SENATE APPROVES DOLE-SUPPORTED MEASURES TO EXEMPT COMMERCIAL, RECREATIONAL BOATERS FROM BURDENSOME REGULATION
The Senate today approved bipartisan legislation cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole to protect recreational and commercial boaters from a burdensome regulation.
A 2006 federal court ruling required the Environmental Protection Agency to extend water quality regulations to approximately 13 million boats, including recreational and commercial vessels. The new policy was to go into effect in September. Not only would compliance be arduous for boaters that are not significant polluters, but this also would create an impractical, massive bureaucracy within EPA for permit issuance and regulation.
"This regulation would have needlessly tangled up recreational and commercial boaters in bureaucratic red tape," said Dole. "Not to mention the damaging impact it would have had on North Carolina's great boating manufacturing industry and the coastal economy."
The Senate approved the Clean Boating Act, which exempts recreational boaters from the new regulation, and the Clean Boating Commercial Moratorium Act, which provides a two-year moratorium for commercial boaters. Some Senators had objected to an exemption for commercial boaters, so Dole worked with her colleagues to negotiate a compromise of a two-year moratorium. The bill prescribes a study and a report back to Congress within 15 months.
The House of Representatives is expected to consider the bills later today.