Thursday, August 23, 2012

CG Establishes Maritime Security Zones for RNC

Today the Coast Guard published a temporary final rule in the Federal Register (77 FR 50926-50929) concerning security zones for vessels carrying certain dangerous cargo. This rule is being issued as part of the DHS security support for the Republican National Convention taking place in Tampa, FL from August 25, 2012, through August 31, 2012.

While the term ‘certain dangerous cargo’ (CDC) may apply to a variety of extremely hazardous chemicals on vessels, the rule makes it clear that it specifically applies to only to vessels carrying “carrying anhydrous ammonia, liquefied propane gas, and ammonium nitrate” {77 FR 50927}. These are common bulk chemicals that transit Tampa Bay. Such CDC vessels will be escorted by Coast Guard vessels during their transit of the area.

Instead of requiring such CDC vessels to stay away from the Port of Tampa Bay during the Convention, the rule establishes a moving security zone around such vessels as they move through the Port area. The discussion in the rule notes that:

“Security measures have been limited to the minimum necessary to mitigate risks associated with the identified threats.” {77 FR 50927}

Because of the short notice period, there has not been a public comment period provided for this rule. Anyone with questions about the rule should contact Marine Science Technician First Class Nolan L. Ammons;

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