Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/22/1994)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Authorizations

Title II: Personnel Management Improvement

Title III: Navigation Safety and Waterway Services Management

Title IV: Miscellaneous

Title V: Recreational Boating Safety

Title VI: Towing Vessel Navigational Safety

Title VII: Coast Guard Regulatory Reform

Title VIII: United States Cruise Vessel Development

Title IX: Boating Improvement

Title X: Documentation of Vessels

Title XI: United States Passenger Vessel Flag Act of 1994

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1994 - Title I: Authorizations - Authorizes appropriations for the Coast Guard for FY 1995 for: (1) operation and maintenance; (2) acquisition, construction, rebuilding, and improvement of aids to navigation, shore and offshore facilities, vessels, and aircraft; (3) research, development, test, and evaluation of technologies, materials, and human factors relating to improving the performance of the Coast Guard's mission in support of specified activities; (4) retired pay, payments under the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection and Survivor Benefit Plans, and payments for medical care of retired personnel and their dependents; (5) alteration or removal of bridges over navigable waters of the United States constituting obstructions to navigation, and personnel and administrative costs associated with the Bridge Alteration Program; and (6) environmental compliance and restoration at Coast Guard facilities.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes: (1) an end-of-year strength for active duty personnel of 39,000 as of September 30, 1995; (2) specified military training student loads for FY 1995; and (3) appropriations to the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) for operation and maintenance expenses of Coast Guard drug interdiction activities for FY 1995.

Title II: Personnel Management Improvement - Makes provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1993 regarding homeowners assistance for certain individuals affected by Hurricane Andrew applicable to the military personnel of the Coast Guard who were assigned to, or employed at or in connection with, any Federal facility or installation in the vicinity of Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, subject to specified limitations.

(Sec. 202) Repeals a requirement that, upon approval by the President, the names of officers selected by a board for continuation on active duty shall be promptly disseminated to the Coast Guard at large.

(Sec. 203) Specifies that reserve members ordered to active duty for emergency augmentation of regular forces shall not be counted in computing the authorized strength of members on active duty or members in grade under any law.

(Sec. 204) Authorizes the Commandant of the Coast Guard to: (1) make child development services available to members and civilian employees of the Coast Guard, and, as remaining space is available, to members of the armed forces and Federal civilian employees; (2) require that fees for such services at Coast Guard child development centers be used only for compensation of center employees directly involved in providing child care, with exceptions; (3) use Department of Defense or other training programs to insure that all child development services providers meet minimum standards; and (4) provide assistance to members and civilian employees of the Coast Guard for obtaining services of qualified family home child development services providers.

Title III: Navigation Safety and Waterway Services Management - Repeals a provision requiring the head of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to collect and pay to the Treasury the same fees for the inspection of foreign vessels carrying passengers from the United States that a foreign country charges U.S. vessels trading to the ports of that country.

(Sec. 302) Increases civil penalties for violations of provisions regarding documentation of vessels.

Revises Federal provisions to make a vessel and its equipment liable to seizure by, and forfeiture to, the U.S. Government if: (1) the owner of the vessel or a representative or agent of the owner knowingly falsifies or conceals a material fact or makes a false statement or representation about the documentation or in applying for documentation of the vessel; (2) a certificate of documentation is knowingly and fraudulently used for the vessel; (3) the vessel is operated after its endorsement has been denied or revoked; (4) the vessel is employed in a trade without an appropriate trade endorsement; or (5) in the case of a documented vessel with only a recreational endorsement, the vessel is operated other than for pleasure.

Removes specified limitations on the operation of recreational vessels.

(Sec. 304) Directs the Commandant to operate a rescue and patrol vessel on the Mississippi River in the vicinity of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to support Coast Guard rescue, law enforcement, marine safety, marine environmental protection, and port security missions.

(Sec. 305) Directs the Secretary, for purposes of altering the Florida Avenue Bridge in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, to treat the drainage siphon that is adjacent to the bridge as an appurtenance of the bridge.

(Sec. 306) Amends the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1991 to terminate the Houston-Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee and the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Advisory Committee on October 1, 1999.

(Sec. 307) Prohibits the Secretary from consolidating the Coast Guard Marine Safety Offices in Galveston and Houston, Texas.

(Sec. 308) Directs the Coast Guard to designate the Center for Marine Environmental Protection and Safety at the Massachusetts Marine Academy as a regional facility for the conduct and evaluation of annual response area management team exercises for two response areas in the East Coast.

(Sec. 309) Prohibits the Secretary from decommissioning the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw until the later of: (1) one year after transmitting to the Congress a report on the ice breaking needs of the Great Lakes and the appropriate size and type of vessels to meet those needs; or (2) October 1, 1995. Authorizes appropriations for operation and maintenance of such cutter.

(Sec. 310) Requires the Secretary to continue to operate the USCGC TACKLE (WYTL 65604) in the vicinity of Crisfield, Maryland, until October 1, 1995.

(Sec. 311) Requires at least 51 percent of the components of surface search radar systems and multibeam sonar systems for Coast Guard vessels to be manufactured in the United States, provided the U.S. manufacturer offers the Coast Guard a competitive price.

(Sec. 312) Requires the Secretary to expeditiously convey certain property located in Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan, to the Traverse City Area Public School District.

Title IV: Miscellaneous - Authorizes special recruiting by the Coast Guard to rectify underrepresentation or underutilization of women and minorities.

(Sec. 402) Allows the retention of an officer with at least 18 years of active of service until such officer completes 20 years of service.

(Sec. 403) Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, to report to the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (specified congressional committees) recommending actions to prevent mortalities of the northern right whale from vessel collisions in the Great South Channel off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

(Sec. 404) Directs the Secretary to maintain an ability, until October 1, 1999, to assist the public with vessel documentation information at Coast Guard offices located in the immediate vicinity of former regional vessel documentation offices.

(Sec. 405) Prohibits the Secretary from closing or consolidating any shore unit and from decommissioning any vessel or aircraft, based on: (1) the increased costs resulting from including the Coast Guard in the military pay raise for FY 1995; or (2) the cost-of-living allowance for members of the uniformed services assigned to high cost areas in the continental United States.

(Sec. 406) Extends the authority of the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Advisory Committee until October 1, 1999.

(Sec. 407) Prohibits the level of Coast Guard drug interdiction from being reduced below the level proposed by the President in the FY 1995 budget.

(Sec. 408) Prohibits the Secretary from closing or consolidating any multimission small boat station in FY 1995 until a list of proposed station closures has been submitted to the specified congressional committees.

(Sec. 409) Amends the Inland Navigational Rules Act of 1980 to extend the authority of the Navigation Safety Advisory Council until September 30, 2000.

(Sec. 410) Requires the Secretary to ensure that the Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Lifeboat acquisition is accomplished in accordance with laws and regulations applicable to small business set asides.

(Sec. 411) Requires the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on a plan to more fully utilize the Coast Guard Selected Reserve to augment peacetime operations.

(Sec. 412) Transfers to the Ketchikan Indian Corporation in Ketchikan, Alaska, certain property to be used as a Native health clinic.

(Sec. 413) Directs the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on all costs incurred by the United States in FY 1994 for the performance by Coast Guard personnel of vessel inspections outside the 50 States and the District of Columbia.

(Sec. 414) Conveys to the Montauk Historical Association in Montauk, New York, property comprising the Light Station Montauk Point.

(Sec. 415) Conveys to Rockport, Massachusetts, the property comprising the Cape Ann Lighthouse, located on Thachers Island, Massachusetts.

(Sec. 416) Transfers administrative jurisdiction over the Ocracoke Light Station from the Secretary to the Secretary of the Interior.

(Sec. 417) Prohibits a Coast Guard vessel from being overhauled, repaired, or maintained in a foreign shipyard, except for emergency repairs.

(Sec. 418) Requires the Secretary, subject to the availability of funds, to study the implications for vessel safety in the navigable waters near Houston, Texas, because of increased shipping traffic resulting from: (1) the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act; and (2) legislation necessary to implement the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

(Sec. 419) Requires the Coast Guard and other agencies, in implementing the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, to differentiate between animal fats or oils of vegetable origin and other oils on the basis of their physical, chemical, biological, and other properties, and their environmental effects.

(Sec. 420) Excludes certain voyages from State regulations on gambling devices.

(Sec. 421) Amends the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships to authorize the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to issue a certificate attesting to the adequacy of garbage reception facilities at a port or terminal only if an onsite inspection has been conducted prior to the issuance of a certificate. Makes such certificates valid for a period of five years unless there is a change of operator.

Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations that require the operators of ports or terminals subject to MARPOL Protocol (the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973) requirements relating to reception facilities to post placards stating that users should report facility inadequacies to the Secretary.

Amends the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act of 1987 to revise the public outreach program to include the development of a voluntary boaters' pledge program.

Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a Marine Debris Coordinating Committee to coordinate national and international research, monitoring, education, and regulatory actions addressing the persistent marine debris problem.

(Sec. 422) Deems to have been engaged in qualified service for purposes of merchant mariner benefits an individual who was in training for or who served as a member of the United States merchant marine, including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transportation Service, or who received a letter of induction before August 16, 1945.

(Sec. 423) Directs the Secretary to report annually to specified congressional committees on the status of implementation of the Vessel Traffic Service in all the ports ranked in the Port Needs Study issued by the Coast Guard in 1991.

(Sec. 424) Allows a bill of sale, conveyance, mortgage, assignment, or related instrument that includes any part of a documented vessel to be filed electronically with the Secretary.

(Sec. 425) Directs the Secretary to report to the specified congressional committees a full accounting of Coast Guard costs related to Haiti during FY 1994. Requires a monthly report to such committees on costs related to Haiti until military operations cease.

(Sec. 426) Expresses the sense of the Congress that, to the greatest extent practicable, all equipment and products purchased with funds under this Act should be American-made.

(Sec. 427) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Coast Guard should be appropriated adequate amounts to enable it to carry out all extraordinary functions and duties in addition to its normal functions.

(Sec. 428) Requires the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to report to the Congress on a plan for the rescue of persons transported on passenger vessels or small passenger vessels on the Chesapeake Bay.

Title V: Recreational Boating Safety - Recreational Boating Safety Improvement Act of 1994 - Amends Federal boating safety law to prohibit a person from operating a recreational vessel under 26 feet in length unless each individual 12 years or younger wears a personal flotation device while on the vessel's deck. Declares that such prohibition shall not be construed to limit a State's authority to establish more stringent requirements for the wearing of personal flotation devices on recreational vessels.

(Sec. 503) Sets forth a formula for the allocation of State recreational boating safety program funds based upon State adoption of laws prohibiting the operation of recreational vessels while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(Sec. 504) Directs the Secretary to submit to specified congressional committees a plan to increase reporting of vessel accidents to appropriate State law enforcement officials. Establishes penalties for violation of reporting requirements.

(Sec. 505) Declares that any individual operating a recreational vessel in a negligent manner shall complete a boating safety course approved by the Secretary.

Declares that any person operating a recreational vessel in violation of Federal shipping code recreational boating provisions may be ordered to complete a qualified recreational boating safety course.

Title VI: Towing Vessel Navigational Safety - Towing Vessel Navigational Safety Act of 1994 - Amends Federal marine safety law to require each towing vessel to be equipped with certain navigational publications and equipment.

(Sec. 603) Requires marine casualties to be reported as soon as practicable, but in no case later than within five days (currently, within five days).

(Sec. 604) Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress on the feasibility of establishing a differential global positioning satellite system and creating electronic charts for U.S. inland waterways.

(Sec. 605) Provides for the award of cost and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing plaintiff in the case of discrimination against seamen for reporting violations of navigation laws.

(Sec. 606) Directs the Secretary to prescribe regulations which establishes licenses for masters and mates of towing vessels.

(Sec. 607) Increases penalties for the operation of uninspected towing vessels in violation of manning requirements.

(Sec. 608) Directs the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to develop a model towing vessel company inspection program.

(Sec. 609) Amends Federal law relating to unlicensed shipping personnel to require merchant mariner's documents for individuals serving on a vessel of at least five gross tons (currently, at least 100 gross tons), subject to certain exceptions, including small passenger vessels (currently, including vessels operating only on rivers and lakes, except the Great Lakes).

Prohibits the Secretary from: (1) collecting a fee under provisions of Federal shipping law for any service related to a merchant mariner's document required to be obtained under this Act; or (2) making available to the public any personal information concerning an individual required to obtain such a document.

Title VII: Coast Guard Regulatory Reform - Coast Guard Regulatory Reform Act of 1994 - Amends Federal maritime law to direct the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to prescribe regulations which establish a safety management system for the following vessels engaged on a foreign voyage: (1) beginning July 1, 1998, vessels transporting more than 12 passengers, and tankers, bulk freight vessels, or high-speed freight vessels of at least 500 gross tons; and (2) beginning July 1, 2002, freight vessels and mobile offshore drilling units of at least 500 gross tons.

(Sec. 702) Requires the issuance of a Safety Management Certificate and a Document of Compliance to a vessel after verification that the responsible person has complied with all requirements.

Requires a report to the Congress on a study of the methods that may be used to implement and enforce the International management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention under chapter IX of the Annex to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974.

(Sec. 703) Authorizes the reliance on reports, documents, and records, and other methods determined to be reliable as evidence of compliance with maritime law regarding vessel inspections.

(Sec. 704) Authorizes the acceptance of approvals of safety equipment and materials by foreign governments, if: (1) the design and testing standards meet the requirements of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, and its associated International Maritime Organization guidance documents; (2) the approval will secure the safety of individuals and property on board vessels subject to inspection; and (3) for lifesaving equipment, the foreign government has given equivalent treatment of approvals to lifesaving equipment.

(Sec. 705) Requires each in-service small passenger vessel carrying more than 12 passengers on an international voyage to be inspected annually. Requires any other vessel to be inspected at least once every five years (currently, every two years). Extends from two to five years the effective validation period of certificates of inspection issued to U.S. vessels that carry oil or hazardous material in bulk.

(Sec. 706) Requires the owner or individual in charge of a vessel to submit certain inspection related notices to the Secretary at least 30 days (currently, at least 30 days but not more than 60 days) before the current certificate of inspection issued to a vessel expires.

(Sec. 707) Revises provisions regarding the recognition of U.S. classification societies.

(Sec. 708) Requires the Coast Guard to conduct a study of the regulatory requirements regarding the reporting of marine casualties.

Title VIII: United States Cruise Vessel Development - United States Cruise Vessel Development Act - Amends Federal law to permit a vessel to transport passengers in coastwise trade only if: (1) the vessel is owned by a citizen of the United States; (2) the vessel meets certain requirements under the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 and the Shipping Act, 1916 for engaging in such trade; and (3) in the case of a vessel that is at least five net tons, it is documented with a coastwise endorsement. Sets forth exceptions to such requirements for vessels under a demise charter, or for vessels to be reflagged. Sets forth a civil penalty of $1,000 per passenger transported in violation of this Act. Makes vessels in violation of this title subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States.

(Sec. 804) Authorizes the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to issue a certificate of inspection to a vessel, if: (1) it meets the standards and conditions for the issuance of a control verification certificate to a foreign vessel embarking passengers in the United States; (2) a coastwise endorsement has been issued to the vessel after enactment of this Act; and (3) the vessel is authorized to engage in coastwise trade.

(Sec. 805) Amends the Shipping Act, 1916, to provide for determining citizenship with the respect to the operation of a vessel primarily in the transport of passengers in coastwise trade.

(Sec. 807) Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant permits to vessels entering units of the National Park System in accordance with the following priority: (1) first, vessels documented under the laws of, and the home port of which is located in, the United States; (2) second, foreign documented vessels; and (3) third, any other vessels.

Title IX: Boating Improvement - Boating Improvement Act of 1994 - Amends the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act to increase the amounts transferred from State fish restoration and management project appropriations for grants for recreational boating safety programs. Revises funding from the same appropriations for grants to coastal and inland States for: (1) the construction and renovation of pumpout stations and waste reception facilities; and (2) education of recreational boaters about the problems of human body waste discharges from vessels.

(Sec. 903) Authorizes eligible States to submit plans for the construction and renovation of public facilities for transient nontrailerable vessels to the Secretary of the Interior. Authorizes grants for such purposes.

Title X: Documentation of Vessels - Authorizes the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to issue a certificate of documentation with appropriate endorsements for specified vessels.

(Sec. 1002) Authorizes the issuance of a certificate of documentation with appropriate coastwise endorsement for employment in the coastwise trade in Alaska for a specified period for the vessel ATLANTIS III.

(Sec. 1003) Authorizes the sale to a foreign person and reregistration of certain vessels if an application to authorize payment of operating- differential subsidy to such vessels is not approved by a date certain.

(Sec. 1004) Authorizes the issuance of a certificate of documentation with a coastwise endorsement of specified vessels. Limits such vessels to carriage of passengers in association with contributions to charitable organizations.

Title XI: United States Passenger Vessel Flag Act of 1994 - United States-Flag Passenger Vessel Act of 1994 - Amends Federal law to permit a vessel to transport passengers on a covered voyage from a place in the United States subject to the coastwise trade only if: (1) the vessel meets certain citizenship requirements under the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 and the Shipping Act, 1916 for engaging in such trade; and (2) in the case of a vessel that is at least five net tons, it is documented with a coastwise endorsement. Sets forth a civil penalty of $1,000 per passenger transported in violation of this Act. Sets forth terminable exceptions to such requirements for certain ineligible vessels.

(Sec. 1103) Authorizes the Secretary to issue certificates of documentation for certain named vessels. Authorizes the issuance of such certificates to certain other named vessels if certain conditions are met.