[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 7 (Wednesday, January 10, 1996)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 709-710]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-353]


33 CFR Part 117

RIN 2115-AE47

Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Anacostia River, Washington, DC

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: At the request of the Consolidated Rail Corporation (CONRAIL), 
the Coast Guard is proposing to change the regulations that govern the 
operation of the railroad bridge across the Anacostia River, mile 3.4, 
at Washington, DC. This proposal would change the current schedule by 
extending the winter seasonal restrictions and reducing the hours of 
operation during the boating season.
    These changes to the drawbridge regulations are intended to relieve 
the bridge owner of the burden of having a bridgetender staff the 
bridge during periods of non-use, while still providing for the 
reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 9, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to Commander (ob), Fifth Coast Guard 
District, 431 Crawford Street, Portsmouth, Virginia 23704-5004, or may 
be delivered to Room 109 at the same address between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 
(804) 398-6222. Comments will become part of this docket and will be 
available for inspection at Room 109, Fifth Coast Guard District.

Ann B. Deaton, Bridge Administrator, Fifth Coast Guard District, at 
(804) 398-6222.


Request for Comments

    The Coast Guard encourages interested persons to participate in 
this rulemaking by submitting written data, views, or arguments. 
Persons submitting comments should include their names and addresses, 
identify this rulemaking (CGD05-95-081) and the specific section of 
this proposal to which each comment applies, and give the reason for 
each comment. The Coast Guard requests that all comments and 
attachments be submitted in an unbound format suitable for copying and 
electronic filing. If not practical, a second copy of any bound 
material is requested. Persons wanting acknowledgement of receipt of 
comments should enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    The Coast Guard will consider all comments received during the 
comment period. It may change this proposal in view of the comments.
    The Coast Guard plans no public hearing. Persons may request a 
public hearing by writing to the Commander (ob) at the address under 
ADDRESSES. The request should include reasons why 

[[Page 710]]
a hearing would be beneficial. If it determines that the opportunity 
for oral presentations will aid this rulemaking, the Coast Guard will 
hold a public hearing at a time and place announced by a later notice 
in the Federal Register.

Drafting Information

    The principal persons involved in drafting this document are Linda 
L. Gilliam, Project Manager, Bridge Administration Section, and CDR 
T.R. Cahill, Project Counsel, Fifth Coast Guard District Legal Office.

Background and Purposes

    The current regulations found at 33 CFR 117.253 provide that the 
draw of the CONRAIL bridge, mile 3.4, on the Anacostia River, shall 
open on signal on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays from April 1 
through September 30; between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. on weekdays that are 
not Federal Holidays from April 1 through September 30; and on eight 
hours notice at all other times. CONRAIL has requested that 33 CFR 
117.253 be amended to reduce the periods during which it must open the 
bridge on signal. In support of its request, CONRAIL contends that its 
records show that the period of heavy boating traffic is from May 15 
through September 15, not April 1 through September 30 as provided in 
the current regulations. CONRAIL has also asked that the hours during 
which the bridge must open on signal be reduced, and that the same 
schedule be adopted for both weekdays and weekends.
    The Coast Guard has reviewed CONRAIL's bridge logs for 1993 and 
1994, copies of which are available for inspection at Room 10-9, Fifth 
Coast Guard District. According to the logs for 1993 and 1994, the 
railroad bridge only opened a total of 11 times from April 1 through 
May 15, and 6 times between September 15 through September 30. For 1993 
and 1994 during the weekdays, the bridge opened 10 times between noon 
and 1 p.m.; 4 times between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and 5 times after 7 p.m. 
During 1993 and 1994 on the weekends, the bridge opened 9 times between 
7 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    Based on the above information, the Coast Guard is proposing 
changes to 33 CFR 117.253. The proposed changes would require the 
bridge to open on signal between 9 a.m. and 12 noon and between 1 p.m. 
and 6 p.m. every day from May 15 through September 30. The bridge would 
also open on signal between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. every day from May 15 
through September 30 if notice is given to the bridgetender prior to 6 
p.m. on the day for which the opening is requested. Requirements would 
be the same for both weekend and weekday openings. The bridge will 
continue to open on eight hours notice at all other times.
    As discussed above, openings have been infrequent during the 
periods which would be affected by these proposed changes. The Coast 
Guard believes that these proposed changes will relieve CONRAIL of the 
burden of requiring a bridgetender to be on duty during periods of 
little or no vessel traffic while not unduly restricting navigation.

Regulatory Evaluation

    This proposed action is not a significant regulatory action under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not require an 
assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of 
that order. It has been exempted from review by the Office of 
Management and Budget under that order. It is not significant under the 
regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Transportation 
(DOT) (44 FR 11040; February 26, 1979). The Coast Guard expects the 
economic impact of this proposal to be so minimal that a full 
Regulatory Evaluation under paragraph 10e of the regulatory policies 
and procedures of DOT is unnecessary.

Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the 
Coast Guard must consider whether this proposal, if adopted, will have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. ``Small entities'' include independently owned and operated 
small businesses that are not dominant in their field and that 
otherwise qualify as ``small business concerns'' under section 3 of the 
Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632). Because it expects the impact of 
this proposal to be minimal, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 
605(b) that this proposal, if adopted, will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Collection of Information

    This proposal contains no collection of information requirements 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).


    The Coast Guard has analyzed this proposal under the principals and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and it has determined that 
this proposal will not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.


    The Coast Guard considered the environmental impact of this 
proposal and concluded that under section 2.B.2.e.(32)(e) of Commandant 
Instruction M16475.1B (as amended, 59 FR 38654, 29 July 1994), this 
proposal is categorically excluded from further environmental 
documentation. A Categorical Exclusion Determination statement has been 
prepared and placed in the rulemaking docket.

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117


Proposed Regulations

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Coast Guard proposes to 
amend Part 117 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations to read as 


    1. The authority citation for Part 117 continues to read as 

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 499; 49 CFR 1.46; 33 CFR 1.05-1(g); Section 
117.255 also issued under the authority of Pub. L. 102-587, 106 
Stat. 5039.

    2. In Sec. 117.253, paragraphs (b)(1) (ii) and (iii) are revised to 
read as follows:

Sec. 117.253  Anacostia River.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (ii) Between 9 a.m. and 12 noon and between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. from 
May 15 through September 30.
    (iii) Between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. from May 15 through September 30 if 
notice is given to the bridgetender not later than 6 p.m. on the day 
for which the opening is requested.
* * * * *
    Dated: December 21, 1995.
W.J. Ecker,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 96-353 Filed 1-9-96; 8:45 am]