Wicker Asks Coast Guard Commandant About Maritime Regulations

Miss. Senator Also Presses Need to Avoid Gap in Ice-Breaking Capabilities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today asked Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Paul Zukunft, about the Coast Guard’s unique capability to develop and implement a nationally uniform and environmentally sound standard for ballast water and other vessel discharges.

Admiral Zukunft replied by saying that a uniform standard for all ports in the United States is important for shippers, maritime trade, and protecting the nation’s waterways from invasive species.

Wicker has authored legislation, S. 168, to create nationally uniform, science-based standards for ballast water discharges that would be consistent with the highest standards technologically and economically feasible. By creating a single national standard, ballast water management system manufacturers should be able to more quickly.

On his final question to Adm. Zukunft, Wicker asked the Commandant about the need to avoid a potential service gap if the Coast Guard’s lone heavy ice breaker were to be rendered out of commission. The Commandant stressed the importance of building multiple icebreakers quickly in an effort to avoid that gap, stating that the icebreaker is a national asset.