Summary: H.R.5118 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5118. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (03/16/1977)

Tanker Safety Act - Amends the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 to direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish and maintain vessel traffic systems for the waters of the maritime safety zone. Defines "maritime safety zone" as extending 200 nautical miles from the shoreline of the United States. Exempts from this title foreign vessels which are in transit to places outside the United States.

Directs the Secretary to : (1) establish procedures for the handling and emergency removal of oil or hazardous materials; (2) prescribe minimum safety equipment requirements for structures in or on the navigable waters of the United States or on the shores adjacent to such waters; (3) establish water or waterfront safety zones or other measures for controlled access and activity to protect vessels, structures, waters, or shore areas; and (4) establish procedures for inspection to assure compliance with minimum safety requirements.

Requires the Secretary to take into account specified factors regarding navigation and vessel safety and protection of the marine environment in carrying out the duties required under this Act.

Authorizes the Secretary to require the use of pilots on self-propelled vessels of the United States engaged in foreign commerce or on foreign vessels operating in the navigable waters of the United States.

Requires the Secretary to develop, and seek adoption by the States of uniform, minimum standards relating to the regulation of pilotage at least equal to those required of federally licensed pilots.

Authorizes the Secretary or the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate incidents which cause damage to any vessel or structure or which affect or may affect the navigation or vessel safety or environmental quality of ports, harbors, navigable waters, or the waters of the maritime safety zone. Grants subpoena powers in order to conduct such inquiry.

Prohibits vessels which are determined to be unsafe or which may create a threat to the marine environment or which fail to comply with applicable regulations from entering or operating in the navigable waters or ports of the United States.

Exempts the Panama Canal from the provisions of this Act.

Directs the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to establish specified standards governing the design, repair, manning and maintenance of any vessel to increase navigation and vessel safety and marine environmental protection for vessels carrying oil or any hazardous material in bulk which are documented under the laws of the United States or which enter the navigable waters of the United States.

Requires that all such vessels, after January 1, 1979, be equipped with specified navigational devices, a segregated ballast capacity and gas inerting system, and a double hull.

Requires that such vessels hold a certificate of compliance issued by the Secretary in order to enter the navigable waters of the United States.

Directs the Secretary to prescribe manning and training requirements for the crews of such vessels.

Directs the Commandant of the Coast Guard to establish eligibility requirements for the issuance of a license to pilot any steam vessel. Specifies certain qualifications which must be met to receive such a license. Specifies conditions under which the Commandant may revoke such a license.

Stipulates that the Federal Government shall exercise authority in the 200 mile maritime safety zone established under this Act by: (1) prohibiting the discharge of any oil or hazardous material within such zone; (2) by enforcing the provisions of any international agreement to which the United States is a party concerning navigation or vessel safety or protection of the marine environment; (3) prescribing vessel control traffic; and (4) inspecting vessels destined for any port or place within the United States.

Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to appoint persons as maritime safety officers. Grants such individuals arrest powers, and boarding and inspection powers, with or without a warrant.

Directs the Secretary to establish a national program for inspection of any vessel subject to the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972. Requires yearly inspection of all vessels and a special structure inspection for vessels over ten years old. Specifies the documents which must be kept on board any vessel subject to such Act.

Sets forth civil and criminal penalties for violations of this Act.

Requires the Secretary to report annually to the Congress regarding: (1) the administration of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act; (2) a summary of inspection and enforcement activities; and (3) recommendations to Congress for any necessary additional legislative authority.