What are the required ballast water management practices for my vessel?
(a) Masters, owners, operators, or persons-in-charge of all vessels equipped with ballast water tanks that operate in the waters of the U.S. must:
(1) Avoid the discharge or uptake of ballast water in areas within or that may directly affect marine sanctuaries, marine preserves, marine parks, or coral reefs.
(2) Minimize or avoid uptake of ballast water in the following areas and situations:
(i) Areas known to have infestations or populations of harmful organisms and pathogens (e.g., toxic algal blooms).
(ii) Areas near sewage outfalls.
(iii) Areas near dredging operations.
(iv) Areas where tidal flushing is known to be poor or times when a tidal stream is known to be more turbid.
(v) In darkness when bottom-dwelling organisms may rise up in the water column.
(vi) Where propellers may stir up the sediment.
(vii) Areas with pods of whales, convergence zones, and boundaries of major currents.
(3) Clean the ballast tanks regularly to remove sediments. Clean the tanks in mid-ocean or under controlled arrangements in port, or at dry dock. Dispose of your sediments in accordance with local, State, and Federal regulations.
(4) Discharge only the minimal amount of ballast water essential for vessel operations while in the waters of the United States.
(5) Rinse anchors and anchor chains when you retrieve the anchor to remove organisms and sediments at their place of origin.
(6) Remove fouling organisms from hull, piping, and tanks on a regular basis and dispose of any removed substances in accordance with local, State and Federal regulations.
(7) Maintain a ballast water management plan that has been developed specifically for the vessel that will allow those responsible for the plan's implementation to understand and follow the vessel's ballast water management strategy.
(8) Train the master, operator, person-in-charge, and crew, on the application of ballast water and sediment management and treatment procedures.
(b) In addition to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, if the vessel carries ballast water that was taken on in areas less than 200 nautical miles from any shore into the waters of the U.S. after operating beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone, you (the master, operator, or person-in-charge of a vessel) must employ at least one of the following ballast water management practices:
(1) Perform complete ballast water exchange in an area no less than 200 nautical miles from any shore prior to discharging ballast water in U.S. waters;
(2) Retain ballast water onboard the vessel; or
(3) Prior to the vessel entering U.S. waters, use an alternative environmentally sound method of ballast water management that has been approved by the Coast Guard.
[USCG-1998-3423, 64 FR 26682, May 17, 1999, as amended at 66 FR 58391, Nov. 21, 2001; USCG-2003-14273, 69 FR 44961, July 28, 2004; USCG-2002-14273, 69 FR 60309, Oct. 8, 2004]
Title 33 published on 2012-07-01
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