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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 04-1240



[58 PA. CODE CH. 111]

General Provisions; Boating

[34 Pa.B. 3601]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 111 (relating to special regulations counties). The Commission is publishing this final-form rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code).

A.  Effective Date

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

B.  Contact Person

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

C.  Statutory Authority

   The amendment to § 111.48 (relating to Northampton County) is published under the statutory authority of section 5124 of the code (relating to particular areas of water). A person violating this regulation commits a summary offense of the third degree for which a $50 fine is imposed.

D.  Purpose and Background

   The final-form rulemaking is designed to update, modify and improve the Commission's regulations by imposing a ''slow, minimum height swell speed'' zone on the Lehigh River in the vicinity of the Route 33 access ramp, Northampton County. The specific purpose of the amendment is described in more detail under the summary of change. The Commission's Boating Advisory Board considered the proposed change to § 111.48 and recommended that the Commission not adopt the amendment until staff sought additional input from the Bethlehem Boat Club. Prior to consideration by the Commission on final-form rulemaking, staff contacted the club and received no comments.

E.  Summary of Change

   A new Route 33 access launch area in Northampton County on the Lehigh River is now open. The Commission's District Waterways Conservation Officer (officer) reports that wakes from boat traffic could potentially cause difficulties for boaters using the ramp. There are currently three slow-no-wake buoys at the access ramp placed approximately 100 feet from the shoreline. According to the district officer, this provides only limited protection to the ramp, boaters launching and retrieving watercraft and shoreline anglers. The officer reports that boaters passing through this area outside of the buoys still create large enough wakes to impact the shoreline with sufficient force to do damage. The officer suggested that an expanded ''slow, minimum height swell speed'' zone be established on the river immediately in front of the Commission's ramp.

   The Commission accordingly proposed that this zone extend across the main channel of the river to the shoreline of Turkey Island directly opposite the ramp. The zone was proposed to extend 150 feet upstream and 150 feet downstream from the boat ramp. This zone will have little impact on the unlimited horsepower boating in the area and should do a lot to protect boaters and anglers at the access area. The Commission amended this section to read 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.

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 33 Pa.B. 5929 (December 6, 2003). The Commission sought public comments regarding this proposal during an extended comment period of 60 days. The Commission did not receive any public comments concerning the proposal.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendment 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 amendment 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 111, are amended by amending § 111.48 to read as set forth at 33 Pa.B. 5929.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order and 33 Pa.B. 5929 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director shall certify this order and 33 Pa.B. 5929 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-151 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-1240. Filed for public inspection July 9, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]

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