California Clarifies BWMS Position
In accordance with the California Public Resource Code and California Code of Regulations, vessels may manage ballast water using an alternative, environmentally sound method approved by the California State Lands Commission or the USCG as being at least as effective as ballast water exchange, using mid-ocean waters, in eliminating nonindigenous species.
As any USCG accepted AMS must demonstrate efficacy at least as effective as mid-ocean exchange, used of such accepted systems for the treatment of ballast water prior to discharge within California waters shall qualify as being in accordance with the Public Resource Code and therefore may be used in place of ballast water exchange.
Vessels using USCG accepted AMS in California waters must indicate the specific system used on the Ballast Water Reporting form. Vessels discharging ballast treated with USCG accepted AMS in California waters must also fill out the "Ballast Water Treatment Technology Annual Reporting" form and the "Ballast Water Treatment Supplemental Reporting"
Installation or use of an USCG accepted AMS does not waive a vessel's requirement to meet the California Code of Regulations ballast discharge performance standards. Vessels with such AMS in place will still be subject to California's Performance Standards for Ballast Water Discharges, and once the regular goes into effect, it will be incumbent on the vessel to comply with the discharge standards.