Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today made the following remarks following Senate and House approval of S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent this morning, and the House of Representatives took up and passed the measure this afternoon. The Clean Boating Act now goes to President Bush for his signature.

Senator Boxer said: "The Clean Boating Act approved today by both the Senate and the House provides a balanced approach, protecting our waters from pollution while minimizing the burden on recreational boaters. I urge the President to sign this legislation without delay, to ensure that our lakes, rivers and seashores are protected and that millions of recreational boaters can continue enjoy our nation's waterways."

S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008, establishes a system to meet the needs of recreational boaters while ensuring that the nation's waters are protected from pollution. Under the Act, the EPA must develop practices and standards to mitigate any observed harm from discharges that are incidental to the normal operations of recreational vessels, and the bill requires the Coast Guard to issue regulations for such practices on recreational vessels. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Senate bill March 13, 2008, with Senator Boxer as lead cosponsor; the measure had 38 bipartisan Senate cosponsors. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the bill May 21, 2008.

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