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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Harlem River, NY

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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operating regulations which govern the Metro North (Park Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.1, across the Harlem River at New York City, New York. This proposed rule would allow the bridge owner to require a four-hour advance notice for bridge openings, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. It is expected that this proposed change to the regulations will meet the needs of navigation.

DATES:

Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before November 13, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments to Commander (obr), First Coast Guard Start Printed Page 47602District, Bridge Branch, at 408 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA. 02110-3350, or deliver them to the same address between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (617) 223-8364. The First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 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 the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except, Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Jose Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, (212) 668-7165.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments or related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-01-048), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. Please submit all comments and related material in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying. If you would like to know if they reached us, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them.

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to the First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

Background and Purpose

The Metro North (Park Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.1, across the Harlem River, has a vertical clearance of 25 feet at mean high water and 30 feet at mean low water. The existing drawbridge operation regulations listed at 33 CFR 117.789(e) require the bridge to open on signal, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except as provided in paragraph (b).

The owner of the bridge, Metro North, requested a change to the operating regulations to allow the bridge to open on signal, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., after a four-hour advance notice is given.

Metro North advised the Coast Guard that all the bridge openings during the last five years were for either vessel traffic employed in the construction of the Oak Point Link railroad Bridge located upstream or Metro North test openings at the bridge. The large construction barges, with equipment such as cranes on board, generally require a bridge opening.

The vessels that frequently use this waterway on a regular basis fit under the bridges without requiring bridge openings, with the exception of the Spuyten Duyvil railroad bridge, which has only 5 feet of vertical clearance at mean high water. All the upstream bridges, with the exception of the Spuyten Duyvil railroad bridge, presently require a four-hour advance notice for bridge openings, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily.

The existing drawbridge operation regulations are consistent with regard to the four-hour advance notice requirement, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily.

In addition, all the bridges, except Spuyten Duyvil, have similar or greater vertical clearances at mean high water (MHW) and at mean low water (MLW). The clearances for the bridges on the Harlem River are as follows.

Bridge nameMileMHW & MLW
Metro North (Park Ave)2.12530
Madison Avenue2.32529
145 Street2.82530
Macombs Dam3.22732
207 Street6.02630
Broadway6.82429
Spuyten Duyvil7.959

As a result of all the above information the Coast Guard believes that it is reasonable to allow the Metro North (Park Avenue) railroad bridge to open on signal, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., after a four-hour advance notice is given, except as provided in paragraph (b).

Discussion of Proposal

The Coast Guard proposes to revise the operating regulations at 33 CFR 117.789(e) to require that the draw of the Metro North (Park Avenue) Bridge, mile 2.1, shall open on signal, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., if at least a four-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

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 the bridge will continue to open for vessel traffic after the advance notice is given.

Regulatory Evaluation

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 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, Feb. 26, 1979).

We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation, under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies and procedures of DOT, is unnecessary. This conclusion is based on the fact that the bridge will open on signal after the advance notice is given.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we considered whether this proposed rule would have Start Printed Page 47603a 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 section 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This conclusion is based upon the fact that the bridge will open on signal after the advance notice is given.

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 (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

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 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 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 Executive Order 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 Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this proposed 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 proposed rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of Commandant Instruction M16475.1C, this proposed rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation because promulgation of drawbridge regulations have been found not to have a significant effect on the environment. A written “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is not required for this rule.

Indian Tribal Governments

This final rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have 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 responsibilities 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.

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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 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

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PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

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 117.789 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:

Harlem River
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(e) The draw of the Metro North (Park Avenue) Bridge, mile 2.1, shall open on signal, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., if at least a four-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

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Start Signature

Dated: August 30, 2001.

G.N. Naccara,

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

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[FR Doc. 01-22988 Filed 9-12-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P