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Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Isle of Wight Bay (Sinepuxent Bay), Ocean City, 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final temporary rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the regulations that govern the operation of the U.S. 50 Bridge across the Isle of Wight Bay (Sinepuxent Bay), at mile 0.5, in Ocean City, MD. This closure is necessary to facilitate extensive rehabilitation and to maintain the bridge's operational integrity. Vessels that can pass under the bridge without a bridge opening may do so at all times.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 8 a.m. on Monday, January 7, 2008 until and including 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and related materials received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket USCG-2007-0065. The docket is available at http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call Sandra S. Elliott, Bridge Management Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6557. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On October 1, 2007, the new Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) was established and FDMS numbers were assigned to all actions published in the Federal Register. New FDMS numbers are posted and requested comments are reviewed at www.regulations.gov. The FDMS number assigned to this rule is USCG-2007-0065.

On November 8, 2007, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Isle of Wight Bay (Sinepuxent Bay), Ocean City, Maryland” in the Federal Register (72 FR 63156). The previously assigned NPRM docket number was CGD05-07-100. We received no comments on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The bridge repairs, scheduled to begin on January 7, 2008, are necessary repairs that must be performed with all due speed to assure the continued safe and reliable operation of the bridge. Any delay in making this rule effective would not be in the best interest of public safety and the marine interests that use Isle of Wight Bay (Sinepuxent Bay). We received no comments on the published NPRM, which included the effective period, indicating a need to delay the effective date of this temporary final rule.

Background and Purpose

Maryland Department of Transportation-State Highway Administration (MDOT) owns and operates the bascule span of the U.S. 50 Bridge, at mile 0.5, across Isle of Wight Bay (Sinepuxent Bay) in Ocean City, MD. The bridge has a vertical clearance in the closed position to vessels of 13 feet, above mean high water (vertical clearance at center of channel increased by five feet). The current regulations are outlined at 33 CFR 117.559, which require the bridge to open on signal except: From October 1 through April 30 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw shall open if at least three hours notice is given and from May 25 through September 15 from 9:25 a.m. to 9:55 p.m., the draw shall open at 25 minutes after and 55 minutes after the hour for a maximum of five minutes to let accumulated vessels pass, except that, on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the draw shall open on the hour for all waiting vessels and shall remain in the open position until all waiting vessels pass.

The Office of Bridge Inspection and Remedial Engineering, a division under MDOT, requested a change to the existing operating drawbridge regulations to accommodate the necessary repairs. The repairs include replacing the existing north and south pinion/bull gear sets in the west bascule leaf and replacing the existing grid deck in the bascule span. To facilitate the repairs, the drawbridge will be locked in the closed-to-navigation position from 8 a.m. on Monday, January 7, 2008 until Start Printed Page 5094and including 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, 2008.

Information provided by MDOT indicates that during the winter months, in January and February, the bridge has an opening frequency of five openings per month. Vessel operators with mast height lower than 13 feet still can transit through the drawbridge across Isle of Wight Bay (Sinepuxent Bay) during the rehabilitation. The project will also require a small barge, measuring 8 feet by 27 feet, for the gear removal/grid deck installation. The barge will only be needed for a six-day period and removed at the end of each procedure at the end of each day. However, the barge can be removed during an emergency at any time. Also, the Atlantic Ocean is an alternate route for vessels with a mast height greater than 13 feet. Therefore, vessels should not be negatively impacted by this temporary change.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

The Coast Guard received no comments to the NPRM. Based on the information provided, we will implement a final temporary rule with no changes to the NPRM.

Discussion of Rule

The Coast Guard is suspending the operating regulations at 33 CFR 117.559 for the U.S. 50 Bridge at mile 0.5, in Ocean City, Maryland from 8 a.m. on January 7, 2008, through 5 p.m. on February 21, 2008. During this suspension period, the Coast Guard will implement temporary operating regulations for this bridge. The final temporary rule states that the bridge need not be opened by the bridge operator, Maryland Department of Transportation-State Highway Administration, during this period.

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.

Due to the historical average number of bridge openings during this time period, this temporary change will have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic seeking to transit the bridge. Vessel operators with mast height lower than 13 feet still can transit through the drawbridge across Isle of Wight Bay (Sinepuxent Bay) during the rehabilitation. Also, the Atlantic Ocean is an alternate route for vessels with a mast height greater than 13 feet who cannot transit under the bridge during this period.

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 rule will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: Owners and operators of vessels with over 13 feet of mast height seeking to transit the bridge between 8 a.m. on January 7, 2008, through 5 p.m. on February 21, 2008. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because vessel operators with mast height lower than 13 feet still can transit thorough the drawbridge. The Atlantic Ocean is an alternate route for vessels with a mast height greater than 13 feet.

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 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 will 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 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 Start Printed Page 5095Significantly 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.lD 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 because this rule involves drawbridge regulations. Therefore, this rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e) of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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Words of Issuance and Regulatory Text

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard temporarily 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; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

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2. From 8 a.m. on January 7, 2008 through 5 p.m. on February 21, 2008, temporarily designate the regulatory text in § 117.559 as paragraph (a), temporarily suspend newly designated paragraph (a), and temporarily add paragraph (b) to read as follows:

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Isle of Wight Bay.
* * * * *

(b) From 8 a.m. on January 7, 2008 through 5 p.m. on February 21, 2008, the draw of the U.S. 50 Bridge, mile 0.5, at Ocean City, need not be opened.

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Dated: 16 January 2008.

Fred M. Rosa, Jr.,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-1567 Filed 1-28-08; 8:45 am]

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