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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 17-2030




[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 105 ]

Boating; Operational Conditions

[47 Pa.B. 7467]
[Saturday, December 9, 2017]

 The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 105 (relating to operational conditions). The Commission is publishing this final-form rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code).

A. Effective Date

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

B. Contact Person

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

C. Statutory Authority

 The amendment to § 105.3 (relating to unacceptable boating practices) is published under the statutory authority of section 5123 of the code (relating to general boating regulations).

D. Purpose and Background

 This final-form rulemaking is designed to improve, enhance and update the Commission's boating regulations. The specific purpose of the amendment is described in more detail under the summary of change. The Commission's Boating Advisory Board previously considered the proposed amendment and recommended that the Commission approve the publication of a proposed rulemaking.

E. Summary of Change

 In late 2015, Volvo Penta (Volvo) approached the Commission about amending § 105.3(12) to permit boaters within this Commonwealth to utilize Volvo's new forward facing drive for wake surfing. The Commonwealth is one of three states that has regulations in place that forbid wake surfing behind inboard/outboard motors. This topic was discussed at the annual conference of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, at which time the safety protocols that manufacturers were held to by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) were reviewed. The consensus was that if the manufacturer was under strict guidelines from the USCG for development, states should do what they could to allow those approved developments to be used on state waters.

 Before the boating season in 2016, the Commission's Bureau of Law Enforcement (BLE) reviewed this issue. This review included a review of other states' laws and regulations pertaining to the subject, as well as any accident statistics. The BLE found that most states do not have motor restrictions for wake surfing beyond using common sense. Several states that are considering regulations are not looking to limit motors such as the forward facing drive.

 The Commission therefore amends § 105.3 to allow for advancements within the boating industry to be used on Commonwealth waters. The Commission amends § 105.3 to read as set forth in the proposed rulemaking published at 47 Pa.B. 3974 (July 22, 2017).

F. Paperwork

 The final-form rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.

G. Fiscal Impact

 This final-form rulemaking will not have adverse fiscal impacts on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. This final-form rulemaking will not impose new costs on the private sector or the general public.

H. Public Involvement

 Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 47 Pa.B. 3974. The Commission received three public comments supporting the proposed rulemaking. Commissioners were provided with copies of the public comments.


 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 the public comments that were received were considered.

 (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 statute.


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

 (a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 105, are amended by amending § 105.3 to read as set forth at 47 Pa.B. 3974.

 (b) The Executive Director will submit this order and 47 Pa.B. 3974 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality and form as required by law.

 (c) The Executive Director shall certify this order and 47 Pa.B. 3974 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

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

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48A-275 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 17-2030. Filed for public inspection December 8, 2017, 9:00 a.m.]

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