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Drawbridge Operation Regulations; James River, Between Isle of Wight and Newport News, VA

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Coast Guard, DHS.


Temporary final rule.


The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the regulations that govern the operation of the James Start Printed Page 39564River Bridge, at mile 5.0, between Isle of Wight and Newport News, Virginia. The temporary final rule will provide vessel openings of the drawbridge upon two hours advance notice 24 hours a day beginning at 7 a.m. July 13, 2006. This action was requested by the contractor, on behalf of Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT), to facilitate sandblasting and painting operations.


This temporary rule is effective 7 a.m. July 13, 2006 until 11 p.m. on December 31, 2006.


Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket CGD05-06-039 and are available for inspection or copying at Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 1st Floor, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Fifth Coast Guard District maintains the public docket for this rulemaking.

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Bill H. Brazier, Bridge Management Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6422.

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Good Cause for Not Publishing an NPRM

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM, because it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to delay in making this rule effective. This temporary final rule needs to be published as soon as possible so that necessary repairs can be made to the James River Bridge.

Good Cause for Making Rule Effective in Less Than 30 Days

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register for the same reasons stated in the preceding paragraph.

Background and Purpose

Alpha Painting & Construction Company, Inc. (the contractor), on behalf of the Virginia DOT who owns and operates this vertical lift-type bridge, requested a temporary change to the operating regulations for the James River Bridge, at mile 5.0, between Isle of Wight and Newport News, VA to perform sandblasting and painting. The Coast Guard held numerous pre-construction meetings with known users of the waterway (Ship Agent—T. Parker Host, Inc., the Virginia Pilots Association, the Steamship Trade Committee and the Armed Forces—U.S. Army and Navy) to inform them that this work will reduce the available vertical clearance of the lift span to 58 feet, at mean high water, in the closed-to-navigation position and to 143 feet, at mean high water, in the full open-to-navigation position; and by calling the bridge tender at (757) 247-2133 or via marine radio on channel 13 VHF will provide for advance opening requests.

Regulatory Evaluation

This final 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 temporary final rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. We reached this conclusion based on the fact that this rule will have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridge. Mariners requiring drawbridge openings can plan their trips in accordance with the two-hour advance request, to minimize delays.

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 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Vessel operators with mast height lower than 58 feet still can transit through the drawbridge during the cleaning and painting and openings of draw span for larger vessels will be provided with a two-hour advance notice to the bridge tender.

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. No assistance was requested from any small entity.

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 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 rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminates 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 rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination Start Printed Page 39565with 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 and Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1, which guide 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 environmental documentation because it has been determined that the promulgation of operating regulations for drawbridges are categorically excluded.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends

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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 Public Law 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

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2. From 7 a.m. July 13, 2006, to 11 p.m. on December 31, 2006, add temporary § 117.T1012 to read as follows:

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James River.

From 7 a.m. July 13, 2006, until 11 p.m. on December 31, 2006, the draw of the James River Bridge, mile 5.0, between Isle of Wight and Newport News, shall open on signal if at least two hours notice is given to the bridge tender at (757) 247-2133 or via marine radio on channel 13 VHF.

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Dated: June 29, 2006.

L.L. Hereth,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-10979 Filed 7-12-06; 8:45 am]