The US Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations on ballast water management by establishing standards for the allowable concentration of living organisms in ships’ ballast water discharged in US waters. It also proposes to amend its regulations for approving engineering equipment by establishing an approval process for ballast water management systems. These proposed regulations are intended to aid in controlling the introduction and spread of nonindigenous species from ships discharging ballast water in US waters. The ballast water discharge standards would be used to approve ballast water management systems that are at least as effective as ballast water exchange in preventing or reducing the introduction of nonindigenous species via discharged ballast water. The Coast Guard is proposing a two-phase rulemaking. The first phase would adopt the draft IMO standard for ballast water discharges. Phase two, to come into effect in 2016, would adopt a more stringent standard, modeled on standards that have been developed by several of the US states. A practicability review would be conducted to determine if the implementation date for phase two could be advanced or retarded, based on technological developments. 74 Fed. Reg. 44631 (August 28, 2009). The Coast Guard also issued a notice stating that it is seeking comments on the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) on these standards. 74 Fed. Reg. 44673 (August 28, 2009). Comments on both the proposed rulemaking and the DPEIS should be submitted by November 27.
(Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)