Coast Guard, DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Coast Guard proposes to change the regulations that govern the operation of the Route 70 Bridge across the Manasquan River. The proposed rule would limit the required openings of the draw year-round from 7 a.m. to Start Printed Page 5777411 p.m. to once an hour with no openings required from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays. This change would reduce traffic delays while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation.
Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before November 12, 2002.
You may mail comments and related material to Commander (Aowb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 4th Floor, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704-5004, or they may be hand delivered to the same address between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. The telephone number is (757) 398-6222. Commander (Aowb), Fifth 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 and will be available for inspection or copying at the above address between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ann B. Deaton, Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6222.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Request for Comments
We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD05-02-054), 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 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.
We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to the Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, 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 S70 Bridge is a movable bridge (single-leaf bascule) owned and operated by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) connecting the Borough of Point Pleasant and Brick Township in Ocean County with Brielle Borough and Wall Township in Monmouth County. Currently, 33 CFR 117.727 requires the draw of the S70 bridge, mile 3.4 at Riviera Beach, to open on signal from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The draw need not be opened from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. In the closed position to vessels, the bridge has a vertical navigation clearance of 15 feet at mean high water.
On behalf of residents and business owners in the area, NJDOT has requested to change the existing regulations for the S70 Bridge in an effort to balance the needs of mariners and vehicle drivers transiting in and around this seaside resort area. Route 70 is a principal arterial highway that serves as a major evacuation route in the event of tidal emergencies. Bridge openings at peak traffic hours during the tourist season often cause considerable vehicular traffic congestion while accommodating relatively few vessels. To ease traffic congestion, NJDOT has requested that the bridge operating schedule be changed. A review of NJDOT yearly drawbridge logs for 1999, 2000, and 2001, show that the bridge opened for vessels 1028, 1026, and 1020 times, respectively. However, during the peak boating season from May through September, the logs reveal from 1999 to 2001, the bridge opened 750, 792 and 794 times, respectively. With an average of only five openings per day during the peak boating season, NJDOT contends that the effect of the proposed change on vessel traffic through the bridge would be. Also, NJDOT officials, residents and business owners point out that from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays, vehicular traffic congestion is at its peak. During the peak boating season from May through September, the logs reveal from 1999 to 2001, the bridge opened from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays 36, 35, and 26 times, respectively. Limiting the openings of the draw year-round from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to once an hour and no openings required from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays would enhance vehicular traffic without significantly affecting vessel traffic.
Discussion of Proposed Rule
The Coast Guard proposes to amend § 117.727, which governs the S70 Bridge. The draw currently opens on signal from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and need not be opened from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The current regulation would be changed to state that the draw of Route 70 Bridge, mile 3.4 at Riviera Beach, need open on signal only on the hour; except that from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need not be opened.
The proposed rule would also change the name of the bridge from “S70” to “Route 70.” The name change will accurately reflect the name of this bridge.
This proposed 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 proposed 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 fact that the proposed changes have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridge. Mariners can plan their transits in accordance with the scheduled bridge openings, to further minimize delay.
Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 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.
The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
The proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the rule only adds minimal restrictions to the movement of navigation, and mariners who plan their transits in accordance with the scheduled bridge openings can minimize delay.
If you think that your business, organization, or governmental Start Printed Page 57775jurisdiction 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.
Assistance for Small Entities
Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 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 contact Ann B. Deaton, Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, (757) 398-6222.
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).
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 proposed 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 proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.
Taking of Private Property
This proposed rule would 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 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 would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.
Indian Tribal Governments
This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would 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 responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.
To help the Coast Guard establish regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with Indian and Alaskan Native tribes, we published a notice in the Federal Register (66 FR 36361, July 11, 2001) requesting comments on how to best carry out the Order. We invite your comments on how this proposed rule might impact tribal governments, even if that impact may not constitute a “tribal implication” under the Order.
We have analyzed this proposed 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.
We have considered the environmental impact of this proposed 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.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117End List of Subjects
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:Start Part
PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS
1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:
2. Section 117.727 is revised to read as follows:
The draw of the Route 70 Bridge, mile 3.4, at Riviera Beach, shall open on signal on the hour; except that from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily, the draw need not be opened.
Dated: August 26, 2002.
Arthur E. Brooks,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 02-23115 Filed 9-11-02; 8:45 am]
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