Issues & Advocacy

AWO Member Action Alert

Urge Members of Congress and Senators to take action on VIDA as soon as possible this year.

What You Can Do

  • Find and contact your Representative and Senators by clicking here.
  • Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 225-3121.
  • Ask for the office of your Representative or Senator.
  • Urge your Representative/Senator to take action on S.373/H.R. 980.
  • Use the talking points document for your communications.
  • For further questions or assistance, contact: Craig Montesano at

Current Cosponsors

Click the link below to see if your Representative or Senators have cosponsored VIDA. If they haven’t, please ask them to cosponsor the bill.

S. 373              Senators

H.R. 980         Representatives














AWO is engaged in an all-out strategy to enact S.373, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), in 2016.
S.373 is the U.S. maritime industry’s highest legislative priority in 2016 and we need your help to urge Congress to take action. Please contact your Member of Congress and Senators today and urge them to pass VIDA as soon as possible. 
This important legislation would establish a uniform federal framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges.
Enactment of VIDA would:
  • Establish a clear and consistent regulatory framework for commercial vessel owners
  • Jump-start investments in new, environmentally protective ballast water treatment technologies
  • Enhance the level of protection for the nation’s waterways by codifying the de facto consensus that exists between the scientific community, the states and the federal government on the capabilities of ballast water treatment technology


In 2015, S.373 was introduced by Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) and was favorably reported to the full Senate by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation with strong bipartisan support. The House companion bill, H.R. 980, was introduced by Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).

VIDA Tool Kit                VIDA News Releases and Documents
  Court Ruling Confirms Need for VIDA Passage

Fact Sheet


Senate Committee Approves Vessel Discharge Reform Legislation

Coalition Calls for Quick Action on Vessel Discharge Legislation

Jim Farley, Kirby Offshore Marine, LLC Testifies before Senate Subcommittee