Anchorage Ground; Approaches to New York, Ambrose, Long Beach, NY, 17090-17096 [2021-06521]

Download as PDF 17090 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 61 / Thursday, April 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules Issued on March 25, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–06550 Filed 3–31–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 96 46 CFR Parts 71, 115, and 176 [Docket No. USCG–2020–0123] RIN 1625–AC65 Safety Management Systems for Domestic Passenger Vessels Coast Guard, DHS. Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment period. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is extending the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking published January 15, 2021, that seeks comments on the potential use of Safety Management Systems to improve safety and reduce marine casualties on board U.S.-flagged passenger vessels. We are extending the comment period an additional 45 days, to June 1, 2021. DATES: The comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking published January 15, 2021, 86 FR 3899, is extended. Comments must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 1, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this document, call or email Lieutenant Kimberly Gates, Vessel and Facility Operating Standards Division (CG–OES–2), U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20593; telephone 202– 372–1455, email kimberly.m.gates@ uscg.mil. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard received a request to extend the comment period for an additional 45 days on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled ‘‘Safety Management Systems for Domestic Passenger Vessels,’’ that was published January 15, 2021 (86 FR 3899). The requester cited ongoing COVID–19 impacts and that vessel owners and operators of the potentially affected population are impacted operationally. In response to this request, we are extending the comment period to June 1, 2021. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Mar 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 The Coast Guard is evaluating the potential use of Safety Management Systems (SMSs) to improve safety and reduce marine casualties on board U.S. flagged passenger vessels. The ANPRM published January 15, 2021, seeks public input and responses to specific questions on the feasibility, applicability, and nature of Safety Management Systems for potential use on U.S.-flagged passenger vessels. The Coast Guard may use this information to develop a proposed rule. On March 1, 2021, we published a correction (86 FR 11913) to one of the questions in the ANPRM. The corrected Question 19 now reads: ‘‘How would the costs and benefits of expanding other existing regulations, as detailed in question 6, differ from the costs and benefits of requiring SMSs for all passenger vessels?’’ We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https:// www.regulations.gov. If you cannot submit your material by using https:// www.regulations.gov, call or email the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. The ANPRM and public comments in response to it are available in our online docket at https://www.regulations.gov, and can be viewed by following that website’s instructions. We review all comments received, but we will only post comments that address the topic of the ANPRM. We may choose not to post off-topic, inappropriate, or duplicate comments that we receive. Additionally, if you visit the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments or additional documents are posted. The Coast Guard will not issue a separate response to the comments received, but will carefully consider each comment and will address them in a proposed rule if one is developed. We accept anonymous comments. Comments we post to https:// www.regulations.gov will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions in response to this document, see the Department of Homeland Security’s eRulemaking System of Records notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020). Dated: March 19, 2021. M.T. Cunningham, Chief, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law. [FR Doc. 2021–06145 Filed 3–31–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 110 [Docket Number USCG–2020–0620] Anchorage Ground; Approaches to New York, Ambrose, Long Beach, NY Coast Guard, DHS. Notification of inquiry; request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: We are requesting public comments regarding the potential establishment of an anchorage ground in an area referred to by mariners as the ‘‘Ambrose anchorage,’’ which is an offshore area that has been used by ships awaiting inshore anchorages or berths. The area is located in the approaches to New York, approximately 3 nautical miles south of Long Beach, New York, and just north of the Nantucket to Ambrose Traffic Lane. The Coast Guard is considering formally establishing an anchorage ground at this location, possibly with regulations governing its use, if doing so will improve navigation safety and enhance safe and efficient flow of vessel traffic and commerce. We are seeking your comments on the benefits and impacts of establishing a regulated anchorage ground, and if so, what types of requirements we should consider for the Coast Guard oversight of the anchorage ground. DATES: Your comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before June 1, 2021. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after midnight Eastern Daylight Time on the last day of the comment period. Although the Coast Guard prefers and highly encourages all comments and related material be submitted directly to the electronic docket, two virtual public meetings will be held via webinar and teleconference to provide an opportunity for oral comments regarding the possible establishment of an anchorage ground, often informally referred to as the ‘‘Ambrose anchorage’’ on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, beginning at 9 a.m. EST, and on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, beginning at 5 p.m. EST. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2020–0620 using the Federal portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01APP1.SGM 01APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 61 / Thursday, April 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules further instructions on submitting comments. The virtual public meeting on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, beginning at 9 a.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference. The virtual public meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, beginning at 5 p.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference. Access information for these virtual public meetings will be posted at https://homeport.uscg.mil/portdirectory/new-york by Friday, April 9, 2021 under the News and Events section. If you have questions about this notification of inquiry, call or email Mr. Craig Lapiejko, First Coast Guard District (dpw), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (617) 223–8351, email craig.d.lapiejko@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register § Section MTS Marine Transportation System U.S.C. United States Code II. Background and Purpose jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS The Coast Guard is considering the establishment of an anchorage ground, informally referred to by mariners as the ‘‘Ambrose anchorage,’’ located in the approaches to New York, 3 nautical miles south of Long Beach, New York, and just north of the Nantucket to Ambrose Traffic Lane. Our authority to establish anchorage grounds is found in 33 U.S.C. 471. Under Title 33 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) § 1.05–1, U.S. Coast Guard District Commanders are delegated the authority to establish anchorage grounds by the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard plays a major role in the management of the nation’s Marine Transportation System (MTS). The MTS is a complex system that includes ports, vessels, lock chambers, intermodal connections, marine terminals, and aids to navigation. The approaches to New York are a part of this system providing safe and predictable access to the critical ports of New York and New VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Mar 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 Jersey. The Coast Guard’s role is to support access to navigable waterways for mariners, facilitate movement of commerce, and support environmental protection, all in a safe manner. Global trends are bringing newer classes of large ships to the ports of New York and New Jersey. A recently completed harbor deepening project increased the Federal project depth to 50 feet in New York Harbor to accommodate the next generation of commercial ships. Ships going to or from the ports of New York and New Jersey anchor in unregulated areas located in the approaches to New York north of the Nantucket to Ambrose Traffic Lane. Vessels may be anchoring in this area for a broad range of purposes including waiting for available space at berths or inshore anchorage grounds, waiting on inspection, taking on stores, transferring of personnel, or other activities. Regulated anchorage grounds are available within the port of New York and New Jersey. Regulations establishing these anchorage grounds and governing their use are set out in 33 CFR 110.155. These anchorage ground regulations were last revised in January 2015 to establish and modify anchorage grounds to support port demands and enhance navigation safety. See Final Rule published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2015 (80 FR 2011). In 2016, the Coast Guard requested comments on its draft report of the Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (ACPARS) (81 FR 13307, March 14, 2016) that analyzed the Atlantic Coast waters seaward of existing port approaches within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, and announced the report as final in 2017 (82 FR 16510, April 5, 2017). This multiyear study began in 2011, included public participation, and identified key alongshore navigation routes customarily followed by ships engaged in commerce between U.S. ports from New York and New Jersey to the Florida Straits. See https://navcen.uscg.gov/ ?pageName=PARSReports. In 2020, the Coast Guard published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) titled Shipping Safety Fairways Along the Atlantic Coast (85 FR 37034, June 19, 2020) seeking comments regarding the possible PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 17091 establishment of a system of shipping safety fairways (‘‘fairways’’) along the Atlantic Coast of the United States identified as navigation safety corridors in the ACPARS. Also in 2020, the Coast Guard published a notice of study announcing the Northern New York Bight Port Access Route Study (NNYBPARS) (85 FR 38907, June 29, 2020) to obtain comments regarding the adequacy of existing vessel routing measures and to determine whether additional vessel routing measures are necessary for port approaches to New York and New Jersey and other port approaches in the First Coast Guard District area of responsibility. During a 60-day comment period, five of the 24 comments submitted discussed or at least mentioned concerns about areas where vessels anchor within the study area. Some of these comments recommended the Coast Guard identify the customary areas that vessels anchor and federally designate them as anchorage grounds. One comment specifically described an area off Long Beach, New York believed to be used for anchoring commercial ships. Within recent years, members of the New York Harbor Safety, Navigation and Operations Committee have raised concerns of how potential wind energy leases or the routing of associated transmission cables might conflict with traditional unregulated anchorage grounds thereby preventing their continued use. Preliminary details describing the location of this contemplated anchorage ground are provided below. The anchorage ground dimensions would be approximately 5 nautical miles by 3 nautical miles and would encompass an area of approximately 15 square nautical miles. The anchorage ground would encompass all waters within the lines connecting the following points using coordinates based on North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). 40 28′ 24.430″ N, 073 39′ 31.644″ W, 40 29′ 19.002″ N, 073 33′ 16.321″ W, 40 31′ 06.599″ N, 073 36′ 30.493″ W, 40 31′ 27.763″ N, 073 41′ 42.667″ W, 40 29′ 14.949″ N, 073 40′ 29.677″ W, 40 29′ 14.896″ N, 073 39′ 31.361″ W, thence to point of origin. E:\FR\FM\01APP1.SGM 01APP1 17092 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 61 / Thursday, April 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Mar 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01APP1.SGM 01APP1 EP01AP21.000</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Illustration showing the location of the considered anchorage ground. Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 61 / Thursday, April 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules 4" 17093 """"'""'""'-~·--~ ·411 '-1 '11) . , . _ . . . ,_ _ _ _ _ _..,. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Mar 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\01APP1.SGM 01APP1 EP01AP21.001</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Illustration showing the location of the considered anchorage ground. 17094 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 61 / Thursday, April 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules ... ------•"" ·1'! .. _ " . - ,. \ -..,--;;,1r t \ . L:.. "\ Danger Area idualda mines Chartl2326 Not to be used for navigation " Illustration showing details near the location of the considered anchorage ground. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS III. Information Requested Public participation will help the Coast Guard decide whether to formally establish the anchorage ground, often informally referred to as the ‘‘Ambrose anchorage,’’ located in the approaches to New York, 3 nautical miles south of Long Beach, New York, and just north of the Nantucket to Ambrose Traffic Lane. The Coast Guard seeks public comments, positive or negative, regarding the benefits and impacts a regulated anchorage ground may have VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Mar 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 on navigational safety, continued growth of the Port of New York and New Jersey, offshore renewable energy and associated economic activity, and other activities in this offshore area. In the event the Coast Guard were to proceed with an anchorage ground in this location, it would follow normal notice and comment rulemaking processes in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. We are also specifically seeking comments on: 1. Any alterations to the specific location, size or boundary lines of how PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 we describe the considered Ambrose anchorage area. 2. Should we establish a Federal anchorage ground, and if so, what regulations should we consider to manage it. This could include but is not limited to regulations governing capacity, size or type of vessel, usage, or duration vessels may remain at anchor. 3. Additional information or concerns regarding the two inactive submarine communication cables that lay within the contemplated anchorage ground and how they would affect the ability to anchor safely. E:\FR\FM\01APP1.SGM 01APP1 EP01AP21.002</GPH> Additional illustrations showing the location of this considered anchorage ground are available in the docket. 17095 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 61 / Thursday, April 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules 14 TO Illustration showing the two submarine cables that lay within the considered anchorage ground. 4. Additional information, concerns, or possible solutions regarding the conflict this considered anchorage ground will have with the Long Island Fairway proposed in the ANPRM titled Shipping Safety Fairways Along the Atlantic Coast (85 FR 37034, June 19, 2020). We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal portal at https://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. In your submission, please include the docket number for this notice of inquiry and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions in response to this VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Mar 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 document, see DHS’s eRulemaking System of Records notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020). Documents mentioned in this notice of inquiry as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at https:// www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website’s instructions. We plan to hold two virtual public meetings to receive oral comments on this notice. Again, as stated earlier, the Coast Guard prefers and highly encourages all comments and related material be submitted directly to the online public docket, but two virtual public meetings will be held via webinar and teleconference to provide an opportunity for oral comments regarding the possible establishment of an anchorage ground, often informally PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 referred to as the ‘‘Ambrose anchorage.’’ If you want to provide a written version of your oral comments made at the virtual public meeting, you may submit them directly to Mr. Craig Lapiejko. These comments will be added to our online public docket. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. Attendance at the virtual public meeting is not required. We will provide a written summary of the oral comments received and will place that summary in the online public docket. The virtual public meeting on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, beginning at 9 a.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference. E:\FR\FM\01APP1.SGM 01APP1 EP01AP21.003</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS IV. Public Participation and Request for Comments EP01AP21.004</GPH> Illustration showing conflict between the considered anchorage ground and the southern end of the proposed Long Island Fairway. 17096 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 61 / Thursday, April 1, 2021 / Proposed Rules The virtual public meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, beginning at 5 p.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference. Access information for these virtual public meetings will be posted at https://homeport.uscg.mil/portdirectory/new-york by Friday, April 9, 2021 under the News and Events section. To view the comments and documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the online public docket, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘read comments’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Keyword’’ box insert ‘‘USCG–2020– 0620’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. V. Future Actions It is possible that this inquiry may conclude that no formal anchorage ground is necessary. It is also possible that this inquiry may conclude that a formal anchorage ground is needed to improve navigation safety and provide for the overall safe and efficient flow of vessel traffic and commerce which will lead to future rulemakings. If so, any substantive rulemaking effort associated with this project will follow Coast Guard public notice and comment rulemaking procedures to allow for public participation in the process and would require us by law, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to undertake an assessment of the environmental effects of our proposed actions. Dated: March 22, 2021. T.G. Allan Jr., Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 2021–06521 Filed 3–31–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG–2019–0911] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS RIN 1625–AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Mobile River, Hurricane, AL Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating requirements for the CSX Transportation Railroad SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Mar 31, 2021 Jkt 253001 drawbridge across the Mobile River, mile 13.3 near Hurricane, Mobile County, Alabama. This proposed rule allows the bridge owner to operate the bridge remotely from the CSX remote control center in Mobile, AL. DATES: Comments and relate material must reach the Coast Guard on or before September 28, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2019–0911 using Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Doug Blakemore. Eighth Coast Guard District Bridge Administration Branch Chief; telephone (504) 671–2128, email Douglas.A.Blakemore@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations CSX CSX Transportation DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register OMB Office of Management and Budget NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Advance, Supplemental) § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis The CSX Transportation Railroad drawbridge has a vertical clearance of 5.5’ in the closed to navigation position and operates in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5. The CSX Railroad Company, the owner of the bridge requested to change operation of the bridge from a tended drawbridge to a remotely operated drawbridge. This proposed rule will not change the operation schedule of the bridge. A copy of the bridge owners request can be found at https:// www.regulations.gov in the Docket USCG–2019–0911. The waterway users include recreational vessels and commercial tows; which combined requires approximately six openings a day. CSX has completed installation of a remote operation system at the bridge and a remote control center, located in Mobile, AL. At the bridge, CSX has installed infrared cameras, closed circuit cameras and TVs, communication systems and information technology systems on the bridge that allow an operator from Mobile to monitor and control the bridge. They have also developed an PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 operations manual that remote operators use to control each bridge. In the future, CSX anticipates to remotely operate an additional ten drawbridges from the CSX remote control center. As a general rule the Coast Guard will consider allowing one (1) remote operator to control up to three (3) separate bridges. This is dependent on the type of vessels that use the waterways, vessel traffic volume and environmental or geographical conditions of each bridge and waterway On January 27, 2020 the Coast Guard published a temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments (TD) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Mobile River, Hurricane, AL in the Federal Register (85 FR 4587). This temporary deviation was issued to test the remote operations system for 60 days. The objective was to also to collect and analyze information on how the drawbridge operated from a remote location and the potential effect on vessel traffic in the area. This deviation ended March 27, 2020. Given the duration of time from the end of the test period and the development of this NPRM, the Coast Guard is authorizing second deviation to re-test the remote operations of the bridge and its effect on waterway mobility in that area. However, this deviation will run for 180 days and simultaneously with this NPRM. Both under the same docket number. Both documents can be found at https:// www.regulations.gov and comments can be made to either document. During the 60 day test period, the Coast Guard did not identify any issues with the remote operation of the bridge or any negative impact to a vessels reasonable ability to use this waterway. The Coast Guard received four comments from the public during the test period. These comments can be viewed in the Docket and have been addressed throughout this NPRM or below. These comments have been summarized and evaluated by the Coast Guard. One of the comments received expressed concern that remote operation systems have not been proven. Under 33 CFR 117.42 the Coast Guard has authorized a number of drawbridge to be remotely operated with successful results. Safety is a priority and the bridge must operate as if a drawtender were present at the bridge. The same commenter had safety concerns that without drawtenders on site, maintenance, repairs, inspections and vessel assistance through the bridge would not be conducted. In accordance with CSX procedures, drawtenders are not allowed to perform these actions. E:\FR\FM\01APP1.SGM 01APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 61 (Thursday, April 1, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17090-17096]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06521]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 110

[Docket Number USCG-2020-0620]


Anchorage Ground; Approaches to New York, Ambrose, Long Beach, NY

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notification of inquiry; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We are requesting public comments regarding the potential 
establishment of an anchorage ground in an area referred to by mariners 
as the ``Ambrose anchorage,'' which is an offshore area that has been 
used by ships awaiting inshore anchorages or berths. The area is 
located in the approaches to New York, approximately 3 nautical miles 
south of Long Beach, New York, and just north of the Nantucket to 
Ambrose Traffic Lane. The Coast Guard is considering formally 
establishing an anchorage ground at this location, possibly with 
regulations governing its use, if doing so will improve navigation 
safety and enhance safe and efficient flow of vessel traffic and 
commerce. We are seeking your comments on the benefits and impacts of 
establishing a regulated anchorage ground, and if so, what types of 
requirements we should consider for the Coast Guard oversight of the 
anchorage ground.

DATES: Your comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on 
or before June 1, 2021. Commenters should be aware that the electronic 
Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after 
midnight Eastern Daylight Time on the last day of the comment period. 
Although the Coast Guard prefers and highly encourages all comments and 
related material be submitted directly to the electronic docket, two 
virtual public meetings will be held via webinar and teleconference to 
provide an opportunity for oral comments regarding the possible 
establishment of an anchorage ground, often informally referred to as 
the ``Ambrose anchorage'' on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, beginning at 9 
a.m. EST, and on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, beginning at 5 p.m. EST.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2020-0620 using the Federal portal at https://www.regulations.gov. See 
the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for

[[Page 17091]]

further instructions on submitting comments.
    The virtual public meeting on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, beginning 
at 9 a.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference.
    The virtual public meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, beginning at 
5 p.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference.
    Access information for these virtual public meetings will be posted 
at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/new-york by Friday, April 
9, 2021 under the News and Events section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this 
notification of inquiry, call or email Mr. Craig Lapiejko, First Coast 
Guard District (dpw), U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (617) 223-8351, email 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
Sec.  Section
MTS Marine Transportation System
U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background and Purpose

    The Coast Guard is considering the establishment of an anchorage 
ground, informally referred to by mariners as the ``Ambrose 
anchorage,'' located in the approaches to New York, 3 nautical miles 
south of Long Beach, New York, and just north of the Nantucket to 
Ambrose Traffic Lane. Our authority to establish anchorage grounds is 
found in 33 U.S.C. 471. Under Title 33 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 
Sec.  1.05-1, U.S. Coast Guard District Commanders are delegated the 
authority to establish anchorage grounds by the Commandant of the U.S. 
Coast Guard.
    The Coast Guard plays a major role in the management of the 
nation's Marine Transportation System (MTS). The MTS is a complex 
system that includes ports, vessels, lock chambers, intermodal 
connections, marine terminals, and aids to navigation. The approaches 
to New York are a part of this system providing safe and predictable 
access to the critical ports of New York and New Jersey. The Coast 
Guard's role is to support access to navigable waterways for mariners, 
facilitate movement of commerce, and support environmental protection, 
all in a safe manner.
    Global trends are bringing newer classes of large ships to the 
ports of New York and New Jersey. A recently completed harbor deepening 
project increased the Federal project depth to 50 feet in New York 
Harbor to accommodate the next generation of commercial ships. Ships 
going to or from the ports of New York and New Jersey anchor in 
unregulated areas located in the approaches to New York north of the 
Nantucket to Ambrose Traffic Lane. Vessels may be anchoring in this 
area for a broad range of purposes including waiting for available 
space at berths or inshore anchorage grounds, waiting on inspection, 
taking on stores, transferring of personnel, or other activities. 
Regulated anchorage grounds are available within the port of New York 
and New Jersey. Regulations establishing these anchorage grounds and 
governing their use are set out in 33 CFR 110.155. These anchorage 
ground regulations were last revised in January 2015 to establish and 
modify anchorage grounds to support port demands and enhance navigation 
safety. See Final Rule published in the Federal Register on January 15, 
2015 (80 FR 2011).
    In 2016, the Coast Guard requested comments on its draft report of 
the Atlantic Coast Port Access Route Study (ACPARS) (81 FR 13307, March 
14, 2016) that analyzed the Atlantic Coast waters seaward of existing 
port approaches within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, and announced 
the report as final in 2017 (82 FR 16510, April 5, 2017). This 
multiyear study began in 2011, included public participation, and 
identified key alongshore navigation routes customarily followed by 
ships engaged in commerce between U.S. ports from New York and New 
Jersey to the Florida Straits. See https://navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=PARSReports.
    In 2020, the Coast Guard published an advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking (ANPRM) titled Shipping Safety Fairways Along the Atlantic 
Coast (85 FR 37034, June 19, 2020) seeking comments regarding the 
possible establishment of a system of shipping safety fairways 
(``fairways'') along the Atlantic Coast of the United States identified 
as navigation safety corridors in the ACPARS.
    Also in 2020, the Coast Guard published a notice of study 
announcing the Northern New York Bight Port Access Route Study 
(NNYBPARS) (85 FR 38907, June 29, 2020) to obtain comments regarding 
the adequacy of existing vessel routing measures and to determine 
whether additional vessel routing measures are necessary for port 
approaches to New York and New Jersey and other port approaches in the 
First Coast Guard District area of responsibility. During a 60-day 
comment period, five of the 24 comments submitted discussed or at least 
mentioned concerns about areas where vessels anchor within the study 
area. Some of these comments recommended the Coast Guard identify the 
customary areas that vessels anchor and federally designate them as 
anchorage grounds. One comment specifically described an area off Long 
Beach, New York believed to be used for anchoring commercial ships.
    Within recent years, members of the New York Harbor Safety, 
Navigation and Operations Committee have raised concerns of how 
potential wind energy leases or the routing of associated transmission 
cables might conflict with traditional unregulated anchorage grounds 
thereby preventing their continued use.
    Preliminary details describing the location of this contemplated 
anchorage ground are provided below. The anchorage ground dimensions 
would be approximately 5 nautical miles by 3 nautical miles and would 
encompass an area of approximately 15 square nautical miles. The 
anchorage ground would encompass all waters within the lines connecting 
the following points using coordinates based on North American Datum of 
1983 (NAD83).
    40 28' 24.430'' N, 073 39' 31.644'' W,
    40 29' 19.002'' N, 073 33' 16.321'' W,
    40 31' 06.599'' N, 073 36' 30.493'' W,
    40 31' 27.763'' N, 073 41' 42.667'' W,
    40 29' 14.949'' N, 073 40' 29.677'' W,
    40 29' 14.896'' N, 073 39' 31.361'' W, thence to point of origin.

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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AP21.002

    Additional illustrations showing the location of this considered 
anchorage ground are available in the docket.

III. Information Requested

    Public participation will help the Coast Guard decide whether to 
formally establish the anchorage ground, often informally referred to 
as the ``Ambrose anchorage,'' located in the approaches to New York, 3 
nautical miles south of Long Beach, New York, and just north of the 
Nantucket to Ambrose Traffic Lane. The Coast Guard seeks public 
comments, positive or negative, regarding the benefits and impacts a 
regulated anchorage ground may have on navigational safety, continued 
growth of the Port of New York and New Jersey, offshore renewable 
energy and associated economic activity, and other activities in this 
offshore area. In the event the Coast Guard were to proceed with an 
anchorage ground in this location, it would follow normal notice and 
comment rulemaking processes in accordance with the Administrative 
Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.
    We are also specifically seeking comments on:
    1. Any alterations to the specific location, size or boundary lines 
of how we describe the considered Ambrose anchorage area.
    2. Should we establish a Federal anchorage ground, and if so, what 
regulations should we consider to manage it. This could include but is 
not limited to regulations governing capacity, size or type of vessel, 
usage, or duration vessels may remain at anchor.
    3. Additional information or concerns regarding the two inactive 
submarine communication cables that lay within the contemplated 
anchorage ground and how they would affect the ability to anchor 
safely.

[[Page 17095]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AP21.003

    4. Additional information, concerns, or possible solutions 
regarding the conflict this considered anchorage ground will have with 
the Long Island Fairway proposed in the ANPRM titled Shipping Safety 
Fairways Along the Atlantic Coast (85 FR 37034, June 19, 2020).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AP21.004

IV. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal portal at 
https://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using 
https://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate 
instructions. In your submission, please include the docket number for 
this notice of inquiry and provide a reason for each suggestion or 
recommendation.
    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted 
without change to https://www.regulations.gov and will include any 
personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and 
submissions in response to this document, see DHS's eRulemaking System 
of Records notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020).
    Documents mentioned in this notice of inquiry as being available in 
the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at 
https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that 
website's instructions.
    We plan to hold two virtual public meetings to receive oral 
comments on this notice. Again, as stated earlier, the Coast Guard 
prefers and highly encourages all comments and related material be 
submitted directly to the online public docket, but two virtual public 
meetings will be held via webinar and teleconference to provide an 
opportunity for oral comments regarding the possible establishment of 
an anchorage ground, often informally referred to as the ``Ambrose 
anchorage.'' If you want to provide a written version of your oral 
comments made at the virtual public meeting, you may submit them 
directly to Mr. Craig Lapiejko. These comments will be added to our 
online public docket. We recommend that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of 
your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding 
your submission. Attendance at the virtual public meeting is not 
required. We will provide a written summary of the oral comments 
received and will place that summary in the online public docket.
    The virtual public meeting on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, beginning 
at 9 a.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference.

[[Page 17096]]

    The virtual public meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, beginning at 
5 p.m. EST, will be held via webinar and teleconference.
    Access information for these virtual public meetings will be posted 
at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/new-york by Friday, April 
9, 2021 under the News and Events section.
    To view the comments and documents mentioned in this preamble as 
being available in the online public docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ``read comments'' box, which will 
then become highlighted in blue. In the ``Keyword'' box insert ``USCG-
2020-0620'' and click ``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in 
the ``Actions'' column.

V. Future Actions

    It is possible that this inquiry may conclude that no formal 
anchorage ground is necessary. It is also possible that this inquiry 
may conclude that a formal anchorage ground is needed to improve 
navigation safety and provide for the overall safe and efficient flow 
of vessel traffic and commerce which will lead to future rulemakings. 
If so, any substantive rulemaking effort associated with this project 
will follow Coast Guard public notice and comment rulemaking procedures 
to allow for public participation in the process and would require us 
by law, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to undertake an 
assessment of the environmental effects of our proposed actions.

    Dated: March 22, 2021.
T.G. Allan Jr.,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2021-06521 Filed 3-31-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P