[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 180 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57808-57810]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20064]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[Docket No. USCG-2020-0334]
RIN 1625-AA09


Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal 
Waterway, Atlantic City, NJ

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to temporarily modify the operating 
schedule that governs the Route 30 (Absecon Boulevard) Bridge across 
the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (NJICW), Beach Thorofare, mile 
67.2, at Atlantic City, NJ. This proposed temporary modification will 
allow the drawbridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to 
accommodate critical bridge maintenance.

DATES: Comments and relate material must reach the Coast Guard on or 
before October 16, 2020.

ADDRESSES:  You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2020-0334 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed 
rule, call or email Mr. Mickey Sanders, Bridge Administration Branch, 
Fifth District, U.S. Coast Guard, telephone (757) 398-6587, email 
[email protected].

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 (Advance, Supplemental)
Sec.  Section
U.S.C. United States Code
NJICW New Jersey Intercoastal Waterway

II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    The New Jersey Department of Transportation, who owns and operates 
the Route 30 (Absecon Boulevard) Bridge, across the NJICW, Beach 
Thorofare, at mile 67.2, in Atlantic City, NJ, has requested this 
modification to allow the drawbridge to be maintained in the closed-to-
navigation position to facilitate bridge maintenance of the drawbridge. 
The Route 30 (Absecon Boulevard) Bridge, across the NJICW, Beach 
Thorofare, mile 67.2, at Atlantic City, NJ, has a vertical clearance of 
20 feet above mean high water in the closed position and unlimited 
vertical clearance above mean high water in the open position. The 
current operating schedule for the drawbridge is published in 33 CFR 
117.733 (e).
    This proposed temporary final rule is necessary to facilitate 
maintenance of the drawbridge, while ensuring the safety of those 
performing bridge maintenance and vessels navigating in the area. A 
work platform will reduce the horizontal clearance of the navigation 
channel to approximately 30 feet and temporary shielding will reduce 
the vertical clearance of the entire bridge to approximately 19 feet 
above mean high water in the closed position. Vessels that can safely 
transit through the bridge in the closed position with the reduced 
clearances may do so, if at least thirty minutes

[[Page 57809]]

notice is given, to allow for safe navigation. The Coast Guard is 
proposing this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 499.

III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Under this proposed temporary final rule, the drawbridge will be 
maintained in the closed-to-navigation position from 8 a.m. on November 
1, 2020, through 5 p.m. on March 31, 2021; from 8 a.m. on November 1, 
2021, through 5 p.m. on March 31, 2022; and from 8 a.m. on November 1, 
2022, through 5 p.m. on March 31, 2023. At all other times the 
drawbridge will operate per 33 CFR 117.733 (e). The bridge will not be 
able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternative 
route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in the closed 
position. Vessels that can safely transit through the bridge in the 
closed position with the reduced vertical and horizontal clearances may 
do so, if at least 30 minutes notice is given, to allow for safe 
navigation.

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 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 fact that the 
closure will occur outside of recreational boating season on the NJICW, 
and only during specific daily hours. An average of only 40 annual 
bridge openings occurred for recreational vessels and light tugs from 
November 1 to March 31 from 2015 through 2017.

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 (NEPA)(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 Chapter 3, Table 3-1 of the U.S. Coast Guard Environmental 
Planning Implementation Procedures.
    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

[[Page 57810]]

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.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117 Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes 
to amend 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

PART 117--DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; DHS Delegation No. 
0170.1.

0
2. Amend Sec.  117.733 by adding paragraph (e)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  117.733  New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (4) From 8 a.m. on November 1, 2020, through 5 p.m. on March 31, 
2021; from 8 a.m. on November 1, 2021, through 5 p.m. on March 31, 
2022; and from 8 a.m. on November 1, 2022, through 5 p.m. on March 31, 
2023, the drawbridge will be maintained in the closed-to-navigation 
position. A work platform will reduce the horizontal clearance of the 
navigation channel to approximately 30 feet and temporary shielding 
will reduce the vertical clearance of the entire bridge to 
approximately 19 feet above mean high water in the closed position. 
Vessels that can safely transit through the bridge in the closed 
position with the reduced clearances may do so, if at least 30 minutes 
notice is given, to allow for safe navigation.
* * * * *

K.M. Smith,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2020-20064 Filed 9-15-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P