Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/264352
www.uscg.mil/proceedings 16 Proceedings Winter 2013–2014 may "promulgate and enforce reasonable regulations with respect to … the promotion of safety of life and property on the artifcial islands, installations, and other devices referred to in subsection (a) of this section or on the waters adjacent thereto … ." Subsection (a) provides jurisdiction over "all installations or other devices per- manently or temporarily attached to the seabed, which may be erected thereon for the purpose of exploring for, developing, or producing resources there from … ." Via 33 C.F.R. 147.5, the secretary delegates the authority to establish safety zones under OSCLA to Coast Guard district commanders. Furthermore, the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Manual guides U.S. Coast Guard policy to exercise this authority. It is worth noting that establishing safety zones does not limit or restrict the Coast Guard's ability to engage in law enforcement actions, address threats outside the safety zones, take action in self-defense, protect others, or engage in other measures as circumstances warrant. Additionally, a safety zone under OCSLA should not be confused with a safety zone established under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) , 33 U.S.C. s1221 et seq. As noted under 33 U.S.C and 33 CFR, PWSA safety zones are enacted for safety and environmental protec- tion. While these zones can be fxed or moving, they cannot be established beyond 12 nautical miles. Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act safety zones are intended to protect life and property on facilities fxed upon the outer continental shelf. And, in accordance with U.S. and international convention, OCSLA zones may not inter- fere with established shipping lanes, subject to certain restrictions. In the Arctic region, what was once perennially covered in ice and snow is now blue water for most of the year. Because of this drastic climate change, the region has seen a strong uptick in maritime traffc from commercial and scientifc research vessels, cruise ships, and Arctic adventure seekers. Additionally, this "last frontier" con- tains its fair share of untapped, high-demand natural resources. Whether it is due to oil on the outer continental shelf (OCS) or gold in Nome, Alaska, commercial interests are drawn to the Arctic. For example, several oil companies have made plans to drill on the U.S. outer continental shelf off the Alaskan coast. The U.S. Coast Guard, work- ing in conjunction with other federal agencies, has safety and security oversight for these types of activities. One of the issues addressed in the planning process for these drilling operations was the scope of Coast Guard authority to ensure safe drill rig operation. The Coast Guard's authority is greatest within the territorial sea (12 nautical miles from the shore), and less in the con- tiguous zone (24 nautical miles) and beyond. Congress passed the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) in 1953, which provides for U.S. jurisdiction over the sub- merged lands of the outer continental shelf and, consis- tent with international law, authorizes the Department of Interior secretary to lease such submerged lands for purposes such as extracting natural resources. OCSLA Safety Zones The U.S. exercises its authority to establish safety zones around OCS facilities via the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. For example, according to 43 U.S.C. §1333(d) (1), the Department of Homeland Security secretary A New Frontier in the Last Frontier Safety zones on the Arctic outer continental shelf. by CDR WILLIAM DWYER Staff Judge Advocate U.S. Coast Guard District 17 O C S B a c kg r o u n d a n d i t s Pl a ye r s continued on page 18 Winter �2013_45.indd 16 2/10/14 9:31 AM