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Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Duwamish Waterway, Seattle, WA

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.

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is temporarily revising the operating regulations for the First Avenue South dual drawbridges across the Duwamish Waterway, mile 2.5, at Seattle, Washington. The change will enable the bridge owner to keep the bridges closed during night hours for a period longer than 60 days. This will facilitate painting the structure while properly containing debris and paint.

DATES:

This temporary rule is effective from July 15 to September 30, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket CG13-06-015 and are available for inspection or copying at the office of Commander (dpw), 13th Coast Guard District, 915 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98174-1067 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Austin Pratt, Chief Bridge Section, Commander (dpw), 13th Coast Guard District, 915 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98174-1067, (206) 220-7282.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On May 24, 2006, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Duwamish River, Seattle, Washington” in the Federal Register (71 FR 29871). We received no letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication of this temporary final rule in the Federal Register, as is normally required by the Administrative Procedure Act. The Coast Guard experienced administrative problems that made compliance with the 30-day rule impracticable within the work schedule that the bridge owner had previously set. Compliance with the 30-day rule would require rescheduling the repair work, perhaps for a significant amount of time. Timely maintenance of the heavily-used First Avenue South bridges helps preserve the safety of these spans. Thus, a delay of scheduled maintenance would be contrary to the public interest. Moreover, compliance with the 30-day rule at the expense of delaying scheduled maintenance is unnecessary. Temporary deviations from drawbridge schedules for repair or maintenance are already authorized, for periods not to exceed 60 days, by 33 CFR 117.35(d). In this case, the bridge repairs will not pass the 60-day mark until mid-September, by which time this temporary final rule will have been published for far more than 30 days. In addition, our May 24, 2006 NPRM alerted the public to our intention to modify the drawbridge schedule, and the NPRM received no adverse comment. Vessels large enough to require opening of these spans use the Duwamish Waterway only infrequently. Steps have been taken to notify affected vessels that the drawbridge schedule is being altered, via publication in a local notice to mariners.

Background and Purpose

The dual First Avenue South drawbridges provide 32 feet of vertical clearance at mean high water for the central 100 feet of horizontal distance in the channel spans. When the drawspans are open there is unlimited vertical clearance for the central 120 feet of the spans. An adjacent, parallel bascule bridge was constructed and completed in 1999. Drawbridge openings are provided for recreational vessels, large barges, and floating construction equipment. The operating regulations currently in effect for these drawbridges at 33 Code of Federal Regulations 117.1041 provide that the spans need not open for the passage of vessels from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays. The draws shall open at any time for a vessel of 5,000 gross tons and over and for a vessel towing such a vessel or en route to take in tow a vessel of that size.

The temporary rule will enable the owner to paint the structure after preparing the surfaces of the steel truss beneath the roadway. All of this work must be accomplished within a containment system that permits no material to fall into the waterway. This containment system will have to be modified for drawspan openings.

The temporary closed period is from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Friday from July 15 to September 30, 2006. This operating scheme was authorized last year for the same purpose and generated no objections or complaints from waterway users.

Our previous analysis indicated that most vessel operators will not be inconvenienced by the hours of temporary closure. This conclusion seems to have been borne out as no complaints were received during the previous season of work. Others would receive enough notice to plan trips at other hours. Vessel traffic includes tugboats, barges, derrick barges, sailboats and motorized recreational boats including large yachts. The majority of vessels pass through the dual bascule spans during hours other than those affected night hours.

First Avenue South is a heavily traveled commuter arterial that serves Boeing Company plants and other industrial facilities in south Seattle. The dual bascule spans need not open for the passage of vessels from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Vessels of 5000 gross tons or more are exempted from these closed periods. However, vessels of this size infrequently ply this reach of the waterway. The dual spans open an average of four times a day.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

No comments or letters were received in response to the NPRM. No changes to the proposed regulation were made. Start Printed Page 40917

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.

We expect the economic impact of this rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. Most vessels will be able to plan transits to avoid the closed periods. Most commercial vessel owners have indicated that they can tolerate the proposed hours by working around them. Saturdays will enjoy normal operations, lessening inconvenience to sailboats.

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. This may affect some recreational sailboat owners insofar as they must return by 9 p.m. or wait until 5 a.m. to regain moorage above the drawbridges. We expect these to be few in number.

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 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

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 Austin Pratt, Chief, Bridge Section, at (206) 220-7282.

Collection of Information

This rule would call 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 proposed 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, 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 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.

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 Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated this 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.

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. There are no expected environmental consequences of the proposed action that would require further analysis and documentation.

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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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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. From 9 p.m. July 15 to 5 a.m. September 30, 2006, in § 117.1041, suspend paragraph (a)(1) and add a new paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:

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Duwamish Waterway.
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(a) * * *

(3) From Monday through Friday, except all Federal holidays but Columbus Day, the draws of the First Avenue South Bridges, mile 2.5, need not be opened for the passage of vessels from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., except during these hours: The draws shall open at any time for a vessel of 5000 gross tons and over, a vessel towing a 5000 gross tons and over, and a vessel proceeding to pick up for towing a vessel of 5000 gross tons and over. From July 15 to September 30, 2006, Sunday through Friday, the draws need not be opened for the passage of any vessels from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

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Start Signature

Dated: July 10, 2006.

R.R. Houck,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-11378 Filed 7-18-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P