There is one summary for S.2131. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/13/2014)

Coast Guard Arctic Preparedness Act - Requires the Coast Guard to be the sole supplier of icebreaking services to federal agencies. Permits agencies to acquire icebreaking services from another entity if the Coast Guard is unable to provide such services.

Amends the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012 to direct the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to initiate a reactivation and an extention of the service life of the icebreaker Polar Sea for 7 to 10 years.

Authorizes the Commandant of the Coast Guard, as part of any project for the acquisition of one or more new heavy polar icebreakers, to solicit bids and enter into contracts that include the provision of classification services by any classification society to which the Secretary has delegated such authority for vessels not owned by the U.S. government.

Sets forth vessel requirements to be included in a final rule concerning notices of arrival and departure and the automatic identification system (AIS).

Directs the Secretary to establish a permitting process by which an operator of a marine exchange or other non-federal vessel traffic information service may apply for permission to use the AIS to transmit weather, ice, and other navigation safety information to vessels.

Permits the Secretary to recover appropriate travel and subsistence costs incurred in providing a service or thing of value to vessels, seamen, or other persons liable for certain fees or charges.

Authorizes the Secretary to order to active duty an organized training unit or member of the Coast Guard Ready Reserve (without consent of the members, for a continuous period of up to 120 days) as an emergency augmentation of regular Coast Guard forces in response to: (1) a major disaster or emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, or (2) a spill of national significance under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.

Extends through September 30, 2017, the Commandant's acquisition workforce expedited hiring authority under which acquisition positions may be designated as positions for which there is a shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need.

Directs the Secretary to submit an authorization request to Congress for each fiscal year.

Authorizes the establishment of an interagency Arctic fusion center to: (1) improve maritime domain awareness in the Arctic, and (2) coordinate information sharing between specified agencies. Directs the Secretary to develop a five-year strategic plan to guide interagency and international intergovernmental cooperation.

Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to eliminate the National Response Unit at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Transfers the Unit's response functions directly to the Secretary. (Currently, such functions are carried out by the Secretary acting through such Unit.)

Authorizes the Secretary to construct or lease hangar, berthing, and messing facilities in the Arctic Region and Bering Sea-Aleutian Islands operating area.

Requires the Secretary, within an hour after receiving a report of certain marine casualties, to forward the report to appropriate state agencies and tribal governments.

Directs the Commandant to publish on a publicly accessible website all written incident action plans prepared and approved as a part of the response to an oil spill in which the Coast Guard serves as the federal on-scene coordinator leading a unified command.

Expands the activities required to be performed by centers of expertise for Coast Guard prevention and response missions.

Authorizes the Commandant, through the Secretary with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to coordinate with foreign government agencies on research, development, testing, and evaluations relating to the performance of any Coast Guard function, including intelligence systems and capabilities.

Requires area contingency plans for the removal or oil and hazardous substances to include input from tribal governments and a framework with respect to the closing and reopening of fishing areas following a discharge.

Directs the Secretary to require: (1) Coast Guard-approved response plans to be updated at least every five years with the best commercially available technology and methods to address a worst case discharge, including a discharge resulting from fire or explosion; and (2) each vessel response plan prepared for a mobile offshore drilling unit to include information regarding the planned response to, and threat of, such a worst case discharge.

Establishes a Support of Seafarers Fund from which the Secretary is authorized to pay the necessary support of: (1) seafarers who enter, remain, or are paroled into the United States and are involved in an investigation, reporting, documentation, or adjudication of any matter related to the administration or enforcement of any treaty, law, or regulation by the Coast Guard; and (2) seafarers abandoned in the United States. Authorizes, if necessary to avoid serious injustice, the reimbursement of certain shipowners or operators who have provided necessary support of a seafarer paroled into the United States to facilitate such an investigation, reporting, documentation, or adjudication.

Defines "seafarer" as an alien crewman who is employed or engaged in any capacity on a vessel subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to: (1) require oil produced from federal leases in Arctic water planning areas of the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, or Hope Basin to be transported by pipeline to onshore facilities; and (2) provide for the transportation of oil from federal leases in Arctic waters in preproduction phases (including exploration) by means other than a pipeline.

Authorizes the Commandant to lease submerged lands and tidelands under the control of the Coast Guard for periods longer than five years.

Increases fines and penalties relating to false or unauthorized uses of: (1) aids to maritime navigation and distress messages, (2) Coast Guard ensigns and pennants, and (3) the words "Coast Guard."