Earlier this month (and just published this week by the GPO) Sen. Begich (D, AK) introduced S 1665, the Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. Begich is the Chair of the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee which is why he gets the blame for this piece of weak legislation.
There is nothing in this bill that addresses chemical security or safety issues. In fact, the Coast Guard’s homeland security mission is completely ignored in this bill. For instance §101(a)(3) provides the following as a list of Coast Guard missions to be supported by R&D funding:
• Search and rescue;
• Aids to navigation;
• Marine safety;
• Marine environmental protection;
• Enforcement of laws and treaties;
• Ice operations;
• Oceanographic research; and
• Defense readiness.
I suppose that the MTSA community should be happy that there are no new requirements added in this bill, but it does appear that the reason is not that the regulatory environment is completely covered but more because of a lack of attention.