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Drawbridge Operating Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Algiers Alternate Route, Louisiana

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the regulation governing the operation of the State Route 23 vertical lift span drawbridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Algiers Alternate Route), mile 3.8, at Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The change allows the bridge to remain closed to navigation from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday of the last weekend in October. This change facilitates the movement of vehicular traffic from the New Orleans Open House Air Show held annually at the Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base at Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

DATES:

This rule is effective October 11, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and materials received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will be available for inspection or copying at the office of the Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration Branch, Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room 1313, 501 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-3396 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Frank, Bridge Administration Branch, Commander (ob), Eighth Coast Guard District, 501 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130-3396, telephone number 504-589-2965.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On August 28, 2000, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operating Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Algiers Alternate Route, Louisiana, in the Federal Register (65 FR 52057). We received no letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public hearing was requested, and none was held.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The change in the regulation involves a community event of limited duration and scope. The closure involves only one bridge and alternate routes are available. No comments were received during the comment period included in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. No objections from waterway users have been received and the event will be published in the Local Notice to Mariners.

Background and Purpose

The State Route 23 vertical lift span drawbridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Algiers Alternate Route), mile 3.8, at Belle Chasse, Louisiana has a vertical clearance of 40 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and 100 feet above mean high water in the open-to-navigation position. Navigation on the waterway consists primarily of tugs with tows, commercial fishing vessels, and occasional recreational craft.

The Department of the Navy requested a rule changing the operation of the State Route 23 vertical lift span drawbridge. The change accommodates the additional volume of vehicular traffic that the New Orleans Open House Air Show generates each year. Between 150,000 and 200,000 members of the public are expected to attend the New Orleans Open House Air Show on each day. The change allows for the expeditious dispersal of the heavy volume of vehicular traffic expected to depart the Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base following the event. This event has been held annually on the last weekend in October. This change eliminates the necessity of having to do a rulemaking each year for this annually scheduled event.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

No comments were received for the NPRM and no changes have been incorporated into the Final Rule.

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).

The Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10(e) of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary.

This is because the number of vessels impaired during the closed-to-navigation periods is minimal. All commercial vessels still have ample opportunity to transit this waterway before and after each three-hour closure on the last weekend in October. Additionally, a practical alternate route of approximately seven additional miles is available via the Harvey Canal and the Mississippi River.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Coast Guard considers whether this 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 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under the 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121, we want to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they can Start Printed Page 60361better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

Collection of Information

This rule would call 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 would not have implications for federalism under that Order. No comments were received with regards to federalism during NPRM comment period.

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 costs. This rule would not impose an unfunded mandate. No comments were received with regards to unfunded mandates during NPRM comment period.

Taking of Private Property

This 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. No comments were received with regards to the taking of private property during NPRM comment period.

Civil Justice Reform

This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. No comments were received with regards to the taking of private property during NPRM comment period.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this rule under E.O. 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

We considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of Commandant Instruction M16475.lC, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. Bridge Administration Program actions that can be categorically excluded include promulgation of operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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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 proposes to amend part 117 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

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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, 105 Stat. 5039.

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2. Section 117.451(b) is revised to read as follows:

Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
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(b) The draw of the SR 23 bridge, Algiers Alternate Route, mile 3.8 at Belle Chasse, operates as follows:

(1) The draw shall open on signal; except that, from 6 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the draw need not be opened for the passage of vessels.

(2) On Saturday and Sunday of the last weekend in October, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

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Start Signature

Dated: September 29, 2000.

K.J. Eldridge,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, 8th Coast Guard Dist.

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[FR Doc. 00-26075 Filed 10-10-00; 8:45 am]

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