H. R. 2570
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 27, 2013
Mr. Barr introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
To exempt the vessel John Craig from certain requirements when operating on a portion of the Kentucky River, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Valley View Ferry Preservation Act of
Congress finds the following:
The Valley View Ferry is the oldest continuously operated ferry west of the Appalachian Mountains and the third oldest in the United States.
The vessel utilized by the Valley View Ferry, the vessel John Craig, does not have steering capabilities; instead, it is attached to 2 overhead, 7/8 inch diameter cables that guide the vessel to each side of the river.
The crossing distance for the Valley View Ferry is approximately 500 feet.
The Valley View Ferry is located on the Kentucky River between the cities of Lexington, Nicholasville, and Richmond in Central Kentucky.
The John Craig is a 24-ton vessel that is 60 feet long and 14 feet wide.
The Valley View Ferry does not carry vehicles with combustible materials.
The Valley View Ferry is a toll-free ferry.
Federal regulations changed in 2006, which established a new requirement that the Valley View Ferry comply with all Coast Guard inspection and licensing regulations.
The new licensing regulations for operators of the vessel John Craig threaten to close the historic ferry.
While the Coast Guard should maintain safety inspection authority with respect to the Valley View Ferry, licensing authority should reside with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Valley View Ferry
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the vessel John Craig (United States official number D1110613), if operating on the covered portion of the Kentucky River, shall be exempt from the requirement under section 8902 of title 46, United States Code, that the vessel be operated by an individual licensed by the Secretary.
The exemption under subsection (a) shall take effect on the date on which the Secretary determines that a licensing requirement under Kentucky State law has been established that applies to the vessel John Craig.
The exemption under subsection (a), upon taking effect as the result of a State law under paragraph (1), shall remain in effect for the period during which such State law is in effect.
In this section, the following definitions apply:
Covered portion of the Kentucky River
The term covered portion of the Kentucky River means the portion of the Kentucky River, Kentucky, located at approximately mile point 158, in Pool Number 9, between Lock and Dam Number 9 and Lock and Dam Number 10.
The term Secretary has the meaning given that term in section 2101 of title 46, United States Code.