MAY 2017 • FOGHORN 5 LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR John Groundwater ago, the Small Business Administration estimated that such regulation costs small business approximately $10,500 per employee each year. Increasing Dollar Thresholds for Marine Casualty Reporting Many thanks to PVA members who joined with PVA in submitting comments to the Coast Guard’s regulatory docket and in support of their proposal to increase dollar thresholds marine casualty reporting. Having been set more than 30 years ago, the current dollar threshold for a reportable marine casualty is $25,000, and the threshold for a serious marine incident is $100,000. The Coast G u a rd p ro p o s e s t o increase them to $72,000 and $200,000 respectively. In its comments, PVA supports “catching up” and recommended a $100,000 trigger for marine casualty reporting and $400,000 tor serious marine casualty reporting. As you know, PVAhas been working on this issue, along with other maritime industry organizations, for quite a few years and your participation was, and is, critically important to a positive outcome. Confronting Illegal Charters PVA has also been working with PVA members and the Coast Guard on combating what is believed to be a growing tide of illegal charter operators nationwide. PVA members have reported new “boat sharing” websites cropping up which market vessel charters. They are marketed as a way for vessel owners to rent their vessels and in some cases illegally carry passenger for hire. PVA has discussed this issue at numerous Coast Guard Industry Days and has urged that the Coast Guard communicate with their field units and provide guidance about enforcement. In addition, the topic has been a regular agenda item for the PVA/Coast Guard Quality Partnership Meeting. PVA and the Coast Guard plan to establish a formal working group to identify ways to address this growing problem. Representing Your Interests As you know, PVA actively communicates with legislators and regulators in Washington D.C. about the issues that are most important to you as passenger vessel operators. This interaction is critical in ensuring that government officials are familiar with your operations, the challenges that you face and with the important role that you play in transportation, travel, tourism and the contribution that you make to our Nation’s economy. The fact that yousafelycarrymorethan 200 million passengers annually aboard your vessels is a testament to your dedication and professionalism. L a s t m o n t h , P VA members gathered in Washington D.C. for the 2017 PVA Congressional Fly-In. This annual event is becoming more and more important as PVA members take to the Halls of Congress to advocate for you. A host of one- on-one meetings with Members of Congress and their staff are a central part of this activity and allow us to highlight PVA’s legislative agenda. During this year’s Fly-In PVA members emphasized: • Making the small vessel exemption from the Vessel General Permit permanent. • Providing funding for ferry construction and small shipyard grants in the proposed infrastructure funding package. • Eliminating the “official logbook” requirement for passenger vessels. • Allowing more PVA members to take advantage of tax advantages provided by the Capitol Construction Fund. • The alarming increase in illegal charter operations on our Nation’s waterways. • The need to adequately fund Coast Guard safety and inspection missions. In line with the new administration’s intent to reduce regulation, PVA members also stressed the need to eliminate uncoordinated regulation which limits productivity and diverts needed resources. Several years LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONTINUED ON PAGE 38 The 2017 PVA Congressional Fly-In brought a large number of PVA members to the halls of Congress to meet with elected officials to discuss the issues that impact the passenger vessel industry. Pictured left to right: Cornel Martin, Louis Skrmetta, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi,Jeff Sherman, Eric Christensen, and Chip Collopy.