Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operation regulations of two Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridges: The Main Street and U.S. 50 Bridges, at mile 22.4, across Wicomico River (North Prong) in Salisbury, MD. This proposal would allow the bridges to open on signal if four hours advance notice is given and eliminate the continual attendance of draw tender services while still providing the reasonable needs of navigation.
Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 21, 2007.
You may mail comments and related material to Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 1st Floor, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004. The Fifth Coast Guard District 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 Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Waverly W. Gregory, Jr., Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6222.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 CGD05-07-025, 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 a return receipt, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all submittals 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. But you may submit a request for a meeting by writing to Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District 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 State Highway Administration (SHA), a division under MDOT, is responsible for the operation of both the Main Street and US 50 Bridges, at mile 22.4, across Wicomico River in Salisbury. SHA requested advance notification for vessel openings and a reduction in draw tender services due to the infrequency of requests for vessel openings of the drawbridges.
The Main Street and US 50 Bridges have vertical clearances of four feet, above mean high water, in the closed-to-navigation position. The existing operating regulations for these drawbridges are set out in 33 CFR § 117.579, which requires the draws to open on signal, except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., from 12 noon to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the draw need not be opened for the passage of vessels, except for tugs with tows, if at least three hours of advance notice is given, and the reason for passage through the bridges during a closure period is due to delay caused by inclement weather or other emergency or unforeseen circumstances.
Bridge opening data supplied by SHA revealed a significant decrease in yearly openings. In the past three years from 2004 to 2006, the bridges opened for vessels 522, 282 and 157 times, respectively. Due to the infrequency of requests for vessel openings of the drawbridges, SHA requested to change the current operating regulations by requiring the draw spans to open on signal if at least four hours notice is Start Printed Page 16753given year-round by calling the contact telephone number at (410) 430-7561.
Discussion of Proposed Rule
The Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR 117.579, which governs the Main Street and US 50 Bridges, by revising the paragraph to read that the draws shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given by calling the telephone contact number at (410) 430-7461. Under this revision, there will no longer be closure periods. All vessels will be required to provide at least four hours notice.
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 (DHS).
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. We reached this conclusion based on the fact that the proposed changes have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridge. Mariners will no longer have to wait for closure periods to end, which will allow them to plan their trips without requiring a stop, so long as the four hour notice is provided.
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 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 proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the rule relieves restrictions to the movement of navigation, as mariners will no longer have to wait for closure periods to end, which will allow them to plan their trips without requiring a stop, so long as the four hour notice is provided.
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 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 Waverly W. Gregory, Jr., Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, and (757) 398-6222. 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 would 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 will 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 proposed 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 Start Printed Page 16754technical 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.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 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. 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 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. Revise § 117.579 to read as follows:
The draws of the Main Street and U.S. 50 bridges, mile 22.4, Salisbury, Maryland shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given by calling the telephone contact number at (410) 430-7461.
Dated: March 29, 2007.
L. L. Hereth,
Rear Admiral, U. S. Coast Guard Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. E7-6303 Filed 4-4-07; 8:45 am]
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