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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Curtis Creek, Baltimore, 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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the regulations that govern the operation of the Pennington Avenue Bridge across Curtis Creek, at mile 0.9, in Baltimore, MD. The proposed rule would eliminate the need for a bridge tender by allowing the bridge to be operated from a remote location at the City of Baltimore Transportation Management Center. This proposed change would maintain the bridge's current level of operational capabilities and continue providing for the reasonable needs of vehicular transportation and vessel navigation. This proposed rule will also correct the statute mile marker of the I695 Bridge which is also across Curtis Creek in Baltimore, MD.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 2, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2010-0265 using any one of the following methods:

(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

(2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

(3) 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.

(4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or e-mail Coast Guard; telephone 757-398-6629, e-mail Lindsey.R.Middleton@uscg.mil. 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:

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.

Submitting Comments

If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2010-0265), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online (http://www.regulations.gov), or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online via http://www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body Start Printed Page 30748of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the “submit a comment” box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the “Document Type” drop down menu select “Proposed Rules” and insert “USCG-2010-0265” in the “Keyword” box. Click “Search” then click on the balloon shape in the “Actions” column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand 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 and may change the rule based on your comments.

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, click on the “read comments” box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the “Keyword” box insert “USCG-2010-0265” and click “Search.” Click the “Open Docket Folder” in the “Actions” column. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.

Privacy Act

Anyone can search the electronic form of 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 a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Public Meeting

We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one using one of the four methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain 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

The City of Baltimore has requested a change to the operating procedures for the Pennington Avenue Bridge across Curtis Creek, mile 0.9 in Baltimore, MD. The change in the operating procedure would allow the bridge to be operated from a remote location at the City of Baltimore Transportation Management Center. This proposed rule follows the general regulations set out at 33 CFR 117.5 that states: Drawbridges shall open promptly and fully for the passage of vessels when a request to open is given.

The Pennington Avenue Bridge, a lift-type drawbridge, has a vertical clearance in the closed position to vessels of 38 feet, above mean high water.

The City of Baltimore is installing six video cameras on the bridge to enhance the remote operator's ability to monitor and control the equipment. The remote office and the bridge site will be equipped with audio devices to enable the remote operator to hear boat horns that may signal for an opening as well as two-way communication. There will be posted signs placed on both sides of the navigational channel providing a phone number for vessels to call to request an opening. Warning lights will be installed on the bridge to signal when the bridge is in operation. All aspects of the current drawbridge operating regulations will remain the same.

The City of Baltimore has requested this change to utilize new technology to maintain the bridge's current level of operating capabilities and continue providing for the reasonable needs of vehicular transportation and vessel navigation.

Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to revise 33 CFR 117.557. The current paragraph would be divided into paragraphs (a) and (b).

Paragraph (a) would contain the proposed rule for the Pennington Avenue Bridge at mile 0.9 in Baltimore, MD. The rule would allow the draw of the bridge to be operated by the controller at the Transportation Management Center.

In the event of failure or obstruction of the video cameras, audio system, or phone communications, the Pennington Avenue Bridge would not be operated from the remote office. In these situations, a bridge tender must be called and be on-site within 30 minutes to operate the bridge.

When vehicular and pedestrian traffic has cleared, a horn will sound one prolonged blast followed by one short blast to warn of bridge movement. The channel traffic lights will flash red continually to indicate that the bridge is moving to the full open position for vessels. Once the bridge is in the fully open position, the bridge channel traffic lights will turn and remain green. The draw of the bridge must begin opening within 5 minutes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic clearing the bridge except as provided in 33 CFR 117.31(b).

Before the span begins to close, the horn will sound five short blasts and an audio voice-warning device will announce bridge movement. The channel traffic lights will then continually flash red until the bridge is seated and locked down to vessels.

Paragraph (b) would contain the existing regulations for the I695 Bridge; however, the statute mile marker of 0.9 is incorrect and will be changed to mile 1.0 which is the accurate mile mark.

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 the proposed changes have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridge. Although the Pennington Avenue Bridge will be operated from a remote office, mariners can continue their transits because all aspects of the current operating regulations remain essentially the same.

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 30749governmental 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.

The proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. The rule allows the Pennington Avenue Bridge to operate remotely and mariners will continue to plan their transits in accordance with the existing bridge operating regulations.

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 Lindsey Middleton, Bridge Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 368-6629 or e-mail at Lindsey.R.Middleton@uscg.mil. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed 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 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed 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 proposed rule would not cause 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 Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01, 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 action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

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Bridges.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

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PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

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.

End Authority

2. Revise § 117.557 to read as follows:

Curtis Creek.

(a) The Pennington Avenue Bridge, mile 0.9 at Baltimore.

(1) The draw of the bridge to be operated by the controller at the City of Start Printed Page 30750Baltimore Transportation Management Center shall open on signal for the passage of vessels when a request to open is given.

(2) The draw of the bridge shall not be operated by the controller at the Transportation Management Center office in the event of failure or obstruction of the video cameras, audio system, or phone lines. In these situations, a bridge tender must be called and be on-site within 30 minutes to operate the bridge on-site.

(3) The draw of the bridge must begin opening within 5 minutes of the vehicular and pedestrian traffic clearing the bridge, except as provided in 33 CFR 117.31(b).

(4) When vehicular and pedestrian traffic has cleared, a horn will sound one prolonged blast followed by one short blast to warn of bridge movement. The channel traffic lights will flash red continually to indicate that the Bridge is moving to the full open position for vessels. Once the bridge is in the fully open position, the bridge channel traffic lights will turn and remain green.

(5) Before the span begins to close, the horn will sound five short blasts and an audio voice-warning device will announce bridge movement. The channel traffic lights will then continually flash red until the bridge is seated and locked down to vessels.

(6) The owners of the bridge shall provide and keep in good legible condition two board gauges painted white with black figures not less than six inches high to indicate the vertical clearance under the closed draw at all stages of the tide. The gauges shall be placed on the bridge so that they are plainly visible to the operator of any vessel approaching the bridge from either upstream or downstream.

(b) The draw of the I695 Bridge, mile 1.0 at Baltimore, shall open on signal if at least a one-hour notice is given to the Maryland Transportation Authority in Baltimore.

Start Signature

Dated: May 14, 2010.

Wayne E. Justice,

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

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[FR Doc. 2010-13119 Filed 6-1-10; 8:45 am]

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