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Drawbridge Operation Regulation Change, St. Croix River, Minnesota and Wisconsin

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble


Coast Guard, DHS.


Final rule.


The Coast Guard is changing the regulations governing the operation of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge, Mile 0.2, Prescott, Wisconsin; U.S. 16-61 Bridge, Mile 0.3, Prescott, Wisconsin, the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, Mile 17.3, Hudson, Wisconsin across the St. Croix River, and the S36 Highway Bridge at Stillwater, mile 23.4. This rule modifies the dates and hours requiring advanced notice for openings on each of the bridges. These changes are intended to reduce the number of hours that a drawtender is required to be on site at each of the bridges while maintaining satisfactory service to vessels navigating the area.


This rule is effective January 23, 2004.


Comments and materials received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket CGD08-02-035 and are available for inspection or copying at room 2.107f in the Robert A. Young Federal Building at Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 1222 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO 63103-2832, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (314) 539-3900, extension 2378.

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Mr. Roger K. Wiebusch, Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, Bridge Administrator, (314) 539-3900, extension 2378.

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Regulatory Information

On April 16, 2002, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation Change, St. Croix River, MN in the Federal Register (67 FR 18521). We received six letters commenting on the proposed rule. On March 25, 2003, we clarified a statement in the NPRM and reopened the comment period to receive additional comments (68 FR 14364). No comments were received during the additional comment period. On September 9, 2003, we published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) (68 FR 53079) in which we amended the original proposed rule based on comments received in response to the April 16, 2002 NPRM. No additional comments were received in response to the SNPRM. No public hearing was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.667, the draws of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge, Mile 0.2 at Prescott, Wisconsin, the U.S. 16-61 Bridge, Mile 0.3, at Prescott, Wisconsin and the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, Mile 17.3, at Hudson, Wisconsin, currently open on signal; except that, from December 15 through March 31, the draws open on signal if at least 24-hours notice is given. Currently, the S36 Stillwater Highway Bridge, Mile 23.4 at Stillwater, Minnesota opens on signal at various times throughout the day from May 15 through October 15, and on signal from October 16 through May 14. The NPRM proposed to amend the regulations governing drawbridges across the St. Croix River by adding a notice requirement for bridge openings during the summer season. Specifically, the NPRM requiring that advance notice be given prior to 11 p.m. for openings between midnight and 7 a.m. from April 1 to October 15 for three of the four bridges.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Mile 0.2 at Prescott initially Start Printed Page 74478requested a change to the regulation for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, to open on signal from 7 a.m. to midnight and to open between midnight and 7 a.m., if the bridge was notified prior to 11 p.m. during the summer tourism months. Although the request was submitted by only one bridge owner, the approval would also impact the U.S. 16-61 Bridge and the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge. Therefore, the proposal was expanded to include these two bridges. The S36 Bridge at Stillwater is more remotely located than the other three bridges, and we have proposed a separate opening requirement for the S36 Bridge rather than including it with the other three bridges.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received no comment letters in response to the SNPRM. No changes will be made to this final rule.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of the 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 rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary.

Implementing the regulation will allow the owners of drawbridges to reduce the number of hours drawtenders are required to be on site due to a reduction in requests to open the drawbridges between midnight and 8 a.m. from 1 April to 31 October. Previously, these advance notification requirements were temporarily instated to facilitate maintenance on the bridges. During the maintenance periods, the bridge owners received no complaints from commercial or recreational vessel operators. Additionally, this has become the widely accepted method of voluntarily requesting bridge openings from local vessel operators during non-maintenance periods without complaint.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this 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 rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This Coast Guard identified local marinas as small entities that might be affected by this rule due to restricted access to the marinas during periods when drawtenders are not on site. These Entities were consulted prior to initiating this rulemaking process to minimize the economic impact that might result from this rule.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. 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 rule calls 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 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 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 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 would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 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 does 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.


We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, Start Printed Page 74479which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, this rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. Promulgation of changes to drawbridge regulations have been found to not have significant effect on the human environment. A final “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a final “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

  • Bridges
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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR Part 117 as follows:

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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. Sec. 499; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; 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 § 117.667, paragraph (a) and paragraph (b), introductory text, are revised and a new paragraph (b)(3) is added to read as follows:

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St. Croix River.

(a) The draws of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge, Mile 0.2, the Prescott Highway Bridge, Mile 0.3, and the Hudson Railroad Bridge, Mile 17.3, shall operate as follows:

(1) From April 1 to October 31:

(i) 8 a.m. to midnight, the draws shall open on signal;

(ii) Midnight to 8 a.m., the draws shall open on signal if notification is made prior to 11 p.m.,

(2) From November 1 through March 31, the draw shall open on signal if at least 24 hours notice is given.

(b) The draw of the Stillwater Highway Bridge, Mile 23.4, shall open on signal as follows:

* * *

(3) From October 16 through May 14, if at least 24 hours notice is given.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Dated: December 12, 2003.

R.F. Duncan,

Commander, 8th CG District.

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[FR Doc. 03-31625 Filed 12-23-03; 8:45 am]