Sullivan Praises Commerce Committee Passage of Vessel Discharge Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), applauded the Senate Commerce Committee’s passage of legislation he co-sponsored that would permanently exempt Alaska’s fishing vessels, and commercial vessels less than 79 feet in length, from Environmental Protection Agency incidental discharge regulations.  S. 373, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, introduced earlier this month, is widely supported by the maritime and fishing industries.

“Permanently exempting these vessels from the EPA’s burdensome regulations will provide Alaskan fishermen with some much needed regulatory certainty,” said Sen. Sullivan. “Past Congresses have waited until the 11th hour to provide relief for our industry, only to then punt this issue to be dealt with another day. It’s beyond time that we make this exemption permanent, and I am proud to have helped lead the effort to advance this bill at the Commerce Committee’s first markup of the new Congress.”

Summary of Major Provisions:

  • Authorize and implement uniform and enforceable national standards to regulate vessel discharge – such as ballast water;
  • Permanently exempt commercial vessels under 79 feet and all fishing boats from regulations regarding incidental discharge.

S. 373 is originally sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Thune (R-SD) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).