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Drawbridge Operating Regulation; Ouachita River, LA

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:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the regulation governing the operation of the Kansas City Southern Railroad swing span bridge across the Ouachita River, mile 167.1, at Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. This rule allows for the passage of vessels from June 4, 2001, through November 15, 2001 during the morning hours with proper advance notice. This rule is issued to facilitate the repairs to the turn span of the bridge. Normally, the draw opens on signal at all times.

DATES:

This rule is effective from June 4, 2001, through November 15, 2001.

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:

Mr. David Frank, Bridge Administration Branch, Commander (ob), Eighth Coast Guard District, telephone number 504-589-2965.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On March 30, 2001, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operating Regulation; Ouachita River, Louisiana, in the Federal Register (66 FR 17376). We received one letter commenting on the proposed rule. No public hearing was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

The Kansas City Southern Railroad has submitted plans to repair the turn span of the swing span bridge across the Ouachita River, mile 167.1, at Monroe. To facilitate the continued movement of trains across the bridge during the repairs, the railroad plans to remove the swing span and temporarily replace it with a removable span bridge with 70 feet of horizontal clearance. The railroad has requested limited openings during the repair period of May 7, 2001 through November 30, 2001. Frequent need to remove and replace the span will severely limit the railroad's ability to complete the repairs in a timely manner.

Discussions were held between the railroad, its contractor, waterway users, and facility operators to determine the best method of allowing vessels to transit the waterway during the repair period. The discussions centered on the mariner's ability to transit the bridge site on any day if proper notification was given. The railroad only wanted to Start Printed Page 23160open the bridge on certain days during the morning hours. Mariners explained that their schedule was not such that they would need to go through the bridge on set days and that the proposed schedule by the railroad may require vessels to wait almost 48 hours for the passage. It was determined that due to the limited number of transits, openings would not be required daily but set days would not be acceptable.

Following the meetings, the group recommended to the Coast Guard that

—The draw need not open for the passage of vessels from 2 a.m. on June 4, 2001 through 2 a.m. on June 6, 2001, and from 2 a.m. on November 12, 2001 until 2 a.m. on November 14, 2001.

—At all other times between June 4, 2001 and November 15, 2001, the draw of the bridge need not open for the passage of vessels, except from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily for those vessels that have provided at least 20-hours notice.

The two 48-hour closures will allow for the removal and replacement of the swing span and placement of the removable span sections of the bridge. Upon establishment of the removable span bridge, mariners will be able to transit the bridge site between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. daily provided that at least 20-hours notice is given.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

Only one letter was received for the NPRM. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry offered no comments on the proposed rule. 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, l979).

We expect 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 rule maintains the movement of vessels while allowing the bridge owner to repair his bridge as expeditiously as possible.

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 better 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 impose 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 Executive Order 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 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

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

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, 106 Stat. 5039.

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2. From 2 a.m. on June 4, 2001 until 6 p.m. on November 15, 2001, in § 117.483, the existing text is redesignated as paragraph (a) and a new paragraph (b) is added to read as follows:

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Ouachita River.
* * * * *

(b) The draw of the Kansas City Southern Railroad swing span bridge, mile 167.1, at Monroe, shall operate as follows:

(1) The draw need not open for the passage of vessels from 2 a.m. on June 4, 2001, through 2 a.m. on June 6, 2001, and from 2 a.m. on November 12, 2001, through 2 a.m. on November 14, 2001. Start Printed Page 23161

(2) At all other times between June 4, 2001, and November 15, 2001 inclusive, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels, except from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. daily, the draw shall open for vessels that have provided at least 20-hours notice.

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Dated: April 19, 2001.

Paul J. Pluta,

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

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[FR Doc. 01-11494 Filed 5-7-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-U