JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 • FOGHORN 31 By Ed Welch, PV A Legislative Director T he “lame duck” Congress completed a significant achievement on issues of importance to the Passenger VesselAssociation.After a delay of over a year, the U.S. Senate on November 14 approved legislation (S. 140) that contains both the Coast Guard Authorization Act for 2018 and the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA). The Senate vote on passage was 94-6. The House of Representatives accepted the bill by voice vote on November 27. Shortly thereafter, on December 4, the President signed it as Public Law 115-282. Smaller Vessels Permanently Exempted from Vessel General Permit VIDA makes major changes to the Environmental ProtectionAgency’s Vessel General Permit (VGP).  Of partic- ular interest to many PVAvessel operators, the legislation re- instates and makes permanent the statutory exemption from the VGP for smaller commercial passenger vessels (those of less than 79 feet in length, assuming they have no ballast water discharges). This has been a prime legislative objective for the Passenger Vessel Association. Actually, the “small vessel” and commercial fishing vessel statutory exemption ran out on January 19, 2018. For years, hundreds of smaller PVA vessels had been spared from application of the VGP, but when the exemption expired, they were supposed to comply with a Small Vessel General Permit. However, anticipating the eventual enactment of VIDA and the expected reinstatement of the small vessel statutory exemption, neither the Environmental Protection Congress Approves Reforms to EPA Vessel General Permit, Coast Guard Authorization Act THE SCANIA MARINE SOLUTION. Out there, confidence in performance, reliability and operating economy are the only things that count. With this in mind, we created the Scania Marine Solution: An array of flexible products paired with guidance and installation support from Scania. Whatever your specification, we will provide you with the optimal Scania Marine Solution. Power at work, every inch of the way. Complete and Committed. www.scaniausa.com Potomac Riverboat Co. Potomac Taxi I and II Powered by twin Scania DI13 081M engines POWER AT WORK LEGISLATIVEREPORT