MRAA: Clean Boating Act held up

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The Marine Retailers Association of America today issued an update on the status of the Clean Boating Act.

The Clean Boating Act of 2008 would fully and permanently restore a longstanding regulation that excludes recreational boaters and anglers from the federal and state permitting requirements.

Without passage of this bill, complex regulations will go into effect Oct. 1 that would require recreational boating to follow specific practices in operating their boats and managing their everyday, overboard water discharges.

On June 26, the U.S. Senate engaged in a floor debate on S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act, when the bill sponsor, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., requested a Unanimous Consent Agreement.

Unanimous Consent is a parliamentary procedure, allowing the bill to come to the floor with no debate and bills under Unanimous Consent usually pass easily on a voice vote.

However, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, used the opportunity to voice her support of commercial shipping, and discussed the need to amend the bill with broader language to include large, commercial vessels, according to the MRAA.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., strongly objected to Murkowski’s amendment and said if Murkowski followed through on her objection that “13 million recreational boaters would wake up upset tomorrow.”

Murkowski objected and despite other lawmakers encouraging her not to put a hold on the bill, no action was taken.

The MRAA is asking all dealers to contact their two U.S. senators immediately, asking them to support S. 2766 when it comes to the Senate floor.

For information, visit: www.boatblue.com.

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