(a) The Secretary shall establish a Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee. The Committee--
(1) may review proposed Great Lakes pilotage regulations and policies and make recommendations to the Secretary that the Committee considers appropriate;
(2) may advise, consult with, report to, and make recommendations to the Secretary on matters relating to Great Lakes pilotage;
(3) may make available to the Congress recommendations that the Committee makes to the Secretary; and
(4) shall meet at the call of--
(A) the Secretary, who shall call such a meeting at least once during each calendar year; or
(B) a majority of the Committee.
(b)(1) The Committee shall consist of seven members appointed by the Secretary in accordance with this subsection, each of whom has at least 5 years practical experience in maritime operations. The term of each member is for a period of not more than 5 years, specified by the Secretary. Before filling a position on the Committee, the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register soliciting nominations for membership on the Committee.
(2) The membership of the Committee shall include--
(A) the President of each of the 3 Great Lakes pilotage districts, or the President's representative;
(B) one member representing the interests of vessel operators that contract for Great Lakes pilotage services;
(C) one member representing the interests of Great Lakes ports;
(D) one member representing the interests of shippers whose cargoes are transported through Great Lakes ports; and
(E) a member with a background in finance or accounting, who--
(i) must have been recommended to the Secretary by a unanimous vote of the other members of the Committee, and
(ii) may be appointed without regard to requirement in paragraph (1) that each member have 5 years of practical experience in maritime operations.
(c)(1) The Committee shall elect one of its members as the Chairman and one of its members as the Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall act as Chairman in the absence or incapacity of the Chairman, or in the event of a vacancy in the office of the Chairman.
(2) The Secretary shall, and any other interested agency may, designate a representative to participate as an observer with the Committee. The Secretary's designated representative shall act as the executive secretary of the Committee and shall perform the duties set forth in section 10(c) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
(d)(1) The Secretary shall, whenever practicable, consult with the Committee before taking any significant action relating to Great Lakes pilotage.
(2) The Secretary shall consider the information, advice, and recommendations of the Committee in formulating policy regarding matters affecting Great Lakes pilotage.
(3) Any recommendations to the Secretary under subsection (a)(2) must have been approved by at least all but one of the members then serving on the committee.
(e)(1) A member of the Committee, when attending meetings of the Committee or when otherwise engaged in the business of the Committee, is entitled to receive--
(A) compensation at a rate fixed by the Secretary, not exceeding the daily equivalent of the current rate of basic pay in effect for GS-18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5 including travel time; and
(B) travel or transportation expenses under section 5703 of title 5, United States Code .
(2) A member of the Committee shall not be considered to be an officer or employee of the United States for any purpose based on their receipt of any payment under this subsection.
(f)(1) The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) applies to the Committee, except that the Committee terminates on September 30, 2020.
(2) 2 years before the termination date set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Committee shall submit to the Congress its recommendation regarding whether the Committee should be renewed and continued beyond the termination date.
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