Security Zones; Charleston Harbor, Cooper River, SC


The Coast Guard is maintaining temporary fixed security zones for the waters under the Highway 17 bridges over Charleston Harbor and the Don Holt I-526 Bridge over the Cooper River for an additional 6 months. These security zones are needed for national security reasons to protect the public and ports from potential subversive acts. Vessels are prohibited from anchoring, mooring, or loitering within these zones, unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port, Charleston, South Carolina or his designated representative.

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Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of [COTP Charleston 02-065], will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at Marine Safety Office Charleston, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For further information contact:

LT Erin Healey, Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Charleston, at (843) 747-7411.

Supplementary information:

Regulatory Information

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). Publishing a NPRM and delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to national security since immediate action is necessary to protect the public, ports and waterways of the United States.

For the same reasons, 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.

Background and Purpose

Based on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, there is an increased risk that subversive terrorist activity could be launched by vessels or persons in close proximity to the Port of Charleston, S.C., against bridges within the security zones established by this rule. Following these attacks by well-trained and clandestine terrorists, national security and intelligence officials have warned that future terrorists attacks are likely. If a bridge were damaged or destroyed, the Port of Charleston would be isolated from access to the sea, crippling the local economy and negatively impacting national security. These temporary security zones are necessary to protect the safety of life and property on the navigable waters, prevent potential terrorist threats aimed at the bridges crossing the main shipping channels in the Port of Charleston, S.C. and to ensure the continued unrestricted access to the sea from the Port.

On October 18, 2001, the Coast Guard issued a temporary final rule (Docket Number COTP Charleston 01-012, 67 FR 9194, 9195, February 28, 2002) creating temporary security zones around these bridges. That rule expired on January 15, 2002. On February 28, 2002 the Coast Guard published another temporary final rule in the Federal Register continuing these security zones until June 15, 2002 (67 FR 9201). This temporary final rule we are publishing today will maintain security zones in these same areas until December 16, 2002.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that order. It is not significant under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040; February 26, 1979).

We expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal so that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary. The limited geographic area impacted by the security zones will not restrict the movement or routine operation of commercial or recreational vessels through the Port of Charleston. Also, an individual may request a waiver of these regulations from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Charleston.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have consideredwhether this rule would have a significant economic effect 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 will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the limited geographic area encompassed by the security zones will not restrict the movement or routine operation of commercial or recreational vessels through the Port of Charleston. Also, an individual may request a waiver of these regulations from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Charleston.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. If the rule will affect your small business and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Small businesses may also send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).

Collection of Information

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


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

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

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

Civil Justice Reform

This 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.

Protection of Children

We have 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 does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationships between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Energy Effects

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


We considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that, under Figure 2-1, paragraph 34(g) of Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of subjects in 33 cfr part 165

Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reports and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard is amending 33 CFR part 165, as follows:

Part 165—regulated navigation areas and limited access areas

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


33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191, 33 CFR 1.05-1(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6 and 160.5; 49 CFR 1.46.

2. A new temporary § 165.T07-065 is added to read as follows: § 165.T07-065

(a)Regulated areas.(1) A temporary fixed security zone is established for the waters around the Highway 17 bridges, to encompass all waters of the Cooper River within a line connecting the following points: 32°48.23′ N, 079°55.3′ W; 32°48.1′ N, 079°54.35′ W; 32°48.34′ N, 079 055.25′ W; 32°48.2°N, 079°54.35′ W.

(2) Another temporary fixed security zone is established for the waters around the Interstate 526 Bridge spans (Don Holt Bridge) in Charleston Harbor and on the Cooper River and will encompass all waters within a line connecting the following points: 32°53.49′ N, 079°58.05′ W; 32°53.42′ N, 079°57.48′ W; 32°53.53′ N, 079°58.05′ W; 32°53.47′ N, 079°57.47′ W.

(b)Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.33 of this part, vessels are allowed to transit through these zones but are prohibited from mooring, anchoring, or loitering within these zones unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port.

(c)Authority. In addition to 33 U.S.C. 1321 and 49 CFR 1.46, the authority for this section includes 33 U.S.C. 1226.

(d)Effective dates. This section is effective from 12:01 a.m. on June 16,2002 until 11:59 p.m. on December 16, 2002.

Dated: June 12, 2002. K.B. Janssen,

Lieutenant Commander, Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port.

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