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Proposed Rule

Standard Time Zone Boundary in the State of North Dakota: Proposed Relocation of Morton County

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

The Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of the Secretary.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

At the request of the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for Morton County, ND, DOT proposes to relocate the boundary between mountain time and central time in the State of North Dakota. DOT proposes to relocate the boundary in order to place all of Morton County in the central time zone.

DATES:

Comments should be received by September 17, 2001, to be assured of consideration. Comments received after Start Printed Page 40667that date will be considered to the extent practicable. If the time zone boundary is changed as a result of this rulemaking, the effective date would be no earlier than 2:00 a.m. MDT Sunday, October 28, 2001, which is the changeover from daylight saving to standard time.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit your comments and related material by only one of the following methods:

(1) By mail to the Docket Management Facility (OST-2001-10287), U.S. Department of Transportation, room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

(2) By hand delivery to room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

(3) By fax to Docket Management Facility at 202-493-2251.

(4) Electronically through the Web Site for the Docket Management System at http://dms.dot.gov.

The Docket Management Facility 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 room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building at the same address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov.

For questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Dorothy Walker, Chief, Dockets, Department of Transportation, telephone 202-366-9329. Public Hearing: A public hearing will be chaired by a representative of DOT at the City Hall Auditorium, 400 Main Avenue, New Salem, ND on Tuesday, August 28, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. mountain daylight time (8:30 p.m. central daylight time). The hearing will be informal and will be tape-recorded for inclusion in the docket. Persons who desire to express opinions or ask questions at the hearings do not have to sign up in advance or give any prior notification. To the greatest extent practicable, the DOT representative will provide an opportunity to speak for all those wishing to do so.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joanne Petrie, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room 10424, 400 Seventh Street, Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-9315.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Under the Standard Time Act of 1918, as amended by the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 260-64), the Secretary of Transportation has authority to issue regulations modifying the boundaries between time zones in the United States in order to move an area from one time zone to another. The standard in the statute for such decisions is “regard for the convenience of commerce and the existing junction points and division points of common carriers engaged in interstate or foreign commerce.”

Petition for Rulemaking

In a petition dated April 9, 2001, the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for Morton County asked the Department of Transportation to move the western portion of Morton County, North Dakota, from the mountain time zone to the central time zone. In support of the petition, the Chairman noted the following factors:

“The City of Mandan is the largest city in Morton County (with over 66% of the county's population according to the 2000 Census) and operates on Central Time. Virtually all the supplies for the balance of the county come out of Mandan or Bismarck, North Dakota, which is in the central time zone.

Virtually all county residents travel to Mandan or Bismarck for medical services, shopping, entertainment, or to do business with county or state government.

Commercial airline services are based in Bismarck, North Dakota and require county residents to travel there to catch flights to other parts of the United States.

Most all television and radio stations broadcast from Mandan or Bismarck and the only daily newspaper in the area is published in Bismarck, North Dakota which is just across the Missouri River from Mandan.

The County Commissioners put the time issue to a straw vote in the June 13, 2000 Primary Election. Only the five (5) precincts that operated on mountain time voted on the time issue, Yes 625, No 572. There are twelve precincts in the county on central time. The commission held a meeting on the time issue in July 2000 and only one (1) person showed up to request the balance of the county in Mountain Time Zone. March 6, 2001 the commission held another meeting on the time issue based on the people wanting the commission to request the time change for the balance of the county. 46 persons attended the meeting with 28 expressing their opinion favoring to change the entire county to the Central Time Zone and 18 expressing their opinion that they wished to keep the balance of the county in the Mountain Time Zone. Most all the people that attended the meeting were from the precincts voting in the June 13, 2000 Primary Election.

Geographically, Morton County is well suited to be in the Central Time Zone. Oliver County directly north of us operates in Central Time Zone and Mercer County north and west of us is considering changing to Central Time zone.”

Under DOT procedures to change a time zone boundary, the Department will generally begin a rulemaking proceeding if the highest elected officials in the area make a prima facie case for the proposed change. DOT has determined that the Resolution of the Chairman of the County Commissioners of Morton County, ND makes a prima facie case that warrants opening a proceeding to determine whether the change should be made. Consequently, in this notice of proposed rulemaking, DOT is proposing to make the requested change and is inviting public comment.

Although the Chairman of the County Commissioners of Morton County, ND has submitted sufficient information to begin the rulemaking process, the decision whether actually to make the change will be based upon information received at the hearing or submitted in writing to the docket. Persons supporting or opposing the change should not assume that the change will be made merely because DOT is making the proposal. We are not bound either to accept or reject the proposal of Morton County at the present time in the proceeding. The Department here issues no opinion on the merits of the County's request. Our decision will be made on the basis of information developed during the rulemaking proceeding.

Impact on Observance of Daylight Saving Time

This time zone proposal does not directly affect the observance of daylight saving time. Under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, as amended, the standard time of each time zone in the United States is advanced one hour from 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in April until 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in October, except in any State that has, by law, exempted itself from this observance.

Regulatory Analysis & Notices

This proposed 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. It has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under that Order. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation (44 FR 11040; February 26, 1979). We expect the economic impact of this proposed Start Printed Page 40668rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT is unnecessary. The rule primarily affects the convenience of individuals in scheduling activities. By itself, it imposes no direct costs. Its impact is localized in nature.

Small Entities

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. This proposal, if adopted, would primarily affect individuals and their scheduling of activities. Although it would affect some small businesses, not-for-profits and, perhaps, several small governmental jurisdictions, it would not be a substantial number. In addition, the change should have little, if any, economic impact.

Therefore, the Office of the Secretary certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not, if adopted, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 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 to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES. In your comment, explain why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please call Joanne Petrie at (202) 366-9315.

Collection of Information

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

We have analyzed this proposed rule under E.O. 12612 and have determined that this rule does not have sufficient implications for federalism to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Unfunded Mandates

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) and E.O. 12875, Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership, (58 FR 58093; October 28, 1993) govern 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 proposed rule would not impose an unfunded mandate.

Taking of Private Property

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

This proposed 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.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this proposed 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

This rulemaking is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment under the National Environmental Policy Act and, therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required.

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List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 71

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For the reasons discussed above, the Office of the Secretary proposes to amend title 49 part 71 to read as follows:

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PART 71—[AMENDED]

1. The authority citation for Part 71 would continue to read:

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Authority: Secs. 1-4, 40 Stat. 450, as amended; sec. 1, 41 Stat. 1446, as amended; secs. 2-7, 80 Stat. 107, as amended; 100 Stat. 764; Act of Mar. 19, 1918, as amended by the Uniform Time Act of 1966 and Pub. L. 97-449, 15 U.S.C. 260-267; Pub. L. 99-359; 49 CFR 159(a), unless otherwise noted.

End Authority

2. Paragraph (a) of § 71.7, Boundary line between central and mountain zones, would be revised to read as follows:

Boundary line between central and mountain zones.

(a) Montana-North Dakota. Beginning at the junction of the Montana-North Dakota boundary with the boundary of the United States and Canada southerly along the Montana-North Dakota boundary to the Missouri River; thence southerly and easterly along the middle of that river to the midpoint of the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers; thence southerly and easterly along the middle of the Yellowstone River to the north boundary of T. 150 N., R. 104 W.; thence east to the northwest corner of T. 150 N., R. 102 W.; thence south to the southwest corner of T. 149 N., R. 102 W.; thence east to the northwest corner of T. 148 N., R. 102 W.; thence south to the northwest corner of 147 N., R. 102 W.; thence east to the southwest corner of T. 148 N., R. 101 W., thence south to the middle of the Little Missouri; thence easterly and northerly along the middle of that river to the midpoint of its confluence with the Missouri River; thence southerly and easterly along the middle of the Missouri River to the midpoint of its confluence with the northern land boundary of Oliver County; thence, west along the northern county line to the northwest boundary; thence south along the western county line to the southwest boundary; thence west along the northern county boundary of Morton County; thence south along the western county line and then east along the southern county boundary to the northwest corner of T. 140 N., R. 83 W.; thence south to the southwest corner of T. 140 N., R. 82 W.; thence east to the southeast corner of T. 140 N., R. 83 W.; thence south to the middle of the Heart River; thence easterly and northerly along the middle of that river to the southern boundary of T. 139 N., R. 82 W.; thence east to the middle of the Heart River; thence southerly and easterly along the middle of that river to the midpoint of the confluence of the Heart and Missouri Rivers; thence southerly and easterly along the middle of the Missouri River to the northern boundary of T. 130 N., R. 80 W.; thence west to the northwest corner of T. 130 N., R. 80 W.; thence Start Printed Page 40669south to the North Dakota-South Dakota boundary; thence easterly along that boundary to the middle of the Missouri River.

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Issued in Washington, D.C. on July 30, 2001.

Rosalind Knapp,

Deputy General Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 01-19466 Filed 8-2-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-63-P