President Bush signed
into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (H.R. 4818). This 658-page bill provides monies for all federal agencies other than Defense and Homeland Security, which were handled earlier. The bill also includes a number of miscellaneous provisions. Some maritime highlights follow.
-- Ocean freight differential costs for shipment of certain government-impelled agricultural shipments are funded in the amount of $22.7 million.
-- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) receives $2.8 billion for operations and $1 billion for procurement, acquisition, and construction. The bill includes the Oceans and Human Health Act, intended largely to implement portions of the recommendations for the Ocean Policy Commission
-- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers receives $1.8 billion for construction, including river and harbor projects. Foreign military assistance monies for the Indonesian navy are for purposes of enhancing maritime security.
-- The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation receives $15.9 million, to be derived from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
-- The Maritime Administration (MARAD) receives $98.7 million for the maritime security fleet program; $109.5 million for operations and training; $21.6 million for disposal of obsolete vessels; $4.76 million for the Title XI program; and $75 million for the national defense tank vessel construction program.
-- The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) receives $19.5 million.
-- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) receives $76.7 million.
-- The allocation of funding for the Maritime and Land Security Division of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be as follows: credentialing, $5 million; TWIC, $15 million; hazardous materials truck tracking, $2 million; hazardous materials safety, $17 million; enterprise staffing, $24 million; rail security, $12 million; and offsetting collections, $27 million. (HK Law).