COAST GUARD REAUTHORIZATION BILL
(Senate - November 27, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 186 (Tuesday, November 27, 2018)]
[Pages S7129-S7130]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                    COAST GUARD REAUTHORIZATION BILL

  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, this evening the House of Representatives 
concurred in the Senate amendment to the House amendment to S. 140, 
legislation known as the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act 
of 2018. The House's action clears the way for this measure to reach 
the President's desk. As the Coast Guard works through hurricane season 
and continues drug interdiction and other critical efforts, House 
passage of this legislation is a critical step toward supporting the 
men and women in uniform who guard our Nation. Among this bill's 
provisions is a title that addresses the need for clear and enforceable 
standards of incidental water discharges from vessels. Senator Carper 
and I reached a bipartisan agreement, included in this legislation, 
which places the Environmental Protection Agency in the lead role of 
establishing standards, which the Coast Guard will monitor and enforce. 
Clear, achievable rules will be the most effective way to address 
environmental concerns about the spread of invasive species through 
ballast water discharges. I am pleased to have reached this agreement, 
and I want to inform my colleagues that we will be submitting errata to 
the Committee Report on the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 
Senate Report 115-89, that reflects the agreement we reached. I ask the 
Senator from Delaware if the Senator agrees that the modifications we 
negotiated over the last few months have made a significant improvement 
to the legislation?
  Mr. CARPER. I thank the Senator from South Dakota. I do agree. Today, 
we are one step closer to getting this

[[Page S7130]]

strong bipartisan compromise on vessel discharge legislation signed 
into law. This bill protects waters across our country from the 
environmental and economic risk of the spread of invasive species 
contained in ballast water, while also providing regulatory certainty 
for vessel owners and mariners. To reach this agreement, my colleagues 
and I did not settle for what was easy or what was expedient. These 
improvements in the VIDA title have taken a great deal of time and 
energy, and they were the right thing to do. Specifically, they will 
reduce the risks posed by ballast water discharges that enter our 
waterways, minimize the likelihood of introducing invasive species 
along our coasts and in the Great Lakes, while still ensuring these 
discharges are regulated under the Clean Water Act. I know the Senator 
from South Dakota shares my hope that the President signs this 
legislation expeditiously. He and I will make sure that the legislative 
history regarding this provision is clear.

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