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Ballast Water Management Regulatory Update

Saturday, 24 August 2019 | 00:00

California State Lands Commission Requires Separate Ballast Water Log

According to a California State Lands Commission letter dated 2 August 2019, vessels that are subject to California’s Marine Invasive Species Act (Cal. Pub. Resources Code section 71200 et seq.) must retain a separate log of ballast water activities on board the vessel (Cal. Pub. Resources Code section 71205(d)). Failure to comply with the ballast water log requirements may result in civil or criminal penalties.
The ballast water log must:

  • Outline the vessel’s ballast water management activities for each tank
  • Be available for inspection and review by Commission staff
  • Be retained for two years

VIDA Update

By December 4, 2020, the 2018 VIDA will streamline federal, state, and local vessel discharge regulations with national performance standards set by the EPA, which are currently anticipated to be similar to those in the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP). By December 4, 2022, the USCG will develop implementation, compliance, and enforcement regulations. More information on the VIDA regulatory process can be found on the EPA VIDA and USCG VIDA websites.

Until a formal announcement by the EPA and USCG is made, vessels are still required to comply with the current regulations in the 2013 VGP and the 2012 USCG Final Rule.
As a specific reminder, under the current VGP the state of Oregon requires that ballast water discharges of low-salinity ballast water (<18 ppt) are to be exchanged to raise the salinity >18 ppt before entering State waters. After exchange, ballast should still be treated with an approved ballast water treatment system before being discharged.

USCG Policy Letter on BWMS Testing

The USCG has issued the draft Policy Letter that provides information and guidance regarding acceptance of type approval testing methods that measure organism viability. The draft Policy Letter states that at the time of publication, the USCG “…does not know of any type-approval testing protocols for BWMS that render nonviable organisms in ballast water that are based on best available science”. The draft Policy Letter therefore establishes a process for submission of proposed protocols for USCG approval. In addition to a requirement to obtain USCG acceptance of proposed type approval testing method(s), the Independent Laboratories that use the protocol(s) also require review and acceptance by the USCG.

This development primarily impacts manufacturers of UV treatment systems, and particularly those that have not performed type approval testing using the live-dead methods (possibly at higher power demand to achieve killing organisms rather than only making them non-viable for reproduction). The USCG draft Policy Letter means that to conduct type approval testing using testing protocols that measure organism viability, such as the Most Probable Number (MPN) method, additional time and effort will be necessary to gain USCG acceptance of such methods, and for IL’s to be approved to use them.
The USCG is accepting public comments on the draft Policy Letter through 30 September 2019. Refer to the Federal Register Notice for details and comment submission instructions.

USCG Type Approvals

The USCG announced issuance of the 20th USCG Type Approval to Cathelco Ltd., for the Evolution BWMS.

The USCG has received the following Type Approval applications:

  • 26th application for the Blue Ocean Shield BWMS from COSCO Shipyard Industry Co., Ltd.;
  • 27th application for the EcoGuardian™ BWMS by HANLA IMS Co., Ltd.;
  • 28th application for the SeaCURE BWMS by Evoqua Water Technologies Ltd.; and
  • 29th application for the BAWAT BWMS Mk2 by BAWAT A/S.

The USCG has continued to maintain a current list of approved BWMS and the status of Type Approval applications.
Source: Ecochlor

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