Proposal tabled to amend U.S. Ballast Rules

A Bill has been proposed introducing the Prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species Act 2006 (HR5030), which will amend the current Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (1990).  

On an initial reading it appears that the 112-page proposal covers much of the same area as the IMO Convention with the same implementation timetable beginning 1 January 2009 and based on ballast water volumes. However, the key difference between this proposal and the IMO Convention is in the standards for discharged ballast water and the requirement to treat the ballast to a standard 100 times greater than that specified in the IMO Convention. 

Interestingly, a proposal in the Bill allows for a review of the ability of treatment technology to be able to meet the strict standard some two years prior to the first implementation date of 1/1/2009 – therefore review date 1/1/2007. Should it be deemed that the technology is unable to meet the standard then there will be a delay in this 2009 implementation date of not more than 24 months.  

A similar proposal was made by the industry at the last meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). In this instance it was relative to the IMO Convention and the growing concern in the industry with the short period between the approval of the systems and the need to have them installed on vessels. The MEPC will consider the industry proposal at its next meeting in October this year. 

A full review of the Bill will be provided on the INTERTANKO website with updates on its progress through the U.S. regulatory system given in future Weekly NEWS articles.  

Click here to download the Bill.  

Contact: Tim Wilkins