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PROPOSED RULEMAKING

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES

[ 17 PA. CODE CH. 53 ]

Snowmobile and All-Terrain Vehicle Grants

[48 Pa.B. 515]
[Saturday, January 20, 2018]

 The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Department) proposes to add Chapter 53 (relating to snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle grants) to read as set forth in Annex A.

A. Effective Date

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

B. Contact Persons

 For further information, contact Alex MacDonald, Chief, Trails, Greenways and Statewide Planning Section, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., 5th Floor, P.O. Box 8475, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8475, (717) 772-4586, almacdonal@pa.gov; or Stephen Ekema-Agbaw, Assistant Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., 7th Floor, P.O. Box 8767, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8767, (717) 772-4171, sekema@pa.gov.

C. Statutory Authority

 Section 313 of the Conservation and Natural Resources Act (71 P.S. § 1340.313) and 75 Pa.C.S. § 7704 (relating to rules and regulations) authorize the Department to promulgate regulations. This proposed rulemaking is mandated by 75 Pa.C.S. § 7706(b.1) (relating to restricted accounts), as added by the act of July 20, 2016 (P.L. 837, No. 97) (Act 97).

D. Purpose and Background

 The purpose of this proposed rulemaking is to comply with 75 Pa.C.S. § 7706(b.1). The intent of 75 Pa.C.S. § 7706(b.1) is to ensure the equitable distribution of snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) funds to the snowmobile or ATV user groups who generated the funds.

 Previously, funds generated by both user groups were placed into a single restricted account and could be spent on either snowmobile or ATV riding without consideration for which user groups generated the funds. However, as ATV ridership has grown in recent years, ATV user groups have asked the General Assembly to acknowledge their needs and develop more riding opportunities in this Commonwealth. Thus, Act 97 ensures that ATV funds are directed towards the needs of ATV user groups.

 Two restricted accounts for snowmobile and ATV funds are created under Act 97—the ATV Management Restricted Account and the Snowmobile Management Restricted Account. Under Act 97, all moneys generated from ATV activities may only be deposited in the ATV Management Restricted Account and used for ATV projects. Similarly, all moneys generated from snowmobile activities may only be deposited in the Snowmobile Management Restricted Account and used for snowmobile projects. These restricted accounts ensure that moneys generated from ATV activities do not go towards snowmobile activities and vice versa.

 Additionally, Act 97 mandates that the Department promulgate regulations to create a program granting money from the restricted accounts for snowmobile and ATV activities. The Department proposes to add Chapter 53 to comply with the mandate in Act 97.

E. Summary of Regulatory Requirements

 Chapter 53, Subchapter A (relating to general provisions) defines terms used in Chapter 53, states the Department's authority and establishes the criteria for grant applicants to apply and be selected for a grant. Chapter 53, Subchapters B and C (relating to all-terrain vehicle grants; and snowmobile grants) establish the types of applicants and projects eligible for funding.

 Chapter 53 codifies the Department's grant program for snowmobile and ATV activities. The program funds grant projects for the planning, acquisition, rehabilitation or development of snowmobile and ATV trails. The program also funds grant projects for equipment, training and educational activities related to snowmobile and ATV use. Municipalities, for-profit organizations and nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding under this program.

F. Benefits, Costs and Compliance

Benefits

 This proposed rulemaking will benefit grant applicants by affording them the opportunity to apply for grant awards twice a year and by ensuring that ATV moneys are used for ATV projects and snowmobile moneys are used for snowmobile projects.

Compliance costs

 This proposed rulemaking will not impose additional compliance costs.

Paperwork requirements

 There are no additional paperwork requirements associated with this proposed rulemaking. Grant applicants are already required to complete a grant application to apply for funds. This proposed rulemaking codifies the application process.

G. Regulatory Review

 Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.5(a)), on January 9, 2018, the Department submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of a Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the Senate and House Environmental Resources and Energy Committees. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.

 Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC may convey comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The comments, recommendations or objections must specify the regulatory review criteria in section 5.2 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.5b) which have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review prior to final publication of the rulemaking by the Department, the General Assembly and the Governor.

H. Public Comments

 Interested persons are invited to submit comments, suggestions or objections regarding this proposed rulemaking to Alex MacDonald, Chief, Trails, Greenways and Statewide Planning Section, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., 5th Floor, P.O. Box 8475, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8475. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, suggestions or objections must be received by the Department within 30 days of publication of this proposed rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 Comments may be submitted by e-mail to the Department at BRCRegulations@pa.gov and must also be received by the Department within 30 days of publication of this proposed rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Use ''Chapter 53 proposed rulemaking'' as the subject line. A return name and United States Postal Service mailing address must be included in each transmission.

CINDY ADAMS DUNN, 
Secretary

Fiscal Note: 7B-9. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A

TITLE 17. CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES

PART I. DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Subpart E. OUTDOOR RECREATION

CHAPTER 53. SNOWMOBILE AND ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE GRANTS

Subchap.

A.GENERAL PROVISIONS
B.ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE GRANTS
C.SNOWMOBILE GRANTS

Subchapter A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec.

53.1.Definitions.
53.2.Authority.
53.3.Application procedure.
53.4.Grant selection process and criteria.
53.5.Funding levels.

§ 53.1. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

ATV—An all-terrain vehicle as defined in section 7706(e) of the Vehicle Code (relating to restricted accounts).

ATV Management Restricted Account—A restricted revenue account for funds that may only be used for ATV related activities, or activities related to joint-use trails, as required under section 7706(a)(2) of the Vehicle Code.

Acquisition—The purchase or lease of land or buildings for snowmobile or ATV activities, or both.

Development—Construction, alteration or renovation required for and compatible with the physical improvement of land.

Joint-use trail—A trail that may be used by snowmobiles and ATVs.

Land—Real property, including improvements thereon, rights-of-way, water, riparian and other rights, easements, privileges and any other physical property or rights of interest of any kind or description relating to or connected with real property.

Maintenance—Recurring upkeep needed on a regular basis on snowmobile, ATV or joint-use trails, trail related facilities and equipment.

Municipality—A county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or an official agency created by the foregoing units of government under the laws of the Commonwealth.

Nonprofit organization—An organization that is exempt from income tax under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.A. § 501).

Project—A proposal to acquire or develop land, research the feasibility of acquiring or developing land, prepare or perform right-of-way lease agreements, purchase or lease equipment, or conduct educational or training programs relating to snowmobile or ATV activities, or both.

Rehabilitation—The improvement or restoration, excluding routine maintenance, of existing snowmobile, ATV or joint-use trails.

Snowmobile—The term as defined in section 7702 of the Vehicle Code (relating to definitions).

Snowmobile Management Restricted Account—A restricted revenue account for funds that may only be used for snowmobile related activities, or activities related to joint-use trails, as required under section 7706(a)(2) of the Vehicle Code.

Vehicle Code—75 Pa.C.S. §§ 101—9701.

§ 53.2. Authority.

 This chapter is adopted under section 7706(b.1) of the Vehicle Code (relating to restricted accounts) and applies to municipalities, for-profit organizations and nonprofit organizations seeking grants under this chapter.

§ 53.3. Application procedure.

 (a) Grant applicants may apply for grants under this chapter by submitting an application through the Department's online grant portal on the Department's web site.

 (b) By completing, signing and submitting a grant application to the Department, the grant applicant will be deemed to have certified to the Department that it shall be legally bound by the terms, conditions and provisions of the grant.

 (c) There will be two grant rounds annually during which the Department will accept grant applications. The first grant round will open on the first business day in January and close on the last business day in March. The second grant round will open on the first business day in August and close on the last business day in October.

§ 53.4. Grant selection process and criteria.

 (a) Following the closing date of each grant round, the Department will consider properly filed applications for approval and award.

 (b) If the Department determines that an application is incomplete and that additional information is necessary, the grant applicant shall provide that additional information to allow for further consideration of the application.

 (c) In reviewing an application, the Department will give priority to all of the following criteria:

 (1) The anticipated benefits of the project.

 (2) The local and regional impact of the project.

 (3) The estimated cost of the project.

 (4) The availability of matching funds for the project.

 (5) Cost sharing by the grant applicant and other entities.

 (6) The results of similar types of projects that have already been completed.

 (7) The results of previous projects completed by the grant applicant.

 (8) The Department's priorities for motorized recreational trails.

 (d) The Department will complete its review and approval of properly filed applications prior to the opening of the following grant round.

§ 53.5. Funding levels.

 Grants under this chapter may cover part or all of the cost of an eligible project.

Subchapter B. ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE GRANTS

Sec.

53.11.ATV Management Restricted Account.
53.12.Eligibility.

§ 53.11. ATV Management Restricted Account.

 (a) The Department may only award grants for ATV projects under this subchapter.

 (b) The Department may only fund grants with money from the ATV Management Restricted Account under this subchapter.

 (c) Joint-use trail projects are considered ATV projects under this subchapter.

§ 53.12. Eligibility.

 (a) The Department may award grants to the following groups and organizations:

 (1) For-profit organizations.

 (2) Nonprofit organizations.

 (3) Municipalities.

 (b) The Department may award grants for the following project costs on lands not owned by the Commonwealth:

 (1) Plans, specifications and engineering surveys.

 (2) Fees and costs related to the preparation or performance of right-of-way lease agreements.

 (3) Land acquisition.

 (4) Construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of trails and other facilities for ATVs.

 (c) The Department may award grants for the maintenance, rehabilitation or construction of ATV trails on lands owned by the Commonwealth.

 (d) The Department may award grants for equipment, training and educational activities relating to ATV use.

Subchapter C. SNOWMOBILE GRANTS

Sec.

53.21.Snowmobile Management Restricted Account.
53.22.Eligibility.

§ 53.21. Snowmobile Management Restricted Account.

 (a) The Department may only award grants for snowmobile projects under this subchapter.

 (b) The Department may only fund grants with money from the Snowmobile Management Restricted Account under this subchapter.

 (c) Joint-use trail projects are considered snowmobile projects under this subchapter.

§ 53.22. Eligibility.

 (a) The Department may award grants to the following groups and organizations:

 (1) For-profit organizations.

 (2) Nonprofit organizations.

 (3) Municipalities.

 (b) The Department may award grants for the following project costs on lands not owned by the Commonwealth:

 (1) Plans, specifications and engineering surveys.

 (2) Fees and costs related to the preparation or performance of right-of-way lease agreements.

 (3) Land acquisition.

 (4) Construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of trails and other facilities for snowmobiles.

 (c) The Department may award grants for the maintenance, rehabilitation or construction of snowmobile trails on lands owned by the Commonwealth.

 (d) The Department may award grants for equipment, training and educational activities relating to snowmobile use.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-106. Filed for public inspection January 19, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]



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