Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA, 52599-52604 [2012-21384]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2012 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1260 Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Agricultural research, Imports, Marketing agreement, Meat and meat products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. For reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1260 is amended as follows: PART 1260—BEEF PROMOTION AND RESEARCH 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1260 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2901–2911 and 7 U.S.C. 7401. 2. In § 1260.113, paragraph (c) is revised to read as follows: ■ § 1260.113 Established national non-profit industry-governed organizations. * * * * * (c) Have been active and ongoing for at least two years. Dated: August 22, 2012. David R. Shipman, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2012–21374 Filed 8–29–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG–2012–0679] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sacramento River, Sacramento, CA Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of temporary deviation from regulations. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating regulation that governs the Tower Drawbridge across Sacramento River, mile 59.0, at Sacramento, CA. The deviation is necessary to allow the community to participate in the A.L.S. 5K walk and run event. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the event. DATES: This deviation is effective from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on October 6, 2012. ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of the docket USCG– 2012–0679 and are available online by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG–2012–0679 in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box and then clicking erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:47 Aug 29, 2012 Jkt 226001 52599 ‘‘Search’’. They are also available for inspection or copying at the Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY If you have questions on this rule, call or email David H. Sulouff, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510–437–3516, email David.H.Sulouff@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366– 9826. Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The California Department of Transportation has requested a temporary change to the operation of the Tower Drawbridge, mile 59.0, over Sacramento River, at Sacramento, CA. The drawbridge navigation span provides a vertical clearance of 30 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The draw opens on signal from May 1 through October 31 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from November 1 through April 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At all other times the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given, as required by 33 CFR 117.189(a). Navigation on the waterway is commercial and recreational. The drawspan will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 6, 2012 to allow the community to participate in the A.L.S. 5K walk and run event. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with waterway users. There are no scheduled river boat cruises or anticipated levee maintenance during this deviation period. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation were raised. Vessels that can transit the bridge, while in the closed-to-navigation position, may continue to do so at any time. In the event of an emergency the drawspan can be opened without delay. In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the designated time period. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: August 21, 2012. D.H. Sulouff, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 2012–21383 Filed 8–29–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [USCG–2012–0357] RIN 1625–AA09 Coast Guard, DHS. Interim rule with request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that governs the Berkley (I–264) Bridge, at mile 0.4, across the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, VA. The current temporary regulation for the Berkley Bridge is scheduled to end on October 5, 2012. This regulation will make the provisions of the temporary regulation permanent. This change to the regulation is necessary to alleviate heavy vehicular traffic delays throughout the day and secondary congestion during the afternoon rush hour, while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation. DATES: This interim rule is effective at 5 a.m. on October 6, 2012. Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before October 1, 2012. SUMMARY: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2012–0357 using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. (2) Fax: 202–493–2251. (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, 20590–0001. (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202–366–9329. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\30AUR1.SGM 30AUR1 52600 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2012 / Rules and Regulations If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Terrance A. Knowles, Environmental Protection Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398– 6587, terrance.a.knowles@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366– 9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with A. Public Participation and Request for Comments We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related material. All comments received will be posted, without change to http:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. 1. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG–2012–0357), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online (http:// www.regulations.gov), or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online via www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand delivery, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘submit a comment’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop down menu select ‘‘Proposed Rules’’ and insert ‘‘USCG–2012–0357’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box. Click ‘‘Search’’ then click on the balloon shape in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8c by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:47 Aug 29, 2012 Jkt 226001 envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change the rule based on your comments. 2. Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘read comments’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Keyword’’ box insert ‘‘USCG–2012– 0357’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. You may also visit either the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility. 3. Privacy Act Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316). 4. Public Meeting We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one using one of the four methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why one would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register. For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the public meeting, contact Terrance Knowles at the telephone number or email address indicated under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. B. Regulatory History and Information The Coast Guard is issuing this interim final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)(5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 to the public interest.’’ Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule for the following reasons: On October 9, 2009, we published a notice of temporary deviation request for comments entitled; ‘‘Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA’’ in the Federal Register (74 FR 52143) and a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled ‘‘Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA’’ in the Federal Register (74 FR 52158). We received 861 comments for both the temporary deviation and NPRM. No public meeting was requested, and none was held. On March 3, 2010, we published a notice of temporary deviation request for comments entitled; ‘‘Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA’’ in the Federal Register (75 FR 9521) and a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) entitled ‘‘Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA’’ in the Federal Register (75 FR 9557). We received four comments on the published deviation and SNPRM. No public meeting was requested, and none was held. On August 6, 2010, we published a final rule entitled ‘‘Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA’’ in the Federal Register (75 FR 47461) that temporarily changed the drawbridge operation regulations effective from 9 a.m. on September 4, 2010 until 2:30 p.m. on October 5, 2012. The establishment of this regulation, effective since September 4, 2010, does not place any additional constraints on the waterway users because mariners have been using the temporary schedule for almost two years and can still plan their trips in accordance with the scheduled bridge openings. Any delay in the issuance of this rule after October 5, 2012 will result in the bridge operating schedule reverting back to the previous on-demand operation of the bridge that produced a tremendous amount of delay. These delays were unpredictable for motorists, and will continue to increase with population growth and any increase in associated traffic. We, therefore, believe to avoid any increased traffic delays and since this rule makes permanent an already existing bridge schedule, it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to publish an NPRM. E:\FR\FM\30AUR1.SGM 30AUR1 erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2012 / Rules and Regulations C. Basis and Purpose On behalf of the Cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk Virginia, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which owns and operates the basculetype Berkley Bridge, has requested a permanent change to the bridge regulations. The proposed regulation would implement and make permanent those temporary regulations currently in effect. The Berkley Bridge is the principle arterial route in and out of the City of Norfolk and serves as the major evacuation highway in the event of emergencies. In the closed to navigation position, the Berkley Bridge has a vertical clearance of 48 feet above mean high water. Vessel traffic on this portion of the Elizabeth River waterway consists of pleasure craft, tug and barge traffic, and ships with assist tugs seeking repairs. There is no alternate waterway route. The regulation set out in Title 33 CFR 117.1007 (b) and (c) allows the Berkley Bridge, mile 0.4, in Norfolk, Virginia to remain closed one hour prior to the published start of a scheduled marine event regulated under § 100.501, and remain closed until one hour following the completion of the event unless the Patrol Commander designated under § 100.501 allows the bridge to open for commercial vessel traffic. In addition, the bridge shall open on signal any time, except from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and shall open at any time for vessels with a draft of 18 feet or more, provided that at least 6 hours advance notice has been given to the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control Room at (757) 494–2490 as required by 33 CFR 117.1007(b) and (c). The temporary regulation, which modified the above schedule, is effective from 9 a.m. on September 4, 2010 until 2:30 p.m. on October 5, 2012. During the temporary regulation, the draw shall remain closed one hour prior to the published start of a scheduled marine event regulated under § 100.501, and remain closed until one hour following the completion of the event unless the Patrol Commander designated under § 100.501 allows the bridge to open for commercial vessel traffic. The draw shall open on signal at any time for vessels carrying, in bulk, cargoes regulated by 46 CFR subchapters D or O, or Certain Dangerous Cargoes as defined in 33 CFR 160.204. For all other vessels, the draw shall open on signal at any time, except from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. During these times, the draw shall open for VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:47 Aug 29, 2012 Jkt 226001 commercial vessels with a draft of 18 feet or more, provided at least 6 hours notice was given to the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494–2490; open on signal at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and if the bridge is not opened during a particular scheduled opening and a vessel has made prior arrangements for a delayed opening, the draw tender may provide a single opening up to 30 minutes past that scheduled opening time for that signaling vessel, except at 2:30 p.m. The draw tender may provide a single opening up to 20 minutes past the 2:30 p.m. scheduled opening time for a signaling vessel that made prior arrangements for a delayed opening. A vessel may make prior arrangements for a delayed opening by contacting the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494–2490. The temporary regulation, detailed in the immediately preceding paragraph, is scheduled to expire on October 5, 2012. This new Interim Final Rule would make those temporary opening procedures permanent. By imposing the temporary regulation as permanent; we anticipate less vehicular traffic congestion between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., while causing fewer secondary back-ups during rush hours, as compared to increased traffic when the bridge opens on signal. In 2008, prior to implementing the temporary regulation, a Test Deviation published in the Federal Register (75 FR 52143) was issued to allow VDOT to test the proposed schedule and to obtain data and public comments. During that Test Deviation period, a count of the delayed vessels during the closure periods was taken to ensure the regulation would not have a significant impact on navigation. The monthly vehicular traffic counts submitted by VDOT for the last quarter of calendar year 2008 showed the average daily traffic volumes at the Berkley Bridge (See Table A): TABLE A OCT 2008 ................. NOV 2008 ................. DEC 2008 ................. 83,296 vehicles. 99,643 vehicles. 106,856 vehicles. The traffic counts revealed that from October 2008 to December 2008, the Berkley Bridge experienced a seven percent (or 23,560-car) increase in vehicular traffic flow. The Coast Guard believes that the increase was due to the previously referenced temporary closure of two Norfolk-area bridges and that vehicular traffic will subside when those bridges return to service. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 52601 The Coast Guard received 861 comments on both the temporary deviation and NPRM originally proposed in 2009. A large majority of the responses from commuters were in support of the scheduled opening setup. However, the local maritime community expressed some objections to the schedule change to vessels. After review of all of the comments and bridge-related data received, the Coast Guard had determined that an alternative proposal should be considered. From September 3, 2010 to October 5, 2012, an alternative proposal was offered with changes made that allowed for the draw of the Berkley Bridge to open on signal for the proposed drawbridge openings (scheduled during the daytime) which expected to similarly cause a decrease in traffic congestion. Concurrent with the publication of the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), another Test Deviation was issued to allow VDOT to test another proposed schedule and to acquire additional data and public comments. The Coast Guard received four responses to the SNPRM and the second temporary deviation, one each by letter and to the Web site at www.regulations.gov along with two emails. The Virginia Maritime Association (VMA), which represents waterborne commerce in the Port of Hampton Roads, responded in writing with its support of the revised regulation and its statement that the current operating regulation incorporates the minimum degree of flexibility that the maritime industry can accept. VDOT also indicated that the new Berkley Bridge operating regulation had improved the flow of vehicular traffic while still meeting the minimum needs of navigation. VMA, VDOT and two private citizens expressed concerns about unscheduled openings that caused vehicular traffic congestion. The unscheduled openings were provided for Government vessels, vessels with a draft of 18 feet or more that provided at least 6 hours advance notice and for vessels hauling dangerous cargo. The Coast Guard reviewed the bridge data supplied by VDOT. The information indicated that during the deviation test period (from March 3, 2010 to July 1, 2010), that a total of 260 potential bridge openings for vessels could have been provided Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The data showed the bridge only opened 88 times of the 260 potential E:\FR\FM\30AUR1.SGM 30AUR1 52602 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2012 / Rules and Regulations openings. The data also revealed that seven bridge openings were provided just about 15 minutes past the scheduled opening time at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and that the average opening usually lasted 12 minutes; a later opening at 2:30 p.m. would add to the traffic congestion during the rush hour. However, due to good communication with the general public by using road signs and broadcasts, there was only one opening that occurred after 2:45 p.m. A majority of those openings were provided primarily for commercial vessels, with a maximum of four vessels transiting through a single bridge opening. The subsequent changes to the operating procedures appear to have reduced vehicular traffic congestion while still providing for the reasonable needs of navigation. Based on the information provided, the revised temporary rule was implemented with no changes to the SNPRM. Since October 2010, according to recent data provided by VDOT, the Berkley Bridge average daily traffic volume is approximately 106,000 vehicles per day which ranks it among the most heavily traveled routes in the region (See Table B). TABLE B—AVERAGE DAILY VEHICULAR TRAFFIC COUNT Hourly total OCT 2010 JAN 2011 MAY 2011 AUG 2011 JAN 2012 Average 9AM–10AM ...................................................................... 10AM–11AM .................................................................... 11AM–12PM .................................................................... 12PM–1PM ...................................................................... 1PM–2PM ........................................................................ 2PM–3PM ........................................................................ 6,509 6,248 6,443 6,714 6,860 7,330 6,230 6,074 6,008 6,583 6,345 7,133 6,545 6,362 6,457 6,781 6,766 7,361 6,335 6,383 6,439 6,780 6,760 7,210 5,956 5,898 5,927 6,283 6,249 7,032 6,315 6,193 6,255 6,628 6,596 7,213 Total .......................................................................... 40,103 38,373 40,270 39,906 37,345 39,199 Overall hourly average—6,533 The temporary regulation schedule provides four bridge lift opportunities each weekday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. This equates to a maximum of 88 lifts per month (assuming 22 workdays per month). Since October 2010, there has been an average of only 24 requested lifts per month—a usage rate of only 27% of capacity (See Table C). TABLE C—BRIDGE OPENING COUNTS 2010 OCT 2010 NOV 2010 DEC 2011 JAN 2011 FEB 2011 MAR 2011 APR 2011 MAY 2011 JUN 2011 JUL 2011 AUG 2011 SEP 2011 OCT 2011 NOV 2011 DEC 2012 JAN 2012 FEB MONTHLY AVERAGE TOTAL 30 15 23 28 27 29 23 22 28 20 9 21 19 34 15 23 35 23.6 401 BRIDGE OPENING AVERAGE DURATION (IN MINUTES) 2010 NOV 2010 DEC 2011 JAN 2011 FEB 2011 MAR 2011 APR 2011 MAY 2011 JUN 2011 JUL 2011 AUG 2011 SEP 2011 OCT 2011 NOV 2011 DEC 2012 JAN 2012 FEB MONTHLY AVERAGE 10.0 erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with 2010 OCT 9.9 9.7 8.9 9.4 9.1 9.0 8.9 10.2 10.1 9.3 10.0 9.1 9.1 8.7 10.1 12.3 9.6 Prior to execution of the temporary deviation and temporary regulation periods, the average duration of a bridge lift was approximately 15 minutes. Throughout the same periods, the average duration of bridge lifts has been 9.6 minutes—a reduction of 5.4 minutes per lift. The temporary closures of two Norfolk-area bridges, forced increased use of the Berkley Bridge by vehicular traffic. Now with those bridges near completion, the Berkley Bridge and its approaches still experience back-ups, delays, and congestion, due to increased traffic and population. The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission projected a population growth of 31% by 2034. This continued increase in traffic volume in Norfolk and at the Berkley Bridge is not expected to decrease in the future. The temporary rule draw opening schedule has helped to decrease the average bridge opening times, and the rule has led to only 27% VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:47 Aug 29, 2012 Jkt 226001 of the available opening time being utilized by mariners. Continuing this schedule as proposed in the Interim Final Rule will help to mitigate future adverse impacts caused by the increased traffic congestion. Assuming no reduction in maritime traffic volume, this reduction in lift duration has resulted in a significant efficiency increase in the use of time the bridge is actually opened for vessels and a significant reduction in delays to vehicular traffic during vessel openings. The reduction in lift duration combined with the predictability of scheduled lifts optimally balances the competing demands of both road and waterway users. D. Discussion of Interim Rule The Coast Guard is amending the regulations governing the Berkley Bridge, mile 0.4, at Norfolk, Virginia, at 33 CFR § 117.1007, by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows: The PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 draw shall open on signal at any time for vessels carrying, in bulk, cargoes regulated by 46 CFR subchapters D or O, or Certain Dangerous Cargoes as defined in 33 CFR 160.204; For all other vessels, the draw shall open on signal at any time, except from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. During these times, the draw shall open for commercial vessels with a draft of 18 feet or more, provided at least 6 hours notice was given to the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494–2490; open on signal at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and if the bridge is not opened during a particular scheduled opening and a vessel has made prior arrangements for a delayed opening, the draw tender may provide a single opening up to 30 minutes past that scheduled opening time for that signaling vessel, except at 2:30 p.m. The draw tender may provide a single opening up to 20 minutes past the 2:30 p.m. scheduled opening time E:\FR\FM\30AUR1.SGM 30AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2012 / Rules and Regulations for a signaling vessel that made prior arrangements for a delayed opening. A vessel may make prior arrangements for a delayed opening by contacting the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494–2490. The Coast Guard believes that this permanent change is necessary to reduce vehicular traffic congestion throughout the day and during rush hour time periods. Results of studies conducted since the temporary regulation went into effect in September 2010 confirm that scheduled lifts have decreased congestion without negatively impacting waterway users. Scheduled lifts, according to the statistics, are currently being utilized well under capacity by the maritime public. Furthermore, waterway users are accustomed to this schedule, as it has been in effect since September 2010. E. Regulatory Analyses We developed this interim 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. erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with 1. Regulatory Planning and Review 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. We reached this conclusion based on the fact that the changes have only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridge. Mariners can plan their trips in accordance with the scheduled bridge openings, to minimize delays. 2. 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 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 interim rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the rule only adds minimal restrictions to VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:47 Aug 29, 2012 Jkt 226001 the movement of navigation, in allowing four scheduled openings during the day, outside of the advance notice request opening. Mariners who plan their transits in accordance with the scheduled bridge openings can minimize delay. And, vessels that can pass under the bridge without a bridge opening may do so at all times. Before the effective period, we will issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the river. 3. Assistance for Small Entities 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, above. 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 proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard. 4. Collection of Information This rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520.). 5. Federalism 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. 6. Protest Activities The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 52603 section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels. INFORMATION CONTACT 7. 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. 8. Taking of Private Property This 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. 9. Civil Justice Reform 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. 10. Protection of Children 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 would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children. 11. Indian Tribal Governments This 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. 12. Energy Effects This proposed rule is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use because it is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on E:\FR\FM\30AUR1.SGM 30AUR1 52604 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 169 / Thursday, August 30, 2012 / Rules and Regulations 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. 13. Technical Standards This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards. 14. Environment 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 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 simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. 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. 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 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05–1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 2. In § 117.1007, revise paragraph (b) and remove paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ § 117.1007 Branch. Elizabeth River—Eastern * * * * * (b) The draw of the Berkley Bridge, mile 0.4 in Norfolk: (1) Shall remain closed one hour prior to the published start of a scheduled marine event regulated under § 100.501 of this chapter, and shall remain closed until one hour following the completion of the event unless the Patrol Commander designated under § 100.501 of this chapter allows the bridge to open for commercial vessel traffic. (2) Shall open on signal at any time for vessels carrying, in bulk, cargoes regulated by 46 CFR subchapters D or O, or Certain Dangerous Cargoes as defined in 33 CFR 160.204. (3) For all other vessels, the draw shall open on signal at any time, except from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. During these times, the draw shall: (i) Open for commercial vessels with a draft of 18 feet or more, provided at least 6 hours notice was given to the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494–2490. (ii) Open on signal at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (4) If the bridge is not opened during a particular scheduled opening per paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section and a vessel has made prior arrangements for a delayed opening, the draw tender may provide a single opening up to 30 minutes past that scheduled opening time for that signaling vessel, except at 2:30 p.m. The draw tender may provide a single opening up to 20 minutes past the 2:30 p.m. scheduled opening time for a signaling vessel that made prior arrangements for a delayed opening. A vessel may make prior arrangements for a delayed opening by contacting the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494–2490. * * * * * Dated: August 16, 2012. Steven H. Ratti, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 2012–21384 Filed 8–29–12; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG–2008–0384] Special Local Regulations; Safety Zones; Recurring Events in Captain of the Port Long Island Sound AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of enforcement of regulation. ACTION: The Coast Guard will enforce two fireworks display safety zones in the Sector Long Island Sound area of responsibility on various dates and times listed in the table below. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during these fireworks displays. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Long Island Sound or designated representative. SUMMARY: The regulations in 33 CFR 165.151 will be enforced during the dates and time shown in Table 1 in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: If you have questions on this notice, call or email Petty Officer Joseph Graun Prevention Department U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound (203) 468–4544, joseph.L.Graun@uscg.mil. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.151 on the specified dates and times as indicated in tables above. If the event is delayed by inclement weather, the regulation will be enforced on the rain date indicated in tables below. These regulations were published in the Federal Register on February 10, 2012 (77 FR 6954). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BILLING CODE 9110–04–P TABLE 1 TO § 165.151 August erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with 8.5 Old Black Point Beach Association Fireworks ................................ • Date: August 18, 2012. • Rain Date: August 19, 2012. • Location: Waters off Old Black Point Beach East Lyme, CT in approximate position, 41°17′34.9″ N, 072°12′55″ W (NAD 83). September VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:47 Aug 29, 2012 Jkt 226001 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\30AUR1.SGM 30AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 169 (Thursday, August 30, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 52599-52604]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21384]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[USCG-2012-0357]
RIN 1625-AA09


Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, 
Norfolk, VA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is modifying the operating schedule that 
governs the Berkley (I-264) Bridge, at mile 0.4, across the Eastern 
Branch of the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, VA. The current temporary 
regulation for the Berkley Bridge is scheduled to end on October 5, 
2012. This regulation will make the provisions of the temporary 
regulation permanent. This change to the regulation is necessary to 
alleviate heavy vehicular traffic delays throughout the day and 
secondary congestion during the afternoon rush hour, while still 
providing for the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES: This interim rule is effective at 5 a.m. on October 6, 2012. 
Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before 
October 1, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2012-0357 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S.
    Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion 
of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these 
four methods. See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' 
portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions 
on submitting comments.

[[Page 52600]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed 
rule, call or email Terrance A. Knowles, Environmental Protection 
Specialist, Fifth Coast Guard District, at (757) 398-6587, 
terrance.a.knowles@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
comments and related material. All comments received will be posted, 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any 
personal information you have provided.

1. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2012-0357), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online (http://www.regulations.gov), or by fax, mail or hand delivery, 
but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online 
via www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received by the Coast 
Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand 
delivery, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been 
received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket 
Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding 
your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu select 
``Proposed Rules'' and insert ``USCG-2012-0357'' in the ``Keyword'' 
box. Click ``Search'' then click on the balloon shape in the 
``Actions'' column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand 
delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8[frac12] by 
11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit 
them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will 
consider all comments and material received during the comment period 
and may change the rule based on your comments.

2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted 
in blue. In the ``Keyword'' box insert ``USCG-2012-0357'' and click 
``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. 
You may also visit either the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-
140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We 
have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the 
Docket Management Facility.

3. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

4. Public Meeting

    We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a 
request for one using one of the four methods specified under 
ADDRESSES. Please explain why one would be beneficial. If we determine 
that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and 
place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register. For 
information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities 
or to request special assistance at the public meeting, contact 
Terrance Knowles at the telephone number or email address indicated 
under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

B. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this interim final rule without prior 
notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 
4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)(5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This 
provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and 
opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those 
procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public 
interest.'' Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the Coast Guard finds that good 
cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
with respect to this rule for the following reasons:
    On October 9, 2009, we published a notice of temporary deviation 
request for comments entitled; ``Drawbridge Operation Regulations; 
Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA'' in the Federal Register 
(74 FR 52143) and a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled 
``Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, 
Norfolk, VA'' in the Federal Register (74 FR 52158). We received 861 
comments for both the temporary deviation and NPRM. No public meeting 
was requested, and none was held.
    On March 3, 2010, we published a notice of temporary deviation 
request for comments entitled; ``Drawbridge Operation Regulations; 
Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA'' in the Federal Register 
(75 FR 9521) and a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) 
entitled ``Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern 
Branch, Norfolk, VA'' in the Federal Register (75 FR 9557). We received 
four comments on the published deviation and SNPRM. No public meeting 
was requested, and none was held.
    On August 6, 2010, we published a final rule entitled ``Drawbridge 
Operation Regulations; Elizabeth River, Eastern Branch, Norfolk, VA'' 
in the Federal Register (75 FR 47461) that temporarily changed the 
drawbridge operation regulations effective from 9 a.m. on September 4, 
2010 until 2:30 p.m. on October 5, 2012.
    The establishment of this regulation, effective since September 4, 
2010, does not place any additional constraints on the waterway users 
because mariners have been using the temporary schedule for almost two 
years and can still plan their trips in accordance with the scheduled 
bridge openings. Any delay in the issuance of this rule after October 
5, 2012 will result in the bridge operating schedule reverting back to 
the previous on-demand operation of the bridge that produced a 
tremendous amount of delay. These delays were unpredictable for 
motorists, and will continue to increase with population growth and any 
increase in associated traffic. We, therefore, believe to avoid any 
increased traffic delays and since this rule makes permanent an already 
existing bridge schedule, it is unnecessary and contrary to the public 
interest to publish an NPRM.

[[Page 52601]]

C. Basis and Purpose

    On behalf of the Cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk Virginia, the 
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which owns and operates 
the bascule-type Berkley Bridge, has requested a permanent change to 
the bridge regulations. The proposed regulation would implement and 
make permanent those temporary regulations currently in effect.
    The Berkley Bridge is the principle arterial route in and out of 
the City of Norfolk and serves as the major evacuation highway in the 
event of emergencies. In the closed to navigation position, the Berkley 
Bridge has a vertical clearance of 48 feet above mean high water. 
Vessel traffic on this portion of the Elizabeth River waterway consists 
of pleasure craft, tug and barge traffic, and ships with assist tugs 
seeking repairs. There is no alternate waterway route.
    The regulation set out in Title 33 CFR 117.1007 (b) and (c) allows 
the Berkley Bridge, mile 0.4, in Norfolk, Virginia to remain closed one 
hour prior to the published start of a scheduled marine event regulated 
under Sec.  100.501, and remain closed until one hour following the 
completion of the event unless the Patrol Commander designated under 
Sec.  100.501 allows the bridge to open for commercial vessel traffic. 
In addition, the bridge shall open on signal any time, except from 5 
a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays, and shall open at any time for vessels with a draft 
of 18 feet or more, provided that at least 6 hours advance notice has 
been given to the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control Room at (757) 494-2490 
as required by 33 CFR 117.1007(b) and (c).
    The temporary regulation, which modified the above schedule, is 
effective from 9 a.m. on September 4, 2010 until 2:30 p.m. on October 
5, 2012. During the temporary regulation, the draw shall remain closed 
one hour prior to the published start of a scheduled marine event 
regulated under Sec.  100.501, and remain closed until one hour 
following the completion of the event unless the Patrol Commander 
designated under Sec.  100.501 allows the bridge to open for commercial 
vessel traffic. The draw shall open on signal at any time for vessels 
carrying, in bulk, cargoes regulated by 46 CFR subchapters D or O, or 
Certain Dangerous Cargoes as defined in 33 CFR 160.204. For all other 
vessels, the draw shall open on signal at any time, except from 5 a.m. 
to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. During these 
times, the draw shall open for commercial vessels with a draft of 18 
feet or more, provided at least 6 hours notice was given to the Berkley 
Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494-2490; open on signal at 9 
a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and if the bridge is not opened 
during a particular scheduled opening and a vessel has made prior 
arrangements for a delayed opening, the draw tender may provide a 
single opening up to 30 minutes past that scheduled opening time for 
that signaling vessel, except at 2:30 p.m. The draw tender may provide 
a single opening up to 20 minutes past the 2:30 p.m. scheduled opening 
time for a signaling vessel that made prior arrangements for a delayed 
opening. A vessel may make prior arrangements for a delayed opening by 
contacting the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494-2490.
    The temporary regulation, detailed in the immediately preceding 
paragraph, is scheduled to expire on October 5, 2012. This new Interim 
Final Rule would make those temporary opening procedures permanent. By 
imposing the temporary regulation as permanent; we anticipate less 
vehicular traffic congestion between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., while causing 
fewer secondary back-ups during rush hours, as compared to increased 
traffic when the bridge opens on signal.
    In 2008, prior to implementing the temporary regulation, a Test 
Deviation published in the Federal Register (75 FR 52143) was issued to 
allow VDOT to test the proposed schedule and to obtain data and public 
comments. During that Test Deviation period, a count of the delayed 
vessels during the closure periods was taken to ensure the regulation 
would not have a significant impact on navigation. The monthly 
vehicular traffic counts submitted by VDOT for the last quarter of 
calendar year 2008 showed the average daily traffic volumes at the 
Berkley Bridge (See Table A):

                                 Table A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OCT 2008..................................  83,296 vehicles.
NOV 2008..................................  99,643 vehicles.
DEC 2008..................................  106,856 vehicles.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The traffic counts revealed that from October 2008 to December 
2008, the Berkley Bridge experienced a seven percent (or 23,560-car) 
increase in vehicular traffic flow. The Coast Guard believes that the 
increase was due to the previously referenced temporary closure of two 
Norfolk-area bridges and that vehicular traffic will subside when those 
bridges return to service.
    The Coast Guard received 861 comments on both the temporary 
deviation and NPRM originally proposed in 2009. A large majority of the 
responses from commuters were in support of the scheduled opening set-
up. However, the local maritime community expressed some objections to 
the schedule change to vessels.
    After review of all of the comments and bridge-related data 
received, the Coast Guard had determined that an alternative proposal 
should be considered.
    From September 3, 2010 to October 5, 2012, an alternative proposal 
was offered with changes made that allowed for the draw of the Berkley 
Bridge to open on signal for the proposed drawbridge openings 
(scheduled during the daytime) which expected to similarly cause a 
decrease in traffic congestion. Concurrent with the publication of the 
Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), another Test 
Deviation was issued to allow VDOT to test another proposed schedule 
and to acquire additional data and public comments.
    The Coast Guard received four responses to the SNPRM and the second 
temporary deviation, one each by letter and to the Web site at 
www.regulations.gov along with two emails.
    The Virginia Maritime Association (VMA), which represents 
waterborne commerce in the Port of Hampton Roads, responded in writing 
with its support of the revised regulation and its statement that the 
current operating regulation incorporates the minimum degree of 
flexibility that the maritime industry can accept. VDOT also indicated 
that the new Berkley Bridge operating regulation had improved the flow 
of vehicular traffic while still meeting the minimum needs of 
navigation.
    VMA, VDOT and two private citizens expressed concerns about 
unscheduled openings that caused vehicular traffic congestion. The 
unscheduled openings were provided for Government vessels, vessels with 
a draft of 18 feet or more that provided at least 6 hours advance 
notice and for vessels hauling dangerous cargo.
    The Coast Guard reviewed the bridge data supplied by VDOT. The 
information indicated that during the deviation test period (from March 
3, 2010 to July 1, 2010), that a total of 260 potential bridge openings 
for vessels could have been provided Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays, at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The data 
showed the bridge only opened 88 times of the 260 potential

[[Page 52602]]

openings. The data also revealed that seven bridge openings were 
provided just about 15 minutes past the scheduled opening time at 9 
a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and that the average opening usually lasted 12 
minutes; a later opening at 2:30 p.m. would add to the traffic 
congestion during the rush hour. However, due to good communication 
with the general public by using road signs and broadcasts, there was 
only one opening that occurred after 2:45 p.m. A majority of those 
openings were provided primarily for commercial vessels, with a maximum 
of four vessels transiting through a single bridge opening. The 
subsequent changes to the operating procedures appear to have reduced 
vehicular traffic congestion while still providing for the reasonable 
needs of navigation. Based on the information provided, the revised 
temporary rule was implemented with no changes to the SNPRM.
    Since October 2010, according to recent data provided by VDOT, the 
Berkley Bridge average daily traffic volume is approximately 106,000 
vehicles per day which ranks it among the most heavily traveled routes 
in the region (See Table B).

                                 Table B--Average Daily Vehicular Traffic Count
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Hourly total               OCT 2010     JAN 2011     MAY 2011     AUG 2011     JAN 2012     Average
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
9AM-10AM..........................        6,509        6,230        6,545        6,335        5,956        6,315
10AM-11AM.........................        6,248        6,074        6,362        6,383        5,898        6,193
11AM-12PM.........................        6,443        6,008        6,457        6,439        5,927        6,255
12PM-1PM..........................        6,714        6,583        6,781        6,780        6,283        6,628
1PM-2PM...........................        6,860        6,345        6,766        6,760        6,249        6,596
2PM-3PM...........................        7,330        7,133        7,361        7,210        7,032        7,213
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.........................       40,103       38,373       40,270       39,906       37,345       39,199
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overall hourly average--6,533

    The temporary regulation schedule provides four bridge lift 
opportunities each weekday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. This equates to a 
maximum of 88 lifts per month (assuming 22 workdays per month). Since 
October 2010, there has been an average of only 24 requested lifts per 
month--a usage rate of only 27% of capacity (See Table C).

                                                                                 Table C--Bridge Opening Counts
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2010      2010      2010      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2011      2012     2012     MONTHLY
   OCT       NOV       DEC       JAN       FEB       MAR       APR       MAY       JUN       JUL       AUG       SEP       OCT       NOV       DEC      JAN      FEB      AVERAGE       TOTAL
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    30        15        23        28        27        29        23        22        28        20         9        21        19        34        15        23       35         23.6          401
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                      Bridge Opening Average Duration (in minutes)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2010     2010     2010     2011     2011     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2012    2012     MONTHLY
  OCT      NOV      DEC      JAN      FEB      MAR      APR     MAY     JUN     JUL     AUG     SEP     OCT     NOV     DEC     JAN     FEB     AVERAGE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  10.0      9.9      9.7      8.9      9.4      9.1     9.0     8.9    10.2    10.1     9.3    10.0     9.1     9.1     8.7    10.1    12.3         9.6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Prior to execution of the temporary deviation and temporary 
regulation periods, the average duration of a bridge lift was 
approximately 15 minutes. Throughout the same periods, the average 
duration of bridge lifts has been 9.6 minutes--a reduction of 5.4 
minutes per lift.
    The temporary closures of two Norfolk-area bridges, forced 
increased use of the Berkley Bridge by vehicular traffic. Now with 
those bridges near completion, the Berkley Bridge and its approaches 
still experience back-ups, delays, and congestion, due to increased 
traffic and population. The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission 
projected a population growth of 31% by 2034. This continued increase 
in traffic volume in Norfolk and at the Berkley Bridge is not expected 
to decrease in the future. The temporary rule draw opening schedule has 
helped to decrease the average bridge opening times, and the rule has 
led to only 27% of the available opening time being utilized by 
mariners. Continuing this schedule as proposed in the Interim Final 
Rule will help to mitigate future adverse impacts caused by the 
increased traffic congestion.
    Assuming no reduction in maritime traffic volume, this reduction in 
lift duration has resulted in a significant efficiency increase in the 
use of time the bridge is actually opened for vessels and a significant 
reduction in delays to vehicular traffic during vessel openings. The 
reduction in lift duration combined with the predictability of 
scheduled lifts optimally balances the competing demands of both road 
and waterway users.

D. Discussion of Interim Rule

    The Coast Guard is amending the regulations governing the Berkley 
Bridge, mile 0.4, at Norfolk, Virginia, at 33 CFR Sec.  117.1007, by 
revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows: The draw shall open on 
signal at any time for vessels carrying, in bulk, cargoes regulated by 
46 CFR subchapters D or O, or Certain Dangerous Cargoes as defined in 
33 CFR 160.204; For all other vessels, the draw shall open on signal at 
any time, except from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays. During these times, the draw shall open for 
commercial vessels with a draft of 18 feet or more, provided at least 6 
hours notice was given to the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at 
(757) 494-2490; open on signal at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 
p.m.; and if the bridge is not opened during a particular scheduled 
opening and a vessel has made prior arrangements for a delayed opening, 
the draw tender may provide a single opening up to 30 minutes past that 
scheduled opening time for that signaling vessel, except at 2:30 p.m. 
The draw tender may provide a single opening up to 20 minutes past the 
2:30 p.m. scheduled opening time

[[Page 52603]]

for a signaling vessel that made prior arrangements for a delayed 
opening. A vessel may make prior arrangements for a delayed opening by 
contacting the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494-2490.
    The Coast Guard believes that this permanent change is necessary to 
reduce vehicular traffic congestion throughout the day and during rush 
hour time periods. Results of studies conducted since the temporary 
regulation went into effect in September 2010 confirm that scheduled 
lifts have decreased congestion without negatively impacting waterway 
users. Scheduled lifts, according to the statistics, are currently 
being utilized well under capacity by the maritime public. Furthermore, 
waterway users are accustomed to this schedule, as it has been in 
effect since September 2010.

E. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this interim 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.

1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    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.
    We reached this conclusion based on the fact that the changes have 
only a minimal impact on maritime traffic transiting the bridge. 
Mariners can plan their trips in accordance with the scheduled bridge 
openings, to minimize delays.

2. 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 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 interim 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.
    This action will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities because the rule only adds minimal 
restrictions to the movement of navigation, in allowing four scheduled 
openings during the day, outside of the advance notice request opening. 
Mariners who plan their transits in accordance with the scheduled 
bridge openings can minimize delay. And, vessels that can pass under 
the bridge without a bridge opening may do so at all times. Before the 
effective period, we will issue maritime advisories widely available to 
users of the river.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

    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, 
above.
    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 proposed rule or any 
policy or action of the Coast Guard.

4. Collection of Information

    This rule would call for no new collection of information under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

5. Federalism

    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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Taking of Private Property

    This 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.

9. Civil Justice Reform

    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.

10. Protection of Children

    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 would not create an 
environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 
disproportionately affect children.

11. Indian Tribal Governments

    This 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.

12. Energy Effects

    This proposed rule is not a ``significant energy action'' under 
Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use because it is 
not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866 and 
is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on

[[Page 52604]]

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.

13. Technical Standards

    This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not 
consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

14. Environment

    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 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 simply promulgates the 
operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. 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.

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; and Department of 
Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.


0
2. In Sec.  117.1007, revise paragraph (b) and remove paragraph (c) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  117.1007  Elizabeth River--Eastern Branch.

* * * * *
    (b) The draw of the Berkley Bridge, mile 0.4 in Norfolk:
    (1) Shall remain closed one hour prior to the published start of a 
scheduled marine event regulated under Sec.  100.501 of this chapter, 
and shall remain closed until one hour following the completion of the 
event unless the Patrol Commander designated under Sec.  100.501 of 
this chapter allows the bridge to open for commercial vessel traffic.
    (2) Shall open on signal at any time for vessels carrying, in bulk, 
cargoes regulated by 46 CFR subchapters D or O, or Certain Dangerous 
Cargoes as defined in 33 CFR 160.204.
    (3) For all other vessels, the draw shall open on signal at any 
time, except from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays. During these times, the draw shall:
    (i) Open for commercial vessels with a draft of 18 feet or more, 
provided at least 6 hours notice was given to the Berkley Bridge 
Traffic Control room at (757) 494-2490.
    (ii) Open on signal at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
    (4) If the bridge is not opened during a particular scheduled 
opening per paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section and a vessel has made 
prior arrangements for a delayed opening, the draw tender may provide a 
single opening up to 30 minutes past that scheduled opening time for 
that signaling vessel, except at 2:30 p.m. The draw tender may provide 
a single opening up to 20 minutes past the 2:30 p.m. scheduled opening 
time for a signaling vessel that made prior arrangements for a delayed 
opening. A vessel may make prior arrangements for a delayed opening by 
contacting the Berkley Bridge Traffic Control room at (757) 494-2490.
* * * * *

    Dated: August 16, 2012.
Steven H. Ratti,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2012-21384 Filed 8-29-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P