HYDE-SMITH VOTES FOR U.S. COAST GUARD AUTHORIZATION ACT
Senate Measure Takes Strong Steps to Eliminate Government Red Tape on Ballast Discharge Standards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today voted for legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Coast Guard and establish a framework for it to enforce national ballast water discharge rules for vessels.
The Senate passed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 by a 94-6 vote. In addition to authorizing new authorities for multi-year contracting for National Security Cutters and stronger maritime drug and border enforcement, the legislation also clarifies Coast Guard jurisdiction over enforcement of an EPA-led standard setting initiative for national ballast water discharge rules.
“The Coast Guard has a strong presence in Mississippi and on its waterways. This bill will benefit our state, particularly the option for multi-year procurement of ships. This will give the Appropriations Committee greater flexibility for funding Coast Guard ships in a more cost-effective manner and help provide stability for our Mississippi shipyards,” Hyde-Smith said.
“This bill makes important improvements for vessel owners and operators by moving to eliminate overlapping government regulations on the incidental discharges of ballast water. Cutting the confusing red tape will help our ports and shipping interests by cutting costs and improving efficiency, while protecting Mississippi’s waterways,” she said.
Highlights of the two-year Coast Guard authorization legislation include: