President signs Transportation Act

Thursday, August 11, 2005
President George W. Bush signs the Transportation Equity Act, at the Caterpillar facility in Montgomery, Ill., Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2005. Joining the President on stage in front row, from left, are Congressman Ray LaHood, R-Ill.; Congresswoman Melissa L. Bean, D-Ill.; Congressman Jim Oberstar, D-Minn.; Congressman Tom Petri, R-Wis.; Senator Kit Bond, R-Mo.; U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta; Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.; Congressman Bill Thomas, R-Calif.; and Congressman Bobby Rush, D-Ill. White House photo by Eric Draper

President Bush signed into law the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) – H.R. 3. [Personally, I think this business of devising cute acronyms for legislation is inane.] In addition to the all too numerous special projects, the 835-page bill has a few items of potential interest to the maritime community in general. DHS and DOT are directed to establish security standards for public transportation agencies. There is an inscrutable income tax provision (which I don’t understand, finding “inscrutable” and “income tax” to be redundant) relating to treatment of deep-draft vessels with an exemption for certain bulk transfers to registered terminals or refineries. Finally, there is a section called “roadability” that will make intermodal equipment providers responsible for inspection and maintenance of intermodal equipment that is interchanged to motor carriers in intermodal transportation. Intermodal equipment is defined as trailing equipment that is used in the intermodal transportation of containers over public highways in interstate commerce, including trailers and chassis. (HK Law)

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