Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released the following statement after President Obama signed her bipartisan legislation (S. 3372) to extend the current moratorium on a permit requirement for commercial and charter fishing vessels and other commercial vessels under 79 feet long. The legislation provides these commercial vessels with a three-year moratorium from permits for discharges under the Clean Water Act.

Senator Boxer said, "This legislation allows EPA to conduct the analysis needed to ensure that our waters are protected from pollution while minimizing the burden on commercial and charter fishing vessels in California and across the nation."

The measure signed by the President today extends the existing moratorium through December 18, 2013, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Coast Guard evaluate whether and how the discharges should be regulated by EPA through National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.

Senator Boxer introduced S. 3372 with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on May 14. The bill was approved by the Environment and Public Works Committee on June 18, and passed the Senate by unanimous consent July 14. The House of Representatives passed the measure under suspension of the rules Thursday night.

Joining Senators Boxer and Murkowski as original cosponsors of S. 3372 were Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mark Begich (D-AK), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), David Vitter (R-LA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Thad Cochran (R-MS).

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