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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[CGD05-06-070]

RIN 1625-AA09

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Potomac River, Between Maryland and Virginia

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.
ACTION: Temporary final rule.
SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is issuing temporary regulations that govern the operation of the new Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95) Bridge, mile 103.8, across Potomac River between Alexandria, Virginia and Oxon Hill, Maryland. This temporary final rule establishes the same operating requirements for the new drawbridge that is currently in effect for the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge.
DATES: This rule is effective midnight on June 20, 2006 to 11:59 on June 12, 2007.
ADDRESSES: Documents, indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket CGD05-06-070 and are available for inspection or copying at Commander (dpb), Fifth Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 1st Floor, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704-5004 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Fifth Coast Guard District maintains the public docket for this rulemaking.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Waverly W. Gregory, Jr., Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6222.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Good Cause for Not Publishing an NPRM

We did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM. This temporary final rule establishes the same operating requirements for the new drawbridge that is currently in effect for the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge.

The new bridge will be required to open on signal as per 33 CFR 115.255(a). Since the new drawbridge has to be opened for all vessels requiring an opening that may exceed the present vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position at 75 feet, above mean high water (MHW), the establishment of this regulation does not place more constraint on the waterway users than the old regulation governing the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge.

Good Cause for Making Rule Effective in Less Than 30 Days

Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in theFederal Registerbecause this rule merely establishes the same requirements as the current operating regulations for the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge. Accordingly, the primary waterway users will not be required to change their current practices of transiting the waterway. Thus, no negative impact on vessel traffic in the area is anticipated.

Background and Purpose

Construction is ongoing for the new bascule-type Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95) Bridge, mile 103.8, across Potomac River between Alexandria, Virginia and Oxon Hill, Maryland. On June 11, 2006, the southern most portion of the bascule spans for the new bridge was publicly placed into service, allowing vehicular traffic and will be required to open for vessels in accordance with the current drawbridge operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.255(a). The new drawbridge, when fully-constructed around 2010, is being constructed on essentially the same alignment, in close proximity of the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge. In the closed-to-navigation position, the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge provides a vertical clearance of 50 feet, above MHW. In the closed-to-navigation position, the newly-constructed southernmost spans of the new drawbridge provide a vertical clearance of 75 feet, above MHW, which allows a greater flow of vessels to pass through. Therefore, this temporary final rule will be identical to the current regulation governing the operation of the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge providing the same or less constraint for primary waterway users than were formerly in effect with the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge.

Regulatory Evaluation

This rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

We expect the economic impact of this temporary final rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation under the regulatory policies and procedures of DHS is unnecessary. We reached this conclusion based on the fact that during the many years that the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge was operating under the identical regulation, the Coast Guard had not received any complaints regarding the drawbridge operating schedule. Also, the southernmost spans of the new drawbridge has been constructed on essentially the same alignment with a higher vertical clearance above MHW than the existing-to-be-removed drawbridge and the numbers of opening requests are anticipated to be less for the new bridge.

Small Entities

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered whether this rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 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 rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will have no impact on any small entities because the regulation will apply to a new bridge, which replaces a bridge on which the same regulation already exists.

Assistance for Small Entities

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 rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking process. No assistance was requested from any small entity.

Collection of Information

This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

Federalism

A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

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 or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

Taking of Private Property

This rule would not affect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

Civil Justice Reform

This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminates ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Protection of Children

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

Indian Tribal Governments

This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does 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.

Energy Effects

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations ThatSignificantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

Technical Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, and Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 5100.1, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, this rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e) of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an “Environmental Analysis Check List” and a “Categorical Exclusion Determination” are not required for this rule.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

Bridges.

Regulations For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard is amending 33 CFR part 117 as follows: PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 499; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); section 117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 Stat. 5039.

2. From midnight on June 20, 2006, to 11:59 p.m. on June 12, 2007, in § 117.255 add a new paragraph(c) to read as follows:
§ 117.255 Potomac River.

(c) From midnight on June 20, 2006, to 11:59 p.m. on June 12, 2007, the draw of new Woodrow Wilson (I-95) Bridge, mile 103.8, between Alexandria, Virginia and Oxon Hill, Maryland shall operate in accordance with the same provisions outlined at paragraph (a) of this section.

Dated: June 20, 2006. L.L. Hereth, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.