WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after the House passed the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 unanimously.
“The U.S. Coast Guard is a vital part of our nation’s armed forces as they ensure the safety of our seas, waterways and ports and defend our maritime borders. Because of the Coast Guard’s successful work, nearly $4.6 trillion dollars in annual economic activity is generated through maritime commerce. With this legislation, Congress is making more critical investments in our Coast Guard so they will have the equipment, tools, and authorities they need to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Our Coast Guard men and women work every day to keep our nation safe; this legislation is important to ensuring they are able to fulfill this mission safely and effectively.
“The bill also includes negotiated language to address the patchwork, overly burdensome regulation of vessel discharge that has continued to plague Louisiana’s maritime community. The compromise language streamlines the standards and enforcement of vessel discharge, and while this solution may not be perfect, it significantly decreases the challenges currently affecting commercial vessels by limiting the EPA to setting the environmental standards for ballast water discharge and leaving the Coast Guard to be the sole enforcers.”