• ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
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  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
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    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
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    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American Shipper

Uniform ballast rules, armed ships, Coastguard bill passes

   The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the 2011 Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2838) by voice vote.
    The bill authorizes $8.49 billion for the Coast Guard for fiscal year 2012, $8.6 billion for fiscal year 2013, and $8.7 billion for fiscal year 2014.
    H.R. 2838 includes provisions that will give the Coast Guard and its personnel greater parity with the Defense Department. Parity among the uniformed services has been a top priority of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for some time and this bill makes significant progress towards aligning the Coast Guard’s authorities with those granted to Defense.
    Also included in the legislation are provisions that set a nationwide standard for the treatment of ballast water that remedies the current patchwork of varying and inconsistent ballast water regulations across states.
    Currently, the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency have developed separate regulations under two different federal laws to govern the discharge of ballast water. The EPA’s ballast water program under the Clean Water Act is especially burdensome, as it allows each individual state to add state requirements on top of the federal regulations. So far, 29 states and tribes have done that.
    “The current system is simply impossible,” said House Coast Guard Subcommittee Chairman Frank A. LoBiondo, R-N.J., who co-sponsored the bill. “It threatens our international maritime trade. It is driving industry away from coastwise trade. It is undermining our attempts to revitalize the U.S. flagged fleet. It is destroying jobs and it is hurting our economy.
    “This legislation eliminates this ridiculous regulatory regime and establishes a single, uniform national standard that is based on the most effective technology currently available,” he added. “The EPA must update the standard on a regular basis or at the request of a state.”
    The bill also strengthens existing authorities against piracy, as well as improves an existing training program to instruct mariners on acceptable use of force against pirates. It authorizes armed security on vessels carrying government impelled cargo through high risk waters, and includes a report on ways to improve U.S. efforts to track ransom payments and the movement of money through Somali piracy networks.

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