‘Historic day’: Waterways operators group, policymakers welcome new safety regulation

Photo: KenWiedemann/iStockphoto

Arlington, VA — Tugboats and towboats are now required to have on board a Coast Guard-issued certificate of inspection to operate in the United States.

The implementation of the requirement on July 19 puts the industry in full compliance with federal Subchapter M towing vessel safety regulations – a product of a nearly two-decade partnership between the industry and the Coast Guard to promote safer waterways and enhance standards, according to a press release from the American Waterways Operators.

AWO President and CEO Jennifer Carpenter calls it “a historic day for transportation safety in the largest segment of America’s domestic maritime industry.”

In a video, Carpenter says around 5,000 towing vessels move nearly 700 million tons of cargo each year on the nation’s rivers and intracoastal waterways; along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts; throughout the Great Lakes; and in ports and harbors.

Rear Adm. Wayne R. Arguin, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for prevention policy, said the Coast Guard “looks forward to maximizing the potential of our waterways while maintaining safety and security.”

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, added that the new standard “keeps our environment, waterways, vessels and mariners safe.”

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