Thursday, June 6, 2013

Coast Guard Proposes Ballast Water Management Rules

Jun 5: the U.S. Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register [78 FR 33774-33784] announcing that the Coast Guard proposes to amend its existing ballast water management (BWM) reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The Coast Guard will require vessels with ballast tanks operating exclusively on voyages between ports or places within a single Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone to submit an annual report of their BWM practices. The Coast Guard also proposes to update the current ballast water report to include only data that is essential to understanding and analyzing BWM practices. The proposed rule will allow most vessels to submit ballast water reports after arrival to the port or place of destination. Comments must be submitted on or before August 5, 2013.
    The Coast Guard indicates that the rules will "minimize the administrative burden on the regulated population by allowing those vessels that are not bound for the Great Lakes or the Hudson River, north of the George Washington Bridge from outside of the Exclusive Economic Zone, to submit ballast water reports after arrival to the port or place of destination, thereby greatly reducing the need for amended reports;" however, "Due to additional compliance monitoring for vessels bound for the Great Lakes and Hudson River, above George Washington Bridge, those vessels will still need to submit reports 24 hours prior to their arrival."
    Access the proposed rule (click here). Access the docket for this action for documents and to submit and review comments (click here). [#Wildlife/ANS, GLakes/ANS]
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