Congress Restores 35-Year Exemption For Recreational Boats From Proposed EPA Permitting Requirements
No New Permit For Boats Required
ALEXANDRIA, VA, July 22, 2008 -- In a remarkable display of bipartisan support for recreational boating, both the House and Senate today passed S. 2766, “The Clean Boating Act of 2008” which will permanently restore a long-standing exemption for recreational boats from permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act. The legislation now goes to the White House for the President’s signature.
Congressional action was spawned by a US District Court decision in September 2006 under which an estimated 17 million recreational boats would have fallen under Clean Water Act permit requirements effective September 30, 2008. The permit would have dictated maintenance and operation procedures and potentially subjected boaters to citizen lawsuits as well as a penalty system designed for industrial polluters.
“This is a fabulous victory for common sense and it just goes to show what can be done when the boating public, the marine industry and its representatives in Congress row together in a bipartisan way,” said BoatUS President Nancy Michelman.
BoatUS Government Affairs Director Margaret Podlich was quick to shower praise on a boatload of legislators who did much of the heavy lifting including Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representatives Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Steve LaTourette (R-OH), Candice Miller (R-MI) and Gene Taylor (D-MS). A complete listing of all legislators involved will be available at BoatUS.com/gov soon.
BoatUS has worked for more than a year with the National Marine Manufacturers Association and a broad coalition of stakeholders to resolve the problem before the permitting deadline.
“One of the real keys to success here was our collective ability to activate the grassroots,” said Podlich, noting that tens of thousands of letters and e-mails were generated by boaters and anglers over the course of the past 12 months.
BoatUS is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boat owners with over 650,000 members.