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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Lacombe Bayou, LA

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Start Preamble


Coast Guard, DHS.


Notice of proposed rulemaking.


The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating schedule that governs the Tammany Trace swing bridge across Lacombe Bayou, mile 5.2, at Lacombe, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. This action is necessary to effectively coordinate Tammany Trace trail operations and maintenance with drawbridge operations.


Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before December 6, 2019.


You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2018-0953 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at

See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

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If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Mr. Doug Blakemore, Eighth Coast Guard District Bridge Administrator; telephone (504) 671-2128, email

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I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

DHS Department of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking

STP St. Tammany Parish

Trace Tammany Trace

§ Section

II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

Saint Tammany Parish (STP) has requested to change the operating requirements for the Tammany Trace swing bridge across Lacombe Bayou, mile 5.2, at Lacombe, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. This bridge currently opens on signal according to 33 CFR 117.5. STP has requested to open the bridge if vessels provide 2 hours advance notification.

This bridge spans the Tammany Trace which is a park area that is used by pedestrians and bicyclists. The Trace is open from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. The bridge operates during Trace hours and is secured in the open to navigation position when the Trace is closed. This bridge has a vertical clearance of 9.7 feet above mean high water in the closed to vessel position and unlimited vertical clearance in the open to vessel traffic position. There are few vessel movements through this bridge. From 2015 through 2017 the bridge opened 197 times for vessel passage. This waterway is primarily used by recreational boaters in the Lacombe area and does not support commercial activity.

In addition to bridge operations, STP bridge tenders assist with Trace bike, pedestrian and equestrian operations and maintenance. This change would Start Printed Page 59742allow the parish to coordinate and schedule Tammany Trace requirements and provide for the reasonable needs of navigation.

The Coast Guard is issuing this NPRM under authority 33 U.S.C. 499.

III. Discussion of Comments and Change

The Coast Guard's decision to promulgate a drawbridge regulation depends primarily upon the effect of the proposed rule on navigation to assure that the rule provides for the reasonable needs of navigation after consideration of the rule on the impact to the public. The Coast Guard must ensure that bridges across navigable waters do not unreasonably obstruct waterway traffic and at the same time provide for the reasonable needs of land traffic. Drawbridge operations must balance the needs of vessel, vehicle, rail, pedestrian and recreational traffic in the overall public interest.

Based on the number of times that this bridge has opened for vessel traffic in three years, the Coast Guard proposes that it is reasonable for vessels to provide a 2 hour advance notice to open the drawbridge.

IV. Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard has reviewed the data and information provided by STP and has determined that there should be no adverse impact on vessels ability to use Lacombe Bayou at the bridge location. There are no other proposed changes to the operating schedule. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

V. 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 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 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 (OMB) and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.

This regulatory action determination is based on the lack of commercial vessel traffic on this waterway, and the recreational boats that routinely transit the bridge under the proposed schedule. Those vessels with a vertical clearance requirement of less than 9.7 feet above mean high water may transit the bridge at any time, and the bridge will open in case of emergency at any time. This regulatory action takes into account the reasonable needs of vessel and vehicular traffic.

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 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 V.A above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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 proposed 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.

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.

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 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 guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined 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 Start Printed Page 59743involves a change to the operating schedule of a drawbridge. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L49 of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 01. 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.

VI. 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 If your material cannot be submitted using, 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 and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, visit​privacynotice.

Documents mentioned in this SNPRM as being available in this docket and all public comments, will be in our online docket at 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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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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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. Revise § 117.463 to read as follows:

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Lacombe Bayou

(a) The draw of the US190 bridge, mile 6.8 at Lacombe, shall open on signal if at least 48 hours notice is given.

(b) The draw of the Tammany Trace bridge, mile 5.2 at Lacombe, shall open on signal if at least 2 hours notice is given.

Start Signature

Dated: February 6, 2019.

Paul F. Thomas,

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

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Editorial Note:

This document was submitted to the Office of the Federal Register on November 1, 2019.

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[FR Doc. 2019-24238 Filed 11-5-19; 8:45 am]