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May 7, 2009
The U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG's) environmental activities focus on prevention programs, accompanied by enforcement and educational activities. An important component is maritime oil spill prevention, which includes inspection of U.S. and foreign-flagged ships to ensure compliance with U.S. laws and international agreements. As required by the Oil Pollution Act and the Superfund law, the USCG's pollution preparedness and response activities aim to reduce the impact of oil and hazardous substances spills. USCG's National Pollution Funds Center manages the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, paying certain spill-related costs and certifying that vessels show evidence of financial responsibility. Another prevention effort, minimizing marine debris, addresses commercial items (e.g., lost nets and fishing lines), as well as trash from recreational fishing and boating (e.g., beverage cans, bottles, and pieces of foam plastic). The Administration estimates that the marine environmental protection mission will receive $339 million in FY2009, a decrease of approximately $12 million from the enacted amount estimated for FY2008.
Contents Marine Environmental Protection Budget Maritime Spill Response and Prevention/Preparedness Inspection of Foreign Ships (Port State Control Program) Inspection of Domestic Ships National Pollution Funds Center Marine Debris Marine and Environmental Science Environmental Compliance and Restoration Contacts Author Contact Information
Environmental activities of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) fall within the service's program for protection of natural resources, and consist of maritime oil spill prevention, marine debris, and pollution response preparedness. Protection of living marine resources and fisheries also falls in this category, but is not discussed here. (1) Marine environmental protection is one of six "non-homeland security missions" specified in the Homeland Security Act of 2002. (2)
Marine Environmental Protection Budget
Congressional appropriations for the Coast Guard are not broken down by specific mission (e.g., marine environmental protection), but are allocated to broader categories, such as "operating expenses." The Coast Guard accounts for mission-specific funding by using a "sophisticated activity-based costing model." (3) Table 1 identifies the level of spending for the marine environmental protection mission in recent years.
Maritime Spill Response and Prevention/Preparedness (4)
Protecting the marine environment from accidental oil and chemical spills is an important mission of the Coast Guard. Along with representatives of 15 other federal departments and agencies, the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comprise the …