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Following earlier passage by the Senate and the House of Representatives and the President’s signature on December 4, the U.S. Coast Guard authorization act became law.

Formally titled the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, the measure authorizes the operation of the Coast Guard for Fiscal Year 2019 as well as for the Federal Maritime Commission. In addition, the bill empowers the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hydrographic services through Fiscal Year 2023.

Included within its provisions is approval to begin construction for a Great Lakes icebreaker. It also includes compromise language setting forth commercial vessel incidental discharge provisions, including for ballast water.

The bill is named for U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), who is retiring at the end of this term after first being elected to Congress in November 1994. He serves on the Armed Services and the Transportation and Infrastructure committees in the House.