b'LEGISLATIVEREPORTLegislative Response toConception Casualty By Ed Welch,Appears on Verge of PVA Legislative Director EnactmentT he legislative response to theCummings Coast Guard Authorizationcalling for enhanced fire protection September 2019 fatal fire on theAct of 2020, which is in turn a part ofmeasures will apply to some but not California overnight dive boatthe massive H.R. 6395, the Nationalall vessel operated by PVA members. M/V Conception is coming into focus. Defense Authorization Act of 2020. The key term covered small passenger On July 21, the U.S. House ofThe Coast Guard is directed tovessel is defined as (1) a small Representatives approved enhancedconsider regulations to govern safetypassenger vessel of less than 100 gross fire protection measures for certainissues that may arise from rechargeabletons providing overnight accommo-small passenger vessels. The measuresdevices (such as batteries) utilized ondations for passengers, regardless of originated as part of S. 3402 (entitledthe vessel for personal or commercialthe vessels area of operations, and (2) the Small Passenger Vessel Safetyelectronic equipment. This provisiona small passenger vessel of less than Act of 2019) sponsored by Senatormay have implications for all PVA100 gross tons authorized to operate Diane Feinstein of California. Thevessels. on oceans or coastwise routes. A vessel provisions are included in the ElijahThe remainder of the legislationoperating as a ferry or commercial fishing vessel is excluded from the def-inition of a covered small passenger vessel. With respect to covered small passenger vessels, the Coast Guard is to undertake a comprehensive review of existing requirements and then is to develop regulations intended to provide more fire protection. These regulations are to address: Marine firefighting training programs to improve crewmember training and proficiency, including emergency egress training for each member of the crew. The training is to take place at least monthly during the operating season and whenever a new person joins the crew;Interconnected fire detection equipment, including audible and visual alarms, plus additional fire extinguishers and other firefight-ing equipment, in all areas of the vessel where passengers and crew have access, (including dining areas, sleeping quarters, and lounges);Increased fire detection and suppression systems including additional fire extinguishers) in unmanned areas with machinery 32AUGUST 2020FOGHORN'