The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for the design, construction, alteration, repair, maintenance, operation, equipping, personnel qualification, and manning of vessels to which this chapter applies, that may be necessary for increased protection against hazards to life and property, for navigation and vessel safety, and for enhanced protection of the marine environment. The Secretary may prescribe different regulations applicable to vessels engaged in the domestic trade, and also may prescribe regulations that exceed standards set internationally. Regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this subsection are in addition to regulations prescribed under other laws that may apply to any of those vessels. Regulations prescribed under this subsection shall include requirements about—
superstructures, hulls, cargo holds or tanks, fittings, equipment, appliances, propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, and boilers;
the handling or stowage of cargo, the manner of handling or stowage of cargo, and the machinery and appliances used in the handling or stowage;
equipment and appliances for lifesaving, fire protection, and prevention and mitigation of damage to the marine environment;
the manning of vessels and the duties, qualifications, and training of the officers and crew;
improvements in vessel maneuvering and stopping ability and other features that reduce the possibility of marine casualties;
the reduction of cargo loss if a marine casualty occurs; and
the reduction or elimination of discharges during ballasting, deballasting, tank cleaning, cargo handling, or other such activity.
In prescribing regulations under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall consider the types and grades of cargo permitted to be on board a tank vessel.
In prescribing regulations under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall establish procedures for consulting with, and receiving and considering the views of—
interested departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government;
officials of State and local governments;
representatives of port and harbor authorities and associations;
representatives of environmental groups; and
other interested parties knowledgeable or experienced in dealing with problems involving vessel safety, port and waterways safety, and protection of the marine environment.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 522.)