[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 84 (Tuesday, May 4, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 23609-23610]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09306]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[Docket No. USCG-2020-0603]
RIN 1625-AA09


Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, 
NJ

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that 
governs the Route 7 Bridge, across the Hackensack River, mile 3.1, at 
Jersey City, NJ. The bridge owner, New Jersey Department of 
Transportation (NJDOT), submitted a request to allow the bridge to 
require four hours advance notice for bridge openings. This final rule 
would create efficiency in drawbridge operations and better serve the 
needs of the community while continuing to meet the reasonable needs of 
navigation.

DATES: This rule is effective June 3, 2021.

ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being 
available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Type USCG-
2020-0603 in the ``SEARCH'' box and click ``SEARCH.'' Click on Open 
Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Ms. Judy Leung-Yee, First Coast Guard District, Project 
Officer, telephone 212-514-4336, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
NJDOT New Jersey Department of Transportation
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

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On November 19, 2020, the Coast Guard published a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulation; 
Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ in the Federal Register (85 FR 
73667). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on 
our proposed regulatory action related to this regulatory change. 
During the comment period that ended on January 19, 2021, we received 
no comments in response to the NPRM.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under the authority of 33 
U.S.C. 499.
    The new Route 7 Bridge at mile 3.1 over the Hackensack River at 
Jersey City, New Jersey, is currently under construction and will have 
a vertical clearance of 70 feet at mean high water in the closed 
position and 135 feet at mean high water in the open position. 
Horizontal clearance is approximately 158 feet. The existing Route 7 
Bridge over the Hackensack River has a vertical clearance of 35 feet at 
mean high water in the closed position and 135 feet at mean high water 
in the open position. Horizontal clearance is approximately 158 feet.
    The waterway users include recreational and commercial vessels 
including tugboat/barge combinations.
    The existing regulation, 33 CFR 117.723(k) published under Federal 
Register 85 FR 8747, effective April 19, 2020, requires the existing 
bridge open on signal; except that, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., the draw 
shall open on signal if at least two hours advance notice is given by 
calling the number posted at the bridge.
    In August of 2020, the owner of the bridge, New Jersey Department 
of Transportation, requested a change to the drawbridge operation 
regulations to the new bridge. The owner anticipates a lower volume of 
bridge openings given that the new bridge's vertical clearance in the 
closed position will be double the clearance of the existing bridge.
    Under this rule, the new draw would open on signal when at least 
four hours advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the 
bridge. This rule change will allow for more efficient and economic 
operation of the bridge while meeting the reasonable needs of 
navigation. The Coast Guard is proposing this rulemaking under 
authority in 33 U.S.C. 499.
    The bridge logs show that the Route 7 Bridge had 16 annual openings 
in 2018, 10 annual openings in 2019, and 6 annual openings in 2020 
(through 6/19/2020).

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard provided 60 days for comment regarding this rule 
and no comments in the docket were received.
    There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the 
proposed rule in the NPRM.
    The final rule provides that the Route 7 Bridge shall open on 
signal when at least four hours advance notice is given by calling the 
number posted at the bridge. It is the Coast Guard's opinion that the 
rule meets the reasonable needs of marine traffic.
    Both existing and new bridges will be operated under the current 
operating schedule until the existing bridge is demolished/removed at 
which point this final rule will take effect.

V. Regulatory Analyses

    The Coast Guard 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 and Executive Orders, 
and we discuss First Amendment rights of protesters.

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 rule has not been 
designated a ``significant regulatory action,'' under Executive

[[Page 23610]]

Order 12866. Accordingly, it 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.
    The Coast Guard believes this rule is not a significant regulatory 
action. The bridge will still open for all vessel traffic after a four-
hour advance notice is given. We believe that this change to the 
drawbridge operation regulations at 33 CFR 117.723 will meet the 
reasonable needs of navigation.

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 received no comment 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.
    The new Route 7 Bridge provides 70 feet of vertical clearance at 
mean high water that should accommodate most of the present vessel 
traffic, except for deep draft vessels. The new bridge will open on 
signal for any vessel when at least four hours advance notice is given 
by calling the number posted at the bridge. While some owners or 
operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small 
entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.
    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. 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.
    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.

C. 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).

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    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 is consistent with the fundamental federalism 
principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 
13132.
    Also, 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.

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 rule will not result in 
such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this 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 rule promulgates the operating 
regulations or procedures for drawbridges and is 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.

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.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 
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; Department of Homeland 
Security Delegation No. 0170.1.


0
2. Revise Sec.  117.723(k) to read as follows:


Sec.  117.723  Hackensack River.

* * * * *
    (k) The draw of the Route 7 Bridge, mile 3.1, at Jersey City, shall 
open on signal if at least four hours advance notice is given by 
calling the number posted at the bridge.

    Dated: April 27, 2021.
T.G. Allan, Jr.,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2021-09306 Filed 5-3-21; 8:45 am]
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