published Thursday, September 26th, 2013

House passes bill that lets Delta Queen cruise (with video)

Should the Delta Queen cruise again?

NATCHEZ, Miss. — The Delta Queen, which is docked in Chattanooga, could soon have permission to leave her dock and take to the river before making possible return visits to Natchez.

The Natchez Democrat reports the U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to allow an exemption from some fire-retardant materials construction requirements for vessels operating within the boundary line of the United States' inland waterways.

As a riverboat, the Delta Queen has never been more than a mile from shore, but hasn't toured the Mississippi River since 2008, when the exemption to the 1960 Safety of Lives at Sea Act that allowed it to operate expired.

Natchez Tourism Director Connie Taunton said city officials have been keeping track of the legislation since it was introduced.

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