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46 U.S. Code § 53403 - Award of operating agreements

(a) In General.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall require, as a condition of including any vessel in the Fleet, that the program participant of the vessel enter into an operating agreement with the Secretary under this section.
(b) Procedure for Applications.—
(1) Eligible vessels.—
The Secretary of Transportation shall accept an application for an operating agreement for an eligible product tank vessel under the priority under paragraph (2) only from a person that has authority to enter into an operating agreement under this chapter.
(2) Establishment of priority.—The Secretary of Transportation may enter into a new operating agreement with an applicant that meets the requirements of section 53402(c) for a vessel that meets the qualifications of section 53402(b), and shall give priority to applications based on—
vessel capabilities, as established by the Secretary of Defense; then
after consideration of vessel type, according to an applicant’s record of owning and operating vessels; then
after consideration of ownership and operation, according to such additional priorities as the Secretary of Transportation may consider appropriate.
(3) Concurrence of award.—
The Secretary of Transportation may not approve an application for an operating agreement without the concurrence of the Secretary of Defense.
(c) Limitation.—The Secretary of Transportation may not award operating agreements under this chapter that require payments under section 53406 of this title for more than—.[1]
for each of fiscal years 2022 and 2023, 10 vessels; and
for any subsequent fiscal year, 20 vessels.
(d) Judicial Review.—
No court shall have jurisdiction to review the Secretary’s decision with respect to the award or non-award of an operating agreement issued under this chapter.

[1]  So in original. The period probably should not appear.
Editorial Notes

2022—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 117–263 substituted “The Secretary” for “For any fiscal year, the Secretary” and “more than—” for “more than 10 vessels”, designated existing provisions as introductory provisions, and added pars. (1) and (2).