Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Water Resource Development Projects Administered by the Chief of Engineers, 20460-20463 [2020-07184]

Download as PDF 20460 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 71 / Monday, April 13, 2020 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS thereby enhancing the benefits of professional learning, including, but not limited to, increased knowledge and skills. Such changes have the potential to change instructional practices in ways that will improve student outcomes. Proposed Priorities 2 and 3 may have the result of shifting at least some of the Department’s grants among eligible entities by giving the Department the opportunity to prioritize partnerships that might be well suited to achieve the purposes of Proposed Priority 1. By prioritizing projects that are supported by an SEA or LEA—entities that establish professional development requirements—the Department is increasing the likelihood that such teacher-driven approaches can be implemented more widely, should they be determined as more effective. Because this proposed priority would neither expand nor restrict the universe of eligible entities for any Department grant program, and since application submission and participation in our discretionary grant programs is voluntary, there are not costs associated with this proposed priority. Clarity of the Regulations Executive Order 12866 and the Presidential memorandum ‘‘Plain Language in Government Writing’’ require each agency to write regulations that are easy to understand. The Secretary invites comments on how to make the proposed priorities, requirements, definition, and selection criteria easier to understand, including answers to questions such as the following: • Are the requirements in the proposed regulations clearly stated? • Do the proposed regulations contain technical terms or other wording that interferes with their clarity? • Does the format of the proposed regulations (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or reduce their clarity? • Would the proposed regulations be easier to understand if we divided them into more (but shorter) sections? • Could the description of the proposed regulations in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this preamble be more helpful in making the proposed regulations easier to understand? If so, how? • What else could we do to make the proposed regulations easier to understand? Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification The Secretary certifies that this proposed regulatory action would not have a significant economic impact on VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Apr 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 a substantial number of small entities. The U.S. Small Business Administration Size Standards define proprietary institutions as small businesses if they are independently owned and operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and have total annual revenue below $7,000,000. Nonprofit institutions are defined as small entities if they are independently owned and operated and not dominant in their field of operation. Public institutions are defined as small organizations if they are operated by a government overseeing a population below 50,000. The small entities that this proposed regulatory action would affect are public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, that may apply. We believe that the costs imposed on an applicant by the proposed priorities, requirements, definition, and selection criteria would be limited to paperwork burden related to preparing an application and that the benefits of these proposed priorities, requirements, definition, and selection criteria would outweigh any costs incurred by the applicant. Therefore, these proposed priorities, requirements, definition, and selection criteria would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Paperwork Reduction Act: The proposed priorities, requirements, definition, and selection criteria do not contain any information collection requirements. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program. Assessment of Educational Impact In accordance with section 411 of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1221e–4, the Secretary particularly requests comments on whether the proposed regulations would require transmission of information that any other agency or authority of the United States gathers or makes available. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of the Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Frank T. Brogan, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. [FR Doc. 2020–07753 Filed 4–10–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers [COE–2018–0008] RIN 0710–AA90 36 CFR Part 327 Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Water Resource Development Projects Administered by the Chief of Engineers United States Army Corps of Engineers, DoD. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: The Department of the Army, through the United States Army Corps of Engineers (‘‘Corps’’), is soliciting comments on its proposed revision of its regulation that governs the possession and transportation of firearms and other weapons at Corps water resources development projects (‘‘projects’’). This proposed revision would align the Corps regulation with the regulations of the other Federal land management agencies by removing the need for an individual to obtain written permission before possessing a weapon on Corps projects. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before June 12, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number COE– SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13APP1.SGM 13APP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 71 / Monday, April 13, 2020 / Proposed Rules 2018–0008, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Email: Firearms@usace.army.mil. Include the docket number, COE–2018– 0008, in the subject line of the message. Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW–CO–N, Steve Austin 3F68, 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20314–1000. Hand Delivery/Courier: Due to security requirements, the Corps cannot receive comments by hand delivery or courier. Instructions: Direct your comments to docket number COE–2018–0008. All comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available on-line at http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the commenter indicates that the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through regulations.gov or email. The regulations.gov website is an anonymous access system, which means we will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email directly to the Corps without going through regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If you submit an electronic comment, we recommend that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any compact disc you submit. If we cannot read your comment because of technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, we may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic comments should avoid the use of any special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to www.regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, such as CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Apr 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Austin, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice, Washington, DC at 202–761–4489. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed revision would change Corps policy regarding the procedure an individual must follow to possess a weapon on Corps projects. The Corps is authorized to issue this regulation under 16 U.S.C. 460, which states ‘‘[t]he water areas of all . . . [water resources development] projects shall be open to public use . . . and ready access to and exit from such areas along the shores of such projects shall be maintained for general public use . . . under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Army may deem necessary.’’ This authority extends to ‘‘the waters of such projects’’ and ‘‘any land federally owned and administered by the Chief of Engineers’’ at the projects. 16 U.S.C. 460d; see also 36 CFR 327.0 & 327.1(c). For purposes of this regulation, this authority would cover, for example, Lake Lanier in northern Georgia, Stanislaus River Parks in central California, and Melvin Price Lock and Dam on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. This authority would not cover projects such as ecosystem restoration, navigation channel maintenance, or coastal storm risk management projects even though they may have been authorized in a Water Resources Development Act. Specifically, the proposed revision would remove the requirement that an individual obtain written permission before possessing a weapon on a Corps project, which is a requirement except when the possession occurs for certain authorized recreation purposes. In doing so, the revised regulation would permit an individual to possess a weapon and associated ammunition when the possession both complies with the Federal, state, and local law where the project is located, and the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the weapon. This change would reduce the burden on the public by eliminating the requirement to obtain written permission before possessing a weapon, but it would not change the fact that individuals already may, at present, possess weapons on Corps projects if they receive appropriate permission. The current Corps regulation, 36 CFR 327.13, allows visitors on Corps projects to possess weapons such as firearms only after written permission has been received from the District Commander. Law enforcement officers are excepted from this requirement, as are PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20461 individuals possessing weapons when the weapon is being used for hunting or fishing, as provided in 36 CFR 327.8, or is being used at an authorized shooting range. Written permission from the District Commander is also required to possess explosives and explosive devices, including fireworks. In proposing to revise the regulation, the Corps intends to remove the requirement that individuals must apply for written permission from the District Commander before possessing a weapon. Written permission would still be required to possess explosives and explosive devices. Individuals possessing or transporting a weapon would need to meet the Federal, state and local requirements for doing so in the jurisdiction where the Corps project is located, such as by possessing a valid state permit or license. Individuals prohibited by any law from possessing or transporting a weapon would not be permitted to do so on a Corps project. The prohibition on firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities, 18 U.S.C. 930, would continue to apply to those Corps facilities falling within the coverage of that statute. In addition, the proposed revision would give the District Commander the discretion to modify or revoke the permissions granted under this section when issuing a special event permit under 36 CFR 327.21. Special events require written permission granted by the District Commander. Restrictions may be imposed for security, public safety, or other reasons deemed necessary by the District Commander. Conditions of the special event may include weapon restrictions, and allow the District Commander to revoke permissions upon failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the special event permit. Legal Authority: The Corps is authorized to promulgate regulations pertaining to the operation of public parks and recreational facilities in the water resource development projects within Corps jurisdiction, as well as for the use, administration, and navigation of the navigable waters of the United States. 16 U.S.C. 460d; 33 U.S.C. 1, 28 Stat 362. Generally, these regulations govern the conduct of public visitors on Corps projects. Overview: In recent years, other Federal land management agencies have amended their regulations to make them consistent with the law of the state in which the federal lands are located. See, e.g., National Park Service (36 CFR 2.4); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System (50 CFR 27.42); Bureau of Land Management (43 CFR 8365.1–7); Bureau E:\FR\FM\13APP1.SGM 13APP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 20462 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 71 / Monday, April 13, 2020 / Proposed Rules of Reclamation (43 CFR 423.30); U.S. Forest Service (36 CFR 261.8(b), 261.57(c)). The approach taken in this proposed rule is consistent with other Federal agencies. Following these other Federal agencies, the Corps now proposes to revise its regulations for conformity with the approach taken toward other Federally managed lands. The written permission requirement in the current Corps regulation is inconsistent with the regulations and approach by the other Federal land management agencies, which generally authorize the possession of weapons when in accordance with state and local laws and the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the weapon. The revision would also streamline and clarify the requirements to possess weapons on a Corps project for persons traveling to Corps projects from surrounding state areas or areas managed by other Federal agencies. The Corps is proposing this revision in order to update the Corps regulations in a way that more appropriately reflects the current state and local regulation of the possession of weapons, and firearms in particular. The Corps believes that the current Corps regulation, by requiring individuals to obtain written permission before possessing a weapon, is burdensome on the public and the Corps without providing any corresponding benefit. The current regulation was promulgated before many of the current state laws governing the possession of weapons, in particular the possession of firearms by private individuals for self-defense and other purposes. Following the developments in state law since that time, the Corps believes it is now appropriate to join the other Federal land management agencies in deferring to state law requirements, as the Corps already does for other land management practices. The Corps believes the proposed revision will benefit the public by eliminating the burden to apply for written permission from the Corps as well as by aligning the requirements for possessing a weapon on Corps projects lands with the requirements applicable to the areas surrounding a project. If finalized, the Corps’ policies relating to the possession of firearms on their projects would be substantively the same as the policies of other Federal land management agencies. The Corps believes that such conformity is important for reducing confusion among the public. The Corps is soliciting comments on all aspects of this proposal but are particularly interested in knowing whether, in the interest of further conformity, it should consider additional revisions to further align VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Apr 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 with the regulations of other land management agencies. The Corps is also interested in whether the impacts of the proposal estimated below are accurate. Impacts Individuals are required under the current regulation to submit a letter to the District Commander requesting approval to carry a weapon. If finalized, this proposal would remove that requirement. One of the benefits of this rule would thus be the savings associated with that removal. The Corps estimates these savings to be $2,340. If finalized, this rule would also make the Corps policy on carrying a weapon consistent with the policies of other Federal agencies. Another benefit of this rule would thus be improved clarity for the public resulting from that conformity. The Corps is not able to quantify the benefits associated from that improved clarity. The Corps current regulations at 36 CFR 327.13 do not identify the specific information that individuals must include in their written request to the Corps to carry a firearm at Corps projects. However, based on the written requests the Corps has received in the past, we estimate that it takes approximately one hour for an individual to complete and mail to the District Commander the request. Based on a current Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and the cost of a first class stamp being $0.55, we estimate the cost associated with each request to be $7.80. Based on the number of requests the Corps received during the period of 15 May 2018 through 15 May 2019, we estimate that individuals submit approximately 300 letters per year. That results in the application cost associated with the current requirements being approximately $2,340 per year. A benefit of this rule is the removal of that transaction cost. In addition, removing the requirement that an individual obtain written permission from the District Commander, and instead requiring compliance with the laws otherwise applicable where the Corps project is located, would reduce confusion by further aligning the land management practices of the Corps with the practices of the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service. The Corps is not aware of any costs that would result from this rule if it were finalized but solicits comment from the public on the matter. Alternatives In proposing this revision to 36 CFR 327.13, the Corps considered three PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 alternatives: The proposed regulation revision (‘‘Preferred Alternative’’); no action (‘‘No Action Alternative’’); and, revising the regulation to permit the possession of weapons when consistent with Federal, state, and local laws so long as the weapon is carried either unloaded or concealed on the person, or is being used for hunting, fishing, or target shooting (‘‘Concealed Carry Alternative’’). When the Corps evaluated these alternatives, we found that the No Action Alternative would result in continued inconsistencies between the Corps regulation and the regulations of the other Federal land management agencies, as well as inconsistencies in the requirements for possessing a weapon on Corps project lands as compared to the surrounding areas. The Concealed Carry Alternative would revise the current Corps regulation to be more consistent with the regulations of other Federal agencies, but it also would create potentially confusing differences between the Corps regulation and the others by establishing its own rules on how weapons must be carried. It would place an unacceptable level of enforcement responsibility on Corps park rangers, who are unarmed and have limited law enforcement authority. The Preferred Alternative is this proposed action, which is the promulgation of a rule that revises the Corps regulation for consistency with the other Federal land management agencies and to defer to state and local requirements. The Corps consideration of these alternatives is further discussed in the Environmental Assessment included as a supporting document in the docket for this action. The Corps has not identified any other reasonable alternatives that warrant consideration. Executive Orders a. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. This proposed rule has been designated a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). b. Review Under Executive Order 13771 This proposed rule is not expected to be subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13771 because it is expected to impose de minimis impacts. E:\FR\FM\13APP1.SGM 13APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 71 / Monday, April 13, 2020 / Proposed Rules c. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601–612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term ‘‘small entities’’ comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. I certify that this action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. d. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act Due to the procedural nature of this action and because there is no intended change in the use of the areas subject to this regulation, the Corps expects that this regulation, if adopted, will not have a significant impact to the quality of the human environment. Therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement will not be required. A draft environmental assessment has been prepared for publication in conjunction with the public notice period and is included as a supporting document in the docket for this action. e. Unfunded Mandates Act This proposed rule does not impose an enforceable duty among the private sector and, therefore, it is not a Federal private sector mandate and it is not subject to the requirements of either Section 202 or Section 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Act. We have also found under Section 203 of the Act, that small governments will not be significantly and uniquely affected by this rulemaking. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS f. Paperwork Reduction Act PART 327—RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING PUBLIC USE OF WATER RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ADMINISTERED BY THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS 1. The authority citation for part 327 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 460d; 16 U.S.C. 4601–6a; Sec. 210, Pub. L. 90–483, 82 Stat. 746; 33 U.S.C. 1, 28 Stat. 362. 2. In § 327.13: a. Revise paragraph (a); b. Redesignate paragraph (b) as paragraph (d); and ■ c. Add new paragraphs (b) and (c). The revision and additions read as follows: ■ ■ ■ § 327.13 Explosives, firearms, other weapons and fireworks. (a) An individual may possess or transport a weapon on any project provided that: (1) The individual is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, state, or local law from possessing or transporting such weapon; and (2) The possession or transportation of such weapon is in compliance with applicable Federal, state, and local law. (b) As used in this section, ‘‘weapon’’ includes any firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3)(A), bow and arrow, crossbow, or other projectile firing device. (c) The District Commander may modify or revoke the permissions granted by this section when issuing a special event permit under § 327.21. (d) Possession of explosives or explosive devices of any kind, including fireworks or other pyrotechnics, is prohibited unless written permission has been received from the District Commander. R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). The information collection activities in this proposal have not been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). However, if finalized, this rule would remove the requirement for that collection of information by eliminating the need to submit a letter to the District Commander asking for approval to possess weapon. [FR Doc. 2020–07184 Filed 4–10–20; 8:45 am] List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 327 RIN 1006–AA57 Penalties, Recreation and recreation areas, Water resources. Off-Road Vehicle Use For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Corps proposes to amend 36 CFR part 327 as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Apr 10, 2020 Jkt 250001 BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation 43 CFR Part 420 [Cost Center: RR8567200, Fund: 20XR0680A2, WBS: RX.31480001.0040000] Bureau of Reclamation; Interior. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20463 Secretarial Order 3376 addresses regulatory uncertainty on how agencies within the Department of the Interior manage recreational opportunities for electric bikes (E-bikes) on trails and paths where traditional bikes are allowed. To provide consistency in Federal policy among agencies with recreational opportunities pertinent to Secretarial Order 3376, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is proposing to amend this regulation to add a definition for E-bikes and exempt E-bikes from the regulatory definition of an off-road vehicle where E-bikes are being used on roads and trails where mechanized, non-motorized use is allowed, they are not being propelled exclusively by a motorized source, and the appropriate regional director expressly determines through a formal decision that E-bikes should be treated the same as non-motorized bicycles. This proposed change would facilitate increased E-bike use where other types of bicycles are allowed in a manner consistent with existing use of Reclamation land, and increase recreational opportunities for all Americans, especially those with physical limitations. DATES: Comments on the proposed rulemaking must be submitted on or before June 12, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rulemaking by either of the methods listed below. Please use Regulation Identifier Number 1006– AA57 in your comment. 1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions on the website for submitting comments. 2. U.S. mail, courier, or hand delivery: Bureau of Reclamation, Asset Management Division, 8667200, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, CO 80225. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Alcorn, Asset Management Division, Bureau of Reclamation, 303– 445–2711; ralcorn@usbr.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Why we are publishing this proposed rule and what it does? Secretarial Order 3376 set forth the policy of the Department of the Interior that E-bikes should be allowed where other, non-motorized types of bicycles are allowed and not allowed where other, non-motorized types of bicycles are prohibited. Accordingly, the proposed rule would include a definition for electric bicycles, or ebikes. E-bikes may have 2 or 3 wheels and must have fully operable pedals. The electric motor for an E-bike may not E:\FR\FM\13APP1.SGM 13APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 71 (Monday, April 13, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 20460-20463]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-07184]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

[COE-2018-0008]
RIN 0710-AA90

36 CFR Part 327


Rules and Regulations Governing Public Use of Water Resource 
Development Projects Administered by the Chief of Engineers

AGENCY: United States Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of the Army, through the United States Army 
Corps of Engineers (``Corps''), is soliciting comments on its proposed 
revision of its regulation that governs the possession and 
transportation of firearms and other weapons at Corps water resources 
development projects (``projects''). This proposed revision would align 
the Corps regulation with the regulations of the other Federal land 
management agencies by removing the need for an individual to obtain 
written permission before possessing a weapon on Corps projects.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before June 12, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number COE-

[[Page 20461]]

2018-0008, by any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Email: [email protected]. Include the docket number, COE-
2018-0008, in the subject line of the message.
    Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO-N, Steve Austin 
3F68, 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20314-1000.
    Hand Delivery/Courier: Due to security requirements, the Corps 
cannot receive comments by hand delivery or courier.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to docket number COE-2018-0008. 
All comments received will be included in the public docket without 
change and may be made available on-line at http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided, unless the commenter 
indicates that the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through regulations.gov or 
email. The regulations.gov website is an anonymous access system, which 
means we will not know your identity or contact information unless you 
provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email directly 
to the Corps without going through regulations.gov, your email address 
will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that 
is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. If 
you submit an electronic comment, we recommend that you include your 
name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with 
any compact disc you submit. If we cannot read your comment because of 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, we may 
not be able to consider your comment. Electronic comments should avoid 
the use of any special characters, any form of encryption, and be free 
of any defects or viruses.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to www.regulations.gov. All documents in the 
docket are listed. Although listed in the index, some information is 
not publicly available, such as CBI or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as 
copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be 
publicly available only in hard copy form.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Austin, Headquarters, U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, Operations and Regulatory Community of 
Practice, Washington, DC at 202-761-4489.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed revision would change Corps 
policy regarding the procedure an individual must follow to possess a 
weapon on Corps projects. The Corps is authorized to issue this 
regulation under 16 U.S.C. 460, which states ``[t]he water areas of all 
. . . [water resources development] projects shall be open to public 
use . . . and ready access to and exit from such areas along the shores 
of such projects shall be maintained for general public use . . . under 
such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Army may deem 
necessary.'' This authority extends to ``the waters of such projects'' 
and ``any land federally owned and administered by the Chief of 
Engineers'' at the projects. 16 U.S.C. 460d; see also 36 CFR 327.0 & 
327.1(c). For purposes of this regulation, this authority would cover, 
for example, Lake Lanier in northern Georgia, Stanislaus River Parks in 
central California, and Melvin Price Lock and Dam on the Mississippi 
River north of St. Louis, Missouri. This authority would not cover 
projects such as ecosystem restoration, navigation channel maintenance, 
or coastal storm risk management projects even though they may have 
been authorized in a Water Resources Development Act.
    Specifically, the proposed revision would remove the requirement 
that an individual obtain written permission before possessing a weapon 
on a Corps project, which is a requirement except when the possession 
occurs for certain authorized recreation purposes. In doing so, the 
revised regulation would permit an individual to possess a weapon and 
associated ammunition when the possession both complies with the 
Federal, state, and local law where the project is located, and the 
individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the 
weapon. This change would reduce the burden on the public by 
eliminating the requirement to obtain written permission before 
possessing a weapon, but it would not change the fact that individuals 
already may, at present, possess weapons on Corps projects if they 
receive appropriate permission.
    The current Corps regulation, 36 CFR 327.13, allows visitors on 
Corps projects to possess weapons such as firearms only after written 
permission has been received from the District Commander. Law 
enforcement officers are excepted from this requirement, as are 
individuals possessing weapons when the weapon is being used for 
hunting or fishing, as provided in 36 CFR 327.8, or is being used at an 
authorized shooting range. Written permission from the District 
Commander is also required to possess explosives and explosive devices, 
including fireworks.
    In proposing to revise the regulation, the Corps intends to remove 
the requirement that individuals must apply for written permission from 
the District Commander before possessing a weapon. Written permission 
would still be required to possess explosives and explosive devices. 
Individuals possessing or transporting a weapon would need to meet the 
Federal, state and local requirements for doing so in the jurisdiction 
where the Corps project is located, such as by possessing a valid state 
permit or license. Individuals prohibited by any law from possessing or 
transporting a weapon would not be permitted to do so on a Corps 
project. The prohibition on firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal 
facilities, 18 U.S.C. 930, would continue to apply to those Corps 
facilities falling within the coverage of that statute.
    In addition, the proposed revision would give the District 
Commander the discretion to modify or revoke the permissions granted 
under this section when issuing a special event permit under 36 CFR 
327.21. Special events require written permission granted by the 
District Commander. Restrictions may be imposed for security, public 
safety, or other reasons deemed necessary by the District Commander. 
Conditions of the special event may include weapon restrictions, and 
allow the District Commander to revoke permissions upon failure to 
comply with the terms and conditions of the special event permit.
    Legal Authority: The Corps is authorized to promulgate regulations 
pertaining to the operation of public parks and recreational facilities 
in the water resource development projects within Corps jurisdiction, 
as well as for the use, administration, and navigation of the navigable 
waters of the United States. 16 U.S.C. 460d; 33 U.S.C. 1, 28 Stat 362. 
Generally, these regulations govern the conduct of public visitors on 
Corps projects.
    Overview: In recent years, other Federal land management agencies 
have amended their regulations to make them consistent with the law of 
the state in which the federal lands are located. See, e.g., National 
Park Service (36 CFR 2.4); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National 
Wildlife Refuge System (50 CFR 27.42); Bureau of Land Management (43 
CFR 8365.1-7); Bureau

[[Page 20462]]

of Reclamation (43 CFR 423.30); U.S. Forest Service (36 CFR 261.8(b), 
261.57(c)). The approach taken in this proposed rule is consistent with 
other Federal agencies. Following these other Federal agencies, the 
Corps now proposes to revise its regulations for conformity with the 
approach taken toward other Federally managed lands.
    The written permission requirement in the current Corps regulation 
is inconsistent with the regulations and approach by the other Federal 
land management agencies, which generally authorize the possession of 
weapons when in accordance with state and local laws and the individual 
is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the weapon. The 
revision would also streamline and clarify the requirements to possess 
weapons on a Corps project for persons traveling to Corps projects from 
surrounding state areas or areas managed by other Federal agencies.
    The Corps is proposing this revision in order to update the Corps 
regulations in a way that more appropriately reflects the current state 
and local regulation of the possession of weapons, and firearms in 
particular. The Corps believes that the current Corps regulation, by 
requiring individuals to obtain written permission before possessing a 
weapon, is burdensome on the public and the Corps without providing any 
corresponding benefit. The current regulation was promulgated before 
many of the current state laws governing the possession of weapons, in 
particular the possession of firearms by private individuals for self-
defense and other purposes. Following the developments in state law 
since that time, the Corps believes it is now appropriate to join the 
other Federal land management agencies in deferring to state law 
requirements, as the Corps already does for other land management 
practices. The Corps believes the proposed revision will benefit the 
public by eliminating the burden to apply for written permission from 
the Corps as well as by aligning the requirements for possessing a 
weapon on Corps projects lands with the requirements applicable to the 
areas surrounding a project.
    If finalized, the Corps' policies relating to the possession of 
firearms on their projects would be substantively the same as the 
policies of other Federal land management agencies. The Corps believes 
that such conformity is important for reducing confusion among the 
public. The Corps is soliciting comments on all aspects of this 
proposal but are particularly interested in knowing whether, in the 
interest of further conformity, it should consider additional revisions 
to further align with the regulations of other land management 
agencies. The Corps is also interested in whether the impacts of the 
proposal estimated below are accurate.

Impacts

    Individuals are required under the current regulation to submit a 
letter to the District Commander requesting approval to carry a weapon. 
If finalized, this proposal would remove that requirement. One of the 
benefits of this rule would thus be the savings associated with that 
removal. The Corps estimates these savings to be $2,340. If finalized, 
this rule would also make the Corps policy on carrying a weapon 
consistent with the policies of other Federal agencies. Another benefit 
of this rule would thus be improved clarity for the public resulting 
from that conformity. The Corps is not able to quantify the benefits 
associated from that improved clarity.
    The Corps current regulations at 36 CFR 327.13 do not identify the 
specific information that individuals must include in their written 
request to the Corps to carry a firearm at Corps projects. However, 
based on the written requests the Corps has received in the past, we 
estimate that it takes approximately one hour for an individual to 
complete and mail to the District Commander the request. Based on a 
current Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and the cost of a first 
class stamp being $0.55, we estimate the cost associated with each 
request to be $7.80. Based on the number of requests the Corps received 
during the period of 15 May 2018 through 15 May 2019, we estimate that 
individuals submit approximately 300 letters per year. That results in 
the application cost associated with the current requirements being 
approximately $2,340 per year. A benefit of this rule is the removal of 
that transaction cost.
    In addition, removing the requirement that an individual obtain 
written permission from the District Commander, and instead requiring 
compliance with the laws otherwise applicable where the Corps project 
is located, would reduce confusion by further aligning the land 
management practices of the Corps with the practices of the National 
Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, and 
U.S. Forest Service.
    The Corps is not aware of any costs that would result from this 
rule if it were finalized but solicits comment from the public on the 
matter.

Alternatives

    In proposing this revision to 36 CFR 327.13, the Corps considered 
three alternatives: The proposed regulation revision (``Preferred 
Alternative''); no action (``No Action Alternative''); and, revising 
the regulation to permit the possession of weapons when consistent with 
Federal, state, and local laws so long as the weapon is carried either 
unloaded or concealed on the person, or is being used for hunting, 
fishing, or target shooting (``Concealed Carry Alternative''). When the 
Corps evaluated these alternatives, we found that the No Action 
Alternative would result in continued inconsistencies between the Corps 
regulation and the regulations of the other Federal land management 
agencies, as well as inconsistencies in the requirements for possessing 
a weapon on Corps project lands as compared to the surrounding areas. 
The Concealed Carry Alternative would revise the current Corps 
regulation to be more consistent with the regulations of other Federal 
agencies, but it also would create potentially confusing differences 
between the Corps regulation and the others by establishing its own 
rules on how weapons must be carried. It would place an unacceptable 
level of enforcement responsibility on Corps park rangers, who are 
unarmed and have limited law enforcement authority. The Preferred 
Alternative is this proposed action, which is the promulgation of a 
rule that revises the Corps regulation for consistency with the other 
Federal land management agencies and to defer to state and local 
requirements. The Corps consideration of these alternatives is further 
discussed in the Environmental Assessment included as a supporting 
document in the docket for this action. The Corps has not identified 
any other reasonable alternatives that warrant consideration.

Executive Orders

a. Review Under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits. This proposed rule has been designated a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this 
proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB).

b. Review Under Executive Order 13771

    This proposed rule is not expected to be subject to the 
requirements of Executive Order 13771 because it is expected to impose 
de minimis impacts.

[[Page 20463]]

c. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as 
amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of 
regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term ``small 
entities'' comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations 
that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their 
fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 
50,000.
    I certify that this action will not have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

d. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act

    Due to the procedural nature of this action and because there is no 
intended change in the use of the areas subject to this regulation, the 
Corps expects that this regulation, if adopted, will not have a 
significant impact to the quality of the human environment. Therefore, 
preparation of an environmental impact statement will not be required. 
A draft environmental assessment has been prepared for publication in 
conjunction with the public notice period and is included as a 
supporting document in the docket for this action.

e. Unfunded Mandates Act

    This proposed rule does not impose an enforceable duty among the 
private sector and, therefore, it is not a Federal private sector 
mandate and it is not subject to the requirements of either Section 202 
or Section 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Act. We have also found under 
Section 203 of the Act, that small governments will not be 
significantly and uniquely affected by this rulemaking.

f. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection activities in this proposal have not 
been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). However, if finalized, this rule would 
remove the requirement for that collection of information by 
eliminating the need to submit a letter to the District Commander 
asking for approval to possess weapon.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 327

    Penalties, Recreation and recreation areas, Water resources.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Corps proposes to 
amend 36 CFR part 327 as follows:

PART 327--RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING PUBLIC USE OF WATER 
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ADMINISTERED BY THE CHIEF OF 
ENGINEERS

0
1. The authority citation for part 327 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 460d; 16 U.S.C. 4601-6a; Sec. 210, Pub. L. 
90-483, 82 Stat. 746; 33 U.S.C. 1, 28 Stat. 362.

0
2. In Sec.  [thinsp]327.13:
0
a. Revise paragraph (a);
0
b. Redesignate paragraph (b) as paragraph (d); and
0
c. Add new paragraphs (b) and (c).
    The revision and additions read as follows:


Sec.  327.13   Explosives, firearms, other weapons and fireworks.

    (a) An individual may possess or transport a weapon on any project 
provided that:
    (1) The individual is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, state, 
or local law from possessing or transporting such weapon; and
    (2) The possession or transportation of such weapon is in 
compliance with applicable Federal, state, and local law.
    (b) As used in this section, ``weapon'' includes any firearm as 
defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3)(A), bow and arrow, crossbow, or other 
projectile firing device.
    (c) The District Commander may modify or revoke the permissions 
granted by this section when issuing a special event permit under Sec.  
327.21.
    (d) Possession of explosives or explosive devices of any kind, 
including fireworks or other pyrotechnics, is prohibited unless written 
permission has been received from the District Commander.

R.D. James,
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
[FR Doc. 2020-07184 Filed 4-10-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3720-58-P