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ICYMI: Congressman Young Joins President Trump for Coast Guard Authorization Bill Signing

Earlier this week Alaska Congressman Don Young joined President Donald Trump in the Oval Office as he signed S. 140, the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, into law.


President Donald J. Trump signs S.140 The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House.(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

“I’m proud to see President Trump sign this legislation into law,” said Congressman Young. “The Coast Guard has an important presence in Alaska and these brave men and women answer the call to service at a moment’s notice. With this bill now law, the Coast Guard will have the support they need to continue their work defending our waters and for future missions.”


President Donald J. Trump signs S.140 The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in the Oval Office of the White House.(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Provisions Congressman Young Secured:

  • Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) – After nearly 15 years of work, there will be a national standard for regulation of ballast water and other incidental discharges while also providing permanent exemption for commercial fishing vessels and commercial vessels under 75 feet from needing to obtain burdensome permits through the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Reauthorization of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act which will improve hydrographic surveying, especially of the Arctic. Additionally, this will assist in the construction of a new homeport for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research vessel Fairweather in Ketchikan. 
  • A fishery endorsement for the vessel Western Challenger to correct an issue from a previous Coast Guard Authorization.

Provisions of Interest for Alaska:

  • Allows for more localized decision making in Alaskan waters by the Coast Guard in the approval of oil spill response plans and requires the Coast Guard to verify the effectiveness of the alternate plans. The legislation also requires oil spill removal organizations identified in the vessel response plans to conduct regular drills using their response resources.
  • Directs the Coast Guard to conduct an enhanced maintenance project to extend the service life of the Polar Star icebreaker until the end of 2025.
  • Authorizes Coast Guard use of multi-year contracts to begin procurement of three new National Security Cutters.
  • Facilitates a land exchange on Kodiak Island to protect wildlife as well as open possibilities for economic development.
  • Requires a report by the Coast Guard, in consultation with DoD, on progress toward implementing strategic objectives described in the United States Coast Guard Arctic Strategy from 2013.

The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 is bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reauthorize, strengthen, and support the United States Coast Guard in its critical missions to save lives, safeguard our shores, protect living marine resources, and help ensure a 21st century maritime transportation system for America. The bill also reauthorizes the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and makes updates to the FMC’s authorities to better protect the U.S. maritime industry.

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