An agreement has been reached on the language of a Senate bill that will re-authorise the US Coast Guard’s role as inspector and enforcer of ballast water discharge rules laid down by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), effectively giving the US nationwide uniformity of ballast water discharge rules.
The bill will go before the Senate this week and is expected to be passed before the end of the current legislation session.
The issue has been a stumbling block to implementing a uniform rule book for a country that has a myriad of state-level rules on ballast water discharge.
“This agreement to have the Coast Guard enforce standards established through an EPA-led process will create needed clarity for vessel operators while remaining sensitive to local concerns about invasive species,” said Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee chairman Senator John Thune. This is the committee that exercises jurisdiction over the US Coast Guard.
“Thanks to months of hard work, we have been able to reach a strong compromise that protects waters across our country from the environmental and economic risk of the spread of invasive species contained in ballast water, while also providing regulatory certainty for vessel owners and mariners,” said Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, ranking member Senator Tom Carper. This committee exercises jurisdiction over the EPA.
Ballast water management systems and their operation will be discussed by PureBallast head of customer support Jonas Alvan and De Nora’s global proposals manager Susanna Wyllie at the Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference, Awards & Exhibition, 20-21 November 2018.