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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chehalis, Hoquiam, and Wishkah Rivers, Aberdeen and Hoquiam, WA, 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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the drawbridge operation regulation for the Washington State drawbridges across the Chehalis, Hoquiam, and Wishkah Rivers at Grays Harbor, Washington. The change reduces staffing requirements during the night when openings are infrequent. The rule does this by modifying the number of hours of advance notice required for draw openings and establishing the telephone as the only means of initial contact for openings at night.

DATES:

This rule is effective April 24, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and related materials received from the public, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket USCG-2008-1095 and are available online at http://www.regulations.gov. 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 Commander (dpw), Thirteenth Coast Guard District, 915 Second Avenue, Room 3510, Seattle, WA 98174-1067, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call Austin Pratt, Chief, Bridge Section, Waterways Management Branch, Thirteenth Coast Guard District, telephone 206-220-7282. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Information

On November 26, 2008, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chehalis, Hoquiam, and Wishkah Rivers, Aberdeen and Hoquiam, WA, Schedule Change in the Federal Register (73 FR 229). Two responses were received from the public. No public hearing was requested, and none was held.

Background and Purpose

This rule enables the Washington State Department of Transportation, the owner of the drawbridges across the Chehalis, Hoquiam, and Wishkah Rivers at Grays Harbor, Washington, to reduce the staffing of the Chehalis Bridge, which currently maintains a radio watch during the night hours when advance notice is required for openings of the draws of all of those bridges.

One-hour notice is currently required for openings of the Chehalis River Bridge from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise and for all openings of the Simpson Avenue Bridge, Hoquiam River mile 0.5, the Riverside Avenue Bridge, Hoquiam River mile 0.9, the Heron Street Bridge, Wishkah River mile 0.2, and the Wishkah Street Bridge, Wishkah River, mile 0.4.

The reduction in staffing is appropriate because the draws of those bridges rarely have to been opened during the period affected. In fact, during the entire year of 2007 only 50 openings were requested for the bridges between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., which equates to an average of less than one opening per week during those hours. Furthermore, most of the requests were made by telephone. Whenever operators are at the Chehalis River Bridge a normal radio watch will be maintained.

Discussion of Comments and Changes

Two comments were received from parties affected by this rule. Both comments appeared to misunderstand some of the provisions of the rule. Specifically, the rule requires notice of one hour rather than four hours as one commenter believed. Another commenter appeared to believe that a radio watch would never be maintained under the rule, but the rule provides for a normal radio watch to be maintained whenever operators are present. The commenters' objections were resolved as noted and no changes were made to the rule based on the comments received.

Regulatory Analyses

We developed this 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 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 to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation is unnecessary. We reached this conclusion because the draws of the bridges rarely have to been opened during the period affected, the draws will still be opened in a reasonable amount of time, and most vessel operators already use the telephone to request openings of the draws.

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 Start Printed Page 12552substantial 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 would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels needing to transit the bridges during the period affected. This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, however, because the bridges rarely have to been opened during the period affected, the draws will still be opened in a reasonable amount of time, and most vessel operators already use the telephone to request openings of the draws.

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 rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.

Collection of Information

This 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 0023.1 and 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 is one of a category of actions which, individually or cumulatively, 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 proposed rule.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard 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. Revise § 117.1031 to read as follows:

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Chehalis River.

The draw of the SR 101 highway bridge, mile 0.1, at Aberdeen shall open on signal from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., except that from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, the draw need not open for vessels of less than 5000 gross tons. At all other times, the draw shall open on signal if at least one hour notice is given by telephone to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The opening signal is one prolonged blast followed by one short blast.

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3. In § 117.1047 revise paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:

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Hoquiam River.
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(c) The draw of the Simpson Avenue Bridge, mile 0.5, at Hoquiam, shall open on signal if at least one hour notice is given by telephone to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The opening signal is two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast.

(d) The draw of the Riverside Avenue Bridge, mile 0.9, at Hoquiam, shall open on signal if at least one hour notice is given by telephone to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The opening signal is two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts.

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4. In § 117.1065 revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:

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Wishkah River.
* * * * *

(c) The draws of the Heron Street Bridge, mile 0.2 and the Wishkah Street Bridge, mile 0.4, at Aberdeen, shall open on signal if at least one hour notice is given by telephone to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The opening signal for both bridges is one prolonged blast followed by two short blasts.

Start Signature

Dated: March 9, 2009.

J. P. Currier,

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

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[FR Doc. E9-6627 Filed 3-24-09; 8:45 am]

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