Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, National Capital Region, Special Events and Demonstrations, 40460-40485 [2018-17386]

Download as PDF 40460 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 158 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 [NPS–NCR–25928; PPNCNAMAS0, PPMPSPD1Z.YM0000] RIN 1024–AE45 Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, National Capital Region, Special Events and Demonstrations National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: The National Park Service proposes to revise special regulations related to demonstrations and special events at certain national park units in the National Capital Region. The proposed changes would modify regulations explaining how the NPS processes permit applications for demonstrations and special events. The rule would also identify locations where activities are allowed, not allowed, or allowed but subject to restrictions. DATES: Comments must be received by October 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024–AE45 by any of the following methods: • Electronically: Federal eRulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Hardcopy: Mail or hand deliver to National Park Service, National Mall and Memorial Parks, 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20024, Attn: Brian Joyner. Instructions: All comments received must include the agency name (National Park Service) and RIN (1024–AE45) for this rulemaking. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above. Comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Before daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying information may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. To view comments received through the Federal eRulemaking portal, go to http:// www.regulations.gov and enter 1024– AE45 in the search box. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian D. Joyner, Chief of Staff, National Park Service, National Mall and Memorial Parks, (202) 245–4468, NAMA_Superintendent@nps.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The National Mall and areas surrounding the White House in Washington, DC are managed by the National Park Service (NPS) on behalf of the American people. These areas are contained within two administrative units of the National Park System: The National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. National Mall and Memorial Parks Within the National Mall and Memorial Parks, the NPS administers more than 1,000 acres of park land within the District of Columbia, including 14 units of the national park system: Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Constitution Gardens, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site, the Mall, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument and Plaza, World War I Memorial, and World War II Memorial. The National Mall and Memorial Parks also contains more than 150 reservations, circles, fountains, squares, triangles, and park spaces in the center of Washington, DC that were created as part of the L’Enfant plan of the city. The National Mall is a preeminent national landscape that is home to the enduring symbols of our country including various trees and gardens that symbolize cultural and diplomatic PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 exchanges and gifts from other nations. It includes a combination of formally designed areas, such as the Mall and the grounds of the Washington Monument, as well as natural areas, such as the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park. The National Mall also contains monuments, memorials, statues, and other commemorative works that honor important persons, historical events, and the ideals of democracy. The monuments, memorials, and sites in the National Mall and Memorial Parks connect visitors directly with American history and values, cultural heritage, and the sacrifices of so many, supporting our national identity as well as individual connections to the larger national and international experience. The NPS protects the valuable urban green space within the National Mall and Memorial Parks that accommodates a variety of passive and active recreational activities for a diverse population. President’s Park President’s Park comprises three distinct cultural landscapes that are each fundamental to the park and provide the setting for the ‘‘President’s Park’’ as defined by Pierre L’Enfant in 1791. The White House is the oldest public building in the District of Columbia and has been the home and office of every president of the United States except for George Washington. The White House, including its wings, serves as the residence of the first family, offices for the president and staff, and an evolving museum. Lafayette Park to the north of the White House is a 19th-century public park redesigned in the 1960s. The park is bounded by H Street to the north, Madison Place to the east, Pennsylvania Avenue to the south, and Jackson Place to the west. Lafayette Park is an example of early American landscape design and the 19th century neighborhood of the president. The Ellipse area, or President’s Park South, to the south of the White House grounds is another important cultural landscape. President’s Park South consists of the elliptical park area known as the Ellipse, Sherman Park to the northeast, and the First Division Memorial Park to the northwest. Lafayette Park and the Ellipse provide a dignified transition area from an urban environment to the White House environs. They also E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules protect and enhance views to and from the White House and provide a setting for the public to view the White House. Many national monuments and memorials are found throughout the park, illustrating the significant role of President’s Park as a symbolic location within the urban landscape of the nation’s capital. President’s Park. The NPS also issues an average of 800 permits for commercial filming within these parks each year. The NPS dedicates significant resources to processing permit applications and managing permitted activities in a manner that mitigates impacts to park resources, secures sensitive locations, and keeps visitors safe. Demonstrations and Special Events Proposed Rule The buildings, structures, and grounds that compose the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park are national symbols of American democracy. Citizens from the United States and around the world come to these areas to participate in American democracy, celebrate freedom, and experience our nation’s history and culture. The NPS receives regular requests from the public to conduct demonstrations, which include various types of expressive activity such as marches and art displays, at locations within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. The NPS also receives requests to hold special events, such as wedding ceremonies, national celebratory events, and sporting activities, at the same locations. Each year, the NPS issues an average of 750 permits for demonstrations and 1,500 permits for special events within the NPS units subject to 36 CFR 7.96 (as explained below). Most of these activities are held within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and The NPS proposes to revise the regulations applicable to demonstrations and special events that are held within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. The NPS intends these revisions to (i) modify regulations explaining how the NPS processes permit applications to conduct activities in these areas; and (ii) better identify locations where activities are allowed, not allowed, or allowed but subject to restrictions. The NPS intends these changes to provide greater clarity to the public about how and where demonstrations and special events may be conducted in a manner that protects and preserves the cultural and historic integrity of these areas. The supplementary information contained below will explain the proposed changes to existing regulations in section 7.96 of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 7.96). These regulations govern activities within the National Mall and Memorial Parks, President’s Park, and other administrative units subject to section No. 1 2 3 4 ........ ........ ........ ........ 5 ........ 6 ........ 7 ........ 8 ........ 9 ........ 10 ...... 11 ...... 12 ...... daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 13 ...... 14 ...... 7.96. These other units—such as portions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, National Capital Parks-East, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and Rock Creek Park—are located nearby the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. The NPS encounters management issues related to demonstrations and special events in these locations that are similar to those encountered in the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. In some cases, a single event such as a foot race will cross through several of these units. The administrative benefit of having a uniform set of regulations and permit processes for units in close proximity to one another supports applying the proposed changes in this rule to all of the units that are subject to section 7.96. This will allow the NPS to better manage these events and provide service to the public. The applicability of section 7.96 to the National Mall and Memorial Parks, President’s Park, and these other units is discussed in more detail below. A summary of the proposed changes is contained in the following table, along with a citation of the regulation that would be changed. The proposed changes are discussed below in the order they appear in the table below. In addition to the changes listed below, the proposed rule would reorganize several paragraphs in section 7.96 without changing any of the text. Proposed change Citation Remove several units from the applicability of § 7.96 ............................................................................ Adopt definitions of ‘‘demonstrations’’ and ‘‘special events’’ from 36 CFR part 2 ................................. Move the definition of ‘‘structure’’ to the definitions section in § 7.96(g)(1) ........................................... Consider changing the number of people that could take part in a demonstration without a permit at specific locations. Require a permit for the erection of structures during a special event or demonstration regardless of the number of participants. Consider requiring permit applicants to pay fees to allow the NPS to recover some of the costs of administering permitted activities that contain protected speech. Establish permanent security zones at President’s Park where public access is currently prohibited Modify and establish restricted zones at memorials on the National Mall where special events and demonstrations would not be allowed in order to preserve an atmosphere of contemplation. Modify regulations explaining how the NPS processes permit applications for demonstrations and special events. Adopt criteria in 36 CFR part 2 for reviewing permit applications that apply to other NPS areas. Remove redundant criteria in § 7.96. Establish a maximum permit period of 30 days, plus a reasonable amount of time needed for set up and take down of structures before and after a demonstration or special event. Identify locations where structures may not be used, and restrict the height, weight, equipment, and materials of structures when they are permitted during special events and demonstrations. Apply existing sign restrictions (e.g. supports, dimensions) in President’s Park to other locations within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. Other minor changes to § 7.96 ............................................................................................................... 1. Remove Several Units From the Applicability of 7.96 The National Capital Region (NCR) is an administrative grouping of National VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 Park System units that are located in and around metropolitan Washington, DC. NPS regulations at 36 CFR 7.96 apply to certain park units located PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 40461 Sfmt 4702 7.96(a) 7.96(g)(1)(i) and (ii) 7.96(g)(1) and (5)(ix)(A)(4) 7.96(g)(2)(ii) 7.96(g)(2) and (g)(5)(vi)(E) 7.96(g)(3) 7.96(g)(3)(i) 7.96(g)(3)(ii) 7.96(g)(3) and (4) 7.96(g)(4) and (5) 7.96(g)(4)(vi) 7.96(g)(5)(vi) 7.96(g)(5)(vii) 7.96(g) within the NCR. These special regulations modify the general regulations in 36 CFR part 2 that apply to all areas administered by the NPS, E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40462 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules but only for those parks identified in section 7.96. Paragraph (a) of section 7.96 lists the park units in the NCR that are subject to the special regulations in that section. This rule would revise paragraph (a) to limit applicability and scope of the NCR special regulations to the following park areas: • All park areas located in Washington, DC • the George Washington Memorial Parkway • all park areas located within National Capital Parks East (an administrative grouping of park units in the NCR that are generally located east of the U.S. Capitol) • the portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park that is located in Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland The special regulations in section 7.96 exist to address unique management issues that are present in these park units in the NCR but not present in other parks in the NCR or elsewhere in the country. One of these issues— especially for park units near the National Mall and the White House—is how to manage the high volume, magnitude, and impacts of special events and demonstrations. Section 7.96 addresses this issue with special rules that govern these activities. One of these rules requires individuals and organizations to send permit applications for demonstrations and special events to a central permit office in Washington, DC, for review and processing. The NPS routes all permit applications through this office, and then to the impacted park(s), to avoid potential confusion about where applications should be sent. It would be confusing to require the public to send permit applications directly to each park unit because there are so many areas administered by the NPS in the NCR, many of which are in close proximity to one another. Other unique management issues faced by these parks in the NCR include the Presidential Inauguration, other national celebration events, security needs associated with the White House Complex and the Executive Office Building, and the use of athletic fields near the National Mall. These activities are also addressed by special regulations in section 7.96. Park units that are not identified in paragraph (a) of section 7.96 follow general NPS regulations in part 2. This is consistent with 36 CFR 1.2(c), which provides that the NPS general regulations in part 2 apply unless there are NPS special regulations for individual park areas. The general regulations in part 2 address special events and demonstrations in sections 2.50 and 2.51. Instead of using a central office, permit applications for these other parks are sent directly to park headquarters and processed by the administrative office at the park unit. Section 7.96 already applies to the park units identified in this proposed rule. The proposed changes to paragraph 7.96(a) in this rule would remove the following park units from the applicability and scope of the NCR special regulations in section 7.96: Park unit daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS The other special regulations in section 7.96 either are not relevant to these parks (e.g. staging the Presidential Inauguration, organized athletic events, and taxi cab operations around National Memorials) or are addressed by NPS regulations in 36 CFR part 2 (e.g. fishing and camping). In order to maintain the existing prohibition on bathing, swimming or wading throughout the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the proposed rule would state that paragraph (e) of section 7.96 would apply to the portions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 By removing these parks from scope and applicability of the NCR special regulations, they instead would be governed by the general regulations for special events and demonstrations found in sections 2.50 and 2.51. Although these parks are organized within the administrative grouping of the NCR, they are located further away from the metropolitan core of Washington, DC. This reduces any confusion about where permit applications should be sent. It is not necessary or efficient that permit applications for these outlying NCR parks be routed through the centralized permit office in Washington, DC. Allowing these outlying NCR parks to operate their own permit offices that can receive permit applications directly is consistent with how other NCR parks outside the Washington, DC, metropolitan area (i.e., Antietam National Battlefield, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and Monocacy National Battlefield) have operated for decades. Instead of using a central permit office in Washington, DC, visitors would send permit applications for these outlying parks to the administrative offices of each park, to the attention of the superintendent: Mailing address Manassas National Battlefield Park ............................. Prince William Forest Park .......................................... Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts ........ Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park VerDate Sep<11>2014 • Three parks in Virginia—Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William Forest Park, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts • The portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park that is located outside the District of Columbia and Montgomery County, Maryland Jkt 244001 12521 Lee Highway, Manassas, VA 20109, (703) 754–1861. 18100 Park Headquarters Road, Triangle, VA 22172, (703) 221–4706. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA 22182–1643, (703) 255–1808. 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740, (301) 739–4200. that are located in Maryland outside of Montgomery County. 2. Revise Definitions of ‘‘Demonstrations’’ and ‘‘Special Events’’ NPS general regulations in 36 CFR part 2 define the term ‘‘demonstrations’’ and ‘‘special events.’’ These terms apply to activities that occur within all units of the National Park System except for those units identified in section 7.96 and located within the NCR. Section 7.96(g)(1) contains definitions for the terms ‘‘demonstration’’ and ‘‘special events’’ that apply only to those units identified in section 7.96 and located PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 within the NCR. For both sets of definitions, the term ‘‘demonstration(s)’’ is defined to include activities that are considered expression and speech that are protected by the First Amendment. Special events are described or defined to include other activities that do not enjoy the same heightened protection under the First Amendment. The definitions of ‘‘demonstration(s)’’ in section 2.51 and section 7.96(g)(1) are the same. The list of types of special events in section 2.50 and the definition in section 7.96(g)(1) are similar, but different in some ways. A comparison is displayed in the table below: E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules 40463 Part 2 Demonstration(s) .................. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Special Events ..................... Section 7.96 definition Includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services, and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers. This term does not include casual park use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers. 36 CFR 2.51(a). Sports events, pageants, regattas, public spectator attractions, entertainments, ceremonies, and similar events. 36 CFR 2.50(a). Includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers. This term does not include casual park use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers. 36 CFR 7.96(g)(1)(i). Includes sports events, pageants, celebrations, historical reenactments, regattas, entertainments, exhibitions, parades, fairs, festivals and similar events (including such events presented by the National Park Service), which are not demonstrations under paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section, and which are engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which has the effect, intent or propensity to draw a crowd or onlookers. This term also does not include casual park use by visitors or tourists which does not have an intent or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers. 36 CFR 7.96(g)(1)(ii). In order to avoid confusion that may arise from having separate but similar definitions in part 2 and section 7.96(g), the NPS proposes to remove the definition of ‘‘demonstration’’ in section 7.96(g)(1) and refer to the definition in section 2.51 instead. For the same reason, the NPS proposes to remove the definition of ‘‘special events’’ in section 7.96(g)(1) and refer to the activities listed in section 2.50(a) instead. Even though the description of special events in section 2.50(a) and the definition of ‘‘special events’’ in section 7.96(g)(1) are worded differently, the NPS does not regard them as substantively different. The NPS does not consider referring to the part 2 terminology as a definition in section 7.96(g)(1) to be a substantive change to the meaning of special events. The description in section 2.50(a) is broad enough to include celebrations, historical reenactments, entertainments, exhibitions, parades, fairs, and festivals, which are part of the current definition in section 7.96(g)(1) but not part of the description of special events in 2.50(a). The description in section 2.50(a) is also broad enough to include other events, such as marathons, that are common within the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The statement in the definition in section 7.96(g)(1) that special events include events presented by the NPS would be moved to a new definition of ‘‘events’’ that is explained below. This means that the NPS will continue to issue permits for NPS-sponsored events like the Fourth of July Celebration as a means of reserving park lands for these events. The definition in section 7.96 states that special events are those activities that do not qualify as demonstrations. This affects how the event is managed VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 because certain regulations in section 7.96 treat demonstrations and special events differently. For example, demonstrations involving 25 or fewer people generally may be held without a permit. This permit exception does not apply to special events. Other provisions in section 7.96 apply to demonstrations and special events in the same manner. The NPS proposes to streamline these regulations by defining the term ‘‘events,’’ which would mean both demonstrations and special events, as those terms are defined in sections 2.50 and 2.51. This definition will also include a statement that events do not include casual park use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers. This caveat is included in both current definitions of ‘‘demonstration(s)’’ in parts 2 and 7 and in the current definition of ‘‘special event’’ in section 7.96. The NPS proposes to replace the existing phrase ‘‘which does not have an intent or propensity,’’ which is used in the definition of ‘‘special events’’ in section 7.96, with the phrase ‘‘that is not reasonably likely,’’ which is used in the definitions of ‘‘demonstration(s)’’ in parts 2 and 7. The NPS prefers to have one standard for determining what constitutes casual park use and believes the ‘‘reasonably likely’’ standard is more objective and easier to understand than a standard that requires NPS law enforcement staff to discern the intent of a person or group. This would provide greater clarity to the public about what types of activities are subject to the regulations in section 7.96. The NPS will retain use of the terms ‘‘demonstrations’’ and ‘‘special events’’ in certain locations within section 7.96 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 where the distinction is necessary to ensure that NPS does not overly restrict speech that enjoys heightened protections under the First Amendment. The NPS will remove the text in the section 7.96 definition that states that special events are those activities that do not qualify as demonstrations. Experience managing events has shown that some demonstrations have elements that are special events. The NPS specifically seeks comments on how it might further differentiate between the demonstration element(s) and the special event element(s) of a single activity. What factors should the NPS consider when differentiating between the demonstration and special event elements of a single activity? How should the NPS regulate activities that have elements of demonstrations and special events? The NPS seeks comments on the definitions and treatment of demonstrations and special events. What additional factors should the NPS consider when determining whether an activity is a demonstration or a special event? 3. Move the Definition of ‘‘Structure’’ to the Definitions Section in 7.96(g)(1) Section 7.96(g)(5)(ix) contains regulations that apply to Lafayette Park. These regulations prohibit the erection, placement, or use of structures of any kind except for those that are handcarried and certain speakers’ platforms depending upon the size of the demonstration. In order to understand what is prohibited, the regulations define the term ‘‘structure’’ in section 7.96(g)(5)(ix)(A)(4). The definition includes most items that could be erected or placed within the park, with limited exceptions for signs, attended E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40464 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS bicycles and baby strollers, and wheelchairs and other similar devices. The NPS proposes to move the definition of ‘‘structure’’ from section 7.96(g)(5)(ix)(A)(4), to the definitions section in 7.96(g)(1). This would clarify that the definition of the term ‘‘structure’’ applies anywhere that term is used in section 7.96. This includes section 7.96(g)(5)(vi), which regulates the use of structures in connection with demonstrations and special events located within any unit identified in section 7.96(a). This includes the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. This change would reduce the potential for confusion about the meaning of the term ‘‘structure’’ in section 7.96. The existing definition in 7.96(g)(5)(ix)(A)(4) has proven to be workable and clearly understood. Moving the term to the definitions section would make it easier for the public to find and understand the meaning of this term. The NPS proposes to add trailers, jumbotrons, light towers, delay towers, portable restrooms, and mobile stages to the definition of a structure because these items are commonly requested as part of larger events. 4. Consider Changing the Number of People That Could Take Part in a Demonstration Without a Permit at Specific Locations Section 7.96(g)(2) states that a demonstration or special event may be held only pursuant to a valid permit. There are some important exceptions, however, for demonstrations. Demonstrations involving 25 persons or fewer may be held without a permit. This exception in section 7.96(g)(2)(i) is known as the ‘‘small group exception.’’ In addition to the small group exception, section 7.96(g)(2)(ii) identifies several locations where demonstrations of larger groups may be held without a permit. Up to 500 persons may demonstrate at Franklin Park and McPherson Square without a permit, up to 100 persons may demonstrate at U.S. Reservation No. 31 without a permit, and up to 1,000 persons may demonstrate at Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway without a permit. The NPS seeks comment on whether it should increase the maximum number of persons that may demonstrate at Franklin Park and McPherson Square without a permit. The NPS also requests comment on whether it should establish new exceptions for Farragut Square and Dupont Circle that would allow demonstrations larger than 25 persons to occur without a permit. The NPS has determined that the maximum number of persons that can participate in an VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 event without the need for a medical station with advanced life support is 2,500 for each location. This number represents the outer limit of how many people could demonstrate in each location without a permit in order to maintain public safety. If the NPS raises the maximum numbers of persons that may demonstrate in Franklin Park, McPherson Square, Farragut Square, or Dupont Circle without a permit, these numbers would be less than 2,500 in order to maintain public order, health, and safety, and mitigate impacts to park resources. The NPS seeks comment, however, on whether the numbers could be raised in a manner that better aligns the current limits with sizes and locations of the designated areas in order to increase opportunities for spontaneous demonstrations. Alternatively, the NPS seeks comment on whether it should lower the numbers of persons that may demonstrate in Franklin Park, McPherson Square, U.S. Reservation No. 31, and Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway without a permit. The NPS would not lower those numbers below 25 persons which is consistent the small group exception. Lowering those numbers would allow the NPS to better manage and anticipate demonstrations occurring on NPSadministered lands. 5. Require a Permit for the Erection of Structures During a Special Event or Demonstration Regardless of the Number of Participants The NPS proposes to require a permit in order to erect structures, other than small lecterns or speakers’ platforms, during any demonstration or special event—even those demonstrations that would not otherwise require a permit because of their small size or location. Current regulations generally require a permit to hold a demonstration or special event in the NCR. These regulations allow a permit-holder to erect structures to meet messaging and logistical needs. In some circumstances, NPS regulations allow smaller demonstrations to occur without a permit. Demonstrations involving 25 or less participants fall under the ‘‘small group exception’’ and do not require a permit. Except for Lafayette Park (where only speakers’ platforms are allowed in accordance with a permit) and the White House Sidewalk (where no structures are allowed), current regulations state that demonstrations falling under the small group exception may not erect structures other than small lecterns or speakers’ platforms. This proposed rule would further define the types of structures that small groups PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 may erect without a permit by stating that speakers’ platforms must be no larger than three (3) feet in length, three (3) feet in width, and three (3) feet in height. This size limitation is consistent with existing regulations that allow the NPS to issue a permit for ‘‘soapbox’’ speakers’ platforms in Lafayette Park if the size of the demonstration is less than 100 persons. The proposed rule would also clarify that individuals and groups of less than 25 may erect other structures, including larger speakers’ platforms, if they obtain a permit. In five park areas within the NCR, current regulations allow for larger demonstrations to occur without a permit, provided the demonstrations involve less than a maximum number of participants. These five parks are Franklin Park (500 person limit), McPherson Square (500 person limit), U.S. Reservation No. 31 at 18th Street and H Street NW (100 person limit), Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway west of 23rd Street and south of P Street NW (1,000 person limit), and U.S. Reservation No. 46 at 8th and D Streets, SE (25 person limit). Unlike the regulations for demonstrations falling under the small group exception, the regulations establishing the permit exception areas at Franklin Park, McPherson Square, U.S. Reservation No. 31, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, and U.S. Reservation No. 46 do not prohibit the use of structures. As a result, demonstrations involving the use of structures are allowed without a permit in these five areas if they fall under the size limits. The NPS has determined that the absence of a permit requirement before erecting a structure in these five parks poses a negative impact to park resources and visitor safety. Without a permit, demonstrators erecting structures are not aware of the location of any underground water lines in turf areas, or when and what type of matting may be necessary to protect turf, marble, or granite, or ensure that the structure is safe. There was a long-term demonstration at McPherson Square in 2012, where among other actions, demonstrators attempted to erect a large and unsafe barn-like structure made up of a wooden frame of boards and planks. A permit was not required because the size of the demonstration was less than 500 people. Construction was stopped when U.S. Park Police officers observed the situation and consulted local safety officials who condemned the structure as unsafe. The same demonstration involved a large number of tents of various sizes, including dome, A-frame, and outfitter tents, that covered a E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS majority of the Square. Demonstrators used these tents for sleeping, meetings, as a library, as temporary restroom facilities (with buckets), and as a mess hall (with propane), These tents and the individuals using them created a public health nuisance that detracted from health and well-being. NPS personnel and participants reported human waste found around tents or in trash receptacles. Rodent burrows were observed and rodents were reported seen at night. Flammable liquids were observed outside of tents. Ultimately the NPS was able to remove these structures, after receiving many complaints from surrounding residents and businesses, and documentation of unsafe and unhygienic conditions at McPherson Square. The U.S. Park Police requested and spent approximately $480,000 for emergency operations to maintain law and order in connection with this event. This amount does not include additional funds that the NPS spent to restore and rehabilitate the condition of the park after the event. This incident revealed that requiring a permit would better protect park resources and keep visitors safe when structures are erected—no matter the size of the demonstration. Without a permit requirement, NPS managers are less informed about the presence of structures and therefore in many cases are unable to ensure public safety, address traffic concerns, and protect park resources. Requiring a permit for structures—no matter the size of the demonstration—would allow NPS staff to work with permit applicants regarding their proposed structure and address legitimate concerns about visitor safety and resource protection. A permit would not be required for small lecterns, speakers’ platforms, portable signs, or banners because these items do not raise the same concerns about public health, safety, and resource protection. A permit would not be required for individuals engaging in casual park use with objects such as small chairs, wheelchairs, picnic shelters, beach umbrellas, or small tables because this activity would not be considered an event under the regulations. 6. Consider Requiring Permit Applicants To Pay Fees To Allow the NPS To Recover Some of the Costs of Administering Permitted Activities That Contain Protected Speech The NPS has the authority to recover all costs of providing necessary services associated with special use permits. 54 U.S.C. 103104. This authority allows the NPS to recover all costs incurred by the NPS in receiving, writing, and issuing VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 the permit, monitoring the permitted use, restoring park areas, or otherwise supporting a special park use. Under current NPS policy, the NPS does not charge cost recovery if the proposed activity is an exercise of a right, such as a demonstration. In current practice, the NPS recovers costs associated with special events, but not demonstrations. The NPS recovers an application processing fee and is in the process of developing a more robust cost recovery program that would allow the NPS to recover additional costs associated with special events, including administrative, equipment, and monitoring costs. Demonstrations can have substantial impacts on resources, resulting in a financial burden to the federal government, particularly where structures are involved. The NPS specifically seeks comment on the merits of recovering costs associated with permitted demonstrations, and on how any cost recovery should be done. The NPS seeks comment on how it could establish a set of clearly defined, objective categories and criteria in advance for what costs would be recovered. These categories could include direct costs associated with event management (other than costs for law enforcement personnel and activities), set up and take down of structures; material and supply costs such as barricades and fencing needed for permitted activities; costs for the restoration, rehabilitation, and clean-up of a permitted area such as sanitation and trash removal; permit application costs; and costs associated with resource damage such as harm to turf, benches, poles, and walkways. The NPS requests comment on whether it should establish an indigency waiver for permittees who cannot afford to pay cost recovery, and how this waiver program could be implemented to safeguard the financial information of permittees. The NPS is interested only in how this waiver could be applied to permitted demonstrations, not special events. The NPS seeks comment on how it could implement protocols to ensure that costs recovered from administering permits associated with demonstrations are documented and assessed to permittees in a uniform and appropriate manner. If the NPS decides to recover some costs associated with permit applications for demonstrations, it requests comment on how it could provide reasonable advance notice to permittees about the types and amounts of costs that could be recovered. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40465 7. Establish Permanent Security Zones at President’s Park Where Public Access is Prohibited Section 7.96(g)(3)(i) allows the NPS to issue permits for demonstrations on the White House sidewalk, Lafayette Park, and the Ellipse. Permits may not be issued for special events in these locations, except for the Ellipse and for annual commemorative wreath-laying ceremonies related to statues in Lafayette Park. Although the regulations allow for demonstrations and special events in some of these locations, the NPS has temporarily closed to general public access certain park areas in the vicinity of the south fence line of the White House and in and around First Division Memorial Park and Sherman Park. The United States Secret Service requested these closures to ensure necessary security and safety for the adjacent White House complex, its occupants, and the public. The NPS proposes to close these areas in the manner requested by the United States Secret Service by adding closure language to section 7.96. For the areas in the vicinity of the south fence line, the Secret Service determined that their location, visibility, and public access present a significant potential area of risk for individuals attempting to penetrate the secure perimeter of the White House Complex and gain unlawful access onto the grounds of the White House. Restricting public access to the south fence line would not only serve to lessen the possibility of individuals unlawfully accessing the White House grounds, but will also create a clear visual break to enable Secret Service personnel to identify any individuals attempting to scale the White House fence. The NPS implemented this closure on a temporary basis in April 2017 under its authority in 36 CFR 1.5. For the areas in and around the First Division Memorial Park and Sherman Park, the Secret Service determined that parts of these areas must be kept clear for security reasons. The First Division area has been subject to closures on a temporary and recurring basis since August 11, 2004. The Sherman Park area has been subject to closures on a temporary and recurring basis since December 4, 2009. Neither demonstrations nor special events are currently allowed in these areas, so this rule change would not remove these areas from the public forum. State Place and Hamilton Place have been closed to general vehicle traffic for some time. Even with these closures in place, the public can continue to see the White House’s south facade from the Ellipse. ¸ E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40466 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules The closures would not adversely affect the park’s natural, aesthetic, or cultural values given the existing and ongoing public safety and security measures and alerts in Washington, DC since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 8. Establish Additional Restricted Zones at Memorials on the National Mall Where Special Events and Demonstrations Are Not Allowed in Order To Preserve an Atmosphere of Contemplation Memorial Restricted Areas This rule would create restricted areas at the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Demonstrations and special events would be prohibited in these restricted areas, except for official commemorative ceremonies. These restricted areas are similar to the restricted areas at the Lincoln Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which were established decades ago and are intended to help maintain an appropriate atmosphere of calm, tranquility, and reverence in these memorial areas, while allowing designated official commemorative ceremonies. NPS regulations establishing the restricted area at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial were upheld in Oberwetter v. Hilliard, 639 F.3d 545 (D.C. Cir. 2011). This rule would also expand the restricted area at the Washington Monument to account for the area around the Monument’s base that has been substantially landscaped with granite pavers and marble benches up to its circle of flags. The rule would also include clearer maps of the existing restricted areas at the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The updated map of the restricted areas at the White House would depict the proposed security closures discussed in the prior section. These restrictions further the NPS’s interest in securing these memorials and maintaining the intended atmosphere of calm, tranquility, and reverence, and in providing the contemplative visitor experience intended for the memorials. The restrictions in this rule are limited and apply only to those areas necessary to further the interests identified above. At each location, there are several other nearby areas available for a more full range of free expression, including demonstrations and special events. Maps showing the location of restricted areas would be available online at https://home.nps.gov/nama/learn/ management/index.htm and at National VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 Mall and Memorial Parks headquarters at 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20024. The rule would make slight modifications to the restricted area at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in order to help the NPS manage events. These modifications would slightly scale back the areas where sound and stage equipment are currently not allowed. This would allow for other groups to walk on the exterior pathways and place equipment along the reflecting pool for larger events. In addition, the striped restricted areas—where demonstrations and special events are currently prohibited—would be scaled back to the inside of the north and west sidewalks on the top of the wall. World War II Memorial Authorized by an Act of Congress at 107 Stat. 90 (1993), the World War II Memorial honors the service of sixteen million members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the support of millions of others on the homefront, and the ultimate sacrifice of more than 400,000 Americans. Dedicated on May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial serves as a tribute to the legacy of ‘‘The Greatest Generation.’’ The granite, bronze, and water elements of the Memorial harmoniously blend with the lawns, trees, and shrubbery of the surrounding landscape on the National Mall. The 24 bronze bas-relief panels that flank the Memorial’s Ceremonial Entrance offer glimpses into the human experience at home and at war. Fifty-six granite columns, split between two halfcircles framing the rebuilt Rainbow Pool with its celebratory fountains, symbolize the unprecedented wartime unity among the forty-eight states, seven federal territories, and the District of Columbia. Bronze ropes tie the columns together, while bronze oak and wheat wreaths represent the nation’s industrial and agricultural strengths. Two 43-foot tall pavilions proclaim American victory on the Atlantic and Pacific fronts. At the center of the World War II Memorial is the Freedom Wall Plaza. The Freedom Wall is located on the west side of the Plaza. The Wall contains 4,048 Gold Stars, each of which represents 100 American military deaths. During World War II, when a man or woman went off to serve in the war, his or her family often displayed a blue star on a white field with a red border in their window. If the family member died in the war effort, the family would replace the blue star with a gold star that revealed that family’s sacrifice. Beneath the gold stars on the PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Freedom Wall appears the simple but poignant engraved message: ‘‘Here We Mark the Price of Freedom,’’ which pays silent and solemn tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Much like a formal gathering where the guest or place of honor is at center, the Freedom Wall with its gold stars is the Memorial’s place of honor, which symbolizes the number of American dead and missing from World War II. The restricted area would be located in front of the Freedom Wall and extend to the western edge of the Rainbow Pool. Korean War Veterans Memorial Authorized by an Act of Congress at 110 Stat. 3226 (1986), the Korean War Veterans Memorial honors members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served in the Korean War. Dedicated on July 27, 1995, the Memorial is located on the National Mall just south of the Lincoln Reflecting Pool. Viewed from above, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is a circle intersected by a triangle. Visitors approaching from the east first come to the triangular Field of Service, where a group of 19 stainless-steel statues depicts a squad on patrol. Strips of granite and scrubby juniper bushes suggest the rugged Korean terrain, while the statues’ windblown ponchos recall the harsh weather. This symbolic patrol represents soldiers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines. On the north side of the statues is a granite curb which lists the 22 countries that sent troops or gave medical support in defense of South Korea. On the south side is a black granite wall, whose polished surface mirrors the statues, intermingling the reflected images with faces etched into the granite. The mural is based on actual photographs of unidentified American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. Walking past the Field of Service, visitors approach the circular Pool of Remembrance. The Pool is encircled by a grove of trees and provides a quiet setting for contemplation. The numbers of those killed, wounded, missing in action, and held prisoner-of-war are etched nearby in stone. Opposite this counting of the war’s toll is another granite wall which bears a simple but poignant engraved message inlaid in silver: ‘‘Freedom Is Not Free.’’ The restricted area would encompass most of the Memorial. The perimeter of the restricted area would be marked by the exterior walkways and by the placement of ground-level markers to mark its eastern boundary, similar to markers identifying the eastern E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules boundary of the restricted areas at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Authorized by an Act of Congress at 110 Stat. 4157 (1986), the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was dedicated on October 16, 2011. The Memorial helps preserve the memory of Dr. King as a visionary, a faith leader and public intellectual, an unwavering advocate of social justice, and a martyr to peace, equality, and justice. On the steps of the nearby Lincoln Memorial, a clear symbol of freedom, Dr. King delivered his first national address, ‘‘Give Us the Ballot’’ in 1957. He returned to the Lincoln Memorial as a key figure supporting the 1963 March on Washington. There, in the defining moment of his leadership in the movement for civil rights, Dr. King delivered his immortal ‘‘I Have a Dream’’ speech. The Memorial is located on the banks of the Tidal Basin between the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials and accentuates Dr. King’s story within the larger narrative of the nation. The Memorial encompasses four acres, and comprises elements of architecture, water features, sculpture and inscriptions, that together create a sense of place and a setting for remembrance and celebration. At the north entry portal, the Mountain of Despair’s two stones are parted and the Stone of Hope is pushed forward toward the horizon; the missing piece of what was once a single boulder. The emergent Stone of Hope represents the struggle felt by Dr. King whose image is carved in it and gazes over the Tidal Basin toward a future society of justice and equality. The quotations chosen for the plaza’s Inscription Walls represent Dr. King’s messages of justice, democracy, hope, and love. Fourteen of Dr. King’s quotes are engraved on a 450-foot crescent shaped granite wall. These quotes span his involvement with the Montgomery bus boycotts in Alabama in 1955 to his last sermon delivered at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, in 1968, four days before his assassination. The restricted area would encompass almost all of the plaza in the Memorial that begins when the visitor emerges from the portal through the Mountain of Despair. Washington Monument The Washington Monument honors both the nation’s first President and his legacy. Built between 1848 and 1884, the Monument is the nation’s foremost memorial to President Washington and the tallest masonry structure in the world at approximately 555 feet tall. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 Dedicated in 1884, the Washington Monument shows the enduring gratitude and respect held by the citizens of the United States for President Washington and his contributions to the fight for independence and founding of our Nation. The Washington Monument is surrounded by a circular colonnade of 50 aluminum flagpoles that display American flags. These flags represent the 50 states and are displayed at all times during the day and night to symbolize our enduring freedom. In 2014, the Washington Monument plaza and its marble benches were rehabilitated with the installation of granite pavers that extend from the Monument to the circle of flags. From the Washington Monument plaza, visitors can also see grand vistas south to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, east to the Capitol, north to the White House, and west to the Lincoln Memorial. When the current restricted area for the Washington Monument was established, there was an inner circle surrounding the base of the Monument that was encircled by a roadway. The restricted area included the inner circle and extended to the roadway. This took advantage of an obvious physical boundary to mark the edge of the restricted area. The roadway was removed in 2001 and is now covered by the granite plaza that was completed in 2014. This granite plaza extends from the Monument beyond the old location of the roadway out to the circle of flags. In order to provide certainty to the public about the extent of the restricted area, and to allow more visitors to experience the grand vistas south to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, east to the Capitol, north to the White House, and west to the Lincoln Memorial, the NPS proposes to expand the restricted area outward approximately 48 feet to include the entire granite plaza that surrounds the Monument out to the circle of flags. Visitors would thus be able to readily identify the expanded restricted area because it is delineated by the circle of flags which is marked by a post and chain fence that surrounds the plaza. The granite plaza is also a different material than the concrete sidewalks that lead to it. The NPS believes it is important to reserve the entire granite plaza as a place where an atmosphere of calm, tranquility and reverence is maintained, so that visitors may contemplate the meaning of the Monument and of George Washington, while leaving ample space nearby for demonstrations and special events. For many people, standing in the granite plaza or sitting on one of its marble benches will be as close as they get to PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40467 the Monument because of the obelisk’s limited occupant capacity and hours of operation. 9. Modify Regulations Explaining How the NPS Processes Permit Applications for Demonstrations and Special Events Sections 7.96(g)(3) and (4) describe how the public can submit a permit application to the NPS for a demonstration or special event, and how the NPS will process that application. The NPS proposes to make several changes to these regulations in order to provide greater clarity and certainty to the public about how the NPS processes permit applications. Applying for a commercial filming permit at the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park is governed by regulations in 43 CFR part 5, which are not affected by this proposed rule. Waiver of 48-Hour Permit Application Deadline Section 7.96(g)(3) requires that applicants submit permit applications at least 48 hours in advance of any demonstration or special event. Under existing regulations, this requirement can be waived by the Regional Director if the size and nature of the activity will not reasonably require the commitment of park resources or personnel in excess of that which are normally available or which can reasonably be made available within the necessary time period. The NPS proposes to replace this waiver language by stating that notwithstanding the 48-hour requirement, the Regional Director will reasonably seek to accommodate spontaneous demonstrations, subject to all limitations and restrictions applicable to the requested location, provided such demonstrations do not include structures and provided the NPS has the resources and personnel available to manage the activity. Reactions to specific or imminent occurrences, including but not limited to a presidential action, congressional vote, or Supreme Court decision, often result in requests for spontaneous demonstrations. Adding this statement would provide more flexibility for spontaneous demonstrations, while allowing the Regional Director to ensure that the NPS and the U.S. Park Police have the law enforcement capacity to safely manage events that are requested with less than 48-hours notice. The proposed language would clarify for the public that structures may not be used for events that are not requested at least 48 hours in advance. This is the minimum amount of time the NPS needs to evaluate the safety concerns E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40468 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules and resource impacts associated with the use of structures. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Removal of 24-Hour Deemed Granted Status for Demonstrations Section 7.96(g)(3) states that applications for demonstrations are deemed granted, subject to all limitations and restrictions applicable to the park area, unless denied within 24 hours of receipt. Permit applications that are ‘‘deemed granted’’ after this 24hour period remain subject to terms and conditions that are negotiated between the applicant and the NPS. This negotiation can result in the permit application being denied, partially denied, or modified by the NPS as it receives more information from the permittee about the requested event. This is particularly the case when applicants request permits for large and complex demonstrations with structures that raise resource and public safety concerns. In some cases, the NPS receives information from the applicant in the weeks or days before the event begins. This can result in the NPS imposing permit terms and conditions just before the event in order to mitigate concerns related to park resources and public order and safety. The result is that permit applications that have been ‘‘deemed granted’’ are often times subject to a lengthy review process that can be confusing for permit applicants. The NPS proposes to remove the ‘‘deemed granted’’ language in section 7.96(g)(3) and replace it with language in section 7.96(g)(4) that better reflects how the NPS processes permit applications. These changes are discussed below. Timeline To Respond to an Application Section 7.96(g)(4)(1) states that the NPS processes permit applications for demonstrations and special events in order of receipt. This regulation also states that the NPS will not accept applications more than one year in advance of a proposed event (including set-up time). An application is considered received at the time and date stamped on the application by a staff member of the NPS Permits Management Division. Applications are only stamped if they contain basic information about the requested event. At minimum, an application must provide the location, purpose and plan for the event, time and date, number of people who will participate, and contact information. Instead of the 24-hour ‘‘deemed granted’’ provision, the NPS proposes that it will provide an initial response for all permit applications for demonstrations within three business days of receipt. Within that time frame, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 the NPS would notify the applicant that the permit application has been characterized in one of three ways: Approved, Provisionally Reserved, or Denied. The NPS anticipates that this notification will be in the form of an electronic communication (e.g. text message, email) indicating the category of disposition and—if the application is provisionally reserved—stating that the NPS will follow-up with the applicant for more information. If the NPS fails to send the electronic communication to the permit applicant within three business days of receiving the application, then the permit application will be approved. The NPS anticipates that it will use electronic communication with applicants in order to provide more rapid and timely information. The NPS proposes to clarify in the regulations that only those applications that contain basic information about the event (location, time and date, purpose and plan for the event, number of people who will participate, and contact information) will be subject to the three-business day initial response period. Applications that do not contain this information prevent the NPS from making an initial determination about their status. The NPS would notify applicants if their applications do not contain enough information to make an initial determination and would identify the information that must be provided. Applications for special events will not be subject to this requirement and therefore will not be considered approved after any specified period of time. The NPS will respond to applications for special events as soon as practicable given the workload and available resources in the Division of Permits Management when the application is received. The NPS will provide an opportunity for the applicant to characterize the event as either a demonstration or a special event. The NPS, however, will apply the definitions of demonstration and special event to determine the type of activity requested by a permit application for purposes of whether an initial response must be provided within three business days. For events that contain elements of both demonstrations and special events, only the demonstration elements will be approved if the NPS fails to notify the applicant that those elements are either provisionally reserved or denied within three business days. The NPS believes that the increased volume and complexity of applications for events necessitates an increase in the amount of time it has to provide information back to the applicant about the status of a particular request. Under PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 existing regulations, an application for a demonstration is deemed granted, based on language in the decision in Quaker Action IV, 516 F.2d 717 (1975), unless the NPS denies the application within 24 hours. In this way, permit applicants can understand the status of their application for a demonstration within 24 hours, although applications that are deemed granted remain ‘‘subject to all limitations and restrictions applicable to said park area.’’ The NPS proposes to extend the timeframe for either denying an application for a demonstration or providing an applicant a reservation of space from 24 hours to three business days. This would account for the substantial increase in the volume and complexity of permit applications over time. In 1975, for example, the NPS processed 705 permit applications for demonstrations and events located within NPS units subject to section 7.96. In 1976, the NPS processed 876 applications. By comparison, the NPS processed 2,986 permit applications in 2016, plus an additional 800 commercial filming permits for television and motion pictures. In 2017, the NPS processed 4,658 permit applications for demonstrations, special events, and commercial filming. In the last ten years, the NPS processed an average of almost 3,000 permits per year, including demonstrations, special events, and commercial filming. Requested events have become more complex with advancements in staging, structures, and audio-visual technology. The increased complexity of events is reflected in the personnel services costs necessary to manage them. On average, permit processing activities require more than five full time employees at a cost of $700,000 per year. Events such as running and bicycle races cost the United States Park Police an average of $40,000 per event. More complex events are much more expensive. For example, the United States Park Police spent approximately $500,000 to manage the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The United States Park Police and the National Mall and Memorial Parks staff spent approximately $730,000 to manage the HBO Concert for Valor in November 2014 and approximately $350,000 to manage the Landmark Music Festival in September 2015. Categories for the Disposition of Permit Applications The NPS proposes that applications for demonstrations and special events would be initially categorized in one of three ways: Approved, Provisionally Reserved, or Denied. The NPS proposes to process applications in each category E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules differently, as described below. The NPS believes that these categories will provide more information to the public about the status of their applications than is provided by the existing regulations. If the NPS approves a permit application, the NPS would send a permit to the applicant for the specific event requested as soon as practicable. The permit would contain terms and conditions that would not be subject to change or negotiation. The permit could contain conditions reasonably consistent with the requirements of public health and safety and protection of park resources. The permit could also contain reasonable limitations on the equipment used and the time and area within which the event is allowed. A permit for a special event could also require the applicant to file a cost recovery deposit in an amount adequate to cover costs such as restoration, rehabilitation, and clean-up of the area used, and other costs resulting from the event. In addition, a permit for a special event may require the acquisition of liability insurance in which the United States is named as co-insured in an amount necessary to protect the United States. The NPS would reasonably seek to accommodate requests from the applicant for changes to the permitted event after the permit application has been approved. Minor changes may not require the establishment of new permit conditions. The NPS may require the applicant to agree to new permit conditions in order to accommodate material changes such as changes to the nature and purpose of the event, the location of the event, the type and number of structures involved, or the number or notoriety of participants. Existing regulations allow the ranking U.S. Park Police supervisory official in charge to revoke a permit or part of a permit for a demonstration if continuation of the event presents a clear and present danger to the public safety, good order or health or for any violation of applicable law or regulation. Existing regulations allow the Regional Director to exercise reasonable discretion to revoke a permit for a special event at any time. The NPS is replacing these two standards of revocation with one, uniform standard that applies to both demonstrations and special events. This will give permit holders more certainty about the validity of their permit and the conditions that could result in its revocation. The NPS proposes to allow the Regional Director or the ranking U.S. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 Park Police supervisory official in charge to revoke a permit or part of a permit for any violation of its terms or conditions, or if the event presents a clear and present danger to the public safety, good order, or health, or for any violation of applicable law or regulation. Any such revocation shall be in writing. The NPS exercises discretion when faced with minor violations of permit conditions and seeks to work with permittees to resolve such violations prior to revoking a permit. The NPS seeks comment on whether the regulations should state that it may only revoke a permit for ‘‘material’’ violations of permit conditions. If the NPS categorizes a permit application as provisionally reserved, the NPS would reserve the requested location, date, and time for the applicant, but would not approve the application and issue a permit until it receives additional information. During the provisionally reserved stage, the NPS would work diligently to resolve all outstanding questions in order to determine whether the request can be approved or denied. If the NPS receives an application more than 60 days prior to the requested event, the NPS would provide the applicant with an initial, comprehensive list of outstanding issues and requested information no later than 40 days prior to the requested event. If not provided on the initial application, the NPS would likely ask for information about equipment and facilities to be used, and whether there is any reason to believe that there will be an attempt to disrupt, protest, or prevent the event. The NPS could request additional information from the applicant based upon the applicant’s response to the initial list. This exchange of information could occur through written correspondence, or through one or more logistical meetings among the NPS and the applicant. The NPS would make all reasonable efforts to approve or deny a permit application at least 30 days in advance of a requested event. Permit applicants would be required to provide the NPS with all requested information before the NPS approves or denies an application. If the NPS denies a permit application, it would notify the applicant in writing that it is unable to accommodate the requested event. The NPS would notify the applicant if the application could be approved or provisionally reserved if certain aspects of the request are modified. If the applicant notifies the NPS that it would PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40469 consider modifying its application for the requested event, the NPS would work with the applicant to modify the application in a manner that it could be approved or provisionally reserved. Modifications could include fewer participants, less staging, a different footprint for the event, different structures incident to it, a different date or time of day or the order of the event, or an alternative location that could accommodate the requested event. In this case, the applicant would not be required to submit a new application. The modified application would be processed based upon the date it was initially received by the NPS. If the applicant is not willing to modify its application in a manner and with enough advance notice that would allow the NPS to accommodate the event, the application would be denied. 10. Adopt Criteria in 36 CFR Part 2 for Reviewing Permit Applications That Apply to Other NPS Areas. Remove Redundant Criteria in 7.96 Sections 7.96(g)(4)(vii) and (5)(v) contain criteria that the Regional Director can use to approve or deny permit applications for events within the NCR. Sections 2.50(a) and 2.51(f) contain criteria that park superintendents can use to approve or deny permit applications for events in other units of the National Park System. Several of the criteria in parts 2 and 7 are similar to each other. In order to simplify and streamline its regulations, the NPS proposes to remove criteria from section 7.96 and instead refer to similar criteria stated in sections 2.50 and 2.51. In some circumstances, however, the NPS would maintain the criteria in section 7.96 if those criteria address particular management issues associated with the NCR. The rule would clarify that even where the criteria in section 2.50 and 2.51 are adopted in section 7.96, the Regional Director—not the park superintendent— has the authority to approve or deny permit applications for units that are subject to section 7.96. This authority is currently delegated to the Permits Management Division at the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The table below indicates the criteria that would apply to special events and demonstrations within the NCR and the citation where those criteria are located in existing regulations. These criteria help the NPS address the management issues indicated in the table. E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40470 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules Criterion Existing citation Management issue Demonstrations and Special Events A fully executed prior application for the same time and place has been received, and a permit has been or will be granted authorizing activities which do not reasonably permit multiple occupancy of the particular area. The event is of such a nature or duration that it cannot reasonably be accommodated in the particular area applied for; the Regional Director shall reasonably take into account possible damage to the park, including trees, shrubbery, other plantings, park installations and statues. The application proposes activities contrary to any of the provisions of this section or other applicable law or regulation. Present a clear and present danger to the public health and safety .................................. 7.96(g)(4)(vii)(A) ........ Multiple Occupancy. 7.96(g)(4)(vii)(C) ........ Site Capacity and Suitability. 7.96(g)(4)(vii)(D) ........ 2.50(a)(5) ................... Conformity with Laws and Regulations. Public Health and Safety. 2.50(a)(1) ................... 2.50(a)(2) ................... Resource Impairment. Value Impairment. 2.50(a)(3) ................... Conflict with Park Operations. Conflict with Concessionaire or Contractor Operations. Conflict with Other Uses. Mission Alignment. Special Events Only Cause injury or damage to park resources .......................................................................... Be contrary to the purposes for which the natural, historic, development and special use zones were established; or unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural, historic, or commemorative zones. Unreasonably interfere with interpretive, visitor service, or other program activities, or with the administrative activities of the NPS. Substantially impair the operation of public use facilities or services of NPS concessioners or contractors. Result in significant conflict with other existing uses ........................................................... Whether the objectives and purposes of the proposed special event relate to and are within the basic mission and responsibilities of the National Capital Region, National Park Service. Whether the park area requested is reasonably suited in terms of accessibility, size, and nature of the proposed event. The NPS proposes to remove two criteria in section 7.96 that apply only to special events and are no longer 2.50(a)(4) ................... 2.50(a)(6) ................... 7.96(g)(5)(v)(A) .......... 7.96(g)(5)(v)(B) .......... Site Capability and Suitability. needed for the reasons stated in the table below. SPECIAL EVENTS ONLY Criterion Existing citation Reason for removal Whether the proposed special event can be permitted within a reasonable budgetary allocation of National Park Service funds considering the event’s public appeal, and the anticipated participation of the general public therein. Whether the proposed event is duplicative of events previously offered in National Capital Region or elsewhere in or about Washington, DC. 7.96(g)(5)(v)(C) .......... The NPS seeks full cost recovery for special events and should not bear costs associated with permitting, monitoring, and supporting special event activities, other than those sponsored by the NPS. The described area is too broad to consider when determining whether an event is duplicative of another event. This criteria does not account for events that are similar but held at different times. Applicants may request to have separate events in different locations with the NCR that commemorate the same figure or occasion. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 11. Establish a Maximum Permit Period of 30 Days, Plus a Reasonable Amount of Time Needed for Set Up and Take Down of Structures Before and After the Event Section 7.96(g)(4)(vi) states that the NPS will issue permits authorizing demonstrations or special events for seven days in the White House area (except the Ellipse) and for four months in the Ellipse and all other park areas. The permit validity period is different for activities related to inaugural events. In the White House area (except the Ellipse), the permit validity period for inaugural activities is October 24 through April 1 for reasonable and necessary set-up and take-down VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 7.96(g)(5)(v)(D) .......... activities for the White House Sidewalk and Lafayette Park. In the Ellipse and all other park areas, the permit validity period for inaugural activities is December 7–February 10 for reasonable and necessary set up and take down activities for Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site and Sherman Park. The NPS proposes to adjust the permit validity period to an amount of time not to exceed 30 days, plus a reasonable amount of time necessary for set-up and take down of structures associated with an event. The NPS will determine a reasonable amount of time for set-up and take down of structures based upon information provided by the permit applicant. If a permit application PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 requests the use of structures such as tents or stages, the NPS would consult the Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the Mall, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial to assess potential impacts to park resources. The NPS could limit the amount of time a structure may be allowed on turf to a period less than maximum period duration, including for events presented by the NPS, in order to mitigate adverse impacts to the resources identified in the Guide. Upon request, the Regional Director could renew a permit for additional, consecutive periods of 30 days or less. Permittees would be required to submit requests for renewals to the NPS at least 10 days prior to the E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules expiration of an existing permit. This would provide enough time for the NPS to check the availability of the location and issue the permit. Consistent with the applicable resource management policies, the NPS proposes to require events with structures to move to a different location after the expiration of a permit in order to mitigate impacts to resources such as turf and irrigation systems and historic and cultural vistas within the NCR. The NPS could require, in its discretion, events without structures to be moved to a different location if necessary to mitigate the same impacts. The proposed change to the maximum permit duration would establish a uniform regulatory scheme for all park areas subject to section 7.96. The 30 day permit duration period would apply to all events, even those that do not have structures. This would simplify the regulatory framework and provide greater clarity to the public about the duration of permits. Reducing the maximum permit duration period from four months to 30 days (plus time needed to setup and breakdown structures) would also create more opportunities for applicants to apply for certain dates and locations within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. The NPS expects the number of permit applications to continue to increase over time. The proposed change in maximum period duration would increase opportunities for a variety of groups and individuals to use the areas within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park for demonstrations and special events. Section 7.96(g)(5)(vi)(D) states that any structures used in a demonstration extending beyond the maximum duration of a permit must be capable of being removed upon 24 hours notice and the site restored, or, the structure shall be secured in a fashion so as not to interfere unreasonably with the use of the park area by other permittees. The NPS proposes to remove this paragraph because it would no longer be necessary if the maximum permit duration period is revised to include time for take down of structures. If a structure poses a safety risk during a permitted event, the NPS would have the authority to revoke the portion of the permit allowing for the structure under paragraph (g)(6). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 12. Identify Locations Where Structures May Not Be Used, and Restrict the Height, Weight, Equipment, and Materials of Structures When They Are Permitted During Special Events and Demonstrations Significance of the Viewshed The NPS administers some of the most spectacular and historically significant landscapes in the country. Visual characteristics are often central to a park area’s management and visitor experience, and visitors consistently identify scenic views as major reason for visiting parks. The National Mall Historic District and the Washington Monument and Grounds Historic District are both listed in the National Register of Historic Places at the national level of significance. The nominations for these Districts emphasize how scenic views and vistas contribute to the significance of these historic properties. These include planned views along the principal north-south and east-west axes of the National Mall, reciprocal views between major memorial sites, extended views along contributing streets and avenues, multidirectional views across component landscapes, and periodic views of resources from circulation routes, among others. Pierre Charles L’Enfant developed his 1791 plan for the city of Washington with keen attention to visual relationships among the sites he dedicated to public buildings and monuments. Nowhere was that concept more important than along the National Mall, where views west from the U.S. Capitol and south from the White House intersected at a proposed equestrian statue of George Washington. The primary vista west from the U.S. Capitol along L’Enfant’s ‘‘Grand Avenue’’ to the site for a proposed equestrian statue of George Washington intersected with views south from the White House. L’Enfant’s planned views also extended beyond the statue to the Potomac River. The L’Enfant Plan is itself listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The McMillan (Senate Park) Commission Plan of 1901–02 also focused on visual relationships, adapting L’Enfant’s visual corridor as the basis for their planning for the Mall and advancing it to take in new memorial sites. The McMillan Commission conceived of sites ultimately occupied by the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials as the termination of principal views from the U.S. Capitol and the White House, respectively—creating the great cross axis of today’s National Mall. The McMillan Plan also established a PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40471 setback for new buildings to ensure that views along the east-west axis remained unimpeded, and subsequent development honored the National Mall’s principal views. The construction of the Washington Monument itself established significant new views across the Mall, the city of Washington, and the developing region, and became the focus of important views from beyond the Mall. Other significant views were established as the landscape developed and incorporated into the principal view sheds or developed as new monuments, memorials, and buildings were constructed. Congress has recognized the significance of the viewshed within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. The Commemorative Works Act of 1986 (CWA) prohibits the construction of commemorative works within an areas designated as the ‘‘Reserve’’ unless they are approved by the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission. The ‘‘Reserve includes the great cross-axis of the National Mall, extending from the United States Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, and from the White House to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. In 2003, Congress amended the CWA and stated as one of its findings that the Reserve ‘‘is a substantially completed work of civic art’’ and that its integrity should be preserved. In 2018, the NPS conducted a visual impact analysis to assess the visual impacts of structures in various locations within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. The purpose of the study was to better understand the impact of structures associated with demonstrations and events have upon the historical and significant viewshed within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park. Visual impacts were assessed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and were depicted in both map form (viewshed analysis) and ground-level scenes (3D visualizations) that included a simple block, virtual structure at specified locations and standing heights. The viewshed analysis was used to demonstrate on maps certain visitor view points from which a proposed structure may be seen. The 3D visualizations simulated potential observable, actual surroundings with a proposed structure included. The goal of the visual impact analysis was to better understand how structures associated with demonstrations and special events within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park could adversely impact the historic and cultural viewshed. The NPS made E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40472 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS the following key conclusions from the study: • The map analysis reinforces the linear (north-south and east-west) nature of the dominant views within and through the National Mall. • The map analysis demonstrates how topography and vegetation influence visibility. • There is a limited correlation between visual impacts and selected viewing points and structure points. • Viewable area maps reveal local versus broad/diffuse impacts to views. • Analysis reveals that structures close to memorials and within primary view corridors detract from the visitor experience and alter the perception of the historically significant characteristics of the landscapes of the National Mall and President’s Park. • Structures set back from major Memorials and substantially offset from primary views and vistas are less disruptive to the characteristics that make the National Mall and individual memorials significant. The study suggests that locations that are especially vulnerable to impacts from the introduction of structures include (1) locations in close proximity to major monuments and memorials; (2) locations directly aligned with either of the two primary east-west and northsouth axes; and (3) elevated and open locations. The study suggests that there are a number of potential structure locations that would result in only limited localized impacts. These include (1) the area south of the Reflecting Pool and its associated elm walks; (2) select locations within Constitution Gardens; and (3) the quadrants of the Ellipse outside of the 150-foot north-south vista between the White House and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The proposed height restrictions for structures in this rule are based upon the NPS’s evaluation of the visual impact analysis and are intended to allow the public to use these open forums in a manner that mitigates impacts to the significant viewsheds. Proposed Height Restrictions Section 7.96(g)(5)(vi) contains limitations regarding the use of structures in connection with permitted demonstrations and special events. As discussed above, the NPS proposes to require a permit in order to erect structures, other than small lecterns or speakers’ platforms that would be allowed without a permit in most locations, during any demonstration or special event—even if those demonstrations would not otherwise require a permit because of their small size. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 The NPS also proposes to establish areas where structures would not be allowed and other areas where structures would be allowed but subject to maximum height restrictions. These proposed restrictions are based upon an evaluation of the visual impact analysis explained above. This evaluation and the visual impact analysis are available online at https://home.nps.gov/nama/ learn/management/index.htm. A table explaining the proposed restrictions and a map identifying the restricted areas are found in the proposed rule. This table relates solely to the use of structures at locations and times where events may be permitted under section 7.96. Structures are not allowed at any location if the requested event is not allowed at that location. In addition to the restrictions in the table, the rule would prohibit the use of structures within the drip line of any tree located in Lafayette Park or the Ellipse. This restriction is a longstanding administrative practice of the NPS and is designed to protect the trees in these locations, which have cultural and historic value. The drip line of a tree indicates the outer extent of the tree root system. The Turf Resource at the National Mall and Memorial Parks On January 24, 2013, Secretary of the Interior Salazar issued Secretarial Order 3326, ‘‘Management and Protection of the National Mall and its Historic Landscape.’’ Order 3326 recognizes the National Mall as one of the most important landscapes in the United States and acknowledges that it experiences extreme and increasing levels of use. The Order sets forth a strategy for maintaining sustainable use of the National Mall in lights of the volume of requests to use this area. Part of this strategy prioritizes (1) increasing non-turf areas to better accommodate the use of temporary structures for appropriate permitted activities; (2) developing a professional turf management staff to identify and implement best practices for turf management and to develop permits that take those turf management concerns into consideration; and (3) updating permit conditions to require the use of best practices that ensure resource protection by addressing permit conditions for the expected level of attendance, duration of events, use of turf areas, the size and layout of temporary structures, and the location of structures on durable non-turf areas. As part of the NPS’s implementation of the Order, the NPS completed a Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the Mall, Lincoln Memorial, PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Washington Monument, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial in 2015. This Guide is used by the NPS when it considers the potential impacts of tents or temporary structures on turf areas within the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The Guide identifies non-turf areas such as walkways and hardscape panels as the preferred location for events of all types, particularly events using structures. The Guide allows the NPS to permit structures on turf panels, but subject to limitations stated in the Guide to protect the turf and promote public safety. Limitations include restrictions about duration, weight, equipment (e.g. stakes), and materials used for structures. The NPS consults the Guide and implements appropriate limitations on structures in the conditions of a permit. Existing NPS regulations in section 7.96(g)(5)(vi)(C) allow the Regional Director to impose reasonable restrictions upon the use of temporary structures in the interest of protecting the park areas involved, traffic and public safety considerations, and other legitimate park value concerns. In order to provide more clarity to the public about the types of restrictions that may be imposed, the proposed rule would state that these restrictions may include permit conditions regarding structures that are consistent with the turf management and event operations guidance related to duration, weight, equipment, and materials used. 13. Apply Existing Sign Restrictions (e.g. Supports, Dimensions) in President’s Park to Other Locations Within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President’s Park Sections 7.96(g)(5)(vii) and (ix) contain restrictions on the use of signs or placards on the White House Sidewalk and in Lafayette Park. These restrictions promote public safety, help secure sensitive locations, and mitigate adverse impacts to cultural and historical resources. The NPS proposes to apply these restrictions to events that plan to move from any location that is subject to the regulations in this section 7.96 to the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park, and events that plan to move or do in fact move from the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park to another location that is subject to the regulations in this section 7.96, even when those events are located outside of the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park. Applying these restrictions outside of the White House sidewalk and Lafayette Park in these circumstances would create a more uniform regulatory scheme for the public that will promote public safety E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules and simplify event planning. People participating in demonstrations often begin in one park area where their signs are compliant with existing regulations and then move onto the White House sidewalk or into Lafayette Park where their signs are no longer compliant. This often results in negative interactions with law enforcement, who are then required to enforce regulations that were not applicable earlier in the event. These restrictions would apply to all groups participating in a demonstration or special event, including those who are not required to obtain a permit based upon their group size and/or location. regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements. 14. Minor Changes to 36 CFR 7.96 This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on information contained in a report entitled ‘‘Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, National Capital Region, Special Events and Demonstrations’’ that is available online at https:// home.nps.gov/nama/learn/ management/index.htm. This rule would make a minor change to paragraph (e) in Section 7.96 to clarify the circumstances under which bathing, swimming, or wading is allowed. This provision clarifies that bathing, swimming, or wading in any fountain, pool, the Tidal Basin, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Rock Creek, or Constitution Gardens Pond is prohibited except where officially authorized or for the purpose of saving a drowning person. This rule would replace all references to the ‘‘Jefferson Memorial’’ in section 7.96 with the phrase ‘‘Thomas Jefferson Memorial’’ which is the actual name of the memorial. This rule would reorganize the defined terms in section 7.96(g)(1) in alphabetical order and remove the paragraph designations (i) through (x), in conformance with the Federal Register Document Drafting Handbook. Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders, and Department Policy daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563) Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant. Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation’s regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. It directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 13771) This rule is not an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2) of the SBREFA. This rule: (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions. (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. This rule will not result in direct expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments. This rule addresses public use of NPS lands, and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing the information required by the UMRA (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required. Takings (Executive Order 12630) This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40473 taking implications under Executive Order 12630. This rule does not regulate uses of private property. A takings implication assessment is not required. Federalism (Executive Order 13132) Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. This rule only affects use of NPS-administered lands and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A federalism summary impact statement is not required. Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988) This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. Specifically, this rule: (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards. Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy) The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-togovernment relationship with Indian tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their right to selfgovernance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department’s tribal consultation policy and have determined that tribal consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) This rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act. OMB has approved the information collection requirements associated with NPS Special Park Use Permits and has assigned OMB Control Number 1024–0021 (expires 08/31/20). An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40474 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) The NPS does not expect this rule to constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. The NPS does not expect that a detailed statement under the NEPA would be required because the rule would likely be covered by a categorical exclusion. Categorical exclusion A.8 of Section 3.3 of the National Park Service NEPA Handbook (2015) would likely apply because the rule would modify an existing regulation in a manner that does not ‘‘increase public use to the extent of compromising the nature and character of the area or causing physical damage to it, introduce non-compatible uses that might compromise the nature and characteristics of the area or cause physical damage to it, conflict with adjacent ownerships or land uses, or cause a nuisance to adjacent owners or occupants.’’ The NPS also expects that the rule would not involve any of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further analysis under NEPA. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211) This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required. Clarity of This Rule We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988, and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (a) Be logically organized; (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (c) Use clear language rather than jargon; (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7 District of Columbia, National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service proposes to amend 36 CFR part 7 as follows: PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also issued under D.C. Code 10–137 and D.C. Code 50–2201.07. 2. Amend § 7.96 by: a. Removing the phrase ‘‘Jefferson Memorial’’ where it appears and adding, in its place, the phrase ‘‘Thomas Jefferson Memorial’’. ■ b. Revising paragraphs (a), (e), and (g)(1), (g)(2) introductory text, (g)(3) introductory text, (g)(3)(i), (g)(3)(ii) introductory text, (g)(3)(ii)(A) through C), (g)(3)(ii)(E) through (H), (g)(4)(i), (g)(4)(iv). ■ c. Removing and reserving paragraph (g)(4)(v). ■ d. Revising paragraphs (g)(4)(vi), (g)(4)(vii) introductory text, (g)(4)(vii)(A) and (B), (g)(5), and (g)(6). The revisions to read as follows: ■ ■ § 7.96 National Capital Region. (a) Applicability of regulations. (1) This section applies to all park areas administered by the National Park Service located in the District of Columbia, the portion of the George Washington Memorial Parkway located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the portion of the National Capital ParksEast located in the State of Maryland, the portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park located in Montgomery County, and to other federal reservations in the environs of the District of Columbia, policed with the approval or concurrence of the head of the agency having jurisdiction or control over such reservations, pursuant to the provisions of the act of March 17, 1948 (62 Stat. 81). (2) Paragraph (e) of this section also applies to the portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park located in Maryland outside of Montgomery County. * * * * * (e) Bathing, Swimming, Wading—(1) Bathing, swimming, or wading in the following locations, except where officially authorized or for the purpose of saving a drowning person, is prohibited: Any fountain or pool, the Tidal Basin, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Rock Creek, and Constitution Gardens Pond. (2) Entering the Potomac River, the Anacostia River, the Washington Channel, or the Georgetown Channel PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 from any park area identified in paragraph (a) of this section, except for the purpose of saving a drowning person, is prohibited. * * * * * (g) Demonstrations and special events—(1) Definitions. Attended means that a responsible individual remains within three feet of an object. Demonstration has the meaning given in § 2.51(a) of this chapter. Ellipse means the park areas, including sidewalks adjacent thereto, within these bounds: On the south, Constitution Avenue NW; on the north, E Street NW; on the west, 17th Street NW; and on the east, 15th Street NW. Event means a demonstration or special event, including events presented by the National Park Service. This term does not include casual park use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely to attract a crowd or onlookers. Korean War Veterans Memorial means the area within the plaza’s exterior sidewalks. Lafayette Park means the park areas, including sidewalks adjacent thereto, within these bounds: On the south, Pennsylvania Avenue NW; on the north, H Street NW; on the east, Madison Place NW; and on the west, Jackson Place NW. Lincoln Memorial means that portion of the park area which is on the same level or above the base of the large marble columns surrounding the structure, and the single series of marble stairs immediately adjacent to and below that level. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial means most of the interior plaza facing the Inscription Wall, Mountain of Despair and Stone of Hope. National celebration event means an annual recurring special event regularly scheduled by the National Capital Region, which are listed in paragraph (g)(4)(ii) of this section. Other park areas means all areas, including sidewalks adjacent thereto, other than the White House area, administered by the National Capital Region. Regional Director means the official in charge of the National Capital Region, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, or an authorized representative thereof. Special event means the activities listed in section 2.50(a) of this chapter before the text ‘‘are allowed . . . ’’. Structure means: (i) Except as discussed in paragraph (ii) of this definition, a structure is any object that is not intended to be carried E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules by permittees including, but not limited to: (A) Props and displays, such as coffins, crates, crosses, theaters, cages, and statues; (B) Furniture and furnishings, such as desks, chairs, tables, bookcases, cabinets, platforms, podiums, and lecterns; (C) Shelters, such as tents, boxes, trailers, and other enclosures; (D) Wagons and carts; (E) Jumbotrons, light towers, delay towers, portable restrooms, mobile stages; and (F) All other similar types of property that may tend to harm park resources, including aesthetic interests. (ii) It does not include hand-carried signs; bicycles, baby carriages and baby strollers lawfully in a park area that are temporarily placed in, or are being moved across, the park area, and that are attended at all times while in the park area; and wheelchairs and other devices in use by individuals with a disability. Thomas Jefferson Memorial means the circular portion of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial enclosed by the outermost series of columns, and all portions on the same levels or above the base of these columns. Vietnam Veterans Memorial means the East and West Walls, Three Servicemen Statue, Vietnam Veterans Women’s Memorial, Agent Orange Plaque and adjacent areas extending to and bounded by the furthermost curved pedestrian walkways on the north, west, and south, and a line drawn perpendicular to Constitution Avenue one hundred seventy-five (175) feet from the east tip of the memorial wall on the east (this is also a line extended from the east side of the western concrete border of the steps to the west of the center steps to the Federal Reserve Building extending to the Reflecting Pool walkway). Washington Monument and Plaza means the granite plaza from the circle of flags to the Monument and its interior. White House area means all park areas, including sidewalks adjacent thereto, within these bounds; on the south, Constitution Avenue NW; on the north, H Street NW; on the east, 15th Street, NW; and on the west, 17th Street NW. White House sidewalk means the south sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, between East and West Executive Avenues NW. World War II Memorial Freedom Wall Plaza means the area from the Field of Stars to the Rainbow Pool. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 (2) Permit requirements. Events may be held only pursuant to a permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this section. The following exceptions apply unless the demonstration involves the use of a structure, other than small lecterns or speakers’ platforms that are no larger than three (3) feet in length, three (3) feet in width, and three (3) feet in height, in which case a permit is required: * * * * * (3) Permit applications. Permit applications may be obtained at the Division of Permits Management, National Mall and Memorial Parks, or online at www.nps.gov/nama. Applicants shall submit permit applications in writing on a form provided by the National Park Service so as to be received by the Regional Director at the Division of Permits Management at least 48 business hours in advance of any proposed event. Notwithstanding the 48-business hours requirement, the Regional Director will reasonably seek to accommodate spontaneous demonstrations, subject to all limitations and restrictions applicable to the requested location, provided such demonstrations do not include structures and provided the NPS has the resources and personnel available to manage the activity. The Regional Director will accept permit applications only during the hours of 8 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday, holidays excepted. (i) White House area. No permit may be issued authorizing demonstrations in the White House area, except for locations at the White House sidewalk, Lafayette Park and the Ellipse that are not closed to public access under paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)–(D) of this section. No permit may be issued authorizing special events, except for locations at the Ellipse and except for annual commemorative wreath-laying ceremonies relating to the statues in Lafayette Park that are not closed to public access under paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)–(D) of this section. (A) Public access is not allowed on the north and east exterior portions of First Division Memorial Park, including West Executive Avenue and State Place NW with adjacent roadways and sidewalks: from northwest corner of State Place and 17th Street NW; to include all areas of West Executive Avenue along the South fence Line of the White House Complex and across E Street, NW; to include the south sidewalk adjacent to the First Division Memorial Park; and all of E Street NW, from 17th Street NW east to the pedestrian walkway through First PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40475 Division Memorial Park, except that the pedestrian walkway through First Division Memorial Park and the north sidewalk of E Street NW to the west pedestrian crosswalk on E Street NW will be accessible to pedestrians, unless protective measures or special events dictate otherwise. (B) Public access is not allowed on the north, south, and west exterior portions of the William T. Sherman Monument and Park, including East Executive Avenue and Alexander Hamilton Place NW, with adjacent roadways and sidewalks: From northeast corner of the park at Alexander Hamilton Place and 15th Street NW, running west on Alexander Hamilton Place NW to East Executive Avenue NW; to include all of Alexander Hamilton Place NW with adjacent north and south sidewalks; from southwest corner of E Street NW and East Executive Avenue NW running to the corner of E and 15th Streets NW; to include all of E Street NW, with the adjacent north sidewalk; from northwest comer of the park at Alexander Hamilton Place and East Executive Avenue NW running to the southwest comer of East Executive Avenue NW and across E Street NW; this includes all areas of East Executive Avenue along the south fence line and across E Street to the east pedestrian crosswalk. Notwithstanding the preceding closures, the center monument area and the sole pedestrian walkway between the northeast and southwest corners of the park and the north sidewalk of E Street NW to the east pedestrian crosswalk on E Street NW will be accessible to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., unless protective measures or special events dictate otherwise. (C) Public access is not allowed on E Street NW from the west crosswalk just east of West Executive Avenue NW to the east crosswalk just west East Executive Avenue NW, including the sidewalk and all areas adjacent to the South Fence Line of the White House Complex. (D) Public access is not allowed on the south sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, adjacent to the North Fence Line of the White House Complex, from the security post located just north of West Executive Avenue NW to the security post located just north of East Executive Avenue NW. The area of sidewalk to be closed shall consist of a twenty (20′) foot portion of the sidewalk, extending out from the North Fence Line, leaving a five (5′) foot portion of the sidewalk for pedestrian access. (E) The closures described in paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)–(D) of this section are identified in the following E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules center monument area and pedestrian walkway at William T. Sherman Monument and Park are not displayed in the map because they are subject to (ii) Other park areas. Events are not allowed in the following other park areas: (A) The Washington Monument and Plaza, except for the official annual commemorative Washington birthday ceremony. (B) The Lincoln Memorial, except for the official annual commemorative Lincoln birthday ceremony. (C) The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, except for the official annual daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS map and as further delineated with fencing in the park areas themselves. Exceptions for the pedestrian walkway at First Division Memorial Park and the commemorative Thomas Jefferson birthday ceremony. * * * * * (E) The World War II Memorial Freedom Wall Plaza, except for official annual commemorative ceremonies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Victory over Europe Day, and Victory over Japan Day. (F) The Korean War Veterans Memorial, except for official annual commemorative ceremonies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Invasion Day, and Armistice Day. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 closure at any time for protective measures or special events. BILLING CODE 4312–52–P (G) The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, except for the Forecourt area and except for official annual commemorative ceremonies for Dr. King’s birthday and death, and the March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (H) Maps of the restricted areas designated in this paragraph (g)(3)(ii) of this section are as follows. The diagonal-lined portions of the maps show the areas where events are prohibited unless specifically excepted by this rule. E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 EP15AU18.004</GPH> 40476 EP15AU18.006</GPH> 40477 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 EP15AU18.005</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules 40478 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules EP15AU18.008</GPH> VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 EP15AU18.007</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules 40479 WORLD WAR II !MEMORIAL l ~ l' VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 EP15AU18.009</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS BILLING CODE 4312–52–C (4) Permit processing. (i) NPS processes permit applications for events in order of receipt, subject to the exceptions for priority use in paragraphs (g)(4)(ii) and (iii) of this section. The use of a particular area is allocated in order of receipt of the permit application. NPS will not accept applications more than one year in advance of a proposed event (including set-up time, if any). NPS will categorize permit applications in one of three ways: Approved, Provisionally Reserved, or Denied. Permit applications for demonstrations that are not acted on in the manner described above within three business days from the date of receipt by the NPS are approved, except those seeking waiver of numerical limitations applicable to Lafayette Park (paragraph (g)(5)(ii) of this section). NPS will consider an application to be received if it contains the following basic information about the proposed event: Location, purpose and plan for the event, time and date, estimated number of participants, and contact information. For purposes of this paragraph, NPS will have acted upon a permit application as of the time and date an electronic communication is sent to the applicant. (A) Approved permit applications. If the NPS is able to accommodate the requested event without receiving additional information, it will notify the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 applicant that the application is approved. Within a reasonable time after the initial notice of approval, the NPS will send a permit to the applicant for the requested event. The permit may contain conditions reasonably consistent with the requirements of public health and safety, protection of park resources, and the use of the park area. The permit may also contain reasonable limitations on the structures and equipment used and the time and area where the event is allowed. The NPS may revoke a permit only for the reasons stated in paragraph (g)(6) of this section. (B) Provisionally reserved permit applications. The NPS may notify the applicant that the NPS has reserved the requested location, date, and time, but that it will not approve the application and issue a permit until it receives additional information. During this approval stage, the NPS will work diligently to resolve all outstanding questions in order to determine whether the request can be approved or denied. If the NPS receives an application more than 60 days prior to the requested event, the NPS will provide the applicant with an initial, comprehensive list of outstanding issues and requested information no later than 40 days prior to the requested event. The NPS will make all reasonable efforts PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 to approve or deny a permit application at least 30 days in advance of a requested event. Permit applicants must provide the NPS with all requested information before the NPS will approve or deny an application. (C) Denied permit application. The NPS will notify the applicant in writing if it is unable to accommodate the requested event. This notice will state that the applicant may inform the NPS that it would consider modifying its application for the requested event. If the NPS receives notice from the applicant that it is willing to modify its application, the NPS will work with the applicant to modify the application in a manner that it could be approved or provisionally reserved. If the applicant and the NPS cannot agree on modifications to the application that would allow it to be approved or provisionally reserved, or if the applicant does not inform the NPS that it is willing to modify its application with enough advance notice prior to the event, then the NPS will notify the applicant in writing that the application has been denied. * * * * * (iv) Other events are permitted in park areas under permit for the National Celebration Events listed in paragraph (g)(4)(ii) of this section to the extent that E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 EP15AU18.010</GPH> 40480 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules they do not significantly interfere with the National Celebration Events. (v) [Reserved] (vi) The Regional Director may issue permits for a maximum duration of 30 days. For an event that includes structures, the Regional Director may extend the maximum permit duration by an amount of time that may be needed for setup and breakdown of the structures. Upon request, the Regional Director may renew a permit for additional, consecutive periods of 30 days or less. Requests for renewals must be submitted to the NPS at least 10 days prior to the expiration of an existing permit. The Regional Director may deny a request for a permit renewal if another applicant has requested use of the same location and the location cannot reasonably accommodate multiple occupancy. As a condition of renewing a permit, the Regional Director shall require events with structures to move to a different location. The Regional Director may require events without structures to be moved to a different location if necessary to protect park resources and values. (vii) A permit for an event may be denied in writing by the Regional Director upon the following grounds: (A) A fully executed prior application for the same time and place has been received, and a permit has been or will be granted authorizing activities which do not reasonably permit multiple occupancy of the particular area. (B) The proposed event will present a clear and present danger to the public health and safety. * * * * * (5) Permit limitations. The issuance of a permit is subject to the following limitations: (i) The Regional Director may restrict events on weekdays (except holidays) between the hours of 7:00 to 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. if it reasonably appears necessary to avoid unreasonable interference with rush-hour traffic. (ii) Special events are not permitted unless approved by the Regional Director. In determining whether to approve a proposed special event, the 40481 Regional Director will consider and base the determination upon the criteria in § 2.50(a)(1)–(6) of this chapter and the following criteria: (A) Whether the objectives and purposes of the proposed special event relate to and are within the basic mission and responsibilities of the National Capital Region, National Park Service. (B) Whether the park area requested is reasonably suited in terms of accessibility, size, and nature of the proposed special event. (iii) Prior notice must be provided to the Regional Director before erecting any structure. Structures are allowed in connection with permitted events for the purpose of symbolizing a message or meeting logistical needs such as first aid facilities, lost children areas, or the provision of shelter for electrical and other sensitive equipment or displays, provided that: (A) Structures are subject to the restrictions listed in the table below. Maps of the restricted areas follow the table. STRUCTURE RESTRICTIONS Map area Location Restriction Exceptions A ................... Lincoln Memorial ...................................... Structures are prohibited ......................... B ................... Structures are prohibited ......................... Structures are prohibited ......................... Telecommunications equipment. D ................... Elm Trees Panels—3rd Street to 14th Street. Reflecting Pool and Walks on North and South. Constitution Gardens—West ................... Podiums, tables, chairs, lighting and sound equipment. None. None. E ................... Constitution Gardens—East .................... F ................... World War II Memorial ............................. Structures may not exceed 15 feet in height. Structures may not exceed 30 feet in height and may not disrupt the viewshed from Virginia Ave NW to the Washington Monument. Structures are prohibited ......................... G ................... JFK Hockey Fields ................................... H ................... Ellipse ...................................................... I .................... Washington Monument—Security Perimeter. Washington Monument Grounds—Central Panel West. Washington Monument Grounds—Northwest and Northeast Corners. Washington Monument Grounds—First Tier Outside Restricted Area. North-South 150-foot-wide Corridor ........ East of Washington Monument Grounds—Central East. National Mall—3rd St. to 14th St. and Hardscape Between Elm Tree Panels. Thomas Jefferson Memorial .................... Thomas Jefferson Memorial—East and West Precincts. Tidal Basin ............................................... C ................... J .................... K ................... daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS L ................... M .................. N ................... O ................... P ................... Q ................... R ................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Structures may not exceed 45 feet in height. Structures may not exceed 30 feet in height. None. Podiums, tables, chairs, sound equipment, and shade tents. None. Structures are prohibited ......................... Stages, bleachers, and telecommunications equipment during the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony may exceed 30 feet in height. None. Structures are prohibited ......................... None. Structures height. Structures height. Structures Structures height. Structures height. Structures Structures height. Structures height. may not exceed 30 feet in None. may not exceed 20 feet in None. are prohibited ......................... may not exceed 20 feet in None. None. Frm 00022 may not exceed 30 feet in are prohibited ......................... may not exceed 30 feet in may not exceed 20 feet in Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 No height restriction for telecommunications equipment. Podiums, chairs, and sound equipment. None. None. E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 40482 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules STRUCTURE RESTRICTIONS—Continued Map area Location Restriction S ................... Independence Ave. Staging Area ............ T ................... U ................... Virginia Ave. (View to Washington Monument). Polo Fields—near Ohio Drive .................. Structures may not exceed 30 feet in height. Structures are prohibited ......................... V ................... Polo Fields—near West Basin Drive ....... W .................. Ohio Drive—Ballfields between West Basin Drive and Inlet Bridge. Ohio Drive—Ballfield near National Mall and Memorial Park Headquarters. Recreation Field South of Washington Monument; West of Holocaust Museum. Hains Point—Southernmost Point within East Potomac Park. Y ................... daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Z ................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 None. None. may not exceed 40 feet in None. may not exceed 30 feet in None. may not exceed 30 feet in None. may not exceed 45 feet in None. may not exceed 35 feet in None. Structures may not exceed 45 feet in height. None. Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 EP15AU18.011</GPH> X ................... Structures height. Structures height. Structures height. Structures height. Structures height. Exceptions (B) All such structures shall be erected in such a manner so as not to harm park resources unreasonably and shall be removed as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the permitted event. (C) The Regional Director may impose reasonable restrictions upon the use of structures in the interest of protecting the park areas involved, traffic and public safety considerations, and other legitimate park value concerns. These restrictions may include limitations consistent with turf management and event operations guidance related to duration, weight, equipment, and materials used. (D) Structures may not be used outside designated camping areas for living accommodation activities such as sleeping, or making preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping), or VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 storing personal belongings, or making any fire, or doing any digging or earth breaking or carrying on cooking activities. The above-listed activities constitute camping when it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that the participants, in conducting these activities, are in fact using the area as a living accommodation regardless of the intent of the participants or the nature of any other activities in which they may also be engaging. (E) Individuals or groups of 25 persons or fewer demonstrating under the small group permit exception of paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section, or individuals or groups demonstrating under the large group permit exceptions at the five parks designated in paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section, are not allowed to use structures other than small lecterns or speakers’ platforms, except PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40483 for Lafayette Park (where only speakers’ platforms are allowed in accordance with a permit) and the White House Sidewalk (where no structures are allowed). This provision does not restrict the use of portable signs or banners or preclude such individuals or groups from obtaining a permit in order to erect structures. (F) Structures are not permitted within the drip line of trees located within the White House area. (iv) Sound amplification equipment is allowed in connection with permitted demonstrations or special events, provided prior notice has been given to the Regional Director, except that the Regional Director reserves the right to limit the sound amplification equipment so that it will not unreasonably disturb nonparticipating persons in, or in the vicinity of, the area. E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 EP15AU18.012</GPH> daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 40484 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules (v) Events that plan to move from any location that is subject to the regulations in this section 7.96 to the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park, and events that plan to move from the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park to another location that is subject to the regulations in this section 7.96, must comply with the restrictions on signs placards set forth in paragraphs (g)(5)(ix)(C) and (g)(5)(x)(C) of this section for the duration of the event, even when it is located outside of the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park. (vi) A permit may contain additional reasonable conditions and additional time limitations, consistent with this section, in the interest of protecting park resources, the use of nearby areas by other persons, and other legitimate park value concerns. (vii) A permit issued under this section does not authorize activities outside of areas administered by the National Park Service. Applicants may also be required to obtain a permit from the District of Columbia or other appropriate governmental entity for demonstrations or special events sought to be conducted either wholly or in part in areas not administered by the National Park Service. (viii) The activities contemplated for the proposed event must conform with all applicable laws and regulations. (ix) In addition to the general limitations in this paragraph (g)(5), the following restrictions apply to the White House Sidewalk: (A) No more than 750 persons are permitted to conduct a demonstration on the White House sidewalk at any one time. The Regional Director may waive the 750 person limitation for the White House Sidewalk upon a showing by the applicant that good faith efforts will be made to plan and marshal the demonstration in such a fashion so as to render unlikely any substantial risk of unreasonable disruption or violence. In making a waiver determination, the Regional Director shall consider and the applicant shall furnish at least ten days in advance of the proposed demonstration, the functions the marshals will perform, the means by which they will be identified, and their method of communication with each other and the crowd. This requirement will be satisfied by completion and submission of the same form referred to in paragraph (g)(3) of this section. (B) Structures are not permitted. (C) No signs or placards shall be permitted on the White House sidewalk except those made of cardboard, posterboard or cloth having dimensions no greater than three feet in width, twenty feet in length, and one-quarter VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 inch in thickness. No supports shall be permitted for signs or placards except those made of wood having crosssectional dimensions no greater than three-quarter of an inch by three-quarter of an inch. Stationary signs or placards shall be no closer than three feet from the White House sidewalk fence. All signs and placards shall be attended at all times that they remain on the White House sidewalk. Signs or placards shall be considered to be attended only when they are in physical contact with a person. No signs or placards shall be tied, fastened, or otherwise attached to or leaned against the White House fence, lamp posts or other structures on the White House sidewalk. No signs or placards shall be held, placed or set down on the center portion of the White House sidewalk, comprising ten yards on either side of the center point on the sidewalk; Provided, however, that individuals may demonstrate while carrying signs on that portion of the sidewalk if they continue to move along the sidewalk. (D) No parcel, container, package, bundle or other property shall be placed or stored on the White House sidewalk or on the west sidewalk of East Executive Avenue NW, between Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and E Street NW, or on the north sidewalk of E Street NW, between East and West Executive Avenues NW; Provided, however, that such property, except structures, may be momentarily placed or set down in the immediate presence of the owner on those sidewalks. (E) Sound amplification equipment may not be used on the White House sidewalk, other than hand-portable sound amplification equipment which the Regional Director determines is necessary for crowd-control purposes. (x) In addition to the general limitations in this paragraph (g)(5), the following restrictions apply to Lafayette Park: (A) No more than 3,000 persons are permitted to conduct a demonstration in Lafayette Park at any one time. The Regional Director may waive the 3,000 person limitation for Lafayette Park upon a showing by the applicant that good faith efforts will be made to plan and marshal the demonstration in such a fashion so as to render unlikely any substantial risk of unreasonable disruption or violence. In making a waiver determination, the Regional Director shall consider and the applicant shall furnish at least ten days in advance of the proposed demonstration, the functions the marshals will perform, the means by which they will be identified, and their method of communication with each PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 other and the crowd. This requirement will be satisfied by completion and submission of the same form referred to in paragraph (g)(3) of this section. (B) The erection, placement or use of structures of any kind are prohibited except for the following: (1) When one hundred (100) or more persons are participating in a demonstration in the Park, a speakers’ platform as is reasonably required to serve the demonstration participants is allowed as long as such platform is being erected, dismantled or used, provided that only one speakers’ platform is allowed per demonstrating group, and provided further that such speakers’ platform is authorized by a permit issued pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section. (2) When less than one hundred (100) persons are participating in a demonstration in the Park, a ‘‘soapbox’’ speakers’ platform is allowed as long as such platform is being erected, dismantled or used, providing that only one speakers’ platform is allowed per demonstrating group, and provided further that the speakers’ platform is no larger than three (3) feet in length, three (3) feet in width, and three (3) feet in height, and provided further that such speakers’ platform is authorized by a permit issued pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section. (C) The use of signs is prohibited except for the following: (1) Hand-carried signs are allowed regardless of size. (2) Signs that are not being handcarried and that are no larger than four (4) feet in length, four (4) feet in width and one-quarter (1⁄4) inch in thickness (exclusive of braces that are reasonably required to meet support and safety requirements and that are not used so as to form an enclosure of two (2) or more sides) may be used in Lafayette Park, provided that no individual may have more than two (2) such signs in the Park at any one time, and provided further that such signs must be attended at all times, and provided further that such signs may not be elevated in a manner so as to exceed a height of six (6) feet above the ground at their highest point, may not be arranged or combined in a manner so as to exceed the size limitations set forth in this paragraph, and may not be arranged in such a fashion as to form an enclosure of two (2) or more sides. For example, under this provision, two four-feet by four-feet signs may not be combined so as to create a sign eight feet long and four feet wide, and three such signs may not be arranged to create a sign four feet long and twelve feet wide, and two or more signs of any size may not be leaned or E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / Proposed Rules otherwise placed together so as to form an enclosure of two or more sides, etc. (xi) No permit will be issued for a demonstration on the White House Sidewalk and in Lafayette Park at the same time except when the organization, group, or other sponsor of such demonstration undertakes in good faith all reasonable action, including the provision of sufficient marshals, to insure good order and self-discipline in conducting such demonstration and any necessary movement of persons, so that the numerical limitations and waiver provisions described in paragraphs (g)(5)(ix) and (x) of this section are observed. (xii) In addition to the general limitations in this paragraph (g)(5), sound systems shall be directed away from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at all times. (6) Permit revocation. The Regional Director or the ranking U.S. Park Police supervisory official in charge may revoke a permit or part of a permit for any violation of its terms or conditions, or if the event presents a clear and present danger to the public safety, good order, or health, or for any violation of applicable law or regulation. Any such revocation shall be in writing. * * * * * David L. Bernhardt, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2018–17386 Filed 8–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–52–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR Part 3010 [Docket No. RM2018–11; Order No. 4750] Mail Preparation Changes Postal Regulatory Commission. Advance notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission is initiating a review to determine when a mail preparation change is a rate change. This document informs the public of the docket’s initiation, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due on or before October 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Aug 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Request for Comments I. Introduction The Commission initiates this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to seek proposals for a standard and process to determine when a mail preparation change is a ‘‘changes in rates’’ under 39 U.S.C. 3622 in accordance with the recent decision in United States Postal Serv. v. Postal Reg. Comm’n, 886 F.3d 1253 (D.C. Cir. 2018) (IMb Opinion). II. Background The Commission continues to maintain that certain mail preparation changes are rate changes, and those changes should be regulated under 39 U.S.C. 3622. As participants in past associated dockets are aware, the issues involved in regulating mail preparation changes as ‘‘changes in rates’’ under 39 U.S.C. 3622 are varied and complex. The process involved in crafting a workable standard for regulating mail preparation changes under the price cap has been difficult and time-consuming. However, this difficulty does not necessarily render the efforts to create a standard futile. Accordingly, the Commission issues this ANPR requesting proposals from commenters for a standard and process to determine when an individual mail preparation change is a ‘‘change in rates’’ under 39 U.S.C. 3622 that is consistent with the recent guidance set forth in the IMb Opinion. In Docket No. R2013–10R, the Commission determined that a change to the Intelligent Mail barcoding (IMb) requirements was a rate change requiring compliance with the price cap under 39 U.S.C. 3622.1 The Postal Service appealed the Commission’s determination to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the Court). In United States Postal Serv. 1 Docket No. R2013–10, Order on Price Adjustments for Market Dominant Products and Related Mail Classification Changes, November 21, 2013, at 5–35 (Order No. 1890). In this docket, the Commission briefly sets out the relevant history supporting the request for comment. For a complete history of the Commission proceedings leading up to this docket, please see Order No. 1890; Docket No. R2013–10R, Order Resolving Issues on Remand, January 22, 2016 (Order No. 3047); Docket No. R2013–10R, Order Resolving Motion for Reconsideration of Commission Order No. 3047, July 20, 2016 (Order No. 3441). PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 40485 v. Postal Reg. Comm’n, 785 F.3d 740, 751 (D.C. Cir. 2015), the Court affirmed the Commission’s conclusion that ‘‘changes in rates’’ under 39 U.S.C. 3622 could include changes to mail preparation requirements and were not limited to ‘‘only changes to the official posted prices of each product.’’ However, the Court remanded the matter to the Commission so that it could articulate an intelligible standard to determine when a mail preparation change was a ‘‘change in rates’’ subject to the price cap. Id. at 744. In response to the Court’s remand, the Commission initiated proceedings to establish a standard to be used for the regulation of mail preparation changes as ‘‘changes in rates.’’ 2 As a result of those proceedings, the Commission issued Order No. 3047, which set forth a standard to determine when a mail preparation change requires compliance with the price cap. The standard established in Order No. 3047 provided that a mail preparation change could have a rate effect when it resulted in the deletion or redefinition of rate cells as set forth by § 3010.23(d)(2). In establishing the standard set forth in Order No. 3047, the Commission used its regulation, § 3010.23(d)(2), to provide the framework. Section 3010.23(d)(2) provides that a classification change will have a rate effect when it results in the introduction, deletion, or redefinition of a rate cell. Under the Commission’s rules, the Postal Service must include the effects of those classification changes in its calculation of the percentage change in rates under the price cap. 39 CFR 3010.23(d)(2). The standard in Order No. 3047 defined when a mail preparation change would be considered a classification change with rate effects under § 3010.23(d)(2). The standard set forth that deletion of a rate cell occurs when a mail preparation change caused the elimination of a rate, or the functional equivalent of an elimination of a rate by making the rate cell inaccessible to mailers. Order No. 3047 at 15. The standard defined redefinition of a rate cell to occur when a mail preparation change caused a significant change to a basic characteristic of a mailing, effectively changing the nature of the rate cell. For redefinition, the Commission stated that it would apply a significance analysis to determine at what point on the spectrum a mail preparation change caused a rate cell to be redefined under § 3010.23(d)(2). Id. 2 Docket No. R2013–10R, Order Establishing Procedures on Remand and Requesting Public Comment, July 15, 2015 (Order No. 2586). E:\FR\FM\15AUP1.SGM 15AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 158 (Wednesday, August 15, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 40460-40485]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-17386]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 158 / Wednesday, August 15, 2018 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 40460]]



DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

36 CFR Part 7

[NPS-NCR-25928; PPNCNAMAS0, PPMPSPD1Z.YM0000]
RIN 1024-AE45


Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, National 
Capital Region, Special Events and Demonstrations

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The National Park Service proposes to revise special 
regulations related to demonstrations and special events at certain 
national park units in the National Capital Region. The proposed 
changes would modify regulations explaining how the NPS processes 
permit applications for demonstrations and special events. The rule 
would also identify locations where activities are allowed, not 
allowed, or allowed but subject to restrictions.

DATES: Comments must be received by October 15, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the Regulation 
Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE45 by any of the following methods:
     Electronically: Federal eRulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Hardcopy: Mail or hand deliver to National Park Service, 
National Mall and Memorial Parks, 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 
20024, Attn: Brian Joyner.
    Instructions: All comments received must include the agency name 
(National Park Service) and RIN (1024-AE45) for this rulemaking. 
Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than 
those specified above. Comments received will be posted without change 
to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided. Before including your address, phone number, email address, 
or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should 
be aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying 
information may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. To view 
comments received through the Federal eRulemaking portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter 1024-AE45 in the search box.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian D. Joyner, Chief of Staff, 
National Park Service, National Mall and Memorial Parks, (202) 245-
4468, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The National Mall and areas surrounding the White House in 
Washington, DC are managed by the National Park Service (NPS) on behalf 
of the American people. These areas are contained within two 
administrative units of the National Park System: The National Mall and 
Memorial Parks and President's Park.

National Mall and Memorial Parks

    Within the National Mall and Memorial Parks, the NPS administers 
more than 1,000 acres of park land within the District of Columbia, 
including 14 units of the national park system: Belmont-Paul Women's 
Equality National Monument, Constitution Gardens, Ford's Theatre 
National Historic Site, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War 
Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, 
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site, the Mall, Thomas Jefferson 
Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument and Plaza, 
World War I Memorial, and World War II Memorial. The National Mall and 
Memorial Parks also contains more than 150 reservations, circles, 
fountains, squares, triangles, and park spaces in the center of 
Washington, DC that were created as part of the L'Enfant plan of the 
city.
    The National Mall is a preeminent national landscape that is home 
to the enduring symbols of our country including various trees and 
gardens that symbolize cultural and diplomatic exchanges and gifts from 
other nations. It includes a combination of formally designed areas, 
such as the Mall and the grounds of the Washington Monument, as well as 
natural areas, such as the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park. The 
National Mall also contains monuments, memorials, statues, and other 
commemorative works that honor important persons, historical events, 
and the ideals of democracy. The monuments, memorials, and sites in the 
National Mall and Memorial Parks connect visitors directly with 
American history and values, cultural heritage, and the sacrifices of 
so many, supporting our national identity as well as individual 
connections to the larger national and international experience. The 
NPS protects the valuable urban green space within the National Mall 
and Memorial Parks that accommodates a variety of passive and active 
recreational activities for a diverse population.

President's Park

    President's Park comprises three distinct cultural landscapes that 
are each fundamental to the park and provide the setting for the 
``President's Park'' as defined by Pierre L'Enfant in 1791. The White 
House is the oldest public building in the District of Columbia and has 
been the home and office of every president of the United States except 
for George Washington. The White House, including its wings, serves as 
the residence of the first family, offices for the president and staff, 
and an evolving museum. Lafayette Park to the north of the White House 
is a 19th-century public park redesigned in the 1960s. The park is 
bounded by H Street to the north, Madison Place to the east, 
Pennsylvania Avenue to the south, and Jackson Place to the west. 
Lafayette Park is an example of early American landscape design and the 
19th century neighborhood of the president. The Ellipse area, or 
President's Park South, to the south of the White House grounds is 
another important cultural landscape. President's Park South consists 
of the elliptical park area known as the Ellipse, Sherman Park to the 
northeast, and the First Division Memorial Park to the northwest. 
Lafayette Park and the Ellipse provide a dignified transition area from 
an urban environment to the White House environs. They also

[[Page 40461]]

protect and enhance views to and from the White House and provide a 
setting for the public to view the White House. Many national monuments 
and memorials are found throughout the park, illustrating the 
significant role of President's Park as a symbolic location within the 
urban landscape of the nation's capital.

Demonstrations and Special Events

    The buildings, structures, and grounds that compose the National 
Mall and Memorial Parks and President's Park are national symbols of 
American democracy. Citizens from the United States and around the 
world come to these areas to participate in American democracy, 
celebrate freedom, and experience our nation's history and culture. The 
NPS receives regular requests from the public to conduct 
demonstrations, which include various types of expressive activity such 
as marches and art displays, at locations within the National Mall and 
Memorial Parks and President's Park. The NPS also receives requests to 
hold special events, such as wedding ceremonies, national celebratory 
events, and sporting activities, at the same locations. Each year, the 
NPS issues an average of 750 permits for demonstrations and 1,500 
permits for special events within the NPS units subject to 36 CFR 7.96 
(as explained below). Most of these activities are held within the 
National Mall and Memorial Parks and President's Park. The NPS also 
issues an average of 800 permits for commercial filming within these 
parks each year. The NPS dedicates significant resources to processing 
permit applications and managing permitted activities in a manner that 
mitigates impacts to park resources, secures sensitive locations, and 
keeps visitors safe.

Proposed Rule

    The NPS proposes to revise the regulations applicable to 
demonstrations and special events that are held within the National 
Mall and Memorial Parks and President's Park. The NPS intends these 
revisions to (i) modify regulations explaining how the NPS processes 
permit applications to conduct activities in these areas; and (ii) 
better identify locations where activities are allowed, not allowed, or 
allowed but subject to restrictions. The NPS intends these changes to 
provide greater clarity to the public about how and where 
demonstrations and special events may be conducted in a manner that 
protects and preserves the cultural and historic integrity of these 
areas.
    The supplementary information contained below will explain the 
proposed changes to existing regulations in section 7.96 of Title 36, 
Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 7.96). These regulations govern 
activities within the National Mall and Memorial Parks, President's 
Park, and other administrative units subject to section 7.96. These 
other units--such as portions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National 
Historical Park, National Capital Parks-East, George Washington 
Memorial Parkway, and Rock Creek Park--are located nearby the National 
Mall and Memorial Parks and President's Park. The NPS encounters 
management issues related to demonstrations and special events in these 
locations that are similar to those encountered in the National Mall 
and Memorial Parks and President's Park. In some cases, a single event 
such as a foot race will cross through several of these units. The 
administrative benefit of having a uniform set of regulations and 
permit processes for units in close proximity to one another supports 
applying the proposed changes in this rule to all of the units that are 
subject to section 7.96. This will allow the NPS to better manage these 
events and provide service to the public. The applicability of section 
7.96 to the National Mall and Memorial Parks, President's Park, and 
these other units is discussed in more detail below.
    A summary of the proposed changes is contained in the following 
table, along with a citation of the regulation that would be changed. 
The proposed changes are discussed below in the order they appear in 
the table below. In addition to the changes listed below, the proposed 
rule would reorganize several paragraphs in section 7.96 without 
changing any of the text.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No.      Proposed change                    Citation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.........  Remove several     7.96(a)
             units from the
             applicability of
             Sec.   7.96.
2.........  Adopt definitions  7.96(g)(1)(i) and (ii)
             of
             ``demonstrations
             '' and ``special
             events'' from 36
             CFR part 2.
3.........  Move the           7.96(g)(1) and (5)(ix)(A)(4)
             definition of
             ``structure'' to
             the definitions
             section in Sec.
              7.96(g)(1).
4.........  Consider changing  7.96(g)(2)(ii)
             the number of
             people that
             could take part
             in a
             demonstration
             without a permit
             at specific
             locations.
5.........  Require a permit   7.96(g)(2) and (g)(5)(vi)(E)
             for the erection
             of structures
             during a special
             event or
             demonstration
             regardless of
             the number of
             participants.
6.........  Consider           7.96(g)(3)
             requiring permit
             applicants to
             pay fees to
             allow the NPS to
             recover some of
             the costs of
             administering
             permitted
             activities that
             contain
             protected speech.
7.........  Establish          7.96(g)(3)(i)
             permanent
             security zones
             at President's
             Park where
             public access is
             currently
             prohibited.
8.........  Modify and         7.96(g)(3)(ii)
             establish
             restricted zones
             at memorials on
             the National
             Mall where
             special events
             and
             demonstrations
             would not be
             allowed in order
             to preserve an
             atmosphere of
             contemplation.
9.........  Modify             7.96(g)(3) and (4)
             regulations
             explaining how
             the NPS
             processes permit
             applications for
             demonstrations
             and special
             events.
10........  Adopt criteria in  7.96(g)(4) and (5)
             36 CFR part 2
             for reviewing
             permit
             applications
             that apply to
             other NPS areas.
             Remove redundant
             criteria in Sec.
               7.96.
11........  Establish a        7.96(g)(4)(vi)
             maximum permit
             period of 30
             days, plus a
             reasonable
             amount of time
             needed for set
             up and take down
             of structures
             before and after
             a demonstration
             or special event.
12........  Identify           7.96(g)(5)(vi)
             locations where
             structures may
             not be used, and
             restrict the
             height, weight,
             equipment, and
             materials of
             structures when
             they are
             permitted during
             special events
             and
             demonstrations.
13........  Apply existing     7.96(g)(5)(vii)
             sign
             restrictions
             (e.g. supports,
             dimensions) in
             President's Park
             to other
             locations within
             the National
             Mall and
             Memorial Parks
             and President's
             Park.
14........  Other minor        7.96(g)
             changes to Sec.
              7.96.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Remove Several Units From the Applicability of 7.96

    The National Capital Region (NCR) is an administrative grouping of 
National Park System units that are located in and around metropolitan 
Washington, DC. NPS regulations at 36 CFR 7.96 apply to certain park 
units located within the NCR. These special regulations modify the 
general regulations in 36 CFR part 2 that apply to all areas 
administered by the NPS,

[[Page 40462]]

but only for those parks identified in section 7.96.
    Paragraph (a) of section 7.96 lists the park units in the NCR that 
are subject to the special regulations in that section. This rule would 
revise paragraph (a) to limit applicability and scope of the NCR 
special regulations to the following park areas:

 All park areas located in Washington, DC
 the George Washington Memorial Parkway
 all park areas located within National Capital Parks East (an 
administrative grouping of park units in the NCR that are generally 
located east of the U.S. Capitol)
 the portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical 
Park that is located in Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland

    The special regulations in section 7.96 exist to address unique 
management issues that are present in these park units in the NCR but 
not present in other parks in the NCR or elsewhere in the country. One 
of these issues--especially for park units near the National Mall and 
the White House--is how to manage the high volume, magnitude, and 
impacts of special events and demonstrations. Section 7.96 addresses 
this issue with special rules that govern these activities. One of 
these rules requires individuals and organizations to send permit 
applications for demonstrations and special events to a central permit 
office in Washington, DC, for review and processing. The NPS routes all 
permit applications through this office, and then to the impacted 
park(s), to avoid potential confusion about where applications should 
be sent. It would be confusing to require the public to send permit 
applications directly to each park unit because there are so many areas 
administered by the NPS in the NCR, many of which are in close 
proximity to one another. Other unique management issues faced by these 
parks in the NCR include the Presidential Inauguration, other national 
celebration events, security needs associated with the White House 
Complex and the Executive Office Building, and the use of athletic 
fields near the National Mall. These activities are also addressed by 
special regulations in section 7.96.
    Park units that are not identified in paragraph (a) of section 7.96 
follow general NPS regulations in part 2. This is consistent with 36 
CFR 1.2(c), which provides that the NPS general regulations in part 2 
apply unless there are NPS special regulations for individual park 
areas. The general regulations in part 2 address special events and 
demonstrations in sections 2.50 and 2.51. Instead of using a central 
office, permit applications for these other parks are sent directly to 
park headquarters and processed by the administrative office at the 
park unit.
    Section 7.96 already applies to the park units identified in this 
proposed rule. The proposed changes to paragraph 7.96(a) in this rule 
would remove the following park units from the applicability and scope 
of the NCR special regulations in section 7.96:

 Three parks in Virginia--Manassas National Battlefield Park, 
Prince William Forest Park, and Wolf Trap National Park for the 
Performing Arts
 The portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical 
Park that is located outside the District of Columbia and Montgomery 
County, Maryland

    By removing these parks from scope and applicability of the NCR 
special regulations, they instead would be governed by the general 
regulations for special events and demonstrations found in sections 
2.50 and 2.51. Although these parks are organized within the 
administrative grouping of the NCR, they are located further away from 
the metropolitan core of Washington, DC. This reduces any confusion 
about where permit applications should be sent. It is not necessary or 
efficient that permit applications for these outlying NCR parks be 
routed through the centralized permit office in Washington, DC. 
Allowing these outlying NCR parks to operate their own permit offices 
that can receive permit applications directly is consistent with how 
other NCR parks outside the Washington, DC, metropolitan area (i.e., 
Antietam National Battlefield, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, 
and Monocacy National Battlefield) have operated for decades. Instead 
of using a central permit office in Washington, DC, visitors would send 
permit applications for these outlying parks to the administrative 
offices of each park, to the attention of the superintendent:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Park unit                         Mailing address
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Manassas National Battlefield Park...  12521 Lee Highway, Manassas, VA
                                        20109, (703) 754-1861.
Prince William Forest Park...........  18100 Park Headquarters Road,
                                        Triangle, VA 22172, (703) 221-
                                        4706.
Wolf Trap National Park for the        1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA 22182-
 Performing Arts.                       1643, (703) 255-1808.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National     1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100,
 Historical Park.                       Hagerstown, MD 21740, (301) 739-
                                        4200.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The other special regulations in section 7.96 either are not 
relevant to these parks (e.g. staging the Presidential Inauguration, 
organized athletic events, and taxi cab operations around National 
Memorials) or are addressed by NPS regulations in 36 CFR part 2 (e.g. 
fishing and camping). In order to maintain the existing prohibition on 
bathing, swimming or wading throughout the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 
the proposed rule would state that paragraph (e) of section 7.96 would 
apply to the portions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National 
Historical Park that are located in Maryland outside of Montgomery 
County.

2. Revise Definitions of ``Demonstrations'' and ``Special Events''

    NPS general regulations in 36 CFR part 2 define the term 
``demonstrations'' and ``special events.'' These terms apply to 
activities that occur within all units of the National Park System 
except for those units identified in section 7.96 and located within 
the NCR. Section 7.96(g)(1) contains definitions for the terms 
``demonstration'' and ``special events'' that apply only to those units 
identified in section 7.96 and located within the NCR. For both sets of 
definitions, the term ``demonstration(s)'' is defined to include 
activities that are considered expression and speech that are protected 
by the First Amendment. Special events are described or defined to 
include other activities that do not enjoy the same heightened 
protection under the First Amendment. The definitions of 
``demonstration(s)'' in section 2.51 and section 7.96(g)(1) are the 
same. The list of types of special events in section 2.50 and the 
definition in section 7.96(g)(1) are similar, but different in some 
ways. A comparison is displayed in the table below:

[[Page 40463]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Section 7.96
                                     Part 2              definition
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demonstration(s)............  Includes              Includes
                               demonstrations,       demonstrations,
                               picketing,            picketing,
                               speechmaking,         speechmaking,
                               marching, holding     marching, holding
                               vigils or religious   vigils or religious
                               services, and all     services and all
                               other like forms of   other like forms of
                               conduct that          conduct that
                               involve the           involve the
                               communication or      communication or
                               expression of views   expression of views
                               or grievances,        or grievances,
                               engaged in by one     engaged in by one
                               or more persons,      or more persons,
                               the conduct of        the conduct of
                               which is reasonably   which is reasonably
                               likely to attract a   likely to draw a
                               crowd or onlookers.   crowd or onlookers.
                               This term does not    This term does not
                               include casual park   include casual park
                               use by visitors or    use by visitors or
                               tourists that is      tourists that is
                               not reasonably        not reasonably
                               likely to attract a   likely to attract a
                               crowd or onlookers.   crowd or onlookers.
                               36 CFR 2.51(a).       36 CFR
                                                     7.96(g)(1)(i).
Special Events..............  Sports events,        Includes sports
                               pageants, regattas,   events, pageants,
                               public spectator      celebrations,
                               attractions,          historical
                               entertainments,       reenactments,
                               ceremonies, and       regattas,
                               similar events. 36    entertainments,
                               CFR 2.50(a).          exhibitions,
                                                     parades, fairs,
                                                     festivals and
                                                     similar events
                                                     (including such
                                                     events presented by
                                                     the National Park
                                                     Service), which are
                                                     not demonstrations
                                                     under paragraph
                                                     (g)(1)(i) of this
                                                     section, and which
                                                     are engaged in by
                                                     one or more
                                                     persons, the
                                                     conduct of which
                                                     has the effect,
                                                     intent or
                                                     propensity to draw
                                                     a crowd or
                                                     onlookers. This
                                                     term also does not
                                                     include casual park
                                                     use by visitors or
                                                     tourists which does
                                                     not have an intent
                                                     or propensity to
                                                     attract a crowd or
                                                     onlookers. 36 CFR
                                                     7.96(g)(1)(ii).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In order to avoid confusion that may arise from having separate but 
similar definitions in part 2 and section 7.96(g), the NPS proposes to 
remove the definition of ``demonstration'' in section 7.96(g)(1) and 
refer to the definition in section 2.51 instead. For the same reason, 
the NPS proposes to remove the definition of ``special events'' in 
section 7.96(g)(1) and refer to the activities listed in section 
2.50(a) instead. Even though the description of special events in 
section 2.50(a) and the definition of ``special events'' in section 
7.96(g)(1) are worded differently, the NPS does not regard them as 
substantively different. The NPS does not consider referring to the 
part 2 terminology as a definition in section 7.96(g)(1) to be a 
substantive change to the meaning of special events. The description in 
section 2.50(a) is broad enough to include celebrations, historical 
reenactments, entertainments, exhibitions, parades, fairs, and 
festivals, which are part of the current definition in section 
7.96(g)(1) but not part of the description of special events in 
2.50(a). The description in section 2.50(a) is also broad enough to 
include other events, such as marathons, that are common within the 
National Mall and Memorial Parks. The statement in the definition in 
section 7.96(g)(1) that special events include events presented by the 
NPS would be moved to a new definition of ``events'' that is explained 
below. This means that the NPS will continue to issue permits for NPS-
sponsored events like the Fourth of July Celebration as a means of 
reserving park lands for these events.
    The definition in section 7.96 states that special events are those 
activities that do not qualify as demonstrations. This affects how the 
event is managed because certain regulations in section 7.96 treat 
demonstrations and special events differently. For example, 
demonstrations involving 25 or fewer people generally may be held 
without a permit. This permit exception does not apply to special 
events. Other provisions in section 7.96 apply to demonstrations and 
special events in the same manner.
    The NPS proposes to streamline these regulations by defining the 
term ``events,'' which would mean both demonstrations and special 
events, as those terms are defined in sections 2.50 and 2.51. This 
definition will also include a statement that events do not include 
casual park use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely 
to attract a crowd or onlookers. This caveat is included in both 
current definitions of ``demonstration(s)'' in parts 2 and 7 and in the 
current definition of ``special event'' in section 7.96. The NPS 
proposes to replace the existing phrase ``which does not have an intent 
or propensity,'' which is used in the definition of ``special events'' 
in section 7.96, with the phrase ``that is not reasonably likely,'' 
which is used in the definitions of ``demonstration(s)'' in parts 2 and 
7. The NPS prefers to have one standard for determining what 
constitutes casual park use and believes the ``reasonably likely'' 
standard is more objective and easier to understand than a standard 
that requires NPS law enforcement staff to discern the intent of a 
person or group. This would provide greater clarity to the public about 
what types of activities are subject to the regulations in section 
7.96. The NPS will retain use of the terms ``demonstrations'' and 
``special events'' in certain locations within section 7.96 where the 
distinction is necessary to ensure that NPS does not overly restrict 
speech that enjoys heightened protections under the First Amendment.
    The NPS will remove the text in the section 7.96 definition that 
states that special events are those activities that do not qualify as 
demonstrations. Experience managing events has shown that some 
demonstrations have elements that are special events. The NPS 
specifically seeks comments on how it might further differentiate 
between the demonstration element(s) and the special event element(s) 
of a single activity. What factors should the NPS consider when 
differentiating between the demonstration and special event elements of 
a single activity? How should the NPS regulate activities that have 
elements of demonstrations and special events? The NPS seeks comments 
on the definitions and treatment of demonstrations and special events. 
What additional factors should the NPS consider when determining 
whether an activity is a demonstration or a special event?

3. Move the Definition of ``Structure'' to the Definitions Section in 
7.96(g)(1)

    Section 7.96(g)(5)(ix) contains regulations that apply to Lafayette 
Park. These regulations prohibit the erection, placement, or use of 
structures of any kind except for those that are hand-carried and 
certain speakers' platforms depending upon the size of the 
demonstration. In order to understand what is prohibited, the 
regulations define the term ``structure'' in section 
7.96(g)(5)(ix)(A)(4). The definition includes most items that could be 
erected or placed within the park, with limited exceptions for signs, 
attended

[[Page 40464]]

bicycles and baby strollers, and wheelchairs and other similar devices.
    The NPS proposes to move the definition of ``structure'' from 
section 7.96(g)(5)(ix)(A)(4), to the definitions section in 7.96(g)(1). 
This would clarify that the definition of the term ``structure'' 
applies anywhere that term is used in section 7.96. This includes 
section 7.96(g)(5)(vi), which regulates the use of structures in 
connection with demonstrations and special events located within any 
unit identified in section 7.96(a). This includes the National Mall and 
Memorial Parks and President's Park. This change would reduce the 
potential for confusion about the meaning of the term ``structure'' in 
section 7.96. The existing definition in 7.96(g)(5)(ix)(A)(4) has 
proven to be workable and clearly understood. Moving the term to the 
definitions section would make it easier for the public to find and 
understand the meaning of this term. The NPS proposes to add trailers, 
jumbotrons, light towers, delay towers, portable restrooms, and mobile 
stages to the definition of a structure because these items are 
commonly requested as part of larger events.

4. Consider Changing the Number of People That Could Take Part in a 
Demonstration Without a Permit at Specific Locations

    Section 7.96(g)(2) states that a demonstration or special event may 
be held only pursuant to a valid permit. There are some important 
exceptions, however, for demonstrations. Demonstrations involving 25 
persons or fewer may be held without a permit. This exception in 
section 7.96(g)(2)(i) is known as the ``small group exception.'' In 
addition to the small group exception, section 7.96(g)(2)(ii) 
identifies several locations where demonstrations of larger groups may 
be held without a permit. Up to 500 persons may demonstrate at Franklin 
Park and McPherson Square without a permit, up to 100 persons may 
demonstrate at U.S. Reservation No. 31 without a permit, and up to 
1,000 persons may demonstrate at Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway without 
a permit.
    The NPS seeks comment on whether it should increase the maximum 
number of persons that may demonstrate at Franklin Park and McPherson 
Square without a permit. The NPS also requests comment on whether it 
should establish new exceptions for Farragut Square and Dupont Circle 
that would allow demonstrations larger than 25 persons to occur without 
a permit. The NPS has determined that the maximum number of persons 
that can participate in an event without the need for a medical station 
with advanced life support is 2,500 for each location. This number 
represents the outer limit of how many people could demonstrate in each 
location without a permit in order to maintain public safety. If the 
NPS raises the maximum numbers of persons that may demonstrate in 
Franklin Park, McPherson Square, Farragut Square, or Dupont Circle 
without a permit, these numbers would be less than 2,500 in order to 
maintain public order, health, and safety, and mitigate impacts to park 
resources. The NPS seeks comment, however, on whether the numbers could 
be raised in a manner that better aligns the current limits with sizes 
and locations of the designated areas in order to increase 
opportunities for spontaneous demonstrations.
    Alternatively, the NPS seeks comment on whether it should lower the 
numbers of persons that may demonstrate in Franklin Park, McPherson 
Square, U.S. Reservation No. 31, and Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway 
without a permit. The NPS would not lower those numbers below 25 
persons which is consistent the small group exception. Lowering those 
numbers would allow the NPS to better manage and anticipate 
demonstrations occurring on NPS-administered lands.

5. Require a Permit for the Erection of Structures During a Special 
Event or Demonstration Regardless of the Number of Participants

    The NPS proposes to require a permit in order to erect structures, 
other than small lecterns or speakers' platforms, during any 
demonstration or special event--even those demonstrations that would 
not otherwise require a permit because of their small size or location. 
Current regulations generally require a permit to hold a demonstration 
or special event in the NCR. These regulations allow a permit-holder to 
erect structures to meet messaging and logistical needs. In some 
circumstances, NPS regulations allow smaller demonstrations to occur 
without a permit.
    Demonstrations involving 25 or less participants fall under the 
``small group exception'' and do not require a permit. Except for 
Lafayette Park (where only speakers' platforms are allowed in 
accordance with a permit) and the White House Sidewalk (where no 
structures are allowed), current regulations state that demonstrations 
falling under the small group exception may not erect structures other 
than small lecterns or speakers' platforms. This proposed rule would 
further define the types of structures that small groups may erect 
without a permit by stating that speakers' platforms must be no larger 
than three (3) feet in length, three (3) feet in width, and three (3) 
feet in height. This size limitation is consistent with existing 
regulations that allow the NPS to issue a permit for ``soapbox'' 
speakers' platforms in Lafayette Park if the size of the demonstration 
is less than 100 persons. The proposed rule would also clarify that 
individuals and groups of less than 25 may erect other structures, 
including larger speakers' platforms, if they obtain a permit.
    In five park areas within the NCR, current regulations allow for 
larger demonstrations to occur without a permit, provided the 
demonstrations involve less than a maximum number of participants. 
These five parks are Franklin Park (500 person limit), McPherson Square 
(500 person limit), U.S. Reservation No. 31 at 18th Street and H Street 
NW (100 person limit), Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway west of 23rd 
Street and south of P Street NW (1,000 person limit), and U.S. 
Reservation No. 46 at 8th and D Streets, SE (25 person limit). Unlike 
the regulations for demonstrations falling under the small group 
exception, the regulations establishing the permit exception areas at 
Franklin Park, McPherson Square, U.S. Reservation No. 31, Rock Creek 
and Potomac Parkway, and U.S. Reservation No. 46 do not prohibit the 
use of structures. As a result, demonstrations involving the use of 
structures are allowed without a permit in these five areas if they 
fall under the size limits.
    The NPS has determined that the absence of a permit requirement 
before erecting a structure in these five parks poses a negative impact 
to park resources and visitor safety. Without a permit, demonstrators 
erecting structures are not aware of the location of any underground 
water lines in turf areas, or when and what type of matting may be 
necessary to protect turf, marble, or granite, or ensure that the 
structure is safe.
    There was a long-term demonstration at McPherson Square in 2012, 
where among other actions, demonstrators attempted to erect a large and 
unsafe barn-like structure made up of a wooden frame of boards and 
planks. A permit was not required because the size of the demonstration 
was less than 500 people. Construction was stopped when U.S. Park 
Police officers observed the situation and consulted local safety 
officials who condemned the structure as unsafe. The same demonstration 
involved a large number of tents of various sizes, including dome, A-
frame, and outfitter tents, that covered a

[[Page 40465]]

majority of the Square. Demonstrators used these tents for sleeping, 
meetings, as a library, as temporary restroom facilities (with 
buckets), and as a mess hall (with propane), These tents and the 
individuals using them created a public health nuisance that detracted 
from health and well-being. NPS personnel and participants reported 
human waste found around tents or in trash receptacles. Rodent burrows 
were observed and rodents were reported seen at night. Flammable 
liquids were observed outside of tents. Ultimately the NPS was able to 
remove these structures, after receiving many complaints from 
surrounding residents and businesses, and documentation of unsafe and 
unhygienic conditions at McPherson Square. The U.S. Park Police 
requested and spent approximately $480,000 for emergency operations to 
maintain law and order in connection with this event. This amount does 
not include additional funds that the NPS spent to restore and 
rehabilitate the condition of the park after the event. This incident 
revealed that requiring a permit would better protect park resources 
and keep visitors safe when structures are erected--no matter the size 
of the demonstration.
    Without a permit requirement, NPS managers are less informed about 
the presence of structures and therefore in many cases are unable to 
ensure public safety, address traffic concerns, and protect park 
resources. Requiring a permit for structures--no matter the size of the 
demonstration--would allow NPS staff to work with permit applicants 
regarding their proposed structure and address legitimate concerns 
about visitor safety and resource protection. A permit would not be 
required for small lecterns, speakers' platforms, portable signs, or 
banners because these items do not raise the same concerns about public 
health, safety, and resource protection. A permit would not be required 
for individuals engaging in casual park use with objects such as small 
chairs, wheelchairs, picnic shelters, beach umbrellas, or small tables 
because this activity would not be considered an event under the 
regulations.

6. Consider Requiring Permit Applicants To Pay Fees To Allow the NPS To 
Recover Some of the Costs of Administering Permitted Activities That 
Contain Protected Speech

    The NPS has the authority to recover all costs of providing 
necessary services associated with special use permits. 54 U.S.C. 
103104. This authority allows the NPS to recover all costs incurred by 
the NPS in receiving, writing, and issuing the permit, monitoring the 
permitted use, restoring park areas, or otherwise supporting a special 
park use. Under current NPS policy, the NPS does not charge cost 
recovery if the proposed activity is an exercise of a right, such as a 
demonstration. In current practice, the NPS recovers costs associated 
with special events, but not demonstrations. The NPS recovers an 
application processing fee and is in the process of developing a more 
robust cost recovery program that would allow the NPS to recover 
additional costs associated with special events, including 
administrative, equipment, and monitoring costs.
    Demonstrations can have substantial impacts on resources, resulting 
in a financial burden to the federal government, particularly where 
structures are involved. The NPS specifically seeks comment on the 
merits of recovering costs associated with permitted demonstrations, 
and on how any cost recovery should be done. The NPS seeks comment on 
how it could establish a set of clearly defined, objective categories 
and criteria in advance for what costs would be recovered. These 
categories could include direct costs associated with event management 
(other than costs for law enforcement personnel and activities), set up 
and take down of structures; material and supply costs such as 
barricades and fencing needed for permitted activities; costs for the 
restoration, rehabilitation, and clean-up of a permitted area such as 
sanitation and trash removal; permit application costs; and costs 
associated with resource damage such as harm to turf, benches, poles, 
and walkways. The NPS requests comment on whether it should establish 
an indigency waiver for permittees who cannot afford to pay cost 
recovery, and how this waiver program could be implemented to safeguard 
the financial information of permittees. The NPS is interested only in 
how this waiver could be applied to permitted demonstrations, not 
special events. The NPS seeks comment on how it could implement 
protocols to ensure that costs recovered from administering permits 
associated with demonstrations are documented and assessed to 
permittees in a uniform and appropriate manner. If the NPS decides to 
recover some costs associated with permit applications for 
demonstrations, it requests comment on how it could provide reasonable 
advance notice to permittees about the types and amounts of costs that 
could be recovered.

7. Establish Permanent Security Zones at President's Park Where Public 
Access is Prohibited

    Section 7.96(g)(3)(i) allows the NPS to issue permits for 
demonstrations on the White House sidewalk, Lafayette Park, and the 
Ellipse. Permits may not be issued for special events in these 
locations, except for the Ellipse and for annual commemorative wreath-
laying ceremonies related to statues in Lafayette Park. Although the 
regulations allow for demonstrations and special events in some of 
these locations, the NPS has temporarily closed to general public 
access certain park areas in the vicinity of the south fence line of 
the White House and in and around First Division Memorial Park and 
Sherman Park. The United States Secret Service requested these closures 
to ensure necessary security and safety for the adjacent White House 
complex, its occupants, and the public. The NPS proposes to close these 
areas in the manner requested by the United States Secret Service by 
adding closure language to section 7.96.
    For the areas in the vicinity of the south fence line, the Secret 
Service determined that their location, visibility, and public access 
present a significant potential area of risk for individuals attempting 
to penetrate the secure perimeter of the White House Complex and gain 
unlawful access onto the grounds of the White House. Restricting public 
access to the south fence line would not only serve to lessen the 
possibility of individuals unlawfully accessing the White House 
grounds, but will also create a clear visual break to enable Secret 
Service personnel to identify any individuals attempting to scale the 
White House fence. The NPS implemented this closure on a temporary 
basis in April 2017 under its authority in 36 CFR 1.5.
    For the areas in and around the First Division Memorial Park and 
Sherman Park, the Secret Service determined that parts of these areas 
must be kept clear for security reasons. The First Division area has 
been subject to closures on a temporary and recurring basis since 
August 11, 2004. The Sherman Park area has been subject to closures on 
a temporary and recurring basis since December 4, 2009. Neither 
demonstrations nor special events are currently allowed in these areas, 
so this rule change would not remove these areas from the public forum. 
State Place and Hamilton Place have been closed to general vehicle 
traffic for some time. Even with these closures in place, the public 
can continue to see the White House's south fa[ccedil]ade from the 
Ellipse.

[[Page 40466]]

The closures would not adversely affect the park's natural, aesthetic, 
or cultural values given the existing and ongoing public safety and 
security measures and alerts in Washington, DC since the September 11, 
2001, terrorist attacks.

8. Establish Additional Restricted Zones at Memorials on the National 
Mall Where Special Events and Demonstrations Are Not Allowed in Order 
To Preserve an Atmosphere of Contemplation

Memorial Restricted Areas
    This rule would create restricted areas at the World War II 
Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, 
Jr. Memorial. Demonstrations and special events would be prohibited in 
these restricted areas, except for official commemorative ceremonies. 
These restricted areas are similar to the restricted areas at the 
Lincoln Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Washington 
Monument, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which were established 
decades ago and are intended to help maintain an appropriate atmosphere 
of calm, tranquility, and reverence in these memorial areas, while 
allowing designated official commemorative ceremonies. NPS regulations 
establishing the restricted area at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial were 
upheld in Oberwetter v. Hilliard, 639 F.3d 545 (D.C. Cir. 2011). This 
rule would also expand the restricted area at the Washington Monument 
to account for the area around the Monument's base that has been 
substantially landscaped with granite pavers and marble benches up to 
its circle of flags. The rule would also include clearer maps of the 
existing restricted areas at the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and 
the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The updated map of the restricted areas 
at the White House would depict the proposed security closures 
discussed in the prior section.
    These restrictions further the NPS's interest in securing these 
memorials and maintaining the intended atmosphere of calm, tranquility, 
and reverence, and in providing the contemplative visitor experience 
intended for the memorials. The restrictions in this rule are limited 
and apply only to those areas necessary to further the interests 
identified above. At each location, there are several other nearby 
areas available for a more full range of free expression, including 
demonstrations and special events. Maps showing the location of 
restricted areas would be available online at https://home.nps.gov/nama/learn/management/index.htm and at National Mall and Memorial Parks 
headquarters at 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20024.
    The rule would make slight modifications to the restricted area at 
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in order to help the NPS manage events. 
These modifications would slightly scale back the areas where sound and 
stage equipment are currently not allowed. This would allow for other 
groups to walk on the exterior pathways and place equipment along the 
reflecting pool for larger events. In addition, the striped restricted 
areas--where demonstrations and special events are currently 
prohibited--would be scaled back to the inside of the north and west 
sidewalks on the top of the wall.
World War II Memorial
    Authorized by an Act of Congress at 107 Stat. 90 (1993), the World 
War II Memorial honors the service of sixteen million members of the 
Armed Forces of the United States of America, the support of millions 
of others on the homefront, and the ultimate sacrifice of more than 
400,000 Americans. Dedicated on May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial 
serves as a tribute to the legacy of ``The Greatest Generation.'' The 
granite, bronze, and water elements of the Memorial harmoniously blend 
with the lawns, trees, and shrubbery of the surrounding landscape on 
the National Mall.
    The 24 bronze bas-relief panels that flank the Memorial's 
Ceremonial Entrance offer glimpses into the human experience at home 
and at war. Fifty-six granite columns, split between two half-circles 
framing the rebuilt Rainbow Pool with its celebratory fountains, 
symbolize the unprecedented wartime unity among the forty-eight states, 
seven federal territories, and the District of Columbia. Bronze ropes 
tie the columns together, while bronze oak and wheat wreaths represent 
the nation's industrial and agricultural strengths. Two 43-foot tall 
pavilions proclaim American victory on the Atlantic and Pacific fronts.
    At the center of the World War II Memorial is the Freedom Wall 
Plaza. The Freedom Wall is located on the west side of the Plaza. The 
Wall contains 4,048 Gold Stars, each of which represents 100 American 
military deaths. During World War II, when a man or woman went off to 
serve in the war, his or her family often displayed a blue star on a 
white field with a red border in their window. If the family member 
died in the war effort, the family would replace the blue star with a 
gold star that revealed that family's sacrifice. Beneath the gold stars 
on the Freedom Wall appears the simple but poignant engraved message: 
``Here We Mark the Price of Freedom,'' which pays silent and solemn 
tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Much like a formal 
gathering where the guest or place of honor is at center, the Freedom 
Wall with its gold stars is the Memorial's place of honor, which 
symbolizes the number of American dead and missing from World War II. 
The restricted area would be located in front of the Freedom Wall and 
extend to the western edge of the Rainbow Pool.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
    Authorized by an Act of Congress at 110 Stat. 3226 (1986), the 
Korean War Veterans Memorial honors members of the Armed Forces of the 
United States who served in the Korean War. Dedicated on July 27, 1995, 
the Memorial is located on the National Mall just south of the Lincoln 
Reflecting Pool. Viewed from above, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is 
a circle intersected by a triangle. Visitors approaching from the east 
first come to the triangular Field of Service, where a group of 19 
stainless-steel statues depicts a squad on patrol. Strips of granite 
and scrubby juniper bushes suggest the rugged Korean terrain, while the 
statues' windblown ponchos recall the harsh weather. This symbolic 
patrol represents soldiers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds in the 
U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines.
    On the north side of the statues is a granite curb which lists the 
22 countries that sent troops or gave medical support in defense of 
South Korea. On the south side is a black granite wall, whose polished 
surface mirrors the statues, intermingling the reflected images with 
faces etched into the granite. The mural is based on actual photographs 
of unidentified American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. 
Walking past the Field of Service, visitors approach the circular Pool 
of Remembrance. The Pool is encircled by a grove of trees and provides 
a quiet setting for contemplation. The numbers of those killed, 
wounded, missing in action, and held prisoner-of-war are etched nearby 
in stone. Opposite this counting of the war's toll is another granite 
wall which bears a simple but poignant engraved message inlaid in 
silver: ``Freedom Is Not Free.'' The restricted area would encompass 
most of the Memorial. The perimeter of the restricted area would be 
marked by the exterior walkways and by the placement of ground-level 
markers to mark its eastern boundary, similar to markers identifying 
the eastern

[[Page 40467]]

boundary of the restricted areas at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
    Authorized by an Act of Congress at 110 Stat. 4157 (1986), the 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was dedicated on October 16, 2011. The 
Memorial helps preserve the memory of Dr. King as a visionary, a faith 
leader and public intellectual, an unwavering advocate of social 
justice, and a martyr to peace, equality, and justice. On the steps of 
the nearby Lincoln Memorial, a clear symbol of freedom, Dr. King 
delivered his first national address, ``Give Us the Ballot'' in 1957. 
He returned to the Lincoln Memorial as a key figure supporting the 1963 
March on Washington. There, in the defining moment of his leadership in 
the movement for civil rights, Dr. King delivered his immortal ``I Have 
a Dream'' speech.
    The Memorial is located on the banks of the Tidal Basin between the 
Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials and accentuates Dr. King's story 
within the larger narrative of the nation. The Memorial encompasses 
four acres, and comprises elements of architecture, water features, 
sculpture and inscriptions, that together create a sense of place and a 
setting for remembrance and celebration. At the north entry portal, the 
Mountain of Despair's two stones are parted and the Stone of Hope is 
pushed forward toward the horizon; the missing piece of what was once a 
single boulder. The emergent Stone of Hope represents the struggle felt 
by Dr. King whose image is carved in it and gazes over the Tidal Basin 
toward a future society of justice and equality.
    The quotations chosen for the plaza's Inscription Walls represent 
Dr. King's messages of justice, democracy, hope, and love. Fourteen of 
Dr. King's quotes are engraved on a 450-foot crescent shaped granite 
wall. These quotes span his involvement with the Montgomery bus 
boycotts in Alabama in 1955 to his last sermon delivered at the 
National Cathedral in Washington, DC, in 1968, four days before his 
assassination. The restricted area would encompass almost all of the 
plaza in the Memorial that begins when the visitor emerges from the 
portal through the Mountain of Despair.
Washington Monument
    The Washington Monument honors both the nation's first President 
and his legacy. Built between 1848 and 1884, the Monument is the 
nation's foremost memorial to President Washington and the tallest 
masonry structure in the world at approximately 555 feet tall. 
Dedicated in 1884, the Washington Monument shows the enduring gratitude 
and respect held by the citizens of the United States for President 
Washington and his contributions to the fight for independence and 
founding of our Nation. The Washington Monument is surrounded by a 
circular colonnade of 50 aluminum flagpoles that display American 
flags. These flags represent the 50 states and are displayed at all 
times during the day and night to symbolize our enduring freedom.
    In 2014, the Washington Monument plaza and its marble benches were 
rehabilitated with the installation of granite pavers that extend from 
the Monument to the circle of flags. From the Washington Monument 
plaza, visitors can also see grand vistas south to the Thomas Jefferson 
Memorial, east to the Capitol, north to the White House, and west to 
the Lincoln Memorial.
    When the current restricted area for the Washington Monument was 
established, there was an inner circle surrounding the base of the 
Monument that was encircled by a roadway. The restricted area included 
the inner circle and extended to the roadway. This took advantage of an 
obvious physical boundary to mark the edge of the restricted area. The 
roadway was removed in 2001 and is now covered by the granite plaza 
that was completed in 2014. This granite plaza extends from the 
Monument beyond the old location of the roadway out to the circle of 
flags. In order to provide certainty to the public about the extent of 
the restricted area, and to allow more visitors to experience the grand 
vistas south to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, east to the Capitol, 
north to the White House, and west to the Lincoln Memorial, the NPS 
proposes to expand the restricted area outward approximately 48 feet to 
include the entire granite plaza that surrounds the Monument out to the 
circle of flags. Visitors would thus be able to readily identify the 
expanded restricted area because it is delineated by the circle of 
flags which is marked by a post and chain fence that surrounds the 
plaza. The granite plaza is also a different material than the concrete 
sidewalks that lead to it. The NPS believes it is important to reserve 
the entire granite plaza as a place where an atmosphere of calm, 
tranquility and reverence is maintained, so that visitors may 
contemplate the meaning of the Monument and of George Washington, while 
leaving ample space nearby for demonstrations and special events. For 
many people, standing in the granite plaza or sitting on one of its 
marble benches will be as close as they get to the Monument because of 
the obelisk's limited occupant capacity and hours of operation.

9. Modify Regulations Explaining How the NPS Processes Permit 
Applications for Demonstrations and Special Events

    Sections 7.96(g)(3) and (4) describe how the public can submit a 
permit application to the NPS for a demonstration or special event, and 
how the NPS will process that application. The NPS proposes to make 
several changes to these regulations in order to provide greater 
clarity and certainty to the public about how the NPS processes permit 
applications. Applying for a commercial filming permit at the National 
Mall and Memorial Parks and President's Park is governed by regulations 
in 43 CFR part 5, which are not affected by this proposed rule.
Waiver of 48-Hour Permit Application Deadline
    Section 7.96(g)(3) requires that applicants submit permit 
applications at least 48 hours in advance of any demonstration or 
special event. Under existing regulations, this requirement can be 
waived by the Regional Director if the size and nature of the activity 
will not reasonably require the commitment of park resources or 
personnel in excess of that which are normally available or which can 
reasonably be made available within the necessary time period. The NPS 
proposes to replace this waiver language by stating that 
notwithstanding the 48-hour requirement, the Regional Director will 
reasonably seek to accommodate spontaneous demonstrations, subject to 
all limitations and restrictions applicable to the requested location, 
provided such demonstrations do not include structures and provided the 
NPS has the resources and personnel available to manage the activity. 
Reactions to specific or imminent occurrences, including but not 
limited to a presidential action, congressional vote, or Supreme Court 
decision, often result in requests for spontaneous demonstrations. 
Adding this statement would provide more flexibility for spontaneous 
demonstrations, while allowing the Regional Director to ensure that the 
NPS and the U.S. Park Police have the law enforcement capacity to 
safely manage events that are requested with less than 48-hours notice. 
The proposed language would clarify for the public that structures may 
not be used for events that are not requested at least 48 hours in 
advance. This is the minimum amount of time the NPS needs to evaluate 
the safety concerns

[[Page 40468]]

and resource impacts associated with the use of structures.
Removal of 24-Hour Deemed Granted Status for Demonstrations
    Section 7.96(g)(3) states that applications for demonstrations are 
deemed granted, subject to all limitations and restrictions applicable 
to the park area, unless denied within 24 hours of receipt. Permit 
applications that are ``deemed granted'' after this 24-hour period 
remain subject to terms and conditions that are negotiated between the 
applicant and the NPS. This negotiation can result in the permit 
application being denied, partially denied, or modified by the NPS as 
it receives more information from the permittee about the requested 
event. This is particularly the case when applicants request permits 
for large and complex demonstrations with structures that raise 
resource and public safety concerns. In some cases, the NPS receives 
information from the applicant in the weeks or days before the event 
begins. This can result in the NPS imposing permit terms and conditions 
just before the event in order to mitigate concerns related to park 
resources and public order and safety. The result is that permit 
applications that have been ``deemed granted'' are often times subject 
to a lengthy review process that can be confusing for permit 
applicants. The NPS proposes to remove the ``deemed granted'' language 
in section 7.96(g)(3) and replace it with language in section 
7.96(g)(4) that better reflects how the NPS processes permit 
applications. These changes are discussed below.
Timeline To Respond to an Application
    Section 7.96(g)(4)(1) states that the NPS processes permit 
applications for demonstrations and special events in order of receipt. 
This regulation also states that the NPS will not accept applications 
more than one year in advance of a proposed event (including set-up 
time). An application is considered received at the time and date 
stamped on the application by a staff member of the NPS Permits 
Management Division. Applications are only stamped if they contain 
basic information about the requested event. At minimum, an application 
must provide the location, purpose and plan for the event, time and 
date, number of people who will participate, and contact information. 
Instead of the 24-hour ``deemed granted'' provision, the NPS proposes 
that it will provide an initial response for all permit applications 
for demonstrations within three business days of receipt. Within that 
time frame, the NPS would notify the applicant that the permit 
application has been characterized in one of three ways: Approved, 
Provisionally Reserved, or Denied. The NPS anticipates that this 
notification will be in the form of an electronic communication (e.g. 
text message, email) indicating the category of disposition and--if the 
application is provisionally reserved--stating that the NPS will 
follow-up with the applicant for more information. If the NPS fails to 
send the electronic communication to the permit applicant within three 
business days of receiving the application, then the permit application 
will be approved. The NPS anticipates that it will use electronic 
communication with applicants in order to provide more rapid and timely 
information. The NPS proposes to clarify in the regulations that only 
those applications that contain basic information about the event 
(location, time and date, purpose and plan for the event, number of 
people who will participate, and contact information) will be subject 
to the three-business day initial response period. Applications that do 
not contain this information prevent the NPS from making an initial 
determination about their status. The NPS would notify applicants if 
their applications do not contain enough information to make an initial 
determination and would identify the information that must be provided.
    Applications for special events will not be subject to this 
requirement and therefore will not be considered approved after any 
specified period of time. The NPS will respond to applications for 
special events as soon as practicable given the workload and available 
resources in the Division of Permits Management when the application is 
received. The NPS will provide an opportunity for the applicant to 
characterize the event as either a demonstration or a special event. 
The NPS, however, will apply the definitions of demonstration and 
special event to determine the type of activity requested by a permit 
application for purposes of whether an initial response must be 
provided within three business days. For events that contain elements 
of both demonstrations and special events, only the demonstration 
elements will be approved if the NPS fails to notify the applicant that 
those elements are either provisionally reserved or denied within three 
business days.
    The NPS believes that the increased volume and complexity of 
applications for events necessitates an increase in the amount of time 
it has to provide information back to the applicant about the status of 
a particular request. Under existing regulations, an application for a 
demonstration is deemed granted, based on language in the decision in 
Quaker Action IV, 516 F.2d 717 (1975), unless the NPS denies the 
application within 24 hours. In this way, permit applicants can 
understand the status of their application for a demonstration within 
24 hours, although applications that are deemed granted remain 
``subject to all limitations and restrictions applicable to said park 
area.'' The NPS proposes to extend the timeframe for either denying an 
application for a demonstration or providing an applicant a reservation 
of space from 24 hours to three business days. This would account for 
the substantial increase in the volume and complexity of permit 
applications over time. In 1975, for example, the NPS processed 705 
permit applications for demonstrations and events located within NPS 
units subject to section 7.96. In 1976, the NPS processed 876 
applications. By comparison, the NPS processed 2,986 permit 
applications in 2016, plus an additional 800 commercial filming permits 
for television and motion pictures. In 2017, the NPS processed 4,658 
permit applications for demonstrations, special events, and commercial 
filming. In the last ten years, the NPS processed an average of almost 
3,000 permits per year, including demonstrations, special events, and 
commercial filming. Requested events have become more complex with 
advancements in staging, structures, and audio-visual technology. The 
increased complexity of events is reflected in the personnel services 
costs necessary to manage them. On average, permit processing 
activities require more than five full time employees at a cost of 
$700,000 per year. Events such as running and bicycle races cost the 
United States Park Police an average of $40,000 per event. More complex 
events are much more expensive. For example, the United States Park 
Police spent approximately $500,000 to manage the opening of the 
National Museum of African American History and Culture. The United 
States Park Police and the National Mall and Memorial Parks staff spent 
approximately $730,000 to manage the HBO Concert for Valor in November 
2014 and approximately $350,000 to manage the Landmark Music Festival 
in September 2015.
Categories for the Disposition of Permit Applications
    The NPS proposes that applications for demonstrations and special 
events would be initially categorized in one of three ways: Approved, 
Provisionally Reserved, or Denied. The NPS proposes to process 
applications in each category

[[Page 40469]]

differently, as described below. The NPS believes that these categories 
will provide more information to the public about the status of their 
applications than is provided by the existing regulations.
    If the NPS approves a permit application, the NPS would send a 
permit to the applicant for the specific event requested as soon as 
practicable. The permit would contain terms and conditions that would 
not be subject to change or negotiation. The permit could contain 
conditions reasonably consistent with the requirements of public health 
and safety and protection of park resources. The permit could also 
contain reasonable limitations on the equipment used and the time and 
area within which the event is allowed. A permit for a special event 
could also require the applicant to file a cost recovery deposit in an 
amount adequate to cover costs such as restoration, rehabilitation, and 
clean-up of the area used, and other costs resulting from the event. In 
addition, a permit for a special event may require the acquisition of 
liability insurance in which the United States is named as co-insured 
in an amount necessary to protect the United States. The NPS would 
reasonably seek to accommodate requests from the applicant for changes 
to the permitted event after the permit application has been approved. 
Minor changes may not require the establishment of new permit 
conditions. The NPS may require the applicant to agree to new permit 
conditions in order to accommodate material changes such as changes to 
the nature and purpose of the event, the location of the event, the 
type and number of structures involved, or the number or notoriety of 
participants.
    Existing regulations allow the ranking U.S. Park Police supervisory 
official in charge to revoke a permit or part of a permit for a 
demonstration if continuation of the event presents a clear and present 
danger to the public safety, good order or health or for any violation 
of applicable law or regulation. Existing regulations allow the 
Regional Director to exercise reasonable discretion to revoke a permit 
for a special event at any time. The NPS is replacing these two 
standards of revocation with one, uniform standard that applies to both 
demonstrations and special events. This will give permit holders more 
certainty about the validity of their permit and the conditions that 
could result in its revocation. The NPS proposes to allow the Regional 
Director or the ranking U.S. Park Police supervisory official in charge 
to revoke a permit or part of a permit for any violation of its terms 
or conditions, or if the event presents a clear and present danger to 
the public safety, good order, or health, or for any violation of 
applicable law or regulation. Any such revocation shall be in writing. 
The NPS exercises discretion when faced with minor violations of permit 
conditions and seeks to work with permittees to resolve such violations 
prior to revoking a permit. The NPS seeks comment on whether the 
regulations should state that it may only revoke a permit for 
``material'' violations of permit conditions.
    If the NPS categorizes a permit application as provisionally 
reserved, the NPS would reserve the requested location, date, and time 
for the applicant, but would not approve the application and issue a 
permit until it receives additional information. During the 
provisionally reserved stage, the NPS would work diligently to resolve 
all outstanding questions in order to determine whether the request can 
be approved or denied. If the NPS receives an application more than 60 
days prior to the requested event, the NPS would provide the applicant 
with an initial, comprehensive list of outstanding issues and requested 
information no later than 40 days prior to the requested event. If not 
provided on the initial application, the NPS would likely ask for 
information about equipment and facilities to be used, and whether 
there is any reason to believe that there will be an attempt to 
disrupt, protest, or prevent the event. The NPS could request 
additional information from the applicant based upon the applicant's 
response to the initial list. This exchange of information could occur 
through written correspondence, or through one or more logistical 
meetings among the NPS and the applicant. The NPS would make all 
reasonable efforts to approve or deny a permit application at least 30 
days in advance of a requested event. Permit applicants would be 
required to provide the NPS with all requested information before the 
NPS approves or denies an application.
    If the NPS denies a permit application, it would notify the 
applicant in writing that it is unable to accommodate the requested 
event. The NPS would notify the applicant if the application could be 
approved or provisionally reserved if certain aspects of the request 
are modified. If the applicant notifies the NPS that it would consider 
modifying its application for the requested event, the NPS would work 
with the applicant to modify the application in a manner that it could 
be approved or provisionally reserved. Modifications could include 
fewer participants, less staging, a different footprint for the event, 
different structures incident to it, a different date or time of day or 
the order of the event, or an alternative location that could 
accommodate the requested event. In this case, the applicant would not 
be required to submit a new application. The modified application would 
be processed based upon the date it was initially received by the NPS. 
If the applicant is not willing to modify its application in a manner 
and with enough advance notice that would allow the NPS to accommodate 
the event, the application would be denied.

10. Adopt Criteria in 36 CFR Part 2 for Reviewing Permit Applications 
That Apply to Other NPS Areas. Remove Redundant Criteria in 7.96

    Sections 7.96(g)(4)(vii) and (5)(v) contain criteria that the 
Regional Director can use to approve or deny permit applications for 
events within the NCR. Sections 2.50(a) and 2.51(f) contain criteria 
that park superintendents can use to approve or deny permit 
applications for events in other units of the National Park System. 
Several of the criteria in parts 2 and 7 are similar to each other. In 
order to simplify and streamline its regulations, the NPS proposes to 
remove criteria from section 7.96 and instead refer to similar criteria 
stated in sections 2.50 and 2.51. In some circumstances, however, the 
NPS would maintain the criteria in section 7.96 if those criteria 
address particular management issues associated with the NCR. The rule 
would clarify that even where the criteria in section 2.50 and 2.51 are 
adopted in section 7.96, the Regional Director--not the park 
superintendent--has the authority to approve or deny permit 
applications for units that are subject to section 7.96. This authority 
is currently delegated to the Permits Management Division at the 
National Mall and Memorial Parks. The table below indicates the 
criteria that would apply to special events and demonstrations within 
the NCR and the citation where those criteria are located in existing 
regulations. These criteria help the NPS address the management issues 
indicated in the table.

[[Page 40470]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Criterion                              Existing citation                  Management issue
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Demonstrations and Special Events
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A fully executed prior application for the   7.96(g)(4)(vii)(A)....................  Multiple Occupancy.
 same time and place has been received, and
 a permit has been or will be granted
 authorizing activities which do not
 reasonably permit multiple occupancy of
 the particular area.
The event is of such a nature or duration    7.96(g)(4)(vii)(C)....................  Site Capacity and
 that it cannot reasonably be accommodated                                            Suitability.
 in the particular area applied for; the
 Regional Director shall reasonably take
 into account possible damage to the park,
 including trees, shrubbery, other
 plantings, park installations and statues.
The application proposes activities          7.96(g)(4)(vii)(D)....................  Conformity with Laws and
 contrary to any of the provisions of this                                            Regulations.
 section or other applicable law or
 regulation.
Present a clear and present danger to the    2.50(a)(5)............................  Public Health and Safety.
 public health and safety.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Special Events Only
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cause injury or damage to park resources...  2.50(a)(1)............................  Resource Impairment.
Be contrary to the purposes for which the    2.50(a)(2)............................  Value Impairment.
 natural, historic, development and special
 use zones were established; or
 unreasonably impair the atmosphere of
 peace and tranquility maintained in
 wilderness, natural, historic, or
 commemorative zones.
Unreasonably interfere with interpretive,    2.50(a)(3)............................  Conflict with Park
 visitor service, or other program                                                    Operations.
 activities, or with the administrative
 activities of the NPS.
Substantially impair the operation of        2.50(a)(4)............................  Conflict with
 public use facilities or services of NPS                                             Concessionaire or
 concessioners or contractors.                                                        Contractor Operations.
Result in significant conflict with other    2.50(a)(6)............................  Conflict with Other Uses.
 existing uses.
Whether the objectives and purposes of the   7.96(g)(5)(v)(A)......................  Mission Alignment.
 proposed special event relate to and are
 within the basic mission and
 responsibilities of the National Capital
 Region, National Park Service.
Whether the park area requested is           7.96(g)(5)(v)(B)......................  Site Capability and
 reasonably suited in terms of                                                        Suitability.
 accessibility, size, and nature of the
 proposed event.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NPS proposes to remove two criteria in section 7.96 that apply 
only to special events and are no longer needed for the reasons stated 
in the table below.

                                               Special Events Only
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Criterion                           Existing citation                   Reason for removal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Whether the proposed special event can    7.96(g)(5)(v)(C).....................  The NPS seeks full cost
 be permitted within a reasonable                                                 recovery for special events
 budgetary allocation of National Park                                            and should not bear costs
 Service funds considering the event's                                            associated with permitting,
 public appeal, and the anticipated                                               monitoring, and supporting
 participation of the general public                                              special event activities,
 therein.                                                                         other than those sponsored by
                                                                                  the NPS.
Whether the proposed event is             7.96(g)(5)(v)(D).....................  The described area is too broad
 duplicative of events previously                                                 to consider when determining
 offered in National Capital Region or                                            whether an event is
 elsewhere in or about Washington, DC.                                            duplicative of another event.
                                                                                  This criteria does not account
                                                                                  for events that are similar
                                                                                  but held at different times.
                                                                                  Applicants may request to have
                                                                                  separate events in different
                                                                                  locations with the NCR that
                                                                                  commemorate the same figure or
                                                                                  occasion.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11. Establish a Maximum Permit Period of 30 Days, Plus a Reasonable 
Amount of Time Needed for Set Up and Take Down of Structures Before and 
After the Event

    Section 7.96(g)(4)(vi) states that the NPS will issue permits 
authorizing demonstrations or special events for seven days in the 
White House area (except the Ellipse) and for four months in the 
Ellipse and all other park areas. The permit validity period is 
different for activities related to inaugural events. In the White 
House area (except the Ellipse), the permit validity period for 
inaugural activities is October 24 through April 1 for reasonable and 
necessary set-up and take-down activities for the White House Sidewalk 
and Lafayette Park. In the Ellipse and all other park areas, the permit 
validity period for inaugural activities is December 7-February 10 for 
reasonable and necessary set up and take down activities for 
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site and Sherman Park.
    The NPS proposes to adjust the permit validity period to an amount 
of time not to exceed 30 days, plus a reasonable amount of time 
necessary for set-up and take down of structures associated with an 
event. The NPS will determine a reasonable amount of time for set-up 
and take down of structures based upon information provided by the 
permit applicant. If a permit application requests the use of 
structures such as tents or stages, the NPS would consult the Turf 
Management and Event Operations Guide for the Mall, Lincoln Memorial, 
Washington Monument, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial to assess potential 
impacts to park resources. The NPS could limit the amount of time a 
structure may be allowed on turf to a period less than maximum period 
duration, including for events presented by the NPS, in order to 
mitigate adverse impacts to the resources identified in the Guide. Upon 
request, the Regional Director could renew a permit for additional, 
consecutive periods of 30 days or less. Permittees would be required to 
submit requests for renewals to the NPS at least 10 days prior to the

[[Page 40471]]

expiration of an existing permit. This would provide enough time for 
the NPS to check the availability of the location and issue the permit. 
Consistent with the applicable resource management policies, the NPS 
proposes to require events with structures to move to a different 
location after the expiration of a permit in order to mitigate impacts 
to resources such as turf and irrigation systems and historic and 
cultural vistas within the NCR. The NPS could require, in its 
discretion, events without structures to be moved to a different 
location if necessary to mitigate the same impacts.
    The proposed change to the maximum permit duration would establish 
a uniform regulatory scheme for all park areas subject to section 7.96. 
The 30 day permit duration period would apply to all events, even those 
that do not have structures. This would simplify the regulatory 
framework and provide greater clarity to the public about the duration 
of permits. Reducing the maximum permit duration period from four 
months to 30 days (plus time needed to setup and breakdown structures) 
would also create more opportunities for applicants to apply for 
certain dates and locations within the National Mall and Memorial Parks 
and President's Park. The NPS expects the number of permit applications 
to continue to increase over time. The proposed change in maximum 
period duration would increase opportunities for a variety of groups 
and individuals to use the areas within the National Mall and Memorial 
Parks and President's Park for demonstrations and special events.
    Section 7.96(g)(5)(vi)(D) states that any structures used in a 
demonstration extending beyond the maximum duration of a permit must be 
capable of being removed upon 24 hours notice and the site restored, 
or, the structure shall be secured in a fashion so as not to interfere 
unreasonably with the use of the park area by other permittees. The NPS 
proposes to remove this paragraph because it would no longer be 
necessary if the maximum permit duration period is revised to include 
time for take down of structures. If a structure poses a safety risk 
during a permitted event, the NPS would have the authority to revoke 
the portion of the permit allowing for the structure under paragraph 
(g)(6).

12. Identify Locations Where Structures May Not Be Used, and Restrict 
the Height, Weight, Equipment, and Materials of Structures When They 
Are Permitted During Special Events and Demonstrations

Significance of the Viewshed
    The NPS administers some of the most spectacular and historically 
significant landscapes in the country. Visual characteristics are often 
central to a park area's management and visitor experience, and 
visitors consistently identify scenic views as major reason for 
visiting parks. The National Mall Historic District and the Washington 
Monument and Grounds Historic District are both listed in the National 
Register of Historic Places at the national level of significance. The 
nominations for these Districts emphasize how scenic views and vistas 
contribute to the significance of these historic properties. These 
include planned views along the principal north-south and east-west 
axes of the National Mall, reciprocal views between major memorial 
sites, extended views along contributing streets and avenues, 
multidirectional views across component landscapes, and periodic views 
of resources from circulation routes, among others.
    Pierre Charles L'Enfant developed his 1791 plan for the city of 
Washington with keen attention to visual relationships among the sites 
he dedicated to public buildings and monuments. Nowhere was that 
concept more important than along the National Mall, where views west 
from the U.S. Capitol and south from the White House intersected at a 
proposed equestrian statue of George Washington. The primary vista west 
from the U.S. Capitol along L'Enfant's ``Grand Avenue'' to the site for 
a proposed equestrian statue of George Washington intersected with 
views south from the White House. L'Enfant's planned views also 
extended beyond the statue to the Potomac River. The L'Enfant Plan is 
itself listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
    The McMillan (Senate Park) Commission Plan of 1901-02 also focused 
on visual relationships, adapting L'Enfant's visual corridor as the 
basis for their planning for the Mall and advancing it to take in new 
memorial sites. The McMillan Commission conceived of sites ultimately 
occupied by the Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials as the 
termination of principal views from the U.S. Capitol and the White 
House, respectively--creating the great cross axis of today's National 
Mall. The McMillan Plan also established a setback for new buildings to 
ensure that views along the east-west axis remained unimpeded, and 
subsequent development honored the National Mall's principal views.
    The construction of the Washington Monument itself established 
significant new views across the Mall, the city of Washington, and the 
developing region, and became the focus of important views from beyond 
the Mall. Other significant views were established as the landscape 
developed and incorporated into the principal view sheds or developed 
as new monuments, memorials, and buildings were constructed.
    Congress has recognized the significance of the viewshed within the 
National Mall and Memorial Parks and President's Park. The 
Commemorative Works Act of 1986 (CWA) prohibits the construction of 
commemorative works within an areas designated as the ``Reserve'' 
unless they are approved by the National Capital Memorial Advisory 
Commission. The ``Reserve includes the great cross-axis of the National 
Mall, extending from the United States Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, 
and from the White House to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. In 2003, 
Congress amended the CWA and stated as one of its findings that the 
Reserve ``is a substantially completed work of civic art'' and that its 
integrity should be preserved.
    In 2018, the NPS conducted a visual impact analysis to assess the 
visual impacts of structures in various locations within the National 
Mall and Memorial Parks and President's Park. The purpose of the study 
was to better understand the impact of structures associated with 
demonstrations and events have upon the historical and significant 
viewshed within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and President's 
Park. Visual impacts were assessed using Geographic Information Systems 
(GIS) and were depicted in both map form (viewshed analysis) and 
ground-level scenes (3D visualizations) that included a simple block, 
virtual structure at specified locations and standing heights. The 
viewshed analysis was used to demonstrate on maps certain visitor view 
points from which a proposed structure may be seen. The 3D 
visualizations simulated potential observable, actual surroundings with 
a proposed structure included. The goal of the visual impact analysis 
was to better understand how structures associated with demonstrations 
and special events within the National Mall and Memorial Parks and 
President's Park could adversely impact the historic and cultural 
viewshed. The NPS made

[[Page 40472]]

the following key conclusions from the study:
     The map analysis reinforces the linear (north-south and 
east-west) nature of the dominant views within and through the National 
Mall.
     The map analysis demonstrates how topography and 
vegetation influence visibility.
     There is a limited correlation between visual impacts and 
selected viewing points and structure points.
     Viewable area maps reveal local versus broad/diffuse 
impacts to views.
     Analysis reveals that structures close to memorials and 
within primary view corridors detract from the visitor experience and 
alter the perception of the historically significant characteristics of 
the landscapes of the National Mall and President's Park.
     Structures set back from major Memorials and substantially 
offset from primary views and vistas are less disruptive to the 
characteristics that make the National Mall and individual memorials 
significant.
    The study suggests that locations that are especially vulnerable to 
impacts from the introduction of structures include (1) locations in 
close proximity to major monuments and memorials; (2) locations 
directly aligned with either of the two primary east-west and north-
south axes; and (3) elevated and open locations. The study suggests 
that there are a number of potential structure locations that would 
result in only limited localized impacts. These include (1) the area 
south of the Reflecting Pool and its associated elm walks; (2) select 
locations within Constitution Gardens; and (3) the quadrants of the 
Ellipse outside of the 150-foot north-south vista between the White 
House and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The proposed height 
restrictions for structures in this rule are based upon the NPS's 
evaluation of the visual impact analysis and are intended to allow the 
public to use these open forums in a manner that mitigates impacts to 
the significant viewsheds.
Proposed Height Restrictions
    Section 7.96(g)(5)(vi) contains limitations regarding the use of 
structures in connection with permitted demonstrations and special 
events. As discussed above, the NPS proposes to require a permit in 
order to erect structures, other than small lecterns or speakers' 
platforms that would be allowed without a permit in most locations, 
during any demonstration or special event--even if those demonstrations 
would not otherwise require a permit because of their small size.
    The NPS also proposes to establish areas where structures would not 
be allowed and other areas where structures would be allowed but 
subject to maximum height restrictions. These proposed restrictions are 
based upon an evaluation of the visual impact analysis explained above. 
This evaluation and the visual impact analysis are available online at 
https://home.nps.gov/nama/learn/management/index.htm. A table 
explaining the proposed restrictions and a map identifying the 
restricted areas are found in the proposed rule. This table relates 
solely to the use of structures at locations and times where events may 
be permitted under section 7.96. Structures are not allowed at any 
location if the requested event is not allowed at that location.
    In addition to the restrictions in the table, the rule would 
prohibit the use of structures within the drip line of any tree located 
in Lafayette Park or the Ellipse. This restriction is a long-standing 
administrative practice of the NPS and is designed to protect the trees 
in these locations, which have cultural and historic value. The drip 
line of a tree indicates the outer extent of the tree root system.
The Turf Resource at the National Mall and Memorial Parks
    On January 24, 2013, Secretary of the Interior Salazar issued 
Secretarial Order 3326, ``Management and Protection of the National 
Mall and its Historic Landscape.'' Order 3326 recognizes the National 
Mall as one of the most important landscapes in the United States and 
acknowledges that it experiences extreme and increasing levels of use. 
The Order sets forth a strategy for maintaining sustainable use of the 
National Mall in lights of the volume of requests to use this area. 
Part of this strategy prioritizes (1) increasing non-turf areas to 
better accommodate the use of temporary structures for appropriate 
permitted activities; (2) developing a professional turf management 
staff to identify and implement best practices for turf management and 
to develop permits that take those turf management concerns into 
consideration; and (3) updating permit conditions to require the use of 
best practices that ensure resource protection by addressing permit 
conditions for the expected level of attendance, duration of events, 
use of turf areas, the size and layout of temporary structures, and the 
location of structures on durable non-turf areas.
    As part of the NPS's implementation of the Order, the NPS completed 
a Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the Mall, Lincoln 
Memorial, Washington Monument, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial in 2015. 
This Guide is used by the NPS when it considers the potential impacts 
of tents or temporary structures on turf areas within the National Mall 
and Memorial Parks. The Guide identifies non-turf areas such as 
walkways and hardscape panels as the preferred location for events of 
all types, particularly events using structures. The Guide allows the 
NPS to permit structures on turf panels, but subject to limitations 
stated in the Guide to protect the turf and promote public safety. 
Limitations include restrictions about duration, weight, equipment 
(e.g. stakes), and materials used for structures. The NPS consults the 
Guide and implements appropriate limitations on structures in the 
conditions of a permit.
    Existing NPS regulations in section 7.96(g)(5)(vi)(C) allow the 
Regional Director to impose reasonable restrictions upon the use of 
temporary structures in the interest of protecting the park areas 
involved, traffic and public safety considerations, and other 
legitimate park value concerns. In order to provide more clarity to the 
public about the types of restrictions that may be imposed, the 
proposed rule would state that these restrictions may include permit 
conditions regarding structures that are consistent with the turf 
management and event operations guidance related to duration, weight, 
equipment, and materials used.

13. Apply Existing Sign Restrictions (e.g. Supports, Dimensions) in 
President's Park to Other Locations Within the National Mall and 
Memorial Parks and President's Park

    Sections 7.96(g)(5)(vii) and (ix) contain restrictions on the use 
of signs or placards on the White House Sidewalk and in Lafayette Park. 
These restrictions promote public safety, help secure sensitive 
locations, and mitigate adverse impacts to cultural and historical 
resources. The NPS proposes to apply these restrictions to events that 
plan to move from any location that is subject to the regulations in 
this section 7.96 to the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park, and 
events that plan to move or do in fact move from the White House 
Sidewalk or Lafayette Park to another location that is subject to the 
regulations in this section 7.96, even when those events are located 
outside of the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park. Applying these 
restrictions outside of the White House sidewalk and Lafayette Park in 
these circumstances would create a more uniform regulatory scheme for 
the public that will promote public safety

[[Page 40473]]

and simplify event planning. People participating in demonstrations 
often begin in one park area where their signs are compliant with 
existing regulations and then move onto the White House sidewalk or 
into Lafayette Park where their signs are no longer compliant. This 
often results in negative interactions with law enforcement, who are 
then required to enforce regulations that were not applicable earlier 
in the event. These restrictions would apply to all groups 
participating in a demonstration or special event, including those who 
are not required to obtain a permit based upon their group size and/or 
location.

14. Minor Changes to 36 CFR 7.96

    This rule would make a minor change to paragraph (e) in Section 
7.96 to clarify the circumstances under which bathing, swimming, or 
wading is allowed. This provision clarifies that bathing, swimming, or 
wading in any fountain, pool, the Tidal Basin, the Chesapeake and Ohio 
Canal, Rock Creek, or Constitution Gardens Pond is prohibited except 
where officially authorized or for the purpose of saving a drowning 
person. This rule would replace all references to the ``Jefferson 
Memorial'' in section 7.96 with the phrase ``Thomas Jefferson 
Memorial'' which is the actual name of the memorial. This rule would 
reorganize the defined terms in section 7.96(g)(1) in alphabetical 
order and remove the paragraph designations (i) through (x), in 
conformance with the Federal Register Document Drafting Handbook.

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders, and Department Policy

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will 
review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
It directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce 
burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public 
where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with 
regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations 
must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking 
process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of 
ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these 
requirements.

Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 
13771)

    This rule is not an E.O. 13771 regulatory action because this rule 
is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities under the RFA (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.). This certification is based on information contained in a report 
entitled ``Cost-Benefit and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Special 
Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, National Capital 
Region, Special Events and Demonstrations'' that is available online at 
https://home.nps.gov/nama/learn/management/index.htm.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2) of the SBREFA. 
This rule:
    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on state, 
local, or tribal governments or the private sector. This rule will not 
result in direct expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments. 
This rule addresses public use of NPS lands, and imposes no 
requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing 
the information required by the UMRA (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not 
required.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have taking implications under Executive Order 12630. This rule does 
not regulate uses of private property. A takings implication assessment 
is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. This rule only 
affects use of NPS-administered lands and imposes no requirements on 
other agencies or governments. A federalism summary impact statement is 
not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department 
Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this 
rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the 
Department's tribal consultation policy and have determined that tribal 
consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial 
direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act. OMB has approved the information collection 
requirements associated with NPS Special Park Use Permits and has 
assigned OMB Control Number 1024-0021 (expires 08/31/20). An agency may 
not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a 
collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 
control number.

[[Page 40474]]

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

    The NPS does not expect this rule to constitute a major Federal 
action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. 
The NPS does not expect that a detailed statement under the NEPA would 
be required because the rule would likely be covered by a categorical 
exclusion. Categorical exclusion A.8 of Section 3.3 of the National 
Park Service NEPA Handbook (2015) would likely apply because the rule 
would modify an existing regulation in a manner that does not 
``increase public use to the extent of compromising the nature and 
character of the area or causing physical damage to it, introduce non-
compatible uses that might compromise the nature and characteristics of 
the area or cause physical damage to it, conflict with adjacent 
ownerships or land uses, or cause a nuisance to adjacent owners or 
occupants.'' The NPS also expects that the rule would not involve any 
of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would 
require further analysis under NEPA.

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not 
required.

Clarity of This Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988, and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences 
are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be 
useful, etc.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    District of Columbia, National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service 
proposes to amend 36 CFR part 7 as follows:

PART 7--SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM

0
1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also 
issued under D.C. Code 10-137 and D.C. Code 50-2201.07.

0
2. Amend Sec.  7.96 by:
0
a. Removing the phrase ``Jefferson Memorial'' where it appears and 
adding, in its place, the phrase ``Thomas Jefferson Memorial''.
0
b. Revising paragraphs (a), (e), and (g)(1), (g)(2) introductory text, 
(g)(3) introductory text, (g)(3)(i), (g)(3)(ii) introductory text, 
(g)(3)(ii)(A) through C), (g)(3)(ii)(E) through (H), (g)(4)(i), 
(g)(4)(iv).
0
c. Removing and reserving paragraph (g)(4)(v).
0
d. Revising paragraphs (g)(4)(vi), (g)(4)(vii) introductory text, 
(g)(4)(vii)(A) and (B), (g)(5), and (g)(6).
    The revisions to read as follows:


Sec.  7.96  National Capital Region.

    (a) Applicability of regulations. (1) This section applies to all 
park areas administered by the National Park Service located in the 
District of Columbia, the portion of the George Washington Memorial 
Parkway located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the portion of the 
National Capital Parks-East located in the State of Maryland, the 
portion of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park located 
in Montgomery County, and to other federal reservations in the environs 
of the District of Columbia, policed with the approval or concurrence 
of the head of the agency having jurisdiction or control over such 
reservations, pursuant to the provisions of the act of March 17, 1948 
(62 Stat. 81).
    (2) Paragraph (e) of this section also applies to the portion of 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park located in Maryland 
outside of Montgomery County.
* * * * *
    (e) Bathing, Swimming, Wading--(1) Bathing, swimming, or wading in 
the following locations, except where officially authorized or for the 
purpose of saving a drowning person, is prohibited: Any fountain or 
pool, the Tidal Basin, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Rock Creek, and 
Constitution Gardens Pond.
    (2) Entering the Potomac River, the Anacostia River, the Washington 
Channel, or the Georgetown Channel from any park area identified in 
paragraph (a) of this section, except for the purpose of saving a 
drowning person, is prohibited.
* * * * *
    (g) Demonstrations and special events--(1) Definitions.
    Attended means that a responsible individual remains within three 
feet of an object.
    Demonstration has the meaning given in Sec.  2.51(a) of this 
chapter.
    Ellipse means the park areas, including sidewalks adjacent thereto, 
within these bounds: On the south, Constitution Avenue NW; on the 
north, E Street NW; on the west, 17th Street NW; and on the east, 15th 
Street NW.
    Event means a demonstration or special event, including events 
presented by the National Park Service. This term does not include 
casual park use by visitors or tourists that is not reasonably likely 
to attract a crowd or onlookers.
    Korean War Veterans Memorial means the area within the plaza's 
exterior sidewalks.
    Lafayette Park means the park areas, including sidewalks adjacent 
thereto, within these bounds: On the south, Pennsylvania Avenue NW; on 
the north, H Street NW; on the east, Madison Place NW; and on the west, 
Jackson Place NW.
    Lincoln Memorial means that portion of the park area which is on 
the same level or above the base of the large marble columns 
surrounding the structure, and the single series of marble stairs 
immediately adjacent to and below that level.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial means most of the interior plaza 
facing the Inscription Wall, Mountain of Despair and Stone of Hope.
    National celebration event means an annual recurring special event 
regularly scheduled by the National Capital Region, which are listed in 
paragraph (g)(4)(ii) of this section.
    Other park areas means all areas, including sidewalks adjacent 
thereto, other than the White House area, administered by the National 
Capital Region.
    Regional Director means the official in charge of the National 
Capital Region, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 
or an authorized representative thereof.
    Special event means the activities listed in section 2.50(a) of 
this chapter before the text ``are allowed . . . ''.
    Structure means:
    (i) Except as discussed in paragraph (ii) of this definition, a 
structure is any object that is not intended to be carried

[[Page 40475]]

by permittees including, but not limited to:
    (A) Props and displays, such as coffins, crates, crosses, theaters, 
cages, and statues;
    (B) Furniture and furnishings, such as desks, chairs, tables, 
bookcases, cabinets, platforms, podiums, and lecterns;
    (C) Shelters, such as tents, boxes, trailers, and other enclosures;
    (D) Wagons and carts;
    (E) Jumbotrons, light towers, delay towers, portable restrooms, 
mobile stages; and
    (F) All other similar types of property that may tend to harm park 
resources, including aesthetic interests.
    (ii) It does not include hand-carried signs; bicycles, baby 
carriages and baby strollers lawfully in a park area that are 
temporarily placed in, or are being moved across, the park area, and 
that are attended at all times while in the park area; and wheelchairs 
and other devices in use by individuals with a disability.
    Thomas Jefferson Memorial means the circular portion of the Thomas 
Jefferson Memorial enclosed by the outermost series of columns, and all 
portions on the same levels or above the base of these columns.
    Vietnam Veterans Memorial means the East and West Walls, Three 
Servicemen Statue, Vietnam Veterans Women's Memorial, Agent Orange 
Plaque and adjacent areas extending to and bounded by the furthermost 
curved pedestrian walkways on the north, west, and south, and a line 
drawn perpendicular to Constitution Avenue one hundred seventy-five 
(175) feet from the east tip of the memorial wall on the east (this is 
also a line extended from the east side of the western concrete border 
of the steps to the west of the center steps to the Federal Reserve 
Building extending to the Reflecting Pool walkway).
    Washington Monument and Plaza means the granite plaza from the 
circle of flags to the Monument and its interior.
    White House area means all park areas, including sidewalks adjacent 
thereto, within these bounds; on the south, Constitution Avenue NW; on 
the north, H Street NW; on the east, 15th Street, NW; and on the west, 
17th Street NW.
    White House sidewalk means the south sidewalk of Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW, between East and West Executive Avenues NW.
    World War II Memorial Freedom Wall Plaza means the area from the 
Field of Stars to the Rainbow Pool.
    (2) Permit requirements. Events may be held only pursuant to a 
permit issued in accordance with the provisions of this section. The 
following exceptions apply unless the demonstration involves the use of 
a structure, other than small lecterns or speakers' platforms that are 
no larger than three (3) feet in length, three (3) feet in width, and 
three (3) feet in height, in which case a permit is required:
* * * * *
    (3) Permit applications. Permit applications may be obtained at the 
Division of Permits Management, National Mall and Memorial Parks, or 
online at www.nps.gov/nama. Applicants shall submit permit applications 
in writing on a form provided by the National Park Service so as to be 
received by the Regional Director at the Division of Permits Management 
at least 48 business hours in advance of any proposed event. 
Notwithstanding the 48-business hours requirement, the Regional 
Director will reasonably seek to accommodate spontaneous 
demonstrations, subject to all limitations and restrictions applicable 
to the requested location, provided such demonstrations do not include 
structures and provided the NPS has the resources and personnel 
available to manage the activity. The Regional Director will accept 
permit applications only during the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, holidays excepted.
    (i) White House area. No permit may be issued authorizing 
demonstrations in the White House area, except for locations at the 
White House sidewalk, Lafayette Park and the Ellipse that are not 
closed to public access under paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)-(D) of this 
section. No permit may be issued authorizing special events, except for 
locations at the Ellipse and except for annual commemorative wreath-
laying ceremonies relating to the statues in Lafayette Park that are 
not closed to public access under paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)-(D) of this 
section.
    (A) Public access is not allowed on the north and east exterior 
portions of First Division Memorial Park, including West Executive 
Avenue and State Place NW with adjacent roadways and sidewalks: from 
northwest corner of State Place and 17th Street NW; to include all 
areas of West Executive Avenue along the South fence Line of the White 
House Complex and across E Street, NW; to include the south sidewalk 
adjacent to the First Division Memorial Park; and all of E Street NW, 
from 17th Street NW east to the pedestrian walkway through First 
Division Memorial Park, except that the pedestrian walkway through 
First Division Memorial Park and the north sidewalk of E Street NW to 
the west pedestrian crosswalk on E Street NW will be accessible to 
pedestrians, unless protective measures or special events dictate 
otherwise.
    (B) Public access is not allowed on the north, south, and west 
exterior portions of the William T. Sherman Monument and Park, 
including East Executive Avenue and Alexander Hamilton Place NW, with 
adjacent roadways and sidewalks: From northeast corner of the park at 
Alexander Hamilton Place and 15th Street NW, running west on Alexander 
Hamilton Place NW to East Executive Avenue NW; to include all of 
Alexander Hamilton Place NW with adjacent north and south sidewalks; 
from southwest corner of E Street NW and East Executive Avenue NW 
running to the corner of E and 15th Streets NW; to include all of E 
Street NW, with the adjacent north sidewalk; from northwest comer of 
the park at Alexander Hamilton Place and East Executive Avenue NW 
running to the southwest comer of East Executive Avenue NW and across E 
Street NW; this includes all areas of East Executive Avenue along the 
south fence line and across E Street to the east pedestrian crosswalk. 
Notwithstanding the preceding closures, the center monument area and 
the sole pedestrian walkway between the northeast and southwest corners 
of the park and the north sidewalk of E Street NW to the east 
pedestrian crosswalk on E Street NW will be accessible to the public 
from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., unless protective measures or special 
events dictate otherwise.
    (C) Public access is not allowed on E Street NW from the west 
crosswalk just east of West Executive Avenue NW to the east crosswalk 
just west East Executive Avenue NW, including the sidewalk and all 
areas adjacent to the South Fence Line of the White House Complex.
    (D) Public access is not allowed on the south sidewalk of 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW, adjacent to the North Fence Line of the White 
House Complex, from the security post located just north of West 
Executive Avenue NW to the security post located just north of East 
Executive Avenue NW. The area of sidewalk to be closed shall consist of 
a twenty (20') foot portion of the sidewalk, extending out from the 
North Fence Line, leaving a five (5') foot portion of the sidewalk for 
pedestrian access.
    (E) The closures described in paragraphs (g)(3)(i)(A)-(D) of this 
section are identified in the following

[[Page 40476]]

map and as further delineated with fencing in the park areas 
themselves. Exceptions for the pedestrian walkway at First Division 
Memorial Park and the center monument area and pedestrian walkway at 
William T. Sherman Monument and Park are not displayed in the map 
because they are subject to closure at any time for protective measures 
or special events.
BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU18.004

    (ii) Other park areas. Events are not allowed in the following 
other park areas:
    (A) The Washington Monument and Plaza, except for the official 
annual commemorative Washington birthday ceremony.
    (B) The Lincoln Memorial, except for the official annual 
commemorative Lincoln birthday ceremony.
    (C) The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, except for the official annual 
commemorative Thomas Jefferson birthday ceremony.
* * * * *
    (E) The World War II Memorial Freedom Wall Plaza, except for 
official annual commemorative ceremonies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, 
Pearl Harbor Day, Victory over Europe Day, and Victory over Japan Day.
    (F) The Korean War Veterans Memorial, except for official annual 
commemorative ceremonies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Invasion Day, 
and Armistice Day.
    (G) The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, except for the Forecourt 
area and except for official annual commemorative ceremonies for Dr. 
King's birthday and death, and the March On Washington for Jobs and 
Freedom.
    (H) Maps of the restricted areas designated in this paragraph 
(g)(3)(ii) of this section are as follows. The diagonal-lined portions 
of the maps show the areas where events are prohibited unless 
specifically excepted by this rule.

[[Page 40477]]

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[[Page 40478]]


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[[Page 40480]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU18.010

BILLING CODE 4312-52-C
    (4) Permit processing. (i) NPS processes permit applications for 
events in order of receipt, subject to the exceptions for priority use 
in paragraphs (g)(4)(ii) and (iii) of this section. The use of a 
particular area is allocated in order of receipt of the permit 
application. NPS will not accept applications more than one year in 
advance of a proposed event (including set-up time, if any). NPS will 
categorize permit applications in one of three ways: Approved, 
Provisionally Reserved, or Denied. Permit applications for 
demonstrations that are not acted on in the manner described above 
within three business days from the date of receipt by the NPS are 
approved, except those seeking waiver of numerical limitations 
applicable to Lafayette Park (paragraph (g)(5)(ii) of this section). 
NPS will consider an application to be received if it contains the 
following basic information about the proposed event: Location, purpose 
and plan for the event, time and date, estimated number of 
participants, and contact information. For purposes of this paragraph, 
NPS will have acted upon a permit application as of the time and date 
an electronic communication is sent to the applicant.
    (A) Approved permit applications. If the NPS is able to accommodate 
the requested event without receiving additional information, it will 
notify the applicant that the application is approved. Within a 
reasonable time after the initial notice of approval, the NPS will send 
a permit to the applicant for the requested event. The permit may 
contain conditions reasonably consistent with the requirements of 
public health and safety, protection of park resources, and the use of 
the park area. The permit may also contain reasonable limitations on 
the structures and equipment used and the time and area where the event 
is allowed. The NPS may revoke a permit only for the reasons stated in 
paragraph (g)(6) of this section.
    (B) Provisionally reserved permit applications. The NPS may notify 
the applicant that the NPS has reserved the requested location, date, 
and time, but that it will not approve the application and issue a 
permit until it receives additional information. During this approval 
stage, the NPS will work diligently to resolve all outstanding 
questions in order to determine whether the request can be approved or 
denied. If the NPS receives an application more than 60 days prior to 
the requested event, the NPS will provide the applicant with an 
initial, comprehensive list of outstanding issues and requested 
information no later than 40 days prior to the requested event. The NPS 
will make all reasonable efforts to approve or deny a permit 
application at least 30 days in advance of a requested event. Permit 
applicants must provide the NPS with all requested information before 
the NPS will approve or deny an application.
    (C) Denied permit application. The NPS will notify the applicant in 
writing if it is unable to accommodate the requested event. This notice 
will state that the applicant may inform the NPS that it would consider 
modifying its application for the requested event. If the NPS receives 
notice from the applicant that it is willing to modify its application, 
the NPS will work with the applicant to modify the application in a 
manner that it could be approved or provisionally reserved. If the 
applicant and the NPS cannot agree on modifications to the application 
that would allow it to be approved or provisionally reserved, or if the 
applicant does not inform the NPS that it is willing to modify its 
application with enough advance notice prior to the event, then the NPS 
will notify the applicant in writing that the application has been 
denied.
* * * * *
    (iv) Other events are permitted in park areas under permit for the 
National Celebration Events listed in paragraph (g)(4)(ii) of this 
section to the extent that

[[Page 40481]]

they do not significantly interfere with the National Celebration 
Events.
    (v) [Reserved]
    (vi) The Regional Director may issue permits for a maximum duration 
of 30 days. For an event that includes structures, the Regional 
Director may extend the maximum permit duration by an amount of time 
that may be needed for setup and breakdown of the structures. Upon 
request, the Regional Director may renew a permit for additional, 
consecutive periods of 30 days or less. Requests for renewals must be 
submitted to the NPS at least 10 days prior to the expiration of an 
existing permit. The Regional Director may deny a request for a permit 
renewal if another applicant has requested use of the same location and 
the location cannot reasonably accommodate multiple occupancy. As a 
condition of renewing a permit, the Regional Director shall require 
events with structures to move to a different location. The Regional 
Director may require events without structures to be moved to a 
different location if necessary to protect park resources and values.
    (vii) A permit for an event may be denied in writing by the 
Regional Director upon the following grounds:
    (A) A fully executed prior application for the same time and place 
has been received, and a permit has been or will be granted authorizing 
activities which do not reasonably permit multiple occupancy of the 
particular area.
    (B) The proposed event will present a clear and present danger to 
the public health and safety.
* * * * *
    (5) Permit limitations. The issuance of a permit is subject to the 
following limitations:
    (i) The Regional Director may restrict events on weekdays (except 
holidays) between the hours of 7:00 to 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. 
if it reasonably appears necessary to avoid unreasonable interference 
with rush-hour traffic.
    (ii) Special events are not permitted unless approved by the 
Regional Director. In determining whether to approve a proposed special 
event, the Regional Director will consider and base the determination 
upon the criteria in Sec.  2.50(a)(1)-(6) of this chapter and the 
following criteria:
    (A) Whether the objectives and purposes of the proposed special 
event relate to and are within the basic mission and responsibilities 
of the National Capital Region, National Park Service.
    (B) Whether the park area requested is reasonably suited in terms 
of accessibility, size, and nature of the proposed special event.
    (iii) Prior notice must be provided to the Regional Director before 
erecting any structure. Structures are allowed in connection with 
permitted events for the purpose of symbolizing a message or meeting 
logistical needs such as first aid facilities, lost children areas, or 
the provision of shelter for electrical and other sensitive equipment 
or displays, provided that:
    (A) Structures are subject to the restrictions listed in the table 
below. Maps of the restricted areas follow the table.

                         Structure Restrictions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Map area           Location         Restriction       Exceptions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A.................  Lincoln Memorial  Structures are    Podiums, tables,
                                       prohibited.       chairs,
                                                         lighting and
                                                         sound
                                                         equipment.
B.................  Elm Trees         Structures are    None.
                     Panels--3rd       prohibited.
                     Street to 14th
                     Street.
C.................  Reflecting Pool   Structures are    Telecommunicatio
                     and Walks on      prohibited.       ns equipment.
                     North and South.
D.................  Constitution      Structures may    None.
                     Gardens--West.    not exceed 15
                                       feet in height.
E.................  Constitution      Structures may    None.
                     Gardens--East.    not exceed 30
                                       feet in height
                                       and may not
                                       disrupt the
                                       viewshed from
                                       Virginia Ave NW
                                       to the
                                       Washington
                                       Monument.
F.................  World War II      Structures are    Podiums, tables,
                     Memorial.         prohibited.       chairs, sound
                                                         equipment, and
                                                         shade tents.
G.................  JFK Hockey        Structures may    None.
                     Fields.           not exceed 45
                                       feet in height.
H.................  Ellipse.........  Structures may    Stages,
                                       not exceed 30     bleachers, and
                                       feet in height.   telecommunicati
                                                         ons equipment
                                                         during the
                                                         National
                                                         Christmas Tree
                                                         Lighting
                                                         Ceremony may
                                                         exceed 30 feet
                                                         in height.
I.................  Washington        Structures are    None.
                     Monument--Secur   prohibited.
                     ity Perimeter.
J.................  Washington        Structures are    None.
                     Monument          prohibited.
                     Grounds--Centra
                     l Panel West.
K.................  Washington        Structures may    None.
                     Monument          not exceed 30
                     Grounds--Northw   feet in height.
                     est and
                     Northeast
                     Corners.
L.................  Washington        Structures may    None.
                     Monument          not exceed 20
                     Grounds--First    feet in height.
                     Tier Outside
                     Restricted Area.
M.................  North-South 150-  Structures are    None.
                     foot-wide         prohibited.
                     Corridor.
N.................  East of           Structures may    None.
                     Washington        not exceed 20
                     Monument          feet in height.
                     Grounds--Centra
                     l East.
O.................  National Mall--   Structures may    No height
                     3rd St. to 14th   not exceed 30     restriction for
                     St. and           feet in height.   telecommunicati
                     Hardscape                           ons equipment.
                     Between Elm
                     Tree Panels.
P.................  Thomas Jefferson  Structures are    Podiums, chairs,
                     Memorial.         prohibited.       and sound
                                                         equipment.
Q.................  Thomas Jefferson  Structures may    None.
                     Memorial--East    not exceed 30
                     and West          feet in height.
                     Precincts.
R.................  Tidal Basin.....  Structures may    None.
                                       not exceed 20
                                       feet in height.

[[Page 40482]]

 
S.................  Independence      Structures may    None.
                     Ave. Staging      not exceed 30
                     Area.             feet in height.
T.................  Virginia Ave.     Structures are    None.
                     (View to          prohibited.
                     Washington
                     Monument).
U.................  Polo Fields--     Structures may    None.
                     near Ohio Drive.  not exceed 40
                                       feet in height.
V.................  Polo Fields--     Structures may    None.
                     near West Basin   not exceed 30
                     Drive.            feet in height.
W.................  Ohio Drive--      Structures may    None.
                     Ballfields        not exceed 30
                     between West      feet in height.
                     Basin Drive and
                     Inlet Bridge.
X.................  Ohio Drive--      Structures may    None.
                     Ballfield near    not exceed 45
                     National Mall     feet in height.
                     and Memorial
                     Park
                     Headquarters.
Y.................  Recreation Field  Structures may    None.
                     South of          not exceed 35
                     Washington        feet in height.
                     Monument; West
                     of Holocaust
                     Museum.
Z.................  Hains Point--     Structures may    None.
                     Southernmost      not exceed 45
                     Point within      feet in height.
                     East Potomac
                     Park.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                        [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU18.011
                                                        

[[Page 40483]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP15AU18.012

    (B) All such structures shall be erected in such a manner so as not 
to harm park resources unreasonably and shall be removed as soon as 
practicable after the conclusion of the permitted event.
    (C) The Regional Director may impose reasonable restrictions upon 
the use of structures in the interest of protecting the park areas 
involved, traffic and public safety considerations, and other 
legitimate park value concerns. These restrictions may include 
limitations consistent with turf management and event operations 
guidance related to duration, weight, equipment, and materials used.
    (D) Structures may not be used outside designated camping areas for 
living accommodation activities such as sleeping, or making 
preparations to sleep (including the laying down of bedding for the 
purpose of sleeping), or storing personal belongings, or making any 
fire, or doing any digging or earth breaking or carrying on cooking 
activities. The above-listed activities constitute camping when it 
reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that the 
participants, in conducting these activities, are in fact using the 
area as a living accommodation regardless of the intent of the 
participants or the nature of any other activities in which they may 
also be engaging.
    (E) Individuals or groups of 25 persons or fewer demonstrating 
under the small group permit exception of paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this 
section, or individuals or groups demonstrating under the large group 
permit exceptions at the five parks designated in paragraph (g)(2)(ii) 
of this section, are not allowed to use structures other than small 
lecterns or speakers' platforms, except for Lafayette Park (where only 
speakers' platforms are allowed in accordance with a permit) and the 
White House Sidewalk (where no structures are allowed). This provision 
does not restrict the use of portable signs or banners or preclude such 
individuals or groups from obtaining a permit in order to erect 
structures.
    (F) Structures are not permitted within the drip line of trees 
located within the White House area.
    (iv) Sound amplification equipment is allowed in connection with 
permitted demonstrations or special events, provided prior notice has 
been given to the Regional Director, except that the Regional Director 
reserves the right to limit the sound amplification equipment so that 
it will not unreasonably disturb nonparticipating persons in, or in the 
vicinity of, the area.

[[Page 40484]]

    (v) Events that plan to move from any location that is subject to 
the regulations in this section 7.96 to the White House Sidewalk or 
Lafayette Park, and events that plan to move from the White House 
Sidewalk or Lafayette Park to another location that is subject to the 
regulations in this section 7.96, must comply with the restrictions on 
signs placards set forth in paragraphs (g)(5)(ix)(C) and (g)(5)(x)(C) 
of this section for the duration of the event, even when it is located 
outside of the White House Sidewalk or Lafayette Park.
    (vi) A permit may contain additional reasonable conditions and 
additional time limitations, consistent with this section, in the 
interest of protecting park resources, the use of nearby areas by other 
persons, and other legitimate park value concerns.
    (vii) A permit issued under this section does not authorize 
activities outside of areas administered by the National Park Service. 
Applicants may also be required to obtain a permit from the District of 
Columbia or other appropriate governmental entity for demonstrations or 
special events sought to be conducted either wholly or in part in areas 
not administered by the National Park Service.
    (viii) The activities contemplated for the proposed event must 
conform with all applicable laws and regulations.
    (ix) In addition to the general limitations in this paragraph 
(g)(5), the following restrictions apply to the White House Sidewalk:
    (A) No more than 750 persons are permitted to conduct a 
demonstration on the White House sidewalk at any one time. The Regional 
Director may waive the 750 person limitation for the White House 
Sidewalk upon a showing by the applicant that good faith efforts will 
be made to plan and marshal the demonstration in such a fashion so as 
to render unlikely any substantial risk of unreasonable disruption or 
violence. In making a waiver determination, the Regional Director shall 
consider and the applicant shall furnish at least ten days in advance 
of the proposed demonstration, the functions the marshals will perform, 
the means by which they will be identified, and their method of 
communication with each other and the crowd. This requirement will be 
satisfied by completion and submission of the same form referred to in 
paragraph (g)(3) of this section.
    (B) Structures are not permitted.
    (C) No signs or placards shall be permitted on the White House 
sidewalk except those made of cardboard, posterboard or cloth having 
dimensions no greater than three feet in width, twenty feet in length, 
and one-quarter inch in thickness. No supports shall be permitted for 
signs or placards except those made of wood having cross-sectional 
dimensions no greater than three-quarter of an inch by three-quarter of 
an inch. Stationary signs or placards shall be no closer than three 
feet from the White House sidewalk fence. All signs and placards shall 
be attended at all times that they remain on the White House sidewalk. 
Signs or placards shall be considered to be attended only when they are 
in physical contact with a person. No signs or placards shall be tied, 
fastened, or otherwise attached to or leaned against the White House 
fence, lamp posts or other structures on the White House sidewalk. No 
signs or placards shall be held, placed or set down on the center 
portion of the White House sidewalk, comprising ten yards on either 
side of the center point on the sidewalk; Provided, however, that 
individuals may demonstrate while carrying signs on that portion of the 
sidewalk if they continue to move along the sidewalk.
    (D) No parcel, container, package, bundle or other property shall 
be placed or stored on the White House sidewalk or on the west sidewalk 
of East Executive Avenue NW, between Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and E 
Street NW, or on the north sidewalk of E Street NW, between East and 
West Executive Avenues NW; Provided, however, that such property, 
except structures, may be momentarily placed or set down in the 
immediate presence of the owner on those sidewalks.
    (E) Sound amplification equipment may not be used on the White 
House sidewalk, other than hand-portable sound amplification equipment 
which the Regional Director determines is necessary for crowd-control 
purposes.
    (x) In addition to the general limitations in this paragraph 
(g)(5), the following restrictions apply to Lafayette Park:
    (A) No more than 3,000 persons are permitted to conduct a 
demonstration in Lafayette Park at any one time. The Regional Director 
may waive the 3,000 person limitation for Lafayette Park upon a showing 
by the applicant that good faith efforts will be made to plan and 
marshal the demonstration in such a fashion so as to render unlikely 
any substantial risk of unreasonable disruption or violence. In making 
a waiver determination, the Regional Director shall consider and the 
applicant shall furnish at least ten days in advance of the proposed 
demonstration, the functions the marshals will perform, the means by 
which they will be identified, and their method of communication with 
each other and the crowd. This requirement will be satisfied by 
completion and submission of the same form referred to in paragraph 
(g)(3) of this section.
    (B) The erection, placement or use of structures of any kind are 
prohibited except for the following:
    (1) When one hundred (100) or more persons are participating in a 
demonstration in the Park, a speakers' platform as is reasonably 
required to serve the demonstration participants is allowed as long as 
such platform is being erected, dismantled or used, provided that only 
one speakers' platform is allowed per demonstrating group, and provided 
further that such speakers' platform is authorized by a permit issued 
pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section.
    (2) When less than one hundred (100) persons are participating in a 
demonstration in the Park, a ``soapbox'' speakers' platform is allowed 
as long as such platform is being erected, dismantled or used, 
providing that only one speakers' platform is allowed per demonstrating 
group, and provided further that the speakers' platform is no larger 
than three (3) feet in length, three (3) feet in width, and three (3) 
feet in height, and provided further that such speakers' platform is 
authorized by a permit issued pursuant to paragraph (g) of this 
section.
    (C) The use of signs is prohibited except for the following:
    (1) Hand-carried signs are allowed regardless of size.
    (2) Signs that are not being hand-carried and that are no larger 
than four (4) feet in length, four (4) feet in width and one-quarter 
(\1/4\) inch in thickness (exclusive of braces that are reasonably 
required to meet support and safety requirements and that are not used 
so as to form an enclosure of two (2) or more sides) may be used in 
Lafayette Park, provided that no individual may have more than two (2) 
such signs in the Park at any one time, and provided further that such 
signs must be attended at all times, and provided further that such 
signs may not be elevated in a manner so as to exceed a height of six 
(6) feet above the ground at their highest point, may not be arranged 
or combined in a manner so as to exceed the size limitations set forth 
in this paragraph, and may not be arranged in such a fashion as to form 
an enclosure of two (2) or more sides. For example, under this 
provision, two four-feet by four-feet signs may not be combined so as 
to create a sign eight feet long and four feet wide, and three such 
signs may not be arranged to create a sign four feet long and twelve 
feet wide, and two or more signs of any size may not be leaned or

[[Page 40485]]

otherwise placed together so as to form an enclosure of two or more 
sides, etc.
    (xi) No permit will be issued for a demonstration on the White 
House Sidewalk and in Lafayette Park at the same time except when the 
organization, group, or other sponsor of such demonstration undertakes 
in good faith all reasonable action, including the provision of 
sufficient marshals, to insure good order and self-discipline in 
conducting such demonstration and any necessary movement of persons, so 
that the numerical limitations and waiver provisions described in 
paragraphs (g)(5)(ix) and (x) of this section are observed.
    (xii) In addition to the general limitations in this paragraph 
(g)(5), sound systems shall be directed away from the Vietnam Veterans 
Memorial at all times.
    (6) Permit revocation. The Regional Director or the ranking U.S. 
Park Police supervisory official in charge may revoke a permit or part 
of a permit for any violation of its terms or conditions, or if the 
event presents a clear and present danger to the public safety, good 
order, or health, or for any violation of applicable law or regulation. 
Any such revocation shall be in writing.
* * * * *

David L. Bernhardt,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2018-17386 Filed 8-14-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4312-52-P