After US Senator Barbara Boxer introduced legislation that would pass authority from the ship’s master to VTS operators in US waters, MAC left a message at her website asking whether the legislation provided a waiver against responsibility for any damages that might result should following VTS orders result in a pollution incident.
The following is her reply, and my response:
Dear Mr. Couttie:
Thank you for writing to me in support of the State of California ‘s petition for a waiver to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles. I appreciate hearing from you, and I share your dismay that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied California ‘s petition.
As you may know, in 2002 California passed landmark legislation to set aggressive greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles, and in 2005 the State wrote rules to implement that law by setting standards to greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent by 2016. As provided for under Clean Air Act section 209(b), California asked EPA for a waiver approving the standards.
EPA has unconscionably denied California ‘s waiver application, despite a clear ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that greenhouse gases are an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act and that EPA already has all the authority it needs to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles now.
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson based his denial on the premise that in passing an Energy Bill containing increased fuel economy standards, Congress had somehow preempted any state’s efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions. Hiding behind this legislation as an excuse flies in the face of the Supreme Court’s findings and the Energy Bill itself.
Again, thank you for writing to me – and for supporting California ‘s efforts to lead the way in the fight against global warming. Be assured that I will do anything in my power to overturn this decision and protect our state’s right to control greenhouse gas emissions.
United States Senator
Please visit my website at http://boxer.senate.gov
My query was regarding the liability of VTS Operators vs ships masters should your bill become law.
I wrote nothing in support, or otherwise of your petition for a waiver regarding vehicular pollution in California.
Thanks you for your response which adequately demonstrates your knowledge of maritime pilotage issues.
Maritime Accident Casebook