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Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Arkansas Waterway, Little Rock, AR, Operation Change

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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Coast Guard, DHS.


Final rule.

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The Coast Guard is revising the drawbridge operations for the Baring Cross Railroad Drawbridge across the Arkansas Waterway at Mile 119.6 at Little Rock, Arkansas, to reflect the actual procedures currently being followed. The revised regulation accurately depicts where the drawbridge operator is located and that the bridge, which is remotely operated, is equipped with a Photoelectric Boat Detection System.


This rule is effective on June 5, 2008.


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-2007-0043 and are available online at This material is also available for inspection or copying at two locations: the 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, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays and the COMMANDER (dwb), Eighth Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, 1222 Spruce Street, Room 2.107f, St. Louis, MO 63103-2832, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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If you have questions on this rule, call Mr. Roger K. Wiebusch, Bridge Administrator, (314) 269-2378. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

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Regulatory Information

On January 9, 2008, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Arkansas Waterway, Little Rock, AR in the Federal Register (73 FR 1565). We received no letters commenting on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

The Arkansas Waterway is a part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The System rises in the vicinity of Catoosa, Oklahoma, and embraces improved natural waterways and a canal to empty into the Mississippi River in southeast Arkansas. The Arkansas Waterway drawbridge operation regulations contained in 33 CFR 117.123(b)(1), states that any vessel requiring an opening of the draw of the Baring Cross Railroad Drawbridge, Mile 119.6, shall contact the remote drawbridge operator in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The Coast Guard has determined that the remote operation is, in fact, conducted from Union Pacific's Harriman Dispatch Center in Omaha, Nebraska and a regulation change is needed to accurately reflect the location. In addition, as indicated in the Coast Guard bridge permit, the bridge is required to have audio and visual aids to permit remote operation. A sentence stating that the bridge is equipped with a Photoelectric Boat Detection System will be added to 33 CFR 117.123(b)(1) to clarify this issue.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

There were no comments to the proposed regulatory test.

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.

We expect the economic impact of this rule on commercial traffic operating on the Arkansas Waterway to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary. The operating procedures are already in place at the Baring Cross Railroad Drawbridge, Mile 119.6, and the changes to the CFR documents the procedures.

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 rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule is neutral to all business entities since it only clarifies how the bridge is operated and the bridge is still required to open on demand for vessels.

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.

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).


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, 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 Start Printed Page 24868with 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 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.


We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.1D 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. Therefore, this rule is 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.

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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 amends

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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. Amend § 117.123 by revising paragraph(b)(1) as follows:

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Arkansas Waterway.

(b) * * *

(1) Normal Flow Procedures. Any vessel which requires an opening of the draw of this bridge shall establish contact by radiotelephone with the remote drawbridge operator on VHF-FM Channel 13 in Omaha, Nebraska. The remote drawbridge operator will advise the vessel whether the requested span can be immediately opened and maintain constant contact with the vessel until the requested span has opened and the vessel passage has been completed. The bridge is equipped with a Photoelectric Boat Detection System to prevent the span from lowering if there is an obstruction under the span. If the drawbridge cannot be opened immediately, the remote drawbridge operator will notify the calling vessel and provide an estimated time for a drawbridge opening.

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Dated: April 17, 2008.

J.H. Korn,

Captain U.S. Coast Guard, Commander 8th Coast Guard District, Acting.

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[FR Doc. E8-9818 Filed 5-5-08; 8:45 am]