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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Indian Creek, Miami Beach, FL

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AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

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ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that governs the 63rd Street Bridge across Indian Creek, mile 4.0, at Miami Beach, FL. This proposed rule implements restrictions that allow the bridge to not open for vessels during peak vehicle traffic times. Bridge openings during peak vehicle traffic times cause major traffic jams that may be avoided without negatively impacting vessel traffic on the Indian Creek. Modifying the bridge operating schedule will reduce major vehicle traffic issues during rush hour times.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 18, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-0940 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

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 email Mr. Rod Elkins with the Coast Guard; telephone 305-415-6989, email rodney.j.elkins@uscg.mil.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

DHS Department of Homeland Security

E.O. Executive Order

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

§ Section

U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

On March 11th, 2015 the Miami Beach City Commission held a public meeting to discuss appropriate action for modifying the bridge operations. Additionally, the City conducted traffic studies and reviewed the bridge logs which showed a 45% increase in vehicular traffic from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with no corresponding increase in vessel traffic during those time periods. Input from the public meeting and the traffic data was used to develop the proposed rule. That data will be included in the electronic docket for this proposed rulemaking.

63rd Street Bridge across Indian Creek, mile 4.0, at Miami Beach, FL is a single leaf bascule bridge. It has a vertical clearance of 11 feet at mean high water in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 50 feet.

Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5, the 63rd Street Bridge is required to open on signal for the passage of vessels. The City of Miami Beach and Miami Dade County determined that restricting bridge openings during peak traffic hours will significantly reduce traffic congestion. Based on this determination, the City of Miami Beach requested this action to alleviate additional traffic congestion created by bridge openings during peak hours.

In addition to proposing a schedule that will allow for limited openings during the regular work week, the Coast Guard is proposing a regulation change that will apply during the annual boat show. Every year in mid-February the City of Miami Beach hosts the Yacht and Brokerage Show which creates unusually high vehicle and vessel traffic during the weeks before and after the show. The Coast Guard typically issues temporary deviations to the 63rd Street Bridge operations that help balance vessel and vehicle needs during those times. The Coast Guard proposes adopting the annual temporary deviation as part of this bridge regulation.

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to add a new regulation for the operations of the 63rd Street Bridge, Indian Creek mile 4.0, at Miami Beach. The proposed regulation would implement three closure periods, which would allow the bridge to not open for vessels during morning and afternoon peak vehicle traffic times. The following schedule is proposed: (1) From Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. the bridge would only open on the hour and half hour; (2) from 7:10 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. and 4:05 p.m. to 6:59 p.m. Monday through Friday, the bridge would remain closed; and (3) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the seven days before and the four days following the City of Miami Beach Yacht and Brokerage Show the second week of February, the bridge would only open for ten minutes at the top of the hour. For federal holidays, weekends, and other times the bridge would continue to open for vessels on signal.

These proposed changes will still allow vessels to pass through the bridge while taking into account the reasonable needs of other modes of transportation.

IV. Regulatory Analyses

We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and E.O.s and we also discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

E.O.s 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

This regulatory action determination is based on the limited impact that it is anticipated to have on vessel traffic on the Indian Creek while taking into account the needs of vehicular traffic. Vessels that can transit under the bridge without an opening may do so. Other vessels can transit during non closure period times, and emergency vessels and tugs with tows can still request openings at any time.

B. 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 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 proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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.

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. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for Start Printed Page 8170compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above. 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.

C. 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.).

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the 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 proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in E.O. 13132.

Also, 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. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

E. 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 proposed rule elsewhere in this preamble.

F. 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. This proposed rule promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review, 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. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

G. 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.

V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

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List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

  • Bridges
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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

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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. Add § 117.293 to read as follows:

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Indian Creek.

The draw of the 63rd Street Bridge, Indian Creek mile 4.0, at Miami Beach, shall open on signal except as follows:

(a) From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays, the draw need open only on the hour and half-hour.

(b) From 7:10 a.m. to 9:55 a.m. and 4:05 p.m. to 6:59 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels.

(c) In February of each year during the period seven days prior to the City of Miami Beach Yacht and Brokerage Show and the four days following the show, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the bridge need not open except for 10 minutes at the top of the hour. At all other times the bridge shall operate on its normal schedule.

Start Signature

Dated: February 11, 2016.

S.A. Buschman,

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

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[FR Doc. 2016-03262 Filed 2-17-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P