JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 • FOGHORN 33 LEGISLATIVEREPORT EPA had no authority to exempt vessel wastewater discharges from regulation. EPA appealed, but in 2008, a federal appeals court upheld the decision. Forced to act by the court order, EPA devised the Vessel General Permit, and it first went into effect in 2008. For a covered vessel (that is, a vessel of 79 feet or more in length or a vessel of any length that discharges ballast water) to take advantage of the VGP, it is required to adhere to specified best management practices and to undertake inspection, recordkeeping, and annual reporting mandates. Coast Guard Provisions Other parts of Public Law 115-282 incorporate the traditional biennial Coast Guard Authorization bill. Most provisions do not directly affect PVA members, but some items that do include: • Direction to the Commandant to improve consistency in interpreta- tion of regulations and standards by Coast Guard marine inspectors; • Statutory authorization for various private-sector maritime advisory committees, including the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and the National Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (NAVSAC). These panels provide a mechanism for PVAand other maritime interests to provide policy input to the Coast Guard. Past PVA President Dave Anderson of Fire Island Ferries, Bay Shore, NY, is a newly appointed member of NAVSAC; • An easing of the 2010 law requiring “official” logbooks on passenger- carrying vessels; • Direction to the Coast Guard to promptly prescribe a final rule elimi- nating the requirement for formal radar refresher training for certain mariners; and • Language to enable the historic riverboat Delta Queen to resume operations. n PVA MEMBERS: Advertise in FOGHORN! Contact Bill Forslund at bill@philipspublishing.com or call 206-284-8285 www.beurteaux.com Phone: North America (1) 508 558 7007 • 2,000 vessels world wide • World leaders in design and development • Testing to international standards • Comprehensive range of accessories • Service and support world wide • Dedicated to improving products and service