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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Cheesequake Creek, NJ.

Action

Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking.

Summary

The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operating regulations governing the operation of the S35 Bridge, mile 0.0, across Cheesequake Creek at Morgan, South Amboy, New Jersey. This proposed rule would allow the bridge to open on the hour only from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 1 through October 30. In addition, this proposed rule would also allow the bridge owner to require a 4-hour advance notice for openings from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., all year, and all day from November 1 through April 30. This rule is expected to relieve the bridge owner of the burden of crewing the bridge at all times while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation.

Unified Agenda

Drawbridge Regulations

    • Next Action Undetermined
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before February 15, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may mail comments and related material to Commander (obr), First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, One South Street, Battery Park Building, New York, New York 10004, or deliver them to the same address between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (212) 668-7165. The First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Joe Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, (212) 668-7069.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Request for Comments Back to Top

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments or related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-04-126), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like to know if they reached us, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them.

Public Meeting Back to Top

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose Back to Top

The S35 Bridge has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at mean high water and 30 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing drawbridge operation regulations listed at 33 CFR 117.709(a), require the bridge to open on signal; except that, from May 15 through October 15 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour. From December 1 through March 31 from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., the draw need not be opened for the passage of vessels.

Cheesequake Creek is navigated predominately by small recreational vessels between April and November only. The bridge seldom opens during the winter months December through March.

The bridge owner, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), requested that the drawbridge operation regulations for the S35 Bridge be changed to allow the bridge to open only on the hour 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., from May 1 through October 31. The hourly openings are currently in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 15 through October 15.

In addition, this proposal would also allow the bridge owner to require a 4-hour advance notice for bridge openings from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., all year round, and all day from November 1 through April 30.

Discussion of Proposal Back to Top

This proposed rule would amend 33 CFR 117.709 by revising paragraph (a) extending the hourly bridge opening time period by 1 hour each day from May 1 through October 31. In addition, this proposed rule would allow the bridge owner to require a 4-hour advance notice for bridge openings from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., all year round and all day from November 1 through April 30.

Regulatory Evaluation Back to Top

This proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Homeland Security.

We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation, under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS, is unnecessary.

This conclusion is based on the fact that the bridge will continue to open for vessel traffic during the time periods vessel traffic has historically required the bridge to open.

Small Entities Back to Top

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

The Coast Guard certifies under section 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This conclusion is based on the fact that the bridge will continue to open for vessel traffic during the time periods vessel traffic has historically required the bridge to open.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Collection of Information Back to Top

This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Federalism Back to Top

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Back to Top

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property Back to Top

This proposed rule would not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform Back to Top

This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Protection of Children Back to Top

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments Back to Top

This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Energy Effects Back to Top

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. It has not been designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Environment Back to Top

We have analyzed this proposed rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, this rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, from further environment documentation because it has been determined that the promulgation of operating regulations for drawbridges are categorically excluded.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117 Back to Top

Regulations Back to Top

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

begin regulatory text

PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Back to Top

1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

33 U.S.C. 499; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); section 117.255 also issued under the authority of 102, 106 Stat. 5039.

2. Section 117.709 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:

§ 117.709 Cheesequake Creek.

(a) The draw of the S35 Bridge, at mile 0.0, at Morgan, South Amboy, New Jersey, shall operate as follows:

(1) From May 1 through October 31 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour. From 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. the Draw shall open on signal. From 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. the draw shall open after at least a 4-hour advance notice is given.

(2) From November 1 through April 30 the draw shall open on signal after at least a 4-hour advance notice is given.

* * * * *

Dated: December 8, 2004.

David P. Pekoske,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 04-27675 Filed 12-16-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P

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