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U.S. Coast Guard Ballast Water Management (BWM) Requirements. LT. Eddie Lesane U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston. September 2006. HISTORY OF BWM PROGRAM MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS COAST GUARD PORT STATE CONTROL EXAMINATIONS ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS. BWM Outline.

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U s coast guard ballast water management bwm requirements

U.S. Coast Guard Ballast Water Management (BWM) Requirements

LT. Eddie Lesane

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston

September 2006

Bwm outline





BWM Outline

Nature magnitude of aquatic nuisance species ans problems
Nature & Magnitude of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Problems

  • Billions of dollars in direct & indirect costs.

  • Adverse impacts on quality of life.

  • Potential serious ecosystem damages.

Coast guard ballast water program background timeline

29 November 1990 – Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (NANPCA) initiated; Final Rule published 08 April 1993

26 October 1996 - Congress inacted the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA) (Charged CG w/initiating Voluntary Program in all U.S. ports & required all vessels to submit reports

1997 – Smithsonian Environmental Research Center created the National Ballast Information Clearinghouse (NBIC)

17 May 1999 – Interim Rule published in federal register; established 33CFR part D; created mandatory BWM reporting & record keeping & promoted best practices for all vessels entering U.S. after operating outside of the EEZ (200NM). 21 November 2001 Final Rule published via Federal Register

03 June 2002 - CG submitted its first report to Congress & determined the rate of compliance was found to be inadequate, and vessel operators often failed to submit mandatory ballast water reports to the Coast Guard during this timeframe. Report also stated the Secretary’s intention to have the CG take additional action to reduce the inflow of ANS; Final rule published 28 July 2004 and became effective 27 September 2004

Coast Guard Ballast Water ProgramBackground/Timeline

Statistics from initial report to congress

Analysis of information received by the NBIC under voluntary guidelines indicates:

Only 30.4% submitted reports during the first 24 months of the voluntary requirements coming into effect

Over a two year period the monthly compliance rate increased gradually from 20% to a final rate of about 40%

Approximately 51% of the reporting ships that discharged ballast water performed some degree of ballast water exchange (reasons varied & included constraints posed by the vessel’s itinerary as well as ship and crew safety concerns)

Statistics From Initial Report to Congress

Transition from voluntary to mandatory bwm program

All vessels guidelines indicates: in U.S. waters equipped with BW tanks


Develop a ship specific plan

Report before departing a port or place of departure if the voyage is < 24 hrs; or 24 hrs before arrival to a port or place of destination if voyage is >24 hrs

Employ primary BWM practices:

Maintain ballast on board

Minimze ballast water uptake or discharge in certain locations & times

Complete mid-ocean exchange of ballast water no less than 200 NM of any shore


Crude Oil Tankers on Coastwise Voyage

DOD, Coast Guard and Armed Service Vessels

Vessels that operate exclusively in one COTP Zone

Transition from Voluntary to Mandatory BWM Program

Safety exemptions and voyage constraints

If a ship retains its ballast water because: guidelines indicates:

A) The voyage does not take it more

than 200 NM from any shore for


B) Because of safety concerns

Ship may discharge only that amount

“operationally necessary.”

Records must be available to the COTP

upon request!

BW samples may be taken!

Note: Mid Ocean Seawater should retain a salinity between 30 -40 ppm

Safety Exemptions and Voyage Constraints

Cg psc ballast water examination

Primary goal: To determine if vessel is in compliance with BWM during regular PSC safety examinations & to verify whether ballast water strategies were implemented

Pre-examination preparation:

Prior to conducting examinations, CG MI’s review the vessel’s history in our MISLE database (Any current BWM lookout list issued by CG HQs)

Aboard the vessel:

Check anchor equipment, hull and components visible below water line for biofouling (i.e., seaweed, barnacles, other algae and shellfish)

If at DD, verify if sediments in ballast tanks; if so vessel must dispose of in accordance with State and local laws (Vessels should be cleaning tanks regularly)

Check for specific ballast water plan; If a plan is not made available a violation for failure to comply and an expanded examination will be conducted

CG PSC Ballast Water Examination

Cg psc ballast water examination cont d

CG Marine Inspectors presently examine onboard BWM records going back 2 years

If vessel is on BWM Lookout List for failing to report or is suspected of being out of compliance, ensure expanded examination is conducted (Ballast Water Sampling to be included)

Note: Vessels that fail to comply w/BWM requirements are subject to the following:

Verbal Education, Letter of Warning, Notice of Violations, Civil Penalties ($32,500/day), Suspension and Revocation, Captain of the Port Orders, Criminal Charges (Class C Felony)

CG PSC Ballast Water Examination Cont’d

References going back 2 years

  • NBIC: http://invasions.si.edu/NBIC/bwform.html;

  • Coast Guard link: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/mso/bwm.htm

  • Coast Guard NVIC 07-04, CH-1

  • 33 CFR 151 Parts C & D

U s coast guard ballast water management bwm requirements

United States Coast Guard going back 2 years