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Proposed Rule

Safety Zone: Thames River, New London, CT

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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone on the federal channel of the Thames River surrounding the Amtrak Railroad Bridge in the Town of New London, Connecticut. This safety zone is necessary to protect vessels transiting in the area from hazards imposed by construction barges and equipment. The barges and equipment are being utilized to remove the old bascule bridge and install a new vertical lift span bridge over the Thames River. Entry into this zone will be prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 30, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2008-0097 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. Department of Transportation. To avoid duplication, please use only one of the following methods:

(1) Online: http://www.regulations.gov.

(2) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

(3) Hand delivery: Room W12-140 on the Ground Floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

(4) Fax: 202-493-2251.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this proposed rule, call LT D. J. Miller, Chief, Waterways Management, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, 203-468-4596. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Participation and Request for Comments

We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to use the Docket Management Facility. Please see DOT's “Privacy Act” paragraph below.

Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2008-0097), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. You may submit your comments and material by electronic means, mail, fax, or delivery to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES; but please submit your comments and material by only one means. If you submit them by mail or delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a 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.

Viewing Comments and Documents

To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Enter the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2008-0097) in the Search box, and click “Go >>.” You may also visit either the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays; or U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, 120 Woodward Ave, New Haven, Connecticut 06512 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Start Printed Page 16813

Privacy Act

Anyone can search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the Department of Transportation's Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one to the Docket Management Facility 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

Currently, there is an Amtrak Railroad bascule bridge over the Thames River in the Town of New London, Connecticut. Amtrak decided to replace the 100 year old bascule bridge that crosses the Thames River with a new lift bridge. In 2005, the Coast Guard approved bridge construction and issued a permit for bridge construction for the Amtrak Railroad Bridge over the Thames River. Contractors began work constructing the two-lift span mechanism for the new bridge in early June 2005. To complete the construction on the bridge, barges need to block the navigable federal channel during the removal of the old bascule bridge and the installation of the new vertical lift span bridge. To ensure the continued safety of the boating community, the Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone in all navigable waters of the federal channel on the Thames River within 300 yards of the bridge. This proposed rule will effectively close the federal channel for the duration of the enforcement period; however, vessels that may safely navigate outside of the federal channel may continue to do so. This safety zone is necessary to protect the safety of the boating community who wish to utilize the federal channel on the Thames River in the vicinity of the Amtrak railroad bridge. Marine traffic may transit safely outside of the safety zone during the effective dates of the safety zone, allowing navigation in all other areas of the Thames River, except the portion delineated by this rule. Additionally, Coast Guard District One Bridge Branch will be issuing a Deviation to Bridge Operations for a period both before and after the removal of the span to facilitate the removal process.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

This regulation proposes to establish a temporary safety zone on the navigable federal channel of the Thames River within 300-yards of the Amtrak Railroad Bridge. This action is intended to prohibit vessel traffic in a portion of the federal channel on the Thames River in the Town of New London, Connecticut to provide for the safety of the boating community due to the hazards posed by significant construction equipment located in the waterway during the removal of the existing bascule bridge and installation of a new vertical lift span bridge. The safety zone will be needed for four consecutive days during the month of June 2008. Therefore, the safety zone would be in effect from 12:01 a.m. on June 14, 2008 until 11:59 p.m. on June 17, 2008. Notification for enforcement of the safety zone will be made via notice in the Federal Register, marine broadcasts and broadcast notice to mariners. Marine traffic that may safely do so, may transit outside of the safety zone during the enforcement period, allowing navigation on other portions of the Thames River no covered by this rule. Entry into this safety zone would be prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound. Any violation of the safety zone described herein is punishable by, among others, civil and criminal penalties, in rem liability against the offending vessel, and license sanctions.

Regulatory Evaluation

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. This regulation may have some impact on the public, but the potential impact would be minimized for the following reason: vessels may transit in all areas of the Thames River other than the area of the safety zone with minimal increased transit time and the safety zone will only be effective for a four-day period.

Small Entities

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 may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit in those portions of the Thames River in the Town of New London, Connecticut covered by the safety zone. For the reasons outlined in the Regulatory Evaluation section above, this rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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 Lieutenant Douglas Miller, Chief, Waterways Management at (203) 468-4596 or the Command Center at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, CT, at (203) 468-4444. 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.).

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 Start Printed Page 16814compliance 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 would 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 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 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.

Energy Effects

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.

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 proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment

We have analyzed this proposed 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 made a preliminary determination that this action is not likely to have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary “Environmental Analysis Check List” supporting this preliminary determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

End List of Subjects

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

Start Part

PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS

1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1226 and 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Public Law 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority

2. Add § 165.T01-0097 to read as follows:

Safety Zone: Amtrak Railroad Bridge over Thames River Channel, Town of New London, CT.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the federal channel on the Thames River in New London, CT, from surface to bottom, within 300 yards of the Amtrak Railroad Bridge.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section: Designated on-scene patrol personnel, means any commissioned, warrant and petty officers of the U.S. Coast Guard operating Coast Guard vessels who has been authorized to act on the behalf of the Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound.

(c) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR § 165.23 apply.

(2) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into or movement within this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound.

(3) All persons and vessels must comply with the Coast Guard Captain of the Port or the designated on-scene patrol personnel.

(4) Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light or other means, the operator of the vessel must proceed as directed.

(5) Persons and vessels may request permission to enter the zone on VHF-16 or via phone at (203) 468-4401.

(d) Effective Period. This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m. on June 14, 2008 to 11:59 p.m on June 17, 2008.

(e) Enforcement Period. This rule will be enforced for a 4 day period based on construction plans by Amtrak. Notification of enforcing the safety zone will be made via notice in the Federal Register, marine broadcasts and broadcast notice to mariners

Start Signature

Dated: March 10, 2008.

Daniel A. Ronan,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Long Island Sound.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-6472 Filed 3-28-08; 8:45 am]

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