material, or other 
matter on the submerged lands of the Sanctuary except weighted marker 
buoys that are continuously tended and used during otherwise lawful 
fishing or diving activities and that are not attached to a vessel and 
not capable of holding a boat at anchor. Weights used with a marker 
buoy shall not have a combined weight of more than 10 pounds, shall be 
attached with not greater than one-fourth inch (\1/4\'') line and shall 
be removed from the Sanctuary within twelve (12) hours of deployment. 
Any weighted marker buoy that is not continuously tended may be removed 
by the Assistant Administrator or designee or an authorized officer, 
without notice.
* * * * *
    (10) Anchoring, or attempting to anchor, any vessel in the 
Sanctuary, except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section when 
responding to an emergency threatening life, property, or the 
environment.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-16632 Filed 7-17-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P