Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Belle River, LA, 56504 [2020-19475]

Download as PDF 56504 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 178 / Monday, September 14, 2020 / Rules and Regulations In opposing the proposal, the ABA stated that defining a CSA as a ‘‘single local community’’ is unreasonable and unlawful. The ABA largely relied on the District Court opinion, which was unanimously reversed by the Circuit Court. The ABA provided examples of CSAs that it believes might not be a WDLC and contended that CSAs have a ‘‘daisy-chain nature’’ in which opposite ends have little connection. It then stated that the Circuit Court indicated that some CSAs might not be a WDLC and thus could be challenged on an ‘‘as applied’’ basis. The ABA further stated that the term ‘‘local community’’ should not automatically include a CSA. Rather, it stated that any presumption that a CSA is a local community should be rebuttable. The ABA further stated that the Board should not adopt these provisions while litigation remains pending, including the possibility of an appeal to the Supreme Court. After reviewing the comments in light of the unanimous Circuit Court decision to affirm the Board’s adoption of a CSA as a presumptive community, the Board has determined that it is appropriate and consistent with the Act to amend the Chartering Manual to allow a CSA to be re-established as a presumptive WDLC. Much of the ABA’s argument relied on the District Court decision that was unanimously rejected by the threejudge Circuit Court panel. In applying Chevron, the Circuit Court stated: ‘‘We appreciate the District Court’s conclusions, made after a thoughtful analysis of the Act. But we ultimately disagree with many of them. In this facial challenge, we review the rule not as armchair bankers or geographers, but rather as lay judges cognizant that Congress expressly delegated certain policy choices to the NCUA. After considering the Act’s text, purpose, and legislative history, we hold the agency’s policy choices ‘entirely appropriate’ for the most part. Chevron, 467 U.S. at 865.’’ 63 With respect to CSAs, the Circuit Court, in rejecting the District Court’s analysis, stated: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES In addition to being consistent with the Act’s text, the Combined Statistical Area definition rationally advances the Act’s underlying purposes. In the 1998 amendments, Congress made two relevant findings about purpose. First, legislators found ‘‘essential’’ to the credit-union system a ‘‘meaningful affinity and bond among 63 Am. Bankers Ass’n, 934 F.3d at 656. See also with respect to CSAs: ‘‘The NCUA possesses vast discretion to define terms because Congress expressly has given it such power. But the authority is not boundless. The agency must craft a reasonable definition consistent with the Act’s text and purposes; that is central to the review we apply at Chevron’s second step. Here, the NCUA’s definition meets the standard.’’ Id. at 664. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:41 Sep 11, 2020 Jkt 250001 members, manifested by a commonality of routine interaction [;] shared and related work experiences, interests, or activities [;] or the maintenance of an otherwise wellunderstood sense of cohesion or identity.’’ § 2, 112 Stat. at 914. Second, Congress highlighted the importance of ‘‘credit union safety and soundness,’’ because a credit union on firm financial footing ‘‘will enhance the public benefit that citizens receive.’’ 64 The Circuit Court explicitly rejected the ABA’s assertion that CSAs have a ‘‘daisy chain’’ nature, linking multiple metropolitan areas that have nothing to do with those at opposite ends of the chain. As the court stated: [T]he NCUA’s definition does not readily create general, widely dispersed regions. Cf. First Nat’l Bank III, 522 U.S. at 502 (indicating that community credit unions may not be ‘composed of members from an unlimited number of unrelated geographical units’. Combined Statistical Areas are geographical units well-accepted within the government. See [81 FR at 88414]. Because they essentially are regional hubs, the Combined Statistical Areas concentrate around central locations. . . . The NCUA rationally believed that such ‘real-world interconnections would qualify as the type of mutual bonds suggested by the term ‘local community.’ . . . Thus, the agency reasonably determined that Combined Statistical Areas ‘‘simply unif[y], as a single community,’’ already connected neighboring regions. [See 81 FR at 88,415.] 65 The ABA’s misinterpretation of the Chevron doctrine was further repudiated by the entire Circuit Court, which rejected the ABA’s petition for a rehearing en banc. The Board emphasizes that the ABA repeatedly misstates the regulatory framework for approving a presumptive community, both in its court filings and in its comment letter on the proposed rule. Under the regulatory provisions in the Chartering Manual, established by notice-and-comment rulemaking, there is no automatic approval of an application based on a CSA. Rather, an applicant would have to establish in its application that it can serve the entire community, as documented in its business and marketing plan. A further constraint on any such CSA or portion thereof is that its population cannot exceed 2.5 million people. As the Circuit Court noted: We might well agree with the District Court that the approval of such a geographical area would contravene the Act. But even so, the Association would need much more to mount its facial pre-enforcement challenge in this case. As the Supreme Court repeatedly has held, ‘‘the fact that petitioner can point to a hypothetical case in which the rule might lead to an arbitrary result does not 64 Id. 65 Id. PO 00000 at 665–66. at 666–67. Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 render the rule’’ facially invalid. Am. Hosp. Ass’n v. NLRB, 499 U.S. 606, 619 (1991); see also EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P. (EME Homer), 572 U.S. 489, 524 (2014) (‘‘The possibility that the rule, in uncommon particular applications, might exceed [the agency]’s statutory authority does not warrant judicial condemnation of the rule in its entirety.’’); INS v. Nat’l Ctr. for Immigrants’ Rights, Inc., 502 U.S. 183, 188 (1991) (‘‘That the regulation may be invalid as applied in s[ome] cases . . . does not mean that the regulation is facially invalid because it is without statutory authority.’’); cf. Barnhart v. Thomas, 540 U.S. 20, 29 (2003) (‘‘Virtually every legal (or other) rule has imperfect applications in particular circumstances.’’). Here, the Association’s complaint and the District Court’s accompanying worry strike us as too conjectural. The NCUA must assess the ‘‘economic advisability of establishing’’ the proposed credit union before approving it, [12 U.S.C. 1754], and as part of the assessment, the organizers must propose a ‘‘realistic’’ business plan showing how the institution and its branches would serve all members in the local community, see [12 CFR. part 701, app. B, ch. 1 section IV.D.] The Association has failed to demonstrate the plausibility of a local community that is defined like the hypothetical narrow, multi-state strip and accompanies a realistic business plan. And if the agency were to receive and approve such an application, a petitioner can make an as-applied challenge. See, e.g., EME Homer, 572 U.S. at 523–24; Buongiorno, 912 F.2d at 510.66 Thus, existing regulatory provisions guard against the extreme examples posited by the ABA, which claims incorrectly that the Board must approve them under the Chartering Manual. The Board agrees with the ABA and the Circuit Court that any application for a presumptive community, including one based on a CSA, can be challenged on an as applied, case-by-case basis. Given this regulatory framework, which is subject to judicial review, the Board agrees with the Circuit Court’s reasoning in concluding that re-establishing the CSA as a presumptive community is entirely consistent with the express authority delegated to the Board by Congress. This provision also advances the Act’s dual purposes of promoting common bonds while addressing safety and soundness considerations by ensuring that FCUs remain economically viable. 66 Id. Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\14SER1.SGM at 668. 14SER1


[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 178 (Monday, September 14, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 56504]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-19475]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[Docket No. USCG-2018-0955]
RIN 1625-AA09

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Belle River, LA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is changing the operating schedule that 
governs the State Route 70 pontoon bridge across Belle River, mile 
23.8, at Pierre Part, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. During June, July 
and August this bridge will open on signal on the hour from 6 a.m. to 
10 p.m. This rule is being changed to decrease vehicle congestion 
during the summer.

DATES: This rule is effective October 14, 2020.

ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being 
available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov. Type USCG-
2018-0955 in the ``SEARCH'' box and click ``SEARCH.'' Click on Open 
Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Mr. Doug Blakemore, Eighth Coast Guard District Bridge 
Administrator; telephone (504) 671-2128, email 
[email protected].


I. Table of Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
LADOTD Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
OMB Office of Management and Budget
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Advance, Supplemental)
SR State Route
Sec.  Section
U.S.C. United States Code

II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    On April 16, 2019 the Coast Guard published a notice of temporary 
deviation from regulations entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulations, 
Belle River, LA in the Federal Register (84 FR 15581), to collect and 
analyze information on vehicle and vessel traffic congestion on SR 70 
created when the drawbridge opens to vessel traffic during periods of 
high vehicle traffic. We received five comments. All were in favor of 
the regulation change.
    On May 13, 2020 the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking entitled Drawbridge Operation Regulations, Belle River, LA 
in the Federal Register (85 FR 28542), to seek public comments on 
whether the Coast Guard should consider modifying the current operating 
schedule to the SR70 drawbridge. We received 0 comments.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499.
    LADOTD requested to change the drawbridge operating schedule for 
the SR70 pontoon bridge across the Belle River, mile 23.8, at Pierre 
Part, Assumption, LA. This bridge currently opens on signal except that 
from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw opens on signal if at least four 
hours' notice is given. LADOTD requested to open the bridge on signal 
on the hour during June, July and August from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each 
    This waterway is heavily used by recreational vessels during the 
summer months. The bridge has a vertical clearance of zero feet in the 
closed to vessel traffic position and unlimited vertical clearance in 
the open to vessel traffic position.
    During a 105 day period LADOTD measured the vehicle and vessel 
queues created when the bridge opened on the hour. LADOTDs analysis of 
this data demonstrated that opening the bridge on the hour (vice on 
signal) reduced the average vehicle queue from 105 vehicles to 25 
vehicles. There were no vessel queues created by this change.
    This change reduces vehicle congestion during summer months and 
provides for the reasonable needs of navigation.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Final Rule

    There were 5 comments during the temporary regulation change and no 
comments during the NPRM. The Coast Guard provided a comment period of 
60 days during each of these changes. Based on the LADOTD data this 
rule decreases vehicle congestion and provides vessels with the 
reasonable ability to use the waterway. We identified no impacts on 
marine navigation with this rule.

V. Regulatory Analyses

    The Coast Guard has developed this rule after considering numerous 
statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize 
our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive Orders, 
and we discuss First Amendment rights of protesters.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits. Executive Order 13771 directs agencies to control 
regulatory costs through a budgeting process. This rule has not been 
designated a ``significant regulatory action,'' under Executive Order 
12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) and pursuant to OMB guidance it is exempt 
from the requirements of Executive Order 13771.
    This regulatory action determination is based on the lack of 
commercial vessel traffic on this waterway, and the recreational boats 
that routinely transit the bridge under the proposed schedule. Those 
vessels with a vertical clearance requirement of less than 9.7 feet 
above mean high water may transit the bridge at any time, and the 
bridge will open in case of emergency at any time. This regulatory 
action takes into account the reasonable needs of vessel and vehicular 

B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as 
amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of 
regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term ``small 
entities'' comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations 
that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their 
fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 
50,000. The Coast Guard received 0 comments from the Small Business 
Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 
605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the 
bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A. 
above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any 
vessel owner or operator.
    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small 
entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your 
small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have 
questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please 
contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal 
regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory 
Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory 
Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and 
rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to 
comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR 
(1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small 
entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or 
action of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the 
relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and have 
determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism 
principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 
    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive 
Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on 
one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for 
inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in 
such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere 
in this preamble.

F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security 
Management Directive 023-01, Rev.1, associated implementing 
instructions, and Environmental Planning Policy COMDTINST 5090.1 
(series) which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f). The 
Coast Guard has determined that this action is one of a category of 
actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant 
effect on the human environment. This rule promulgates the operating 
regulations or procedures for drawbridges and s categorically excluded 
from further review, under paragraph L49, of Chapter 3, Table 3-1 of 
the U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Planning Implementation Procedures.
    Neither a Record of Environmental Consideration nor a Memorandum 
for the Record are required for this rule.

G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. 
Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that 
your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or 
security of people, places or vessels.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117


    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. Revise Sec.  117.424 to read as follows:

Sec.  117.424   Belle River.

    The draw of the SR70 bridge, mile 23.8 near Belle River, shall open 
on signal; except that, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the draw shall open on 
signal if at least four hours notice is given, and from June 1 through 
August 31 the draw shall open on signal on the hour from 6 a.m. to 10 
p.m. The bridge shall open anytime at the direction of the District 

    Dated: August 18, 2020.
John P. Nadeau,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2020-19475 Filed 9-11-20; 8:45 am]

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