The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have issued a notice regarding the Washington State Ballast Water Program. Operators must submit a report to WDFW by 01 July 2006, describing how they will meet the 2007 requirements detailed below.
As of 1st July 2007, the discharge of improperly exchanged or treated ballast water into Washington State waters is prohibited. This means that current safety exemptions for ballast water exchange will no longer be valid after 1st July 2007. Ship operators must begin now to plan for implementing treatment alternatives to exchange.
How do I comply with Washington’s Ballast Water Laws?
· All ships over 300 gross tons that intend to discharge, except military vessels, must report at least 24 hours prior to entering Washington Waters
· Ships not intending to discharge should notify the department
· All ships intending to discharge ballast are required to conduct an open ocean exchange. Vessels on coastal voyages are required to conduct an exchange at least 50 miles offshore (see Exemptions).
All vessels, except military vessels, intending to discharge ballast into Washington waters must report ballast water management information at least 24 hours prior to entering Washington waters by filing a ballast water reporting form through the department's designated agents as follows:
· Ships bound for Puget Sound or coastal ports must file their ballast water reporting form with the Marine Exchange of Puget Sound in Seattle
· Ships bound for Washington or Oregon ports on the Columbia River must file their ballast water reporting form with the Merchants Exchange of Portland to comply with both Washington and Oregon ballast water laws.
Ships not intending to discharge ballast water into Washington state waters shall notify the department in one of the following ways:
1. Letter: Ship operators who do not wish to file a ballast water reporting form may send a signed letter to the state ANS Coordinator at Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091. The Letter must contain the following information:
- Ship name, identification number (International Maritime Organization, Lloyds of London or U.S. Coast Guard registry number), owner, agent and vessel type; and
- A statement that the ship will not discharge ballast water.
2. Filing: Ships that would normally discharge ballast water, but will not discharge on any given trip, may continue to file the ballast water reporting form, with ‘not discharging’ written in the ballast water history section.
The department, or designated representatives, may at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner during a vessel’s scheduled stay in port, take samples of ballast water and sediment, may examine ballast water management records, and may make other appropriate inquiries to assess the compliance of vessels with ballast water reporting and control requirements.
Source of information:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife