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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Miami Beach Channel and Indian Creek, Miami-Dade County, FL

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 regulations governing the operation of the East 79th Street and the East Venetian Causeway bridges across Miami Beach Channel, and the 63rd Street bridge across Indian Creek, Miami-Dade County, Florida by allowing these bridges to remain closed during peak vehicular rush hour traffic. We anticipate that this proposed rule would reduce vehicle traffic congestion on Miami Beach during the rush hours while providing for the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before February 3, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander (obr), Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 SE. 1st Ave, Room 406, Miami, FL 33131. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in the preamble as being available in the docket, are part of (CGD07-02-099) and are available for inspection or copying at Commander (obr), Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 SE. 1st Avenue, Room 432, Miami, FL 33131 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Michael Lieberum, Seventh Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 909 SE. 1st Ave Miami, FL 33131, telephone number 305-415-6744.

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SUPPLEMENTARY 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 (CGD07-02-099), 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.

Public Meeting

A public meeting has not been scheduled. However, you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to Bridge Branch, Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 SE. 1st Ave, Room 432, Miami, FL 33131, 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 City of Miami Beach has requested that the Coast Guard consider changing the existing regulations for the East 79th Street, East Venetian Causeway, and the 63rd Street bridges that lead into the City of Miami Beach because of the vehicle gridlock within the city each time the bridges are opened during rush hours. Based on the limited number of requested bridge openings during the proposed time window, the Coast Guard believes it can accommodate the request while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation.

The East 79th Street, the East Venetian Causeway, and the 63rd Street bridges are located between Miami and Miami Beach. The current regulations in 33 CFR 117.5 require the East 79th Street and the 63rd Street bridges to open on signal. The current East Venetian Causeway bridge regulation in 33 CFR 117.269 requires this bridge to open on signal; except that, from November 1 through April 30 from 7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and from 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, the draw need not be opened. However, the draw must open at 7:45 a.m., 8:15 a.m., 5:15 p.m., and 5:45 p.m., if any vessels are waiting to pass. The draw must open on signal on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and Washington's Birthday. The draw must open at any time for public vessels of the United States, tugs with tows, regularly scheduled cruise vessels, and vessels in distress.

We believe that this proposed rule would lessen vehicular traffic congestion during the workday rush hours. This proposed rule would modify the current regulation for the East Venetian Causeway bridge by requiring “regularly scheduled cruise vessels” to comply with the regulation's opening schedule by eliminating the language that currently excepts them from the existing rule. This proposed rule would modify the existing regulation of the East Venetian Causeway bridge by requiring the bridge to open on signal during all Federal holidays, not just the holidays enumerated in the rule. This proposed rule would also slightly modify the existing times when the East Venetian Causeway bridge need not open during the morning and evening rush hours, and would allow the East 79th Street and the 63rd Street bridges to remain closed from 7 a.m. to 8:59 a.m.; and from 4:10 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to modify the existing bridge operating regulations and create a permanent rule that would allow the East 79th Street and the East Venetian Causeway bridges across Miami Beach Channel, and the 63rd Street bridge across Indian Creek, to remain closed from 7 a.m. to 8:59 a.m.; and from 4:10 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Public vessels of the United States, tugs with tows, and vessels in distress would be passed at anytime.

Regulatory Evaluation

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 because there have been limited numbers of requests for openings during Start Printed Page 72127these time periods and this proposed rule still provides for regular openings throughout the day.

Small Entities

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 because there have been limited openings during these time periods and this proposed rule still provides for regular openings throughout the day.

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 address under ADDRESSES. In your comment, explain 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 (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 this proposed rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We also have a point of contact for commenting on actions by employees of the Coast Guard. 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 proposed rule would call 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 proposed rule under that Order and 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 regulatory actions not specifically required by law. 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. Although 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 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 would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

Environment

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.

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.

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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For the reasons discussed 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 authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

End Authority

2. Revise § 117.269 to read as follows:

Biscayne Bay.

The East 79th Street and the East Venetian Causeway bridges across Miami Beach Channel, and the 63rd Street bridge across Indian Creek, need not open from 7 a.m. to 8:59 a.m.; and from 4:10 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Public vessels of the United States, tugs with tows, and vessels in distress shall be passed at anytime.

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Start Printed Page 72128

Dated: November 12, 2002.

James S. Carmichael,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-30739 Filed 12-3-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P