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Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is changing the operating schedule that governs the PATH Railroad Bridge across the Hackensack River at mile 3.0, and the Hack-Freight Bridge across the Hackensack River at mile 3.1, at Jersey City, New Jersey. The owners of the bridges, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) and Conrail, requested a change to the operation schedule for the PATH Railroad Bridge and the Conrail Hack-Freight to allow it to be operated from a remote location. In addition, we removed obsolete language and requirements from the existing regulation that are now listed under other regulations. It is expected that this change to the regulations will create efficiency in drawbridge operations while continuing to meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2013-1005. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type in the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Joe Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, 212-668-7165, joe.m.arca@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Regulatory History and Information

On March 28, 2014, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation Hackensack River, at Jersey City, New Jersey” in the Federal Register (79 FR 17483). We received no comments on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

B. Basis and Purpose

The PATH Railroad Bridge across the Hackensack River at mile 3.0, has a vertical clearance of 40 feet at mean high water and 45 feet at mean low water. The drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.723.

The Hack-Freight Bridge across the Hackensack River at mile 3.1, has a vertical clearance of 11 feet at mean high water and 16 feet at mean low water. The drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.723.

The waterway users are commercial operators.

The owners of the bridges, Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) and Conrail, submitted requests to the Coast Guard to operate the Conrail Hack-Freight Bridge from a remote location and to change the drawbridge operation for the PATH Bridge.

Under this final rule, Conrail shall operate its Hack-Freight Bridge across the Hackensack River at mile 3.1, from a remote location, the Conrail Leigh Valley Bridge Office, at all times when a draw tender is not stationed at the bridge. A draw tender may be stationed at the bridge at various times when it is deemed necessary for safety purposes such as during times when bridge maintenance is being performed.

Conrail operates several other bridges from its Leigh Valley Bridge Office, the Conrail Bridge at mile 2.0, across the Rahway River and the Arthur Kill Bridge at mile 11.6, across Arthur Kill.

Under this final rule, the Coast Guard is also changing the drawbridge operation regulations for the PATH Railroad Bridge.

The owner of the PATH Railroad Bridge, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH), asked the Coast Guard to change the drawbridge operation schedule for its Path Railroad Bridge, to require at least a two hour advance notice for bridge openings at all times.

In addition, PATH requested that the PATH Railroad Bridge be allowed to remain in the closed position during time periods when commuter rail traffic is heaviest from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

PATH agreed to provide additional bridge openings during the commuter closure periods for commercial vessels, from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m., 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m., 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m., upon a two hour advance notice, to help facilitate commercial vessel traffic. Notice may be provided by calling the number posted at the bridge.

C. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

The Coast Guard received no comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. As a result, no changes have been made to this final rule.

D. Regulatory Analyses

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

1. 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 believe that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because the PATH Railroad Bridge provides adequate clearance for commercial vessels in the closed position and the commercial vessels will be able to get additional openings provided advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge. Additionally, the Start Printed Page 34418Hack-Freight Bridge can be transited at all times but will be tended remotely.

2. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. 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 have no effect on small entities for the following reason: The high vertical clearance of the PATH Railroad Bridge of 40 feet at mean high water should accommodate all present vessel traffic except deep draft. Additionally, vessels may transit the bridge at all other times with a two hour advance notice and can plan their trips accordingly during any closure periods. As for the Hack-Freight Bridge, vessels may transit the bridge at all times.

3. 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, 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 the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above.

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.

4. 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).

5. Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

6. Protest Activities

The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

7. 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 an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Energy Effects

This action is not a “significant energy action” under Executive order 13211, Actions Concerns Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

13. Technical Standards

This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

14. Environment

We have analyzed this 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 concluded that 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 simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

  • Bridges
End List of Subjects

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

Start Part

PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Revise § 117.723 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Hackensack River.

(a) The following requirements apply to all bridges across the Hackensack River:

(1) The owners of each bridge shall provide and keep in good legible condition clearance gauges for each draw, with figures not less than 18 inches high for bridges below the turning basin at mile 4.0, and 12 inches high for bridges above mile 4.0. The Start Printed Page 34419gauges shall be designed, installed and maintained according to the provisions of § 118.160 of this chapter.

(2) Train and locomotives shall be controlled so that any delay in opening the draw shall not exceed 10 minutes. However, if a train moving toward the bridge has crossed the home signal for the bridge before the signal requesting the opening of the bridge is given, the train may continue across the bridge and must clear the bridge interlocks before stopping or reversing.

(3) New Jersey Transit Rail Operations' (NJTRO) roving crews shall consist of two qualified operators on each shift, each having a vehicle which is equipped with marine and railroad radios, a cellular telephone, and emergency bridge repair and maintenance tools. This crew shall be split with one drawtender stationed at Upper Hack and the other drawtender at the NJTRO HX drawbridge. Adequate security measures shall be provided to prevent vandalism to the bridge operating controls and mechanisms to ensure prompt openings of NJTRO bridges.

(4) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (j) of this section, the draws shall open on signal.

(b) The draw of the PATH Bridge, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, shall open on signal provided at least a two-hour advance notice is provided by calling the number posted at the bridge. The draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Additional bridge openings shall be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.; 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m. provided at least a two-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

(c) The draw of the Hack-Freight Railroad Bridge at mile 3.1, shall open on signal at all times, except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The bridge shall be operated from a remote location at all times, except when it is tended locally. Sufficient closed circuit television cameras, approved by the Coast Guard, shall be operated and maintained at the bridge site to enable the remotely located bridge tender to have full view of both river traffic and the bridge.

(1) Radiotelephone Channel 13/16 VHF-FM shall be maintained and utilized to facilitate communication in both remote and local control locations. The bridge shall also be equipped with directional microphones and horns to receive and deliver signals to vessels.

(2) Whenever the remote control system equipment is partially disabled or fails for any reason, the bridge shall be physically tended and operated by local control as soon as possible, but no more than 45 minutes after malfunction or disability of the remote system. Mechanical bypass and override capability of the remote system shall be provided and maintained.

(d) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the draw of the NJTRO Lower Hack Bridge, mile 3.4, at Jersey City shall open on signal if at least a one-hour advance notice is given to the drawtender at the Upper Hack bridge, mile 6.9, at Secaucus, New Jersey by calling the number posted at the bridge. In the event the NJTRO HX draw tender is at the Newark/Harrison (Morristown Line) Bridge, mile 5.8, on the Passaic River, up to an additional half hour delay is permitted.

(e) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the draw of the Amtrak Portal Bridge, mile 5.0, at Little Snake Hill, need not open for the passage of vessel traffic Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Additional bridge openings shall be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.; 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m., if at least a one-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge. At all other times the draw shall open on signal.

(f) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the draw of the NJTRO Upper Hack Bridge, mile 6.9 at Secaucus, N.J. shall open on signal unless the drawtender is at the NJTRO HX Bridge, mile 7.7 at Secaucus, N.J. over the Hackensack River, then up to a half hour delay is permitted.

(g) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the draw of the NJTRO HX Bridge at mile 7.7, shall open on signal if at least a half hour notice is given to the drawtender at the Upper Hack Bridge.

(h) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the draw of the S46 Bridge, at mile 14.0, in Little Ferry, shall open on signal if at least a twenty four hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

(i) The draw of the Harold J. Dillard Memorial (Court Street) Bridge, mile 16.2, Hackensack, shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given.

(j) The draw of the New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad bridge, mile 16.3, and the Midtown bridge, mile 16.5, both at Hackensack, need not be opened for the passage of vessels, however, the draws shall be restored to operable condition within 12 months after notification by the District Commander to do so.

Start Signature

Dated: May 30, 2014.

V.B. Gifford, Jr.,

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Commander, First Coast Guard District.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-14172 Filed 6-16-14; 8:45 am]

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