June 10, 2008

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Schumer criticizes new EPA fee

Schumer, at the Haverstraw Marina

WEST HAVERSTRAW - US Senator Charles Schumer Monday announced an initiative to battle a recent Environmental Protection Agency regulation that he says could be “just a scheme to increase revenues.”

A recent regulation change by the EPA will require small motorboat owners to register their marine vehicle with the EPA, forcing them to have the same permits as oil tankers, and failure to do so will result in a $32,000 per day fine.

Speaking on the shores of the Hudson in West Haverstraw, Schumer said their intent was to keep track of all commercial boats on the country’s rivers and estuaries, but that this new regulation that stretches to the nearly 40,000 recreational and commercial small boaters in the Hudson Valley is going too far.

“This is going to be very damaging to our economy here.  The recreational boat industry here brings in an estimated $346 million.  This is going to hurt all of the region,” said the senator.

Schumer said it is “a possibility” that the reason for the new registration is to secure a new funding stream. “The government is always looking for new ways to increase their revenues.  Either way, it’s just plain D-U-M-B.”

The new EPA regulation goes into effect in late September.  Schumer said he hopes to have small boaters removed from the new policy by the end of summer.

He is being joined by US senators from California and Florida, the other two of the three top boating states in the country, in this effort.

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