96-S 3301

Passed in Senate

Jun. 6, 1996.


WHEREAS, The nation's shoreline and marine environment are invaluable and essential natural resources from which the people of this country continually derive and enjoy immeasureable recreational, industrial, commercial, and aesthetic benefits; and

WHEREAS, The nation's shoreline and marine environment are constantly used by and for industry, transportation, waste disposal, and other purposes including transport of oil and its byproducts; and

WHEREAS, The people of Rhode Island, its natural resources, and environment have recently suffered a severe environmental tragedy when the North Cape oil spill occurred on January 19, 1996; and

WHEREAS, The grounding and consequent oil spill involved an accident relating to the use of tug and barge system of oil transport in Rhode Island waters; and

WHEREAS, Towing vessels including tugs and barges have played and will continue to play an important part of these purposes; and

WHEREAS, Federal legislation predominates in the regulation of vessels involved in intersate commerce; and

WHEREAS, The nation's shoreline and marine environment are fragile and delicate ecosystems whose fundamental existence in the balance of nature necessitates constant vigilance and protection from environmental hazards; and

WHEREAS, The preservation, conservation, and management of these important natural resources should be the primary guiding principles upon which environmental protection legislation is measured, judged, and regulated; and

WHEREAS, The implementation of these principles are essential to the recreational, industrial, commerical, and aesthetic well-being of the people of this nation; and

WHEREAS, To deny or curtail these principles is to rob present and future generations of a vital environmental resource, and would be a devastating blow to the marine ecosystem as we know it. This must not be allowed to take place; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby memorializes the United States Congress to pass the Towing Vessel Safety Act whereby the nation's shoreline and marine environment will be protected and preserved for the present and future enjoyment and prosperity of the people of this nation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the members of the Rhode Island delegation of the United States Congress.

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