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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Rice Creek, Putnam County, FL

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that governs the CSX Railroad Bridge across the Rice Creek, mile 0.8, in Palatka, Putnam County, FL.

This proposed rule would change the existing open on demand during the day and 24 hour advance notice for a bridge opening during the night, to 24 hour advance notice for an opening at all times. This proposal is being made due to the minimal drawbridge openings requested over the past several years. This modification would allow the bridge owner to leave the bridge unmanned other than when an opening is requested and it would have little to no effect on navigation.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 9, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0523 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.

Start Further Info

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

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

§  Section

U.S.C. United States Code

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II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

On May 18th, 2015, CSX Transportation requested the Coast Guard consider allowing the CSX Railroad Bridge across Rice Creek to be converted from a movable bridge to a fixed bridge. Their request was made due to the minimal drawbridge openings requested over the past several years. The Coast Guard determined that converting the bridge to a fixed structure was not reasonable to navigation, because it would restrict vessels from using the waterway. CSX then requested modifying the bridge operations to 24 hour advance notice at all times. CSX provided the Coast Guard a summary of bridge opening logs that show eight openings in 2015, three openings in 2014, and three openings in 2013. The data supporting the request will be included in the electronic docket for this proposed rulemaking.

The CSX Railroad Bridge across the Rice Creek, mile 0.8, in Palatka, Putnam County, FL is a swing bridge. It has a vertical clearance of 2 feet at mean high water in the closed position and a horizontal clearance of 30 feet.

Presently, in accordance with 33 CFR 117.324, the Rice Creek CSX Railroad Swing Bridge is required to open on signal for the passage of vessels from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. From 4:01 p.m. to 7:59 a.m., daily, the bridge shall open with a 24-hour advance notice to CSX.

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to modify the operating schedule that governs the CSX Railroad Bridge across Rice Creek, mile 0.8, in Palatka, Putnam County, FL.

This proposed regulation would implement a 24 hour advance notice to CSX for an opening at all times. This proposed change 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 related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and Executive Orders and we also discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 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. Executive Order 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 Executive Order 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 Rice Creek as there are infrequent requests to open the bridge while taking into account the needs of rail traffic. The bridge will be able to open with the requisite amount of advanced notice. Vessels that can transit under the bridge without an opening may do so.

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 compliance, 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 Executive Order 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 Start Printed Page 78954rule 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. Amend § 117.324 to read as follows:

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Rice Creek.

The CSX Railroad Swing Bridge, mile 0.8, in Putnam County, shall open with a 24-hour advance notice to CSX at 1-800-232-0142.

Start Signature

Dated: November 4, 2016.

S.A. Buschman,

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

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[FR Doc. 2016-27176 Filed 11-9-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P