The National Defense Authorization Act passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 295 to 125. The new regulations will influence maritime operations in coastal areas of Texas specifically with the passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act and the De Fazio Amendment.
The Coast Guard Authorization Act reauthorizes the Federal Maritime Commission and the Coast Guard. It also includes new reporting requirements, increases specific funding levels, and provides clarification and enhancement of duties related to Coast Guard regulation personnel. The main intent of the act is to help the military faction meet the needs in maritime law that govern waterway transportation.
The act provides $1.8 billion to assist with improving shore infrastructure as well as maintenance that had been previously delayed. It also addresses gender and racial diversity issues and includes enhanced childcare and family leave policies. The legislation goes a long way in providing resources that enlisted personnel and their families need to ensure efficiency and safety in day-to-day operations.
The De Fazio Amendment provides protections for the maritime industry when there is a widespread emergency. It also offers additional training opportunities to merchant mariners and makes grants available for smaller infrastructure projects at terminals and ports. One of the impactful components of the amendment is the creation of the National Shipper Advisory Committee, which provides a process for maritime importers and exporters to better work with the Federal Maritime Commission.
For the most part, the passage of the act has received praise among most in the Coast Guard. Mariners could now receive protections should a national emergency arise that affects their livelihood.
Maritime disputes are complex and require a broad wealth of knowledge to navigate. For those who have been affected financially or physically by negligence in the maritime industry, it might be beneficial to consult an experienced maritime law attorney, who may work to address specific concerns with the needs of each client in mind.