Summary: S.951 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (10/31/2001)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2001 - Title I: Authorization - Authorizes appropriations for the Coast Guard for: (1) operation and maintenance; (2) acquisition and construction; (3) research and development; (4) retired pay; (5) environmental compliance; and (6) bridge alteration or removal.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes: (1) the Coast Guard end-of-year strength for active duty personnel and its average military training student loads; (2) appropriations for Coast Guard operation of the LORAN-C system; and (3) the Secretary of Transportation to accept for Coast Guard drug interdiction activities up to seven PC-170 patrol craft from the Department of Defense.

(Sec. 105) Authorizes: (1) the Coast Guard to operate and maintain a Caribbean Support Tender to provide technical assistance, including law enforcement training, for foreign coast guards, navies, and other maritime service; and (2) the Commandant to provide medical and dental care to foreign military Caribbean Support Tender personnel and their dependents accompanying them in the United States.

Title II: Personnel Management - Limits the rank of the director of the United States Coast Guard Band to the rank of captain (currently, commander).

(Sec. 202) Authorizes compensatory absence from duty to military personnel of the Coast Guard serving at isolated duty stations of the Coast Guard when conditions of duty result in confinement because of isolation or in long periods of continuous duty.

(Sec. 203) Amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 to provide for the suspension of retired pay of coast guard members who are absent from the United States to avoid prosecution.

(Sec. 204) Extends Coast Guard housing authorities for an additional five years.

(Sec. 205) Allows a promotion selection board to recommend officers of particular merit for placement at the top of the list of selectees.

(Sec. 206) Authorizes the Coast Guard to continue, through board action, Commanders and Lieutenant Commanders scheduled to retire due to failure of selection for promotion.

(Sec. 207) Revises provisions concerning the method for determining, for reserve officers, the date a promotion becomes effective and for establishing the date of rank under certain circumstances.

(Sec. 208) Authorizes providing financial assistance to an eligible enlisted member of the Coast Guard Reserve, not on active duty, for expenses of the member while the member is pursuing on a full-time basis at an institution of higher education an approved program of education.

(Sec. 209) Authorizes the Coast Guard to offer to Captains who would otherwise be forced to retire at 30 years the opportunity to continue on active duty.

(Sec. 210) Authorizes the Coast Guard to pay death gratuities to personal representatives of Coast Guard Auxiliarists to the same extent that death gratuities are paid on behalf of Federal employees.

(Sec. 211) Revises Coast Guard severance pay provisions to incorporate Department of Defense separation pay computations.

Title III: Marine Safety - Directs the Secretary of Transportation to prepare a status report on the modernization of the National Distress and Response System.

(Sec. 302) Amends the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act to require all vessels to monitor inter-ship radiotelephone frequencies when operating within United States Territorial waters.

(Sec. 303) Prohibits the Coast Guard from planning or implementing decommissioning of icebreaking vessels until replacements have been procured.

(Sec. 304) Modifies reporting requirements.

(Sec. 305) Provides the Coast Guard authority to receive an advance of up to $100 million for emergency oil spill cleanup from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

(Sec. 306) Permits the issuance of interim merchant marine documents to vessel employees with no operational, navigation, or safety responsibilities.

(Sec. 307) Increases the maximum civil penalty for negligent operation of a vessel or for interfering with the safe operation of a vessel.

(Sec. 308) Authorizes the Coast Guard to support fishing vessel safety training programs, provided that such support does not interfere with any Coast Guard functions or operations.

(Sec. 309) Extends time for recreational vessel and associated equipment recalls.

(Sec. 310) Requires all Coast Guard personnel are equipped with adequate safety equipment, including survival suits where appropriate, while performing search and rescue missions.

(Sec. 311) Authorizes the Coast Guard to conduct marine casualty investigations involving foreign vessels, consistent with generally recognized practices and procedures of International Law.

Title IV: Renewal of Advisory Groups - Renames and extends the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Advisory Committee.

(Sec. 402) Extends: (1) the Houston-Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee; (2) the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Advisory Committee; (3) the Navigation Safety Advisory Council; (4) the Towing Safety Advisory Committee; (5) the National Boating Safety Advisory Council; and (6) the Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee.

Title V: Miscellaneous - Authorizes the Coast Guard to transfer specified property in Portland harbor to the Gulf of Maine Aquarium Development Corporation.

(Sec. 502) Requires the Coast Guard to: (1) study existing local harbor safety coordinating committees regarding cooperation with interested groups, organizational models, technological assistance, and recurring resources; and (2) test the feasibility of expanding the harbor safety committee concept to ceratin small and medium-sized ports.

(Sec. 503) States that Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service pilots shall not be liable for damages related to their official assistance unless such assistance constitutes gross negligence or willful misconduct.

(Sec. 505) Authorizes the Coast Guard to lease lighthouse properties under the administrative control of the Coast Guard for terms not to exceed 30 years.

(Sec. 506) Permits electronic filing of commercial vessel instruments, without filing the original commercial instrument within ten days.

(Sec. 507) Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to exempt vessels operating in accordance with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System provisions of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention from the requirement to carry radio direction-finding apparatus.

Title VI: Jones Act Waivers - Amends the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998 to repeal the authority to revoke Jones Act waivers.