Burr Lauds Senate Passage Of Clean Boating Act

Bill protects rights of recreational boaters

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) applauded the passage of S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008, which he cosponsored. The bill, introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), protects our nation's recreational boaters while ensuring the health of our waterways. It passed the Senate earlier today and moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

"I am a proud cosponsor of this bill which protects the ability of recreational boaters to enjoy America's waterways, and I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for its passage this morning," Burr said. "The Clean Boating Act will limit unnecessary regulations on recreational boaters and will help ensure that our waterways remain accessible for future generations to enjoy."

The Clean Boating Act was drafted in response to a federal court decision that nullified a 1973 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruling that deemed it unnecessary for recreational boaters to be subject to state and federal permit requirements that were designed for large crafts such as cruise ships and supertankers. The 2006 decision stated that the EPA did not have the authority to issue this ruling and, as a result, all recreational boaters would have to obtain a federal or state permit by September 2008 in order to legally operate their boat. Over 18 million Americans would have been impacted by annual fees and new enforcement guidelines as a result.

The Clean Boating Act protects boaters from these requirements by restoring the permit exemption for recreational boats. It also addresses environmental concerns and protects the waterways these boaters enjoy by researching the impact of incidental discharges associated with recreational boating.

Senator Burr is Co-Chairman of the Congressional Boating Caucus, a bipartisan group concerned with issues affecting recreational boaters. The goals of the Caucus are to improve the economic viability of the boating industry, support the protection of the waterways and surrounding environment, promote boating safety and create international trade opportunities for the industry.