USCG Releases NPRM for Port Chicago Zone

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
The Coast Guard proposes to establish permanent security zones on the navigable waters of the Des Plaines River, the Kankakee River, the Rock River, and Lake Michigan in the Captain of the Port Zone Chicago. These security zones are necessary to protect the nuclear power plants, water intake cribs, and Navy Pier from possible sabotage or other subversive acts, accidents, or possible acts of terrorism. These zones are intended to restrict vessel traffic from portions of the Des Plaines River, Rock River, and Lake Michigan. Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before June 21, 2002. The proposition to establish 10 permanent security zones for the following facilities: Jardine Water Filtration Plant; Navy Pier; Dresden Nuclear Power Plant Water Intake; Donald C. Cook Nuclear Power Plant; Palisades Nuclear Power Plant; Byron Nuclear Power Plant; Zion Nuclear Power Plant; 68th Street Water Intake Crib; Dever Water Intake Crib; and 79th Street Water Filtration Plant.

These proposed security zones are necessary to protect the public, facilities, and the surrounding area from possible sabotage or other subversive acts. All persons other than those approved by the Captain of the Port Chicago, or his authorized representative, are prohibited from entering or moving within the zones with those exceptions described below. The Captain of the Port Chicago may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. The Captain of the Port Chicago's on-scene representative will be the patrol commander. In addition to publication in the Federal Register, the public will be made aware of the existence of these security zones, their exact locations, and the restrictions involved via Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

Following the catastrophic nature and extent of damage realized from the aircraft flown into the World Trade Center towers, this rulemaking is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States from future strikes against public and governmental targets. The security zones protecting the greater Chicago area water intake systems (Jardine and 79th Street water filtration plants, and the Dever and 68th Street water intake cribs) are necessary to protect the drinking water supply for Chicago and its suburbs. This system is the sole source of drinking water for more than 5 million people. The security zones protecting the nuclear power plants are necessary to safeguard the supply of electricity along Lake Michigan and to protect the public from possible exposure to the radioactive materials that could be released into the environment as a result of a terrorist attack on those facilities.

On December 17, 2001, the Coast Guard issued a temporary rule establishing a security zone around the Navy Pier (66 FR 66749, December 27, 2001). In addition, on March 25, 2002,we issued a temporary rule establishing nine security zones in or near Lake Michigan (67 FR 19676, April 23, 2002).

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