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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Anna Maria, FL

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the operating regulations governing the Cortez (SR 684) Bridge and the Anna Maria (SR 64) (Manatee Avenue West) Bridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, miles 87.4 and 89.2 in Anna Maria, Manatee County, Florida. This rule will require the drawbridges to open on signal, except during daytime hours when the bridge will be on a 30-minute schedule during the winter months and a 20-minute schedule for all other months.

DATES:

This rule is effective February 21, 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 (CGD07-05-097) and (Public Meeting CGD07-06-012) and are available for inspection or copying at Commander (dpb), Seventh Coast Guard District, 909 SE. 1st Avenue, Room 432, Miami, Florida 33131-3050 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Michael Lieberum, Seventh Coast Guard District, Bridge Branch, telephone number 305-415-6744.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On August 16, 2005, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Anna Maria, FL” in the Federal Register (70 FR 48091). We received 28 comments on the proposed rule. On January 31, 2006, we published an announcement of a public meeting entitled “Announcement of Public Meeting Regarding the Proposed Drawbridge Schedule Change for the Anna Maria and Cortez Drawbridge, Anna Maria, FL,” in the Federal Register (71 FR 5033). The public meeting was held on March 29, 2006 at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, Florida.

On November 8, 2006, as a result of the previous comments received, we published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Anna Maria, FL” in the Federal Register (71 FR 65443). We received two comments on this proposed rule; one in favor of the proposed schedule and one against the new schedule.

Background and Purpose

The existing regulations of the Cortez (SR 684) Bridge, mile 87.4, and Anna Maria (SR 64) Bridge, mile 89.2 at Anna Maria, published in 33 CFR 117.287(d)(1) and (2) require the draw to open on signal, except that from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the draw need open only on the hour, twenty minutes past the hour and forty minutes past the hour if vessels are present.

On June 1, 2005, the City officials of Holmes Beach in cooperation with the cities of Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach and the Town of Longboat Key requested that the Coast Guard review the existing regulations governing the operation of the Cortez and Anna Maria (Manatee Avenue West) bridges. The review was requested by city officials because they believed the current drawbridge regulations were not meeting the needs of vehicle traffic.

This rule is necessary to assist the local community in determining additional corrective action that may be needed to alleviate the severe vehicle traffic congestion on Anna Maria Island during the winter season.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received 45 responses to the initial Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and at the Public Meeting convened on March 29, 2006. The responses were supplied by 30 written comments and 15 oral comments and several persons provided more than one comment per letter or verbally. These responses consisted of 11 form letters in favor of the proposal, six additional comments also in favor of the proposal, seven comments against the morning and afternoon curfew hours, six comments against the nighttime closures, two comments requesting staggered hours between the two bridges rather than both opening on Start Printed Page 2617the same schedule, six comments requesting changes in the winter season only and nine comments against the proposed 30-minute schedules. Two comments suggested that there should be no regulations on these bridges and that the bridges should open on demand.

Additionally, the Coast Guard received two responses to the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM). One response was in favor of both drawbridges being placed on the same 30 minute schedule and one comment was against placing both drawbridges on the same 30 minute schedule.

The Coast Guard thoroughly examined and considered all the comments and made adjustments to the final rule. These bridges will remain on the 20-minute opening schedule from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the day and both will operate on the 30-minute schedule from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the winter season from January 15 through May 15.

The Coast Guard considered placing these bridges on a staggered schedule. However, this schedule would be impracticable as only a limited number of vessels traveling at a high rate of speed would be able to make the next scheduled bridge opening.

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.

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. This proposed rule would affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels needed to transit the Intracoastal Waterway in the vicinity of the Cortez and Anna Maria bridges, persons intending to drive over the bridges, and nearby business owners. The revision to the openings schedule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Vehicle traffic and small business owners in the area might benefit from the improved traffic flow that regularly scheduled openings will offer this area. Although bridge openings will be less frequent, vessel traffic will still be able to transit the Intracoastal Waterway in the vicinity of the Cortez and Anna Maria bridges pursuant to the revised opening schedule.

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 could 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). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about the 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 will not effect 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 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 Start Printed Page 2618regulatory 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, 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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Bridges.

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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. Revise § 117.287(d)(1) and (2) to read as follows:

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Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
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(d)(1) Cortez (SR 684) Bridge, mile 87.4. The draw shall open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, 20 minutes after the hour, and 40 minutes after the hour. From January 15 to May 15, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

(2) Anna Maria (SR 64) (Manatee Avenue West) Bridge, mile 89.2. The draw shall open on signal, except that from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour, 20 minutes after the hour, and 40 minutes after the hour. From January 15 to May 15, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the draw need only open on the hour and half hour.

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Start Signature

Dated: January 5, 2007.

D.W. Kunkel,

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

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[FR Doc. E7-832 Filed 1-19-07; 8:45 am]

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