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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Taunton River, MA

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, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operating regulations governing the operation of the Brightman Street Bridge, mile 1.8, across the Taunton River between Fall River and Somerset, Massachusetts. This proposed change to the drawbridge operation regulations would allow the bridge to remain closed for the passage of pleasure craft traffic from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, from June 1 through August 31. The draw would open on signal at all times for commercial vessel traffic. This action is expected to help relieve vehicular traffic delays during the morning and afternoon commuter time periods while continuing to meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES:

Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before February 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments to Commander (obr), First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, 408 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, or deliver them to the same address between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except, Federal holidays. The telephone number is (617) 223-8364. The First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, maintains the public docket for this rulemaking. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents Start Printed Page 75014indicated 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 First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joe Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, (212) 668-7165.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments or related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-04-143), 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 if 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 First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, at the address 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

The Brightman Street Bridge has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 27 feet at mean high water and 31 feet at mean low water. The existing drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.619(b).

The Town of Somerset and the Massachusetts State Police asked the Coast Guard and the bridge owner, Massachusetts Highway Department, for assistance with vehicular traffic delays resulting from unregulated bridge openings during the morning and afternoon rush hours at the Brightman Street Bridge.

The Coast Guard, in response to the above request, issued a temporary deviation from the drawbridge operation regulations (69 FR 35244) on June 24, 2004, with a request for public comment.

The temporary deviation was in effect for a period of 90-days to test an alternate operation schedule which is the same schedule proposed in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

Under the temporary deviation effective from July 1, 2004 through September 28, 2004, the Brightman Street Bridge remained closed for the passage of pleasure craft from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Commercial vessel traffic was allowed to pass through the bridge on signal at all times during the 90-day test period.

The drawbridge operation schedule implemented during the 90-day test period successfully alleviated vehicular traffic delays with no known adverse effects on navigation. The Coast Guard received no comment letters in response to the temporary deviation.

Discussion of Proposal

This proposed change would amend 33 CFR 117.619 by revising paragraph (b), which lists the Brightman Street Bridge drawbridge operation regulations. This proposed change would allow the Brightman Street Bridge to remain closed to pleasure craft 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, from June 1 through August 31.

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 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, Feb. 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.

This conclusion is based on the fact that the bridge will continue to open at all times for commercial vessel traffic.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we 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 section 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

This conclusion is based on the fact that the bridge will continue to open for commercial vessel traffic at all times.

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 (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

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

Arule 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 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 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 E.O. 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. Start Printed Page 75015

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 may 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.

Energy Effects

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.

Environment

We considered the environmental impact of this proposed rule and concluded that, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of Commandant Instruction M16475.1d, this proposed rule is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation because promulgation of drawbridge regulations have been found not to have a significant effect on the environment. A written “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is not required for this rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

End List of Subjects

Regulations

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

Start Part

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

End Authority

2. Section 117.619 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:

Taunton River.
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(b) The Brightman Street Bridge, at mile 1.8, between Fall River and Somerset, shall open on signal, except that:

(1) From June 1 through August 31, the draw need not open for the passage of pleasure craft, from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. The draw shall open on signal for commercial vessel traffic at all times.

(2) From November 1 through March 31, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily, the draw shall open if at least a one-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

(3) From 6 p.m. on December 24 to midnight on December 25, and from 6 p.m. on December 31 to midnight on January 1, the draw shall open on signal if at least a two-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

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Start Signature

Dated: December 3, 2004.

David P. Pekoske,

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

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-27472 Filed 12-14-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P