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S. 3270: Maritime Administration Reauthorization Act of 2022


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 29, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3270

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 29, 2021

(for herself and Mr. Wicker) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To reauthorize the Maritime Administration, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Maritime Administration Reauthorization Act of 2022.

2.

Authorization of the maritime administration

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Transportation for fiscal year 2022, for programs associated with maintaining the United States Merchant Marine, the following amounts:

(1)

For expenses necessary to support the United States Merchant Marine Academy, $90,532,000, of which—

(A)

$85,032,000, to remain available until September 30, 2023, shall be for Academy operations; and

(B)

$5,500,000, to remain available until expended, shall be for facilities maintenance and repair and equipment.

(2)

For expenses necessary for operations, support, and training activities for the State maritime academies, $50,780,000, of which—

(A)

$2,400,000, to remain available until September 30, 2026, shall be for the Student Incentive Program;

(B)

$6,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2023, shall be for direct payments for State maritime academies;

(C)

$3,800,000, to remain available until expended, shall be for training ship fuel assistance;

(D)

$8,080,000, to remain available until expended, shall be for offsetting the costs of training ship sharing; and

(E)

$30,500,000, to remain available until expended, shall be for maintenance and repair, of State maritime academy training vessels.

(3)

For expenses necessary to support the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel Program, $315,600,000, which shall remain available until expended.

(4)

For expenses necessary to support Maritime Administration operations and programs, $81,853,000, of which—

(A)

$10,000,000, to remain available until expended, shall be for the Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance program authorized under section 50307 of title 46, United States Code;

(B)

$11,000,000, to remain available until expended, shall be for the Marine Highways Program, including to make grants as authorized under section 55601 of title 46, United States Code; and

(C)

$60,853,000, to remain available until September 30, 2022, shall be for headquarters operations expenses.

(5)

For expenses necessary for the disposal of vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet of the Maritime Administration, $10,000,000, which shall remain available until expended.

(6)

For expenses necessary to maintain and preserve a United States-flag merchant fleet to serve the national security needs of the United States, as authorized under chapter 531 of title 46, United States Code, $318,000,000, which shall remain available until expended.

(7)

For expenses necessary for the loan guarantee program authorized under chapter 537 of title 46, United States Code, $33,000,000, of which—

(A)

$30,000,000, to remain available until expended, shall be for the cost (as defined in section 502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661a(5))) of loan guarantees under the program; and

(B)

$3,000,000, to remain available until expended, may be used for administrative expenses relating to loan guarantee commitments under the program.

(8)

For expenses necessary to provide for the Tanker Security Fleet, as authorized under chapter 534 of title 46, United States Code, $60,000,000, which shall remain available until expended.

(9)

For expenses necessary to provide assistance to small shipyards and for maritime training programs authorized under section 54101 of title 46, United States Code, $40,000,000, which shall remain available until expended.

(10)

For expenses necessary to implement the Port and Intermodal Improvement Program, $750,000,000, to remain available until expended, except that no such funds may be used to provide a grant to purchase fully automated cargo handling equipment that is remotely operated or remotely monitored with or without the exercise of human intervention or control, if the Secretary determines such equipment would result in a net loss of jobs within a port of port terminal.

3.

Expanding the maritime environmental and technical assistance program

(a)

Maritime environmental and technical assistance program

From the amount appropriated under section 2(1)(A), not more than 60 percent shall be reserved for activities related to technologies that support port and vessel air emissions reductions and to support zero emissions technologies, including identification of new fuel or other power sources.

(b)

Uses

Section 50307 of title 46, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (f); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (d) the following:

(e)

Uses

The results of activities conducted under subsection (b)(1) shall be used to inform the policy decisions of the United States related to domestic regulations and to the United States position on matters before the International Maritime Organization.

.

4.

Sustainable port infrastructure

(a)

Short title

This section may be cited as the Sustainable Port Infrastructure Act.

(b)

Port development

Section 50302(c) of title 46, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (3)(A)(ii)—

(A)

in subclause (II), by striking or after the semicolon; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(IV)

projects that improve the resiliency of ports to address sea-level rise, flooding, extreme weather events, including earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunami inundation, including projects for—

(aa)

port electrification or electrification master planning;

(bb)

harbor craft or equipment replacements/retrofits;

(cc)

development of port or terminal micro-grids;

(dd)

providing idling reduction infrastructure;

(ee)

purchase of cargo handling equipment and related infrastructure;

(ff)

worker training to support electrification technology;

(gg)

installation of port bunkering facilities from ocean-going vessels for fuels;

(hh)

electric vehicle charge or hydrogen refueling infrastructure for drayage, and medium or heavy duty trucks and locomotives that service the port and related grid upgrades; or

(ii)

other related to port activities including charging infrastructure, electric rubber-tired gantry cranes, and anti-idling technologies; or

;

(2)

in paragraph (7)(B), by striking 18 percent and inserting 25 percent; and

(3)

in paragraph (10)—

(A)

by redesignating subparagraphs (B) and (C) as subparagraphs (C) and (D), respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following:

(B)

Efficient use of non-federal funds

(i)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law and subject to approval by the Secretary, in the case of any grant for a project under this section, during the period beginning on the date on which the grant recipient is selected and ending on the date on which the grant agreement is signed—

(I)

the grant recipient may obligate and expend non-Federal funds with respect to the project for which the grant is provided; and

(II)

any non-Federal funds obligated or expended in accordance with subclause (I) shall be credited toward the non-Federal cost share for the project for which the grant is provided.

(ii)

Requirements

(I)

Application

In order to obligate and expend non-Federal funds under clause (i), the grant recipient shall submit to the Secretary a request to obligate and expend non-Federal funds under that clause, including—

(aa)

a description of the activities the grant recipient intends to fund;

(bb)

a justification for advancing the activities described in item (aa), including an assessment of the effects to the project scope, schedule, and budget if the request is not approved; and

(cc)

the level of risk of the activities described in item (aa).

(II)

Approval

The Secretary shall approve or disapprove each request submitted under subclause (I).

(III)

Compliance with applicable requirements

Any non-Federal funds obligated or expended under clause (i) shall comply with all applicable requirements, including any requirements included in the grant agreement.

(iii)

Effect

The obligation or expenditure of any non-Federal funds in accordance with this subparagraph shall not—

(I)

affect the signing of a grant agreement or other applicable grant procedures with respect to the applicable grant;

(II)

create an obligation on the part of the Federal Government to repay any non-Federal funds if the grant agreement is not signed; or

(III)

affect the ability of the recipient of the grant to obligate or expend non-Federal funds to meet the non-Federal cost share for the project for which the grant is provided after the period described in clause (i).

.

5.

Elijah cummings ship american act

(a)

Repeal in MAP-21

Section 100124 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Public Law 112–141) is repealed, and the provisions of law that were repealed or amended by that section are reenacted and amended, respectively, to read as if such section were not enacted.

(b)

Repeal in bipartisan budget act of 2013

Section 602 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (Public Law 113–67) is repealed, and the provisions of law that were repealed or amended by that section are reenacted and amended, respectively, to read as of such section were not enacted.

(c)

Transportation requirements for certain exports sponsored by the secretary of agriculture

Subsection (a)(1) of section 55314 of title 46, United States Code, as reenacted by this section, is amended by striking 25 percent and inserting 75 percent.

(d)

Financing the transportation of agricultural commodities

Section 55316(a) of title 46, United States Code, as reenacted by this section, is amended by inserting or from the application of section 55305 of this title, requiring transportation on privately-owned commercial vessels of the United States for 100 percent of the gross tonnage of certain equipment, materials, or commodities before the period.

(e)

Cargoes procured, furnished, or financed by the united states government

Section 55305(b) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by striking 50 and inserting 75.

6.

Sense of congress on the united states merchant marine

It is the sense of Congress that the United States Merchant Marine is a critical part of the United States’ national infrastructure, and the men and women of the United States Merchant Marine are essential workers.

7.

Ensuring diverse mariner recruitment

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall develop and deliver to Congress a strategy to assist State maritime academies and the United States Merchant Marine Academy to improve the representation of women and underrepresented communities in the next generation of the mariner workforce, including—

(1)

Black or African American;

(2)

Hispanic or Latino;

(3)

Asian;

(4)

American Indians, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiians; or

(5)

Pacific Islander.

8.

Maritime Technological Advancement Act of 2021

(a)

Short title

This section may be cited as the Maritime Technological Advancement Act of 2021.

(b)

Centers of excellence for domestic maritime workforce

Section 51706 of title 46, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by striking of Transportation;

(2)

in subsection (b), in the subsection heading, by striking Assistance and inserting Cooperative Agreements;

(3)

by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d);

(4)

in subsection (d), as redesignated by paragraph (2), by adding at the end the following:

(3)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Transportation.

; and

(5)

by inserting after subsection (b) the following:

(c)

Grant program

(1)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Maritime Administration.

(B)

Eligible institution

The term eligible institution means an institution that has a demonstrated record of success in training and is—

(i)

a postsecondary educational institution (as such term is defined in section 3 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2302)) that offers a 2-year program of study or a 1-year program of training;

(ii)

a postsecondary vocational institution, as defined under title 600.6 of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, or similar successor regulation; or

(iii)

another structured experiential learning training program for American workers in the United States maritime industry, including a program offered by a labor organization or conducted in partnerships with a nonprofit organization or 1 or more employers in the maritime industry.

(C)

United states maritime industry

The term United States maritime industry means all segments of the maritime-related transportation system of the United States, both in domestic and foreign trade, and in coastal, offshore, and inland waters, as well as non-commercial maritime activities, such as pleasure boating and marine sciences (including all scientific research vessels), and all of the industries that support or depend upon such uses, including vessel construction and repair, vessel operations, ship logistics supply, berthing, port operations, port intermodal operations, marine terminal operations, vessel design, marine brokerage, marine insurance, marine financing, chartering, maritime-oriented supply chain operations, offshore industry, offshore wind, and maritime-oriented research and development.

(2)

Grant authorization

(A)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator may award maritime career training grants to eligible institutions for the purpose of developing, offering, or improving educational or career training programs for workers in the United States related to the maritime workforce.

(B)

Guidelines

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Administrator shall—

(i)

promulgate guidelines for the submission of grant proposals under this subsection; and

(ii)

publish and maintain such guidelines on the website of the Maritime Administration.

(3)

Limitations

The Administrator may not award a grant under this subsection in an amount that is more than $12,000,000.

(4)

Required information

(A)

In general

An eligible institution that desires to receive a grant under this subsection shall submit to the Administrator a grant proposal that includes a detailed description of—

(i)

the specific project for which the grant proposal is submitted, including the manner in which the grant will be used to develop, offer, or improve an educational or career training program that is suited to maritime industry workers;

(ii)

the extent to which the project for which the grant proposal is submitted will meet the educational or career training needs of maritime workers in the community served by the eligible institution, particularly any individuals with a barrier to employment;

(iii)

the extent to which the project for which the grant proposal is submitted fits within any overall strategic plan developed by an eligible community; and

(iv)

a description of the previous experience of the eligible institution in providing maritime educational or career training programs.

(B)

Community outreach required

In order to be considered by the Administrator, a grant proposal submitted by an eligible institution under this subsection shall—

(i)

demonstrate that the eligible institution—

(I)

reached out to employers to identify—

(aa)

any shortcomings in existing maritime educational and career training opportunities available to workers in the community; and

(bb)

any future employment opportunities within the community and the educational and career training skills required for workers to meet the future maritime employment demand; and

(II)

reached out to other similarly situated entities in an effort to benefit from any best practices that may be shared with respect to providing maritime educational or career training programs to workers eligible for training; and

(ii)

include a detailed description of—

(I)

the extent and outcome of the outreach conducted under clause (i);

(II)

the extent to which the project for which the grant proposal is submitted will contribute to meeting any shortcomings identified under clause (i)(I)(aa) or any maritime educational or career training needs identified under clause (i)(I)(bb); and

(III)

the extent to which employers, including small- and medium-sized firms within the community, have demonstrated a commitment to employing workers who would benefit from the project for which the grant proposal is submitted.

(5)

Criteria for award of grants

(A)

In general

Subject to the appropriation of funds, the Administrator shall award a grant under this subsection based on—

(i)

a determination of the merits of the grant proposal submitted by the eligible institution to develop, offer, or improve maritime educational or career training programs to be made available to workers;

(ii)

an evaluation of the likely employment opportunities available to workers who complete a maritime educational or career training program that the eligible institution proposes to develop, offer, or improve;

(iii)

an evaluation of prior demand for training programs by workers in the community served by the eligible institution, as well as the availability and capacity of existing maritime training programs to meet future demand for training programs;

(iv)

any prior designation of an institution as a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education; and

(v)

an evaluation of the previous experience of the eligible institution in providing maritime educational or career training programs.

(B)

Matching requirements

A grant awarded under this subsection may not be used to satisfy any private matching requirement under any other provision of law.

(6)

Competitive awards

(A)

In general

The Administrator shall award grants under this subsection to eligible institutions on a competitive basis in accordance with guidelines and requirements established by the Administrator under paragraph (2)(B).

(B)

Timing of grant notice

The Administrator shall post a Notice of Funding Opportunity regarding grants awarded under this subsection not more than 90 days after the date of enactment of the appropriations Act for the fiscal year concerned.

(C)

Timing of grants

The Administrator shall award grants under this subsection not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of the appropriations Act for the fiscal year concerned.

(D)

Application of requirements

The requirements under subparagraphs (B) and (C) shall not apply until the guidelines required under paragraph (2)(B) have been promulgated.

(E)

Reuse of unexpended grant funds

Notwithstanding subparagraph (C), amounts awarded as a grant under this subsection that are not expended by the grantee shall remain available to the Administrator for use for grants under this subsection.

(F)

Administrative costs

Not more than 3 percent of amounts made available to carry out this subsection may be used for the necessary costs of grant administration.

(7)

Eligible uses of grant funds

An eligible institution receiving a grant under this subsection—

(A)

shall carry out activities that are identified as priorities for the purpose of developing, offering, or improving educational or career training programs for the United States maritime industry workforce;

(B)

shall provide training to upgrade the skills of the United States maritime industry workforce, including training to acquire covered requirements as well as technical skills training for jobs in the United States maritime industry; and

(C)

may use the grant funds to—

(i)

admit additional students to maritime training programs;

(ii)

develop, establish, and annually update viable training capacity, courses and mechanisms to rapidly upgrade skills and perform assessments of merchant mariners during time of war or national emergency and to increase credentials for domestic or defense needs where training can decrease the gap in the numbers of qualified mariners for sealift;

(iii)

provide services to upgrade the skills of United States offshore wind marine service workers who transport, install, operate, or maintain offshore wind components and turbines, including training, curriculum, and career pathway development, on-the-job training, safety, and health training, and classroom training;

(iv)

expand existing or create new maritime training programs, including through partnerships and memoranda of understanding with 4-year institutions of higher education, labor organizations, apprenticeships with the United States maritime industry, or with 1 or more employers in the maritime industry;

(v)

create new maritime career pathways;

(vi)

expand existing or create new training programs for transitioning military veterans to careers in the United States maritime industry;

(vii)

expand existing or create new training programs that address the needs of individuals with a barrier to employment, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, in the United States maritime industry;

(viii)

purchase, construct, develop, expand, or improve training facilities, buildings, and equipment to deliver maritime training programs;

(ix)

recruit and train additional faculty to expand the maritime training programs offered by the eligible institution;

(x)

provide financial assistance through scholarships or tuition waivers, not to exceed the applicable tuition expenses associated with the covered programs;

(xi)

promote the use of distance learning that enables students to take courses through the use of teleconferencing, the Internet, and other media technology;

(xii)

assist in providing services to address maritime workforce recruitment and training of youth residing in targeted high-poverty areas within empowerment zones and enterprise communities;

(xiii)

implement partnerships with national and regional organizations with special expertise in developing, organizing, and administering maritime workforce recruitment and training services;

(xiv)

carry out customized training in conjunction with an existing registered apprenticeship program or pre-apprenticeship program, paid internship, or joint labor-management partnership;

(xv)

carry out customized training in conjunction with an existing registered apprenticeship program or pre-apprenticeship program, paid internship, or joint labor-management partnership;

(xvi)

design, develop, and test an array of approaches to providing recruitment, training, or retention services, to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the United States maritime industry workforce;

(xvii)

in conjunction with employers, organized labor, other groups (such as community coalitions), and Federal, State, or local agencies, design, develop, and test various training approaches in order to determine effective practices; or

(xviii)

assist in the development and replication of effective service delivery strategies for the United States maritime industry as a whole.

(8)

Public report

Not later than December 15 in each of the calendar years 2023 through 2025, the Administrator shall make available on a publicly available website a report and provide a briefing to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives—

(A)

describing each grant awarded under this subsection during the preceding fiscal year;

(B)

assessing the impact of each award of a grant under this subsection in a fiscal year preceding the fiscal year referred to in subparagraph (A) on workers receiving training; and

(C)

describing the performance of the grant awarded with respect to the indicators of performance under section 116(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3141(b)(2)(A)(i)).

(9)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $60,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

.

9.

Preparing the maritime workforce for low and zero emission vessels

(a)

Development of strategy

The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the United States Merchant Marine Academy, State maritime academies, and civilian nautical schools and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, shall develop a strategy to ensure there is an adequate supply of trained United States citizen mariners sufficient to meet the operational requirements of low and zero emission vessels.

(b)

Report

Not later than 6 months after the date the Secretary of Transportation determines that there is commercially viable technology for low and zero emission vessels, the Secretary of Transportation shall—

(1)

submit a report on the strategy developed under subsection (a) and plans for its implementation to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and

(2)

make such report publicly available.

10.

Naval technology transfer for quieting Federal non-combatant vessels

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Administrator of the Maritime Administration, and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, shall, not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, submit a report to the committees identified under subsection (b) and publish an unclassified report—

(1)

identifying existing, at the time of submission, non-classified naval technologies that reduce underwater noise; and

(2)

evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of incorporating such technologies in the design, procurement, and construction of non-combatant vessels of the United States.

(b)

Committees

The report under subsection (a) shall be submitted the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Defense for carrying out this section, $100,000 for fiscal year 2022, to remain available until expended.

11.

Study examining the impact of stormwater runoff and tires near ports

(a)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in concert with the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall commence a study that—

(1)

examines the existing science on tire-related chemicals in stormwater runoff at ports and associated transportation infrastructure and the impacts of such chemicals on Pacific salmon and steelhead;

(2)

examines the challenges of studying tire-related chemicals in stormwater runoff at ports and associated transportation infrastructure and the impacts of such chemicals on Pacific salmon and steelhead;

(3)

provides recommendations for improving monitoring of stormwater and research related to run-off for tire-related chemicals and the impacts of such chemicals on Pacific salmon and steelhead at ports and associated transportation infrastructure near ports; and

(4)

provides recommendations based on the best available science on relevant management approaches at ports and associated transportation infrastructure under their respective jurisdictions.

(b)

Submission of study

Not later than 18 months after commencing the study under subsection (a), the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in concert with the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall—

(1)

submit the study to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, including detailing any findings from the study; and

(2)

make such study publicly available.

12.

Strategic seaports

Section 50302(c)(6) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(C)

Infrastructure improvements identified in the report on strategic seaports

In selecting projects described in paragraph (3) for funding under this subsection, the secretary shall consider infrastructure improvements identified in the report on strategic seaports required by section 3515 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (Public Law 116–92; 133 Stat. 1985) that would improve the commercial operations of those seaports.

.

13.

Improving Protections for Midshipmen Act

(a)

Short title

This section may be cited as the Improving Protections for Midshipmen Act.

(b)

Suspension or revocation of merchant mariner credentials for perpetrators of sexual harassment or sexual assault

(1)

In general

Chapter 77 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 7704 the following:

7704a.

Sexual harassment or sexual assault as grounds for suspension or revocation

(a)

Sexual harassment

If it is shown at a hearing under this chapter that a holder of a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner's document issued under this part within 10 years before the beginning of the suspension and revocation proceedings, is the subject of a substantiated claim of sexual harassment, then the license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document shall be suspended or revoked.

(b)

Sexual assault

If it is shown at a hearing under this chapter that a holder of a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner's document issued under this part within 20 years before the beginning of the suspension and revocation proceedings, is the subject of a substantiated claim of sexual assault, then the license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document shall be revoked.

(c)

Substantiated claim

(1)

In General

The term substantiated claim means—

(A)

a finding by any administrative or legal proceeding that the individual committed sexual harassment or sexual assault in violation of any Federal, State, local or Tribal law or regulation; or

(B)

a determination after an investigation by the Coast Guard that it is more likely than not the individual committed sexual harassment or sexual assault as defined in subsection (c).

(2)

Investigation by the Coast Guard

An investigation by the Coast Guard under paragraph (1)(B) shall include evaluation of the following materials that shall be provided to the Coast Guard:

(A)

Any inquiry or determination made by the employer as to whether the individual committed sexual harassment or sexual assault.

(B)

Upon request, from an employer or former employer of the individual, any investigative materials, documents, records, or files in its possession that are related to the claim of sexual harassment or sexual assault by the individual.

(d)

Definitions

(1)

Sexual harassment

The term sexual harassment means any of the following:

(A)

Conduct that—

(i)

involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or deliberate or repeated offensive comments or gestures of a sexual nature when—

(I)

submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, or career;

(II)

submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for career or employment decisions affecting that person;

(III)

such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment; or

(IV)

conduct may have been by a person’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or another credentialed mariner; and

(ii)

is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would perceive, and the victim does perceive, the environment as hostile or offensive.

(B)

Any use or condonation, by any person in a supervisory or command position, of any form of sexual behavior to control, influence, or affect the career, pay, or job of a subordinate.

(C)

Any deliberate or repeated unwelcome verbal comment or gesture of a sexual nature by any fellow employee of the complainant.

(2)

Sexual assault

The term sexual assault means any form of abuse or contact as defined in chapter 109A of title 18, United States Code.

(e)

Regulations

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may issue further regulations as necessary to update the definitions in this section, consistent with descriptions of sexual harassment and sexual assault addressed in title 10 and title 18, United States Code, and any other relevant Federal laws, to implement subsection (a) of this section.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections of chapter 77 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7704 the following:

7704a. Sexual harassment or sexual assault as grounds for suspension or revocation.

.

(c)

Supporting the United States Merchant Marine Academy

(1)

In general

Chapter 513 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

51323.

Sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention information management system

(a)

Information management system

(1)

In general

Not later than January 1, 2023, the Maritime Administrator shall establish an information management system to track and maintain, in such a manner that patterns can be reasonably identified, information regarding claims and incidents involving cadets that are reportable pursuant to subsection (d) of section 51318 of this chapter.

(2)

Information maintained in the system

Information maintained in the system shall include the following information, to the extent that information is available:

(A)

The overall number of sexual assault or sexual harassment incidents per fiscal year.

(B)

The location of each such incident, including vessel name and the name of the company operating the vessel, if applicable.

(C)

The names and ranks of the individuals involved in each such incident.

(D)

The general nature of each such incident, to include copies of any associated reports completed on the incidents.

(E)

The type of inquiry made into each such incident.

(F)

A determination as to whether each such incident is substantiated.

(G)

Any informal and formal accountability measures taken for misconduct related to the incident, including decisions on whether to prosecute the case.

(3)

Past information included

The information management system under this section shall include the relevant data listed in this subsection related to sexual assault and sexual harassment that the Maritime Administrator possesses, and shall not be limited to data collected after January 1, 2023.

(4)

Privacy protections

The Maritime Administrator and the Department of Transportation Chief Information Officer shall coordinate to ensure that the information management system under this section shall be established and maintained in a secure fashion to ensure the protection of the privacy of any individuals whose information is entered in such system.

(5)

Cybersecurity audit

Ninety days after the implementation of the information management system, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall commence an audit of the cybersecurity of the system and shall submit a report containing the results of that audit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.

(b)

Sea year program

The Maritime Administrator shall provide for the establishment of in-person and virtual confidential exit interviews, to be conducted by personnel who are not involved in the assignment of the midshipmen to a Sea Year vessel, for midshipmen from the Academy upon completion of Sea Year and following completion by the midshipmen of the survey under section 51322(d).

51324.

Student advisory board at the United States Merchant Marine Academy

(a)

In general

The Administrator of the Maritime Administration shall establish at the United States Merchant Marine Academy an advisory board to be known as the Advisory Board to the Secretary of Transportation (referred to in this section as the Advisory Board).

(b)

Membership

The Advisory Board shall be composed of not fewer than 12 midshipmen of the Merchant Marine Academy who are enrolled at the Merchant Marine Academy at the time of the appointment, including not fewer than 3 cadets from each class.

(c)

Appointment; term

Midshipmen shall serve on the Advisory Board pursuant to appointment by the Administrator of the Maritime Administration. Appointments shall be made not later than 60 days after the date of the swearing in of a new class of midshipmen at the Academy. The term of membership of a midshipmen on the Advisory Board shall be 1 academic year.

(d)

Reappointment

The Administrator of the Maritime Administration may reappoint not more than 6 cadets from the previous term to serve on the Advisory Board for an additional academic year if the Administrator determines such reappointment to be in the best interests of the Merchant Marine Academy.

(e)

Meetings

The Advisory Board shall meet with the Secretary of Transportation at least once each academic year to discuss the activities of the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board shall meet in person with the Administrator of the Maritime Administration not less than 2 times each academic year to discuss the activities of the Advisory Board.

(f)

Duties

The Advisory Board shall—

(1)

identify health and well-being, diversity, and sexual assault and harassment challenges and other topics considered important by the Advisory Board facing midshipmen both at the Merchant Marine Academy, off campus, and while aboard ships during Sea Year or other training opportunities;

(2)

discuss and propose possible solutions, including improvements to culture and leadership development at the Merchant Marine Academy; and

(3)

periodically, review the efficacy of the program in section 51323(b), as appropriate, and provide recommendations to the Maritime Administrator for improvement.

(g)

Working groups

The Advisory Board may establish one or more working groups to assist the Advisory Board in carrying out its duties, including working groups composed in part of midshipmen at the Merchant Marine Academy who are not current members of the Advisory Board.

(h)

Reports and briefings

The Advisory Board shall regularly provide the Secretary of Transportation and the Administrator of the Maritime Administration reports and briefings on the results of its duties, including recommendations for actions to be taken in light of such results. Such reports and briefings may be provided in writing, in person, or both.

51325.

Sexual assault advisory council

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a Sexual Assault Advisory Council (in this section referred to as the Council).

(b)

Membership

(1)

In General

The Council shall be composed of not fewer than 8 and not more than 14 individuals selected by the Secretary of Transportation who are alumni that have graduated within the last 4 years or current midshipmen of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (including midshipmen or alumni who were victims of sexual assault and midshipmen or alumni who were not victims of sexual assault) and governmental and nongovernmental experts and professionals in the sexual assault field.

(2)

Experts included

The Council shall include—

(A)

not less than 1 member who is licensed in the field of mental health and has prior experience working as a counselor or therapist providing mental health care to survivors of sexual assault in a victim services agency or organization; and

(B)

not less than 1 member who has prior experience developing or implementing sexual assault or sexual assault prevention and response policies in an academic setting.

(3)

Rules regarding membership

No employee of the Department of Transportation shall be a member of the Council. The number of governmental experts appointed to the Council shall not exceed the number of nongovernmental experts.

(c)

Duties; authorized activities

(1)

In general

The Council shall meet not less often than semi-annually to—

(A)

review—

(i)

the policies on sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking under section 51318 of this title; and

(ii)

related matters the Council views as appropriate; and

(B)

develop recommendations designed to ensure that such policies and such matters conform, to the extent practicable, to best practices in the field of sexual assault and sexual harassment response and prevention.

(2)

Authorized activities

To carry out this subsection, the Council may—

(A)

conduct case reviews, as appropriate and only with the consent of the victim of sexual assault or harassment;

(B)

interview current and former midshipmen of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (to the extent that such midshipmen provide the Department of Transportation express consent to be interviewed by the Council); and

(C)

review—

(i)

exit interviews under section 51323(b) and surveys under section 51322(d);

(ii)

data collected from restricted reporting; and

(iii)

any other information necessary to conduct such case reviews.

(3)

Personally identifiable information

In carrying out this subsection, the Council shall comply with the obligations of the Department of Transportation to protect personally identifiable information.

(d)

Reports

On an annual basis for each of the 5 years after the date of enactment of this section, and at the discretion of the Council thereafter, the Council shall submit, to the President and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, a report on the Council's findings based on the reviews conducted pursuant to subsection (c) and related recommendations.

(e)

Employee status

Members of the Council shall not be considered employees of the United States Government for any purpose and shall not receive compensation other than reimbursement of travel expenses and per diem allowance in accordance with section 5703 of title 5.

(f)

Nonapplicability of FACA

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Council.

51326.

Diversity and inclusion action plan

(a)

In general

Not later than January 1, 2023, the Maritime Administrator shall issue a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for the United States Merchant Marine Academy (referred to in this section as the Plan) and make the Plan publicly available.

(b)

Contents of Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan; Surveys

(1)

In General

The Plan shall—

(A)

contain a description of how the United States Merchant Marine Academy will increase recruiting efforts in historically underrepresented communities, including through partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities and maritime centers of excellence designated under section 51706;

(B)

develop and make available resources to—

(i)

establish responsibilities for midshipmen, faculty, and staff of the Academy with respect to diversity and inclusion;

(ii)

create standards of—

(I)

training that require interpersonal dialogue on diversity and inclusion;

(II)

setting behavioral boundaries with others; and

(III)

specific processes for the reporting and documentation of misconduct related to hazing, bullying, hate, and harassment;

(iii)

hold leaders and other individuals at the Academy accountable for violations of such standards;

(iv)

equip midshipmen, faculty, and staff of the Academy with the resources and materials to promote a diverse and inclusive working environment; and

(v)

address how concepts of diversity and inclusion can be integrated into the curriculum and training of the Academy.

(2)

Surveys

The Maritime Administrator shall—

(A)

require a biannual survey of midshipmen, faculty, and staff of the Academy assessing—

(i)

the inclusiveness of the environment of the Academy; and

(ii)

the effectiveness of the Plan; and

(B)

require an annual survey of faculty and staff of the Academy assessing the inclusiveness of the environment of the Sea Year program.

.

(2)

Report to Congress

Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Maritime Administrator shall provide Congress with a briefing on the resources necessary to properly implement this section.

(3)

Conforming amendments

The chapter analysis for chapter 513 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

51323. Sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention information management system.

51324. Student advisory board at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

51325. Sexual assault advisory council.

51326. Diversity and inclusion action plan.

.

(4)

United States Merchant Marine Academy student support plan

(A)

Student support plan

Not later than January 1, 2023, the Maritime Administrator shall issue a Student Support Plan for the United States Merchant Marine Academy, in consultation with relevant mental health professionals in the Federal Government or experienced with the maritime industry or related industries. Such plan shall—

(i)

address the mental health resources available to midshipmen, both on-campus and during Sea Year;

(ii)

establish a tracking system for suicidal ideations and suicide attempts of midshipmen;

(iii)

create an option for midshipmen to obtain assistance from a professional care provider virtually; and

(iv)

require an annual survey of faculty and staff assessing the adequacy of mental health resources for midshipmen of the Academy, both on campus and during Sea Year.

(B)

Report to Congress

Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Maritime Administrator shall provide Congress with a report on the resources necessary to properly implement this paragraph.

(d)

Special victims advisor

Section 51319 of title 46, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (b) the following:

(c)

Special victims advisor

(1)

In General

The Secretary shall designate an attorney (to be known as the Special Victims Advisor) for the purpose of providing legal assistance to any cadet of the Academy who is the victim of an alleged sex-related offense regarding administrative and criminal proceedings related to such offense, regardless of whether the report of that offense is restricted or unrestricted.

(2)

Special Victims Advisory

The Secretary shall ensure that the attorney designated as the Special Victims Advisor has knowledge of Uniform Code of Military Justice procedures, as well as criminal and civil law.

(3)

Privileged communications

Any communications between a victim of an alleged sex-related offense and the Special Victim Advisor, when acting in their capacity as such, shall have the same protection that applicable law provides for confidential attorney-client communications.

; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(e)

Unfilled vacancies

The Administrator of the Maritime Administration may appoint qualified candidates to positions under subsection (a) and (c) of this section without regard to sections 3309 through 3319 of title 5, United States Code.

.

(e)

Catch a serial offender assessment

(1)

Assessment

Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, in coordination with the Maritime Administrator, shall conduct an assessment of the feasibility and process necessary, and appropriate responsible entities to establish a program for the United States Merchant Marine Academy and United States Merchant Marine modeled on the Catch a Serial Offender program of the Department of Defense using the information management system required under subsection (a) of section 51323 of title 46, United States Code, and the exit interviews under subsection (b) of such section.

(2)

Legislative change proposals

If, as a result of the assessment required by paragraph (1), the Commandant or the Administrator determines they need additional authority to implement the program described in paragraph (1), the Commandant or the Administrator, as applicable, shall provide appropriate legislative change proposals to Congress.

(f)

Shipboard training

Section 51322(a) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(3)

Training

(A)

In general

As part of training that shall be provided not less than semi-annually to all midshipmen of the Academy, pursuant to section 51318, the Maritime Administrator shall develop and implement comprehensive in-person sexual assault risk-reduction and response training that, to the extent practicable, conforms to best practices in the sexual assault prevention and response field and includes appropriate scenario-based training.

(B)

Development and consultation with experts

In developing the sexual assault risk-reduction and response training under subparagraph (A), the Maritime Administrator shall consult with and incorporate, as appropriate, the recommendations and views of experts in the sexual assault field.

.