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Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Chicago River, IL

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:

Interim rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is revising the operating regulation governing drawbridges over Chicago River waterways. This interim rule adds one bridge to the current list of bridges not required to open for navigation, and removes the requirement for two to open on signal for commercial vessels due to the recent increases in their vertical clearances. This interim rule also requires 12-hours advance notice from commercial vessels year-round for City of Chicago movable bridges; updates ownership of certain railroad bridges; and specifies rush hour times that City of Chicago bridges will not be required to open for any vessels.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective June 10, 2002. Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before June 30, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander Start Printed Page 31728(obr), Ninth Coast Guard District, 1240 East Ninth Street, Room 2019, Cleveland, OH, 44199-2060. Ninth Coast Guard District 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 (CGD09-01-148) and are available for inspection or copying at the address above between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Scot M. Striffler, Project Manager, Ninth Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, at (216) 902-6084.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

The Coast Guard encourages interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written data, views or arguments for or against this rule. Persons submitting comments should include names and addresses, identify the rulemaking (CGD09-01-148) and the specific section of this rule to which each comment applies, and give the reason(s) for each comment. Please submit all comments and attachments in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. Persons wanting acknowledgement of receipt of comments should enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

Public Meeting

The Coast Guard plans no public hearing. Individuals may request a public hearing by writing to the address under ADDRESSES. The request should include the reasons why a hearing would be beneficial. If the Coast Guard determines that the opportunity for oral presentation will aid this rulemaking, we will hold a public hearing at a time and place announced by a subsequent notice in the Federal Register.

Regulatory Information

Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on December 27, 2001 (66 FR 66865). No public hearing was requested, and none was held. The NPRM included some formatting errors that have been corrected in this interim rule. The text of the NPRM contained no errors.

The Coast Guard received one written comment. The writer requested that the morning rush-hour period when all city bridges may remain closed be altered. Instead of the originally proposed hours of 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, that the bridges could remain closed to vessels, the writer requested that the time be changed to 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The Coast Guard determined that this change would properly provide for the reasonable needs of navigation and has been incorporated into this interim rule.

A non-written comment to the NPRM involved the time of year that the proposed change was open for comments from the public. The Coast Guard determined that it would be appropriate to issue this interim rule to make the regulation effective, but provide for another comment period during the boating season.

Background and Purpose

The City of Chicago requested that Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District, revise the operating regulations for Chicago City operated drawbridges over Chicago River waterways. The primary changes are: (1) Remove the requirements for Kinzie Street bridge over the North Branch and Cermak Road bridge over the South Branch to open on signal for commercial vessels due to restrictive clearances. Both bridges have been raised to provide vertical clearances consistent with other fixed and movable bridges on the Chicago River system. (2) Add Division Street bridge over the North Branch of Chicago River to the current list of drawbridges not required to open for vessels. (3) Require a 12-hour advance notice requirement for bridge openings from commercial vessels for City of Chicago movable bridges throughout the year. (4) Change rush hour times (7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.—Monday through Friday, with the exception of Federal holidays) that City of Chicago bridges would not be required to open for any vessels.

Discussion of Interim Rule

The current operating regulations for Chicago River bridges are contained in 33 CFR 117.391. This section was last changed on October 6, 1995 (60 FR 52311) to establish opening schedules for recreational vessels. This rule only alters the sections pertaining to recreational vessels by specifying rush hour times (7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.—Monday through Friday, with the exception of Federal holidays) that bridges would not be required to open.

The City of Chicago requested that both Kinzie Street bridge over North Branch and Cermak Road bridge over South Branch be granted the same status as all other City of Chicago bridges and only be required to open for commercial vessels if at least 12-hours advance notice is provided. The bridges have been raised to provide vertical clearances consistent with other fixed and movable bridges on the Chicago River system.

The City has also requested that Division Street bridge over North Branch not be required to open for vessels. This would place the bridge in the same status as all other City bridges for a vessel proceeding northbound on North Branch above Division Street. There is adequate clearance for commercial vessels equipped with retractable pilothouses to pass under each of these bridges. There are currently no recreational vessel facilities from Division Street northward that require the opening of drawbridges for masted vessels. A marina south of Division Street services masted vessels, therefore, all bridges southward are still required to open in accordance with the articles pertaining to recreational vessels. Bridge opening logs provided by the City indicate that the last request for a bridge opening at Division Street occurred in 1982.

Drawbridges allowed to stay closed to navigation through this rule may be required to be made operational again within a reasonable time if ordered by the District Commander in the future.

This rule also updates the current ownership of railroad bridges on Chicago River and removes the emergency provisions specifically listed in paragraph (e). These provisions apply to all drawbridges, as set out in 33 CFR 117.31, and need not be re-stated in this regulation.

Regulatory Evaluation

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

This determination is based on the current and prospective facilities and needs of all navigation on the Chicago River system.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Coast Guard has considered whether this rule will have Start Printed Page 31729a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. “Small entities” may include small businesses and 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 people.

The identified small entities operating on Chicago River will not be significantly affected by the rule. Marinas located on the North Branch and South Branch of Chicago River will still have bridge openings during designated times. However, rush hour times, where no openings would be required, have been expanded. These entities do not require openings of bridges from Division Street northward on North Branch. In addition, the three identified commercial tug companies operating on Chicago River do not require openings of Chicago City bridges.

Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C 605(b) that this rule will not 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 will 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 will economically affect it.

Assistance for Small Entities

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 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 contact the Bridge Administration Branch, Ninth Coast Guard District, at the address above.

Collection of Information

This rule would call for no new collection of information requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3520).

Federalism

The Coast Guard has analyzed this rule under the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132, and determined that it does not have federalism implications under that Order.

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

Taking of Private Property

This rule will 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 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 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.

Indian Tribal Governments

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

The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph 32(e) of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, this rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. 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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For reasons set out 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 the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

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2. In § 117.391, revise the introductory text to the section, paragraph (a), paragraphs (b)(1)(iv) and (b)(2), and paragraph (c); and remove paragraphs (b)(3), (d), and (e), to read as follows:

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Chicago River.

The draws of the bridges operated by the City of Chicago over the Main Branch of Chicago River, the bridges on the North Branch of Chicago River from the Main Branch to North Halsted Street, mile 2.65, and bridges on the South Branch of Chicago River from the Main Branch to South Ashland Avenue, mile 4.47, shall operate as follows:

(a) For commercial vessels, all bridges shall open on signal if at least 12-hours advance notice is provided to the Chicago City Bridge Desk prior to the intended time of passage; except that, from Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., and between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., except for Federal holidays, the draws need not open for the passage of vessels.

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(iv) The draws shall open at times in addition to those listed in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (b)(1)(iii) of this section, after notice has been given at least 20 hours in advance requesting passage for a flotilla of at least five vessels. However, the bridges need not open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., except for Federal holidays. Start Printed Page 31730

(2) From December 1 through March 31, the draws shall open on signal if at least 48 hours notice is given. However, the bridges need not open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., except for Federal holidays.

(c) The following bridges need not be opened for the passage of vessels: The draws of South Damen Avenue, mile 6.14, over South Branch of Chicago River; all highway drawbridges between South Western Avenue, mile 6.7, and Willow Springs Road, mile 19.4, over Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal; North Halsted Street, mile 2.85, and Division Street, mile 2.99, over North Branch Canal of Chicago River; and Division Street, mile 3.30, North Avenue, mile 3.81, Cortland Avenue, mile 4.48, Webster Avenue, mile 4.85, North Ashland Avenue, mile 4.90, and Union Pacific Railroad, mile 5.01, over North Branch of Chicago River.

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Dated: April 29, 2002.

James D. Hull,

Rear Admiral, Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. 02-11717 Filed 5-9-02; 8:45 am]

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