Present law authorizes the fish and wildlife commission ("commission") to establish rules, regulations, permits, and procedures regarding all aspects of commercial operations that lease or rent nonmotorized vessels for noncommercial use by the public on the waters of Tennessee. In maintaining information on the number and type of non-motorized vessels leased each day, the information must be submitted under seal only for the use of the commission and the wildlife resources agency ("agency"), and may only be used in the aggregate in agency reports and records. This bill clarifies that "in the aggregate" means the number of nonmotorized vessels by type rented in each agency region.
Present law requires each outfitter to submit a regular report from the agency required records on May 1, October 1, and December 1, each year, and the report must cover activity since the previous report. This bill deletes the requirement of the three reports per year, and requires, instead, that, no later than January 15, 2024, and every January 15 after, an outfitter must submit an annual report from the agency-required records for activities that occurred during the immediately preceding calendar year. The agency must accept a report that is submitted as early as December 15 of the year in which the information contained in the report occurred as long as the outfitter submitting the report ceased engaging in activities that are required to be reported for the remainder of the year prior to submitting the report. If a report is incomplete, then the agency must provide written notice requesting additional information to the outfitter that submitted the report and the outfitter has 30 days to submit additional information to the agency.
ON MARCH 20, 2023, THE HOUSE ADOPTED AMENDMENT #1 AND PASSED HOUSE BILL 407, AS AMENDED.
AMENDMENT #1 retains this bill's definition of "in the aggregate", but otherwise rewrites this bill.
This amendment limits the fish and wildlife commission's authority to regulate paddlecraft rental operations to commercial operations that:
(1) Lease or rent nonmotorized vessels for noncommercial use by the public on the waters of Tennessee; and
(2) Utilize vessel launches or ramps, or other property, owned or managed by the TWRA.
Present law authorizes the department of environment and conservation to enter commercial use authorizations with vendors who do business in state parks. This amendment exempts from the commission's regulations for paddlecraft rental operations commercial operations permitted by the department of environment and conservation pursuant to a commercial use authorization.
This amendment revises the reporting requirement for paddlecraft rental operations. Under this amendment, the reports will be required once per year and due by October 31 of each year. An outfitter must supplement its report by December 30 for activity occurring subsequent to the outfitter's October 31 report. If a report is incomplete and the agency has provided notice that the outfitter has provided incomplete information, the outfitter will have 30 days from the date of notification to submit additional information to the agency.
This amendment designates records provided to TWRA by a paddlecraft rental outfitter confidential and not to be open for inspection by members of the public. This amendment includes exceptions to the confidentiality requirement for law enforcement and other government agencies, when an outfitter expressly authorizes the release of the information, and the release of a record to persons identified within the record (unless the record is subject to a legal privilege against disclosure). The confidentiality provision of this amendment is repealed effective July 1, 2028.Statutes affected:
Introduced: 69-9-227(a), 69-9-227, 69-9-227(b)(1), 69-9-227(c)(2)
Amended with HA0155 -- 03/20/2023: 69-9-227(a), 69-9-227, 69-9-227(b)(1), 69-9-227(c)(2), 69-9-227(b)(2), 10-7-504(a), 10-7-504