Temporary interim rule with request for comments.
The United States Coast Guard is establishing a regulated navigation area (RNA) on the navigable waters of the Mystic River under and surrounding the S99 Alford Street Bridge which crosses the Mystic River between Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts. This temporary interim rule is intended to protect both vessels and construction workers by restricting vessel traffic during periods where the bridge is being repaired.
This rule is effective in the CFR on January 9, 2012 through November 30, 2012. This rule is effective with actual notice for purposes of enforcement from December 27, 2011 until 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2012. Public comments will be accepted and reviewed by the Coast Guard through November 30, 2012.
You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2011-1125 using any one of the following methods:
(1) Federal e-Rulemaking 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.
Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG-2011-1125 and are available online by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG-2011-1125 in the “Keyword” box, and then clicking “Search.” They are also available for inspection or copying at 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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
If you have questions on this temporary rule, call or email Mr. Mark Cutter, Coast Guard Sector Boston Waterways Management Division, telephone (617) 223-4000, email Mark.E.Cutter@uscg.mil; or Lieutenant Junior Grade Isaac Slavitt, Coast Guard First District Waterways Management Branch, telephone (617) 223-8385, email Isaac.M.Slavitt@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.
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.
As this temporary interim rule will be in effect before the end of the comment period, the Coast Guard will evaluate and revise this rule as necessary to address significant public comments.
If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG-2011-1125), 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 (via 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 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 email address, or a telephone number in the body of 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 Rule” and insert “USCG-2011-1125” in the “Keyword” box. Click “Search” then click on the balloon shape in the “Actions” column. If you submit 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 comments 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 this 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-2011-1125” 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.
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).
We do not now plan to hold a public meeting within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553. But you may submit a request for one using one of the four methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe such a public meeting 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.
The Coast Guard has held or participated in one informal waterway user meeting where waterway closures and restrictions were discussed. We anticipate holding additional informal meetings, with opportunity for public questions or comments, during this project. We will provide written summaries of any such meetings in the docket.
The Coast Guard is issuing this interim rule without prior Federal Register notice pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard was not provided enough notice by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to allow for a notice and comment period.
A full waterway closure was not requested of the Coast Guard until November 23, 2011, when the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MA DOT) requested a complete waterway closure beginning December 12, 2011 until May 31, 2012. MA DOT's request for full waterway closure was not timely according to the existing Coast Guard requirements, and the late submission did not give the Coast Guard enough time to publish an NPRM in order to solicit comments concerning a waterway closure before implementing this interim rule.
It is still in the public interest to promulgate this rule, as it is necessary to protect the safety of both the construction crew and the waterway users operating in the vicinity of the bridge construction zone. A delay or cancellation of the currently ongoing bridge rehabilitation project in order to accommodate a full notice and comment period would be contrary to the public interest as it would delay necessary operations, result in increased costs, and delay the date when the bridge is expected to reopen for normal operations. The Coast Guard believes it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to delay this regulation. At any time, the Coast Guard may publish an amended rule if necessary to address public concerns.
For the same reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Basis and Purpose
Under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, the Coast Guard has the authority to establish RNAs in defined water areas that are determined to have hazardous conditions and in which vessel traffic can be regulated in the interest of safety. See 33 U.S.C. 1231 and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.
The purpose of this interim rule is to ensure the safe transit of vessels in the area and to protect all persons, vessels, and the marine environment during the rehabilitation project of the S99 Alford Street Bridge.
Discussion of Rule
This action is intended to control vessel traffic for the duration of the S99 Alford Street Bridge rehabilitation over the main channel of the Mystic River. The Coast Guard may close the regulated area described in this rule to all vessel traffic during any circumstance that poses an imminent threat to waterway users operating in the area. Complete waterway closures will be made with as much advance notice as possible.
The COTP Sector Boston will cause notice of enforcement, suspension of enforcement, or closure of the waterway to be made by all appropriate means to ensure the widest distribution among the affected segments of the public. Such means of notification may include, but are not limited to, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners, and Marine Safety Information Bulletins.
Entry into this RNA is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP Sector Boston. Any violation of this RNA is punishable by civil and criminal penalties, in rem liability against the offending vessel, and the initiation of suspension or revocation proceedings against Coast Guard-issued merchant-mariner credentials.
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.
This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, 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 minimal because the amount of traffic in this waterway is extremely limited. Furthermore, the Captain of the Port has the ability to suspend the provisions of this regulation when necessary.
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 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 will affect the following entities some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of marinas, businesses (such as waterside restaurants), and vessels who intend to transit in the Mystic River beneath the S99 Alford Street Bridge during the effective period.
This regulation may have some impact on the public, but the potential impact will be minimized for the following reasons: The primary waterway users, of which there are very few, are recreational vessels of various sizes and do not normally operate during the months between December and April. Many parties that have the potential to be affected have been involved in the discussions and have made plans to work around the closure times. We will use appropriate means to inform the public before, during, and at the conclusion of any RNA enforcement period.
Assistance for Small Entities
Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we offer to assist small entities in understanding the rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process.
Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-(888) 734-3247). 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 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 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.
Taking of Private Property
This rule will 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 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 does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may 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 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.
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.
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 Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction. This rule involves the establishment of an RNA. An environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. Any comments received concerning environmental impacts will be considered and changes made to the environmental analysis checklist and categorical exclusion determination as appropriate.
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:
PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS
1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows:
2. Add § 165.T01-1125 to read as follows:
Regulated Navigation Area; S99 Alford Street Bridge rehabilitation project, Mystic River, MA
(a) Location. The following area is a Regulated Navigation Area (RNA): All navigable waters of the Mystic River between Boston and Chelsea, MA, from surface to bottom, within 100 yards of any point on the S99 Alford Street Bridge.
(1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.10, 165.11, and 165.13 apply in addition to those provisions outlined below.
(2) In accordance with the general regulations, entry into or movement within this zone, during periods of enforcement, is prohibited unless authorized by Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Boston.
(3) All persons and vessels must comply with all directions given to them by the COTP Sector Boston or the on-scene representative. The “on-scene representative” of the COTP is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the COTP to act on the COTP's behalf. The on-scene representative may be on a Coast Guard vessel or other designated craft, or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation.
(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) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this regulation, the movement of official, emergency vessels within the regulated area is permitted provided that the contractor is notified in order to remove potential hazards or obstructions.
(6) All other relevant regulations, including but not limited to the Rules of the Road (33 CFR subchapter E, Inland Navigational Rules) remain in effect within the regulated area and must be strictly followed at all times.
(c) Enforcement Period:
(1) This regulated navigation area is enforceable 24 hours a day from December 27, 2011 through November 30, 2012.
(2) Suspension of enforcement: The COTP Sector Boston will cause notice of enforcement, suspension of enforcement, or closure of the waterway to be made by all appropriate means to achieve the widest distribution among the affected segments of the public. Such means of notification may include but are not limited to Broadcast Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners and Marine Safety Information Bulletins. Such notification will include the date and time that enforcement is suspended as well as the date and time that enforcement will resume.
(3) Report violations of this regulated navigation area to the COTP Sector Boston, at (617) 223-5757 or on VHF-Channel 16.
Dated: December 27, 2011.
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2012-104 Filed 1-6-12; 8:45 am]
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