b'LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORPVA Holds Spring AT THE HELMLeadership MeetingsJOHN GROUNDWATER // EXECUTIVE DIRECTORE arly this month, PVA leaders gathered in the Washington area toPVA CONGRESSIONAL MEETINGS Hillandwithmany hold a series of in-person meetings to address important issuesEvenwithsecurityrestrictionsonCapitol facing the passenger vessel industry.Congressional offices still working remotely or not taking any outside meetings, PVA was able to schedule several productive Congressional PVA/COAST GUARD QUALITY PARTNERSHIP MEETING meetings for members. Though this was a much scaled-down version PVA members and staff gathered at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarterscompared to past PVA Congressional fly-ins because of the restrictions, inWashingtonforthetwiceyearlyPVA/CoastGuardQualitymembers felt that the meetings were worthwhile. Partnership (QP) Meeting. PVA President Bob Bijur and Rear Admiral Wayne Arguin chaired the meeting. Officially chartered in 1996, thisCERTS TAX RELIEF LEGISLATIONlongstanding meeting offers an opportunity for PVA and the CoastPVA is also advocating for approval of H.R. 7477, a bipartisan bill Guard to explore, examine, and discuss issues in a non-regulatoryintroduced in the House of Representatives to clarify that CERTS environment.grants do not have to be included in a recipients gross income for purposes of federal income taxes. The bill was originally introduced Over the years, PVA and the Coast Guard have agreed to establishby Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Darin LaHood (R-IL), workgroups that come together outside of the QP meeting to workand it now has 30 other cosponsors.together to solve pressing issues. These work projects have resulted in guidelines to prevent slips, trips, and falls aboard passenger vessels; theCAPITAL CONSTRUCTION FUND UPDATEdevelopment of a Domestic High Speed Craft Navigation and VesselIn March, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Don Young Inspection Circular (NVIC); and the acceptance of the PVA FlagshipCoast Guard Authorization Act of 2022. It contains language that SafetyManagementProgramasanapprovedsafetymanagementPVA has doggedly sought to expand eligibility for more passenger system, to name just a few of the work projects.vessel operators to take advantage of the Maritime Administrations CapitalConstructionFund(CCF)program.Undertheprogram, The following highlights a few of the topics covered in this years PVA/ as outlined in the bill, all private passenger vessel operators having a Coast Guard QP meeting: passenger capacity of 50 or more will be able to set up a CCF account, deposit earnings into it, shield those deposits from federal income COVID -19 and the state of industry recovery taxes, and then withdraw the funds to build or acquire a new vessel. Implementation of new fire safety requirements for certain CongressmanJohnGaramendiofCaliforniahaschampionedthis small passenger vesselsamendment. PVA is now seeking to have the Senate follow suit.Watchman alarm and fire detection questionsAmphibious vehicle legislation and status of the new amphibiousNTSB LISTENING SESSIONvehicle NVICThismonth,PVAPresidentBobBijurparticipatedinalisteningI llegal passenger vessel operations and enforcement session conducted by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)Status of a cyber NVIC for vesselsChair Jennifer Homendy. When asked about the safety challenges Assistance with SIP and SMS implementationthat the members of PVA face, Bob responded by affirming PVAsPVA participation in Coast Guard marine inspector traininglongtime commitment to safety. He stated further We believe thatPlate Assessment Working Group updatethe increasing presence of illegal charter operations in U.S. ports isClarification of drydock guidance probablyourmostpersistentsafetychallengetoday.TheseillegalRevision of marine event permit guidance vessel operators avoid Coast Guard inspections and completely bypass federal safety regulations. As a result, they endanger the safety and The next PVA/Coast Guard Quality Partnership meeting will be heldlivesofunsuspectingpassengers.Illegalcharterinvestigationsby in the fall.the U.S. Coast Guard uncover other issues such as lack of proper lifesaving and firefighting equipment, no drug testing programs, and PVA BOARD OF DIRECTORS SPRING MEETING insufficient or no crew training. We hope that the NTSB will join us Members of the PVA Board of Directors also met in Arlington, Va.,in working to eliminate illegal charter operators from our nations following the QP meeting. During this meeting board members werewaterways by conducting a study similar to what NTSB did for shared given updates on membership, association finances, as well as updateswaterways in 2017.about pending future Congressional legislation and proposed Federal regulations impacting the passenger vessel industry. In addition, the boardDOT ORAL FLUID DRUG TESTINGPROPOSED RULEreceived a presentation from Mr. Lee Boone of PVA member Gibbs andLastmonth,PVAsubmittedcommentsontheAdditionofOral Cox offering his initial thoughts about possible processes to assist PVAFluids Specimen Testing for Drugs Notice of Proposed Rulemaking members in implementing PVAs safety management system, Flagship.(NPRM), published by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Continued on page 397 MAY 2022'