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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 01-1045


[58 PA. CODE CHS. 91 AND 111]

Boating Safety Education Certificates; Special Regulations Counties

[31 Pa.B. 3206]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) by this order amends Chapters 91 and 111 (relating to general provisions; and special regulations counties). The Commission is publishing these amendments under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendments relate to boating.

A.  Effective Date

   The amendments will go into effect upon publication of this order in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B.  Contact Person

   For further information on the amendments, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, (717) 705-7815, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. This final-form rulemaking is available electronically on the Commission's website (

C.  Statutory Authority

   The amendment to § 91.6 (relating to Boating Safety Education Certificates) is published under the statutory authority of section 5123 of the code (relating to general boating regulations). The amendments to §§ 111.45, 111.48 and 111.52 (relating to Monroe County; Northampton County; and Pike County) are published under the statutory authority of section 5124 of the code (relating to particular areas of water).

D.  Purpose and Background

   The amendments are designed to update, modify and improve the Commission's regulations pertaining to boating. The specific purpose of the amendments is described in more detail under the summary of proposal. The Commission's Boating Advisory Board considered the proposal prior to the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking containing the amendment and recommended publication.

E.  Summary of Proposal

   (1)  Section 91.6 (relating to Boating Safety Education Certificates). The Commission's regulations require that operators of personal watercraft and children who are operating certain boats obtain and carry a Boating Safety Education Certificate. It is the intent of the regulation that the operator receive instruction in boating safety and show competence in the boating regulations and procedures. Carrying the certificate is incidental to this overarching requirement, and the requirement to carry it is intended to help the law enforcement officer ensure that the operator has fulfilled his obligations. It is reasonable to assume that some operators have obtained the requisite certificate but have forgotten it or misplaced it. Citations usually are not issued when the officer can reasonably assume that the certificate is likely available, just not onboard.

   The Commission's regulation provides a mail-in procedure for persons who are caught fishing without displaying a license or boating without the boat registration card onboard. This procedure has been very successful and has resulted in greater efficiency and use of officer time. Therefore, the Commission has implemented a similar program for Boating Safety Education Certificates by amending § 91.6 as proposed.

   (2)  Sections 111.45, 111.48 and 111.52 (relating to Monroe County; Northampton County; and Pike County). The Commission has received notification that the Superintendent of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area has taken action to prohibit the operation of personal watercraft within the boundaries of the area under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service (NPS). The Commission has been asked to amend its regulations to assist in the enforcement of this ban.

   The Commission always has had a cooperative relationship with NPS and has attempted to have consistent regulations to help enforcement personnel effectively and uniformly enforce boating safety regulations. Accordingly, the Commission has amended these special boating regulations, as proposed, to be consistent with the new NPS restrictions. In addition, a minor technical change has been made to clarify the numbering of § 111.52(j). This change does not affect the substance of the amendment adopted by the Commission on final rulemaking.

F.  Paperwork

   The amendment to § 91.6 will slightly increase paperwork and will create a few new paperwork requirements because boat operators, who are required by regulation to have a Boating Safety Education Certificate onboard and do not have one in their possession, will have the option of mailing the original certificate to the apprehending officer. If the officer permits the operator to mail the original certificate to the officer, the officer will provide the operator with a receipt or other documentation that will allow the continued operation of the boat during the period that the original certificate is not in possession. The amendments to §§ 111.45, 111.48 and 111.52 will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.

G.  Fiscal Impact

   The amendments will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions, and they will impose no new costs on the private sector. The amendment to § 91.6 will impose only nominal costs on those members of the general public who mail the original certificate to the apprehending officer. The amendments to §§ 111.45, 111.48 and 111.52 will impose no new costs on the general public.

H.  Public Involvement

   A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 31 Pa.B. 1375 (March 10, 2001). The Commission did not receive any public comments concerning the proposals.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt these amendments was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 1 Pa. Code §§ 7 .1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided, and no comments were received.

   (3)  The adoption of these amendments in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.


   The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 91 and 111, are amended by amending §§ 91.6, 111.45 and 111.48 to read as set forth at 31 Pa.B. 1375 and by amending § 111.52 to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the existing text of the regulation.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order, Annex A and 31 Pa.B. 1375 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director shall certify this order, Annex A and 31 Pa.B. 1375 and deposit the same with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48A-113 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A



Subpart C.  BOATING


§ 111.52.  Pike County.

*      *      *      *      *

   (j)  Delaware River. The operation of personal watercraft is prohibited in the following areas:

   (1)  Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (upstream from mile 258.4).

   (2)  The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (downstream from mile 250).

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-1045. Filed for public inspection June 15, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]

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