Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, TX, 39683-39686 [2015-16984]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 132 / Friday, July 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order. Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, other than the authorities contained in sections 5(b)(1)(B) and 5(c) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order, with the exception of section 2 of this order, and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order. Sec. 9. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, the INA, and section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, including the authorities set forth in sections 5(b)(1)(B), 5(c), and 5(d) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out section 2 of this order and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of State may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination. Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)). Sec. 12. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. Sec. 13. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 9, 2015. Barack Obama THE WHITE HOUSE, March 8, 2015 Annex ´ 1. Antonio Jose Benavides Torres [Commander of the Central Integral VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Jul 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 Strategic Defense Region of the National Armed Forces, former Director of Operations for the National Guard; born June 13, 1961] ´ ´ 2. Gustavo Enrique Gonzalez Lopez [Director General of the National Intelligence Service and President of the Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland; born November 2, 1960] ´ 3. Justo Jose Noguera Pietri [President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana, former General Commander of the National Guard; born March 15, 1961] 4. Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron [National Level Prosecutor of the 20th District Office of the Public Ministry; born December 5, 1971] ´ 5. Manuel Eduardo Perez Urdaneta [Director of the National Police; born May 26, 1962] ´ 6. Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martınez [Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas, former Director General of the National Intelligence Service; born July 12, 1965] 7. Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino [Inspector General of the National Armed Forces, former Commander of the Andes Integral Strategic Defense Region of the National Armed Forces; born July 8, 1961] 39683 [Docket No. USCG–2014–0952] change in method of operation while allowing for comments regarding the remote operations. This interim rule increases the efficiency of operations allowing for the safe navigation of vessels through the bridge while recognizing the bridge’s importance to the Port of Victoria that it serves. DATES: This interim rule is effective July 10, 2015. Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before September 8, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number, using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. (2) Fax: (202) 493–2251. (3) Mail or Delivery: 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. Deliveries accepted 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 further instructions on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these methods. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, call or email Ms. Geri Robinson; Bridge Administration Branch, Eighth Coast Guard District; telephone 504–671– 2128, email geri.a.robinson@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RIN 1625–AA09 Table of Acronyms Dated: July 2, 2015. John E. Smith, Acting Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Approved: Dated: July 2, 2015. Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary, Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Department of the Treasury. [FR Doc. 2015–16782 Filed 7–9–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, TX Coast Guard, DHS. Interim rule with request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is modifying the method of operation for the Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, mile 29.4, at Bloomington, Victoria County, Texas. The bridge owner, the Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the operator of the bridge, is operating the bridge remotely under a temporary deviation. This interim rule codifies the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security USCG United States Coast Guard NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NPRM Notice of Proposed Rule Making § Section Symbol U.S.C. United States Code JOC Joint Outfall Canal A. Public Participation and Request for Comments We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change to http:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. E:\FR\FM\10JYR1.SGM 10JYR1 39684 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 132 / Friday, July 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 1. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG–2014–0952), 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, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online via http://www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, 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, type the docket number (USCG–2014–0952) in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Then click on ‘‘Submit a Comment’’ on the line associated with this rulemaking. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments 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. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES 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, type the docket number (USCG–2014–0952) in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit 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. 3. Privacy Act Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Jul 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 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 to the docket 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. B. Regulatory History and Information On December 30, 2014, we published a temporary deviation from regulations; request for comments (TD) entitled, ‘‘Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, Texas’’ in the Federal Register (79 FR 78304). We received no comments on the temporary deviation. No public meeting was requested, and none was held. The Coast Guard is issuing this interim final rule without prior notice 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)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This bridge has been operating on a modified schedule under a temporary deviation, and given that we have received no comments, we believe that the schedule has been working. Reverting to the old schedule in order to accept comment would present logistical difficulties for the operator and users. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Under the Temporary Deviation published on December 30, 2014, this bridge has been remotely operated, and mariners will benefit from there not being any changes to the ongoing method of operation of the bridge that has been in place for the past six months. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 C. Basis and Purpose The Coast Guard received a request from the bridge owner, the Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with the bridge operator, the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) to remotely operate the vertical lift span bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, at Mile 29.4 near Bloomington, Texas. The bridge owner and operator requested to operate the bridge remotely from its dispatching center in Spring, Texas and remove the requirement that a bridge tender be present on site at all times. A temporary deviation was issued permitting these practices. Under the procedures now in use, the bridge will continue to open on signal for the passage of vessels. This final rule will allow the bridge operator to increase efficiency of bridge operations and vessel transit by remotely operating the bridge. This method provides for the opening signal to be received by the railroad dispatcher and allows the dispatcher to open the bridge from a remote location. Vessel traffic on the waterway will be monitored by the railroad dispatcher by use of an Automatic Identification System (AIS). The AIS System allows the Port of Victoria and the UPRR dispatcher to determine where vessels are located along the waterway in the vicinity of the bridge. We also note that the Victoria County Navigation District has a carriage requirement that all vessels desiring to transit the Victoria Barge Canal to the Port of Victoria be equipped with an operating AIS transponder. The Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge is a vertical lift span bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, at Mile 29.4 near Bloomington, Texas. The vertical lift bridge has a vertical clearance of 22 feet above high water in the closed-to-navigation position and 50 feet above high water in the open-tonavigation position. Traffic on this waterway is primarily commercial and consists of vessels and tows that provide services to the Port of Victoria. D. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Interim Rule No comments were received during the comment period of the temporary deviation. However, a contractor raised an issue regarding the requirements of dispatchers to contact the vessels when a vessel entered the two-mile bridge zone. In response to this concern, the Coast Guard decided that further comments would be accepted under an Interim Rule. The bridge owner, the Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with E:\FR\FM\10JYR1.SGM 10JYR1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 132 / Friday, July 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the operator of the bridge, requested permission to remotely operate the bridge. A test deviation was performed to test the proposed remote operating system as the method for opening the bridge under the existing operating schedule and to determine whether a permanent change to remote operations should be approved. Prior to the granting of the temporary deviation, the bridge opened on signal for the passage of vessels in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5. When a request signal to open the bridge is received and before opening the bridge for vessel traffic, the tender was required by his company to contact the railroad dispatcher so that railroad traffic could be stopped. Under the existing deviation, the bridge continues to open on signal for the passage of vessels, but the method of opening the bridge is accomplished through remote operation by the railroad dispatcher. The bridge operator, UPRR, determined that by remotely operating the bridge, vessel transit through the bridge is more efficient. This remote method of operation provides for the signal to open to be received directly by the railroad dispatcher and will allow the railroad dispatcher to then open the bridge from the remote location. The Interim Rule allows for mariners to continue their transit while the bridge is remotely operated and to comment as to whether the proposed method of operation is sufficient to insure the safety of vessels transiting the area. This interim rule allows the bridge to be unmanned and operated remotely at all times. To facilitate the continued smooth operation of the bridge, mariners should exchange opening requests using the following method: 1. When a vessel with AIS equipment onboard approaches the two-mile post, the dispatcher will receive a prompt to open the bridge, if required, because a vessel is approaching. The vessel may continue to transit the waterway, but must tune their radiotelephone to VHF– FM channel 13 and receive passing instructions from the railroad dispatcher. The dispatcher must contact the vessel promptly to provide passing instructions to ensure the continued safe transit of the vessel. Operators of vessels without AIS equipment or operators of vessels with AIS who prefer to contact the railroad dispatcher via telephone may call the railroad dispatcher at 800–262–4691 to receive instructions and arrange passing. 2. When any vessel approaches the one mile post, the railroad dispatcher should have either cleared the vessel through the bridge or given an VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Jul 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 indication that a train is in the block and the vessel will be cleared as soon as practicable. If the vessel operator has not yet communicated with the railroad dispatcher, the vessel operator should immediately call the railroad dispatcher via telephone at 800–262–4691. 3. If any vessel reaches the one-half mile post and has not communicated with the railroad dispatcher nor been cleared to proceed, the vessel should stop and contact either the railroad dispatcher at 800–262–4691 or the Port of Victoria emergency contact at 361– 570–8855. Traffic on this waterway is primarily commercial and consists of vessels and tows that provide services to the Port of Victoria. E. Regulatory Analyses We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 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. This rule allows all vessels utilizing this stretch of the waterway to continue to transit the waterway unencumbered while provide for the bridge owner to operate the bridge from a remote location. Vessel operators should not see any changes in the efficiency of vessel movements as the bridge will still be required to open on signal for the passage of vessels. 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 term ‘‘small entities’’ comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 39685 This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the property owners, vessel operators and waterway users who wish to transit on Victoria Barge Canal daily. This rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: a test deviation was conducted and no opposition in response to the test was received by the Coast Guard Office of Bridge Administration. Further, through pre-coordination and consultation with property owners, vessel operators and waterway users, this operating schedule will accommodate all waterway users with minimal impact to their transits on the waterway. 3. Assistance for Small Entities Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104– 121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the 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 rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard. 4. 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). 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. E:\FR\FM\10JYR1.SGM 10JYR1 39686 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 132 / Friday, July 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 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 will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights. 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 does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES 11. Indian Tribal Governments 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. 12. Energy Effects This action is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:28 Jul 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. 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 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: 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. Add § 117.991 to read as follows: § 117.991 Victoria Barge Canal The draw of the Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge across Victoria Barge Canal, mile 29.4, at the Bloomington, Victoria County, Texas, shall operate as follows: (a) The draw shall be unmanned and when a vessel with AIS equipment onboard approaches the two-mile post, the dispatcher will receive a prompt to open the bridge, if required, because a vessel is approaching. The vessel may continue to transit the waterway, but must tune their radiotelephone to VHF– FM channel 13 and receive passing instructions from the railroad dispatcher. The dispatcher must contact the vessel promptly to provide passing instruction to insure the continued safe PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Dated: June 17, 2015. David R. Callahan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District. [FR Doc. 2015–16984 Filed 7–9–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG–2014–0300] PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS ■ transit of the vessel. Vessels without AIS equipment or vessels with AIS who would prefer to call via telephone, may call the railroad dispatcher at 800–262– 4691 to arrange passing instructions. (b) When any vessel approaches the one-mile post, the railroad dispatcher should have either cleared the vessel through the bridge or given an indication that a train is in the block and the vessel will be cleared as soon as practicable. If the vessel has not yet spoken with the railroad dispatcher, the vessel should immediately call the railroad dispatcher via telephone at 800–262–4691. (c) If any vessel reaches the one-half mile post and has not communicated with the railroad dispatcher nor been cleared to proceed, the vessel should stop and contact either the railroad dispatcher at 800–262–4691 or the Port of Victoria emergency contact at 361– 570–8855. Safety Zones; Annual Fireworks Displays Within the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of enforcement of regulation. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard will enforce the Annual Fireworks Display Safety Zones in the Captain of the Port Columbia River Zone. Each safety zone will be enforced 1 hour before and 1 hour after each scheduled fireworks display described in that rule. The Coast Guard will not enforce zones which are intended for fireworks displays that are not planned to occur this year. This action is necessary to protect watercraft and their occupants from the inherent safety hazards associated with fireworks displays. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter or remain in the safety zone without permission from the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port. DATES: The regulations in 33 CFR 165.1315 will be enforced 1 hour before SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10JYR1.SGM 10JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 132 (Friday, July 10, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 39683-39686]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16984]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[Docket No. USCG-2014-0952]
RIN 1625-AA09


Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, 
Bloomington, TX

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is modifying the method of operation for the 
Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, 
mile 29.4, at Bloomington, Victoria County, Texas. The bridge owner, 
the Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with the Union 
Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the operator of the bridge, is operating the 
bridge remotely under a temporary deviation. This interim rule codifies 
the change in method of operation while allowing for comments regarding 
the remote operations. This interim rule increases the efficiency of 
operations allowing for the safe navigation of vessels through the 
bridge while recognizing the bridge's importance to the Port of 
Victoria that it serves.

DATES: This interim rule is effective July 10, 2015.
    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or 
before September 8, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number, using 
any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    (3) Mail or Delivery: 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. Deliveries 
accepted 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 further instructions 
on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of 
these methods.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Ms. Geri Robinson; Bridge Administration Branch, Eighth 
Coast Guard District; telephone 504-671-2128, email 
geri.a.robinson@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Acronyms

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
USCG United States Coast Guard
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rule Making
Sec.  Section Symbol
U.S.C. United States Code
JOC Joint Outfall Canal

A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

[[Page 39684]]

1. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2014-0952), 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, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. If you submit a comment online via http://www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard 
when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, 
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, 
type the docket number (USCG-2014-0952) in the ``SEARCH'' box and click 
``SEARCH.'' Then click on ``Submit a Comment'' on the line associated 
with this rulemaking.
    If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them 
in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for 
copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments 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, 
type the docket number (USCG-2014-0952) in the ``SEARCH'' box and click 
``SEARCH.'' Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with 
this rulemaking. You may also visit 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.

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 to the docket 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.

B. Regulatory History and Information

    On December 30, 2014, we published a temporary deviation from 
regulations; request for comments (TD) entitled, ``Drawbridge Operation 
Regulation; Victoria Barge Canal, Bloomington, Texas'' in the Federal 
Register (79 FR 78304). We received no comments on the temporary 
deviation. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.
    The Coast Guard is issuing this interim final rule without prior 
notice 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)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists 
for not publishing a NPRM with respect to this rule because doing so 
would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This bridge 
has been operating on a modified schedule under a temporary deviation, 
and given that we have received no comments, we believe that the 
schedule has been working. Reverting to the old schedule in order to 
accept comment would present logistical difficulties for the operator 
and users.
    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause 
exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register. Under the Temporary Deviation 
published on December 30, 2014, this bridge has been remotely operated, 
and mariners will benefit from there not being any changes to the 
ongoing method of operation of the bridge that has been in place for 
the past six months.

C. Basis and Purpose

    The Coast Guard received a request from the bridge owner, the 
Victoria County Navigation District, in conjunction with the bridge 
operator, the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) to remotely operate the 
vertical lift span bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, at Mile 29.4 
near Bloomington, Texas. The bridge owner and operator requested to 
operate the bridge remotely from its dispatching center in Spring, 
Texas and remove the requirement that a bridge tender be present on 
site at all times. A temporary deviation was issued permitting these 
practices. Under the procedures now in use, the bridge will continue to 
open on signal for the passage of vessels.
    This final rule will allow the bridge operator to increase 
efficiency of bridge operations and vessel transit by remotely 
operating the bridge. This method provides for the opening signal to be 
received by the railroad dispatcher and allows the dispatcher to open 
the bridge from a remote location. Vessel traffic on the waterway will 
be monitored by the railroad dispatcher by use of an Automatic 
Identification System (AIS). The AIS System allows the Port of Victoria 
and the UPRR dispatcher to determine where vessels are located along 
the waterway in the vicinity of the bridge. We also note that the 
Victoria County Navigation District has a carriage requirement that all 
vessels desiring to transit the Victoria Barge Canal to the Port of 
Victoria be equipped with an operating AIS transponder.
    The Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge is a vertical lift span 
bridge across the Victoria Barge Canal, at Mile 29.4 near Bloomington, 
Texas. The vertical lift bridge has a vertical clearance of 22 feet 
above high water in the closed-to-navigation position and 50 feet above 
high water in the open-to-navigation position. Traffic on this waterway 
is primarily commercial and consists of vessels and tows that provide 
services to the Port of Victoria.

D. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Interim Rule

    No comments were received during the comment period of the 
temporary deviation. However, a contractor raised an issue regarding 
the requirements of dispatchers to contact the vessels when a vessel 
entered the two-mile bridge zone. In response to this concern, the 
Coast Guard decided that further comments would be accepted under an 
Interim Rule.
    The bridge owner, the Victoria County Navigation District, in 
conjunction with

[[Page 39685]]

the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the operator of the bridge, 
requested permission to remotely operate the bridge. A test deviation 
was performed to test the proposed remote operating system as the 
method for opening the bridge under the existing operating schedule and 
to determine whether a permanent change to remote operations should be 
approved.
    Prior to the granting of the temporary deviation, the bridge opened 
on signal for the passage of vessels in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5. 
When a request signal to open the bridge is received and before opening 
the bridge for vessel traffic, the tender was required by his company 
to contact the railroad dispatcher so that railroad traffic could be 
stopped. Under the existing deviation, the bridge continues to open on 
signal for the passage of vessels, but the method of opening the bridge 
is accomplished through remote operation by the railroad dispatcher.
    The bridge operator, UPRR, determined that by remotely operating 
the bridge, vessel transit through the bridge is more efficient. This 
remote method of operation provides for the signal to open to be 
received directly by the railroad dispatcher and will allow the 
railroad dispatcher to then open the bridge from the remote location.
    The Interim Rule allows for mariners to continue their transit 
while the bridge is remotely operated and to comment as to whether the 
proposed method of operation is sufficient to insure the safety of 
vessels transiting the area.
    This interim rule allows the bridge to be unmanned and operated 
remotely at all times. To facilitate the continued smooth operation of 
the bridge, mariners should exchange opening requests using the 
following method:
    1. When a vessel with AIS equipment onboard approaches the two-mile 
post, the dispatcher will receive a prompt to open the bridge, if 
required, because a vessel is approaching. The vessel may continue to 
transit the waterway, but must tune their radiotelephone to VHF-FM 
channel 13 and receive passing instructions from the railroad 
dispatcher. The dispatcher must contact the vessel promptly to provide 
passing instructions to ensure the continued safe transit of the 
vessel. Operators of vessels without AIS equipment or operators of 
vessels with AIS who prefer to contact the railroad dispatcher via 
telephone may call the railroad dispatcher at 800-262-4691 to receive 
instructions and arrange passing.
    2. When any vessel approaches the one mile post, the railroad 
dispatcher should have either cleared the vessel through the bridge or 
given an indication that a train is in the block and the vessel will be 
cleared as soon as practicable. If the vessel operator has not yet 
communicated with the railroad dispatcher, the vessel operator should 
immediately call the railroad dispatcher via telephone at 800-262-4691.
    3. If any vessel reaches the one-half mile post and has not 
communicated with the railroad dispatcher nor been cleared to proceed, 
the vessel should stop and contact either the railroad dispatcher at 
800-262-4691 or the Port of Victoria emergency contact at 361-570-8855.
    Traffic on this waterway is primarily commercial and consists of 
vessels and tows that provide services to the Port of Victoria.

E. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and 
executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses 
based on 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.
    This rule allows all vessels utilizing this stretch of the waterway 
to continue to transit the waterway unencumbered while provide for the 
bridge owner to operate the bridge from a remote location. Vessel 
operators should not see any changes in the efficiency of vessel 
movements as the bridge will still be required to open on signal for 
the passage of vessels.

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 term ``small 
entities'' comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations 
that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their 
fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 
50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be 
small entities: the property owners, vessel operators and waterway 
users who wish to transit on Victoria Barge Canal daily. This rule will 
not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities 
for the following reasons: a test deviation was conducted and no 
opposition in response to the test was received by the Coast Guard 
Office of Bridge Administration. Further, through pre-coordination and 
consultation with property owners, vessel operators and waterway users, 
this operating schedule will accommodate all waterway users with 
minimal impact to their transits on the waterway.

3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-121), we want to assist small 
entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your 
small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have 
questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please 
contact the person listed in the 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 rule or any policy or 
action of the Coast Guard.

4. 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).

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.

[[Page 39686]]

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 will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental 
Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property 
Rights.

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 does 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 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.

12. Energy Effects

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' under Executive 
Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

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 
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. Add Sec.  117.991 to read as follows:


Sec.  117.991  Victoria Barge Canal

    The draw of the Victoria Barge Canal Railroad Bridge across 
Victoria Barge Canal, mile 29.4, at the Bloomington, Victoria County, 
Texas, shall operate as follows:
    (a) The draw shall be unmanned and when a vessel with AIS equipment 
onboard approaches the two-mile post, the dispatcher will receive a 
prompt to open the bridge, if required, because a vessel is 
approaching. The vessel may continue to transit the waterway, but must 
tune their radiotelephone to VHF-FM channel 13 and receive passing 
instructions from the railroad dispatcher. The dispatcher must contact 
the vessel promptly to provide passing instruction to insure the 
continued safe transit of the vessel. Vessels without AIS equipment or 
vessels with AIS who would prefer to call via telephone, may call the 
railroad dispatcher at 800-262-4691 to arrange passing instructions.
    (b) When any vessel approaches the one-mile post, the railroad 
dispatcher should have either cleared the vessel through the bridge or 
given an indication that a train is in the block and the vessel will be 
cleared as soon as practicable. If the vessel has not yet spoken with 
the railroad dispatcher, the vessel should immediately call the 
railroad dispatcher via telephone at 800-262-4691.
    (c) If any vessel reaches the one-half mile post and has not 
communicated with the railroad dispatcher nor been cleared to proceed, 
the vessel should stop and contact either the railroad dispatcher at 
800-262-4691 or the Port of Victoria emergency contact at 361-570-8855.

    Dated: June 17, 2015.
David R. Callahan,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-16984 Filed 7-9-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9110-04-P