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GLTF FYI - Transportation Appropriations



     The results of last week's Senate subcommittee markup of the 
     Transportation Appropriations Bill are finally available.  
     
     User fees - Bill language prohibits the planning, finalization, or 
     implementation of any regulation that would promulgate new maritime 
     user fees not specifically authorized by law.
     
     Icebreaking - The bill provides for the continued operation and 
     maintenance of the Mackinaw and $4 million for "concept exploration to 
     refine the specifications and costs for a heavy icebreaking 
     replacement vessel, including a new multimission vessel, for the 
     53-year-old Mackinaw."  The committee also expressed concern over the 
     long lead time projected by the Coast Guard to receive a replacement 
     vessel and requests an interim status report by January 1999.
     
     St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation - The committee provided 
     $11.496 million ($1.15 million below administration request, $300,000 
     above FY 1998).  The Committee notes that no authorizing legislation 
     is pending related to the Administration proposal to make the Seaway a 
     Performance Based Organization.
     
     Ballast Water Management Program - The Committee provided $2 million 
     (through General Provisions) to implement the nationwide ballast water 
     management program and an additional $1 million (through Research and 
     Development) to further invasive species research efforts.
     
     The Senate Full Committee markup is scheduled for July 14 (today) and 
     the House subcommittee markup is scheduled for July 16 (Thursday).