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Proposed Rule

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Middle River, Near Discovery Bay, CA

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating schedule that governs the Woodward Island Bridge across Middle River, mile 11.8, near Discovery Bay, CA. The proposed operating schedule change will require the removable span to open for vessels engaged in emergency levee repairs. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

DATES:

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before October 21, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2020-0137 using Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at https://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 about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Carl T. Hausner, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516, email Carl.T.Hausner@uscg.mil.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

DHS Department of Homeland Security

FR Federal Register

OMB Office of Management and Budget

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

§ Section

U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

On September 20, 2017 the U.S. Coast Guard issued San Joaquin County a permit to construct the new removable span Woodward Island Bridge across Middle River, mile 11.8, near Discovery Bay, CA. Construction was completed on January 23, 2020. The new bridge provides 30 feet of vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position, unlimited vertical clearance when the span is removed, and 83 feet of horizontal clearance, dolphin to dolphin, measured normal to the centerline of the channel. The opening requirement for the newly constructed Woodward Island Bridge over Middle River is currently governed by 33 CFR 117.5, which requires prompt and full opening for the passage of vessels when a request or signal to open is given.

A three-year navigational analysis of that portion of Middle River was conducted between 2000 and 2003. The results of the analysis indicated the newly constructed bridge would meet the reasonable needs of recreational vessels that normally use the waterway. Vessels which cannot transit the bridge in the closed position have an alternate route to reach the opposite side of the bridge.

The Woodward Island Bridge was designed with a removable span to allow emergency vessels engaged in levee repair to request an opening when necessary. Since most recreational vessels can transit the new Woodward Island Bridge and there is an alternate route around the bridge, there is no need for an “open on demand” regulation as prescribed in 33 CFR 117.5.

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

The Coast Guard proposes to change the operating schedule that governs the Woodward Island Bridge across Middle River, mile 11.8, near Discovery Bay, CA. This proposed rule change would implement regulations for the bridge to only open for vessels engaged in emergency levee repairs. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

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 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 Start Printed Page 44495budgeting 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 ability of vessels to still transit underneath the bridge while the removable span is in place.

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 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 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 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 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 rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01, Rev.1, associated implementing instructions, and Environmental Planning Policy 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). The Coast Guard has 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 promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review, under paragraph L49 of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023-01-001-01, Rev. 1.

Neither a Record of Environmental Consideration nor a Memorandum for the Record are 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 https://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https://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 https://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions in response to this document, see DHS's eRulemaking System of Records notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020).

Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in this docket and all public comments, will be in our online docket at https://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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

  • Bridges
End List of Subjects Start Printed Page 44496

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 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; DHS Delegation No. 0170.1.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. Amend § 117.171 by revising paragraph (c) and adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Middle River.
* * * * *

(c) The removable span of the Woodward Island Bridge, mile 11.8 near Discovery Bay, shall be removed as soon as possible upon notification by the District Commander that an emergency exists which requires its removal.

(d) The California Route 4 Bridge, mile 15.1, between Victoria Island and Drexler Tract need not open for the passage of vessels.

Start Signature

Dated: July 9, 2020.

Joseph R. Buzzella,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-15385 Filed 7-22-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9110-04-P