Safety Zone; NOBLE DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi Sea, AK, 47852-47855 [2015-19367]

Download as PDF 47852 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 153 / Monday, August 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG–2015–0736] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic City, NJ Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedules that govern the Route 30 (Absecon Boulevard) Bridge across the Beach Thorofare, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, mile 67.2, at Atlantic City, NJ and US40–322 (North Albany Avenue) Bridge across the Inside Thorofare, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, mile 70.0, at Atlantic City, NJ. This deviation is necessary to facilitate the 2015 Atlantic City Air Show. This deviation allows the bridges to remain in the closed-to-navigation position. DATES: This deviation is effective from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 2, 2015. ADDRESSES: The docket for this deviation, [USCG–2015–0736], is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH’’. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard; telephone (757) 398–6222, email Hal.R.Pitts@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The New Jersey Department of Transportation, who owns and operates the Route 30 (Absecon Boulevard) Bridge and US40– 322 (North Albany Avenue) Bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.733(e) and (f), respectively, to facilitate the 2015 Atlantic City Air Show. Lhorne on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:22 Aug 07, 2015 Jkt 235001 Under the normal operating schedule for the Route 30 (Absecon Boulevard) Bridge across the Beach Thorofare, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, mile 67.2, at Atlantic City, NJ in 33 CFR 117.733(e); the bridge need only open on the hour from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from April 1 through October 31. Under the normal operating schedule for the US40–322 (North Albany Avenue) Bridge across the Inside Thorofare, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, mile 70.0, at Atlantic City, NJ in 33 CFR 117.733(f); the draw shall open on signal; except that, from June 1 through September 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour and half hour, and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the draw need not open. The vertical clearances in the closed-to-navigation position of the Route 30 (Absecon Boulevard) Bridge and US40–322 (North Albany Avenue) Bridge are 20 feet and 10 feet, respectively, above mean high water. Under this temporary deviation, the bridges will be closed to navigation from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 2, 2015. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is used by a variety of vessels including small commercial fishing vessels, recreational vessels and tug and barge traffic. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with commercial and recreational waterway users. Vessels able to pass through the bridges in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridges will be able to open for emergencies and there is no alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridges in the closed position. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedules for these bridges so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impacts caused by this temporary deviation. In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridges must return to their regular operating schedules immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35. Dated: August 5, 2015. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 2015–19561 Filed 8–7–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY United States Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 147 [Docket No. USCG–2015–0248] RIN 1625–AA00 Safety Zone; NOBLE DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi Sea, AK Coast Guard, DHS. Temporary final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone that extends 500 meters from the outer edge of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER. This safety zone will be in effect both when the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER is anchored and when deploying and recovering moorings. This safety zone will be in effect when the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER is on location in order to drill exploratory wells at various prospects located in the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska, from 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2015. The purpose of the temporary safety zone is to protect the drillship from vessels operating outside the normal shipping channels and fairways. DATES: This rule is effective without actual notice from August 10, 2015 until October 31, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from July 1, 2015 to August 10, 2015. ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket number USCG–2015–0248. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email LCDR Jason Boyle, Seventeenth Coast Guard District (dpi); telephone 907–463–2821, Jason.t.boyle@ uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 153 / Monday, August 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Regulatory History and Information The Coast Guard published an NPRM for this safety zone on May 4, 2015 (80 FR 25256). Two comments from the public were received during the 30 day comment period. No public meeting was requested, and none was held. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Due to ongoing drilling operations, delaying the implementation of this safety zone is impracticable and would increase the possibility of an allision in the Chukchi Sea. Lhorne on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES B. Basis and Purpose The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone around the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER while anchored or deploying and recovering moorings on location in order to drill exploratory wells in several prospects located in the Chukchi Sea during the 2015 drilling season. The request for the temporary safety zone was made by Shell Exploration & Production Company due to safety concerns for both the personnel aboard the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER and the environment. Shell Exploration & Production Company indicated that it is highly likely that any allision or inability to identify, monitor or mitigate any risks or threats, including icerelated hazards that might be encountered, may result in a catastrophic event. Incursions into the safety zone by unapproved vessels could degrade the ability to monitor and mitigate such risks. In evaluating this request, the Coast Guard explored relevant safety factors and considered several criteria, including but not limited to: (1) The level of shipping activity around the operation; (2) safety concerns for personnel aboard the vessel; (3) concerns for the environment given the sensitivity of the environmental and the importance of fishing and hunting to the indigenous population; (4) the lack of any established shipping fairways, and fueling and supply storage/operations which increase the likelihood that an allision would result in a catastrophic event; (5) the recent and potential future maritime traffic in the vicinity of the proposed areas; (6) the types of vessels navigating in the vicinity of the proposed area; (7) the structural VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:22 Aug 07, 2015 Jkt 235001 configuration of the vessel, and (8) the need to allow for lawful demonstrations without endangering the safe operation of the vessel. For any group intending to conduct lawful demonstrations in the vicinity of the rig, these demonstrations must be conducted outside the safety zone. Results from a thorough and comprehensive examination of the criteria, IMO guidelines, and existing regulations warrant the establishment of the temporary safety zone. The regulation significantly reduces the threat of allisions that could result in oil spills, and other releases. Furthermore, the regulation increases the safety of life, property, and the environment in the Chukchi Sea by prohibiting entry into the zone unless specifically authorized by the Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District, or a designated representative. Due to the remote location and the need to protect the environment, the Coast Guard may use criminal sanctions to enforce the safety zone as appropriate. The temporary safety zone will be around the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER while anchored or deploying and recovering moorings on location in order to drill exploratory wells in various locations in the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska during the 2015 timeframe. Shell Exploration & Production Company has proposed and received permits for drill sites within the Burger prospects, Chukchi Sea, Alaska. During the 2015 timeframe, Shell Exploration & Production Company has proposed drilling exploration wells at various Chukchi Sea prospects depending on favorable ice conditions, weather, sea state, and any other pertinent factors. Each of these drill sites will be permitted for drilling in 2015 to allow for operational flexibility in the event sea ice conditions prevent access to one of the locations. The number of actual wells that will be drilled will depend on ice conditions and the length of time available for the 2015 drilling season. The predicted ‘‘average’’ drilling season, constrained by prevailing ice conditions and regulatory restrictions, is long enough for two to three typical exploration wells to be drilled. The actual order of drilling activities will be controlled by an interplay between actual ice conditions immediately prior to a rig move, ice forecasts, any regulatory restrictions with respect to the dates of allowed operating windows, whether the planned drilling activity involves only drilling the shallow non-objective section or penetrating potential PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 47853 hydrocarbon zones, the availability of permitted sites having approved shallow hazards clearance, the anticipated duration of each contemplated drilling activity, the results of preceding wells and Marine Mammal Monitoring and Mitigation plan requirements. All planned exploration drilling in the identified lease will be conducted with the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER. The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER has a ‘‘persons on board’’ capacity of 124, and it is expected to be at capacity for most of its operating period. The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER’s personnel will include its crew, as well as Shell employees, third party contractors, Alaska Native Marine Mammal Observers and possibly Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel. While conducting exploration drilling operations, the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER will be anchored using an anchoring system consisting of an 8point anchored mooring spread attached to the onboard turret and could have a maximum anchor radius of 3,600 ft (1,100 m). The center point of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER will be positioned within the prospect location in the Chukchi Sea. The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER will move into the Chukchi Sea on or about July 1, 2015 and onto a prospect location when ice allows. Drilling will conclude on or before October 31, 2015. The drillship and support vessels will depart the Chukchi Sea at the conclusion of the 2015 drilling season. C. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Final Rule One comment from the public was received during the 30 day comment period expressing concern that the safety zone was larger than necessary and that it could unnecessary impede vessel movement. The comment proposed a smaller safety zone of 50 meters with a ‘‘no wake’’ restriction extending 250 meters. The Coast Guard considered this comment, but has decided not to adopt the commenter’s suggestion. Considering the size of the ocean, we do not believe a 500-meter safety zone presents an unreasonable restriction of movement. Furthermore, considering the size and speed of the drillship and associated drilling operations, we believe that a 50-meter zone would not ensure the safety of boaters in the area. Finally, we note that a ‘‘no-wake zone’’ would not have any effect in protecting boaters from the E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 47854 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 153 / Monday, August 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations dangerous conditions caused by drilling operations. Additionally, one commenter questioned whether the safety zone applied when the vessel is moving. It would apply during that time, for the safety of other vessels. The commenter also suggested that the safety zone should not extend 500 meters past the mooring. For reasons described below, we agree with the commenter’s suggestion in this regard. The Coast Guard made one change to the proposed rule. The original proposed rule had called for safety zones at every point where the vessel’s mooring spread intersected with the ocean’s surface. After consideration of the comments and additional clarification from Shell Exploration & Production Company, the Coast Guard determined that the mooring system utilized on this vessel is configured such that its lines will not break the ocean’s surface beyond the vessel’s outer edge. Therefore, the Coast Guard deleted reference to such additional safety zones and corresponding marking buoys from the final rule. The temporary safety zone will encompass the area that extends 500 meters from the outer edge of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER. This safety zone will be in effect both when the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER is anchored and when deploying and recovering moorings. No vessel would be allowed to enter or remain in this proposed safety zone except the following: An attending vessel or a vessel authorized by the Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF–FM Channel 13 or 16 or by telephone at 907–463–2000. Lhorne on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES D. Regulatory Analyses The Coast Guard developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 14 of these statutes or executive orders. 1. Regulatory Planning and Review This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or Section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. This rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the location of VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:22 Aug 07, 2015 Jkt 235001 the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER on the Outer Continental Shelf and its distance from both land and safety fairways. Vessels traversing waters near the proposed safety zone will be able to safely travel around the zone without incurring additional costs. 2. Small Entities Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601–612), the Coast Guard has considered whether this rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term ‘‘small entities’’ comprises small businesses, not-forprofit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in the Burger Prospects of the Chukchi Sea. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact or a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: This rule will enforce a safety zone around a drilling unit facility that is in areas of the Chukchi Sea not frequented by vessel traffic and is not in close proximity to a safety fairway. Further, vessel traffic can pass safely around the safety zone without incurring additional costs. 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) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it. 3. 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 rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule affects your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact LCDR Jason Boyle, Coast Guard Seventeenth District, Office of Prevention; telephone 907– 463–2821, Jason.t.boyle@uscg.mil. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard. 4. Collection of Information This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501– 3520.). 5. 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. 6. Protest Activities The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels. 7. 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 $100,000,000.00 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule would not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble. 8. Taking of Private Property This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights. 9. Civil Justice Reform This 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. 10. Protection of Children The Coast Guard has analyzed this 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 E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 153 / Monday, August 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children. 2. Add § 147.T17–0248 to read as follows: ■ 11. Indian Tribal Governments This 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. 12. Energy Effects The Coast Guard analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. § 147.T17–0248 Safety Zone; DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi Sea, Alaska. (a) Description. The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER will be engaged in exploratory drilling operations at various locations in the Chukchi Sea from July 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015. The area that extends 500 meters from the outer edge of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER is a safety zone. Lawful demonstrations may be conducted outside of the safety zone. (b) Regulation. No vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone except the following: (1) An attending vessel; or (2) A vessel authorized by the Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District, or a designated representative. 13. Technical Standards This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards. Dated: June 17, 2015. Daniel B. Abel, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District. 14. Environment We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023–01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, 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 this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2–1 of the Commandant’s Instruction. BILLING CODE 9110–04–P Lhorne on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 147 Continental shelf, Marine safety, Navigation (water). For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 147 as follows: PART 147—SAFETY ZONES 1. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:22 Aug 07, 2015 Jkt 235001 [FR Doc. 2015–19367 Filed 8–7–15; 8:45 am] 47855 ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions on this rule, call or email LTJG Amanda Garcia, Chief of Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Buffalo; telephone 716–843–9343, email SectorBuffaloMarineSafety@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Ms. Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826 or 1–800–647–5527. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking TFR Temporary Final Rule A. Regulatory History and Information DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG–2015–0715] RIN 1625–AA00 Safety Zone; Waddington Homecoming Fireworks, St. Lawrence River, Ogden Island, NY Coast Guard, DHS. Temporary final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the St. Lawrence River, Ogden Island, NY. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of the St. Lawrence River during the Waddington Homecoming fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect mariners and vessels from the navigational hazards associated with a fireworks display. DATES: This rule will be effective and enforced from 8:45 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. on August 8, 2015. ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG– 2015–0715]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable. The final details for this event were not known to the Coast Guard until there was insufficient time remaining before the event to publish an NPRM. Thus, delaying the effective date of this rule to wait for a comment period to run would be impracticable because it would inhibit the Coast Guard’s ability to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with a maritime fireworks display. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this temporary rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For the same reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph, waiting for a 30 day notice period to run would be impracticable. E:\FR\FM\10AUR1.SGM 10AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 153 (Monday, August 10, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47852-47855]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-19367]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

United States Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 147

[Docket No. USCG-2015-0248]
RIN 1625-AA00


Safety Zone; NOBLE DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, 
Chukchi Sea, AK

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Temporary final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone that extends 500 
meters from the outer edge of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER. This 
safety zone will be in effect both when the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER 
is anchored and when deploying and recovering moorings. This safety 
zone will be in effect when the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER is on 
location in order to drill exploratory wells at various prospects 
located in the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska, from 12:01 
a.m. on July 1, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2015. The 
purpose of the temporary safety zone is to protect the drillship from 
vessels operating outside the normal shipping channels and fairways.

DATES: This rule is effective without actual notice from August 10, 
2015 until October 31, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual 
notice will be used from July 1, 2015 to August 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket 
number USCG-2015-0248. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as 
being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type 
the docket number in the ``SEARCH'' box and click ``SEARCH.'' Click on 
Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may 
also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground 
floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed 
rule, call or email LCDR Jason Boyle, Seventeenth Coast Guard District 
(dpi); telephone 907-463-2821, Jason.t.boyle@uscg.mil. If you have 
questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl 
F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 47853]]

Table of Acronyms

DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

A. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard published an NPRM for this safety zone on May 4, 
2015 (80 FR 25256). Two comments from the public were received during 
the 30 day comment period. No public meeting was requested, and none 
was held.
    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause 
exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register. Due to ongoing drilling 
operations, delaying the implementation of this safety zone is 
impracticable and would increase the possibility of an allision in the 
Chukchi Sea.

B. Basis and Purpose

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone around the 
DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER while anchored or deploying and recovering 
moorings on location in order to drill exploratory wells in several 
prospects located in the Chukchi Sea during the 2015 drilling season.
    The request for the temporary safety zone was made by Shell 
Exploration & Production Company due to safety concerns for both the 
personnel aboard the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER and the environment. 
Shell Exploration & Production Company indicated that it is highly 
likely that any allision or inability to identify, monitor or mitigate 
any risks or threats, including ice-related hazards that might be 
encountered, may result in a catastrophic event. Incursions into the 
safety zone by unapproved vessels could degrade the ability to monitor 
and mitigate such risks. In evaluating this request, the Coast Guard 
explored relevant safety factors and considered several criteria, 
including but not limited to: (1) The level of shipping activity around 
the operation; (2) safety concerns for personnel aboard the vessel; (3) 
concerns for the environment given the sensitivity of the environmental 
and the importance of fishing and hunting to the indigenous population; 
(4) the lack of any established shipping fairways, and fueling and 
supply storage/operations which increase the likelihood that an 
allision would result in a catastrophic event; (5) the recent and 
potential future maritime traffic in the vicinity of the proposed 
areas; (6) the types of vessels navigating in the vicinity of the 
proposed area; (7) the structural configuration of the vessel, and (8) 
the need to allow for lawful demonstrations without endangering the 
safe operation of the vessel. For any group intending to conduct lawful 
demonstrations in the vicinity of the rig, these demonstrations must be 
conducted outside the safety zone.
    Results from a thorough and comprehensive examination of the 
criteria, IMO guidelines, and existing regulations warrant the 
establishment of the temporary safety zone. The regulation 
significantly reduces the threat of allisions that could result in oil 
spills, and other releases. Furthermore, the regulation increases the 
safety of life, property, and the environment in the Chukchi Sea by 
prohibiting entry into the zone unless specifically authorized by the 
Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District, or a designated 
representative. Due to the remote location and the need to protect the 
environment, the Coast Guard may use criminal sanctions to enforce the 
safety zone as appropriate.
    The temporary safety zone will be around the DRILLSHIP NOBLE 
DISCOVERER while anchored or deploying and recovering moorings on 
location in order to drill exploratory wells in various locations in 
the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska during the 2015 
timeframe.
    Shell Exploration & Production Company has proposed and received 
permits for drill sites within the Burger prospects, Chukchi Sea, 
Alaska.
    During the 2015 timeframe, Shell Exploration & Production Company 
has proposed drilling exploration wells at various Chukchi Sea 
prospects depending on favorable ice conditions, weather, sea state, 
and any other pertinent factors. Each of these drill sites will be 
permitted for drilling in 2015 to allow for operational flexibility in 
the event sea ice conditions prevent access to one of the locations. 
The number of actual wells that will be drilled will depend on ice 
conditions and the length of time available for the 2015 drilling 
season. The predicted ``average'' drilling season, constrained by 
prevailing ice conditions and regulatory restrictions, is long enough 
for two to three typical exploration wells to be drilled.
    The actual order of drilling activities will be controlled by an 
interplay between actual ice conditions immediately prior to a rig 
move, ice forecasts, any regulatory restrictions with respect to the 
dates of allowed operating windows, whether the planned drilling 
activity involves only drilling the shallow non-objective section or 
penetrating potential hydrocarbon zones, the availability of permitted 
sites having approved shallow hazards clearance, the anticipated 
duration of each contemplated drilling activity, the results of 
preceding wells and Marine Mammal Monitoring and Mitigation plan 
requirements.
    All planned exploration drilling in the identified lease will be 
conducted with the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER.
    The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER has a ``persons on board'' capacity 
of 124, and it is expected to be at capacity for most of its operating 
period. The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER's personnel will include its 
crew, as well as Shell employees, third party contractors, Alaska 
Native Marine Mammal Observers and possibly Bureau of Safety and 
Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel.
    While conducting exploration drilling operations, the DRILLSHIP 
NOBLE DISCOVERER will be anchored using an anchoring system consisting 
of an 8-point anchored mooring spread attached to the onboard turret 
and could have a maximum anchor radius of 3,600 ft (1,100 m). The 
center point of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER will be positioned 
within the prospect location in the Chukchi Sea.
    The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER will move into the Chukchi Sea on or 
about July 1, 2015 and onto a prospect location when ice allows. 
Drilling will conclude on or before October 31, 2015. The drillship and 
support vessels will depart the Chukchi Sea at the conclusion of the 
2015 drilling season.

C. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Final Rule

    One comment from the public was received during the 30 day comment 
period expressing concern that the safety zone was larger than 
necessary and that it could unnecessary impede vessel movement. The 
comment proposed a smaller safety zone of 50 meters with a ``no wake'' 
restriction extending 250 meters. The Coast Guard considered this 
comment, but has decided not to adopt the commenter's suggestion. 
Considering the size of the ocean, we do not believe a 500-meter safety 
zone presents an unreasonable restriction of movement. Furthermore, 
considering the size and speed of the drillship and associated drilling 
operations, we believe that a 50-meter zone would not ensure the safety 
of boaters in the area. Finally, we note that a ``no-wake zone'' would 
not have any effect in protecting boaters from the

[[Page 47854]]

dangerous conditions caused by drilling operations.
    Additionally, one commenter questioned whether the safety zone 
applied when the vessel is moving. It would apply during that time, for 
the safety of other vessels. The commenter also suggested that the 
safety zone should not extend 500 meters past the mooring. For reasons 
described below, we agree with the commenter's suggestion in this 
regard.
    The Coast Guard made one change to the proposed rule. The original 
proposed rule had called for safety zones at every point where the 
vessel's mooring spread intersected with the ocean's surface. After 
consideration of the comments and additional clarification from Shell 
Exploration & Production Company, the Coast Guard determined that the 
mooring system utilized on this vessel is configured such that its 
lines will not break the ocean's surface beyond the vessel's outer 
edge. Therefore, the Coast Guard deleted reference to such additional 
safety zones and corresponding marking buoys from the final rule.
    The temporary safety zone will encompass the area that extends 500 
meters from the outer edge of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER. This 
safety zone will be in effect both when the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER 
is anchored and when deploying and recovering moorings. No vessel would 
be allowed to enter or remain in this proposed safety zone except the 
following: An attending vessel or a vessel authorized by the Commander, 
Seventeenth Coast Guard District or a designated representative. They 
may be contacted on VHF-FM Channel 13 or 16 or by telephone at 907-463-
2000.

D. Regulatory Analyses

    The Coast Guard developed this proposed rule after considering 
numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we 
summarize our analyses based on 14 of these statutes or executive 
orders.

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) 
of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential 
costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or 
Section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget 
has not reviewed it under that Order.
    This rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the 
location of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER on the Outer Continental 
Shelf and its distance from both land and safety fairways. Vessels 
traversing waters near the proposed safety zone will be able to safely 
travel around the zone without incurring additional costs.

2. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601-612), 
the Coast Guard has considered whether this 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 rule 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. This rule would affect the following entities, some of 
which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels 
intending to transit or anchor in the Burger Prospects of the Chukchi 
Sea.
    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact or a 
substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: This 
rule will enforce a safety zone around a drilling unit facility that is 
in areas of the Chukchi Sea not frequented by vessel traffic and is not 
in close proximity to a safety fairway. Further, vessel traffic can 
pass safely around the safety zone without incurring additional costs.
    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) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what 
degree this rule would economically affect it.

3. 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 rule so that they can better evaluate 
its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule 
affects your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction 
and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for 
compliance, please contact LCDR Jason Boyle, Coast Guard Seventeenth 
District, Office of Prevention; telephone 907-463-2821, 
Jason.t.boyle@uscg.mil. 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.

4. Collection of Information

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

5. 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.

6. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. 
Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that 
your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or 
security of people, places or vessels.

7. 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 $100,000,000.00 (adjusted 
for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule would not 
result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule 
elsewhere in this preamble.

8. Taking of Private Property

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

9. Civil Justice Reform

    This 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.

10. Protection of Children

    The Coast Guard has analyzed this 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

[[Page 47855]]

environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 
disproportionately affect children.

11. Indian Tribal Governments

    This 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.

12. Energy Effects

    The Coast Guard analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use.

13. Technical Standards

    This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not 
consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security 
Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, 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 this action is one of a category of 
actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant 
effect on the human environment. A preliminary environmental analysis 
checklist supporting this determination is available in the docket 
where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information 
that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact 
from this rule. This rule is categorically excluded from further review 
under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant's Instruction.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 147

    Continental shelf, Marine safety, Navigation (water).

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 
33 CFR part 147 as follows:

PART 147--SAFETY ZONES

0
1. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; Department of Homeland 
Security Delegation No. 0170.1.


0
2. Add Sec.  147.T17-0248 to read as follows:


Sec.  147.T17-0248  Safety Zone; DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER, Outer 
Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi Sea, Alaska.

    (a) Description. The DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER will be engaged in 
exploratory drilling operations at various locations in the Chukchi Sea 
from July 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015. The area that extends 500 
meters from the outer edge of the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER is a 
safety zone. Lawful demonstrations may be conducted outside of the 
safety zone.
    (b) Regulation. No vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone 
except the following:
    (1) An attending vessel; or
    (2) A vessel authorized by the Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard 
District, or a designated representative.

    Dated: June 17, 2015.
Daniel B. Abel,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard 
District.
[FR Doc. 2015-19367 Filed 8-7-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P