Oil Spill Bill Forwarded

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Senate Commerce Committee approved the Oil Spill Prevention Act, legislation introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and cosponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that aims to make ships safer and assess and improve vessel tracking procedures.Boxer said, “Californians know all too well the devastation an oil spill can cause to our waters, wildlife and our communities.  Just last fall, 58,000 gallons of toxic bunker fuel poured into the San Francisco Bay after the Cosco Busan struck the Bay Bridge.  This bill addresses some of the issues raised in the wake of that accident, including the need to ensure the Coast Guard has the clear authority to direct the movement of vessel traffic, especially in dangerous conditions.  I want to thank Senator Lautenberg and the Commerce Committee for their hard work on this important issue.”  The Oil Spill Prevention Act would require a double hull or an additional protective layer around the fuel tank on non-tank vessels, create a medical review program for merchant mariners, and require the Coast Guard to conduct a study into the causes of marine accidents.

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