Regulatory Process Matters

These guidelines have been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to Executive Order 12866. The Access Board prepared a regulatory assessment for the guidelines. The regulatory assessment is available on the Access Board’s website. The guidelines apply to the new construction and alteration of outdoor developed areas by Federal agencies subject to the Architectural Barriers Act. The guidelines will primarily affect the following Federal land management agencies in the Department of Agriculture: Forest Service; in the Department of the Interior: National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation; and in the Department of Defense: Army Corps of Engineers.

Establishing the Federal land management agencies annual expenditures on the construction and alterations of the elements and spaces covered by the proposed guidelines required a project-by-project review. The Access Board requested data from the Federal land management agencies on camping and picnic projects and trails projects funded in FY 2004 that included elements and spaces covered by the proposed guidelines. The data is summarized in Table 1. Some of the projects included the construction and alterations of general parking areas, restrooms, and other facilities covered by existing accessibility standards, or the construction and alterations of roads and other infrastructure that are not subject to accessibility standards. Thus, the total project costs overstate the expenditures on elements and spaces covered by the proposed guidelines.

Table 1 – FY 2004 Projects That Included Construction and Alterations of Elements and Spaces Covered by Proposed Guidelines

Agency

Camping & Picnic Areas

Trails

 

Number of Projects

Total Project Costs

Number of Projects

Total Project Costs

Department of Agriculture

       

Forest Service

Not available

$6.9 million (FY 2003)

Not available

Not available

Department of the Interior

       

National Park Service

46

$14.0 million

33

$2.7 million

Fish and Wildlife Service

2

$0.2 million

3

$0.3 million

Bureau of Land Management

6

$1.8 million

1

$25,000

Bureau of Reclamation

8

$1.1 million

3

$1.2 million

Department of Defense

       

Army Corps of Engineers

25

Not available

4

$1 million

Total

87

$24.0 million

44

$5.2 million


The Access Board reviewed 43 camping and picnic area projects and 26 trail projects that included the construction or alteration of elements and spaces covered by the accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas for this regulatory assessment, as shown in Table 2. The purpose of the review was to assess the level of accessibility of the elements and spaces, and the additional costs associated with accessibility.

Table 2 – Projects Reviewed for Regulatory Assessment

Agency

Camping & Picnic Areas

Trail Projects

Department of Agriculture

   

Forest Service

12

4

Department of the Interior

   

National Park Service

9

11

Fish and Wildlife Service

2

3

Bureau of Land Management

6

1

Bureau of Reclamation

8

3

Department of Defense

   

Army Corps of Engineers

6

4

Total

43

26


The Access Board used two baselines for this regulatory assessment. The first baseline assesses the costs associated with the proposed guidelines compared to the Federal land management agencies current accessibility policies and practices as described below:

  • Forest Service – FSORAG and FSTAG. The Forest Service currently requires all its construction and alteration projects to use Forest Service Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Guidelines (FSORAG) and Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines (FSTAG). FSORAG and FSTAG generally meet or exceed the level of accessibility in the proposed guidelines. Thus, the Forest Service’s projects will not incur any additional costs associated with the proposed guidelines compared to FSORAG and FSTAG.
  • Department of the Interior – Best Practices Bulletins. The Federal land management agencies in the Department of the Interior currently use the National Center on Accessibility’s best practices bulletins. However, the agencies have not formally required all their construction and alteration projects to use the technical bulletins. Therefore, the baseline assumes 50 percent to 75 percent of the agencies’ projects use the best practices bulletins. The best practices bulletins generally meet the level of accessibility in the proposed guidelines. Thus, the percentage of the agencies’ projects that will incur additional costs associated with the proposed guidelines range from a lower bound of 25 percent to an upper bound of 50 percent.
  • Army Corps of Engineers – Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards and Best Practices. The Army Corps of Engineers currently require all its construction and alteration projects to use its Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards, and also currently recommends that the projects use best practices for accessible design. The Army Corps of Engineers’ Recreation Facility and Customer Service Standards generally meet or exceed the level of accessibility in the proposed guidelines, except for recreational vehicle parking areas and trails. The baseline assumes 50 percent to 75 percent of the Army Corps of Engineers’ projects use best practices for designing accessible recreational vehicle parking areas and trails that meet the level of accessibility in the proposed guidelines. Thus, the percentage of the Army Corps of Engineers’ projects that will incur additional costs for recreational vehicle parking areas and trails associated with the proposed guidelines range from a lower bound of 25 percent to an upper bound of 50 percent.

The additional annual costs associated with the proposed guidelines compared to the Federal land management agencies current accessibility policies and practices range from $0.5 million to $1.1 million.

The second baseline assesses the costs associated with the proposed guidelines if accessibility were not required by the Access Board or otherwise. That is, the second baseline attempts to evaluate how the Federal land management’s agencies would construct the elements and spaces covered by the proposed guidelines in the absence of any accessibility requirement. The additional annual costs associated with the proposed guidelines using the second baseline range from $2.0 million to $2.6 million.

Individuals with disabilities, and their families and friends, will benefit from visiting and using accessible facilities in outdoor developed areas. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 51.2 million Americans with disabilities in the civilian non-institutionalized population in 2002. Among the population age 15 and older, 2.7 million individuals use a wheelchair, and another 9.1 million use a mobility aid such as a cane, crutches, or walker. The benefits to individuals with disabilities are not quantifiable. Many of the benefits to these individuals resulting from accessible facilities in outdoor developed areas are currently being realized under the Federal land management agencies’ current accessibility policies and practices. The proposed guidelines will contribute to the benefits, and the benefits justify the regulatory action.

The proposed guidelines will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the guidelines apply only to Federal agencies. The proposed guidelines do not have any Federalism implications because they do not apply to State, local, and tribal governments. The proposed guidelines do not establish any requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

List of Subjects

36 CFR Part 1195
Buildings and facilities, Individuals with disabilities.

_________________________________
Tricia Mason
Chair, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.


For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Access Board proposes to add part 1195 to Chapter XI of title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:

PART 1195 ARCHITECTURAL BARRIERS ACT ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR OUTDOOR DEVELOPED AREAS

Sec.
1195.1 Accessibility guidelines.

Appendix A to Part 1195 - Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas

Authority: 29 U.S.C. 792(b)(3).

§ 1195.1 Accessibility guidelines.

The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas designed, constructed, or altered by or on behalf of Federal agencies subject to the Architectural Barriers Act are set forth in Appendix A to this part.

NOTES

1. The following organizations were represented on the regulatory negotiation committee: American Society of Landscape Architects; American Camping Association; American Trails; Appalachian Trail Conference; Association of Blind Athletes; Hawaii Commission on Persons with Disabilities; KOA, Inc.; National Association of State Park Directors; National Association of State Trail Administrators; National Center on Accessibility; National Council on Independent Living; National Recreation and Park Association; National Spinal Cord Injury Association; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Paralyzed Veterans of America; Partners for Access to the Woods; Rails to Trails Conservancy; State of Washington, Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation; TASH; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service; U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service; U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration; U.S. Access Board; and Whole Access.

2. A rule is considered economically significant if it may have “an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities.” Executive Order 12866, section (f)(1).