Summary: S.362 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 109-449 (12/22/2006)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the House on September 27, 2006. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act - (Sec. 3) Establishes within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Program to reduce and prevent the occurrence and adverse impacts of marine debris on the marine environment and navigation safety.

Requires the Administrator of NOAA (Administrator), subject to the availability of appropriations, to: (1) undertake marine debris mapping, impact assessment, prevention, and removal efforts, with a focus on marine debris posing a threat to living marine resources and navigation safety; (2) improve efforts to reduce adverse impacts of lost and discarded fishing gear on living marine resources and navigation safety; and (3) undertake outreach and education of the public and other stakeholders in the fishing, fishing gear manufacturers, other marine-dependent, and plastic and waste management industries, on sources of, and threats associated with, marine debris and approaches to identify, determine sources of, assess, reduce, and prevent such debris and its adverse impacts on the marine environment and navigational safety.

Prescribes guidelines for the Administrator to enter into cooperative agreements and contracts and provide financial assistance in the form of grants through the Program for such projects.

(Sec. 4) Directs the Commandant of the Coast Guard (CG) to: (1) take actions to reduce violations of and improve implementation of MARPOL Annex V (Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973) and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships with respect to the discard of plastics and other garbage from vessels; (2) develop and implement a plan to improve ship-board waste management; (3) take actions to improve international cooperation to reduce marine debris; and (4) establish a voluntary reporting program for commercial vessel operators and recreational boaters to report incidents of damage to vessels and disruption of navigation caused by marine debris, including observed violations relating to disposal of plastics and other marine debris. Requires the Commandant of the CG to report to Congress on the CG's progress in implementing such actions.

Requires the Commandant of the CG to enter into an agreement with the National Research Council to conduct, and submit to Congress, a report on the effectiveness of international and national measures to prevent and reduce marine debris and its impact.

(Sec. 5) Amends the the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987 to establish an Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (eliminates the existing Department of Commerce Marine Debris Coordinating Committee) to coordinate a comprehensive program of marine debris research and activities among federal agencies, in cooperation with nongovernmental organizations, industry, universities, states, Indian tribes, and other nations.

Directs the Interagency Committee to report to Congress on the source of marine debris, its ecological and economic impact, alternatives for reducing, mitigating, preventing, and controlling its harmful affects, the social and economic costs and benefits of such alternatives, and recommendations to reduce marine debris both domestically and internationally. Requires a biennial status update to Congress.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Administrator, in coordination with the Interagency Committee, to: (1) maintain a federal information clearinghouse on marine debris that will be available to researchers and other interested parties to improve marine debris source identification, data sharing, and monitoring efforts through collaborative research and open sharing of data; and (2) take steps to ensure confidentiality of such data, especially proprietary information required by the Administrator to be submitted by the fishing industry.

(Sec. 8) Prohibits anything in this Act from superseding, or limiting the authority of the Secretary of the Interior under, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes appropriations for FY2006-FY2010.