Coast Guard, DHS.
Notice of proposed rulemaking.
The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone for the navigable waters within 100 yards of the North Washington Street Bridge, Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts, from December 1, 2019 through December 31, 2023. The temporary safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created during the replacement project of the North Washington Street Bridge. When enforced, this proposed rule would prohibit vessels and persons from being in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Boston or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.
Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before October 4, 2019.
You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2019-0606 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Mark Cutter, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston, telephone 617-223-4000, email Mark.E.Cutter@uscg.mil.
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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Start Printed Page 46499
I. Table of Abbreviations
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
COTP Captain of the Port
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking
NAD 83 North American Datum 1983
U.S.C. United States Code
MassDOT Massachusetts Department of Transportation
II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis
Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) notified Sector Boston that there will be times in which the navigable channels underneath the North Washington Street Bridge, Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts, will need to be closed for the removal of the old bridge spans, demolition of the swing span pier foundation, construction of the abutment, and replacement of the span. The exact times are currently unknown. However, every effort is being made by the MassDOT and contractor to schedule these closures during the winter months when the Charles River is iced over or during the fall and spring when boating traffic is minimal.
The replacement project started in the summer of 2018 and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023. The COTP Boston determined that the potential hazards associated with the removal of the old bridge spans, demolition of the swing span pier foundation, construction of the abutment, and replacement of the span will be a safety concern for anyone within the work area. The proposed temporary safety zone would be enforced during the removal of the old bridge spans, demolition of the swing span pier foundation, construction of the abutment, and replacement of the span or when other hazards to navigation arise. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the proposed temporary safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.
The Coast Guard will notify the public of closures through the Massachusetts Bay Harbor Safety Committee meetings, Boston's Port Operators Group meetings, Local Notice to Mariners, and through the Massachusetts Boating & Yacht Clubs Associations network. The Coast Guard will issue a Safety Marine Information Broadcast (SMIB) via marine channel 16 (VHF-FM) seven days in advance of the commencement of the proposed safety zone.
The purpose of this rulemaking is to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created during the replacement project of the North Washington Street Bridge, Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts. The Coast Guard is proposing this rulemaking under authority in 46 U.S.C. 70034 (previously 33 U.S.C. 1231).
III. Discussion of Proposed Rule
The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a safety zone starting at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2019, to 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2023. The safety zone would cover all navigable waters within 100 yards of the North Washington Street Bridge, Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts. The safety zone will only be enforced during periods when work barges and cranes will be placed in the navigable channel or when other hazards to navigation exist. Any closure is expected to last less than two weeks. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels, the maritime public, construction workers, and the marine environment during periods of replacement of the North Washington Street Bridge, over the main channel at the entrance of the Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts. During the enforcement period, all vessels and persons must obtain permission from the COTP Boston or a designated representative before entering the safety zone.
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 a number of these statutes and Executive orders and we 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 13771 directs agencies to control regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This proposed rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the proposed rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.
This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time of year of the safety zone. There may be a time during the boating summer season that the safety zone needs to be enforced. However, MassDOT and the contractor are making all attempts to schedule these needed closures during the winter months when the Charles River is iced over or during the fall and spring when boating traffic is minimal. We expect the adverse economic impact of this proposed rule to be minimal. We will provide ample notice of the safety zone effective dates and vessels will be able to enter the safety zone when construction equipment is not occupying the channel. Although this regulation may have some adverse impact on the public, the potential impact will be minimal because the boating season for vessels on the Charles River usually begins in early May and concludes in October. If a summer time closure is needed, with the exception of an emergency, we will coordinate with MassDOT, the contractor, and the Harbormaster to ensure that all alternatives are explored, the duration is of the shortest possible timeframe, and a minimum of two weeks notification has been given to the boating public via Local Notice to Mariners, Safety Marine Information Broadcast via marine channel 16 (VHF-FM) and through the Massachusetts Boating & Yacht Clubs Associations network.
B. Impact on Small Entities
The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 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 will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit this safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above, this proposed rule will 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), Start Printed Page 46500we 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 section. 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 not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).
D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments
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.
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 would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.
We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Directive 023-01 and Environmental Planning COMDTINST 5090.1 (series), which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves the establishment of a temporary safety zone for the navigable waters within 100 yards of the North Washington Street Bridge, Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts, from December 1, 2019 through December 31, 2023 for the replacement of the bridge. The safety zone will only be enforced during periods when work barges and cranes will be placed in the navigable channel or when other hazards to navigation arise. As discussed in our pre-construction meeting, any closure is expected to be of less than a two-week duration and all attempts are being made by MassDOT and contractor to schedule these closures during winter months when there is no boating traffic or during the spring and fall season when boating traffic is minimal. Normally, such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Table 3-1 of U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Planning Implementing Procedures 5090.1. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. 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, visit http://www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice.
Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website'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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- Marine safety
- Navigation (water)
- Reporting and record keeping requirements
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:
PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS
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1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
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2. Add § 165.T01-0606 to read as follows: End Amendment Part
Safety Zone, North Washington Street Bridge Replacement Project—Charles River, Boston, MA
(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters within 100 yards of the North Washington Street Bridge, Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts.
(b) Enforcement Periods. This rule is enforceable from 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2019, to 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2023.
(c) Definitions. As used in this section:
(1) Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, Start Printed Page 46501warrant, petty officer, or any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Boston, to act on his or her behalf. The designated representative may be on an official patrol vessel or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. In addition, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation.
(2) Official patrol vessels means any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessels assigned or approved by the COTP Boston to enforce this section.
(d) Regulations. When this safety zone is enforced, the following regulations, along with those contained in 33 CFR 165.23 apply:
(1) No person or vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone without the permission of the COTP Boston or the COTP's designated representatives. However, any person or vessel permitted to enter the safety zone must comply with the directions and orders of the COTP Boston or a designated representative.
(2) To obtain permission required by this regulation, individuals may reach the COTP Boston or a COTP-designated representative via Channel 16 (VHF-FM) or 617-223-5757 (Sector Boston Command Center).
(3) Penalties. Those who violate this section are subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232.
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Dated: August 28, 2019.
Eric. J. Doucette,
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Boston.
[FR Doc. 2019-19048 Filed 9-3-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P