[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 183 (Thursday, September 22, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57820-57821]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-20422]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 650

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2017-0047]

RIN 2125-AF55


National Bridge Inspection Standards; Technical Correction

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), U.S. Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule makes technical corrections to the regulations that 
govern the National Bridge Inspection Standards Program. The amendments 
contained herein make no substantive changes to FHWA regulations, 
policies, or procedures.

DATES: This rule is effective September 22, 2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Drda, P.E., Office of 
Bridges and Structures, HIBS-40, (919) 747-7011; or William Winne, 
Office of the Chief Counsel, telephone (202) 366-1397, Federal Highway 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Office 
hours for FHWA are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded by accessing 
the Office of the Federal Register's home page at: 
www.federalregister.gov or the Government Printing Office's website at: 
www.GovInfo.gov.

Background

    This rulemaking makes technical corrections to the regulations that 
govern the National Bridge Inspection Standards Program found at 23 CFR 
part 650. In the final rule published in the Federal Register on May 6, 
2022 (87 FR 27396), FHWA provided an incorrect cross reference in Sec.  
650.313(h), and an incomplete reference to material incorporated by 
reference to be used for the load rating of bridges in Sec.  
650.313(k). This Final Rule corrects those references in Sec.  
650.313(h) and (k).
    Section 650.313(h) incorrectly pointed readers to ``paragraphs 
(a)(1)(ii) and (b)(1)(ii) of this section'' (emphasis added) to 
describe the use of special inspections in lieu of complete routine and 
underwater inspections for bridges on reduced inspection intervals. The 
paragraphs listed do not appear within Sec.  650.313, but rather Sec.  
650.311. The FHWA corrects this sentence to remove the incorrect cross 
reference and to read as follows: ``(h) Special inspection. For special 
inspections used to monitor conditions described in Sec.  
650.311(a)(1)(ii) and (b)(1)(ii), develop and document procedures in 
accordance with Section 4.2, AASHTO Manual (incorporated by reference, 
see Sec.  650.317).''
    Section 650.313(k) included an incomplete reference to the 
appropriate sections of the AASHTO Manual, incorporated by reference in 
Sec.  650.317, for load rating purposes. As discussed in the preamble 
of the Final Rule, and referenced in the definition of ``AASHTO 
Manual'', the third paragraph in Article 6B.7.1 is excluded from the 
considerations to be used for load rating. The FHWA corrects this 
sentence to note this exclusion and to read as follows: ``(k) Load 
rating. (1) Rate each bridge as to its safe load capacity in accordance 
with Sections 6 and 8, excluding the 3rd paragraph in Article 6B.7.1, 
AASHTO Manual (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  650.317).''

Rulemaking Analyses and Notice

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)), an Agency 
may waive the normal notice and comment requirements if it finds, for 
good cause, that they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to 
the public interest. The FHWA finds that notice and comment for this 
rule is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest because it will 
have no substantive impact and is technical in nature. The amendments 
to the rule are necessary based on drafting errors made during the 
development of the Final Rule. The FHWA does not anticipate receiving 
meaningful comments on it. State and local governments rely upon the 
regulations corrected by this action. These corrections will reduce 
confusion for these entities and should not be unnecessarily delayed. 
Accordingly, for the reasons listed above, FHWA finds good cause under 
5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to waive notice and opportunity for comment. For 
these same reasons, this Final Rule is effective upon its date of 
publication under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)

[[Page 57821]]

and, therefore, is exempt from the 30-day delayed effective date 
requirement of that section for these same reasons.

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 
13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this rulemaking is 
not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive 
Order (E.O.) 12866. Accordingly, OMB has not reviewed it under that 
E.O. This action complies with E.O.'s 12866 and 13563 to improve 
regulation. It is anticipated that the economic impact of this 
rulemaking will be minimal. This final rule only makes minor 
corrections that will not alter the regulatory effect of 23 CFR part 
650. Thus, the final rule will not adversely affect, in a material way, 
any sector of the economy. In addition, these changes will not 
interfere with any action taken or planned by another Agency and will 
not materially alter the budgetary impact of any entitlements, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 
5 U.S.C. 601-612), FHWA has evaluated the effects of this action on 
small entities and has determined that the action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The final rule will not make any substantive changes to our regulations 
or in the way that our regulations affect small entities; it merely 
corrects technical errors. For this reason, FHWA certifies that this 
action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This final rule does not impose unfunded mandates as defined by the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, March 22, 1995, 
109 Stat. 48). This final rule does not impose any requirements on 
State, local, or Tribal governments, or the private sector and, thus, 
will not require those entities to expend any funds.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles 
and criteria contained in E.O. 13132. The FHWA has determined that this 
final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant 
the preparation of a federalism assessment. The FHWA has also 
determined that this final rule does not preempt any State law or State 
regulation or affect the States' ability to discharge traditional State 
governmental functions.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing E.O. 12372 regarding intergovernmental 
consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to these 
programs. Local entities should refer to the Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and 
Construction, for further information.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not create any new information collection 
requirements for which submission to OMB would be needed under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

National Environmental Policy Act

    The FHWA has analyzed this final rule for the purpose of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) and has 
determined that this action will not have any effect on the quality of 
the environment and qualifies for the categorical exclusion at 23 CFR 
771.117(c)(20).

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA has analyzed this final rule under E.O. 13175. The FHWA 
concluded that the final rule will not have substantial direct effects 
on one or more Indian Tribes; will not impose substantial direct 
compliance costs on Indian Tribal government; and will not preempt 
Tribal law. There are no requirements set forth in the final rule that 
directly affect one or more Indian Tribes. Therefore, a Tribal summary 
impact statement is not required.

Executive Order 12898 (Environmental Justice)

    E.O. 12898 requires that each Federal Agency make achieving 
environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and 
addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human 
health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and 
activities on minorities and low-income populations. The FHWA has 
determined that this final rule does not raise any environmental 
justice issues.

Regulation Identification Number

    A regulation identification number (RIN) is assigned to each 
regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. 
The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda 
in April and October of each year. The RINs contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 23 CFR Part 650

    Bridges, Grant programs-transportation, Highways and roads, 
Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Stephanie Pollack,
Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 23 CFR part 650 is amended 
as set forth below.

PART 650--BRIDGES, STRUCTURES, AND HYDRAULICS

0
1. The authority citation for part 650 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 119, 144, and 315.


0
2. Amend Sec.  650.313 by revising paragraphs (h) and (k)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  650.313  Inspection procedures.

* * * * *
    (h) Special inspection. For special inspections used to monitor 
conditions as described in Sec.  650.311(a)(1)(ii) and (b)(1)(ii), 
develop and document procedures in accordance with Section 4.2, AASHTO 
Manual (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  650.317).
* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (1) Rate each bridge as to its safe load capacity in accordance 
with Sections 6 and 8, excluding the 3rd paragraph in Article 6B.7.1, 
AASHTO Manual (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  650.317).
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2022-20422 Filed 9-21-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P