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COAST GUARD AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2015
Tuesday, February 02, 2016 @ 08:21:31 EST

(H.R. 1987) to authorize appropriations 

for the Coast Guard for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.


SEC. 302. SURVIVAL CRAFT.

 

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, submitted the following R E P O R T together with  ADDITIONAL VIEWS

 The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 

was referred the bill (H.R. 1987) to authorize appropriations 
for the Coast Guard for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.


SEC. 302. SURVIVAL CRAFT.

  (a) In General.--Section 3104 of title 46, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:

``Sec. 3104. Survival craft

  ``(a) Requirement To Equip.--The Secretary shall require that a 
passenger vessel be equipped with survival craft that ensures that no 
part of an individual is immersed in water, if--
          ``(1) such vessel is built or undergoes a major conversion 
        after January 1, 2016; and
          ``(2) operates in cold waters as determined by the Secretary.
  ``(b) Higher Standard of Safety.--The Secretary may revise part 117 
or part 180 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect 
before January 1, 2016, if such revision provides a higher standard of 
safety than is provided by the regulations in effect on or before the 
date of the enactment of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015.
  ``(c) Innovative and Novel Designs.--The Secretary may, in lieu of 
the requirements set out in part 117 or part 180 of title 46, Code of 
Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of the enactment of the 
Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, allow a passenger vessel to be 
equipped with a life saving appliance or arrangement of an innovative 
or novel design that--
          ``(1) ensures no part of an individual is immersed in water; 
        and
          ``(2) provides an equal or higher standard of safety than is 
        provided by such requirements as in effect before such date of 
        the enactment.
  ``(d) Built Defined.--In this section, the term `built' has the 
meaning that term has under section 4503(e).''.
  (b) Review; Revision of Regulations.--
          (1) Review.--Not later than December 31, 2015, the Secretary 
        of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall 
        submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of 
        the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, 
        Science, and Transportation of the Senate a review of--
                  (A) the number of casualties for individuals with 
                disabilities, children, and the elderly as a result of 
                immersion in water, reported to the Coast Guard over 
                the preceding 30-year period, by vessel type and area 
                of operation;
                  (B) the risks to individuals with disabilities, 
                children, and the elderly as a result of immersion in 
                water, by passenger vessel type and area of operation;
                  (C) the effect that carriage of survival craft that 
                ensure that no part of an individual is immersed in 
                water has on--
                          (i) passenger vessel safety, including 
                        stability and safe navigation;
                          (ii) improving the survivability of 
                        individuals, including individuals with 
                        disabilities, children, and the elderly; and
                          (iii) the costs, the incremental cost 
                        difference to vessel operators, and the cost 
                        effectiveness of requiring the carriage of such 
                        survival craft to address the risks to 
                        individuals with disabilities, children, and 
                        the elderly;
                  (D) the efficacy of alternative safety systems, 
                devices, or measures in improving survivability of 
                individuals with disabilities, children, and the 
                elderly; and
                  (E) the number of small businesses and nonprofit 
                vessel operators that would be affected by requiring 
                the carriage of such survival craft on passenger 
                vessels to address the risks to individuals with 
                disabilities, children, and the elderly.
          (2) Revision.--Based on the review conducted under paragraph 
        (1), the Secretary may revise regulations concerning the 
        carriage of survival craft pursuant to section 3104(c) of title 
        46, United States Code.

SEC. 303. ENFORCEMENT.

  (a) In General.--Section 55305(d) of title 46, United States Code, is 
amended--
          (1) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:
          ``(1) Each department or agency that has responsibility for a 
        program under this section shall administer that program 
        consistent with this section and any regulations and guidance 
        issued by the Secretary of Transportation concerning this 
        section.'';
          (2) by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3), and by 
        inserting after paragraph (1) the following:
          ``(2)(A) The Secretary, after consulting with the department, 
        agency, organization, or person involved, shall have exclusive 
        authority for determining the applicability of this section to 
        a program of a Federal department or agency, after consulting 
        with the department, agency, organization, or person involved.
          ``(B) The head of a Federal department or agency shall 
        request the Secretary to determine the applicability of this 
        section to a program of such department or agency if the 
        department or agency is uncertain of such applicability. Not 
        later than 30 days after receiving such a request, the 
        Secretary shall make such determination.
          ``(C) Subparagraph (B) shall not be construed to limit the 
        authority of the Secretary to make a determination regarding 
        the applicability of this section to a program administered by 
        a Federal department or agency.
          ``(D) A determination made by the Secretary under this 
        paragraph regarding a program shall remain in effect until the 
        Secretary determines that this section no longer applies to 
        such program.'';
          (3) in paragraph (3), as so redesignated, by amending 
        subparagraph (A) to read as follows:
                  ``(A) shall conduct an annual review of the 
                administration of programs subject to the requirements 
                of this section to determine compliance with the 
                requirements of this section;''; and
          (4) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(4) On the date on which the President submits to Congress 
        a budget pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, the Secretary 
        shall make available on the Internet website of the Department 
        of Transportation a report that--
                  ``(A) lists the programs that were subject to 
                determinations made by the Secretary under paragraph 
                (2) in the preceding year; and
                  ``(B) describes the results of the most recent annual 
                review required by paragraph (3)(A), including 
                identification of the departments and agencies that 
                transported cargo in violation of this section and any 
                action the Secretary took under paragraph (3) with 
                respect to each violation.''.
  (b) Deadline for First Review.--The Secretary of Transportation shall 
complete the first review required under the amendment made by 
subsection (a)(1)(C) by not later than December 31, 2015.
  (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 3511(c) of the Duncan Hunter 
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (46 U.S.C. 
55305 note) is repealed.

SEC. 304. MODEL YEARS FOR RECREATIONAL VESSELS.

  (a) In General.--Section 4302 of title 46, United States Code is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
  ``(e)(1) If in prescribing regulations under this section the 
Secretary establishes a model year for recreational vessels and 
associated equipment, such model year shall, except as provided in 
paragraph (2)--
          ``(A) begin on June 1 of a year and end on July 31 of the 
        following year; and
          ``(B) be designated by the year in which it ends.
  ``(2) Upon the request of a recreational vessel manufacturer to which 
this chapter applies, the Secretary may alter a model year for a model 
of recreational vessel of the manufacturer and associated equipment, by 
no more than 6 months from the model year described in paragraph 
(1).''.
  (b) Application.--This section shall only apply with respect to 
recreational vessels and associated equipment constructed or 
manufactured, respectively, on or after June 1, 2015.
  (c) Guidance.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard 
is operating shall publish guidance to implement section 4302(d)(2) of 
title 46, United States Code.