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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 22-855



[58 PA. CODE CH. 97]

Boating; Operator Provided Equipment

[52 Pa.B. 3323]
[Saturday, June 11, 2022]

 The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) proposes to amend Chapter 97 (relating to operator provided equipment). The Commission is publishing this proposed rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The proposed amendment updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to fire extinguishers.

A. Effective Date

 This proposed rulemaking, if approved on final-form rulemaking, will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

B. Contact Person

 For further information on this proposed 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 proposed amendment to § 97.2 (relating to fire extinguishers) is published under the statutory authority of section 5123(a)(5) of the code (relating to general boating regulations).

D. Purpose and Background

 The specific purpose and background of the proposed amendment is described in more detail under the summary of proposal.

E. Summary of Proposal

 In October 2021, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) published a final rule amending the fire extinguishing equipment regulations for recreational vessels propelled or controlled by propulsion machinery (33 CFR Parts 1 and 175, and 46 CFR Part 25 (relating to general provisions; equipment requirements; and requirements)). This rule relieves owners of these recreational vessels from certain inspection, maintenance and recordkeeping requirements that are more suited for commercial vessels and establishes that portable fire extinguishers on recreational vessels shall be maintained in ''good and serviceable'' condition. The ''good and serviceable'' standard of this rule maintains the substantive requirements of the National Fire Protection Association's standard 10 without extra burdens and requirements for recreational boaters. The new standard will continue to ensure that portable fire extinguishers are in good working order and ready for immediate use without imposing unnecessary burdens on the public. The Commission proposes to update their regulations to match the new USCG final rule.

 The Commission proposes that § 97.2 be amended to read as set forth in Annex A.

F. Paperwork

 This proposed rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.

G. Fiscal Impact

 This proposed rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions.

H. Public Comments

 Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about this proposed rulemaking to the Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.

 Comments also may be submitted electronically by completing the form at If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt. Electronic comments submitted in any other manner will not be accepted.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: 48A-327. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A



Subpart C. BOATING


§ 97.2. Fire extinguishers.

*  *  *  *  *

 (c) The following apply:

(1) Fire extinguishers carried in compliance with this section shall be maintained in [a usable condition] good and serviceable working condition and [shall be charged] in compliance with the specifications on the manufacturer's certification label [Gauges shall be operable and nozzles shall be free of obstruction. In prosecutions for violations of this section, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a fire extinguisher is not usable if its gauge shows that the extinguisher is discharged.], meaning all of the following:

(i) It shall not be expired.

(ii) It has a pressure gauge reading or indicator in the operable range or position, if there is one.

(iii) The lock pin is firmly in place.

(iv) The discharge nozzle is clean and free of obstruction.

(v) The extinguisher does not show visible signs of significant corrosion or damage.

(2) In prosecutions for violations of this section, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a fire extinguisher is not usable if its gauge shows that the extinguisher is discharged.

 (d) Fire extinguishers shall be installed and maintained so that they are immediately available within arms reach of the operator or passengers on the boat.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-855. Filed for public inspection June 10, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]

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