[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56605-56607]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22269]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 117

[Docket No. USCG-2013-0243]
RIN 1625-AA09

Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lafourche Bayou, Larose, LA

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is modifying its drawbridge operation 
regulations by replacing the reference to the SR 310 (Larose Pontoon) 
Bridge with the LA 657 (Larose) Vertical Lift Bridge. The SR 310 bridge 
has been taken out of service and has been replaced by the LA 657 
bridge. This substitution will also permit the LA 657 bridge to operate 
under the same schedule as the five other bridges in this area, as 
opposed to its current open-on-demand schedule.

DATES: This rule is effective October 15, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket 
[USCG-2013-0243]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being 
available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the 
docket number 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, 
call or email Kay Wade, Bridge Branch Office, Coast Guard; telephone 
504-671-2128, email Kay.B.Wade@uscg.mil. If you have questions on 
viewing the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket 
Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.


Table of Acronyms

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Sec.  Section Symbol
U.S.C. United States Code

A. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this 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. Providing an opportunity for comment 
regarding this rule is unnecessary because this rule does not impose 
any new operational restrictions on the waterway. It merely changes the 
bridge to which these restrictions apply. Providing an opportunity for 
comment regarding this rule is impracticable because the SR 310 bridge 
no longer exists and traffic from this bridge has been diverted to the 
new LA 657 bridge.
    The SR 310 (Larose Pontoon) Bridge was removed from the waterway in 
April 2013 and replaced by the new LA 657 (Larose) Vertical Lift 
Bridge, which is located approximately one-half mile away from the old 
bridge. The old SR 310 bridge was one in a series of six bridges that 
feed the local school system, and operated in accordance with the 
requirements of 33 CFR 117.465(a). The operating requirements for the 
old SR 310 bridge are specifically located at 33 CFR 117.465(a)(6).
    The new LA 657 bridge is located less than one-half mile from the 
old SR 310 bridge, and essentially replaces the SR 310 bridge in this 
series. However, the new LA 657 bridge currently operates under the 
default operating requirements of 33 CFR 117.5, which require that the 
bridge open on signal. This default operating requirement conflicts 
with the operating requirements of the other five bridges in this area. 
Therefore, this rule will essentially replace the SR 310 bridge with 
the LA 657 bridge at 33 CFR 117.465(a)(6), thus allowing the new bridge 
to operate under the same requirements as the old bridge, and under the 
same requirements as the other five bridges in this area.

B. Basis and Purpose

    The purpose of this rule is to modify paragraph (a)(6) of 33 CFR 
117.465. This paragraph currently refers to the SR 310 (Larose Pontoon) 
Bridge across Lafourche Bayou at mile 39.1. This bridge has been 
replaced by the newly constructed LA 657 (Larose) Vertical Lift Bridge 
across Lafourche Bayou at mile 38.7.
    The LA 657 Bridge is the first bridge south of the Gulf 
Intracoastal Waterway intersection. This bridge is located just south 
of a flood control structure that has a horizontal clearance of 56 feet 
and a depth over the sill of 10 feet. Navigation at the site of the 
bridge consists primarily of tugs with tows, fish, shrimp, crew, and 
pleasure boats. There is considerable commerce on the bayou in seafood 
products, sugar, petroleum products, cement, lumber and piles, clays 
and drilling mud, liquid sulfur, sand and gravel, oil well pipe,

[[Page 56606]]

machinery and supplies, caustic soda, chemicals and general cargo. The 
bridge opens an average of 400 times a month for vessels or 
approximately 14 times daily. Traffic counts indicate that 9,000 
vehicles cross the bridge daily and approximately 23% of those vehicles 
cross during the requested closure times.
    Currently, the LA 657 Bridge opens on signal according to the 
default rule in 33 CFR 117.5. The Louisiana Department of 
Transportation and Development has requested that the LA 657 Bridge be 
allowed to follow the same drawbridge operation regulation that applied 
to the pontoon bridge before it was removed. This change would permit 
the LA 657 bridge to open on signal, except that, from August 1 through 
May 31, the draw need not open for the passage of vessels Monday 
through Friday except Federal holidays from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.; from 2 
p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Placing the LA 657 
Bridge on the same operating schedule with the other five bridges in 
the area will help minimize any disruption to both waterway and land 
transportation due to school vehicular traffic.

C. Discussion of Final Rule

    The Coast Guard will modify the regulation in 33 CFR 117.465(a)(6) 
by changing the name and mile mark of the bridge in that section from 
the SR 310 (Larose Pontoon) Bridge, mile 39.1, at Larose, to the LA 657 
(Larose) Vertical Lift Bridge, mile 38.7, at Larose. All other 
operational requirements and restriction in that section remain 
unchanged and are adopted by the new bridge.

D. 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.
    The new LA 657 vertical lift bridge across Lafourche Bayou at mile 
38.7 in Larose replaced the old SR 310 pontoon bridge across Lafourche 
Bayou at mile 39.1 in Larose. The pontoon bridge, which has been 
removed, was governed by 33 CFR 117.465(a)(6). This rule merely 
substitutes the LA 657 bridge for the SR 310 bridge at that section of 
the CFR and does not impose any new restrictions or limitations on the 

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 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities
    This rule would affect the following entities, some of which may be 
small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit 
the bridge from August 1 through May 31, yearly, between 7 a.m. to 8:30 
a.m., 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. This 
action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities for the following reasons. This rule does not 
impose any new restrictions on the waterway. The LA 657, which is less 
than one-half mile from the old SR 310 bridge would now operate under 
the same schedule as the old SR 310 bridge. Additionally, there are 
five other bridges in this area that operate under the same schedule, 
therefore mariners in the area are accustomed to this schedule. Vessels 
that can safely transit under the bridge may do so at any time. Before 
the effective period, we will issue maritime advisories widely 
available to users of the bayou.

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, 
    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.

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 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 

[[Page 56607]]

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 concluded 
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 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

    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; Department of Homeland 
Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Section 117.465(a)(6) is revised to read as follows:

Sec.  117.465  Lafourche Bayou.

    (a) * * *
    (6) LA 657 (Larose) Vertical Lift Bridge, mile 38.7, at Larose.
* * * * *

    Dated: August 25, 2013.
Kevin S. Cook,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2013-22269 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]