Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Coast Guard proposes to establish a drawbridge operation regulation for the draw of the CSX Railroad swing bridge across the Apalachicola River, mile 105.9, at River Junction (near Chattahoochee), Florida. The regulation will allow for the bridge to be unmanned and remain closed during hours of infrequent traffic with Start Printed Page 17572an advance notification requirement to open the bridge.
Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before June 9, 2003.
You may mail comments and related material to Commander (obc), Eighth Coast Guard District, 501 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-3396, or deliver them to room 1313 at the same address above between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration 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 by appointment at the Bridge Administration Branch, Eighth Coast Guard District between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. David Frank, Bridge Administration Branch, at the address given above or telephone (504) 589-2965.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 (CGD08-03-007), 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 that 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. However, you may submit a request for a public meeting by writing to the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration Branch at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why a public meeting 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 CSX swing bridge across the Apalachicola River, mile 105.9, presently opens on signal for the passage of vessels. The bridge owner has requested to change the operation regulations so that the bridge be required to open on signal only from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. At all other times, the bridge would open on signal if at least four hours advanced notification is given. The request was made based upon a documented decrease in the number of requests for openings in the last three years. In 2000, the bridge opened 63 times for the passage of vessels. In 2001, the bridge opened 38 times for the passage of vessels. In the first five months of 2002, the bridge opened 15 times for the passage of vessels. Information gathered regarding the decrease in vessel movements indicates that the closure of a sand and gravel facility above the bridge and a prolonged drought are the main contributing factors. While water elevations may return to their pre-drought levels, there is presently no evidence that the number of requests for bridge openings will increase in the future due to limited industrial development along the waterway.
Discussion of Proposed Rule
The proposed rule will have no effect on the existing operation of the bridge between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday when the bridge will open on signal to accommodate marine traffic. At all other times the bridge will only open if four hours advance notice is provided. This change is proposed to reduce the financial burden on the drawbridge operator of maintaining bridge tenders at times that there is little or no vessel traffic.
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. 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 Homeland Security.
We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary.
Prior to proposing this rule, the Coast Guard analyzed the bridge usage records and determined that requiring four hours notice during off peak periods would have minimal impact on commercial vessel traffic. This proposed rule allows vessels ample opportunity to transit this waterway during normal weekdays and with minimal notification at all other times.
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 affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: the owners and operators of vessels requiring a vertical clearance of greater than 17.4 feet above Ordinary High Water and needing to transit the bridge outside of the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekday time frame. The impacts to small entities will not be significant because of the limited number of openings required by these vessels.
This is not considered to have a significant 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 proposed 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 proposed 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 proposed 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, Eighth Coast Guard District at the address above. Start Printed Page 17573
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 cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13132 and have determined that this proposed rule 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 proposed rule is not economically significant 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.
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 considered the environmental impact of this proposed rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph 32(e), of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, this proposed rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation. This action is categorically excluded under paragraph 32(e) as it is for the purpose of promulgating an operation regulation for this drawbridge. 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 set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend Part 117 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:Start Part
PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS
1. The authority citation for Part 117 continues to read as follows:
2. § 117.258 is added to read as follows:
The draw of the CSX Railroad bridge, mile 105.9, at River Junction shall open on signal Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. At all other times, the bridge will open on signal if at least 4 hours notice is given.
Dated: March 27, 2003.
Roy J. Casto,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, , Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 03-8690 Filed 4-9-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P