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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bayou La Batre, Bayou La Batre, AL

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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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Coast Guard, DHS.


Final rule.


The Coast Guard is changing the regulation governing the operation of the State Highway 188 vertical lift span bridge, across Bayou La Batre, mile 2.3, at Bayou La Batre, Alabama. This rule will allow the draw of the bridge to open on the hour during the predominant daylight hours, remain closed except for emergencies at night and remain closed to navigation at specific vehicular peak rush hour periods. This rule will allow for better coordination and facilitate movement of both vehicular and marine traffic at the bridge site due to an increase in commuter traffic Monday thru Friday.


This rule is effective August 1, 2005.


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 [CGD08-05-001] 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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Ms. Cindy Herrmann, Bridge Administration Branch, at (504) 589-2965.

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Regulatory History

On March 1, 2005, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bayou La Batre, Bayou La Batre, AL,” in the Federal Register (70 FR 3919). No comments were received regarding the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

The U.S. Coast Guard, at t)097 he request of the Alabama Department of Transportation and supported by the Mayor of the City of Bayou La Batre and the Mobile County Public School System, is changing the times of the existing drawbridge operation regulation. Currently, the bridge opens on signal except that the draw need not be opened from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily, and from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday except holidays.

In an effort to assess and accurately determine the needs of the community, traffsic counts and bridge tender logs were supplied by Alabama Department of Transportation. A review of the logs of drawbridge openings and traffic counts reveal that adjusting the marine traffic closures to coordinate with vehicular rush hour traffic should not significantly impact the flow of marine traffic. Allowing the bridge to remain closed to marine traffic during times that coincide with the heaviest vehicular traffic counts would help relieve the morning and afternoon rush hour commuter traffic congestion across the bridge while having minimal impact on vessel traffic.

Navigation at the site of the bridge consists primarily of recreational pleasure craft, fishing vessels, crew boats and tugboats with barges. Alternate routes are not available to marine traffic.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

No comments were received in response to the NPRM Public Notice 04-05 dated March 2, 2005.

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 Start Printed Page 37676Order. 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).


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 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 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. 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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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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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 Start Printed Page 37677under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

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2. § 117.103 is revised to read as follows:

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Bayou La Batre.

The draw of SR 188 Bridge, mile 2.3, at Bayou La Batre, will open on signal every hour on the hour daily between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday. The bridge need not open for the passage of vessels on the hours of 7 a.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Monday through Friday the draw will open on signal for the passage of vessels at 3:30 p.m. The bridge will remain closed to marine traffic from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily except for emergencies.

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Dated: June 22, 2005.

Robert F. Duncan,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-12925 Filed 6-29-05; 8:45 am]