Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes provisions that have implications for those in the maritime community. Most significantly, the NDAA settled inconsistent federal agency interpretations regarding whether or not United States laws apply to renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf. The NDAA provides that these laws do, in fact, apply.
The submerged land, its subsoil and seabed that lie beneath coastal waters, known at the Outer Continental Shelf, has become a hotspot for the renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. The passage of the NDAA now makes clear that laws, including the Jones Act, which mandates that vessels transporting cargo between two U.S. ports be built in the U.S., documented in the U.S., and owned and crewed by U.S. citizens, applies to vessels operating to serve renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf.
The U.S. maritime community has praised this legislation for its positive effect on U.S. jobs and the economic boost to the industry.
Gawthrop Greenwood and its team of Maritime & Transportation Law lawyers continue to review developments as they unfold. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 610-696-8225.