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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 08-668




[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 91 ]


[38 Pa.B. 1725]
[Saturday, April 12, 2008]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 91 (relating to general provisions). The Commission is publishing this final-form rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code). The final-form rulemaking amends the regulations regarding Boating Safety Education Certificates and the criteria for courses in boating safety education.

A.  Effective Date

   The final-form rulemaking will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

B.  Contact Person

   For further information on the final-form rulemaking, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Esq., P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 705-7810. This final-form rulemaking is available on the Commission's web site at

C.  Statutory Authority

   The amendments to §§ 91.6 and 91.7 (relating to Boating Safety Education Certificates; and criteria for courses of instruction in boating safety education) are published under the statutory authority of section 5103 of the code (relating to boating education programs).

D.  Purpose and Background

   The final-form rulemaking is designed to improve, enhance and update the Commission's regulations pertaining to boating education. The specific purpose of the amendments is described in more detail under the summary of changes.

E.  Summary of Changes

   The act of December 9, 2002, (P. L. 1542, No. 199) (act) amended 30 Pa.C.S. § 5103 to provide for mandatory boater education. The act established a requirement for persons born after January 1, 1982, and operating a boat powered by a motor in excess of 25 horsepower to obtain and carry a certificate of boating safety education. The act also required the Commission to promulgate regulations that establish criteria for a course of instruction in boating safety education. The Commission subsequently amended its regulation in § 91.6 to describe more fully what constitutes a Boating Safety Education Certificate and distinguished between residents and nonresidents. The Commission also adopted a new regulation in § 91.7 that authorized the Executive Director to designate, by notice, organizations that offer safety education courses that are acceptable for residents, nonresidents or both. The section further provided that to be approved by the Commission, a course of instruction in boating safety education has to meet the National Boating Safety Education Standards of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and receive the approval of NASBLA.

   After a review of these regulations, the Commission proposed to update them by adopting the following changes. The proposed changes to § 91.6 will simplify the definition of a Boating Safety Education Certificate. The Commission believes that this change more accurately reflects the intent of the act and will eliminate confusion among boaters who move their boats between states. The proposed amendments to § 91.7 will authorize the Executive Director to publish criteria upon which boating courses may be approved for the purposes of the act. The Executive Director will publish separate criteria for Internet, video and classroom courses.

   The Commission's Boating Advisory Board considered the proposed amendments and recommended that the Commission adopt them on final-form rulemaking. The Commission adopted the amendments as set forth in the notice of proposed rulemaking.

F.  Paperwork

   The final-form rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements. The Commission currently issues Boating Safety Education Certificates, which will not be changed by the amendments. The Commission will publish course criteria in the Pennsylvania Bulletin under the amendments.

G.  Fiscal Impact

   The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The final-form rulemaking will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.

H.  Public Involvement

   A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 37 Pa.B. 6415 (December 8, 2007). During the public comment period, the Commission did not receive any public comments regarding the proposal.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments adopted by this order has been 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, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

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

   (3)  The adoption of the amendments of the Commission 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 Chapter 91, are amended by amending §§ 91.6 and 91.7 to read as set forth in 37 Pa.B. 6415.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order and 37 Pa.B. 6415 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director shall certify this order and 37 Pa.B. 6415 and deposit them 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-197 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-668. Filed for public inspection April 11, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]

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