VIDA & BWMS Reform
On December 4, President Trump signed into law the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 (S. 140). Title IX of the legislation is the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act of 2018 (VIDA). VIDA will largely cut through a morass of conflicting and confusing requirements that have developed over a number of years relating to discharges into US waters. This purpose of this new legislation is to: (1) provide for the establishment of uniform and environmentally sound standards and requirements for the management of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel…
Inland River Cruising: 2019 Will Be Busy
One year ago, we reported on vacation river cruising, presenting an industry mostly on the optimistic side of growth and expansion for 2018. This year’s review is more geographically limited – to the Mississippi River, heartland cruises centered among New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis and St. Paul – but with links important for a lot of smaller cities in between.Big picture:This industry is strong, at least among its two major players: American Cruise Lines and the American Queen Steamboat Company. Both have extensive and varied schedules for 2019.
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) - Immediate Implications of the New Law
This week, on December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA): Title IX of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018.VIDA establishes a new framework for the regulation of vessel incidental discharges, adding a new Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 312(p): Uniform National Standards for Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Vessels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are…
AAPA: U.S. Ballast Water Legislative Victory Appears Imminent
Legislation that sets standards for incidental water discharges from vessels passed the House on Nov. 29.The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, S. 140, which includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), passed the Senate two weeks earlier and now moves to the President to be signed.The provision places the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the lead role of establishing standards for ballast water discharge, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will monitor and enforce compliance.
AWO Working Hard for the Domestic Workboat Market
The year 2015 has been a busy year for The American Waterways Operators, the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, and for the industry AWO is privileged to represent. It’s a dynamic time for a vital industry that constitutes the largest segment of the U.S. domestic fleet, as companies throughout the industry are investing heavily to meet evolving customer needs; the industry stands on the verge of historic regulatory change; and AWO pursues an active public policy agenda to support members’ needs for predictable and practicable government policy.
Garamendi Introduces Bipartisan GPS Backup Bill
Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, introduced the bipartisan National Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Resilience and Security Act of 2015, H.R. 1678. H.R. 1678 would require the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Commandant of the Coast Guard and the Secretary of Transportation, to establish and sustain a reliable, land…
Coalition Calls for Action on Vessel Discharge Legislation
The American Waterways Operators (AWO) and a broad-based coalition of organizations that rely on marine vessels to transport essential cargoes said a uniform national framework for the regulation of vessel discharges is urgently needed. The coalition called upon the Senate Commerce Committee to move quickly to approve S.373, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). In a letter to Senators Thune and Nelson, respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Commerce Committee, the coalition stated that vessel discharge reform legislation would rectify an untenable situation “by establishing a uniform…
House Introduces Vessel Discharge Legislation
The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, hailed the House introduction of critical vessel discharge legislation yesterday, praising the leadership of sponsors Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a senior member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Bipartisan cosponsors include Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Don Young (R-Alaska). H.R.
Vessel Discharge Legislation Awaits Congressional Nod
The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, hailed the House introduction of critical vessel discharge legislation yesterday, praising the leadership of sponsors Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a senior member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Bipartisan cosponsors include Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN)…
LoBiondo Opens Hearing on Maritime Transport Regs
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) chaired today’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Hearing on “Maritime Transportation Regulations: Impacts on Safety, Security, Jobs, and the Environment; Part II” in place of Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter. “The Subcommittee is meeting today for the second part of our two part hearing to review regulations affecting the maritime industry. Today’s hearing will focus on environmental regulations and how such regulations impact the flow of commerce through our ports, and the ability to grow jobs in the maritime sector.
What Will WRDA Legislation Bring?
On November 8, speaking at the Port of New Orleans, President Obama said “… corn and wheat is coming down from my home state of Illinois down the river, ending up here and then going all around the world. This was a victory for the inland waterways industry because while the President has recognized ports, dams, levees, trains, trucks and other transportation infrastructure, he has not, heretofore, underscored the value of the inland waterways. The President’s recognition of the…
Congress Examines Maritime Regulatory Impacts
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), held a hearing on Thursday, April 26th, to review the status of regulations by the United States Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and how such regulations impact the maritime industry. “The Subcommittee is meeting today to review regulations affecting the maritime industry. We are interested in how the implementation of these regulations is impacting vessel safety, the flow of commerce through our ports, and the ability to grow jobs in the maritime sector. “The Coast Guard has broad authority to regulate maritime commerce, including establishing and enforcing rules to ensure mariner safety and vessel and facility security.
FY-13 Coast Guard and Maritime Budget Hearing Review
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), held a hearing this morning to examine the fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget requests for the United States Coast Guard, Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and Maritime Administration (MARAD). “The Subcommittee is meeting today to hear testimony on the President’s fiscal year 2013 budget request from the leaders of the three federal agencies which promote, protect, and regulate vessels and mariners in U.S. waters and international trade. “As my colleagues know, our nation is facing a very tough budget climate as we try to control our exploding national debt. This Congress must continue to make extremely difficult decisions to bring our spending under control and cut the deficit.
ABS Recognized for 150 Years of Service
ABS celebrated its 150th anniversary in Washington, DC on 31 January and was recognized by Members of Congress for the classification society’s proud history and unwavering commitment to the American and international maritime community. “I ask my colleagues to join with me in congratulating ABS on its 150th anniversary and in recognizing ABS’ significant service to the American marine and offshore industries and our sea services,” stated Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, in remarks entered into the Congressional Record. Congressman LoBiondo was joined by Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA)…
U.S. Congress to Hold Meeting on Cruise Ship Safety
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) announced the Committee will conduct a hearing to review cruise ship safety in light of the recent Costa Concordia incident in the Mediterranean Sea. “The Costa Concordia tragedy is a wakeup call for the United States and international maritime organizations to carefully review and make certain we have in place all appropriate standards to ensure passengers’ safety on cruise ships,” Mica said. “In general, cruise travel is a safe form of transportation and an important jobs provider for the nation’s economy.
Bill Introduced To Protect American Maritime Jobs
Working to create and preserve American jobs, Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings (D, MD-7) and Jeff Landry (R, LA-3) today introduced the American Mariners Job Protection Act (H.R. 3202), a bill with bipartisan support that will increase government transparency surrounding the issuance of waivers allowing non-Jones Act-qualified vessels to carry cargo between U.S. ports. Under current law, when the head of the agency responsible for the administration of the Jones Act believes it necessary to waive the Act’s requirements in the interest of national defense, the agency must request the Maritime Administration to assess whether Jones Act-qualified vessels are available to carry the cargo under consideration.
AWO: Need for Congress to Enact Vessel Discharges Legislation
Friday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reject three maritime industry associations’ challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Vessel General Permit (VGP) highlights the urgent need for Congressional action to establish a uniform and practical regulatory regime for vessel discharges, The American Waterways Operators (AWO) announced today. The VGP was developed by EPA in 2008 under the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program, designed to regulate discharges from land-based stationary sources. The permit contains baseline requirements established by EPA as well as more than 100 state- and waterbody-specific conditions required by individual states.
AWO Testifies Before Congress
The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat, and barge industry, urged members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to enact legislation that establishes a national framework for the regulation of vessel discharges at a Congressional hearing yesterday morning. Testifying before the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittees on behalf of the Shipping Industry Coalition, AWO President & CEO Thomas Allegretti told lawmakers that the current patchwork of authorities with respect to vessel discharges regulation is antithetical to environmental protection and economic growth. Under the current system, the U.S.
Strategic Partnership in U.S. Shipbuilding, Repair Industry
The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) announced that Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding Divisions and General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works (General Dynamics NASSCO is currently a member of the SCA) have joined its national trade association. The move will enhance SCA’s ability to communicate the critical role that the shipbuilding and repair sectors play in bolstering economic, national and homeland security. “Today’s announcement is an important development for the effective representation of the shipyard industry in our nation’s capital. The integration of these major defense construction…
Crowley-Managed Vessels Receive USCG Awards
Sixteen Crowley-managed vessels were recently honored with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) awards in recognition of their voluntary rescue services to people aboard vessels in distress in 2010. Crowley received the recognition from Congressman Frank LoBiondo, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the USCG and Maritime Transportation, and Admiral Robert Papp, commandant of the USCG, during a dinner in Washington, D.C. The 16 Crowley-managed vessels that received the awards include the Endurance, Guardian, Sea Prince, Sinuk, Stalwart, Charleston Express, Philadelphia Express, St. Louis Express, Washington Express, Yorktown Express, Blue Ridge, Coast Range, Courage, Pelican State, Resolve and the Sunshine State.
MarPro INTERVIEW: USCG Admiral Robert Papp
When Admiral Robert J. Papp assumed the duties of the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 25, 2010, he also served notice that it won’t be business as usual at headquarters. Papp, unlike his three immediate predecessors, apparently has no intention of setting the world on fire by instituting sweeping changes. Inside the Coast Guard, the proverbial round turn is probably good news. For maritime businesses that trudge along under the collective weight of mounting regulatory burdens, an arguably willing partner now resides in the C-suite. From Papp’s perspective, the overarching link for all of the Coast Guard’s collective missions is the maritime aspect of their service.
National Maritime Day Dinner, AMVER Awards
On May 23rd at the National Press Club in Washington DC, the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) and IHS Fairplay will be hosting a dinner to commemorate National Maritime Day, which is held on May 22nd to honor merchant mariners. At this dinner, the 2010 AMVER (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System) Award recipients will receive recognition for their service from Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, and Coast Guard Commandant Robert Papp. The evening begins at 6:00PM with a reception. The genesis of the Amver system ultimately finds its roots in the RMS TITANIC disaster in 1912.
Renowned Piracy Negotiator Calls On Maritime Industry To Educate The Public On Piracy Threat
March 21 2011—Stamford, CT. In recognition of the International Maritime Organization’s “Year of Piracy”, WISTA USA hosted world renowned piracy negotiator, Suzanne Williams QPM, as their keynote speaker at its sixth annual WISTA USA luncheon on Monday, kicking off the Connecticut Maritime Association’s Shipping 2011 conference. The luncheon was attended by nearly 250 industry professionals and maritime cadets. Ms. Williams described first hand experiences in her dealings with pirate negotiations, and offered suggestions for combating the scourge.