NACO Press Release

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NACO is pleased to announce another success in our continued efforts to reduce regulatory burdens and financial costs for our members. NACO worked with Congress on the recently adopted HR2838 USCG Reauthorization Bill, which includes a provision to extend the current exemption for vessels less than 79’ from having to obtain the EPA Clean Water Act NPDES Permit from December 2013 to December 2014. This provides another year to continue working with Congress on a permanent exemption.

NACO President, Captain Bob Zales, II stated, “the NACO Board is comprised of hard working concerned individuals who work diligently to seek legislative regulatory relief on issues that affect our members. Our Coast Guard Committee, chaired by Captain Ed O’Brien, had many discussions with key Congressional Representatives and worked with several commercial organizations to have this provision included.” NACO has been working on the NPDES Permit issue for over 6 years.

While we have not yet been able to gain a permanent exemption, our efforts in DC and cooperative work with other organizations has resulted in language contained in two introduced Senate Bills, S3570 (Senator Rubio) and S3332 (Senator Begich), that will provide a permanent exemption to the NPDES. Action is not expected on these bills this year, but they should be reintroduced in the next Congress.

President Zales said, “a key provision that NACO pushed for and ultimately was included identifies commercial service as per section 2101 (5) Title 46, which essentially states that commercial service is any type of trade or business that involves the transportation of goods or individuals. This means, if the legislation is passed, that all vessels less than 79’, uninspected or USCG COI, will have a permanent exemption.” NACO will continue our efforts to ensure passage of these bills, or a combined bill that includes this key provision.