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Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Wicomico River (North Prong), Salisbury, MD

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 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 final rule will 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.

DATES:

This rule is effective September 4, 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 docket CGD05-07-025 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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Waverly W. Gregory, Jr., Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6222.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory History

On April 5, 2007, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Wicomico River (North Prong), Salisbury, MD” in the Federal Register (72 FR 16752). We received no comments on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

The State Highway Administration (SHA), a division under MDOT, is responsible for the operation of both the Main Street and U.S. 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 U.S. 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 given year-round by calling the contact telephone number at (410) 430-7561.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard did not receive any comments on the NPRM. Therefore, no changes were made to the final rule.

Discussion of Rule

The Coast Guard is amending 33 CFR 117.579, which governs the Main Street and U.S. 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.

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 (DHS).

This conclusion is based on the fact that these changes have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridges. 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.

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 conclusion is based on the fact the 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. Start Printed Page 42307

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.).

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, 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 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 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 M16475.1D 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 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 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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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 § 117.579 to read as follows:

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Wicomico River (North Prong).

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.

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Dated: July 24, 2007.

Fred M. Rosa, Jr.,

Rear Admiral, United States Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.

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[FR Doc. E7-14936 Filed 8-1-07; 8:45 am]

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