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Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bayou Lafourche, 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.

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the regulations governing six bridges across Bayou Lafourche, south of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW), and one bridge across Bayou Lafourche, north of the GIWW, in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. The Lafourche Parish Council has requested that the six bridges below the GIWW remain closed to navigation at various times on weekdays during the school year and the one bridge north of the GIWW open on four hours advanced notification at night. These closures will facilitate the safe, efficient movement of staff, students and other residents within the parish.

DATES:

This rule is effective January 22, 2007.

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 dockets [CGD08-06-034] and [CGD08-06-034] and are available for inspection or copying at the office of the Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration Branch, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-3310, 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:

David Frank, Bridge Administration Branch, telephone 504-671-2128.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory History

On September 20, 2006, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bayou Lafourche, LA,” in the Federal Register (71 FR 54944) under docket number [CGD08-06-028] for the modification of the operation regulations for six bridges across Bayou Lafourche below the Gulf Intracoastal Canal. We received no letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Additionally, on September 20, 2006, we published another notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bayou Lafourche, LA,” in the Federal Register (71 FR 54946) under docket number [CGD08-06-034] to establish an advanced notification requirement for a bridge across Bayou Lafourche above the Gulf Intracoastal Canal. We received no 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 Lafourche Parish Council, is modifying the existing operating schedules of six bridges across Bayou Lafourche south of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. The six bridges include: Golden Meadow Vertical Lift Bridge, mile 23.9; the Galliano Pontoon Bridge, mile 27.8; the South Lafourche (Tarpon) Vertical Lift Bridge, mile 30.6; the Cote Blanche Pontoon Bridge, mile 33.9; the Cutoff Vertical Lift Bridge, mile 36.3; and the Larose Pontoon Bridge, mile 39.1. The modification of the existing regulations allows these bridges to remain closed to navigation from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday from August 15 through May 31. At all other times, the bridges shall open on signal for the passage of vessels.

Presently, the draws of these bridges shall open on signal; except that, from August 15 through May 31, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels Monday through Friday except Federal holidays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.; from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The existing regulations for the bridges went into effect on January 27, 2006. The original request by the petitioner was that the bridges be closed to navigation from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; however, due to a clerical error, the rule was codified with the morning hours of Start Printed Page 766027 a.m. to 8 a.m. This rule will correct the discrepancy.

Additionally, the U. S. Coast Guard, at the request of the Lafourche Parish Council, is modifying the existing operating schedule of the Valentine Pontoon Bridge across Bayou Lafourche, mile 44.7, in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. The majority of the bridge's openings occur between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The bridge owner will continue to open the bridge on signal during these hours and will open the bridge on signal if at least four hours advance notification is given between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Presently, the draw of the bridge opens on signal for the passage of traffic.

Several large shipyards are located on Bayou Lafourche upstream of the Valentine Bridge. No letters of objection to the advanced notification requirement were received regarding the proposed changes. Additionally, no letters of objections were received from any waterway users regarding the advanced notification requirements.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

No letters were received with regards to either NPRM; therefore no changes to the proposed regulations were made.

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.

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

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.

No comments were received from any small entities with regards to any effects that the modification of the regulations will have on them.

Assistance for Small Entities

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we offered to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

No small entities requested Coast Guard assistance and none was given.

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). 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 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 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 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 Start Printed Page 76603technical 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, and Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1, 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. Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are not required for this rule

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117 Bridges.

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend

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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 § 117.465, paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) are redesignated paragraphs (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g). A new paragraph (b) is added and paragraph (a) introductory text is revised to read as follows:

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Lafourche Bayou.

(a) The draws of the following bridges shall open on signal; except that, from August 15 through May 31, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels Monday through Friday except Federal holidays from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.:

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(b) The draw of the Valentine bridge, mile 44.7 at Valentine, shall open on signal; except that, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours advance notification is given. During the advance notification period, the draw shall open on less than four hours notice for an emergency and shall open on demand should a temporary surge in water traffic occur.

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Dated: December 8, 2006.

Joel R. Whitehead,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-21834 Filed 12-20-06; 8:45 am]

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