U.S. Coast Guard Seeks Expanded 'Safety Zone' In Guam Haror

Fishing community to review proposal for possible impacts on activities

By Haidee V Eugenio

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 16, 2017) – Citing the need to further ensure public and maritime safety, the U.S. Coast Guard proposes a 500-yard permanent safety zone at Naval Wharf Kilo in Apra Outer Harbor.

Manny Duenas, president of the 120-member Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative Association, said Monday morning they will review the Coast Guard’s new proposal and see whether it will impact local fishing activities.

“They keep on changing and expanding safety zones, and they seem to chase us out. We will take a look at their latest proposal and submit our comments,” Duenas told Pacific Daily News.

The Coast Guard says its proposal will ensure the safety of people and vessels in the navigable waters of Apra Outer Harbor within 500 to 1,400 yards radius of Naval Wharf Kilo before, during and after wharf operations.

The proposal was published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register. The Coast Guard, which is under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is seeking comments to this proposal on or before Feb. 21.

The Coast Guard says requests for public meetings must also be received on or before Jan. 30.

Under the proposal, the Coast Guard seeks to revise the existing safety zones currently in effect at Naval Wharf Kilo by adding a 500-yard permanent safety zone, referred to as Safety Zone D.

The Coast Guard says this will provide a buffer between explosives regularly handled on Naval Wharf Kilo, and the general public and maritime operators.

The addition of this safety zone would also reduce the frequency of enforcement of intermittent Safety Zones A and B, with arcs of 1,000 and 1,400 yards radius, respectively, the Coast Guard says.

The proposal eliminates from the regulation the requirement to post a sign when Safety Zones A or B are being enforced, the Coast Guard says. It adds that during such enforcement periods, notification will occur via a slight modification of the displayed visual indicators already codified in the existing regulations, as well as via a broadcast notice to mariners.

“This rulemaking will better meet the needs of the community and reduce the frequency that restrictions must be imposed through the addition of a less restrictive permanent safety zone, thereby enhancing the safe and efficient use of Apra Outer Harbor Channel in the vicinity of Naval Wharf Kilo,” the Coast Guard says in its proposal.

Comments may be submitted by docket number USCG–2016–1019 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov.

Questions about the proposed rulemaking, may also be addressed to Chief Kristina Gauthier, Sector Guam Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard at (671) 255-4866 or WWMGuam@uscg.mil.

Safety Zone B was established around the newly constructed Naval Wharf Kilo in 1990.

On Feb. 10, 2015, the Coast Guard amended the Apra Harbor safety zone regulation to remove the 680-yard permanent safety zone around Naval Wharf Kilo and add two intermittent safety zones, Safety Zones A and B.

“Over the past 21 plus months, the Coast Guard has evaluated the effect of these changes and their impact on the waters in and around Naval Wharf Kilo. Based on this evaluation, the Coast Guard has determined that an additional amendment to 33 CFR 165.1401 providing a 500-yard permanent safety zone around Naval Wharf Kilo is necessary to enhance the safety of the waterway and reduce adverse impacts to the maritime community and general public,” the Coast Guard says.

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2017 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

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