Murkowski Pushes Alaskan, Arctic Priorities in Coast Guard Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the House of Representatives and the Senate consider competing versions of the Coast Guard Authorization Act, Senator Lisa Murkowski is attempting to make sure Alaska’s needs are met.
In a letter to the leaders of the relevant House and Senate committees, Senator Murkowski highlighted a number of key sections that she didn’t want to see left on the negotiating room floor, writing “these provisions are supported by a number of my constituents, who depend on the maritime industry and coordination with the Coast Guard.”
Those key priorities she cites are:
- “Maritime Liens on Fishing Permits” – This section of the House bill would protect Alaska fishermen from losing their permits by not allowing the permits to be considered property able to be seized during legal actions.
- “Small Vessel Discharge Exemption” – This provision in the House bill would exempt thousands of Alaskan fishing and commercial vessels from a burdensome, one-size-fits-all Vessel General Permit process that requires the same permits for common discharges from large and small vessels.
- “Conveyance of the Decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter STORIS” – This provision of the House bill would convey the CGC STORIS to the non-profit Storis Museum in Juneau, Alaska – preserving Alaskan history for future generations and visitors.
- “Additional Coast Guard Presence in High Latitude Regions” – This provision in the House of Representatives bill requires that the Secretary of Homeland Security study and report on the need for additional Coast Guard capabilities in Arctic (and Antarctic) areas.
Senator Murkowski's letter to House and Senate leaders can be read here.