Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
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The current regulations, under the general requirements set out at 33 CFR 117.5, require that the Carolina Coastal Railroad Bridge, at AIWW mile 203.8, across Newport River in Morehead City NC, shall open promptly and fully for the passage of vessels when a request to open is given. However, the drawbridge is currently maintained in the open to navigation position at all times and closes for passing trains.
In the closed position to vessels, this single-leaf bascule drawbridge has a vertical clearance of 4 feet above mean high water.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), who owns and operates this bascule-type railroad bridge, has requested a temporary change to the existing operating regulations to facilitate repair of existing structural steel, strengthening of the main bascule girders and upgrading the obsolete drive system.
To facilitate the required repair work and to minimize the impact on navigation, from October 1, 2012 to October 1, 2013 the drawbridge would operate as follows: (1) From 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., shall be maintained in the open position to vessels and would only be closed for the passage of trains and to perform periodic maintenance; and in the closed position to vessels, from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., with one optional opening provided at 12 a.m. (midnight) for vessels providing advance notice before 4 p.m. on the afternoon before the requested opening.
Vessel traffic along this part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway consists of commercial and pleasure craft including sail boats, fishing boats, and tug and barge traffic, that transit mainly during the daylight hours with the occasional tug and barge traffic at night. The drawbridge is currently maintained in the open to navigation position at all times and closes for passing trains. Consequently, the number of mariners transiting through this section of the waterway is not based on the amount of vessel openings but on the average number of waterway users, which showed that there are fewer vessel openings at night for mariners, making it a more suitable time to restrict the operation of the drawbridge.
The Coast Guard would temporarily revise the operating regulations at 33 CFR 117.821 by adding a new paragraph(c). Paragraph(c) would state from October 1, 2012 to October 1, 2013, the draw of the Carolina Coastal Railroad Bridge shall be maintained in the open position to vessels, from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and would only be closed for the passage of trains and to perform periodic maintenance; and at night need not open from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., except at 12 a.m. (midnight) for vessels providing advance notice before 4 p.m. on the afternoon before the requested opening.
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 or executive orders.
This proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders.
The proposed temporary changes are expected to have minimal impact on mariners due to the low number of vessels transiting this area at night. Also, a midnight vessel opening would be available each night for vessels requiring an opening provided that advance notice is given by 4 p.m. on the afternoon before the requested opening.
Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this proposed rule on small entities. 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.
This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the rule adds navigational restrictions mainly to the movement of vessels during a time when there is less traffic at night. Most commercial traffic will leave and return during the day. The proposed rule would possibly affect small entities such as owners/operators of vessels with limited drawbridge openings from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. To minimize delays, these vessels can plan their transits in accordance with the proposed opening schedule.
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
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 so that they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. 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 Terrance Knowles, Environmental Protection Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, (757) 398-6587 or
This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).
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 does not have implications for federalism.
The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the
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 rule elsewhere in this preamble.
This proposed rule would not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.
This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.
We have analyzed this proposed 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.
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.
This proposed rule is not a “significant energy action” under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.
This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.
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 rule is categorically excluded under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, and 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.
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:
1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:
33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.
2. In § 117.821, add temporary paragraph (c) to read as follows:
(c) From October 1, 2012 to October 1, 2013, the draw of the Carolina Coastal Railroad Bridge, at mile 203.8, (Newport River) at Morehead City, shall operate as follows:
(1) During the day from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., shall be maintained in the open position to vessels and would only be closed for the passage of trains and to perform periodic maintenance.
(2) At night need not open 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. except an opening would be provided at 12 a.m. (midnight) if advance notice is given before 4 p.m. on the afternoon before the requested opening.