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Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Gowanus Canal, New York

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the operating rules for four New York City bridges across the Gowanus Canal—the Ninth Street Bridge, at mile 1.4; the Third Street Bridge, at mile 1.8; the Carroll Street Bridge, at mile 2.0; and the Union Street Bridge, at mile 2.1—all in Brooklyn, New York. The bridge owner asked the Coast Guard to change the regulations to require a two-hour advance notice for openings. This action will relieve the owner of the bridge from the requirement to crew these bridges at all times by using a roving crew of drawtenders and still meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES:

This rule is effective August 31, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket (CGD01-99-067) and are available for inspection or copying at the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch Office, 408 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. John W. McDonald, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, (617) 223-8364.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On April 27, 2000, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Gowanus Canal, New York, in the Federal Register (65 FR 24664). We received no comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. No public hearing was requested and none was held.

Background and Purpose

Ninth Street Bridge

The Ninth Street Bridge, at mile 1.4, across the Gowanus Canal at Brooklyn, has a vertical clearance of 5 feet at mean high water and 9 feet at mean low water. The existing operating regulations for the Ninth Street Bridge require the bridge to open on signal at all times.Start Printed Page 46869

Third Street Bridge

The Third Street Bridge, at mile 1.8, across the Gowanus Canal at Brooklyn, has a vertical clearance of 10 feet at mean high water and 14 feet at mean low water. The existing operating regulations in 33 CFR 117.787, require the draw to open on signal at all times; except that, from May 1 through September 30, the draw shall open on signal after a six-hour advance notice is given to the New York City Highway Department's Radio (Hotline) Room.

Carroll Street Bridge

The Carroll Street Bridge, at mile 2.0, has a vertical clearance of 3 feet at MHW and 7 feet at MLW. The existing regulations require the draw to open on signal at all times; except that, from May 1 through September 30, the draw shall open after a six-hour advance notice is given to the New York City Highway Department's Radio (Hotline) Room.

Union Street Bridge

The Union Street Bridge, at mile 2.1, has a vertical clearance of 9 feet at MHW and 13 feet at MLW. The existing regulations require the draw to open on signal at all times; except that, from May 1 through September 30, the draw shall open after a six-hour advance notice is given to the New York City Highway Department's Radio (Hotline) Room.

The owner of all four bridges, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), submitted bridge opening log data to the Coast Guard for review.

199119921993199419951996199719981999
Ninth8649849278360000423
Third410549663732432256149107244
Carroll517627669704432245142114228
Union502547657713432236144104245

The bridge owner plans to operate these bridges with a roving crew of drawtenders. A review of the monthly breakdown of the opening data did not identify any months that had a significantly higher number of openings that would make the roving crew concept unworkable. The waterway users are all commercial vessels which operate year round. They presently provide a six-hour advance notice May 1 through September 30 at all the above bridges except the Ninth Street Bridge, which is required to open on signal.

The bridge owner has requested that all four bridges open after a two-hour advance notice is given year round. This advance notice requirement will allow the bridge owner to use a roving crew of drawtenders to operate these bridges. The Coast Guard believes this rule is reasonable based upon the fact that three of the bridges presently open after a six-hour notice May 1 through September 30, which is greater than the two-hour notice during those five months.

The Coast Guard believes that the two-hour advance notice October 1 through April 30 is reasonable because the bridges will still open on signal provided the two-hour notice is given. The commercial vessel transits on Gowanus Canal are scheduled in advance. Providing a two-hour notice for bridge openings for the additional seven months of the year, October 1 through April 30, should not prevent vessels from transiting the waterway in a timely manner.

The reduction from six-hours advance notice to two-hours advance notice during the remaining five months of the year, May 1 through September 30, should make vessel transits easier to schedule during that time period. This rule is expected to relieve the bridge owner of the burden of crewing each bridge continually, establish a consistent bridge operating schedule for the bridges listed in this rulemaking, and still meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

Discussion of Proposal

The Coast Guard is revising the operating regulations for the Gowanus Canal at 33 CFR 117.787 as follows:

Ninth Street Bridge

Add operating regulations for the Ninth Street Bridge, mile 1.4, Across the Gowanus Canal to require that the draw shall open on signal, if at least a two-hour advance notice is given.

Third Street Bridge

Revise the operating regulations for the Third Street Bridge, mile 1.8, across the Gowanus Canal to require that the draw shall open on signal, if at least a two-hour advance notice is given.

Carroll Street Bridge

Revise the operating regulations for the Carroll Street, mile 2.0, across the Gowanus Canal to require that the draw shall open on signal, if at least a two-hour advance notice is given.

Union Street Bridge

Revise the operating regulations for the Union Street, mile 2.1, across the Gowanus Canal to require that the draw shall open on signal, if at least a two-hour advance notice is given.

Notice for bridge openings shall be given to the NYCDOT Hotline or NYCDOT Bridge Operation Office.

The bridge owner plans to use two crews of drawtenders to operate the Gowanus Canal bridges. The use of two crews is expected to provide bridge openings in a timely manner. The Hamilton Avenue Bridge, mile 1.2, also across Gowanus Canal was not included in the roving drawtender plan because the frequency of bridge openings were considerably higher than the other bridges on this waterway.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 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 Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 11040; February 26, 1979). This conclusion is based on the fact that three of the bridges presently open after a six-hour notice May 1 through September 30, which is greater than the proposed two-hour notice during those five months.

The Coast Guard believes that the two-hour advance notice October 1 through April 30 is reasonable because the bridges will still open on signal provided the two-hour notice is given. The commercial vessel movements on Gowanus Canal are scheduled in advance by the commercial operators. Providing two-hours notice for bridge openings for the additional seven months of the year, October 1 through April 30, should not prevent vessels from still transiting the waterway in a timely manner.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) we considered whether this rule would have a Start Printed Page 46870significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. “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 less than 50,000.

The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This conclusion is based on the fact that three of the bridges presently open after a six-hour notice May 1 through September 30, which is greater than the proposed two-hour notice during those five months.

The Coast Guard believes that the two-hour advance notice October 1 through April 30 is reasonable because the bridges will still open on signal provided the two-hour notice is given. The commercial vessel transits on Gowanus Canal are scheduled in advance by the commercial operators. Providing two-hours notice for bridge openings for the additional seven months of the year, October 1 through April 30, when the bridge formerly opened on signal, should not prevent vessels from still transiting the waterway in a timely manner.

Collection of Information

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

Federalism

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13132 and have determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism under that Order.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) governs the issuance of Federal regulations that require unfunded mandates. An unfunded mandate is a regulation that requires a State, local, or tribal government or the private sector to incur direct costs without the Federal Government's having first provided the funds to pay those unfunded mandate costs. This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate.

Taking of Private Property

This rule will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform

This 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

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

Environment

The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e) of Commandant Instruction M16475.1C, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation because promulgation of changes to drawbridge regulations have been found to not have a significant effect on the environment. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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Regulations

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For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends

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PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

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

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Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 49 CFR 1.46; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); section 117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

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2. Section 117.787 is revised to read as follows:

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Gowanus Canal

The draws of the Ninth Street Bridge, mile 1.4, the Third Street Bridge, mile 1.8, the Carroll Street Bridge, mile 2.0, and the Union Street Bridge, mile 2.1, at Brooklyn, shall open on signal, if at least a two-hour advance notice is given to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), Radio Hotline, or the NYCDOT Bridge Operations Office.

Start Signature

Dated: July 19, 2000.

G.N. Naccara,

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

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[FR Doc. 00-19396 Filed 7-31-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P