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Legislative Update

On the heels of the late-August California state government action increasing the minimum financial responsibility for spills to $700 million, on September 5, the National Research Council (NRC) released a study that analyzed marine pollution regulations and how the enforcement of legislative standards can be implemented. Among its recommendations, the NRC said that the Maritime Administration should develop a research and development program that examines the needs of a variety of large vessels in the area of on board qarbaqe treatment equipment. The report also said that efforts to control ocean dumping have been hampered by the fact that no national plan for managing vessel waste exists, and because the oversight duties are dispersed amona numerous federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA), and the U.S.

Coast Guard (USCG). This echoes a sentiment expressed in a U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) report issued in the second quarter of 1995, commissioned by the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations, which recommended that the Secretary of Transportation direct the USCG Commandant to work with the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to explore "areas of mutual interest and ways to improve cooperation between the U.S Coast Guard and APHIS on enforcing MARPOL V."

 
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