WASHINGTON – Legislation to provide relief from over-burdensome federal regulations that threaten the continued operation of the Valley View Ferry is headed to the President’s desk following bipartisan support from both houses of Congress.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.2444, the Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016, legislation that includes a provision Congressman Andy Barr introduced to transfer the licensing authority for the Valley View Ferry from federal operating licensing to a state-based operating license.
“Congressman Barr took the time to listen and truly understand the hardship these regulations were placing on our ability to continue operation of the Valley View Ferry,” said George W. Dean, Vice Chairman of the Valley View Ferry Authority. "He quickly took on what seemed to be an impossible task, and now, after a year and a half advocating on our behalf in Washington, the Valley View Ferry Preservation Act will become law. We appreciate his hard work to resolve this issue. It will make it easier for us to preserve this historic Kentucky landmark and continue serving the local residents who rely on the Valley View Ferry.”
“I’m thrilled that this long overdue solution that will make life easier for Kentuckians is now headed for the President’s desk to become law,” said Congressman Barr. “I look forward to building off this achievement and continue working to enact solutions on behalf of the people of central and eastern Kentucky.”
In June 2013, Congressman Barr introduced H.R. 2570, the Valley View Ferry Preservation Act of 2013, after meeting with local officials and learning of the hardship imposed by federal regulations.
In October 2013, Congressman Andy Barr spoke before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation about the stringent federal captain licensing requirements on the Valley View Ferry. He successfully encouraged them to support and advance his proposed legislation.
In April 2014, H.R. 4005, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, which contains the language in Congressman Barr’s bill, H.R. 2570, the Valley View Ferry Preservation Act of 2013, was passed by a bipartisan voice vote.
On December 10, 2014, the House and Senate passed a bipartisan, bicameral agreement and the final version of this legislation, S.2444, the Coast Guard Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016, includes H.R. 2570, the Valley View Ferry Preservation Act of 2013.