Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Coast Guard proposes to change the regulation governing the operation of the State Route 433 (S433) swing span bridge across Bonfouca Bayou, mile 7.0, at Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has requested changes to the present drawbridge operating regulations to make more efficient use of operating resources and to enhance the flow of vehicles across the bridge during peak traffic hours.
Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 8, 2008.
You may mail comments and related material to Commander (dpb), Eighth Coast Guard District, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-3310. The Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration Branch 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 the Bridge Administration office between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Phil Johnson, Bridge Administration Branch, telephone (504) 671-2128.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 [CGD08-07-033], 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 to know they reached us, please enclose Start Printed Page 63531a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material 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. You may submit a request for a meeting by writing to Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District, Bridge Administration Branch 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 Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has requested that the operating regulation of the S433 swing span bridge be changed in order to make more efficient use of operating resources.
Currently 33 CFR 117.433 reads: The draw of the S433 bridge, mile 7.0, at Slidell shall operated as follows:
(a) The draw need not open for passage of vessels from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Monday through Friday except federal holidays.
(b) The draw need open only on the hour and half-hour from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday except federal holidays.
(c) The draw shall open on signal from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., if at least four hours notice is given to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Security Service at (504) 375-0100.
(d) At all other times the draw shall open on signal. The bridge owner has requested that the operating regulation be changed to read as follows: The draw of the S433 Bridge, mile 7.0 at Slidell, shall open on signal, except that from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least two hours notice is given. On Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Traffic counts indicate that the majority of vehicular traffic crosses the bridge between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and between 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., rush hours for commuters and school busses. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development believes that the proposed operating regulation will accommodate most vehicular traffic, and that the needs of navigation will also be met, while making the best use of available personnel to operate the bridge. Most of the vessels that request openings are commercial vessels consisting of small tugboats with one or two barges, shrimp trawlers and large recreational powerboats and sailboats that routinely transit this waterway and are able to give advance notice.
Concurrent with the publication of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a Test Deviation [CGD08-07-034], has been issued to allow the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to test the proposed schedule and to obtain data and public comments. The test period will be in effect during the entire Notice of Proposed Rulemaking comment period. The Coast Guard will review the logs of the drawbridge and evaluate public comments from this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and the above referenced Temporary Deviation to determine if a permanent special drawbridge operating regulation is warranted.
The Test Deviation allows the draw of the S433 Bridge to operate as follows: The draw of the S433 Bridge, mile 7.0 at Slidell, shall open on signal, except that from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least two hours notice is given. On Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Discussion of Proposed Rule
The proposed rule change to 33 CFR 117.433 would reduce the hours that the bridge must be manned during the period between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., making more efficient use of operating resources. The proposed rule change will also delete the incorrect area code and the telephone number provided in subpart (c) of the regulation, which is not necessary since the telephone number is required to be posted on the bridge.
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.
We expect the economic impact of this proposed rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary.
The existing special operating regulation has been in place since March, 1997 and the Coast Guard has not received complaints regarding the drawbridge operating schedule. The current and historical waterway traffic is very minimal with an average of 2.5 signals to open a day. Most signals come from commercial vessels and recreational craft that are able to schedule an opening in advance.
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 affect a limited number of small entities. These entities include operators of tug boats and trawlers using the waterway. This proposed rule will have no impact on any small entities because they are able to give notice prior to transiting through this bridge, and most vessel operators that require an opening are currently providing advance notice.
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 the Eighth Coast Guard District Bridge Administration Branch at the address above. 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 Start Printed Page 63532Paperwork 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 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 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 guide 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, (32)(e), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), an “Environmental Analysis Check List” or “Categorical Exclusion Determination” is not required for this rule. Comments on this section will be considered before we make the final decision on whether to categorically exclude this rule from further environmental review.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. § 117.433 is revised to read as follows:
The draw of the S433 Bridge, mile 7.0, at Slidell, shall open on signal, except that from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if at least 2 hours notice is given. On Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Dated: October 29, 2007.
Joel R. Whitehead,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. E7-21884 Filed 11-8-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P