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Drawbridge Operation Regulations; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Cape May Canal

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the regulations that govern the operation of the Cape May Canal Railroad Bridge at the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), mile 115.1, across Cape May Canal, in Cape May, New Jersey. The final rule maintains the bridge in the open position, except that it would close for the crossing of trains and the maintenance of the bridge. The final rule will provide for the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES:

This final rule is effective August 30, 2001.

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 CGD05-01-007 and are available for inspection or copying at the office of the Commander (Aowb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 4th Floor, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704-5004, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ann B. Deaton, Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6222.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On March 30, 2001, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulations; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Cape May Canal” in the Federal Register (66 FR 17377). We received no letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public hearing was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

The Cape May Canal Railroad Bridge is a swing bridge owned by New Jersey Transit Rail Operations (NJTRO). Under an agreement with NJTRO and Cape May Seashore Lines, Inc. (CSML), CSML is responsible for the reactivation of the rail service, maintenance of the accessories of the bridge and its operation of the swing span. From 1983 until June 1999, train service was Start Printed Page 39444deactivated and bridge tender service discontinued. The swing span was placed in the full open position for vessels in accordance with 33 CFR 117.41. Upon reactivation of bridge tender service in 1999, the draw was required to return to opening on signal at all times. This requirement is included in the general operation regulations at 33 CFR 117.5.

CMSL is currently providing passenger rail service on the 27-mile long rail lines between Tuckahoe and Cape May, New Jersey. There is no train service in the winter so the bridge is unmanned and placed in the full open position. Tourist train service is provided on weekends only in the spring and fall and seven days a week from mid-June until Labor Day. Train service starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. After train hours, the bridge is unmanned and placed in the full open position. During train service hours, the bridge is kept in the full open position for vessels and closes only when a train is scheduled to cross.

This final rule formalizes the current operation of the bridge. The final rule will have less impact on navigation than the general operating regulations.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received no comments on the NPRM. Since no comments were received and we believe the change is warranted to formalize the current operation of the bridge, the final rule is being implemented without change.

Regulatory Evaluation

This final 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 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).

We expect the economic impact of this final rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary.

We reached this conclusion based on the determination that the final rule will provide for greater flow of vessel traffic than the general requirements for the use and operation of drawbridges. Under the general requirements, the drawbridge is required to open promptly upon signal. This permits the bridge to remain closed and open only after a proper signal. The final rule will require the bridge to remain in the open position, permitting vessels to pass freely. The bridge will close only for the train crossings and bridge maintenance. This final rule will provide for the reasonable needs of navigation, while reducing the burden on the operator.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this final 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 final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This final rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners and operators of vessels that desire to transit the waterway and homeowners associations representing property owners upstream of the drawbridge.

This final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. The final rule will provide for the bridge to remain in the open position, allowing the free flow of vessel traffic. The bridge will close only for the passage of trains and maintenance of the bridge. This final rule will provide for the reasonable needs of navigation.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the final rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247).

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

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 rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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 final rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This rule will not affect 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 final 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 create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does 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 Start Printed Page 39445responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Energy Effects

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

We have 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. This final rule only deals with the operating schedule of an existing drawbridge and will have no impact on the environment. A “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is available in the docket for inspection or copying where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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For the reasons discussed 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 authority of Pub. L. 102587, 106 Stat. 5039.

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2. In (§ 117.733 add a new paragraph (k) to read as follows:

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New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway.
* * * * *

(k) The draw of Cape May Canal Railroad Bridge across Cape May Canal, mile 115.1, at Cape May shall operate as follows:

(1) The draw shall be maintained in the open position; the draw may close only for the crossing of trains and maintenance of the bridge. When the draw is closed for a train crossing a bridge tender shall be present to reopen the draw after the train has cleared the bridge. When the draw is closed for maintenance a bridge tender shall be present to open the draw upon signal.

(2) Train service generally operates as follows (please contact Cape May Seashore Lines for current train schedules):

(i) Winter (generally December through March): In general, there is no train service, therefore the bridge is unmanned and placed in the full open position.

(ii) Spring (generally April through May and Fall (generally September through November): Generally weekend service only: Friday through Sunday train service starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday the bridge generally unmanned and in the open position.

(iii) Summer Service (generally June through August): Daily train service starting at 10 a.m. and ending 7:30 p.m.

(3) When a vessel approaches the drawbridge with the draw in the open position, the vessel shall give the opening signal. If no acknowledgement is received within 30 seconds, the vessel may proceed, with caution, through the open draw. When the draw is open and will be closing promptly, the drawbridge will generally signal using sound signals or radio telephone.

(4) Opening of the draw span may be delayed for ten minutes after a signal to open except as provide in (117.31(b). However, if a train is moving toward the bridge and has crossed the home signal for the bridge before the signal requesting opening of the bridge is given, the train may continue across the bridge and must clear the bridge interlocks as soon as possible in order to prevent unnecessary delays in the opening of the draw.

Start Signature

Dated: July 23, 2001.

Thad W. Allen,

Vice Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 01-19042 Filed 7-30-01; 8:45 am]

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