Summary: H.R.2353 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part II (08/10/1984)

(Reported to House from the Committee on Public Works and Transportation with amendment, H.Rept. 98-519 (Part II))

Deepwater Port Act Amendments of 1984 - Amends the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 to define an "application" as any application submitted under such Act for a license for the ownership, construction, and operation of a deepwater port. Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to issue a license for the ownership, construction, and operation of a deepwater port. Authorizes the Secretary, on petition of the licensee, to amend, transfer, or reinstate a license issued under such Act if such action is consistent with the findings made at the time the license was issued. Directs that licenses issued under such Act shall remain in effect until revoked by the Secretary or surrendered by the licensee. Requires the Secretary, on petition of a licensee, to review any condition of a license issued to determine if such condition is uniform with conditions of other licenses issued under this Act. Requires the Secretary to amend or rescind conditions found to be no longer necessary. Directs the Secretary to transmit to the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission a copy of each license application.

States that a deepwater port and its facility shall operate as a common carrier under the Interstate Commerce Act, and therefore be subject to common carrier regulations, except when the licensee: (1) is subject to effective competition for the transportation of oil from alternative transportation systems; and (2) sets its rates, fees, charges, and conditions of service on the basis of competition. Requires the Secretary to take appropriate action when a licensee is not in compliance with this Act.

Prohibits the collection of any unloading fees by licensees after the enactment of this Act unless there are adjudicated claims against the Deepwater Port Liability Fund to be satisfied. Authorizes the Secretary to resume collection of such fees when the unobligated balance of the Fund is less than $4,000,000. Requires such collections to cease when the unobligated Fund balance exceeds $4,000,000. Authorizes the Fund to borrow from the Treasury amounts sufficient to maintain the balance of such fund at $4,000,000, but only to the extent such loan funds are provided in advance in appropriation Acts.

Confers joint and several liability upon the owner and operator of a vessel for cleanup costs and damages resulting from discharge as a result of vessel unseaworthiness.

Requires the Secretary of State to notify the governments of foreign vessels utilizing a deepwater port that the United States shall exercise jurisdiction over such vessels and their crew while utilizing such ports. Directs the Secretary of State to inform licensees of deepwater ports of all objections received from governments of foreign states in response to notifications made under this Act. Grants jurisdiction to the United States of vessels (and their crew) whenever such vessels are: (1) utilizing a deepwater port; and (2) within the safety zone of such port and engaged in activities connected with the use and operation of such port. Prohibits jurisdiction over any vessel objecting to the application of such jurisdiction. Prohibits any foreign vessel from utilizing any U.S. deepwater port without express or implied consent to the recognition of U.S. jurisdiction over such vessels and the designation of an agent in the United States for receipt of service of process. States that a licensee shall not be obligated to prohibit the utilization of a deepwater port by a vessel of an objecting foreign state unless such licensee is informed of such objection by the Secretary of State.