US Senator Mark Begich announced that S. 2094 has just left the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Known as the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, the bill deals with regulations on water discharged from fishing boats and other marine vessels.
The regulations are designed to deal with ballast water, which is used by ships for balance, and when discharged into the sea, can contain harmful microorganisms and/or invasive species. While the regulations are meant to deal with larger vessels, such as bulk cargo ships, Begich says they can apply in odd ways for smaller vessels.
“Right now, for example, if you’re out there fishing and it’s raining, the EPA will require you to test that water that’s landing on your deck during your fishing before it goes back into the ocean. Well that doesn’t make any sense. So this legislation creates a national standard that cuts the red tape, lowers the regulation on EPA, still protects water quality, but helps our fishermen, as well as barges, ships, and so forth, comply with the law.”
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