6. Regulatory Analyses

Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) and Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review)

This final rule is not a significant regulatory action. We adhered to the principles of regulation in Executive Orders 13563 and 12866. Among other things, Executive Order 13563 directs agencies to propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs; tailor the regulation to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; and, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 recognizes that some benefits are difficult to quantify and provides that, where appropriate and permitted by law, agencies may consider and discuss qualitatively values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts.

We prepared a regulatory assessment for the final rule. The regulatory assessment is available at: http://www.access-board.gov/outdoor (click on Background). The costs and benefits of the final rule are discussed below.

Costs

The regulatory assessment compares the final rule to the guidelines and standards used by federal agencies for the design of outdoor developed areas without regard to accessibility to determine whether the final rule would result in additional costs. The regulatory assessment shows that the final rule would not result in additional costs for camping facilities and picnic facilities. The regulatory assessment shows that the final rule would result in additional costs for viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes as shown in Table 4.

Table 4. Additional Costs Due to Final Rule
Viewing Areas $2,176 for dual base binocular scopes and $3,380 for a dual base telescopes, if viewing scopes provided at viewing areas
Trails $40,655 per trail mile, if trail would not otherwise meet the technical requirements and the exceptions to the technical requirements do not apply to the trail
Beach Access Routes $4,497 to $6,530 to purchase roll-out mats for beach access routes, if parking areas, toilet facilities, bathing facilities, and circulation paths serving beaches are constructed or altered or beach nourishment project is undertaken

We estimate the federal agencies would incur $1.2 million additional annual costs due to the final rule for viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes as shown in Table 5. 

Table 5. Additional Annual Costs for Federal Agencies
Facility Total Annual Costs Assumptions 
Viewing Areas $241,971 Fish and Wildlife Service provides a viewing scope over five years at 556 wildlife refuges to enhance visitor experiences.
Trails $617,956 Federal agencies construct 15.2 trail miles per year covered by the scoping requirements in F247 that would not otherwise meet the technical requirements for trails in 1017 and the exceptions in 1017 do not apply to the trails.
Beach Access Routes $344,6621 Federal agencies provide beach access routes at 1,025 beaches over 20 years as parking areas, restrooms, shower facilities, and circulation paths serving the beaches are altered or replaced with new facilities.

1. Estimate is based on higher cost for roll-out mats. 

Benefits

The final rule would increase opportunities for individuals with mobility disabilities to participate in outdoor recreation activities with their families and friends. Participation in outdoor recreation activities provides the following benefits:

  • Physical health benefits, including reduces obesity, diminishes risk of chronic disease; and increases life expectancy;
  • Mental health benefits, including reduces depression, relieves stress, and improves quality of life; and
  • Community and social benefits, including unites families and promotes stewardship.9

The benefits are difficult to quantify, but include important national values recognized in Executive Order 13563 such as equity, human dignity, and fairness.

The 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that among the civilian non-institutionalized population aged 15 and older, 30.6 million persons (12.6%) had limitations associated with ambulatory activities of the lower body.10 This number includes 23.9 million persons (9.9%) who had difficulty walking a quarter of a mile; 22.3 million (9.2%) who have difficulty climbing a flight of stairs; 11.6 million persons (4.8%) who used a cane, crutches, or walker to assist with mobility; and 3.6 million persons (1.5%) who use a wheelchair or scooter. Not all these persons are likely to directly benefit from the final rule because some may not participate in outdoor recreational activities. We do not have information to estimate the number of individuals with mobility disabilities who would directly benefit from the final rule.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires federal agencies to consider the impacts of their rules on small entities, analyze alternatives that minimize the impacts on small entities, and to make the analysis available to the public. See 5 U.S.C. 604. We certified that the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it would apply to federal agencies that administer outdoor areas developed for recreational purposes. Therefore, we did not prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for the proposed rule. However, the Architectural Barriers Act also applies to facilities constructed or altered by non-federal entities on behalf of the United States. We prepared a final regulatory flexibility analysis for the final rule to consider the impacts of the final rule on small entities that construct or alter recreation facilities on federal lands on behalf of federal agencies pursuant to a concession contract, partnership agreement, or similar arrangement.

Need for and Objective of Final Rule

The Architectural Barriers Act requires facilities constructed or altered by or on behalf of federal agencies to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Certain agencies are required to adopt accessibility standards for the design, construction, and alteration of facilities covered by the Architectural Barriers Act. We are required by section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act to establish and maintain minimum guidelines and requirements for the accessibility standards adopted the federal agencies. We are issuing the final rule pursuant to this authority to establish accessibility guidelines for camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes constructed or altered by or behalf of federal agencies that administer outdoor developed areas.

Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

As noted above, we certified that the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, we did not prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis for the proposed rule.

Response to Comments Filed by Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration

The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration did not file comments on the proposed rule.

Small Entities Affected by Rule

The final rule affects small entities that construct or alter camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach facilities on federal lands pursuant to a concession contract, partnership agreement, or similar arrangement with the following federal agencies and their components: U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service), U.S. Department of Defense (Army Corps of Engineers), and U.S. Department of the Interior (Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service). Data are not available on the number of small entities that construct or alter camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach facilities on federal lands pursuant to a concession contract, partnership agreement, or similar arrangement with the federal agencies. Small entities that construct facilities of federal land pursuant to a concession contract with federal agencies can include the costs of the capital improvements, including additional costs due to the final rule, in the contract bids and the costs can be offset in the concession fees paid to the federal agencies.

Compliance Requirements in Final Rule

The final rule contains scoping and technical requirements for camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes. Scoping requirements specify what features are required to be accessible and, where multiple features of the same type are provided, how many of the features are required to be accessible. The scoping requirements in the final rule are summarized in Table 1 under Executive Summary. Technical requirements specify the design criteria for accessible features. The technical requirements include design criteria for the following outdoor constructed features: picnic tables, fire rings, grills, fireplaces, wood stoves, trash and recycling receptacles, water hydrants, utility and sewage hookups, outdoor rinsing showers, benches, and viewing scopes. The technical requirements also include design criteria for parking spaces within camping units and picnic units with mobility features; pull-up spaces for recreational vehicles at dump stations; tent pads and tent platforms; camp shelters; viewing areas; outdoor recreation access routes; trails; and beach access routes.

Steps to Minimize Significant Economic Impacts on Small Entities

The final rules permits exceptions to the specific provisions in the technical requirements for certain elements and facilities based on the conditions listed in Table 2 under Executive Summary. When an entity determines that a condition does not permit full compliance with a provision, compliance is required to the extent practicable. The final rule allows exemptions for an entire trail or beach access route when an entity determines that is impracticable for a trail to comply with the technical requirements for trails or to provide a beach access route complying with the technical requirements for beach access routes. This determination is made after the entity applies the exceptions for specific provisions in the technical requirements for trails or beach access routes to portions of the trail or route.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

The final rule does not have federalism implications as defined in Executive Order 13112. The final rule does not have substantial direct effects on the states or on the relationship, or the distribution of power and responsibilities, between the federal government and the states.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

The final rule does not impose a federal intergovernmental mandate or federal private sector mandate as those terms are defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Any duties imposed on state, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector arise from participation in a voluntary federal program.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 1191

Buildings and facilities, Civil rights, Incorporation by reference, Individuals with disabilities, Transportation.

_________________________________
Karen L. Braitmayer, 
Chair.