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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Houma, LA

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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the regulation governing the operation of the SR 315 (Bayou Dularge) bascule bridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, mile 59.9 west of Harvey Lock, in Houma, Louisiana. An increase in traffic during the noontime time period facilitated a request to allow the bridge to remain closed to navigation for two (2), 30-minute periods in the middle of the day. These closures will allow local workers to transit the area with minimal delays during the noontime lunch period.

DATES:

This rule is effective May 20, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

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 [CGD08-05-003] and are available for inspection or copying at the office of the Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration Branch, 501 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-3396, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Bridge Administration Branch maintains the public docket for this rulemaking.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. David Frank, Bridge Administration Branch, at (504) 589-2965.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory History

On January 28, 2005, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Houma, LA,” in the Federal Register (70 FR 4074). We received four letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

The U. S. Coast Guard, at the request of the State of Louisiana, Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD), and supported by the Terrebonne Parish Council, is modifying Start Printed Page 20470the existing operating schedule of the SR 315 (Bayou Dularge) bascule bridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, mile 59.9 west of Harvey Lock, in Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The modification of the existing regulations will allow the bridge to remain closed to navigation for two (2), 30-minute periods in the middle of the day to allow for local workers to transit the area with minimal delays during the noontime lunch period.

Currently, the bridge opens on signal; except that, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels Monday through Friday except Federal holidays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Approximately 11,500 vehicles cross the bridge daily, 7% of which cross the bridge during the requested noon closure times. The bridge averages 288 openings a month. The requested two (2), 30-minute closures will delay approximately 35 additional tows a month for a maximum of 30 minutes. The average length of a bridge opening is approximately seven minutes, delaying an average of 92 vehicles per opening during the noontime bridge openings.

Navigation at the site of the bridge consists primarily of tugboats with barges. Alternate routes east and west through the bridge are not readily accessible; however, the bridge, in the closed-to-navigation position provides a vertical clearance of 40 feet above high water, elevation 3.8 feet Mean Sea Level.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

Four letters were received with regards to the NPRM. Oil States Industries in Houma wrote in support of the changes. The Terrebonne Parish Council wrote in support of the changes. The National Resources Conservation Service offered no comments. Trico Marine Operators wrote in support of the changes but suggested that the words “except Federal holidays” be eliminated, as many private entities do not observe some or all of these Federal holidays. Based upon this comments, no changes were made to the proposed regulation.

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).

This rule allows vessels ample opportunity to transit this waterway with proper notification before and after the peak vehicular traffic periods. According to the vehicle traffic surveys, the public at large is better served by the additional closure times during the noontime lunch periods.

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.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they can 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).

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 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 the preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This rule will 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 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 does not cause an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may 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. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not Start Printed Page 20471require 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 rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment

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. This final rule involves modifying the existing drawbridge operation regulation for a benefit of all modes of transportation. It will not have any impact on the environment.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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Regulations

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For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Coast Guard is amending part 117 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

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PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

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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. In § 117.451, paragraph (c) is revised to read as follows:

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Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
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(c) The draw of the SR 315 (Bayou Dularge) bridge, mile 59.9 west of Harvey Lock, at Houma, shall open on signal; except that, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels Monday through Friday except Federal holidays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., from 12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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Start Signature

Dated: April 8, 2005.

R.F. Duncan,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-7900 Filed 4-19-05; 8:45 am]

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