Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Willamette River, Portland, OR, Schedule 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to modify the drawbridge operation regulation for the Broadway and Burnside Bridges across the Willamette River, mile 11.7, in Portland, Oregon so that one-hour notice would be required from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and two-hour notice at all other times. The Broadway Bridge would be deleted as a point of contact for upstream vessels, leaving the Hawthorne Bridge as the point of contact for both upstream and downstream travel directions.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before November 12, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by the Coast Guard docket number USCG-2008-0721 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 Austin Pratt, Chief, Bridge Section, Waterways Management Branch, 13th Coast Guard District, telephone 206-220-7282. 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:

Start Printed Page 52935

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-2008-0721), 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-2008-0721) 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 the 13th Coast Guard District Waterways Management Branch at 915 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98174-1067 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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 a public meeting 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 proposed rule would enable Multnomah County, the owner of the Broadway Bridge, to operate the draw if at least one hour of notice is provided from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours of notice at all other times. From July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2007, the draw opened 165 times for vessels. This bridge opens on average slightly less than 7 times a month for river traffic. Most vessels that require the Broadway bascule span to open are grain ships, which are piloted by Columbia River Pilots. These ships have typically been able to give several hours notice of arrival as they must navigate over 100 miles of the Columbia River to reach Portland from the Pacific Ocean.

The operating regulations currently in effect for the Broadway Bridge are found at 33 CFR part 117. The drawspan currently operates under the general requirements of 33 CFR 117.897(a)(1) such that it must open on signal for the passage of vessels on signal except that Monday through Friday it need not open from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. These closed periods are not effective for federal holidays, except Columbus Day. The Broadway Bridge is the point of contact for upstream or inbound vessels for openings of drawbridges that require advance notice. This change would also give this function to the Hawthorne Bridge, which is the point of contact for vessels traveling downstream.

The bridge provides a minimum of 90 feet of vertical clearance in the closed position above low water (elevation 0.0 feet Portland City Datum). It is considerably higher than other bascule bridges on the Willamette in downtown Portland, which partly explains its low frequency of opening. The horizontal clearance is 250 feet. In the fully open position the bridge allows unlimited vertical clearance over the channel.

The bridge is located on a major arterial in Portland carrying both local and commuter traffic.

The proposed rule would also restore normal double-leaf operations to the Burnside Bridge, mile 12.4, following a lengthy rehabilitation project.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR 117.897 by revising the current paragraph (a)(1) to add the Broadway Bridge to the bridges for which there is the notice requirement for openings. The point of contact for both upstream and downstream traffic would be the Hawthorne Bridge rather than the Broadway and Hawthorne, respectively. The Burnside Bridge would be required to operate both leaves per the same schedule.

Regulatory Analyses

We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 13 of these statutes or executive orders.

Regulatory Planning and Review

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 under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. We reached this conclusion based on the fact that most vessel operators can plan their passage in accordance with the closed periods to minimize any impact on their activities.

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 Start Printed Page 52936governmental 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 predominantly affect grain ships traveling to and from the dock at C.L.D. Pacific Grain immediately upstream of the bridge on the east bank. The pilots of these vessels should be able to provide this notice with no undue burden. The single point of contact for advance notice simplifies the regulation for users.

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 Austin Pratt, Chief, Bridge Section, Waterways Management Branch, 13th Coast Guard District, at (206) 220-7282. 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 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 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.

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 Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated this 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 because it simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

End 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:

Start Authority

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 2. Amend § 117.897 by revising paragraphs (c) introductory text, (c)(3)(i) and (c)(3)(iii) to read as follows:

End Authority
Willamette River.
* * * * *

(c) The draws of the bridges listed in paragraph (c)(3) of this section shall open on signal if appropriate advance notice is given to the drawtender of the Start Printed Page 52937Hawthorne Bridge subject to the following requirements and exceptions:

* * * * *

(3)(i) Broadway Bridge, mile 11.7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, one hour's notice shall be given for draw openings. At all other times, notice of at least two hours in advance is required.

* * * * *

(iii) Burnside Bridge, mile 12.4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, one hour's notice shall be given for draw openings. At all other times, two hours notice is required.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Dated: September 2, 2008.

J.P. Currier,

Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-21360 Filed 9-11-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-15-P