Coast Guard: TSAC Can Continue Its Work

In a December 3 alert to its members, The American Waterways Operators said the Coast Guard had “confirmed to AWO that in response to industry concerns following the agency’s July announcement that the Towing Safety Advisory Committee’s charter had lapsed, the Coast Guard re-examined its Congressional directives and has determined that TSAC can continue working under its existing charter through 2020.”

TSAC is one of the inland navigation industry’s most important congressionally chartered advisory committees. Its volunteer members, who serve without pay, have included the most prominent names in the towing industry. TSAC members serve for up to three years and can serve two consecutive terms.

In August, AWO members learned that TSAC’s charter had been allowed to lapse by an inadvertent oversight. Members wondered whether it would have to be reconstituted under another name, or whether serving members would have to undergo the laborious application process all over again.

Now, apparently, that won’t have to happen. The AWO alert said the Coast Guard “is in the process of reinstating TSAC’s current membership and planning a meeting in spring 2020 for the committee to resume work on its taskings. At the end of 2020, the committee will be rechartered and renamed, as required by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018. The Coast Guard has already submitted the new National Towing Safety Advisory Committee charter to the Department of Homeland Security for approval.”

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The alert concluded, “AWO appreciates the Coast Guard’s responsiveness to industry concerns regarding TSAC, which remains a critical forum for industry input into the development of sound maritime policy, especially during the implementation phase of Subchapter M.”