The following report was developed by Jim Muldoon, Chair of US SAILING’s Government Relations Committee. The information provides detail on current legislation and issues regarding boating safety that affects competitive and recreational sailors around the country. US SAILING independently monitors these developments to create and increase awareness for our members and the general sailing community.
Amendment to Eliminate Boating Safety Grants is Stopped
Resulting in a major win for the boating community, Senator Colburn’s (R.-Okla) amendment to the Transportation Enhancement program, threatening to eliminate Boating Safety Grant funding provided by the federal government, was stopped September 21, 2011. An overwhelming number of individuals from the boating community rallied in opposition of the amendment. Jim Muldoon, representing US SAILING as their Government Relations Committee Chair, along with several Boating Safety partners, was able to educate the decision makers in Washington, D.C., stressing that the funds received from Boating Safety Grants have directly related to decreases in boating fatalities.
Global Positioning System
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has demanded that more tests be done on Lightsquared’s proposed broadband system that could have serious interference problems with the already existing Global Positioning System (GPS). The potential impact that LightSquared’s proposed 4G-LTE Broadband System could have on the boating community could be devastating as GPS has been relied on for safety equipment and navigation. On Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Geoff Stearn of LightSquared will give a presentation at the upcoming GMDSS Task Force meeting held at the 2011 National Marine Electronics Association Conference and Expo in Ft. Myers, Fla. To learn more about the potential conflicts LightSquared’s broadband network could have with GPS, please visit http://www.pnt.gov/interference/lightsquared/
Ethanol Blended Gasoline
US SAILING has been working together with over 50 other organizations to prevent the introduction of E-15 blended gasoline into the marine community. Senate Bill S-1666, “a bill to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to satisfy certain conditions before issuing to producers of mid-level ethanol blends a waiver from certain requirements under the Clean Air Act”, is supported by US SAILING. A recent ruling from the EPA now prohibits the use of gasoline with more than 10% ethanol by volume in marine engines, resulting in a positive outcome for the boating community. As a way to mitigate the possibility of misfueling, a warning label that states, "Attention E15 Up to 15% ethanol. Use only in 2001 and newer vehicles and flex-fuel vehicles. Don't use in other vehicles, boats, or gasoline-powered equipment. It may cause damage and is prohibited by Federal law”, has been issued by the EPA. Learn more about E15 Blended Gasoline’s harmful effects on your marine engine.
88th Meeting of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council - Friday, October 14, 2011
James P. Muldoon, US SAILING’s Government Relations Chair, will head the 88th Meeting of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) on Friday, October 14, 2011, as Chairman of the Council. Reappointed by Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chairman Muldoon will lead NBSAC in its efforts to advise the United States Coast Guard (USCG) on recreational boating safety issues for another three year term. The upcoming meeting is open to the public, and key issues to be discussed by the council include review of the U.S. Coast Guard strategic plan, the potential for mandatory life jacket wear legislation, inflatable life jackets for teenagers, the Fire Safety Standards Program. Learn more about the National Boating Safety Advisory Council.
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org .