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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD

Document Details

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 that govern the operation of the S181 Bridge, mile 0.4, across Spa Creek, at Annapolis, Maryland. These regulations are necessary to facilitate public safety and expedite vehicular traffic from the City of Annapolis after the annual firework display. This change to the drawbridge operation schedule will allow the S181 Bridge to remain in the closed position from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4th, of every year. In the event of inclement weather, the alternate date is July 5th.


This rule is effective: November 29, 2004.


Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket CGD05-04-052 and are available for inspection or copying at the Commander (obr), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 4th Floor, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704-5004, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Gary S. Heyer, Bridge Management Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6227.

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Regulatory History

On May 17, 2004, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Spa Creek, Annapolis, MD” in the Federal Register (69 FR 27870). We received no comments on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested or held.

Background and Purpose

The City of Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department (the Department) on behalf of Maryland Department of Transportation, who owns and operates the S181 Bridge, requested a change to the operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.571.

In accordance with 33 117.37(a) for reason of public safety or for public functions, the District Commander may authorize the opening and closing of a drawbridge for a specified period of time.

Due to the high volume of spectators that attend this annual event, it is necessary to close the draw span to vessels between the hours of 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. to help expedite exiting vehicular traffic from the City of Annapolis after the fireworks display. This will reduce vehicular traffic congestion and increase public safety.

Under this rule, the S181 Bridge will be allowed to remain in the closed position to vessels from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4th, of every year. In the event of inclement weather, the alternate date is July 5th.

Since the Annapolis Fireworks Display is a well-known annual event, and it is publicly advertised, vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the closure. Vessels with a mast height less than 15 feet at high water can still Start Printed Page 63065transit the bridge in the closed position during this event.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received no comments on the NPRM for the Spa Creek Bridge and no changes are being made to this final rule.

Regulatory Evaluation

This 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 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 this final rule will have a very limited impact on maritime traffic transiting this area. Since Spa Creek will remain open to navigation during this event, mariners with mast height less than 15 feet may still transit through the S181 Bridge.

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 final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because even though the rule closes the S181 Bridge to mariners, those with mast height of less than the 15 feet at high water can still transit through the bridge during the closed hours. There are no alternate routes.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 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. No assistance was asked for, or given to assist Small Entities.

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

Taking of Private Property

This 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 final rule meets applicable standards in section 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 final 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 final 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. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Technical Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

This final rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.


We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which 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.

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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. 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. Amend § 117.571 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:

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Spa Creek.
* * * * *

(c) On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays year-round, the draw shall open on the hour and half-hour for vessels waiting to pass. Except on July 4th of every year from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., the draw need not open for vessels, and in the event of inclement weather, the alternate date is July 5th.

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Dated: October 18, 2004.

Sally Brice-O'Hara,

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

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[FR Doc. 04-24254 Filed 10-28-04; 8:45 am]