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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operating Regulation; Great Channel Between Stone Harbor and Nummy Island, NJ

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.

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to temporarily change the regulations that govern the operation of the County of Cape May Bridge across Great Channel at mile 0.7 between Stone Harbor and Nummy Island, New Jersey. The bridge area would be closed to navigation beginning 8 a.m. on October 15, 2003, through 11 p.m. on May 14, 2004. This closure is necessary to facilitate extensive mechanical rehabilitation and to maintain the bridge's operational integrity.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 11, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments and related material to Commander (Oan-b), Fifth Coast Guard District, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704-5004, hand-deliver them to Room 431 at the same address between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, or fax them to (757) 398-6334. The Commander (Oan-b), 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Linda Bonenberger, Bridge Management Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6227.

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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 (CGD05-03-050), 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

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to the address listed 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

Cape May County Department of Public Works (CMC) owns and operates the County of Cape May Bridge across Great Channel. The bridge is located between Stone Harbor and Nummy Island, New Jersey. The current regulations at 33 CFR 117.720 require the draw to open on signal except from May 15 through October 15 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw need only open if at least four hours notice has been given. From October 16 through May 14, the draw need only open if at least 24 hours notice has been given.Start Printed Page 34878

Agate Construction Company, on behalf of CMC, has requested a temporary change to existing regulations for the County of Cape May Bridge to facilitate necessary repairs. The repairs consist of extensive mechanical rehabilitation of the bascule span. To facilitate the repairs, the bascule span would be locked in the closed position to vessels from 8 a.m. on October 15, 2003, through 11 p.m. on May 14, 2004.

The Coast Guard reviewed the bridge logs for the last 10 years. From October 16 to May 14, the current regulation requires the draw need only open if at least 24 hours notice is given. From 1993 to 2002, the bridge logs revealed only two openings were provided each year, between October 15 and May 14. The earliest and latest opening dates occurred May 15, 1998, and November 6, 1994, respectively. Also, the bridge is not land-locked on either side of Great Channel providing alternate vessel access to the Atlantic Ocean, to the south, and to the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, to the north. We contacted the local Coast Guard unit (USCG Marine Safety Office Philadelphia) of the bridge's temporary inability to open for vessels and they did not object. Therefore, vessels should not be negatively impacted by this proposal.

Discussion of Proposed Temporary Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to temporarily amend 33 CFR 117.720 by inserting a new provision allowing the bridge to remain closed to navigation from 8 a.m. on October 15, 2003, to 11 p.m. on May 14, 2004. Upon completion of repairs, the bridge will return to the current operating schedule.

Regulatory Evaluation

This proposed temporary 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 Homeland Security (DHS).

We expect the economic impact of this proposed temporary rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary.

This conclusion was based on the fact that the change will have a very limited impact on maritime traffic transiting this area. Mariners can plan their transits by using alternate routes to gain access to larger bodies of water.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this proposed temporary 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 temporary rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

The proposed temporary rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because even though the rule closes this small area to mariners, they will not be land-locked at either end and will be able to plan their transits by using available alternate routes.

If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed temporary 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 temporary 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 temporary 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 Waverly W. Gregory, Jr., Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District (757) 398-6222.

Collection of Information

This proposed temporary rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3502).

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

Taking of Private Property

This proposed temporary 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 temporary 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 temporary 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 temporary 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 Start Printed Page 34879how this proposed temporary rule might impact tribal governments, even if that impact may not constitute a “tribal implication” under the Order.

Energy Effects

We have analyzed this proposed temporary 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.

Environment

We have considered the environmental impact of this proposed temporary rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32) (e), of Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, 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 the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to temporarily 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170; 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. From October 15, 2003, through May 14, 2004, § 117.720(b) is temporarily suspended and a new paragraph (c) is added to read as follows:

Great Channel.
* * * * *

(c) From 8 a.m. on October 15, 2003, until 11 p.m. on May 14, 2004, the draw of the County of Cape May Bridge, mile 0.7, between Stone Harbor and Nummy Island need not be opened for the passage of vessels.

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Dated: June 3, 2003.

Sally Brice-O'Hara,

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

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[FR Doc. 03-14799 Filed 6-10-03; 8:45 am]

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