Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On May 1, 2012, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Tombigbee River, AL” in the
The MNBR vertical lift span bridge crosses the Tombigbee River at mile 128.6 (Black Warrior Tombigbee Waterway mile 173.6), Naheola, Marengo and Choctaw Counties, Alabama. The bridge is currently maintained in the open-to-navigation position, closing only for the passage of rail traffic. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 12.2 feet above ordinary high water (OHW), elevation 64.5 feet, in the closed-to-navigation position and 55 feet above OHW in the open-to-navigation position. Many of the vessels using the waterway transit under a fixed span of the bridge at periods of lower water due to the difficulty of transiting the navigation span, which only has a horizontal clearance of 150 feet between piers.
Due to the limited number of trains using the rail line in this area, maintaining the bridge in the fully open-to-navigation position and only lowering the bridge for rail traffic is the preferred operating schedule. Because this operating schedule has been in place for over ten years, and is understood and accepted by local
Maintaining the bridge untended and in the open-to-navigation position also eliminates the need for a bridge tender. This rule codifies the current bridge operating practice and brings it into compliance with 33 CFR part 117.41(b)(1).
As part of the NPRM process, a 60-day comment period was provided to allow for comments regarding the proposed change. No comments were received and no changes were made to the rule as proposed.
We developed this 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 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.
This rule is not a significant regulatory action because it codifies the current operating schedule for the MNBR bridge which is already understood, known and accepted by the local bridge and waterway users. Very few vessels will be impacted as the bridge remains open at all times except to allow rail traffic to pass trains two times a day, five days a week.
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 received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
This rule will affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels wishing to transit the Tombigbee River above mile 128.6 with vessel air drafts that would require the bridge to be open to navigation for them to pass safely through the bridge site. This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the bridge remains open at all times except to allow rail traffic to pass two times a day, five days a week.
This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it only codifies the existing operation of the draw and there have been no documented economic impacts to small entities with regards to the present operation of the bridge.
Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we 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
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.
This rule calls 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 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 rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.
This rule will 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 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 rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.
This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,
We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly 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.
This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.
We have analyzed this 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 concluded 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.
Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule.
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:
33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.
The draw of the Meridian and Bigbee Railroad (MNBR) vertical lift span bridge across the Tombigbee River, mile 128.6 (Black Warrior Tombigbee (BWT) Waterway mile 173.6), at Naheola, shall operate as follows:
(a) The draw shall be maintained in the fully open-to-navigation position for vessels at all times, except during periods when it is closed for the passage of rail traffic.
(b) When a train approaches the bridge, it will stop and a crewmember from the train will observe the waterway for approaching vessels. If vessels are observed approaching the bridge, they will be allowed to pass prior to lowering the bridge. The crewmember will then announce via radiotelephone on VHF-FM channel 16 that the bridge is preparing to be lowered. If, after two minutes, no response has been received, the crewmember will initiate the lowering sequence.
(c) After the train has completely passed over the bridge, the crewmember will initiate the raising sequence. When the bridge is in the fully open-to-navigation position, the crewmember will announce via radiotelephone on VHF-FM channel 16 that the bridge is in the fully open-to-navigation position.
(d) To request openings of the bridge when the lift span is in the closed-to-navigation position, mariners may contact the MNBR via VHF-FM channel 16 or by telephone at 205-654-4364.