Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operation regulations governing the operation of the Beach Channel railroad bridge across Jamaica Bay, at mile 6.7, New York. This proposed rule would allow the Beach Channel Bridge to remain in the closed position during the morning and afternoon commuter rush hours from 6:45 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. This rule is expected to help facilitate commuter rail traffic while continuing to meet the present and anticipated needs of navigation.
Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before July 24, 2006.
You may mail comments and related material to Commander (dpb), First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, One South Street, Battery Park Building, New York, New York, 10004, 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 (212) 668-7165. 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 indicated 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, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.Start Further Info Start Printed Page 29870
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ms. Judy Leung-Yee, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, (212) 668-7195.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Request for Comments
We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. If you do so, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (CGD01-06-033), 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.
We do not now plan to hold a public meeting; however, 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 and Purpose
The Beach Channel railroad bridge across Jamaica Bay at mile 6.7, has a vertical clearance of 26 feet at mean high water, and 31 feet at mean low water in the closed position. The existing drawbridge operating regulations listed at 33 CFR 117.5, require the bridge to open on signal at all times.
Jamaica Bay facilitates both commercial and recreational vessel traffic.
The owner of the bridge, New York City Transit, requested a change to the drawbridge operation regulations to help reduce commuter rail traffic delays during the morning and afternoon commuter hours.
Under this proposed rule the Beach Channel railroad bridge would not open for the passage of vessel traffic from 6:45 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
On November 2, 2005, the Coast Guard implemented a 90-day temporary deviation with request for public comment (70 FR 66260), to test the above proposed rule change. The temporary test deviation was in effect from December 1, 2005 through February 28, 2006. No comments or complaints were received in response to the temporary test deviation.
Discussion of Proposed Rule
This proposed rule would allow the Beach Channel railroad bridge to remain closed for the passage of vessel traffic from 6:45 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
The Coast Guard reviewed the bridge opening logs for the Beach Channel railroad bridge from June 2002 through May 2004. The logs indicated that there were normally between 5 and 24 bridge opening requests received Monday through Friday each month between 6:45 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. and between 3 and 12 opening requests received from 5 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
During the temporary test deviation in effect from December 1, 2005 through February 28, 2006, the Coast Guard received no complaints or comments in response to the temporary test deviation which temporarily changed the bridge operating schedule.
The Coast Guard believes this proposed rule, if adopted, would help facilitate commuter rail traffic while continuing to meet the present and anticipated needs of navigation.
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 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.
We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary.
This conclusion is based on the fact that vessel traffic would not be precluded from transiting through the Beach Channel railroad bridge each day, except for two closures of short duration, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Mariners would simply need to plan their daily transits in accordance with drawbridge operation schedule in order to help balance the needs of both rail and marine traffic.
Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 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 vessel traffic would not be precluded from transiting through the Beach Channel railroad bridge each day, except for two closures of short duration, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Mariners would simply need to plan their daily transits in accordance with the drawbridge operation schedule in order to help balance the needs of both rail and marine traffic.
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.
Assistance for Small Entities
Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact, Commander (dpb), First Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, One South Street, New York, NY, 10004. The telephone number is (212) 668-7165. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.
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).
A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and Start Printed Page 29871would 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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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. 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.
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 proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.
We have analyzed this proposed rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination 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, we believe that this rule should be categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e) of the Instruction, from further environment documentation because this action relates to the promulgation of operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e) of the Instruction, an “Environmental Analysis Checklist” is not required for this rule. Comments on this section will be considered before we make the final decision on whether to categorically exclude this rule from further environmental review.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117End List of Subjects
For the reasons discussed 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:
2. In § 117.795, redesignate suspended paragraph (b), and paragraphs (c) and (d) as paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) respectively, suspend newly designated paragraph (c), and add a new paragraph (b) to read as follows:
(b) The draw of the Beach Channel railroad bridge shall open on signal; except that, the draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic, 6:45 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Dated: May 4, 2006
David P. Pekoske,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. E6-7861 Filed 5-23-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P