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S. 3705: American Offshore Worker Fairness Act


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 17, 2022 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3705

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 17, 2022

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to provide for an exemption to the manning and crewing requirements for certain outer Continental Shelf vessels, vehicles, and structures, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the American Offshore Worker Fairness Act.

2.

Manning and crewing requirements for certain outer Continental Shelf vessels, vehicles, and structures

(a)

Authorization of limited exemptions from manning and crew requirement

Section 30(c) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356(c)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(C), by striking ; and and inserting a period;

(2)

beginning in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking (c) The regulations issued under subsection (a)(3) of this section and all that follows through to any vessel in paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

(c)

Exemptions

(1)

In general

The regulations issued under subsection (a)(3) shall not apply to any vessel

; and

(3)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by striking (2) to any vessel and inserting the following:

(2)

Exemption for certain foreign-owned vessels, rigs, platforms, and other vehicles or structures

(A)

In general

Subject to the requirements of this paragraph, the regulations issued under subsection (a)(3) shall not apply to any vessel

;

(B)

in subparagraph (A) (as so designated), by striking the exploration, development, or production of oil and gas and inserting exploring for, developing, or producing resources, including nonmineral energy resources,; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(B)

Condition

An exemption under subparagraph (A) shall be subject to the condition that each individual who is manning or crewing the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure is—

(i)

a citizen of the United States;

(ii)

an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence; or

(iii)

a citizen of the nation under the laws of which the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure is documented.

(C)

Requirements

An exemption under subparagraph (A)—

(i)

shall provide that the number of individuals manning or crewing the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure who are individuals described in clause (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (B) may not exceed 2.5 times the number of individuals required to man or crew the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure under the laws of the nation in which the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure is documented; and

(ii)

subject to subparagraph (D), shall be effective for not more than 1 year.

(D)

Application

(i)

In general

The owner or operator of a vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure described in subparagraph (A) may submit to the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating an application for an exemption or a renewal of an exemption under that subparagraph.

(ii)

Contents

An application under clause (i) shall include a sworn statement by the applicant of all information required by the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating for the issuance of the exemption.

(E)

Revocations

(i)

In general

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may revoke an exemption for a vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure under subparagraph (A) if the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating determines that information provided in the application for the exemption—

(I)

was false or incomplete; or

(II)

is no longer true or complete.

(ii)

Manning or crewing violation

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall immediately revoke an exemption for a vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure under subparagraph (A) if the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating determines that, during the effective period of the exemption, the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure was manned or crewed in a manner that—

(I)

was not authorized by the exemption; or

(II)

does not otherwise comply with this paragraph.

(iii)

Notice

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall provide notice of a determination and revocation under clause (i) or (ii) to the owner, operator, agent, or master of the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure.

(F)

Review of compliance

(i)

In general

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall periodically, but not less frequently than annually, inspect each vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure for which an exemption under subparagraph (A) has been granted to verify the compliance of the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure with this paragraph.

(ii)

Requirement

During each inspection of a vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure under clause (i), the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall require all individuals who are manning or crewing the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure to hold a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential.

(G)

Civil penalties

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may impose on the owner or operator of a vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure for which an exemption under subparagraph (A) has been granted a civil penalty of $10,000 per day for each day the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure—

(i)

is manned or crewed in violation of this paragraph; or

(ii)

operates under the exemption, if the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating determines that—

(I)

the exemption was not validly obtained; or

(II)

information provided in the application for the exemption was false or incomplete.

(H)

Notification of Secretary of State

The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall notify the Secretary of State of each exemption issued under this subsection, including information on the effective period of the exemption.

.

(b)

Regulations

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall promulgate regulations that specify the application requirements and process and other requirements for an exemption under subsection (c)(2)(A) of section 30 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356).

(c)

Existing exemptions

(1)

In general

During the 120-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, each exemption granted under section 30(c)(2) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356(c)(2)) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act) before the date of enactment of this Act—

(A)

shall remain in effect; and

(B)

shall not be affected by the amendments made by subsection (a).

(2)

Termination

On the day after the last day of the period described in paragraph (1), each exemption described in that paragraph shall terminate.

(3)

Notification

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall notify all persons that hold an exemption described in paragraph (1) that the exemption will terminate in accordance with paragraph (2).

(d)

Annual report

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall submit to Congress a report that describes the number of exemptions granted under subsection (c)(2)(A) of section 30 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356) during the preceding year.

(2)

Requirements

Each report under paragraph (1) shall list for each vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure granted an exemption during the preceding year—

(A)

the name and International Maritime Organization number of the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure;

(B)

the flag of the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure;

(C)

the nationality of the 1 or more owners of the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure; and

(D)

any changes to the information described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) applicable to the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure if the vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure has received a prior exemption under subsection (c)(2)(A) of section 30 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356) or section 30(c)(2) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356(c)(2)) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act).