WASHINGTON– Senator Roger Wicker says the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2015 has been signed into law.
The nearly 9.1 billion dollar bill will allow the Coast Guard to beef up the Coast Guard and Federal Maritime Commission. Additions will also be made to safety protocol for guardsmen, as well as bring much needed to changes to vessels that are stationed in the Gulf of Mexico.
“I am pleased to see that this legislation has now been enacted into law,” says Wicker, “It will also provide support for the Coast Guard to protect America’s coastline, waterways, and ports, as well as execute security operations around the world.”
Other highlights in the bill include:
- Increasing Education Research Grant Opportunities: The Coast Guard Academy is now eligible to receive federal, state, and other education research grant opportunities currently available for other federal service academies. The Coast Guard Academy was not previously eligible for these grants.
- Improving Fishing Vessel Certification: This provision provides an alternative safety compliance program for vessels from 50 feet to 79 feet in length, serving as an exemption from costly certification requirements for those vessels. The Government Accountability Office will be required to provide a report to Congress within a year about regional trends with regard to marine casualties for vessels over 79 feet that operate beyond three miles.
- Updating Survival Craft Requirements: This provision will restore the Coast Guard’s risk-based regulatory system. The updated survival craft regulations would only impact passenger vessels that are built or undergo a major conversion after January 1, 2016, and operate in cold waters.
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