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Delta Queen May Travel The Ohio River Once Again

Last updated on Thursday, October 22, 2009

(EVANSVILLE, IN) - The Delta Queen could soon be traveling along the Ohio River again.

Congressman Baron Hill has filed an amendment to the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 that would allow the historic steamboat to resume cruising.

A 1966 federal law prohibits the operation of any wooden vessel that carries more than 50 overnight passengers.

Congress allowed exemptions for the Delta Queen several times since 1968, but the exception didn't pass last year.

Katie Moreau with Congressman Hill's office says the Delta Queen's exemption was doomed last year because it was a late addition to the Coast Guard Authorization Act.

This time she says the amendment is being introduced early so legislators can learn more about the economic significance of the Delta Queen to the region.

The paddle-wheel steamboat, which was built in 1927, is made mostly of wood and can carry more than 170 passengers.

It's now operating as a boutique hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but it's hotel lease can be broken if congress approves its return to cruising the river.

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