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  #1  
Old 09-27-2007
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Call Your Senator today!!!!!!!

Not sure if this is floating about on another thread..but here goes..
I've included an e-mail I got from Boat US about SR 1578.
If this is important to you, I urge you to call..(I already called my Senator..) The vote is TODAY, Thursday 27 September at 14:30 hrs..
Thanks,
Sam

September 26, 2007


Dear BoatUS Member,

WE NEED YOU TO MAKE A PHONE CALL!

Yesterday, BoatUS Government Affairs learned about a fast-moving opportunity that could offer a potential solution to the EPA boat discharge permit issue. We need you to pick up the phone and call your Senator (who serves on the 23-member Senate Commerce Committee), and urge them to vote "Yes" for Senator Nelson's amendment to Senate Bill 1578.

This vote takes place on Thursday September 27 at 2:30 pm (Eastern time).

It is critical that you call now.

Background:
As a result of a 2006 court decision, the EPA is required to develop and implement a permit system before September 30, 2008 for all normal operational discharges from every vessel in the U.S. Unfortunately, while the real focus of the court case was the ballast water and resulting aquatic nuisance species from ocean-going ships, every vessel in the U.S. was included in the EPA mandate.

BoatUS has been working with others in the boating industry to pass federal legislation (H.R. 2550 and S. 2067) to exempt recreational boats from this permit. (For more information see http://www.boatus.com/gov/dischargepermits.asp). Senator Nelson's amendment offers another opportunity to address this problem.

What is Senator Nelson's Amendment?
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) has proposed an amendment to Senate Bill 1578 (The Ballast Water Management Act of 2007). The amendment would require a study on the incidental discharges from vessels, and an exemption from federal permitting for all normal operational discharges from vessels (except aquatic nuisance species). Existing restrictions on the overboard discharge of oil/fuel, garbage, and sewage would remain.

So what do I need to do?
Right now, call your federal Senator (listed below). Tell the person answering the phone you are calling in reference to Senate Bill 1578.



Ask the Senator (or their staff) to vote "Yes" for the Nelson Amendment to Senate Bill 1578 on Ballast Water. Help them know the urgent timing - the vote is at 2:30 Thursday (Eastern time) at the Commerce Committee markup in room SR 253.)


Help them understand how important boating is to you and your family.


Help them know your concern if this amendment does not pass and you are required to have a permit for each of your boats, in each state where you want to boat.


Quickly forward this email to your boating friends and club members.



(Some Senate offices close at 6 pm, and some will have answering machines. If your call doesn't go through on Wednesday night, please try again in the morning.)

Senate Commerce Committee Members:

Vice Chairman Ted Stevens Alaska (202)224-3004
Senator John McCain Arizona (202)224-2235
Senator Mark Pryor Arkansas (202)224-2353
Senator Barbara Boxer California (202)224-3553
Senator Thomas Carper Delaware (202)224-2441
Chairman Daniel Inouye Hawaii (202)224-3934
Senator David Vitter Louisiana (202)224-4623
Senator Olympia J. Snowe Maine (202)224-5344
Senator John F. Kerry Massachusetts (202)224-2742
Senator Amy Klobuchar Minnesota (202)224-3244
Senator Trent Lott Mississippi (202)224-6253
Senator Claire McCaskill Missouri (202)224-6154
Senator John Ensign Nevada (202)224-6244
Senator John Sununu New Hampshire (202)224-2841
Senator Frank Lautenberg New Jersey (202)224-3224
Senator Byron Dorgan North Dakota (202)224-2551
Senator Gordon Smith Oregon (202)224-3753
Senator Jim De Mint South Carolina (202)224-6121
Senator John Thune South Dakota (202)224-2321
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson Texas (202)224-5922
Senator Maria Cantwell Washington (202)224-3441
Senator John D. Rockefeller West Virginia (202)224-6472

Thanks for your continued support in helping boating!

Sincerely,

Margaret Podlich

BoatUS Government Affairs
GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
703-461-2864 or 703-461-2878 x8363
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Sam
Sanctuary, Sabre 30 mkIII
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Old 09-27-2007
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I made my call this morning after receiving that same email from Boat US. I hope there are a lot of Boat US members out here as they are about the only Large Group that lobbies for us and keeps us informed.
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Old 09-27-2007
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Although calling as suggested is a good idea, there is one error in the original post which is significant.
The poster said, in part:
"Help them know your concern if this amendment does not pass and you are required to have a permit for each of your boats, in each state where you want to boat."
The original suit was brought by a NGO environmental group seeking to compel EPA to promulgate more restrictive regulations on, among other things, every discharge from all recreational vessels. EPA has already appealed and the appeals court is a LONG way from resolving this, however, it is possible, ableit highly unlikely, that the NGO argument may prevail.
More likely is that common sense may untimately win out given the impracticality of any Fed or state government to properly implement such burdensome regulations. This is much different than the picture of failed legislation directly resulting in permitting requirements.
It would be far more useful if BoatUS and other organizations as well as individuals with the ability to do so would file Amicus briefs with the relevant court to demonstrate the true nature of the original suit and it's real impact on the rec boating community and industry.
Toward that end, if any of you are members of such organizations, please consider how their far greater influence can help remedy this potential problem and put their words into action by asking them to step up to this plate
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