Cruising

Court Ruling Threatens Boating

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A recent court ruling about pollution dumped from the ballast water of commercial ships is written to also require all recreational boats to get permits by September 2008, even though 99 percent of recreational boats do not have ballast tanks.

Boats and ships are different and should not be treated as the same. These costly permits—intended for commercial ships and supertankers that have brought harmful invasive species into U.S. waters—are being developed right now to tax your boat’s engine cooling water, bilge water, and even deck runoff. This will seriously impact the boating public unless Congress proceeds to rectify its intentions by passing the "Clean Boating Act of 2008," sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Bill Nelson of Florida. The Clean Boating Act restores the regulation that has existed for 35 years distinguishing between recreational boats and land-based industrial facilities, ocean-going commercial ships, cruise ships, and supertankers. The “Clean Boating Act of 2008” recognizes that water-based, incidental discharges from recreational boats, which are operated an average of 31 days a year, are distinct from commercial ship discharges. Other legislation to help solve this problem has been introduced by Representatives Gene Taylor of Mississippi and Candice Miller of Michigan. Their legislation has the support of over 70 members of the House of Representatives of both parties. Senator Mel Martinez of Florida has also helped lead the way to solving this problem for boaters with legislation in the Senate. To learn more and to write to your representatives, click here. To read S. 2766 click here.

Posted May 19, 2008

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