There have been a couple of bills introduced this summer surrounding the issue of ocean cleanup in the wake of disaster and preventing future damage to oceans. Below is a quick overview and analysis of a couple of these bills that we have been keeping our eye on.
S 1162 – A bill to authorize the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide certain funds to eligible entities for activities undertaken to address the marine debris impacts of the March 2011 Tohuko Earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Sponsor: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Current Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Summary: The bill would provide funding to state and local government agencies (including institutions of higher education) to address impacts created by marine debris.
House Bill: HR 1491 is the House’s identical version of this bill, introduced by Representative Suzanne Bonamici
S 1483 – A bill to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to establish the Federal Oil Spill Research Committee and to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to include in a response plan certain planned and demonstrated investments in research relating to discharges of oil and to modify the dates by which a response plan must be updated.
Sponsor: Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Current Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Summary: The legislation would create a federal oil spill research committee which would be directed to establish a program to conduct oil spill research and development funded by grants, which would be awarded to universities and other research programs.