Published April 10, 2013
Expiration date: 4/23/2013


SUBJECT: Designation of a temporary Danger Zone around Wallops Flight Center NASA in Accomack, Virginia for NASA Orbital’s resupply to station launch.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This regulation will be effective April 17, 2013 through April 22, 2013.

EFFECTIVE TIME: From 1600 Local until 2030 Local.

This regulation, promulgated by the Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District prohibits certain activities from being conducted within the Danger Zone as defined below.


Pursuant to the authority granted in 33 C.F.R. 209.200, 334.3(c), and 33 U.S.C. 1, the Norfolk District has established a Danger Zone in waters of the United States adjacent to the NASA Flight Center as follows:
Accomack, Virginia, § 334.130 Atlantic Ocean off Wallops Island and Chincoteague Inlet, Va.; danger zone.

(a) The Area.  The Danger Zone begins at latitude 37° 52' 60" N., longitude 75° 29' 48" W.; thence to latitude 37° 53' 03" N., longitude 74° 50' 52" W.; thence to latitude 37° 38' 28" N., longitude 74° 51' 48" W.; thence to latitude 37° 21' 60" N., longitude 75° 09' 35" W.; thence to latitude 37° 19' 11" N., longitude 75° 30' 00" W.; thence to latitude 37° 47' 57" N., longitude 75° 32' 19" W.; and thence to latitude 37° 52' 60" N., longitude 75° 29' 48" W.

(b) The Regulations.  Prior to launch, a warning signal will be displayed from the launch facility. During this time all persons and vessels in the Danger Zone shall promptly leave the zone by the shortest possible route and shall remain outside the zone until allowed by a patrol boat to enter or the danger signals have been discontinued. All outbound traffic from the neighboring waterways of Chincoteague Inlet, Assawoman Inlet, Gargathy Inlet, and Metompkin Inlet/Bay will be restricted from entering the Danger Zone during the warning period.

(1) Persons and vessels shall only be prohibited from entering the area when launch operations are being conducted.

(2) In advance of scheduled launch operations which, in the opinion of the enforcing agency, may be dangerous to persons and watercraft, appropriate warnings will be issued to navigation interests through official government and civilian channels or in such other manner as the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, may direct. Such warnings will specify the location, time, and duration of operations, and give such other pertinent information as may be required in the interests of safety. Announcement of area of closure will appear in the weekly “Notice to Mariners."

(3) The intent to conduct rocket-launching operations involving the area shall also be indicated by visual signals consisting of a large orange-colored, ``blimp-shaped'' balloon by day and a signal rotating alternately red and white beacon by night. The balloon shall be flown at latitude 37°50´38" N, longitude 75°28´47" W and the beacon shall be displayed about 200 feet above mean high water at latitude 37°50´16" N, longitude 75°29´07" W. The appropriate signals shall be displayed 30 minutes prior to rocket-launching time and shall remain displayed until danger no longer exists.

(4) In addition to visual signals and prior to conducting launch operations, the area will be patrolled by aircraft or surface vessels and monitored by radars and cameras to ensure no persons or watercraft are within the danger zone or designated area of interest within the danger zone. Patrol aircraft and surface vessels are equipped with marine band radios and may attempt to hail watercraft and request that they leave the designated area and remain clear of the area at a safe distance until launch operations are complete, and launch will not occur until the designated area is clear. Patrol aircraft may also employ the method of warning known as “buzzing” which consists of low flight by the airplane and repeated opening and closing of the throttle.  Surveillance vessels may also come close to watercraft and employ flashing light to establish communications to indicate that the watercraft is entering the designated hazard area.

(5) Any watercraft being so warned, shall immediately leave designated area, until the conclusion of launch operations, and shall remain at such distance that it will be safe from falling debris.

(6) Nothing in this regulation shall be intended to prevent commercial fishing or the lawful use of approved waterfowl hunting blinds along the shorelines of the Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Virginia, provided that all necessary licenses and permits have been obtained from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.  Commercial fishermen and waterfowl hunters must observe all warnings and range clearances during hazardous range operations.

(c) Enforcement.  The regulations in this section shall be enforced by the Director, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility Wallops Island, Va., or such agencies as he or she may designate.

(d) Effective Date.  This order is effective April 17, 2013.

(e) Duration.  The proposed order shall remain in effect until April 22, 2013.

(f) Penalty.  Every person and every corporation which shall violate such regulations shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof in any district court of the United States within whose territorial jurisdiction such offense may have been committed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, in the discretion of the court.

(g) Mariner Information. During Launch Window Times: Mariners may contact Wallops Plot on Marine Band VHF Radio Channels 12 or 22.  Outside Launch Window Times: NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Office of the Test Director, 757-824-1482.

For the latest information regarding the Danger Zone or for permission to enter the area contact Nancy Hankins, Norfolk District Corps of Engineers Regulatory Branch at 757-201-6048 or by email at nancy.d.hankins@usace.army.mil or check the website at: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Media/PublicNotices.aspx


Lynette R. Rhodes
Chief, Southern Virginia
Regulatory Section