16 U.S. Code § 4711 - Aquatic nuisance species in waters of United States
Not later than 6 months after November 29, 1990, the Secretary shall issue voluntary guidelines to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes through the exchange of ballast water of vessels prior to entering those waters.
Not later than 2 years after November 29, 1990, the Secretary, in consultation with the Task Force, shall issue regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes through the ballast water of vessels.
In addition to promulgating regulations under paragraph (1), the Secretary, in consultation with the Task Force, shall, not later than November 4, 1994, issue regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes through ballast water carried on vessels that enter a United States port on the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge.
Not later than 1 year after October 26, 1996, and after providing notice and an opportunity for public comment, the Secretary shall issue voluntary guidelines to prevent the introduction and spread of nonindigenous species in waters of the United States by ballast water operations and other operations of vessels equipped with ballast water tanks.
Not sooner than 24 months after the date of issuance of guidelines pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and not later than 30 months after such date, and after consultation with interested and affected persons, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress a report containing the information required pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (e) of this section.
The Secretary shall revise regulations promulgated under this subsection to the extent required to make such regulations consistent with the treatment of a particular matter in any international agreement, agreed to by the United States, governing management of the transfer of nonindigenous aquatic species by vessel.
Any person who violates a regulation promulgated under subsection (b) or (f) of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $25,000. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation. A vessel operated in violation of the regulations is liable in rem for any civil penalty assessed under this subsection for that violation.
Any person who knowingly violates the regulations promulgated under subsection (b) or (f) of this section is guilty of a class C felony.
Upon request of the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury shall withhold or revoke the clearance of a vessel required by section 60105 of title 46, if the owner or operator of that vessel is in violation of the regulations issued under subsection (b) or (f) of this section.
In carrying out the programs under this section, the Secretary is encouraged to use, to the maximum extent practicable, the expertise, facilities, members, or personnel of established agencies and organizations that have routine contact with vessels, including the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, the National Cargo Bureau, port administrations, and ship pilots’ associations.
In developing the guidelines issued and regulations promulgated under this section, the Secretary is encouraged to consult with the Government of Canada, the Government of Mexico, and any other government of a foreign country that the Secretary, in consultation with the Task Force, determines to be necessary to develop and implement an effective international program for preventing the unintentional introduction and spread of nonindigenous species.
The Secretary, in cooperation with the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations and the Commission on Environmental Cooperation established pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement, is encouraged to enter into negotiations with the governments of foreign countries to develop and implement an effective international program for preventing the unintentional introduction and spread of nonindigenous species.
The master of a vessel is not required to conduct a ballast water exchange if the master decides that the exchange would threaten the safety or stability of the vessel, its crew, or its passengers because of adverse weather, vessel architectural design, equipment failure, or any other extraordinary conditions.
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a vessel that does not exchange ballast water on the high seas under paragraph (1) shall not be restricted from discharging ballast water in any harbor.
The Secretary shall ensure that vessels registered outside of the United States do not receive more favorable treatment than vessels registered in the United States when the Secretary performs studies, reviews compliance, determines effectiveness, establishes requirements, or performs any other responsibilities under this chapter.
 See Codification note below.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, referred to in subsecs. (b)(2)(C) and (c)(2)(J), is act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, as amended generally by Pub. L. 92–500, § 2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§ 1251 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.
This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (e)(1)(A), (g)(4)(B), and (l), was in the original “this Act” or “the Act”, which, to reflect the probable intent of Congress, was translated as reading “this title” meaning title I of Pub. L. 101–646, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4761, known as the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of title I to the Code, see Short Title note set out below and Tables.
In subsec. (g)(3), “section 60105 of title 46” substituted for “section 4197 of the Revised Statutes (46 U.S.C. App. 91)” on authority of Pub. L. 109–304, § 18(c), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1709, which Act enacted section 60105 of Title 46, Shipping.
October 26, 1996, referred to in subsec. (k)(3), was in the original “the date of enactment of this Act”, which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 104–332, which amended this section generally, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
1996—Pub. L. 104–332 amended section generally, substituting subsecs. (a) to (l) relating to aquatic nuisance species in waters of the United States for former subsecs. (a) to (e) relating to aquatic nuisance species in the Great Lakes.
For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.
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