Passenger Vessel Association


PVA vessels that carry or discharge ballast water may be affected by a rule proposed by the Coast Guard and published in the Federal Register of August 28, 2009.  Entitled “Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters,” the proposal would implement federal laws that direct the Coast Guard to develop ballast water management rules for vessels.  Ballast water is widely accused of transporting aquatic invasive species into and throughout U.S. waters. 

 If adopted, the August 28 proposal would require each vessel equipped with tanks or holds that store ballast water to install and operate an approved ballast water management system before discharging into U.S. waters.  The ballast water would have to be treated so that the concentration of microorganisms in it would fall below a permissible threshold.  A vessel that operates solely within a single Coast Guard Captain of the Port zone would be exempt. 

Comments are due by November 27, and there will be at least one public hearing, although the date and place have not yet been announced.

PVA’s staff is currently evaluating the possible impact of the proposal for its members.  PVA will provide that analysis to members in the near future and will also prepare comments to submit to the regulatory docket.