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PASSED: Upton Provision for Saugatuck Chain Ferry

Package had previously advanced Senate, expected to be signed into law soon

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Washington, November 27, 2018 | Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today applauded passage of S. 140, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018. Included in this package is a provision, authored by Upton, which would exempt the Saugatuck Chain Ferry from the requirement under section 8902 of title 46, United States Code, that the vessel be operated by an individual licensed by the Coast Guard.  

“Come spring, the historic Saugatuck Chain Ferry will be moving again,” said Upton. “Our bipartisan efforts will exempt the Chain Ferry from being operated by an individual licensed by the Coast Guard. As local leaders have expressed repeatedly, the Chain Ferry is a hand-cranked vessel and the current regulations are woefully outdated. We’re hopeful we can get this modernization effort across the finish line as soon as possible, understanding the importance of the Chain Ferry to the entire Saugatuck community.”

“This is welcome news and Saugatuck thanks Congressman Upton for his hard work on this issue,” said Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier. “The safety of our passengers who ride the ferry is of utmost importance to us, but given the unique attributes of the vessel, no specialized machinery, and the measures we have in place, we are confident that we can ensure their safety without undertaking the significant burdens inherent in operating with an individual licensed by the Coast Guard. We’re excited to start back up on Memorial Day.”

Upton had previously authored a letter to Congressional leaders to push for this provision.  

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