The Commercial Seafood Consumer Protection Act, the Maritime Pollution Prevention Act, and a bill to protect Right Whales win approval

By Sheril Kirshenbaum

By a voice on April 24, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the Commercial Seafood Consumer Protection Act (S. 2688).  The bill, sponsored by Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) would enhance imported food safety standards to ensure imports are in line with federal food regulations and increase cooperation between the Commerce Department and the Department of Health and Human Services on inspections, distribution and labeling.

According to Inouye, “The current system is working but must be strengthened to ensure that contaminated seafood is intercepted before ever reaching consumers.”

The committee also approved the Maritime Pollution Prevention Act (H.R. 802) to amend the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.  This bill authorizes the EPA to regulate emissions from sea vessels, to include “ships in a port, shipyard, offshore terminal, or U.S. internal waters.”  Inouye offered a substitute amendment which would give authority to regulate emissions to the Coast Guard, in addition to the EPA.

Finally, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won support for S. 2657, a bill to require a mandatory reduction in speed of vessels to reduce the incidence of ships colliding with North Atlantic right whales.

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